Home Welcome 2008 schedule About LaborFest Endorsers Contact Us





Forum & Reading

July 6 (Sunday) 3:00 PM (Donation) - ILWU Local 6 Hall 255-9th St. near Howard, SF
Postal Workers Video & Forum - Managers Going Postal: Letter Carriers Speak Out!
Sponsored by Letter Carriers Today
The drive to privatize and downsize is leading to a growing harassment and terror against postal workers. Management in San Francisco and around the country have retaliated against shop stewards and others who stand up for the contract and human rights on the job. This forum and video screening will provide a first hand view of the growing attacks against postal workers in San Francisco and around the country.
Sponsored by TV 214Letter Carriers Today
For information call (415) 786-7530 or email

Video Postal Management Going Postal (20 min) will be shown.

July 7 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) - Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St., at 20th St., SF
The Search For A Civic Voice, California Latino Politics
Book reading by Kenneth Burt
Burt has provided an overview of the growing power of the Latino community in California. As the largest growing ethnic community in California the history of its fight for justice and equality has been tied to social and community movements according to Kenneth Burt. Burt who is the Political Director of the California Federation of Teachers presents this history in a popular way.

July 8 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) -Labor Archives & Research Center, SFSU 480 Winston Dr., SF
The Federal Theater Project & Its Work
Presentation by Joel Schechter
The Federal Theatre Project stages a pro-union play seventy years ago.
SFSU Professor and theatre historian Joel Schechter will discuss Pinski’s play, its original production, and other progressive works staged under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Theatre Project between 1935 and 1939.  The presentation includes a slide show of production photographs, and reading of excerpts about these works and plays from Schechter’s new book, Messiahs of 1933, just published by Temple University Press.

July 9 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) -Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St. at 20th St., SF
Outside The Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, & The UPS Strike
Presentation by Deepa Kumar
The need for a critical analysis of how labor struggles are presented and packaged by the corporate media and how labor can counteract the anti-labor bias is the focus of this book. It looks at the media battle behind the most important successful national strike in recent years by the International Brotherhood of Teamstersagainst the United Parcel Service. The New York Times complained that the problem of the strike was that the public believed that the strike was about “part time” work.

July 10 (Thursday) 6:30 PM (Donation) -Ironworkers Hall, South Bay Labor Council -2102 Almaden Road, Room 110, San Jose
Overworked and Underpaid in the Silicon Valley
Forum & Presentation: learn about how the South Bay labor movement is helping working families in the service sector fight for economic justice and how you and your job in Corporate Cubicle Company can affect the implementation of progressive labor policies. Labor activism in the Silicon Valley looks very different than you think - our panelists will share real life stories about why and how they got involved in the labor movement and what difference it's making in all of our lives. Their stories about standing up and fighting for respect will inspire you in the most unexpected ways. Panelists: Pam Tau Lee, Tho Do and others.

July 12 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) SF Main Library - Koret Auditoriium - 100 Larkin St., at Grove
New Deal Films and Presentations
With Harvey Smith, Gray Brechin and others.
New Deal historians Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith will introduce and screen films produced in the 1930’s and 1940’s about the largest public works project in the history of the United States.
For information call (510) 649-7395

July 12 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall -255 9th St., near Howard, SF8
1968 - 2008 The Global Lessons From '68
With Mehmet Bayron, David Ewing, Dahrm Paul & others
The movement of ‘68 was the largest global mass movement since the 1930’s. This forum will look how it affected countries around the world from Turkey to China and what that movement means in today’s struggles of working people to survive the corporate onslaught.

July 13 (Sunday) 5:00 PM (Free) City Lights Bookstore 261 Columbus at Broadway, SF
LaborFest Writers Workshop and Waterfront Writers
The LaborFest Writers Workshop will be reading from their own work and will give a short presentation on the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project. They will read excerpts from the American Life Histories of the Folklore Project. Writers include Margaret Cooley, Susan Ford, Keith Cooley, Phyllis Holliday, Jerry Path and Alice Rogoff.
Also a writer of the waterfront M.C. Warrior will read.
Born and educated in England, M.C. Warrior spent nearly 35 years working as a seine boat crewman and coast logger in British Columbia. He now works as a researcher for the Laborers’ Union’s Northwest Region Organizing Coalition. He recently came 4th in the Being at Work Poetry Challenge and has been published in numerous Canadian magazines and anthologies.
Tom Wayman will also read. He is widely recognized as one of the leading and lifelong Canadian poets. For many years he has been in the Norton Anthology of North American Poets.  He has over twenty publications to his credit. He has never left his Working Class roots, and, in fact, many of his books speak to that experience.  He teaches and, last year, was a Fulbright Fellow at the Arizona State University.

July 14 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St., at 20th St., SF
Centennial of The Great White Fleet
A reading with writer and labor archivist Lincoln Cushing, Abe Ignacio and others.
On July 7, 1908, the Great White Fleet left San Francisco to show the flag and expand US power in Asia. At the time, Mark Twain and AFL founder Samual Gompers opposed this expansion of the United States through the occupation of the Philippines and other countries. Cushing will look at this history and it’s relevance to today’s wars in the Middle East.

July 15 (Tuesday) 6:30 PM (Free) Red Hill Bookstore 401 Cortland Ave., SF
The Social and Political History of Bernal Heights
Presentation by Molly Martin & Terry Milne
Bernal Heights has a long tradition of labor and political activism starting from the 1907 carmen’s strike. This presentation will look at this tradition and the working class personalities of the neighborhood.
For information call (415) 648-5331


July 15 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) West Portal Public Library 190 Lenox Way, SF
The New Deal In The Sunset District
Presentation by Gray Brechin
The Sunset has many monuments to the New Deal including libraries and sites in the Golden Gate Park. This unknown history will be revealed in this entertaining talk.

July 16 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St., at 20th St.
Red State Rebels
With contributors Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Rose Aguilar, Sol Landau and Joshua Frank with James Tracy moderating.
This book presentation will focus on the rebels who are exposing the stereotype of the Red States that the media has propagated. The authors ague that a rebellion has been building for years in these states and is about to get much bigger with struggles of food, water, wilderness and human liberty.
This book offers just a few snapshots of the grassroots resistance taking place in the forgotten heartland of America. These are tales of rebellion and courage. Out here activism isn’t for the faint of heart. Be thankful someone is willing to do the dirty work.

July 19 (Saturday) 9:30 - 5 :00 PM (Free) Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts 2868 Mission St., near 25th St., SF
Labor BookFair
1st Annual LaborFest BookFair & Poetry Reading
Join LaborFest for our first annual Labor Book Fair, Word Slam and Video Screenings. Understanding our history and working class issues are an essential ingredient to change our lives. This includes the poets and artists who are contributing to our awareness and understanding of our history and reality. The event will take place between 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM at the Mission Cultural Center For Latino Arts. Click here for schedule

July 19 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St., at 20th St., SF
Black Workers, Hanging Nooses & The State of The Labor Movement
Panel discussion with Leo Robinson, Carl Bryant, Fernando Gapasin, Jack Heyman and others
Despite the corporate media censorship, there has been an epidemic of hanging noose incidents not only in the South but also throughout the country in workplaces. This forum will look at the growing number of racist attacks and incidents and what the labor movement should do about this development.

July 21 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St., at 20th St., SF
1968 The Emergence of The Women's Liberation Movement & Its Relationship to Working Women
With Chude Pam Allen and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Chude Pam Allen was an early working class organizer in the women’s liberation movement and was in San Francisco in 1968. She helped build the Union Women’s Alliance to Gain Equality in 1974, she coordinated their 1975 Organize! Conference and later became editor of its newspaper, Union WAGE.  She is author of the Union WAGE pamphlet, Jean Maddox, Labor Heroine.
Roxanne Dubar Ortiz has been involved in the struggle for women’s rights also since the 60’s. In New Orleans, she organized the Southern Female Rights Union and the New Orleans Women Workers Association. She is a university lecturer and has written 12 books. Roxanne grew up in rural Oklahoma of a family of tenant farmers.  Her grandfather was active in the Oklahoma Socialist Party and the IWW in the first 2 decades of the 20th century.

July 22 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall 255 9th St. near Howard, SF
Will Call Center Servicing Solve Labor's 'Customer Satisfaction' Problems?
A presentation by labor journalist Steve Early, Catherine Denise Alexander, Steward SEIU 521and others.
A new trend in the trade unions and especially the SEIU is the introduction of Call Centers to deal with members grievances and questions. These call centers are advertised as a new way of servicing and providing labor information to union members throughout the state and the country. They coincide with the establishment of mega locals of tens and hundreds of thousands of members. This presentation will look at what these call centers are, how they work and the logic of the call center agenda. Steve Early is working on a book on new developments in labor and in particularly the SEIU.

July 23 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore 888 Valencia St. at 20th St., SF
Workin' Man Blues, Country Music In California
Book reading by Gerald Halsom
Gerald Halsom’s book looks at the social conditions that country music expressed in California. Many of these singers migrated to California to escape the poverty and economic collapse of the dustbowl and their songs reflected their lives and struggles for survival, love and the beauty of life. This rich history is developed in the context of these individual stories

July 24 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 10 Henry Schmidt room 400 North Point at Mason, SF
The Lessons of May Day '08
With video screening of May Day 2008 action
No Peace, No Work, ILWU Shuts Down West Coast Ports To Protest War
(20 min) 2008 by Labor Video Project
The ILWU has a long tradition of independent labor action and solidarity and this past May was no exception. For the first time since the 1940’s, workers went out on May Day, which is the traditional day for workers around the world. They also took this action to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This educational meeting will examine how and why this took place. It will also screen the video No Peace, No Work, ILWU Shuts Down West Coast Ports To Protest War. Following the presentations and video there will be discussion.
Organized and presented by the ILWU Local 10 Education Committee

July 25 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall 255 9th St. near Howard, SF
The Film Movement of '68 & Independent Media Today
Panel with Connie Field and Peter Gessner
The movements during 1968 also brought new filmmakers into action and these panelists will recount the filmmakers of the time. How they were organized, how they produced their work and what they were able to accomplish in showing the struggles and battles of the period. The importance of understanding this history of independent filmmaking is especially important today with the development of the Internet and the potential to broadcast these works throughout the world. The forum will also look at how a mass movement today will propel independent film and videographers.
The forum will also screen Finally Got The News, a Film by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner, about the Dodge Revolutionary Workers Movement in Detroit and Peter Gessner will discuss this work.
This is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit.

July 26 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Workers' Power In The Present
A Presentation “Workers’ power” is our ability to change reality. From post-war West Coast longshoremen, who dictated, daily, the conditions of work, to revolutionary explosions, like in France in 1968 or Hungary in 1956, aimed at seizing the reins of society, workers have always fought for control over their lives. We do it everyday. We do it because there is no alternative.
In this interactive presentation, led by members of the Bay Area Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, we will investigate the path of workers’ collective action. 

July 26 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) UCSF -Room N-217 -Second floor of School of Nursing (Nursing Building can be reached using the Clinical Sciences Building entrance door (at 521 Parnassus Avenue) and then taking an elevator up. Or, Koret Way (the western extension of Kirkham Avenue) ends at the back entrance on the fifth floor of the School of Nursing Building.
From New Orleans & Katrina to Public Health Hospitals in The Bay Area (The Struggle to Defend Public Healthcare & Our Hospitals)
The fight to reopen the New Orleans Charity Hospital, the largest public hospital in Louisiana will be part of the focus of this educational forum. Not only the Gulf Coast,  but also San Francisco with the danger of a major earthquake is under threat by hospital closures.
Presenting will be: Brad Ott, Chair Of The Committee To Reopen Charity Hospital
Mary Ann Ring, UCSF CUE Local 6, Dr. Jill Atoine UCSF, Dr. Michael Freece St. Lukes Hospital Pediatrics

July 27 (Sunday) 2:00 PM (Donation) San Jose State University - Martin Luther King Library Room 255
From The South Bay To New Orleans & The Spirit of 1929 with Videos, Music & Food
With screening of Streetcar Stories about the transit strike in New Orleans in 1929.
By Michael Mizell-Nelson, speakers on Gulf Coast Reconstruction and The Fight to Reopen Charity Hospital with Brad Ott.

For contact call 408-420-5760,

July 29 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall - 255 9th St. near Howard, SF
SF State Strike & It's Relevance Today
Screening of San Francisco State On Strike 1968 20 min.,
Students and teachers from the San Francisco State strike of 1968 discuss the strike, the issues, the movement and the relevance for today. Speakers include Dr. Ray Tomkins, Clarence Thomas, Bruce Hartford, Dr. James Garrett, Anatol Anton, Margaret Leahy and Tomasita Medál.
Article:1968 : San Francisco's Year of The Strike by Dick Meister

July 29 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St. at 20th, SF (Please note that the date has been changed - Originally 7/30)
Wobblies On The Waterfront: Interracial Unionism In Progressive Era Philadelphia
Book reading by Peter Cole
Cole in his important work looks at the organization of an integrated industrial workers union on the Philadelphia docks in the early 20th century. We learn about their democratic traditions and how this worked in their battles for equality and justice. Although this union was crushed during the witchhunts of the First World War, the lessons of this history are rich for today.