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Forum / Reading Events

July 2 (Thursday) 6:00 PM (Free) -California Historical Society- 678 Mission St. SF
The History of Public Funding and the Arts
The Legacy of the New Deal Speakers: Lincoln Cushing, Tim Drescher and Mark Johnson Moderator: Gray Brechin
Funding public artwork benefits more than the artists – viewers witness their space transformed as the art enhances the urban landscape.
The arts were greatly supported during the New Deal era and many WPA projects are located in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the recent election of a new president, will money be used to fund art and culture? Panelists speak to the similarities between the present era and the New Deal as they relate to public arts and government funding during the New Deal era.

July 3 (Friday) 9.00 - 4:00 PM  (Free) - Marine Firemen’s Hall - 240 2nd St., SF
The 1934 San Francisco General Strike: An Educational Conference
The San Francico General Strike and West Coast Maritime Strike was a pivotal point for the working people in San Francisco and the West. This strike which was organized from the bottom up showed that the rank and file have the power to successfully form a union despite the resistance of the bosses, the media, the politicians and the government. The lessons of workers today for this strike are vital when millions of workers are unorganized and facing concession after concession with the economic collapse of our enconomy.
Videos Harry Bridges, A Man And His Union will be shown. This conference will also be streamed on the web for those who are unable to attend the conference.
Speakers including: Harvey Schwartz, Ralph Schoenman, Brad Weidemier, Akio Masuda, Cleophus Williams, Gifford Hartman, Clarence Thomas and Jack Heyman.
Hosted by ILWU Local 34 & Local 10, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

July 4 (Saturday) 11:00 AM (Free) 522 Valencia St. at 16th St. SF
Teachers, Education & Militarization In Japan & The US
Activist anti-war teachers from Japan have been organizing to oppose the militarization of the schools by refusing to stand and sing the nationalist anthem “Kimigayo” that supports the emperor system. As a result of their protest, they have been threatened with firing and discipline. Hundreds of them are now engaged in court cases in Tokyo and around the country to fight this repression for their anti-war views. They have received support from the Los Angeles UTLA and many other unions in the US. They will be joined by teachers and other organizers against militization in US schools.
Visiting Teachers are: Yoshie Yoneyama, Etsuko Sato, Eriko Kojima and Tadashi Misumi.
For information call (415)424-8311 or (415)867-0628

July 5 (Sunday) 6:00 PM (Free) ILWU 34 Hall - 801 Second St. Next to AT&T Park, SF
Labor Report On Asian Labor Struggles
With KCTU Seoul Region Union, Japanese Doro Chiba Railway Workers Delegation, Turkish DISK Healthcare Workers Union, and Philippine Airline Workers Union.
Global labor is under attack, and this forum will have reports on the attack on Korean, Japanese, Philippine and Turkish workers. The economic crisis in Asia, like the US, has been used by the corporations and governments to attack the labor movement with attacks on the right to strike and organize. At the same time, the drive toward militarization and national chauvinism has been used as a pretext to repress the unions. These unionists will report on the economic conditions and what unions are doing to organize and fight back.
Hosted by LaborFest and Transport Workers Solidarity Committee

July 6 (Monday) 9:00 - 5:00 PM (Free) ILWU 34 Hall - 801 Second St. Next to AT&T Park, SF
The Lessons of The Past For The Struggles Today

International Labor Conference
Working people are under attack through out the world as well as in the US. The labor conference will look at the use of policies such as deregulation, privatization and free trade agreements to attack working people on a global level. The conference will also look at the increasing repression of labor and working people through legislation and militarization of society. Hosted by ILWU Local 10 & Local 34, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee, LaborFest
Document by Pietrasanta Marco, Italy
Brazilian document from Conlutas, Brazil
Turkish document by Tufan, Turky

July 7 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM ($5-10 donation requested, no one turned away) Women’s Building - Audre Lorde Room - 3543 18th Street, near Valencia St. SF
Jobs for Artists! Building Momentum for a New Deal for the Arts in 21st Century America
A panel discussion on the legacy of federal jobs programs for artists and writers, such as the Depression-era Works Progress Administration and the 1970s CETA program, and reports on current grassroots efforts to promote federal funding for arts jobs today. Featuring Gray Brechin, New Deal historian, UC Berkeley, Jeff Chang, hip-hop journalist and arts activist, and Arlene Goldbard, co-organizer of a May 2009 White House briefing on community arts and national recovery. With short readings and performances honoring the great work of WPA-sponsored artists and writers.
Call 415-710-0187 for more information.

July 8 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St., SF
Blood Passion: The Ludlow Massacre and Class War in the American West
By Scott Martelle
During the Colorado Ludlow massacre, seventy-five miners and their families were killed, showing the brutal face of Rockefeller and the early robber barons who used the national militia and US Army to destroy the power of working people. This massacre also led to open class warfare in Colorado between the state and the workers, and included Mother Jones, who came to the aid of these workers and their families.

July 10 (Friday) 4:00 PM (Free) Martin Luther King Library - 150 E San Fernando St., SJ
Grapes of Wrath - Film and Presentation
Screening of Grapes of Wrath and Presentation by SJSU Professor Susan Shillinglaw
This is the 70th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath. This book was so hated by some of the agricultural owners that there were burnings of it in San Jose and Monterey. The conditions of farmworkers are still a critical issue today for the people of California and the United States and this hidden history of bookburning is part of the hysteria of that period.


July 10 (Friday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St., SF
Carol Tarlen Lives! Celebrating A Rebel Worker Poet
Family and friends of radical labor activist and poet Carol Tarlen (1943-2004) will swap stories, read poems, present a slide show, and sing songs to honor her work and spirit. Poets, writers, filmmakers and performers include: Derek Dabkoski, Marcus Duskin, Sara Menefee, Louise Nayer, Kristy Rodgers, Julie Stein, Alicia Tarlen, and Nellie Wong.

July 12 (Sunday) 5:00 PM (Free) City Lights Bookstore - 261 Columbus at Broadway, SF
Poetry and Prose Reading
Poetry and Prose Reading by Authors Sue Doro, Dee Allen, and Sally Anne Frye.
Join us for a Reading on working class, labor, social justice, and street themes. Sue Doro is the author of Sugar String and Blue Collar Goodbyes chronicling her working class childhood and years as a mother and a machinist. She is the editor of Pride and a Paycheck News magazine. Dee Allen is a local activist for social and economic justice. He works with POOR Magazine, Coalition on Homelessness and has been published in Street Sheet. Sally Anne Frye has been recently published with the poetry group 23rd Street Poets. She has done office work, especially in medical settings. She lives in the Mission District. Her philosophy of social change is characterized by egalitarianism.

July 13 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St., SF
Beyond The Fields
This book reading as a LaborFest event was Canceld
A statement on this matter from LaborFest
By Randy Shaw
Author Randy Shaw has written about the legacy of the thousands who worked for the farm workers and their role in the rest of the labor movement. Many of the UFWA activists later left the union and went to work in other unions becoming organizers and leaders. This important part of the legacy of the farm workers is unknown to most but is a significant factor in the labor movement today. Many unions including those in the Bay Area are part of this history.

July 15 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St., SF
A Tribute To Archie Green

A Tribute to Archie Green and his last two books The San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book and the Big Red Song Book. Book Presentation by labor archives director Catherine Powell and others.
Archie Green, one of the leading writers of labor culture and folklore in the US has passed on but his legacy remains. This commemoration of his life will look at his last works including the San Francisco Labor Landmarks book which was a collaborative process with the Labor Archives at San Francisco State University and The Big Red song Book, also a collaborative work.

July 19 (Sunday) 1:00 PM (Free) Labor Archives and Research Center - SFSU 480 Winston Dr. SF
Emblem of an Emblem: The Arm & Hammer
Presentation by Kim Munson. How did the arm and hammer end up on all those baking soda boxes? Art Historian Kim Munson shares her investigation of the origins of the arm & hammer from Greco-Roman myth and its role as an early union labor icon to its current usage as the Socialist Labor Party emblem and baking soda trademark.
Hosted by the Labor Archives and Research Center
Contact: Phone: 415-564-4010

July 19 (Sunday) 10:00 - 1:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall - 255 9th St., SF
Ten Years After the WTO, The North American Free Trade Zones

It has been ten years since the “Battle In Seattle” when tens of thousands of trade unionists, community activists and environmentalists joined together on the streets to protest and shut down the WTO conference. This meeting will commemorate that event with reports, speakers and a video Labor Battles The WTO. Speakers will include economist Richard Vogel who will present his document The North American Free Trade Zones (FTZs): US and Canadian Workers Need Not apply--Independent Trade Unions Keep Out!, labor historian and environmentalist Larry Shoup, Artist and activist David Solnit and other participants of WTO battle in Seattle.

July 20 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St., SF
Dust-Bowl Okies in US Culture - Reading and discussion
By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
How did a people so filled with a populist and socialist tradition in Oklahoma, and in the early years as Dust Bowl migrants in California, come to form the most conservative constituencies in California bringing men like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to state and eventually national power? Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, will discuss and read from her own work and that of the late Wilma Elizabeth MacDaniel (the “Okie Bard” of the Central Valley), Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, and John Steinbeck.

July 21 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 888 Valencia St.
Solidarity Stories, An Oral History of The ILWU
A book reading by Harvey Schwartz.
Schwartz is one of the most important labor oral historians in the country and has published a new book on the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco General Strike, Solidarity Stories, An Oral History of the ILWU. Harvey has spent decades documenting the stories and lives of workers in the ILWU and other unions in Northern California. This book looks at the ILWU from the words of its rank and file members. The ILWU is one of the most democratic unions in the country and the foundation of this union is how through rank and file control this union survived and organized. The struggles and experiences of the membership are brought to life by this important work. His work on oral interviews of workers also has important meaning to the entire labor movement about the need to document the lives of working people and their victories and defeats. Harvey has also worked on histories of Carpenters Local 22 and other unions and the need to have histories of every union local has been taken forward by his continuing labor to tell our history.

July 22 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Bird & Beckett Bookstore - 653 Chenery St., SF
LaborFest Writers Group Reading
The LaborFest Writing Group will present a Reading with memoirs, non-fiction, poetry, stories, and spoken word. This group evolved out of the 2005 LaborFest Writing Workshop with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This year’s theme will be the future of labor as embodied in the stories and histories of our working people’s past struggles. Members of the group are Phyllis Holliday, Keith Cooley, Margaret Cooley, Nellie Wong, Susan Ford, Jerry Path, Alice Rogoff, and Adele Kearney. The Reading will be followed by a writing workshop.

July 23 (Thursday) (Time and location to be announced later)
Hetch Hetchy/ SFPUC Labor History Then & Now
For more information on this event, please call:
415-554-3222 or go to the LaborFest web site:

July 26 (Sunday) 9:30 - 4:00 PM (Free) Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts - 2868 Mission St., SF
2nd Annual LaborFest BookFair & Poetry Reading
Click here for more details

July 29 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 6 Hall - 255 9th St., SF
Labor Media & Labor Video in The Struggle
Panel discussion with labor videographers Margot Smith, Vivian Price, Judy Montell, Carl Bryant, Steve Zeltzer.
The use of video and film by labor media workers can play a crucial role in educating and building support for working people and unions. These panelists are producing labor media and will talk about how they do it, who they do it for and how it can change the dynamics of the struggle.

July 30 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) IFPTE Local 21 Hall - 1182 Market Street, Rm 425, SF
The Bay Bridge and The Workers
Presentations and Slide Show: Politics, The Bay Bridge and the Workers
A report on the rebuilding of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) with IFPTE Local 21 and iron worker presenters.
The massive reconstruction projects now going on the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge is wrought in controversy and conflict. This panel will look at the conflict and also how the skilled union building trades workers are building a new monument honoring the talents and skills of working people. We will learn about the process of building a major bridge, what goes into it and how it is done. This is an exciting story of workers’ creativity, organization and planning.