Forum / Reading Events
July 3 (Sunday) 2:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 34 - 801 2nd St, Next to the AT&T Ball Park, SF
Labor Witch Hunts And Effect In California
The McCarthyite witch hunts in California played an important role in shaping the labor movement in the state. Trade unionists faced attack on their jobs and their rights to make a living. The fight back included the large protest and sit-in at the HUAC hearings in San Francisco. Join with participants in this struggle and learn about their experiences and lessons for today.
Howard Keylor, Retired ILWU Local 10 member
Phiz Mezey, SFSU professor fired for not signing loyalty oath
Harvey Schwartz, ILWU Historian
Donna Carter, member CNA and participant in SF HUAC hearing
Don Watson, Retired member ILWU Local 34
Howard Keylor's document
July 6 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library - 6501 Telegraph Ave Oakland
China, The Working Class, Unions And The Economy
What is happening to the Chinese working class, the unions and the economy will be the focus of this panel. China is now developing into the largest economy in the world and this forum will discuss how this affects Chinese working people, unions (official & independent) and the Chinese people. It will also look at how the US government, US unions and media look at this development.
David Ewing, US-China Peoples Friendship Ass. SF
Wahdi Halabi, Economics Commission, CP USA
Gary Hicks, Research Associate Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library
Sponsored by US-China’s Peoples Friendship Association
July 7 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) Berkeley City College Auditorium - 2050 Center St., Berkeley
The Unremitting War on Labor Art and History: The Trial of Refregier's Murals at Rincon Annex to the Censorship of the Maine Murals Today"?
Following his slim electoral victory in 2011, the Republican Governor of Maine stripped a mural depicting Maine labor history from the walls of Maine’s Labor Department building and hid it. The mural includes a depiction of Maine’s native daughter Frances Perkins, first woman cabinet member, Secretary of Labor under all the terms of President Franklin Roosevelt and (among many other things) the person we can thank for Social Security and unemployment insurance. It also depicts the industries of the state and scenes of working people. This event will include a live video appearance by the mural’s creator Judy Taylor, a background on the Congressional attempt to destroy the New Deal murals at San Francisco’s Rincon Annex Post Office, and some history of New Deal public art programs. Presentors are geographer Gray Brechin of the Living New Deal Project and Harvey Smith of the National New Deal Preservation Association.
This event is co-sponsored by the Berkeley City College Social Science Department.
July 10 (Sunday) 5:00 PM (Free) City Lights Bookstore - 261 Columbus at Broadway, SF
Poetry In The Struggle
LaborFest’s annual literary reading at City Lights, the historic North Beach bookstore. The three writers, Adam David Miller, Andrena Zawinski, and Alice E. Rogoff will share their verses and wisdom. Adam David Miller has participated in and served the Northern California arts community for five decades and is still active. Andrena Zawinski is a poet and teacher of writing. Her collection Something About is a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award recipient. She is Features Editor at PoetryMagazine.com. Alice E. Rogoff is on the LaborFest organizing committee. She has a new poetry book, Barge Wood, by CC. Marimbo Press, and belongs to the Pacific Media Workers
July 13 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Modern Times Bookstore - 2919 24th Street, SF
Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times
Panel Discussion with James Tracy, Amy Sonnie and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
James Tracy and Amy Sonnie are co-authors of the forthcoming book, “Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times,” with an Introduction by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, on the extraordinary “Rainbow Coalitions” built in Chicago and other cities in the late 1960s.
July 15 (Friday) 7:00 PM ( (Free ) 518 Valencia - near 16th St., SF
Labor & Political prisoners: From Hoshino To Mumia
Two Political Prisoners: Fumiaki Hoshino and Mumia Abu Jamal, both framed for a crime they didn’t commit. Both have new evidence showing their innocence, which has been unheard or rejected by courts. Both are framed for political reasons.
Speakers will describe Hoshino and Mumia’s cases. Jack Heyman, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) retired, and other labor speakers will discuss labor’s fight back on these cases. Video of the longshore port shutdown for Mumia Abu-Jamal will be shown.
July 16 (Saturday) 7:00 PM(Donation to Japanese workers) Redstone Building - 2926 16th St., SF
Fukushima, Labor And The Lessons Of Nuclear Power
Report from Japan labor and community activists who are organizing to support workers and farmers whose lives and those of their families have been under threat.
Author Daniel Berman of “Who Owns The Sun” will report on the role of the nuclear industry and why this industry continues to exist when solar and other energy sources could play a critical role in alternative energy development.
Labor Folk Blues with Onion & GG.
Sponsored by Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org
People’s Earthquake Relief Center Fund: http://ihcenter.org/groups/perc
July 17 (Sunday) 10:30 AM (Donation) Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library - 6501 Telegraph Ave Oakland
Workers and The Struggle Against Contract Labor In India
Screening of Many Straws Make A Nest (50 min.) India.
This documentary is about the labor struggles in Delhi’s new industrial zones where 4.5 million workers toil mostly recruited from rural areas. There will also be a report by engineer Raj Sahi on the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur on the struggle of the temporary contract workers at the University. They have been organizing for over ten years for their labor and democratic rights against extreme exploitation at this highly rated university. This issue is faced as well by millions of working people in the US.
July 17 (Sunday) 1:00 - 3:00 PM (Free ) Bird and Beckett Bookstore - 653 Chenery St., SF
LaborFest Writing Group - Reading and Writing Workshop
Members of the LaborFest Writing Group will read their work, followed by a writing exercise on the theme Labor Fights Back. LaborFest Writers believes everyone has a story to tell. An afternoon of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and memoir to help awaken the hidden stories within. We will be exploring past histories, our uncertain future, and new changing political landscapes and paradigms reflected in both anti-labor and pro-labor uprisings. Members of the group are Phyllis Holliday, Margaret Cooley, Keith Cooley, Susan Ford, Adele Kearney, Nellie Wong, Jerry Path, and Alice Rogoff.
July 17 (Sunday) 3:00 PM (Free) Bird and Beckett Bookstore - 653 Chenery St., SF
The Comfort Garden: Tales from the Trauma Unit
Book reading by Laurie Barkin, RN, MS
As a psychiatric nurse consultant working in SF General Hospital’s Trauma Unit, Barkin routinely evaluated and treated patients with stab wounds, gun shot wounds, and injuries from motor vehicle accidents, fires, and falls. Her book tells her own stories and those of fellow workers in the unit, a workforce under constant and intense pressure, exploring what happens to professional caregivers when exposure to tragedy becomes routine. These are the stories of skilled and dedicated individuals for whom vicarious trauma is a real and harrowing fact of their jobs. http://lauriebarkin.com/?p=1
July 18 (Monday) 7:30 PM (Free) Green Arcade -1680 Market St. at Gough, SF
California & The 150th Anniversary US Civil War, Slave Labor, Wage Labor and Free Labor
Book Presentation by Larry Shoup, author of Rulers and Rebels.
A People’s History of California, 1769 – 1901. Shoup in this classic history of early California labor looks at the trade unions, segregationists and the role of slavery in early California history. It includes the struggle to free an enslaved African American, Archie Lee, who escaped twice from his “owner” in San Francisco. http://rulersandrebels.com/
Intervie with labor writer and LaborFest presenters Larry Shoup and Gray Brechin on LaborFest-KPFA7/3/11
July 19 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Centro del Pueblo, auditorium - 474 Valencia Street (between 15th and 16th)
Labor's Fight, Free Mumia
Film Justice On Trial - The Case of Munia Abu-Jamal (70 min.) by Big Noise Films
There will be a screening of “Justice On Trial.” This 70-minute film details the context of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case under the racist police regime in Philadelphia in the 1970’s and ‘80s, and describes key evidence of innocence that was never heard in a courtroom. Despite the ongoing threat to his life from unjust incarceration and possible execution, Mumia Abu-Jamal, a working CWA NABET union journalist, supports working people world wide, honors picket lines, and defends victims of racist and imperialist oppression everywhere.
Speakers will answer questions and describe the case, and Jack Heyman (ILWU retired), Karl Fischbacher of the Austria Committee and other labor speakers will discuss labor’s fight back on Mumia’s case.
July 20 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Booksmith - 1644 Haight St., SF
The Fear Within: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial
Book Presentation by Scott Martelle
Scott Martelle in his important new work looks at the massive witchhunts in the US more than 60 years ago. These witchhunts, particularly against the Communist Party, shaped the labor movement and American consciousness. Martelle looks at the trials and the hysteria and how it affected the people of the United States. He also looks at parallels today in the attacks on free speech, immigrants and Muslim Americans, particularly since 9/11.
July 21 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) 522 Valencia - near 16th, SF
Location moved from 518 Valencia
The European working people and the struggle to defend basic social rights
Video and reports by Vienna teacher union steward and Labournet Austria founder Karl Fischbacker on the European strikes against the cutbacks and the economic policies of big business. Women’s educator Dr. Irmi Voglmayr will make a report on the Austrian movement to defend against state and social cuts and the student movement as well as the situation of racism and the anti-racist movement.
Sponsored by United Public Workers for Action
July 25 (Monday) 7:00 PM (Free) Plumbers Hall - 1621 Market St., SF
Name an enemy of labor? Name the most commonly negotiated benefit in a labor contract? Think you can take on a team of labor experts in the first ever Labor Challenge, inspired by Family Feud. Come and watch teams of labor leaders take each other on in a fun yet challenging game of labor knowledge. Form your own team or simply show up and we will put you into a new team. Fun prizes will be awarded.
July 26 (Tuesday) 7:30 PM (Free) Green Arcade Bookstore - 1680 Market St., SF
Report on The First Oklahoma LaborFest, 2010, and Plans for The Next One
With two of the organizers, Rachel Jackson and Jim Bligh
Rachel Jackson is founder of Red Flag Press and editor of “The Oklahoma Revelator - A People’s Almanac and Cultural Occasional.” She’s a doctoral student in English at the University of Oklahoma researching radical rhetoric in Oklahoma history particularly at the intersections of race and labor. She is a member of the Oklahoma LaborFest Planning Committee and Director and Producer of Oklahoma Speaks!, the grand finale of the Oklahoma LaborFest.
Jim Bligh is a Jet Engine Mechanic and Steward for American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916, Tinker AFB - Oklahoma’s largest single-site employer. He is Delegate to the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation. Jim is an Oklahoma LaborFest Planning Committee Member.
July 26 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Berkeley City College Auditorium- 2050 Center St., Berkeley
Budget Cuts, The Time To Act Is Now!
What can be done in the face of the attacks on education and other public sector workers? The fight today to mobilize the labor movement and working people is key and this has not yet happened in California within the trade unions despite the escalating attacks. AgainstCuts is an effort to begin to organize those who are ready to fight back. We played an important role in organizing the 12,000-person rally in San Francisco on March 4, 2009 along with several teachers unions. We have developed basic tools – leaflets, organizer’s packets and teach-in materials – that ordinary people can use to organize at their, schools, workplaces, churches or wherever they are. Join us to discuss how we can build a real fight back against the destruction of public education.
Kristy Morrison (high school teacher), Dielly Diaz (community college student), and Kip Waldo, (community college teacher).
Sponsored by Berkeley City College Social Science Department
July 27 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Berkeley City College Auditorium - 2050 Center St., Berkeley
Tous-Ensemble! From Factory Occupations to the Streets!
Workers in Europe have come under increasing attack by their employers and the state. In France, workers have fought back, occupying their workplaces, sometimes holding the bosses hostage and taking to the streets in the millions this Fall to defend their rights to retirement. Small gains have been made, but the attacks continue. During these fights, workers began to forge links across industry and union lines to unite and generalize their struggles. Two participants in these struggles, one a CGT union militant at Renault Guyancourt, a technical center of 12,000 workers, the other a militant of the French left group, Fraction “Etincelle” of Lutte Ouvriere – will talk about their experiences and show short video clips of some of the struggles.
Sponsored by Berkeley City College Social Science Department
July 28 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 10 Henry Schmidt Room- 400 North Point, SF
Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia
“Ben Fletcher: the WWI era’s most important, if forgotten, African American Labor Leader”
Author and historian Peter Cole’s talk will examine the history of Ben Fletcher and the union he helped lead, Local 8, which was the most successful interracial labor union in US history prior to the rise of the CIO in the 1930s. Led by Fletcher, the best known black Wobbly, thousands of black men, allied with thousands of whites, both native-born and immigrant, to make Local 8 a force to be reckoned with in the WWI era, an era when most unions, like almost all institutions, excluded blacks or, at best, segregated them. In contrast, Fletcher and the Industrial Workers of the World—to which Local 8 belonged—both preached and practiced racial equality. The rise and fall of this union reveals the extent of what was possible in regards to interracial unionism in the most racist era since the abolition of slavery. This union helped lay the foundation for subsequent unions committed to civil rights including San Francisco’s own International Longshore & Warehouse Union.
Peter Cole is an Associate Professor of History at Western Illinois University in Macomb.
July 30 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) Call Alice Rogoff at 415-939-5148 for location
Brooklyn, San Francisco
by Alice Rogoff
Reading of a fictional story written by Alice Rogoff with audience-participants. The story combines the history of immigration laws, and non-citizen seniors’ benefits, with the basics of political organizing. In the story, a group of activists and community workers and an elderly ghost grandmother from Brooklyn, New York have a supernatural romp through a San Francisco Tenderloin Senior Center, Chinatown’s garment shops, North Beach poetry readings, and New York and San Francisco’s labor struggles.
Read or listen. Refreshments and a get together after the reading.
July 30 (Saturday) 3:00 PM (Free) SEIU 1021 Oakland Hall - 100 Oak St., Oakland
Transport Workers & Oakland General Strike, Lessons for Today
Film screening and forum
With Fred Glass and Gifford Harman
In 1946 the last general strike took place in Oakland, California and it was initiated by an Oakland transit worker who supported the striking clerical workers. This forum will have a video presentation and discussion on the lessons of this important strike.
Endorsed by ATU 1555, Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
July 31 (Sunday) 1:00 PM (Donation) ILWU Local 34 - 801 2nd St. next to the AT&T Ball Park
Blogging, Journalism, The Net & Free Labor
The Internet has been used to destroy thousands of professional journalist and writers’ jobs. It is also being used to force writers and media workers to work for free and the sale of the Huffington Post for $315 million. And then there's the $4 million annual salary that Huffington is receiving is a vivid example of how the free labor of others is being used to benefit the wealthy. This forum will look at the history of this technology in destroying jobs and how it is now forcing writers and other media workers to work for free.
With labor journalist Mike Elk (by Skype) who was fired by Arriana Huffington’s Post, WGA member and screenwriter Dalessandro James, Steve Zeltzer, of Labor Video Project and a member CWA Free Lancers and Rebecca Rosen Lum, CWA 39521 Guild Freelancers Unit Chair-Pacific Media Workers.
Sponsored by Labor Video Project www.laborvideo.org