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Tours & Walks


July 6 (Saturday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet at Fort Point - at the south anchorage of Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge Walk
Tour led by Mike Daly (Retired Ironworkers Local 377)
Join us for an exciting event at the Bridge, viewing it from Fort Point, a perspective that enables an understanding of the challenges of the original construction as well as the continual operations that keep the bridge operational. Hear clear explanations of the recent seismic projects, and the ongoing Presidio Parkway.

DIRECTION to Fort Point:
Fort Point is located at the south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of Marine Drive on the Presidio of San Francisco.
By bus: Muni 28 and PresidiGo buses stop at bridge toll plaza. Follow trail signs northeast of plaza area to Fort Point at base of bluffs.
By car from south: 101 north and exit right at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza before getting on bridge. Turn right at end of exit ramp and then left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive and Fort Point at its end.
By car from north: take Highway 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge. Stay in right toll lane and exit immediately past the bridge toll plaza. Turn right at end of exit ramp and loop under toll plaza. At end of road, turn left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive and Fort Point at its end.
(Please note: There is a mistake on the printed booklet. Where it said "from north" should be "from south", and where it said " from south" should be "from north".)
(Ample parking and rest room facilities at Fort Point
Excellent vantage point to see the structures from this location.)

July 6 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon Meet at 518 Valencia St. near 16th St., SF
Labor Bike Tour by Chris Carlsson
($15-50 sliding scale donation requested to benefit Shaping San Francisco)
From the pre-urban history of Indian slavery to the earliest 8-hour day movement in the U.S., the ebb and flow of class war is traced. SF’s radical working class organizations are shaped in part by racist complicity in genocide and slavery, but from the 1870s to the 1940s there are dozens of epic battles between owners and workers, culminating in the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath. This is an entirely different look, during a four-hour bike tour, at San Francisco labor history.
For more info: (415) 608-9035,

July 6 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Train Fares & film ticket) Meet at Niles Station - 37001 Mission Blvd, Fremont
All Aboard the Niles Canyon Steam Train
(Click here for more information)

July 7 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet at 18th Street & Tennessee, SF
Dogpatch & Portrero Point Walk
With SF City Guides (by Natalie Wisniewsli)
Designated as a San Francisco Historic District, this colorful neighborhood has important ties to many of the city’s past commercial industries. From its historic working class cottages and industrial age relics to the current proliferation of ultra-modern lofts, we’ll explore the past and present of this surprising, eclectic neighborhood in transition. (Muni 22 or 3rd St. train)

July 7 (Sunday) 11:00 AM (Free) Departs from the cable-car turnaround - Powell at Market, SF
Empires, Kings, and Labor Walking Tour
By David Giesen
Come along on a one hour and fifteen minute stomp navigating Union Square (and nearby blocks) that tells in microcosm the whole story of labor struggles. From sugar and cotton plantations to Texas-sized cattle empires to railroad kingdoms and on to latter day virtual latifundias, workers in San Francisco and beyond have faced the crushing millstones of tantalizingly ubiquitous but just out of reach capital for small business start-up from above, and inexorable, obdurate high rents from below. The buildings and urban features around Union Square illuminate the enduring struggles of workers down the ages.
David Giesen:

July 8 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Portsmouth Squa -Washington Street side near the elevator at Kearny
Chinatown Walk
(With SF City Guides - by Mae Schoening)
Learn about Chinese Labor History in California, discrimination by both governments and unions, sweat shops, housing issues, but throughout, a determination to persist. Walk through the unique hidden alleyways to hear the history of America’s oldest and largest Chinese community. Learn how immigrant labor struggled for fair treatment while mining gold, building railroads, and working in the garment and building trades. Meet inside Portsmouth Square Park in front of Parking Garage Elevators adjacent corner of Walter P. Lum Pl. & Washington St. Public transportation: Muni lines 1, 30, and 45.

July 9 (Tuesday)10:30 AM (Free) Meet at Potrero Hill Neighborhood House - Southern Heights & DeHaro, SF
Potrero Hill Walk
(With SF City Guides - by Paul Cooney)
Potrero Hill is a diverse neighborhood on one of our many hills that has an interesting history, fascinating characters, vistas to the four winds and great weather. This hill even has a unique brewery and a one-of-a kind church across the street from each other. This neighborhood has amazing architecture. Potrero Hill was and is home to many working class families who made vital contributions to San Francisco’s industrial and maritime heritage.

July 9 (Tuesday) 11:00 AM (Free) Meet in East end of Rincon Center lobby - Mission at Steuart, SF Please note; the time has changed
Controversial Murals of Rincon Center
(With SF City Guides - by Al Ciabattoni)
Scandalous! Shocking! Revolting! Partisan hysteria echoed from San Francisco to Washington D.C. when these murals were unveiled. Powerful voices called for their destruction, yet 30 years later,the building was saved from demolition. The murals tell many stories, from SF history to Cold War politics. Discover the artistic and political drama behind these treasures.

July 9 (Tuesday) 2:00 PM (Free) Rosie The Riveter Education Center - 1414 Harbor Way South # 3000, Richmond
Home Front Heroes and The Role of Black Workers
With Betty Reid Soskin
Betty Reid Soskin who is now a US Park Ranger at the Rosie The Riveter Education Center saw the segregation against black workers in the shipyards where she worked during the World War II. Tens of thousands of not only black workers but also women were able to get decent paying jobs for the first time but they faced discriminatory treatment and had to fight for their rights.
This discrimination continued after the war when they were laid off and other workers were rehired to replace them. Soskin was there face to face with this history and will be screening some videos about these issues. She will also be joining the LaborFest Maritime boat trip on July 21.

From San Francisco/Oakland: I-80 East, then take the I-580 West split after the Gilman St. off ramp. EXIT Harbour Way South, then turn Right onto Cutting Blvd, now make a Right at the next stop light onto Harbour Way South and Continue for 0.8 miles. Make a left into the Gated lot passing the guard shack. Follow signs from there ending at Suite #3000. The entrance is on the south side of the building by the water

July 10 (Wednesday) 1:00 PM Meet at 540 Water Street, Oakland
$10– General ages 13-59, $8– Seniors ages 60 and over, Free – Youth ages 12 and under.
USS Potomac Dockside Tour
The “Floating White House” was originally commissioned the USCG Cutter Electra in 1934. In 1936 it was renamed the USS Potomac and served as Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Yacht until his death in 1945. More than a quarter of a million people have visited and sailed aboard the former President’s beloved "Floating White House," the USS Potomac, since it opened to the public in the summer of 1995. $5 million was spent over a 12-year period to restore the 165-foot-long vessel as a memorial to the president who authored the New Deal and led the United States during the Great Depression and the World War II years. Local labor unions were heavily involved in the restoration effort. Come aboard this National Historic Landmark for a 45 minute Docent-lead Dockside tour.

July 13 (Saturday) 9:45 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance, SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
With Peter O’Driscoll, Harvey Smith
Seventy-nine years ago this month, artists who were working under Civil Works Administration and the Public Works of Art Project program were painting the Coit Tower murals. These political artists were very much influenced by the General Strike, and this is reflected in these historic murals.
A media hysteria was also whipped up against the art and the artists in an effort to censor them. Fortunately this failed and the murals remain a testament to the people of San Francisco and the labor movement.
(City Guides tour starts 11:00 AM)

July 13 (Saturday) 1:30 PM (Free) Met in front of One Market Street, SF Plese note: The time has been changed
Labor History and Market Street
- Walk

(With SF City Guides - by Gloria Lenhart)
The guide will start with the streetcar strike of 1907, talk about the events that led up to Bloody Thursday 1934; then, Bloody Thursday and the General Strike and funerals on Market Street; Thomas J Mooney and the So Called Bomb Trials; then walk up Market Street to the Mechanics Monument where the tour ends the walk with stories about the monument; the sculptor Douglas Tilden and how the Mechanics Monument became a favorite gathering place for labor because of the unusual way it depicts the nobility of labor rather than captains of industry or military heroes.

July 14 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower - Embarcadero at Market St., front of the Ferry Building
SF General Strike Walk
Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza - Front of Ferry Building, at the south side tower, San Francisco.
Join a walk with retired ILWU longshoreman Jack Heyman, Herb Mills, Howard Keylor, Louis Prisco and others.
We will look at the causes of the 1934 General Strike and why it was successful. How was the strike organized and why are the issues in that strike still relevant to working people today? We will also view some of the key historical sites in this important US labor struggle. Be prepared for a long walk, slow pace and no hills.
(Herb Mills was the organizer of the ‘78 anti-Chile longshore protest in Oakland, Howard Keylor of the ‘84 anti-apartheid ship boycott action in SF and Louis, the labor historian extraordinaire and initiator of the ‘34 strike walk.)

July 14 (Sunday) 10:00 AM ($20.00) Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove St. Civic Center, SF
WPA Bus Tour
With Gray Brechin & Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of historic sites built by unionized labor. You will learn about the major contribution workers made during the depression era of the New Deal program. They will discuss the history of WPA. Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Meet at front of Bill Graham Auditorium, between City Hall and the Main Library.
Reservation required:
Send e-mail: or call: (415) 642-8066, and leave your name, number of reservations and phone number (this is to get back to you in case of any changes. )
Make reservation, then send check to: LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
Please bring your own lunch. For those who couldn’t bring one, we will have some sandwiches and drink on the bus for small cost. Bus will return to Civic Center. Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 15 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Market Street Plaza between 525 and 555 Market Street
1906 Earthquake & Fire - Walk
(With SF City Guides - by Sue Krumbein)
Meet at Market Street Plaza benches between 525 and 555 Market Street.
Imagine, awakening before dawn on April 18, 1906 to the unthinkable--a massive earthquake has toppled chimneys and buildings, and ripped apart city water pipes. With the fire on your heels, escape from the alleyways south of Market to what should be the safety of Union Square. Learn about the experiences of the people that morning, and the emergency response they received. Hear also about controversial actions by the military in dealing with the fire and the evacuations

July 20 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at 75 Folsom St. - Entrance of Hills Brothers Coffee Building, SF
San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk
With Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll
There are many stories to be told about labor struggles in San Francisco. This story is about the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934.
Also, labor historian Larry Shoup will talk about the history of the 1901 transportation workers strike, which included the Teamsters, which the San Francisco police attempted to, but failed to smash. After an over two month long struggle, the workers emerged victorious, and the Union Labor Party won the election of 1901, taking control of the city.

July 20 (Saturday) 12:00 - 2:00 PM (Free) Meet N.E. corner of 9th St. and Harrison
Labor and Art in SOMA/N. Mission
Walking Tour with Susan Greene
($5-10 sliding scale - for Shaping San Francisco)
An audio walking tour connecting two murals. For more information:

July 21 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Marine Firemen’s Hall - 240 2nd St. San Francisco
Irish Labor History Walk
With IBEW electrician Peter O’Driscoll and labor writer and UAW NWU member Larry Shoup.
This tour will focus on the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront and the role of its Irish and Irish-American workers, leaders, and martyrs. It will also include the cases of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings who faced a labor frame-up in the Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco in July 1916, and the successful struggle for their release. The tour will also view the sculpture dedicated to the waterfront strikers of 1934 and other historic markers along the way. The tour will end inside Rincon Center, discussing the historic murals dedicated to the labor movement in San Francisco.

July 21 (Sunday) 5:45 PM ($45) Pier 41 left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF Tickets still available, Please call- 415-642-8066
Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History Boat Tour

5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Please arrive 30 minutes before the departure time

Tour lasts 3 hours

A complimentary meal will be provided, however, if you are on a special diet please bring your own food.

Join us for this evening cruise on labor history, and a close up look at the massive construction project of the eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. We will hear from labor historians, labor activists who will discuss the history of maritime labor including the 1934 General Strike and other labor struggles. We will also get up close to the nearly completed eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
This bridge was completed without the death of one worker. There will be a report on what the new engineering problems is.
On the boat will be: UC geographer Gray Brechin; labor process photographer Joe Blum; WPA historian Harvey Smith, Rosie The Riveter park ranger Betty Reid Soskin; environmentalist reseacher Ray Tomkins and others.

To make your reservation:
By E-mail: or call: (415) 642-8066, and leave your name, phone number and number of people in your party. (We prefer e-mail.)
We will contact you back to confirm your reservation.
Then, you should mail a check ($45/person, children under 6 - free, 6 to 12 $25) to LaborFest, P.O.Box 40983, San Francisco, CA 94140.
We don’t send you tickets, but we will either e-mail or call you back to let you know that we received your check, and as soon as we receive your check, your reservation will be confirmed. You will get your ticket at the pier before you get on the boat.
We will be gathering west side of Pier 39 (when you face the Pier 39, go toward Pier 41, toward left.)
Please be there at least 30 minutes before the departure time in order to go through paper work.
We expect the tickets to be sold out quickly, so please make your reservation early.

July 24 (Wednesday) 10:00 AM (Free) Plaza on the south side of the CalTrain Station - 4th & King, SF
Mission Bay Walk - Hidden Water
(With SF City Guides - by Penny Bradshaw)
From placid waters fished by ancient peoples to the biggest construction project in San Francisco since 1906, the transformation of Mission Bay has been incredible. Gain a unique perspective on the area, and discover a hidden park and a forgotten creek. (If it’s a bay, where’s the water?) See a vibrant housing district featuring a project named for much loved San Francisco labor and community activist, Rich Sorro. Witness the new UCSF campus emerging as well as the city’s new transit infrastructure. Learn the history of working people, who once made this place the West Coast’s most important port.

July 24 (Wednesday) 10:00 - 11:30 AM (Free) Meet at S.W.corner of Geary & Laguna, SF
Union Sponsored Affordable Housing in San Francisco:
St. Francis Square Cooperative

Walking tour, and institutional and development history discussion of the now fifty year old, 299 affordable multi family garden apartments, sponsored by the Longshore and Warehouseman’s Union (ILWU). This complex created a new community that mitigated some of the destructive displacement effects of Western Addition Redevelopment. The buildings and landscaping were designed by renowned architects Robert Marquis, Claude Stoller and Lawrence Halprin. The Square is still home to a number of union leaders, although now evolved to a market rate coop. Residents and coop leaders Norm Young and Nan Park, will be tour guides. And the unofficial historian of the Square (wonderful photo archive) Carol Cuenod will share vintage photos.

July 25 (Thursday) 2:00 PM (Free)Meet at Juan Batista Circle - The center circle near 19th & SFSU, SF
The Park Merced Housing Walk

The Park Merced housing development in the southwest corner of San Francisco was built in the 1940s by Metropolitan Life Insurance as an investment in housing affordable to working people. It was a visionary mix of high-rise towers and two-story garden apartments. MetLife sold the complex in the early 1970’s, and now, the current ownership group has decided they want to keep the seismically unsafe high rise towers but demolish the two story garden apartments. Learn the issues in a walking tour with members of the Park Merced Action Committee, which is fighting to save this vital and vibrant community.

July 25 (Thursday) 4:00 - 6:00 PM (Free) J.Paul Leonard Library, 4th floor, SFSU - 1630 Holloway, SF
Marching Through History with Cesar Chaez and the Farm Workers
Photos by Cathy Murphy
Sponsored by the Labor Archives and Research Center, Marching Through History with Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers is a powerful exhibit that captures life in the fields and on the line for Cesar Chavez and members of the United Farm Workers (UFW). Photographer Cathy Murphy was also very close to Chavez, and her intimate images offer a human portrait of this iconic hero. Come visit the new home of the Labor Archives for a tour of this moving exhibit.
Campus map

July 27 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission & Steuart St.
SF Architecture & Labor Social History of San Francisco - Walk
Walk With Brad Wiedemier, Executive Board Member SEIU UHW & Architectural Historian
San Francisco has a rich political and labor history that is also connected to it’s buildings. In this history-by-the-buildings walk, Brad Wiedemier will outline artifacts and events, and their connections to San Francisco’s past and present.
For more information call (415) 694-3605.

July 27 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square  - Telegraph and Broadway
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk

With Gifford Hartman of the Flying Picket Historical Society. This walk will revisit the sites of Oakland’s “Work Holiday” that began spontaneously with rank-and-file solidarity with the striking - mostly women - retail clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department stores whose picket line was being broken by police scab herding. Within 24 hours, it involved over 100,000 workers and shut down nearly all commerce in the East Bay for 54 hours. In 1946, there were six general strikes across the U.S.; that year set the all-time record year for strikes and work stoppages. The Oakland “Work Holiday” was the last general strike to ever occur in the U.S., and the walk and history talk will attempt to keep alive the memory of this tradition of community-wide working class solidarity.
Meet at the fountain in Latham Square, in the intersection where Telegraph and Broadway converge across from the Rotunda Building (Oakland City Center/12th St. BART).

July 28 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at the corner of Stockton & Maiden Lane - East of Union Square (Special tour for LaborFest)
Rising Steel: Two Centuries of San Francisco Architecture
(SF City Guides - by Jason Cohen)
Explore downtown architecture from as early as 1891 up to today. We’ll see famous buildings and little-known treasures while discussing the architects and design trends that changed the face of America. It will also look at the skills and creativity of the skilled union workers who built these artifacts.
‘Make no small plans!’ 30 buildings in two hours.
(There is also a regular tour starts at 11:00 AM)

July 28 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Main Berkeley Post Office at corner of Milvia & Alston
WPA Berkeley Walk
With Harvey Smith

This walk will explore the “New Deal nexus” in Berkeley that includes Berkeley High School, the Community Theater, Civic Center Park, Post Office art and the old Farm Credit Building. The tour will also include the incredible mosaic mural on the UC Berkeley campus.
For more info: 510-684-0414.