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Tours & Walks

July 5 (Sunday) 9:45 (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance - 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd, SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
With Peter O’Driscoll and Harvey Smith
In the past few years there has been a growing community effort to defend the Coit tower murals from leaking water and to stop plans for privatization of the site. This led to the critical renovation of the murals on their 80th anniversary. They were being painted during the time of the 1934 general strike in San Francisco.  LaborFest will hold its annual guided tour of the murals with Peter O’Driscoll, Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith. At the time of their installation, an organized effort was made to destroy them because of the leftist themes. The artists and their supporters had to physically defend the site. The murals were successfully defended and we have them today as our heritage.  The artists were working under the Civil Works Administration and Public Works of Art program, which was later extended to many buildings and sites throughout the U.S.

July 5 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon Meet at 518 Valencia St., SF
Cycles of Labor History Bicycle Tour
With 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 were shaped in part by racist complicity in genocide and slavery. From the 1870s to the 1940s, there were dozens of epic battles between owners and workers, culminating in the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath. This four-hour bike tour, of San Francisco labor history will introduce you to a new view of the city. Tour ends at Spear and Market.

July 6 (Monday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower
SF General Strike Walk
Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza - Plaza in front of Ferry Building, at the south side tower, San Francisco.
Join the walk with Gifford Hartman and others.
Eighty-one years ago at this location, a great battle took place by the workers and the residents of San Francisco against the police and National Guard.
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.

July 11 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) San Bruno Mountain Watch Office - 44 Visitation Ave., Brisbane
San Bruno Mountain Wilderness Walk
Labor unionists and environmentalists both confront the same commercial interests. In 1968, David Schooley chained himself to a bulldozer at the foot of the San Bruno Mountain. As a result, houses have never been constructed in Guadeloupe Canyon. You’re invited to walk with David in the Mountain habitat of the Mission Blue Butterfly, which he’s defended for 50 years. The fight on this Mountain helped to inspire the Endangered Species Act. This is now a space in the local area where working people can enjoy the beauty of the canyon.
To sign up call: 415-467-6631.
Meet at 10:00 AM at the San Bruno Mountain Watch Office, Room 206, 44 Visitation Avenue in Brisbane.

To get there by car, follow Bayshore Boulevard to Brisbane; or take the #249 SamTrans bus.

July 12 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at 75 Folsom St. - Entrance of Hills Brothers Coffee Building
San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk 1835 - 1934
With Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll
There are many stories about labor struggles in San Francisco. The walk will focus on the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934. Also, labor historian Larry Shoup will discuss the history of the 1901 transportation workers strike led by the Teamsters which the San Francisco police attempted, 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. This was the first large city in the United States to have a union labor party in office.

July 12 (Sunday) 10:00 AM ($25) Meet in front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove, SF Civic Center
WPA Bus Tour
With Gray Brechin & Harvey Smith
Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of sites built by the New Deal’s “alphabet soup” agencies. You will learn about the major contribution government-paid workers made during the depression era New Deal programs. Gray and Harvey will discuss the art, architecture and social programs that effectively dealt with the period’s economic meltdown in contrast with today’s response. Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Meet in 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 let you know that we have space for your reservation and contact you in case of any changes.)
Make reservation, then send check ($25/person) to: LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
Please bring your own lunch. For those who can’t bring one, we will have sandwiches and drinks on the bus for a small cost. Bus will return to Civic Center.
Tour lasts about 5 hours.

July 14 (Tuesday) 1:00 - 2:30 PM (Free) Meet at South West Corner of Geary and Laguna intersection
Union Sponsored Affordable Housing in San Francisco:
St. Francis Square Cooperative
- Tour
(Meet near #38 Geary in-bound bus stop)
Join our walking tour and institutional and development history discussion of the now fifty-one-year-old 299 affordable multi family garden apartments sponsored by the Longshore and Warehouse 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 it has now evolved to a market rate coop.  Residents and coop leaders Norm Young and Nan Park, will be tour guides.

July 18 (Saturday) 10:45 - 3:45 PM (Free) Angel Island - at Ayala Cover where ferry boat arrives
Angel Island Walk: Labor, Imperialism & Immigration
With James Dexter-Lee
This walk will be 5 miles, 5 hours, including stops.
Angel Island is the largest island in San Francisco Bay, 740 acres of California State Park. Located strategically just inside the Golden Gate, near the beautiful Marin Headlands, Angel Island has unparalleled views of the Bay Area.
The heritage of Angel Island lies primarily in its human history; a story that accompanies not only the history of the Bay Area and California but also the military, political, economic and social legacy of the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Come and explore this unique place with park volunteer and historian James Dexter-Lee.  We will cover Native Americans to the Gold Rush, Angel Island at war (Civil War to Cold War), the U.S. Immigration Station (Labor & Racism), the Marine Hospital Service and more.
Bring lunch, liquids, sun protection, layers and your walking shoes! (Optional $5 for admission to U.S. Immigration Station, cash or check, pay as you enter.)
Ferry schedule:
Leave SF – Ferry Building 9:20, Pier 41 9:45 - arrive 10:10 AM.
Return to SF – Last ferry 4:10
Leave Tibron – 10:00 to 5:00 hourly.
Return to Tibron 10:20 to 4:20 hourly

Information:, or call 415-642-8066

July 19 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at 240 2nd St. - Front of the Marine Firemen’s Hall near Howard
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 19 (Sunday) 2:00 PM (Free) Meet at Bayview Plaza- 3801 3rd St. at Evans, SF
Hunters Point/Bayview History Walk
Join former shipyard worker and local social historian Oscar James for the real history of Bayview Hunters Point, and in particular, the use of the National Guard after the murder of Harold Brooks in September 1966. James will look at the social, labor and political history of this important period for the community, and what is happening today with gentrification and displacement of the community.
For more info:

July 19 (Sunday) 5:45 PM ($45) Pier 41, left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth
Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History
Boat Tour
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Join LaborFest again this year when the ILWU-IBU/MMP crew takes us out on the bay to enjoy the beauty of the San Francisco Bay. We will learn about the San Francisco General Strike, Maritime Strike, how unions built the bridges and how they keep the bay clean. We honor the workers who built the bridges.
Labor process photographer Joseph Blum will talk about the building of the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge. Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith will talk about the history of the WPA and how it has shaped the Bay Area. There will be speakers about ongoing union struggles for worker rights and what we can do to support these workers.  We will also have labor music from the US and around the world including Chinese migrant workers musicians.
You can’t afford to miss this great time on the bay.

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.
(Sorry, we do not take any special orders for food.)
To make your reservation:
By E-mail:
Or call: (415) 642-8066
and leave (1) your name, (2) phone number and (3)number of people in your party. (We prefer e-mail.)
We will contact you 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 out 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 to the left of Pier 39, toward Pier 41 (Blue & Gold Fleet).
Please be there at least 30 minutes before 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 25 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square - Telegraph and Broadway
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk - “We Called it a Work Holiday”
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 scabs escorted by police.
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.. This 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 26 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at The Main Berkeley Post Office - at corner of Milvia and 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, the old UC Press Building (now being repurposed as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), and the old Farm Credit Building.  The tour will also include the incredible mosaic mural on the UC Berkeley campus and photographs of the California Folk Music Project, Western Museum Laboratory, WPA prints at the Berkeley Public Library, and WPA projects on the UC Berkeley campus.
For more info: 510-684-0414

July 26 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission and Steuart, SF
Architecture & Labor Social History of San Francisco - Walk 
Walk with Brad Wiedemier, SEIU UHW member & architectural historian.
San Francisco has a rich political and labor history that is also connected to its 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.