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Tours & Walks


July 3 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower - Embarcadero at Market St., SF
SF General Strike Walk
Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza - in front of the Ferry Building, at the south side tower, San Francisco.
Join the walk with Gifford Hartman and others.
Eighty-two years ago at this location, a great battle took place by workers and 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 from 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 9 (Saturday) 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 10 (Sunday) 10:00 AM ($25) Meet in front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove, SF Civic Center
WPA Bus Tour
With Harvey Smith & Susan Ives
Join Harvey Smith and Susan Ives 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. Harvey and Susan will discuss the art, architecture, and social programs that effectively dealt with the period’s economic meltdown in contrast with today’s response.
Some of the locations they will take you to are: Rincon Annex Post Office Murals, Sunshine School, The New Mint and the Old UC Extension, Golden Gate Park Stables and Fly Casting Pools, Beach Chalet Murals.
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 to:, 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. Water will be provided.

July 10 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at 240 2nd St. - Front of the Marine Firemen’s Hall near Howard
Irish Labor History Walk
This walk was canceled due to the leader's family emergency.
With IBEW electrician Peter O’Driscoll
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 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 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 Norman Young and others will be tour guides.

St. Francis Square: Union-Built, Integrated, Affordable Housing in San Francisco - by Peter Cole

July 17 (Sunday) 9:45 AM (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 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 17 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) San Bruno Mountain Watch Office - 44 Visitation Ave., Brisbane
San Bruno Mountain Wilderness Walk
Walk with David Schooley
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 17 (Sunday) 5:45 PM ($45) Pier 41, left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF
Building Bridges & Labor Maritime History Boat Tour
Seats still available! Join us for this great experience.
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Please arrive 30 minutes before the boarding 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.)
The Bay Area is one of the most beautiful places in the world and LaborFest celebrates this beauty with a labor maritime boat trip on the bay with an ILWU-IBU/MMP crew. We will enjoy labor music and dinner as we learn about the real lives of working people.
We will hear about the San Francisco General Strike, Maritime Strike, and how unions built the city. We will hear labor process photographer Joseph Blum talk about the building of the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge, and historian Harvey Smith talk about the history of the WPA and how it 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. You can’t afford to miss this great time on the bay.

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.
Who Built the Golden Gate? New Book Tells Bridge Workers’ Stories - by Peter Cole
Building Bridges and Maritime History Boat Tour - LaborFest 2014 slides - by Mike Melnyk

July 23 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at One Market St., SF
1916 Preparedness Day Bombing Walk
By David Duckworth, Gifford Hartman
During this walking tour we visit several sites which were integral to the unfolding of events following a bomb explosion on Steuart Street at Market Street on July 22, 1916. With fervor building to engage the United States in the war in Europe, businessmen in San Francisco embraced the cause, while labor leaders and the left denounced it. With the bomb killing ten people and wounding forty, no clear culprit was identified. But, two figures from the left, labor organizers and anarchists Tom Mooney and Warren K. Billings, were framed for the murder of the victims and spent many years in prison before being released. On this tour, we learn not only about the war between business and labor and open and closed union shops, but also the divisive issues of American aggression in the Pacific region and against Mexico, crusading and yellow journalism in the city of San Francisco, and the mood of the country regarding World War I.
The tour lasts approximately two hours.
David Duckworth is an art and cultural historian, having lectured widely, including California Institute of Integral Studies, Free University, LaborFest, New York University, Popular Culture/American Culture Association, and Treasure Island Museum.
Gifford Hartman is an adult educator, labor trainer, working class historian, and has been a rank-and-file militant in various industries (some organized by the SEIU and ILWU, and others non-union shops) and presently works in the unorganized precarious education sector.

July 23 (Saturday) 9:00 - 1:30 PM ($15) Meet at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum
New Almaden Quicksilver Mine - Labor History Tour
Meet at the New Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum, Casa Grande, 21350 Almaden Road, San Jose, CA 95120
Where did the San Jose Mercury News get its name? From the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine south of San Jose which during its heyday was the richest and most productive mercury mine in the United States.
By special arrangement with Santa Clara County Parks, the tour will emphasize economic and labor history, and will cover the considerable distances between sites by van.
Tickets: $15, must be purchased in advance
Please bring your own lunch
Total tickets limited to 16
To make your reservation:
E-mail to
We will contact you back to confirm your reservation.
Then mail or deliver a check ($15/person) to the San Jose Peace & Justice Center, 48 South 7th St., San Jose, CA 95112
For more info: call SJ Peace & Justice Center 408-297-2299 or call LaborFest 415-642-8066
For info on the museum, call Quicksilver Mining Museum: (408) 323-1107
From Highway 85 take the Almaden Expressway exit south 4.5 miles to Almaden Road. Turn right and proceed 2.5 miles west to the town of New Almaden. Casa Grande (and the museum) will be on your left.
From Highway 880 take 101 south to 280 north (toward San Francisco). Exit 280 at Hwy. 87 (Guadalupe Parkway) south. Exit Hwy. 87 at Almaden Expressway south (to the right). Proceed about 8 miles to Almaden Road. Turn right and proceed 2.5 miles to the town of New Almaden.

July 24 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at The 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, 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 24 (Sunday) 2:00 PM (Free) Meet at Bayview Plaza - 3801 3rd St. at Evans, SF
Hunters Point/Bayview History Walk
The 50th Anniversary of the Death of Matthew Johnson in Bayview/Hunters Point

Join Bayview/Hunters Point social/labor historian Oscar James on the 50th anniversary of the murder of 16 year old youth Matthew Johnson who was killed by San Francico police on September 27, 1966. This murder brought a strong community response and the governor called in the National Guard to put down the protest. Today, 50 years later, the murders of African American and Latino youth continues alongside the massive gentrification of the district that is driving out many long-time residents.
Oscar James will also look at the history of unions and labor in the shipyard and how it brought tens of thousands of workers to San Francisco during the 2nd World War. The city and the Obama administration have now privatized public housing using so-called public/private partnerships and in San Francisco this has meant that the tenants of public housing have been kicked off the San Francisco housing authority.
This walk will look at this history of Bayview/Hunters Point and how this history is connected to the present struggles facing the community and labor.
For more information

July 28 (Thursday) 1:00 PM (Free) Meet in front of the Ferry Building - Embaarcadero & Market St., SF
Walk - Produce, Production, Pasta, and Piers: When SF's Little Italy Thrived
With LisaRuth Elliott (Shaping San Francisco) & Professor Mary Anne A. Trasciatti
Walk starts in front of the Ferry Building and the walk will end at North Point and Embarcadero. Walk will last 2 hours.
This walk will cover:
+ Labor in Produce District, North Beach, and along the Waterfront until about the 1950s
+ Ecology of North Beach, Yerba Buena Cove, and Telegraph Hill
+ Radical movements including Italians and Italian-Americans in the late 1800s to early 1900s
LisaRuth Elliott is the co-director of Shaping San Francisco—a project on community history which administers the digital archive She recently produced the 2016 San Francisco History Days at the Old Mint. She leads walking tours of, has co-edited 4 books on, and has taught local history at UC Berkeley, Stanford, SFAI, and USF. She has lived in San Francisco for over 20 years, and worked, studied, and done disaster relief internationally. She helps manage the volunteer workdays at Alemany Farm, an urban farm on the south side of Bernal Hill. She is also a visual and textile artist, everyday bicyclist, breadmaker, and freelance writer.
Professor Mary Anne A. Trasciatti will co-lead the walk and contribute. She is the chair of the NYC Triangle Commemoration Committee and a expert in Italian Americans in the United States. She is also a contributor to the PBS series Italian Americans and is  an Associate Professor in the Department of Rhetoric at Hofstra University.

July 30 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square - Telegraph and Broadway, Oakland
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk - “We Called It a Work Holiday”
With Gifford Hartman of the Flying Picket Historical Society.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Oakland General Strike. 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 31 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission and Steuart, SF
Labor Politics and Architecture of San Francisco - Walk
Walk with Brad Wiedmaier, SEIU 2015 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 Wiedmaier will outline artifacts and events, and their connections to San Francisco’s past and present.
For more information call (415) 694-3605.