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Laborfest: July 23-31, 2013 for your History & Culture Foundation
by Solidarity
Monday Jul 22nd, 2013 8:08 AM
This 20th anniversary year of Laborfest, the annual commemoration of the 1934 San Francisco maritime general strike, is your treasured educational prelude to history in the making, the BART workers renewed strike that apparently will take place commencing August 4, 2013, the kind of strike that will make possible the socialized medicine we failed to win in 1935, when we won Social Security, unemployment insurance and the right to organize labor unions as a result of the San Francisco, Minneapolis and Toledo 1934 general strikes. You can learn this history and more at Laborfest.
This 20th anniversary year of Laborfest, the annual commemoration of the 1934 San Francisco maritime general strike, is your treasured educational prelude to history in the making, the BART workers renewed strike that apparently will take place commencing August 4, 2013, the kind of strike that will make possible the socialized medicine we failed to win in 1935, when we won Social Security, unemployment insurance and the right to organize labor unions as a result of the San Francisco, Minneapolis and Toledo 1934 general strikes. You can learn this history and more at Laborfest.

The full schedule is at

All events are on the Labor page of this website, each with additional websites for you to learn your labor history. See
The remaining events for this year are highlighted below.

Some general observations from personal experience are instructive. Those who know their labor history and culture are always those who have a solid foundation in political struggle no matter what the crisis. A solid understanding of the importance of labor led many to support the lesbian and gay liberation struggle when it was framed in terms of labor, that is, in supporting the Lesbian & Gay Labor Alliance, now Pride at Work. Recent research has shown that one famous labor leader, Elizabeth Gurly Flynn, was a lesbian. She was also an organizer of the IWW strike of 1913 in Paterson, New Jersey, a strike described in film on July 28, 2013, 7:30 PM, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts - First floor theater - 2868 Mission St., San Francisco
War in Paterson, the Strike that Changed the Labor Movement (45 min.) By Dana Seidel
A Witness to the Paterson Strike
Interview with Ralph Golzio (5 min)
Dreamworks China (56 min.) By Tommaso Facchin & Ivan Fraceschini
(A contemporary comparison.)

Black history and culture is an integral part of Laborfest because black slave labor is a foundation of the United States and because today the black community is still overwhelmingly workingclass. You can learn on July 23, 2013, this 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Pres. Lincoln freed the slaves in the rebelling states in order to turn the tide and secure a Union army victory, that the battle of Milliken’s Bend on June 4th 1863 was the first victory of recently freed Black slaves who joined the Union army and at great cost, held the line against the Confederate troops trying to keep Vicksburg in the hands of Confederate forces. IT WAS THE FREED SLAVES THAT SECURED THE UNION ARMY VICTORY. The event is

July 23 (Tuesday) 7:00 PM, 518 Valencia - Near 16th St. and Mission, SF
On the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation Emancipation
Slave Labor, Free Labor & Working People Today
With Carol Lang, CUNY Lecturer

You can have fun and learn your labor songs to sing on all picketlines at the Labor Chorus commemoration of another event in the history of African-American workers: The Great Migration when six million African Americans left Jim Crow behind and started over in northern cities. In the process, they transformed this country. This must see and hear event takes place on July 26, 2013 (Friday) at 7:30 PM at Marine Fireman's Hall - 240 2nd St. near Howard St., San Francisco.

More labor music can be enjoyed on July 27 (Saturday) 7:30 PM (Free) at ILWU Local 10, Henry Schmidt Room - 400 Northpoint, San Francisco, commemorating Pete Seeger's Almanac Singers. We need everyone to learn labor songs, such as Solidarity Forever as this is our heritage to cherish, learn and pass to the next generation.

The struggle against ethnic segregation, known as apartheid in South Africa, continues in Palestine, and is highlighted in a major 95 minute film, Roadmap to Apartheid, shown on July 25 (Thursday) 7:00 PM Unitarian Church - 1187 Franklin St. at Geary, San Francisco.

On July 29, 2013, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the San Francisco State University Strike which was a labor and student strike that made possible all of the ethnic studies departments. It is a milestone in history that is described in a 45 minute film, The Turning Point - SF State '68 Strike on July 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM, ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St., next to AT&T Stadium, San Francisco. From 4th and Market, you can take the 30 or 45 bus to the end of the line at Townsend, then walk on Townsend east to 801 Second Street. You can return by catching the same buses at Third and Townsend.

Latino culture is celebrated throughout Laborfest. Upcoming events include:

July 25 (Thursday) 4:00 - 6:00 PM (Free) J.Paul Leonard Library, 4th floor, San Francisco State Universtiy - 1630 Holloway, SF, Marching Through History with Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers

July 25 (Thursday) 5:30 PM (Free) SEIU Local 1021 office - 350 Rhode Island Suite 100 South, Report Back from Bay Area Unionists on a Recent CISPES Labor Delegation to El Salvador

July 28 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts - 2868 Mission St., SF LaborFest BookFair
10:00 a.m.
(3rd floor Room B)
Lettuce Wars, Ten Years of Work and Struggle
By Bruce Neuburger
In this important work we learn about the real history of the United Farmworkers of America from the eyes of an activist member. What happened to one of the most vibrant union organizing of farmworkers in the United States and how did the UFWA become a shadow of itself? Neuburger also recounts how non-farmworkers were brought into the leadership of the UFWA to replace the actual farmworker organizers and the end of the possibility of democracy and rank and file power.

(First floor theater)
Guest Workers or Colonized Labor?
By Gilbert Gonzalez
He will discusses the historical causes of immigration of Mexican workers to the United States. He shows that the economic development of US capitalism required a cheap labor force from Mexico, and this in fact, led to the mass uprooting of peasants and small farmers in Mexico who were forced to the US by big corporate interests. Gonzalez exposes the real economic implications of NAFTA which like the the other trade agreements including the present Trans Pacific Partnership TPP bill provide the framework for greater exploitation of labor and the destruction of economies throughout the world for privatization and union busting.

12:00 p.m.
(First floor theater)
Immigration Reform, “Guest” & Temporary Workers and the Labor Movement - Panel
The scapegoating and exploitation of immigrant workers in the United States has a long history. This panel will look at the history of immigration from Latin America to the United States and the role of the Bracero Program, “guest worker” programs, and the new “immigration reform” that is being discussed and debated by working people and the US Congress. It will also look at the role of US unions in this debate.
Gilbert Gonzalez, UCI professor; Don Mitchell, Syracuse University professor; Al Rojas, LCLAA, labor organizer; Manny Ness, CUNY professor; Norm Mattloff, UCD professor, Computer Science.

2:00 p.m.
(3rd floor Room B)
Guest Workers and Resistance to U.S. Corporate Despotism
By Immanuel Ness
Ness’s work looks at the growth of migrant labor and global capitalism from India and Jamaica to the USA. Over 300 million migrant workers are a growing force in the world economy, including a growing number who are also high tech workers. Ness looks at the political crisis of our present unions who are unable to grapple with this new world global economy and now are even supporting a new massive “guest worker” program after initially opposing it. At the same time there is growing opposition among this new migrant global workforce.

2:00 p.m.
(2nd floor Small Gallery)
This presentation will be all in Spanish
Documental: "Fiesta de los Diablitos, comunidad indigena en Costa Rica"
Dirigido a la comunidad hispano parlante o personas que tengan un conocimiento general de la lengua espanola.
Se brindara ayuda de traduccion solo para el foro.
El documental se filmó durante el 2003 - 2004 y se editó en 2011, tiene una duración de 53 minutos.
Consta de 4 partes:
1- Preparativos y nacencia.
2- La lucha contra el invasor.
3- Cuasrán y la alegría de los diablitos .
4- La batalla final.
Cuatro historias que relatan un antiguo drama ritual con una mezcla de júbilo y diversión.
El juego consiste en una representación con máscaras donde simbólicamente nacen, mueren y regresan a la vida para triunfar sobre el invasor. Es una lucha en donde los diablitos representan al pueblo Boruca en la comunidad indigena llamada Rey Curre (al sur en Costa Rica, en Punta Burica), y un toro que representa al invasor extranjero. Es así como cada vez que se juega, Boruca y Curré vuelven a nacer, es decir, renace la identidad indígena de estas poblaciones.
En palabras de su propio autor, el profesor Jose Luis Amador nos dice los siguiente:
“Dicen que cuando la realidad supera la ficción es hora de hacer un documental."
La Fiesta de los Diablitos
Es una de las actividades indígenas más relevantes en Costa Rica; sin embargo, es poco conocida pues no existía un material que registrara los aspectos de esta festividad.
Este documental es el resultado de un sólido estudio etnográfico, no obstante resulta sumamente ameno, pese a su duración de 50 minutos.
Esta actividad esta dirigida al publico de habla hispana o personas con un conocimiento general de la lengua espanola.
El video esta narrado solo en el idioma Espanol, y solo se brindara servicios de traduccion en el foro.
Gracias, y cualquier pregunta dirigirla a: Francisco Jimenez, al imel : en.espanol [at]

4:00 p.m.
(3rd floor Room B)
They Saved the Crops - Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over industrial farming in Bracero-era California
By Don Michell
Don Mitchell, is a professor at Syracuse University. He has written a basic primer to understand the California Bracero Program. “The Bracero Program was the ideal business recipe for cheap immigrant labor, cooked up by growers and stamped Government Approved.” This work is absolutely critical to understand today, “as ... ‘guest worker’ politics is a pot always on the boil,” and the push for a new “guest worker” program is now embedded in the new immigration “reform” bill.

5:30 p.m.
5:30 - 7:00 PM
Screening of Maestra (33 min) by Katherine Murphy
With Cuban Educator Dr. Norma Guillard, film Director Katherine Murphy and Panel of Adult Educators
Maestra pays homage to thousands of young Cuban women in the 1960´s that were mobilized against illiteracy on the island. A total of 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. While Cuba, after the revolution, was able to have a massive adult education program that educated millions of Cuban adults, today in California, the government is shutting down education for millions of immigrant workers and their families.
After the film, a panel with Cuban educator Dr. Norma Guillard, film Director Katherine Murphy, along with California adult education teachers will discuss the film and the battle today to defend adult education programs in California.

The contemporary struggle in Turkey is highlighted in a multimedia presentation on July 30 (Tuesday) 11:00 - 2:00 PM (Free) DILEKSEZEN Studio - 933 Union St. San Francisco.

THERE IS MUCH MORE at Laborfest from July 23-31, 2013. Please view the schedule at