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Indybay Feature
Wed Jul 8 2009 (Updated 07/10/09)
75th Anniversary of "Bloody Thursday" and the San Francisco General Strike
Hundred of Union Members and International Supporters Commemorate "Bloody Thursday"
On Monday, July 6th, labor activists gathered at Harry Bridges Plaza in the Embarcadero to remember the day, July 5, 1934, when two strikers were gunned down and killed by police. Several hundred union members and their supporters, many from around the world, marched in a reenacted funeral procession of the fallen men, Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise. As the procession passed the memorial at Mission and Steuart Streets, across the street from the site of the deaths, they took off their hats.

On July 9, 1934 a funeral was held for the two slain workers, Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise, their coffins borne on flat bed trucks, led a solemn procession of over forty thousand people up Market Street. This violence against striking workers was the breaking point in a long series waterfront clashes. The subsequent general strike, shut down San Francisco, and crippled the west coast for days.

The result was the creation of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, ILWU, covering the entire west coast. The workers got their union run hiring hall, no more corrupt “shape up,” and workers in general benefited by the example set by the striking dock workers. Workers now had the confidence to join and form unions, and engage in collective bargaining. Catherine Powell, director of the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, called this; “A pivotal event in San Francisco and American Labor history, important in part because it came before the Wagner Act, granting the right to collective bargaining.” photo Read More with Photos

Video: 75th Commemoration of the 1934 San Francisco General Strike-Part 1 | Longshoremen remember 1934 and the death of two that helped make the UNIONS strong in SF | Three Commemoration Events Around 75th Anniversary Of the SF General Strike | Anniversary of a dark day "Bloody Thursday" a turning point in labor history | Wikipedia: 1934 West Coast waterfront strike

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