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Laborfest: Film & Drama: The Triangle Fire & The LA Times Bombing of 1911

Saturday, July 23, 2011
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
ILWU Local 34 Hall, 801 Second St., San Francisco. Next to baseball stadium. Walk the one mile from Market on Second or on the Embarcadero to 801 Second Street or take public transportation:
T or N train from Embarcadero Station to Second and King Station;
30 or 45 bus from Market and Fourth Streets (Powell Station) to end of line at Townsend between Fourth and Third, then walk one block to Second Street;
47 bus which travels on Van Ness ends at Cal Train Station at 4th and Townsend, then walk on Townsend to Second Street;
10 bus which runs from Powell on Pacific to Battery, on Battery to Third and Townsend, so get off at Second Street. Also runs from 25th and Potrero, on Wisconsin, Connecticut, Townsend to Second Street.

Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of The Triangle Fire & The LA Times Bombing
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire in which 146 immigrants, mostly Jewish and Italian garment workers, died in New York City. It is also the 100th anniversary of the LA Times bombing that was blamed on unionized ironworkers. This led to a witch hunt against labor and the defeat of working class candidate Job Harriman in the Los Angeles elections. Both these events will be focused on during this event.

Screening of Clara Lemlich, A Strike Leader’s Dairy, about the life of immigrant Russian garment union leader Clara Lemlich and her role in the “Uprising of 1909.”

Clara Lemlich, a young 17-year old Russian immigrant like many other young immigrant women in New York was in the garment industry. Despite her small stature she stood up for the women, young and old, who toiled in the garment shops and factories. She was also targeted by the bosses, who hired thugs and goons to beat up the union activists and Clara was beaten numerous times. Despite the great costs to her health and even her life, she continued organizing. At a mass meeting at NY Cooper Union she spoke up for many when she said it was time for a mass strike. This was unanimously agreed to, and in 1909, twenty thousand garment workers went on strike now known as the “The Uprising.”

Despite the efforts to get a union at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the anti-labor owners refused to sign a union contract. The failure to get a contract led to continued dangerous working conditions and also locked escape doors. The death however led to an explosion of anger and support for union and labor rights that are now under attack.

Lee Boek, Public Works Improvisational Theater Company, will present a theater piece on the 1911 LA Times bombing and the shaping of Los Angeles. The attack on organized labor, particularly union ironworkers and organizers John J. (“J.J.”) and James B. (“J.B.”) McNamara in Los Angeles, was a critical part of Los Angeles and California labor history. These unionists were charged with the bombing of the LA Times building and their lawyer was Clarence Darrow. This incident was used to politically assault the trade union movement and also derail the election campaign of Job Harriman.
Labor Folk Blues Onion & GG
See also:
Added to the calendar on Sun, Jun 19, 2011 7:53AM
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