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Indybay Feature

Laborfest: The ILWU and Japanese Americans

Date:
Saturday, July 02, 2016
Time:
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Event Type:
Panel Discussion
Organizer/Author:
Laborfest
Location Details:
1684 Post St., San Francisco. Buses: 2,3, 38

The ILWU and Japanese Americans (Presentation)
By Harvey Schwartz
On February 23, 1942, just weeks after Imperial Japan’s raid on Pearl Harbor, CIO officer and later long-serving ILWU Secretary-Treasurer Louis Goldblatt testified before a Congressional committee established to review President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order calling for the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans in “relocation” camps for the duration of World War II. That day Goldblatt condemned the government’s resort to concentration camps and charged, “This entire episode of hysteria and mob chant against the native-born Japanese will form a dark page of American history.”
Goldblatt’s prediction, of course, came true. In this forum, we will explore Goldblatt’s courageous 1942 stand and many other phases of the multi-racial ILWU’s historical experience with Japanese-Americans. During its early days in the 1930s under Harry Bridges, the legendary union’s founding president, the ILWU stood against discrimination and for civil rights and social justice. It maintained this policy through its 1940s organization of 25,000 Japanese and other Asian agricultural workers in Hawaii and still practices it. We will trace all of this history in our program, which will feature Peter Yamamoto of the NJAHS, chair; Harvey Schwartz, curator of the ILWU Oral History Collection, presenter; and Larry Yamamoto, Bay Area artist and retired ILWU longshore worker and commentator.
When America Was Overcome with Anti-Japanese Xenophobia during WWII, One Union Fought Back - by Peter Cole
Added to the calendar on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 5:26AM
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