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Laborfest: 50th Anniversary of 1968 SF State Strike

Thursday, July 12, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
ILWU Local 34 Hall, 801 Second St., San Francisco. Across 2d St from baseball stadium. Diagonally across King St from MoMo’s Restaurant. Walk the one mile from Market on Second or on the Embarcadero to 801 Second Street or take public transportation as follows:
T or N train from Embarcadero Station to Second and King Station, go to stadium side of King St, 801 2d St is to the left of the stadium;
30 or 45 bus from Market and Fifth Streets (Powell Station) to end of line at Townsend between Fourth and Third, then walk one block to 2d Street, then 1 blocks south on 2d to King St, cross King St to stadium side; 801 2d St is to the left of the stadium;
47 bus which starts at North Point at Fisherman’s Wharf, travels on Van Ness, 11th St, Bryant and ends at Cal Train Station at 4th and Townsend, then walk on Townsend 2 blocks to 2d Street, then walk 2 block South on 2d to King St, cross King Street to stadium side, 801 2d St is to the left of the stadium;
10 bus which runs from 24th and Potrero, on Rhode Island to 26th St, on Cesar Chavez St to Dakota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, DeHaro, Rhode Island at 16th St, on Townsend to Second Street AND from Van Ness on Pacific to Battery, on Battery to Second St to Third and Townsend, so get off at 2d Street and Townsend, then 1 block south on 2d to King St, cross King St to stadium side. 801 2d St is to the left of the stadium.

50th Anniversary of SF 1968 State Strike – The Lessons for Today

1968 was a watershed year around the world. It was the year of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and corresponding nationwide protests that had become massive against the draft and the American War Against Vietnam so that by 1975, when Vietnam was finally liberated, every college campus had experienced protests and this country had been in a state of civil war which caused Congress to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971 and the draft to end in 1973. Women had been demanding full equality and rights in massive streets protests, which resulted in Yale University finally admitting women in 1968 and in legalizing abortion in 1973 with the Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade. It was the year Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. It was also the year Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to Congress. In Mexico, there was a black power protest at the Olympics, preceded 10 days before by the Tlatelolco massacre of students and others by the military and the police. The gay liberation movement was expanded after the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria riot in San Francisco and the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York, milestone events. The environmental movement won the Environmental Protection Agency, created in 1970. It was 23 years after World War 2, during which a generation had come of age. From the strikes in France to the San Francisco State University labor and student strike, the first post-WW2 generation was carrying on the struggle against racism and for the workingclass. If you lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, you were there either physically or by following the daily front page news accounts. Everyone in the community, young and old, who supported the strike walked the picket lines and attended fundraisers such as art shows. We certainly remember the horror of Democratic Mayor Joseph Alioto's San Francisco police tactical squad attacking the SF State strikers, followed by the same goons attacking the striking Kaiser nurses. If the younger generation wonders what we faced in 1968 to make any kind of change, this is the event where you will learn what happened and the lessons of how to fight back.

This commemorative event honors the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco State Strike. What are the lessons of that strike for today when students have to go into debt to attend college? The mass SF State Strike, which was supported by campus unions including the AFT Teachers Union, was the longest student strike in the history of the United States. The demands for ethnic studies and open admissions are relevant today as there is an organized attack on ethnic studies and the privatization of public education. Working class students in California and throughout the country must go into massive debt to obtain an education, and then they face dim job prospects. Ethnic cleansing is also taking place in San Francisco and Oakland, where African American communities are being driven out of their homes. ILWU Local 10 also played a critical role in supporting the strike. They supported the strikers, including professors and staff at the college, by supplying work on the docks during the strike and this was important to sustain their struggle. There will be a photo display and videos screened during the event. It is time to continue and build the fight that was made 50 years ago.
See also: (Contains memorable picture of police brutality and a timeline)
Added to the calendar on Sun, Jun 17, 2018 8:56PM
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