Angela Y. Davis and the ILWU lead San Francisco May Day March
Angela Davis and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Lead San Francisco May Day March
Written by Jack Heyman of the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
(With photos of the May Day March by Leon Kunstenaar of the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center. Also see Kunstenaar's photos from Angela Davis' visit to the ILWU Union Hall)
On May Day marches occurred around the U.S. and around the world. While it is a labor holiday celebrated in 100 countries it is not recognized here where it originated in 1886 over the struggle for the 8 hour work day and safer working conditions.
Arguably, the largest demonstration in the U.S. occurred in San Francisco where an estimated 4,000 marchers, trade unionists, community groups and leftists, gathered at the Embarcadero and marched to Civic Center to commemorate the 1934 Maritime and General Strike provoked by the police murder of two strikers.
The demands of the event organized by all Bay Area labor councils were: (1) to support passage of the PRO Act (Protection of the Right to Organize) after the defeated union organizing drive at Amazon and (2) for racial justice.
Many marchers carried signs protesting racist police killings. The longshore union carried banners calling for Mumia’s freedom. One from the 1999 Mumia rally in San Francisco read: “Stop the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal“ which is relevant today given Mumia’s continued dire medical conditions and DA Krasner’s court filing opposing his appeal rights.
Both Angela Davis and ILWU Local 10 President Trent Willis, called for Mumia’s freedom. Willis led a chant from the podium: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal."
The longshore union is organizing another Juneteenth port protest against police terror and systemic racism. At last year’s Juneteenth protest all West Coast Ports in Canada and the U.S. were shutdown as Angela Davis spoke and led the march of 25,000 out of the Port of Oakland to Oscar Grant Plaza.
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