24th Annual LaborFest 2017

The Future is in Our Hands

This year marks the 83rd anniversary of the San Francisco General Strike and West Coast Maritime Strike. The General Strike was not only a victory for the ILWU longshoreman but also for hundreds of thousands of workers who joined unions from hotel workers and clerical workers to public workers.

2017 July Schedule

  • Labor History Bike Tour

    Sliding scale $15 - $50 | by Chris Carlsson | Benefiting shaping San Francisco. This is an entirely different look, during a four-hour bike tour, at San Francisco labor history.

    July 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm at Meet at 518 Valencia Street
  • Internment, Japanese Americans, Labor And The Lessons For Today

    Free | This year is the 75th anniversary of the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese Peruvians in concentration camps during World War II under the executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    July 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm at National Japanese American Historical Society
  • SF Mime Troupe – Walls

    Free | WALLS asks the question: How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration? The answer: FEAR!

    July 1, 2017 @ 2:00 pm at Cedar Rose Park

  • SF Mime Troupe – Walls

    Free | WALLS asks the question: How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration? The answer: FEAR!

    July 2, 2017 @ 2:00 pm at Cedar Rose Park


  • SF Mime Troupe – Walls

    Free | WALLS asks the question: How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration? The answer: FEAR!

    July 4, 2017 @ 2:00 pm at Dolores Park


  • Film: American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs

    Free | by Yale Strom | Eugene Victor Debs is unknown to most people in the United States, yet, he is one of the most important working-class figures in our history. Debs was a railroad worker during the 1877 national railway strike in July. This strike took place when the railroad bosses cut the wag...

    July 5, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • Book reading – Refinery Town by Steve Early

    Free | by Steve Early | Steve Early has been an active labor journalist and organizer for over forty years. His work appears in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and The Nation, among other publications. He is the author of four books, including Save Our Unions: Dispatches of a Movement in Distress....

    July 6, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Green Arcade Bookstore


  • Film: Ludlow, Greek Americans In Colorado Coal War (71 min.) 2016

    Free | Producer: Frosso Tsouka, Director: Leonidas Vardaros | The racist war on immigrants in the US has a long history and this film tells the story of Greek Americans and other immigrants who came to work in the mines of Colorado. This film shows the conditions that these miners and their children...

    July 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at 518 Valencia


  • Walk – The Building and Labor Struggles at Fort Point

    Free | with Matthew Britten | Participants of the walk will learn about the construction of Fort Point and Alcatraz through the eyes of the workers who did the work.

    July 8, 2017 @ 2:00 pm at Fort Point
  • SF General Strike Walk

    Free | with Gifford Hartman | How was the strike organized and why are the issues from that strike still relevant to working people today? We will view some of the key historical sites in this important US labor struggle.

    July 8, 2017 @ 4:00 pm at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower
  • SF General Strike: Principles, Philosophies, Applicabilities

    Free | by Gifford Hartman and David Duckworth | Launching from the historic General Strike of 1934, historians David Duckworth and Gifford Hartman converse on the broader ramifications of this moment in West Coast labor unity. Considering the scope and tactics of that defining moment, examples of ot...

    July 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Green Arcade Bookstore
  • Film: Fascism inc. (83 min.) 2014

    Free | Producer: Frosso Tsouka, Director: Aris Chatzistefanou | Following the film, producer Frosso Tsouka and San Francisco State professor Zeese Papanikolas will discuss the economic and social developments in Greece and the rise of Golden Dawn and other neo-nazi groups.

    July 8, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at 518 Valencia


  • WPA Bus Tour

    $25 | with Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith | Join Gray Brechin and Harvey Smith as they travel through history on a bus tour of sites built by the New Deal’s “alphabet soup” agencies. You will learn about the major contribution government-paid workers made during the depression- era New Deal pro...

    July 9, 2017 @ 10:00 am at Bill Graham Auditorium
  • Irish Labor History Walk

    Free | with IBEW electrician Peter O’Driscoll | This tour will focus on the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront and the role of its Irish and Irish-American workers, leaders, and martyrs. It will also include the cases of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings who faced a labor frame-up in the P...

    July 9, 2017 @ 12:00 pm at Marine Firemen’s Hall
  • Labor, War in Asia and the Lessons of the Comfort Women

    Free | The growing dangers of a war in Asia are accelerating, particularly with the U.S. strategy of “Asian Pivot”. This forum will examine what the “Asian Pivot” is and the militarization of Asia, including the construction of more bases in Okinawa and Jeju, Korea.

    July 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • Film: Divided We Fall (90 min.) 2016, The Great Sitdown (52 min.) 1976

    Free | "Divided We Fall", Director: Katherine Acosta, "The Great Sitdown", BBC Documentary | Scott Houldieson, Vice President UAW 551 Ford Assembly Plant Chicago, Illinois, will introduce the film “The Great Sitdown” and discuss the relevance today.

    July 10, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • Bread & Roses Labor History Story Telling

    Free | Come to share an interesting labor story you’ve led or experienced. It could be a memory of a key labor figure or event locally or internationally. This will be an open regular meeting of FORUM (Federation of Retired Union Members), an organization of retirees affiliated with the San Franci...

    July 11, 2017 @ 10:00 am at San Francisco Labor Council Office
  • Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco’s Master Muralist of The 1930s

    Free to current SF Museum & Historical Society members. Admission for non-members is $10 per person or $5 for seniors, students. | by Robert Cherny |

    July 11, 2017 @ 7:30 pm at Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium


  • The Golden Spike: Chinese and Irish Labor versus The Big Four

    Free | May 10, 2019 will be the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, a momentous accomplishment which has excluded recognition of the contribution of Chinese railroad workers to the wealth of The Big Four and the building of the American Empire, which connected East ...

    July 12, 2017 @ 5:00 pm at Chinese Historical Society of America
  • Film: Killing Floor (114 min) 1984

    Free | Producer-Writerr: Elsa Rassbach | Director: Bill Duke (1985 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award) | One hundred years ago, a critical struggle was taking place in the slaughterhouses in Chicago to organize a union. This powerful dramatic film focuses on the Polish and African American wo...

    July 12, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • Comme des Lions “Like lions” Lets Fight Like Lions (115 min.) 2016

    Free | Director: Françoise Davisse | This documentary film traces the struggle of workers of the PSA plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a poor suburb of Paris, against management’s threat to close the plant. The title comes from the slogan of the strikers, “Let’s fight like lions!” The conflict is ...

    July 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at Berkeley City College Auditorium
  • Woody Guthrie’s Birthday & Homestead Strike : The River Ran Red (58 min.) 2012

    Free | by Steffi domike & Nicole fauteux (The River Ran Red) and Jimmy Kelly (music) | Join labor musician Jimmy Kelly in commemorating the life and songs of Woody Guthrie and his birthday. Guthrie, a people and worker’s musician, traveled coast-to-coast singing about striking workers and people i...

    July 13, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall


  • Building Bridges, Not Walls

    Free | Art and Poetry Exhibit “Building Bridges, Not Walls” acknowledges the contributions of the multicultural population of the Bay Area and its role in creating world-renown infrastructure. This exhibit features Bay Area artists and poets whose work celebrates these contributions. Three theme...

    July 14, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at Canessa Gallery
  • Woody Guthrie’s Birthday & Homestead Strike : The River Ran Red (58 min.) 2012

    Free | by Steffi domike & Nicole fauteux (The River Ran Red) and Jimmy Kelly (music) | Join labor musician Jimmy Kelly in commemorating the life and songs of Woody Guthrie and his birthday. Guthrie, a people and worker’s musician, traveled coast-to-coast singing about striking workers and people i...

    July 14, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at San Jose Peace & Justice Center


  • Longshore Work, Automation, Technology and the Future of Our Work and Lives

    Free | The drive to automate the docks and the maritime industry is moving forward rapidly and, in some European ports, the transfer of cargo has been automated forcing thousands of longshore workers out of the industry.

    July 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at ILWU Local 10 Henry Schmidt Room
  • Woody Guthrie’s Birthday & Homestead Strike : The River Ran Red (58 min.) 2012

    Free | by Steffi domike & Nicole fauteux (The River Ran Red) and Jimmy Kelly (music) | Join labor musician Jimmy Kelly in commemorating the life and songs of Woody Guthrie and his birthday. Guthrie, a people and worker’s musician, traveled coast-to-coast singing about striking workers and people i...

    July 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am at Santa Cruz Public Library
  • SF Waterfront Labor History Walk 1835-1934

    Free | with Lawrence Shoup and Peter O’Driscoll | There are many stories about labor struggles in San Francisco. The walk will focus on the maritime industry from 1835 until the burning of the blue book in 1934. Also, labor historian Larry Shoup will discuss the history of the 1901 transportation ...

    July 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am at 75 Folsom St.
  • Not Our Brothers And Sisters !! Against Deportations And Racism

    Free | with The Revolutionary Poets Brigade & The Juana Briones Cultural Committee | Capitalism uses racist attacks on African-Americans and threats of deportation on Latinos and Muslims to divide the working-class revolution in this country. The Revolutionary Poets Brigade and the Juana Briones Cul...

    July 15, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Beat Museum


  • Coit Tower Mural Walk

    Free | with Peter O’Driscoll and Harvey Smith | In the past few years there has been a growing community effort to defend the Coit Tower murals from leaking water and to stop plans for privatization of the site. This led to the critical renovation of the murals on their 80th anniversary. They were...

    July 16, 2017 @ 9:45 am at Coit Tower
  • San Bruno Mountain Wilderness Walk

    Free | with David Schooley | Labor unionists and environmentalists both confront the same commercial interests. In 1968, David Schooley chained himself to a bulldozer at the foot of the San Bruno Mountain. The activism of David and many other community members were crucial in protecting much of the ...

    July 16, 2017 @ 10:00 am at San Bruno Mountain Watch Office
  • Play reading: Painting Coit Tower

    Free | with Jon Golinger, founder of Protect Coit Tower | “What do powerful men fear most? Honest questions from free minds. Brush fresh paint on a blank slate – who knows what you may find?” So says artist Bernard Zakheim in a scene from “Painting Coit Tower,” a new play that tells the am...

    July 16, 2017 @ 2:00 pm at Canessa Gallery
  • The Origins of the US Military in the Indian Wars

    Free | by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz | Professor Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz in this talk will look at the history of the U.S. military in expanding U.S. imperial interests and establishing a state based on genocide and slavery.

    July 16, 2017 @ 3:00 pm at 518 Valencia
  • Building Bridges and Labor Maritime History Boat Tour

    Adult / $45, children 6 to 12 / $25, under 6 / free | Join the best labor maritime trip in the world. Learn about the great labor history of the Bay Area, from the 1934 Maritime Strike, which help shape the charactor of San Francisco to the effort to save the EPA to ensure the Bay stay clean.

    July 16, 2017 @ 5:45 pm - 9:00 pm at Pier 41


  • The Destruction of City College of San Francisco

    Free | Public education has been under attack for many years. The forms of attack include inadequate funding, privatization, corporatization, and hostility towards teacher and staff unions. Many students and public school employees have been harmed. One college that has been relentlessly assaulted i...

    July 17, 2017 @ 6:30 pm at Bernal Public Library


  • Film: I, Daniel Blake (96 min.) 2017, UK

    Free | Director: Ken Loach, Screenwriter: Paul Laverty | I, Daniel Blake by Director Ken Loach and writer Paul Leverty is an important film on the destruction of the lives of workers and their families in the “welfare system”. Blake is a carpenter who has a heart attack and is then forced to go ...

    July 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • SF Living Wage Coalition 7th Annual Awards Dinner

    $40 (at door: $50) | Seventh Annual San Francisco Living Wage Coalition’s Awards Dinner with cultural and musical performances. Labor Woman of the Year Award - Lita Blanc, President of United Educators of San Francisco. Labor Man of the Year Award - Michael Theriault, Secretary-Treasurer of the Sa...

    July 21, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at SEIU 1021 Hall
  • Film: Island of Shadows : (98 min.) 2016, S. Korea

    Free | Director: Jeong-keun Kim | “Island of Shadows” shows the history of Korean Hanjin shipyard workers to defend their health and safety building a union. They built one of the most industrialized countries in the world yet now face the destruction of their lives because of company unions and...

    July 21, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church


  • WPA Berkeley Walk

    Free | with Harvey Smith | This walk will explore the “New Deal nexus” in Berkeley that includes Berkeley High School, the Community Theater, Civic Center Park, Post Office art, the old UC Press Building (now being repurposed as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), and the old Farm...

    July 22, 2017 @ 10:00 am at Main Berkeley Post Office
  • Charters, Privatization & the Defense of Public Education

    $10 - No one turned away due to lack of funds | The growth of charter schools and privatization of public education in California and throughout the US is a cancer threatening students, teachers and staff at all public schools. This education/action conference will look at what charters are and how ...

    July 22, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm at Richmond High School Auditorium
  • Tom Mooney and Preparedness Day Bombing Walk

    Free | with Gifford Hartman and David Duckworth | During this walking tour, we visit several sites, which were integral to the unfolding of events following a bomb explosion on Steuart Street at Market Street on July 22, 1916. With fervor building to engage the United States in the war in Europe, bu...

    July 22, 2017 @ 10:00 am at One Market St.


  • The history of the Alibi Clock in Vallejo and the K-R-C case of 1937

    Free | by Joel Schor | Legal cases against labor have been fueled by hysteria over war abroad and radicalism at home, from Tom Mooney, charged with setting off a bomb during the Preparedness Day Parade (1916), to charges against Marine Fireman’s Union members Earl King, Charles Ramsay and Frank Co...

    July 23, 2017 @ 1:30 pm at John F. Kennedy Library Joseph Room
  • From Killer Drones to Gentrification: The Struggle In Germany and Internationalism

    Free | by Elsa Rassbach and Harald Gindra | Longtime Berlin activists Elsa Rassbach and Harald Gindra will discuss from personal experience some of the key peace and justice campaigns in Germany today and will explore together with participants what can be learned for current struggles in the US.

    July 23, 2017 @ 5:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall
  • Film: Watsonville On Strike (65 min.) 1989

    Free | Director: Jon Silver, with Jon Silver & Frank Barnacke | In September 1985, 1,500 Teamster-organized, mostly immigrant women cannery workers walked out on the two largest frozen food companies in the United States — Watsonville Canning and Richard A. Shaw Frozen Foods in Watsonville, Califo...

    July 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • The River Ran Red : (58 min.) 2012 / And Report on Labor in the Schools

    Free | Director: Steffi Domike and Nicole Fauteux, and Labor in the Schools | The violence that erupted at Carnegie Steel’s giant Homestead mill near Pittsburgh on July 6, 1892, caused a congressional investigation and trials for treason, motivated a nearly successful assassination attempt on Fric...

    July 24, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at Plumbers Hall


  • Film: Where Are You Buddy? (25 min.) 2017, Turkey

    Free | Director: Kazim Kizil | With discussion - The Fight to Defend Academics and Journalists in Turkey: The growth of child labor in Turkey and around the world is exploding. The U.S. invasion of Iraq and Libya, the war in Syria, and now the U.S. supported bombing of Yemen, are creating millions o...

    July 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at 518 Valencia


  • Film: Bridging Urban America (87 min.) 2016

    Free | Director: Basia Myszynski and Leonard Myszynski | This biography celebrates Ralph Modjeski, the chief engineer for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Modjeski designed bridges that had significant impact on urban development and commerce. The film is a tribute to innovative engineering and...

    July 26, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at SF Main Library – Koret Auditorium
  • What California Labor History Tells Us About Building the Resistance to Trump

    Free | by Fred B. Glass | At a moment when American democracy is threatened as never before, progressives need models for building an effective resistance. In California, many examples of strategy and tactics live in the hidden history of working people and their struggles for social justice.

    July 26, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Green Arcade Bookstore
  • LaborFest Comedy Night

    Hosted by Danny Cruzz | LaborFest 2017 brings a night of comedy to all working class people to laugh and enjoy a night of relaxation. As labor is forefront for us all, we need to unwind and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

    July 26, 2017 @ 8:00 pm at San Jose Improv


  • All Of Us Or None

    Free | An Evening of Poetry in Resistance to The Trumpoline Regime and The Corporate Horse It Rode In On!!

    July 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library
  • The Performance of Public Speaking by The SAG-AFTRA San Francisco

    Free | Join us for a presentation on how to engage audience and the media. SAG-AFTRA members will offer insight into the art of public speaking from the perspective of a performer and a broadcaster.

    July 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at 518 Valencia
  • California in the Progressive Era

    Free | with history lecturer John Holmes, SFSU Professor Bill Issel and moderated by SFSU Professor Bob Cherney | One of the most tumultuous periods in San Francisco labor and working class history was the formation of the Union Labor Party (ULP) and the role of the Socialist Party in the early 20th...

    July 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall
  • Song of The Stubborn One Thousand: The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985 – 87

    Free | Book reading by Peter Shapiro | On September 9, 1985, one thousand mainly Mexican women workers in Watsonville, California, the “frozen food capital of the world,” were forced out on strike in an attempt by Watsonville Canning’s owner, Mort Console, to break their union. They returned t...

    July 27, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at Green Arcade Bookstore


  • Film: Care (60 min.) 2016 / Panel of Homecare and Disabled Care Workers

    Free | Director: Deirdre Fishel & The Defense of Our Elderly and Panel of Homecare and Disabled Care Workers | A panel discussion follows after the film: Brett Miller, SEIU 1021; Brad Wiedmaier, SEIU Local 2015 California long term care; moderated by David Duckworth SEIU 1021.

    July 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at 518 Valencia


  • Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk

    Free | with Gifford Hartman of the Flying Picket Historical Society | This year is the 70th anniversary of the Oakland General Strike. This walk will revisit the sites of Oakland’s “Work Holiday” that began spontaneously with rank-and-file solidarity with the striking - mostly women - retail c...

    July 29, 2017 @ 12:00 pm at Latham Square
  • Paul Robeson: A Portrait in Story & Song

    Donation | by The Rockin’ Solidarity Labor Chorus | The Rockin’ Solidarity Labor Chorus presents a musical biography of Paul Robeson, the great African American artist, athlete, and activist.

    July 29, 2017 @ 7:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall


  • Walk: Labor Politics and Architecture of San Francisco

    Free | with Brad Wiedmaier, SEIU 2015 member & architectural historian | San Francisco has a rich political and labor history that is also connected to its buildings. In this history-by-the-buildings walk, Brad Wiedmaier will outline artifacts and events, and their connections to San Francisco’s p...

    July 30, 2017 @ 10:00 am at ILWU Sculpture
  • The Internet, Technology, The Gig Economy and the Future of Labor

    Free | The development of technology, including artificial intelligence, automation and platforms like UBER, Lyft, and Airbnb, are making trillions for the tech and media companies that now dominate the world. Growing marginalization of labor and complete deregulation now means that hundreds of thou...

    July 30, 2017 @ 10:00 am at ILWU Local 34 Hall
  • Film: Now Is The Time: Healthcare for Everybody (71 min.) 2016

    Free | Director: Terry sterenberg & Laurie Simons | This is a documentary film about our current healthcare system, why it doesn't work, and what you can do about it. The filmmakers interview doctors and nurses, patients, economists and politicians to see what they think about our current healthcare...

    July 30, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at SF Main Library – Koret Auditorium
  • Film: Iron Moon (84 min.) 2015, China / Play On (83 min.) 2017, S.Korea

    Free | Director: Xiaoyu Qin and Feiyue Wu (Iron Moon), Director: Gyuri Byun (Play On) | The new film from China Iron Moon is a powerful artistic view of the massive industrialization of China through the eyes and words of the workers who have made the new China. At Foxconn, which has over 200,000 wo...

    July 30, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall
  • LaborFest Writers

    Free | LaborFest Writers explore the issues that we face today within our families, communities and government, whether it’s housing, jobs, ageism, race and sex discrimination, immigration or homelessness. Their work gives voice to what has gone before and why we must continue to fight for our rig...

    July 30, 2017 @ 6:00 pm at Green Arcade Bookstore


  • Stop the War on Workers Concert

    Donation $5-20 sliding scale, free to strikers and locked-out workers, No one will be turned away due to cost | by Ann Feeney and Roy Zimmerman | LaborFest closes its annual festival with terrific artists Ann Feeney and Roy Zimmerman.

    July 31, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at ILWU Local 34 Hall