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Forum / Reading Events


July 1 (Saturday) 1:00 PM (Free) National Japanese American Historical Society - 1684 Post St., SF
Internment, Japanese Americans, Labor and The Lessons for Today
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.
Today the Trump administration is justifying this action by arguing that it would be acceptable today for Muslims and other select groups be incarcerated again.This panel will look at the struggle against the internment and lessons for today with California historian
Charles Wollenberg, who is currently completing a book about civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins. During the 1940s, Collins bucked prejudice and war hysteria to take cases related to Japanese American evacuation and internment. Among others, Collins defended Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American citizen who refused to report for the camps and was imprisoned. The high profile Korematsu case reached the Supreme Court. Wollenberg’s talk is entitled “Wayne Collins: Rebel with a Cause.” In it, Wollenberg will discuss Collins’ legal defense of Nikkei (second generation) rights and liberties, including the Korematsu case.
Laura Atkins, who is co-author with Stan Yogi of “Fred Korematsu Speaks,” will also discuss this important book for young people about the life of Fred Korematsu. Civil Rights Activist Grace Shimizu is Director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project and the Campaign for Justice: Redress Now for Japanese Latin American Internees. She will speak about the ongoing fight for the Peruvian Japanese who were kidnapped from Peru by the FBI and brought to the United States to be used to trade for US prisoners of war. Panel member ILWU historian Harvey Schwartz has written about the role of the ILWU in fighting discrimination after the war against Japanese Americans. Larry Yamamoto, Bay Area artist, camp survivor, and retired ILWU longshore worker, will serve as commentator for the event.Peter Yamamoto of the National Japanese American Historical Society will chair the program.

July 6 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) Green Arcade Bookstore - 1680 Market St., SF
Refinery Town - Book Reading
by: Steve Early
Home to one of the largest oil refineries in the state, Richmond, California, was once a typical company town bankrolled by Chevron. This largely nonwhite, working-class city of a hundred thousand had experienced the by-products of decades’ worth of poverty, substandard housing, and poorly funded public education. It had one of the highest homicide rates, per capita, in the country and a jobless rate often twice the national average.
But in 2012, when veteran labor reporter Steve Early moved from New England to Richmond, he witnessed a surprising transformation. In Refinery Town, Early chronicles the ten years of successful community organizing in Richmond that raised the minimum wage, defeated a casino development project, created a municipal ID to aid undocumented workers, reduced crime through “community policing,” challenged home foreclosures, and took on big oil giant, Chevron. This compelling story of a city remade provides a model for citizens engaged in local politics and community building anywhere.
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. He lives in Richmond, CA.

July 8 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) Green Arcade Bookstore - 1680 Market St., SF
San Francisco General Strike: Principles, Philosophies, and Applicability

Presentation 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 other significant strikes are examined and contrasted, principles and philosophies are drawn out, and analysis of effects assessed. Within a rich matrix of historical precedent, the question is raised as to the applicability of the general strike in today’s socio-economic world.

July 9 (Sunday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park
Labor, War in Asia and the Lessons of the Comfort Women
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.
The Korean trade unions are against further militarization and the San Francisco Labor Council also has opposed war moves. The forum will also discuss the lessons of the “Comfort Women” and why the international effort for memorials including one in San Francisco is relevant to these issues.
Panelists: Tadashi Seto, International Solidarity Committee Doro-Chiba; Grace Shimuzu, Director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project and the Campaign for Justice; Rodger Scott, AFT 2121 Executive Board CCSF and Delegate to SF Labor Council; Tomomi Kinukawa, Comfort Women Coalition For Justice CWCFJ  and Lecturer at SFSU; Steve Zeltzer, CWA 39521 Pacific Media Workers Guild Human Rights Chair, KPFA WorkWeek Radio
Sponsored by Campaign for Justice, KPFA WorkWeek Radio

July 11 (Tuesday) 10:00 AM (Free) San Francisco Labor Council Office - 1188 Franklin St., #203, SF
Bread & Roses Labor History Story Telling with Retired Union Members
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 Francisco Labor Council. Retirees come from a broad range of unions with members and workers in San Francisco. FORUM supports alliances between working people and retired people to preserve and improve health care, social security and pension benefits.
Refreshments will be served.

July 11 (Tuesday) 7:30 PM (Check below) Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium - 460 arguello Bvd., SF
Victor Arnautoff: San Francisco's Master Muralist of The 1930s
(Fee: Free to current SF Museum & Historical Society members. Admission for non-members is $10 per person or $5 for seniors, students)
Presentation by
Robert Cherny
Between 1931 and 1942, Victor Arnautoff was arguably San Francisco’s leading artist of pubic murals. His murals may still be seen today at the former Palo Alto Health Clinic, Coit Tower, the former Protestant chapel at the Presidio of San Francisco, George Washington High School, the San Francisco Art Institute, and at three post offices including South San Francisco. From his service as a cavalry officer during the Russian Civil War, his politics moved left, joining the Communist Party in 1938. This lecture will survey Arnautoff’s career, from his birth in Russia in 1896 to his death in the Soviet Union in 1979, focusing on his art and politics during his years in San Francisco from 1931 to 1963.

July 12 (Wednesday) 5:00 PM (Free) Chinese Historical Society of America - 965 Clay St. near Powell, SF
The Golden Spike: Chinese and Irish Labor versus The Big Four
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 Coast to West across the Pacific to the China Trade.
This labor story will be told by descendant
Paulette Liang and Stanford professor Hilton Obenzinger with analysis by CCSF labor studies professor Bill Shields and global supply chain researcher Gifford Hartman. Music will be performed by folklorist Charlie Chin and Loni Ding’s 25-min. video The Canton Army in the High Sierras will be screened.
For more information:

July 15 (Saturday) 10:00 - 4:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 10 - Henry Schmidt Room - 400 North Point St., SF
Longshore Work, Automation, Technology and the Future of Our Work and Lives - Conference
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.
The capitalists are also already working on designing automated ships with almost no crews to cut their labor costs and increase their profits.
This educational conference will look at the history of containerization in the past and what longshore workers face today and in the future to defend labor union and worker rights.
Initial Speakers:
Bob Carnegie: Maritime Union of Australia Queensland Branch Secretary
Raquel Varela: Instituto de História Contemporânea
Honorary Fellow IISH (Amsterdam), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Study Group on Labor and Social Conflicts
Ken Riley, President of Charleston ILA 1422 and IDC North American Representative
Sponsored by, ILWU Local 10

July 15 (Saturday) 7:00 PM (Free) Beat Museum - 540 Broadway St near Columbus, SF
Against Deportations and Racism
- Poetry reading
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 Cultural Committee in this neo-fascist Trump period will soundly refuse those betrayals.
Participating poets:
Jorge Argueta, Mahnaz Badihian, Lisbit Bailey, Judith Ayn Bernhard, Charles Curtis Blackwell, Boadiba, Kristina Brown, James Cagney, Neeli Cherkovski, Pauline Craig, John Curl, Diego De Leo, Sharon Doubiago, Aja Couchois Duncan, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Agneta Falk, Mauro Fortissimo, Q.R. Hand, Christina Herrera, Francisco Herrera, Martin Hickel, Jack Hirschman, Genny Lim, Rosemary Manno, Sarah Menefee, Jorge Molina, William Moreland, Barbara Paschke, Dorothy (Dottie) Payne, Gregory Pond, Tony Robles, Maria Medina Serafin, David Volpendesta

July 16 (Sunday) 3:00 PM (Free) 518 Valencia - near 16th St., SF
The Origins of the US Military in the Indian Wars - A Presentation
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.
The military built by the colonies that coalesced into the independent U.S. military developed out of continual genocidal wars against Native nations in taking the continent during the first 100 years. President Garfield in the Compromise of 1877 moved troops from the South, to stop the St. Louis Commune, which was established to support the national strike of railroad workers against wage cuts.
The military, with 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police, killed at least eighteen people in St. Louis. The commune included not only railroad workers and other unionists but also African Americans and Native Americans. The Missouri senators who called for the military were themselves shareholders in the railroads that were being struck.
Sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom

July 17 (Monday) 6:30 PM (Free) Bernal Public Library - 500 Cortland Ave. at Andover St., SF
The Destruction of City College of San Francisco
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 is City College of San Francisco (CCSF). It is a very popular public institution as reflected in the fact that over 80% of voters approved a parcel tax to help fund CCSF in the November 2016 election.
In 2008, more than 100,000 students were enrolled in classes at CCSF. Today, its enrollment is less than 60,000 and the number of its scheduled classes has been significantly reduced.
Why has there been an assault on this working class public institution? Who is behind it? What can be done to restore CCSF?
This panel will discuss and provide answers to these questions with help from the audience.
Rick Baum, AFT 2121 Lecturer
Medeline Mueller, CCSF Music Department Chair
Sponsored by United Public Workers For Action

July 22 (Saturday) 10:00 AM ($10 - No one turned away due to lack of funds) Richmond High School Auditorium - 1250 23rd St., Richmond, CA
Charters, Privatization & the Defense of Public Education
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 they are siphoning off billions dollars from public taxes for profiteers. It will also examine how religious tax-funded charter schools like the Gulen Magnolia chain and storefront “online schools” like Escondido Charter High are growing in California and throughout the country. We will hear from parents groups and teachers who are fighting against retaliation and discrimination. This is a life-and-death struggle to protect public education and we will learn about it and how to defend our schools.
SPEAKERS: Sharon Higgins, expert on Gulen Magnolia Charter Schools; Dr. Frank Adamson, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Carlos Taboada, Retired UTR teacher; Kristyn Jones, UTR Teacher; Debra McCaffrey, parent activist; Michael Dominguez, UTLA retired teacher; Eileen Brown, Stand With Ross Valley Schools; Steve Johnson, teacher Labor Rising; Robert Ovetz, adjunct professor, Todd Groves, former WCCSB member.
Sponsored by Defend Public Education Now
For more information, call:(510) 506-4493, (510) 439-8073

July 23 (Sunday) 1:30 PM (Free) John F. Kennedy Library Joseph Room - 505 Santa Clara St., Vallejo
The History of the Alibi Clock in Vallejo and the K-R-C Case of 1937
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 Conner, accused of murder aboard a ship docked in Alameda in 1937.
California politicians Culbert Olson and Earl Warren presided as governor of the state during these times. Their vacillating positions in relation to fate of the accused reflect both their own ambitions and the political climate of hysteria. The Tenney Hearings in California and the House Un-American Activities Committee under Senator McCarthy were to follow the outcome of these cases into the Second World War and its aftermath.

July 26 (Wednesday) 7:00 PM (Free) Green arcade Bookstore -1680 Market St. at Gough, SF
What California Labor History Tells Us About Building the Resistance to Trump
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.
This talk will present and interpret several iconic events that shaped the way working people live in California today, and helped create the difference between the progressive outcome of the latest election (taxing the rich to fund schools, repealing anti-immigrant laws on the books, a resounding vote against Trump) compared with the rest of the country.
Fred Glass wrote and directed Golden Lands, Working Hands, a video series (1999) on history of the California labor movement. Glass wrote From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement (2016) and wrote and directed a short animated cartoon, Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale (2012)

July 27 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library - 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
All of Us or None: An Evening of Poetry in Resistance to The Trumpoline Regime and The Corporate Horse It Rode In On!! - Open Mike
Working people are under attack on the job, in their homes and on the streets. The struggle to survive in the Bay Area with gentrification, gig jobs and the daily fears and stresses of our lives will be heard at this open mike. It is time for working people to speak up with their words and songs and rally a collective response to our battle to build a new world.

July 27 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park
California in the Progressive Era: The Union Labor Party and the Socialist Party in the San Francisco Bay Area
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 century.
San Francisco was the first major city in the United States to have a labor mayor but later the mayor and the board of supervisors were removed in a financial scandal pushed and funded by major San Francisco capitalists who were angry that organized labor had political control of the city.
This panel will look at this history including the 1907 Carmen’s strike that cost the lives of 33 people. The long strike was broken when the company brought in armed company thugs who shot strikers and their supporters and injured many because of their inability to run the cars. On the 110th anniversary of this strike this panel will examine the lessons for today.

July 27 (Thursday) 7:00 PM (Free) Green Arcade Bookstore - 1680 Market St. at Gough, SF
Song of The Stubborn One Thousand
The Watsonville Canning Strike, 1985 – 87
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 to work eighteen months later. Not one had crossed the picket line. A moribund local union had been revitalized, and Watsonville’s Latino majority emerged as a major force in local politics.
At a time when organized labor was in headlong retreat, the Watsonville Canning strike was a dramatic show of the power of women workers, whose struggle became a rallying point for the Chicano movement.
Apart from its sheer drama, the strikers’ story illuminates the challenges facing a group of ordinary working people who waged a protracted and ultimately successful struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds.

July 30 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) ILWU Local 34 Hall - 801 2nd St. next to AT&T Ball Park
Educational ACTION Conference-The Internet, Technology, The Gig Economy and the Future of Labor
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 thousands of workers are being forced to travel hundreds of miles to work on temp jobs as independent contractors. This threatens our environment here in the Bay Area and around the world.
This conference will look at how our economy is being transformed in the Bay Area, nationally and globally, and how it is affecting working people, including drivers, tech workers, and workers in other industries.
The new tech world is also allowing companies like Google and Apple, and the U.S. government to know every place you go, every purchase you make, and every word or text you use in communication. We will look at how workers and unions, with the public, can challenge this new reality.
Steven Hill, Journalist on Technology; Ruth Silver Taube, Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center at the Santa Clara University School of Law; Dr. Larry Rose, Former Medical Director Cal-OSHA; Mehmet Bayran, LaborNet; Edward Escobar, The Alliance For Independent Workers; Todd Davies, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information, Lisa Milos, CWA UPTE UCSF Medical Interpreter; Kemly Camacho Jiminez, Cooperative Sulá Batsú, University of Costa Rica
Sponsored by,

July 30 (Sunday) 6:00 PM (Free) Green Arcade Bookstore - 1680 Market St. at Gough, SF
LaborFest Writers
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 rights. Come hear Margaret Cooley, Keith Cooley, Richard Chen, Susan Ford, Phyllis Holliday, Jerry Path, Alice Rogoff and Nellie Wong as they share their memoir, storytelling, oral history, poetry, and song.