Tours & Walks
July 1 (Saturday) 12:00 (sliding scale) Meet at 518 valencia St. - near 16th St., SF
Labor History Bike Tour
(sliding scale &15 - $50) benefiting shaping San francisco)
By Chris Carlsson
From the pre-urban history of Indian Slavery to the earliest 8-hour day movement in the U.S., the ebb and flow of class war is traced. SF’s radical working class organizations are shaped in part by racist complicity in genocide and slavery. From the 1870s to the 1940s there are dozens of epic battles between owners and workers, culminating in the 1934 General Strike and its aftermath. This is an entirely different look, during a four-hour bike tour, at San Francisco labor history. For more information: (415) 608-9035
July 8 (Saturday) 2:00 PM (Free) Meet at Fort Point - at the south anchorage o Golden Gate Bridge
Walk - The Building and Labor Struggles at Fort Point
Walk with Matthew Britten (Fort Point Guide)
Fort Point in San Francisco was built by the US military between 1853 and the 1860’s as a seacoast defense site. At the same time, construction was taking place of what was to become Fort Alcatraz. While this construction was moving forward, laborers were under attack. In the midst of civil war in 1863, a telegram from Washington was read to the laborers cutting their pay. After hearing the telegram, the workers walked out at Fort Point and Alcatraz. This was one of the only labor actions during the Civil War in California, and with the shortage of labor construction workers at the time, laborers were able to make major gains in wages and conditions. The issue of housing and pay led to unrest, a work stoppage, and an eventual strike on all defense projects in the Bay.
Participants of the walk will learn about the construction of Fort Point and Alcatraz through the eyes of the workers who did the work.
By car from San Francisco and points south, take Highway 101 north and exit right at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza before getting on bridge. Turn right at end of exit ramp and then left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive. Fort Point is located at the end of Marine Drive.
By car from the north, take Highway 101 across the Golden Gate Bridge. Stay in right toll lane and exit immediately past the bridge toll plaza. Turn right at end of exit ramp and loop under toll plaza. At end of road, turn left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take the first left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive. Fort Point is located at the end of Marine Drive.
By public transit, San Francisco Muni 28 and Presidio buses stop at bridge toll plaza. Follow trail signs northeast of plaza area to Fort Point at base of bluffs.
July 8 (Saturday) 4:00 PM (Free) Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza Tower - Embarcadero at Market, SF
Meet at Harry Bridges Plaza - in front of the Ferry Building, at the south side tower
Walk - San Francisco General Strike
TJoin the walk with Gifford Hartman and others.
Eighty-three years ago at this location, a great battle took place by workers and residents of San Francisco against the police and National Guard.
We will look at the causes of the 1934 General Strike and why it was successful. How was the strike organized and why are the issues from that strike still relevant to working people today? We will also view some of the key historical sites in this important US labor struggle.
July 9 (Sunday) 10:00 AM ($25) Meet in front of Bill Graham Auditorium - 99 Grove, SF Civic Center
WPA Bus Tour
Tour 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 programs. Gray and Harvey will discuss the art, architecture, and social programs that effectively dealt with the period’s economic meltdown in contrast with today’s response.
Some of the locations they will take you to are: Rincon Annex Post Office Murals, Sunshine School, The New Mint and the Old UC Extension, Golden Gate Park Stables and Fly Casting Pools, Beach Chalet Murals.
Please be aware that the tour will take about 5 hours depending on the traffic and the discussions.
Meet in front of Bill Graham Auditorium, between City Hall and the Main Library.
(Please bring your own lunch. There will be some sandwiches available for a small cost.)
Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: (415) 642-8066, and leave your name, number of reservations, and phone number (this is to let you know that we have space for your reservation and can contact you in case of any changes.)
Make reservation, then send check ($25/person) to: LaborFest, P.O. Box 40983, SF, CA 94140
July 9 (Sunday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at 240 2nd St. - Front of the Marine Firemen’s Hall near Howard
Irish Labor History Walk
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 Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco in July 1916, and the successful struggle for their release. The tour will also view the sculpture dedicated to the waterfront strikers of 1934 and other historic markers along the way. The tour will end inside Rincon Center, discussing the historic murals dedicated to the labor movement in San Francisco.
July 15 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at 75 Folsom St. - Entrance of Hills Brothers Coffee Building, SF
San Francisco Waterfront Labor History Walk 1835 - 1934
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 workers strike led by the Teamsters, which the San Francisco police attempted, but failed, to smash. After an over two-month long struggle, the workers emerged victorious, and the Union Labor Party won the election of 1901, taking control of the city. This was the first large city in the United States to have a union labor party in office.
July 16 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) San Bruno Mountain Watch Office - 44 Visitation Ave., Rm 206, Brisbane
San Bruno Mountain Wilderness Walk
Walk with David Schooley
Meet at 10:00 AM at the San Bruno Mountain Watch office
To get there by car, follow Bayshore Boulevard to Brisbane; or take the #292 SamTrans bus.
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 mountain, allowing for the creation of a public park where working people can find tremendous beauty and peace nearby the cities where they live and work.
You’re invited to walk with David on the mountain and learn about the history of this remarkable refuge for endangered butterflies and rare native plants.
To sign up call: 415-467-6631
Or email: email@example.com
July 16 (Sunday) 9:45 AM (Free) Meet at Coit Tower entrance - 1 Telegraph Hill Blvd., SF
Coit Tower Mural Walk
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 being painted during the time of the 1934 general strike in San Francisco. LaborFest will hold its annual guided tour of the murals with Peter O’Driscoll and Harvey Smith. At the time of their installation, an organized effort was made to destroy them because of the leftist themes. The artists and their supporters had to physically defend the site. The murals were successfully defended and we have them today as our heritage. The artists were working under the Civil Works Administration and Public Works of Art program, which was later extended to many buildings and sites throughout the U.S.
July 16 (Sunday) 5:45 PM ($45) Pier 41, left of Pier 39 near outside ticket booth - Fisherman’s Wharf, SF
Building Bridges & Labor Maritime History Boat Tour
5:45 PM Boarding, 6:00 PM Departure
Boat leaves promptly at 6:00 PM
Please arrive 30 minutes before the boarding time.
Tour lasts 3 hours
A complimentary meal will be provided, however, if you are on a special diet, please bring your own food.
(Sorry, we do not take any special orders for food.)
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.
We will hear from labor historians Gray Brechin, Harvey Schwartz, Harvey Smith, Lawrence Shoup and labor photographers like Joseph Blum. We will also hear about ongoing struggles of workers in the Bay Area.
Enjoy labor songs with troubadours and musicians. Come one, come all, and experience the beauty of sailing the San Francisco Bay.
The tour end with the spetacular view of the sunset over the Golden Bridge from the middle of the Bay.
You can’t afford to miss this great maritime tour.
To make your reservation:
By E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call: (415) 642-8066
and leave (1) your name, (2) phone number and (3)number of people in your party. (We prefer e-mail.)
We will contact you to confirm your reservation. Then, you should mail a check ($45/person, children under 6 - free, 6 to 12 $25) to LaborFest, P.O.Box 40983, San Francisco, CA 94140.
We don’t send out tickets, but we will either e-mail or call you back to let you know that we received your check, and as soon as we receive your check, your reservation will be confirmed.
You will get your ticket at the pier before you get on the boat.
We will be gathering to the left of Pier 39, toward Pier 41 (Blue & Gold Fleet).
Please be there at least 30 minutes before departure time in order to go through paper work.
We expect the tickets to be sold out quickly, so please make your reservation early.
Who Built the Golden Gate? New Book Tells Bridge Workers’ Stories - by Peter Cole
Building Bridges and Maritime History Boat Tour - LaborFest 2014 slides - by Mike Melnyk
July 22 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at The Main Berkeley Post Office - at corner of Milvia & Alston
WPA Berkeley Walk
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 Credit Building. The tour will also include the incredible mosaic mural on the UC Berkeley campus and photographs of the California Folk Music Project, Western Museum Laboratory, WPA prints at the Berkeley Public Library, and WPA projects on the UC Berkeley campus.
For more info: 510-684-0414
July 22 (Saturday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at One Market St., SF
Tom Mooney and Preparedness Day Bombing Walk
With Gifford Hartman, 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, businessmen in San Francisco embraced the cause, while labor leaders and the left denounced it. With the bomb killing ten people and wounding forty, no clear culprit was identified. But, two figures from the left, labor organizers and anarchists Tom Mooney and Warren K. Billings, were framed for the murder of the victims and spent many years in prison before being released. On this tour, we learn not only about the war between business and labor and open and closed union shops, but also the divisive issues of American aggression in the Pacific region and against Mexico, crusading and yellow journalism in the city of San Francisco, and the mood of the country regarding World War I.
The tour lasts approximately two hours.
David Duckworth is an art and cultural historian, having lectured widely, including California Institute of Integral Studies, Free University, LaborFest, New York University, Popular Culture/American Culture Association, and Treasure Island Museum.
Gifford Hartman is an adult educator, labor trainer, working class historian, and has been a rank-and-file militant in various industries (some organized by the SEIU and ILWU, and others non-union shops) and presently works in the unorganized precarious education sector.
July 29 (Saturday) 12:00 Noon (Free) Meet at the fountain in Latham Square - Telegraph and Broadway, Oakland
Oakland 1946 General Strike Walk - “We Called It a Work Holiday”
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 clerks at Kahn’s and Hastings department stores whose picket line was being broken by scabs escorted by police.
Within 24 hours, it involved over 100,000 workers and shut down nearly all commerce in the East Bay for 54 hours. In 1946 there were six general strikes across the U.S.; that year set the all-time record year for strikes and work stoppages. The Oakland “Work Holiday” was the last general strike to ever occur in the U.S. This walk and history talk will attempt to keep alive the memory of this tradition of community-wide working class solidarity.
Meet at the fountain in Latham Square, in the intersection where Telegraph and Broadway converge across from the Rotunda Building (Oakland City Center/12th St. BART).
July 30 (Sunday) 10:00 AM (Free) Meet at ILWU Sculpture at Mission and Steuart, SF
Labor Politics and Architecture of San Francisco - Walk
Walk 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 past and present. For more information call (415) 694-3605.