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).