Celebrating Seattle's Striking History - Feb 7
Saturday, February 7:
Celebrating Seattle's Striking History: 90th Anniversary of the 1919 Seattle General
Location: Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave, downtown Seattle
Time: Doors at 12:30pm, Program 1pm - 5pm
Join the Bridges Center as we commemorate the 90th anniversary of Seattle's General Strike. Presentations and performances will revisit the event, followed by discussions of the strike's legacy for today.
HISTORICAL LEGACIES OF THE I.W.W. AND WORKERS CONTROL
Howard Kimeldorf (Sociology, University of Michigan)
THE LOST HISTORY OF THE SEATTLE/SEIATEL COMMUNE
Robert Cherny (History, San Francisco State)
SEATTLE 1919: A MUSICAL HISTORY
Seattle Labor Chorus with Rob Rosenthal
The Anti-Fascist Marching Band
Jess Grant, songs to provoke and amuse
DISCUSSION: IMMIGRANT RIGHTS, ORGANIZING AND THE FUTURE
Facilitated by Rosalinda Guillen, Community to Community Development
Sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies (University of Washington),
Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, the Center for the Study of the Pacific
Northwest, Amalgamated Transit Union 587, and the ML King County Labor Council.
For more information, call (206) 543-7946, e-mail email@example.com, or visit
Ninety years ago Seattle shut down. Shipyard workers went on strike for higher wages and more than 100 other unions joined the strike in sympathy. Stores closed.
Streetcars and taxis stop running. Wealthy families fled the city. President Woodrow Wilson ordered troops from Fort Lewis to Seattle to, if necessary, maintain order.
Feb. 6, 1919 marked the beginning of what became known as the Seattle General
Strike, an event that made headlines around the world and ignited an era of labor unrest following World War I.
To commemorate the event, union members, scholars, students, community organizers and musicians will come together at Seattle's Labor Temple on Feb. 7 to mark the 90th anniversary of the Seattle General Strike. Presentations and performances will revisit the event, followed by discussions of the strike's legacy. The program will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at 2800 First Ave, Suite 140. It is being sponsored by the University of Washington's Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, the UW's Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 and the ML King County Labor Council.
The Bridges center also has declared 2009 as Washington's Labor Heritage Year because it marks important anniversaries of five significant labor actions and protests. In addition to the Seattle General Strike, this year is the 100th anniversary of the Spokane free speech fight involving the Industrial Workers of the World; the 90th anniversary of the Centralia Massacre; the 75th anniversary of the West Coast longshoreman's strike; and the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle.
"The Seattle General Strike helped define Seattle and western Washington," said
James Gregory, a UW history professor and chair of the Bridges center. "Seattle is built on layers and layers of history and the general strike is one of the key events. 1919 lives on today in the strength of our labor movement and in our culture of political activism."
The general strike was triggered when workers in Seattle's shipyards demanded pay increases following a federal government wage freeze during the First World War. The strike lasted six days and, unlike many others that followed across the county, was non-violent.
The Feb. 7 program will include presentations by labor scholars Howard Kimeldorf of the University of Michigan and Robert Cherny of San Francisco State University and musical performances by the Seattle Labor Chorus and Rob Rosenthal doing selections from Seattle 1919, a musical account of the strike. The Anti-Fascist Marching Band and Jess Grant also will perform.
In addition to the declaration of Washington's Labor Heritage Year, the Bridges center, the UW libraries, and unions throughout the state, have joined together to create a Washington labor archives as part of the UW Special Collections Library. Gregory said the labor community is supporting the campaign to raise $100,000 a year over the next three to five years for the archives and an archivist to operate it.
For more information, contact Gregory at 206-543-7792 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Andrew Hedden, Bridges Center program coordinator, at 206-543-7946 or
More information about the Seattle General Strike can be found on the Web at:
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