Announcement and list of events in Minneapolis for 80th Anniversary commemoration of 1934 Teamsters strike.
This month marks the 80th Anniversary of a series of important strikes in American history. The West Coast waterfront strike, the Toledo Auto-Lite strike and, closer to home, the Minneapolis trucker’s strike. All 3 of them were happening simultaneously in late Spring and Summer of 1934. The victories these strikes ended in (whether full or partial), set important precedents for industrial unionism, mass picketing, unemployed involvement, radicals being the decisive factor and breaking anti-union vigilante alliances.
Here in the Twin Cities, Remember ’34, a group created to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Minneapolis strike, is holding a series of events this weekend.
Thursday, July 17
“Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934″ book event, 6:30–9PM, Minneapolis Central Library, 2nd floor, Doty Board Room
In commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the 1934 truckers’ strikes, Canadian labor historian Bryan Palmer will talk about his book “Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strikes of 1934.” The strikes had state-wide significance and galvanized the labor movement in Minnesota.
Friday, July 18
Labor Movie Night, 6:00PM @ Bell Museum Auditorium
In 1934, a number of citywide and industry wide strikes changed the face of labor in this country. We’ll commemorate the 80th anniversary by sharing documentary footage of the most significant strikes of that year: West Coast Longshore Workers; Toledo Autolite Workers; Minneapolis Truckers; and Southern Textile Workers. This special screening is part of the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the strike that made Minneapolis a town. Special guest speakers include Joe Burns, author of Reviving the Strike and Strike Back, and Bryan Palmer, author of Revolutionary Teamster. Screening will be at the Bell Museum Auditorium on the U of M Mpls. Campus, corner of University Ave. & 17th Ave SE.
Saturday, July 19
Teamsters march, 3PM, starting at Star Tribune printing plant
The public is welcome to join Teamsters Local 120 for a march to the “Bloody Friday” site from a staging area near the Star Tribune printing plant at 800 North 1st St., Minneapolis. Teamsters Local 120 is the successor local to Teamsters Local 574, which waged the historic 1934 strike. Earlier in the afternoon July 19, Teamsters Local 120 will host a rally and picnic for its members at Boom Island Park. For more information, contact Paul Slattery at 651-343-1714.
One Day in July: a Street Festival for the Working Class, 4PM-10PM, 3rd St & 7th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN
Featuring: I Self Devine, Tall Paul, MaLLy, Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings, Mad Dogs of Glory, Shannon Murray, The Blowout, Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue Aztec Dance, The Little Thunderbirds Drum and Dance Troupe and more.
For the 80th anniversary of the events that “Made Minneapolis a Union Town” we are once again holding a street festival to commemorate the 1934 Teamsters strike and to remember and honor the victims of the “Bloody Friday” shootings.
Join us for this festival of Music, Art, Performance, Historical Displays, Food, and Speeches. We are not only commemorating the struggles of the past, but also pointing to the struggles of today and the future.
We will also be showcasing the design for a planned permanent historical marker on the site that we hope to place later this year.
Sunday, July 20
80th Anniversary Teamsters’ Strike Bike Tour, 10:30am, Peavey Plaza, Nicollet Mall and 11th Street
Bring your bike and join us in celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike by touring the important sites of the historic struggle and learning of their significance. The tour will terminate at the 80th Anniversary Picnic, where bikers can join the festivities that will include music, speakers, and food.
Depart at 10:30am from Peavey Plaza
Tour Historical Sites (Mostly Downtown)
Arrive at Minnehaha Park for Picnic celebration
80th Anniversary Picnic – Minnehaha Park, 12PM, 4655 46th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
Descendants of participants in the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strikes will be honored at a picnic planned Sunday, July 20, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis (follow Godfrey Parkway north from Minnehaha Falls, turn right into Wabun Picnic Area). The event will feature brief speeches, a free picnic lunch, children’s games, and music by folksinger Larry Long and others
To contact the planners of the July 19 street festival and July 20 picnic, e-mail remember1934mpls[at]gmail.com or phone 612-802-1482. A facebook page, www.facebook.com/remember1934, also provides updates and posts featuring “this week in strike history.”
Originally posted: July 16, 2014 at The Organizer
Recent article from local
Recent article from local indpendent media on strike (by Peter Rachleff)
AFL-CIO media on the events, includes a short video made about the strike
One of a couple different related posters people have made for the Anniversary
Went to the 'One Day in July'
Went to the 'One Day in July' event yesterday. Got there pretty early before most of everything started, because I had to help bring a helium tank for baloons at the IWW table. A little after I got there Teamsters Local 120 (formerly Local 574 during the '34 strike and Local 544 in the years after), had a march from their picnic down to the spot where Henry Ness was killed by police on Bloody Friday.
They had the big Teamsters truck, which I hadn't seen since my days in Madison, leading the march.
With bagpipes sounding off, and American flags waving, they placed a wreath right at the spot Ness was killed at.
It was sort of surreal.
There were also chalklines of where Ness fell, that I hadn't noticed until I was stepping on them, which I felt embarrassed about and made sure to not step on them again.
Unfortunatly, right after the wreath ceremony, almost all the Teamsters got on some school buses and left. I don't think they had much to do with the Remember '34 events.
There was a bunch of tables, of course, the main one for the event had a bunch of posters of the image in the original post, plus the one with the native strikers. They looked like they were screenprinting t-shirts right on the spot for the event.
They had a bunch of cool buttons, a couple of which I got.
Leaning on the buildings surrounding the closed off streets, were various banners and artwork for the event.
There were a bunch of placards taped to the walls with quotes from strikers, their newspapers, etc from the time, along with pictures. I'll just link my photo album from my Facebook account because there's too many to post here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.674052866014854.1073741828.100002304397901&type=1&l=2e9686cf23
The whole event took place right on the block where the police opened fire on strikers intercepting a scab truck.
There was a bunch of music, as well. Unfortunately, my phone ended up dying so I didn't get any pictures. In between musical acts, a mixture of descendants of strikers and people involved in working class struggle today spoke. I think probably my favorite part was when two older Wobblys who are siblings talked about their grandpa and great-uncles, the Dunne Brothers. I always knew they were related to some key strikers, but I had no idea it was the Dunnes, who were not only former Wobs, but were the key Trotskyist CLA leaders in Local 574 during the strike. Later, Ray got slammed with the Smith Act during WW2. Much of the Trotskyist faction in the Minneapolis Teamsters imprisoned and their local was purged. Back to the brother and sister IWWers who spoke, one of them has daughters who are active in dual card education organizing here and the other has a son who played Joe Hill in a recent play that was written by someone who was part of the Starbucks Workers Union at the Mall of America in the early 2000s. So here is, in one family, a lineage that goes from some of early IWW Free Speech Fights of 1907 to 2014 Food & Retail and dual card IWW campaigns. This is fascinating to me.