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.”