'34 strike commemoration event @ Arise
From: Raphi Rechitsky (raphirechgmail.com)
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 15:39:09 -0700 (PDT)
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Arise Books
2441 Lyndale Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55404
www.arisebookstore.org
Phone– 612-817-7018
raphirech [at] gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Raphi Rechitsky
raphirech [at] gmail.com


Music, film, and discussion commemorate 1934 trucker strike anniversary.


Minneapolis, MN July 17, 2006 – Music, film, and discussion will
commemorate the 72nd anniversary Minneapolis trucker strike at Arise
Books on Thursday July 20th at 8pm. This event is free and open to the
public, and co-sponsored by the Twin Cities branch of the Industrial
Workers of the World (IWW).
Andy Gifford, a local folk musician, will get the evening started.
Barb Kucera, professor in Labor Education Studies at the U of M will
put the teamster strike in historical context, introducing Labor's
Turning Point, a well-known documentary film about the events of 1934.
The film will be followed by a discussion of the historic event and
its contributions and lessons for today's labor movement.
This strike, also known as the Minneapolis Teamsters' Strike, is
arguably the most significant event in Minnesota's labor history to
date. A non-union city, Minneapolis business leaders had successfully
kept unions at bay through an organization called the Citizens
Alliance. But by 1934, unions were gaining strength as advocates of
workers for improved wages and better working conditions. By early May
1934, one of the worst years of the Great Depression, General Drivers
Local 574 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) had
organized 3,000 transportation workers of the trucking industry into
an industrial union. When employers refused to recognize the union, or
its right to speak for all of its members, union leaders called a
strike. Trucking operations in the city came to a halt.
When police and National Guard were called in to guard trucks, and the
Citizens Alliance activated the local militia, strike leaders
countered with "flying squads" of pickets. To inform the public of the
strike's aims, and to keep workers informed of developments, strike
leaders published a daily newspaper. They sought farmers' cooperation.
Conflict escalated daily throughout May and reached a peak late in the
month, at the city market, where strikers clashed with police, who
were trying to open it for farm produce to be brought in. The police
force was increased for the battle. Many women strike supporters
joined the strikers and were severely beaten. Hundreds of strikers
were arrested. In support of the truckers, 35,000 building trades
workers went on strike. The battle raged on violently for two days.
The strike ended on May 25, when the union was recognized and their
demands settled. Its toll: 200 injured; 4 dead. The strike marked a
turning point in state and national labor history and legislation. The
strike opened the way for enactment of laws acknowledging and
protecting workers' rights.
Arise is a collectively-run progressive bookstore and resource center
located in Uptown Minneapolis. For further information, contact Raphi
Rechitsky at raphirech [at] gmail.com
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