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Past Forward: The Legacy of Left Coast Militant Unionism and Lessons for Today’s Struggles
Past Forward: The Legacy of Left Coast Militant Unionism and Lessons for Today’s Struggles
WhenSaturday, Jun 24, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Campus locationMary Gates Hall (MGH)
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars, Special Events
Event sponsors
  • Labor Archives of Washington
  • Libraries Special Collections
  • Harry Bridges Center

Panels and presentations on the dramatic and powerful labor history of the West Coast waterfront, the importance of preserving that history, putting the history and present into perspective and providing inspiration in our current political moment.

Part 1: Labor Archives History Panel “Under the Hook, in the Hall, on the March, and upon the Shelves: ILWU-Related Collections at Pacific Coast Labor Archives”
Harry Bridges Deportation trials, the deportation and defense of progressive Filipino American cannery union officers and members, and other episodes in the union’s long history of activism. 

  • Robin Walker, Director, Anne Rand Memorial Library, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), San Francisco
  • Catherine Powell, Director, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University
  • Conor Casey, Director, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington
ILWU’s rich and often colorful history is preserved in archives in California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii.  Unions, universities, scholars, and activists have worked together to preserve and promote the legacy of the left coast maritime labor movement and collections which relate to today’s struggles for workers’ rights, immigrant rights, social justice, civil rights, and other causes.

Part 2: ILWU Activists Panel “How History Informs Current Struggles”
How the militant history and guiding principles of the union relate directly to today’s struggles and how those lessons can help suggest a path for current and future efforts.

  • Rich Austin, Jr. of ILWU, Local 19
  • Dean McGrath of ILWU , Local 23
  • Terri Mast, Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific
  • George Lovell, Harry Bridges Center Chair (Moderator)
Part 3: Summary Speaker: the history of the ILWU and social justice unionism on the Pacific Coast
Immigration, civil rights, social justice history and current struggles within the current political context. What lessons from the ILWU’s history can inform current and future actions? 
  • Michael McCann, Harry Bridges Center Director and Professor of Political Science, University of Washington

Related Conference June 22-25

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