November 19 marks the 100-year anniversary of Joe Hill’s execution by a Utah firing squad for a sensationalized Salt Lake City double homicide. Hill, a 36-year-old Swedish immigrant, was an itinerant laborer and union organizer for the Wobblies – the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Today most historians view Hill’s arrest as a police frame-up and consider his trial and execution as, at the least, a politically motivated miscarriage of justice, if not outright judicial murder.
Hill’s mythic stature continues to serve as the soul of the struggle for workers’ rights and economic equality, and interest in his life shows no sign of abating — a phenomenon that is reflected in the ongoing yearlong series of exhibits, book events and concerts commemorating his death.
Joe Hill, of course, was no ordinary organizer but also a poet and balladeer whose knack for taking a well-known hymn or folksong,
This year’s May Day events in Los Angeles are grouped around the themes of immigration reform and raising the minimum wage. Below is an updated list of events, provided by the Los Angeles May Day Coalition and other sources. Note: Michael Brown Sr., father of the teenager shot and killed last year in Ferguson, Missouri, will join the #MayDaySolidarity march meeting in Downtown L.A., at the Chinatown Gateway (Broadway & Cesar Chavez Ave.) shortly before 3 p.m. Tom Morello, activist, singer and guitarist for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, will join the march once it approaches the Metropolitan Detention Center (Aliso & Alameda streets) around 4 p.m.
Schedule of events:
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: People gather at Dragon’s Gate, Chinatown, corner of Broadway & Cesar Chavez Ave.
3:15 p.m.– 3:45 p.m.: May Day Rally & program begins
Brief presentations and music. Speakers include elected officials such as L.A.
One hundred twenty port truck drivers, responding to a mediation initiative from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, agreed to end their strike Friday evening and are returning to work today. The Unfair Labor Practice walkout, which had no fixed end date, began June 7 against three harbor trucking companies (Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Pacific 9 Transportation) that port haulers allege commit wage theft, engage in workplace retaliation for union organizing and misclassify their drivers as “independent contractors” rather than company employees.
The five-day strike was unprecedented for its length – and for the bad publicity it splashed on the three companies, which have also been on the losing end of a string of labor court and National Labor Relations Board rulings regarding their treatment of truck drivers. The strike saw the brief shutdown of several marine terminals, an impromptu concert for the strikers by protest rocker Tom Morello and a secondary protest in Manhattan Beach aimed at the Skechers shoe company,
One hundred twenty truck drivers who haul freight to and from the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike Monday against the three companies they work for. The work stoppage, which has no announced end date, was called to protest alleged retaliation by Green Fleet Systems, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Pacific 9 Transportation, as well as the drivers’ long hours and low wages. Perhaps more important, the strikers are motivated by their determination to end the companies’ practice of classifying drivers as “independent contractors” – a status that allows the firms to treat their workers as second-class citizens and to avoid contributing payroll taxes to the state and federal governments.
On Wednesday rock-and-protest icon Tom Morello showed up on Terminal Island to support the strikers. The Rage Against the Machine guitarist and Watchman singer strummed a guitar labeled “Black Spartacus”
(The following message from Edward James Olmos is republished from the L.A. County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, with permission. The concert mentioned took place Oct. 3.)
Forgive me, but I’m going to be blunt. Proposition 32, the so called “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act” is a misleading, cynical and unfair attack on working families and labor unions.
That’s why I’m standing with Working Californians and their No on Prop 32 campaign. And that’s why Crosby, Stills & Nash and Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman are joining Working Californians to play a special benefit concert in support of the No on Prop 32 campaign this October 3rd at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE. Want to come and join me?
Get your free ticket for the No on Prop 32 concert with Crosby, Stills & Nash and Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, at the link below:
The people behind Prop 32 wrote in giant loopholes and created special exemptions to give billionaire CEOs,
As thousands prepare to hit the streets of L.A.’s historic Chinatown on Saturday, June 30, for the largest protest against Walmart ever held in the U.S., several acclaimed musicians, including three Grammy winners, are joining the growing effort to stop the world’s largest retailer from opening in Chinatown and expanding across Los Angeles with poverty-level jobs and practices that hurt local businesses and communities. Musicians are also backing hundreds of Walmart workers who will march on June 30 to demand Walmart treat them with respect and provide wages that can support families.
Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, actor and author Steve Earle made a video from a recording studio in Nashville to support the march against Walmart in Los Angeles on June 30. After singing a few lines from his new song, Earle says, “If I wasn’t [in Nashville making a record] I would love to be in Chinatown,