80th Anniversary Celebrates Historic '34 Teamster Strike

June 13, 2014: Eighty years ago, in a defining moment for the American labor movement, the Teamsters Union defeated employers in a titanic truck strike in Minneapolis. It made Minneapolis a union town, spurred over-the-road organizing across the Midwest and paved the way for the Teamsters to become a powerhouse international union.
 
The strike will be celebrated in Minneapolis in July with two events:
  • A street festival on Saturday, July 19 from 4 to 10 p.m. at 7th Ave and 3rd St. Music will include acoustic folk, classic rock and hip hop, along with speakers and an historical display.
  • A family picnic on Sunday, July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area D, at Minnehaha Park. There will be short speeches, free lunch, children's games, an historical display and music. Strike descendants will be honored.
The July weekend was chosen because it coincides with a turning point in the strike that occurred on July 20, 1934 when police opened fire on unarmed strikers, shooting 60 people, almost all in the back and killing two strikers, Henry Ness and John Belor.
 
The Remember 1934 Committee is organizing the event and includes rank-and-file activists and support from a large group of Minnesota labor unions, including Teamster locals. Members of the Minnesota chapter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union are helping organize the events.
 
Teamsters Local 120 has called a march of its members from the Star Tribune printing plant to the festival on July 19.
 
The Minneapolis struggle employed innovative strategies and tactics that provide valuable lessons on how to win a strike, including a daily strike newspaper, cruising pickets, a committee of 100 that consulted with the leadership, and mass mobilizations of workers and the unemployed.
 
More information about the July 19-20 events commemorating this historic strike can be found here.
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