By JoAnne Powers, May 5, 2016
On International Workers Day, May 1st, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 in San Francisco called for a “National Day of Mourning” for Black and Brown unarmed victims of police killings. KPFA’s Work Week Radio recorded actor, activist and San Francisco native Danny Glover addressing the crowd at Local 10’s Union Hall, calling for economic, as well as racial, justice:
[Danny Glover]: “We can’t talk about human rights, unless we talk about economic rights as well. [applause] We cannot mention human rights without talking about economic rights. We have to recognize that. The old leadership…the leadership that at one point in time may have stood up in the face of violence, in the face of justice, that leadership has let us down. It has sold us off to the highest bidder. And that highest bidder, as Bernie Sanders has often said, has some connection with Wall Street, some connection with wealth, some connection with the one percent. We have to be very clear about where we stand right now. We have to put at the forefront, certainly, the violence [against] young men of color, absolutely, it’s at the forefront. We have to put at the forefront violence against women…particularly women of color. Justice with respect to pay, and having a living wage…we have to put those at the forefront. And for those that believe that we have to continue living on the minimum wage, we have to kick them to the curb. We have to fight them relentlessly.”
Glover noted the union’s long-time commitment to issues of racial justice, going all the way back to when the ILWU was established after the West Coast Waterfront Strike in 1934, where maritime workers themselves faced police violence.
[Danny Glover]: “ILWU Local 10 has a glorious history. You know about the history of the 1934 strike, when Harry Bridges went around to all the black churches here in the Bay Area and said ‘If you don’t cross the picket line, if you do not become scabs on this strike, I’ll make sure, I promise you, there’ll be black men on the docks when we win this strike.’…knowing that history was on their side and they were going to win that strike. He kept that promise. Friends of mine…all over here…men that I grew up with…men that I respected.”