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City of Cleveland, History, Labor

LaborFest to pay tribute to the Industrial Workers of the World

(Plain Press, October 2017) The Labor Education and Arts Project’s Cleveland LaborFest, on October 13th and 14th, will feature a tribute to The Wobblies, The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Session one will feature a Wobbly Musical Road show on Friday October 13 at 7:30 p.m. at First Unitarian Church of Cleveland at 21600 Shaker Blvd in Shaker Heights. Former union organizer and activist George Mann will sing songs from epic times of labor and social activism; Charlie King will offer musical storytelling and political satire; and Terry Leonino and Greg Artzer, performing together as Magpie, will feature traditional and vintage Americana to contemporary and stirring original compositions. The Musical Road show has a suggested free will donation of $20, or donate as you can, otherwise admission is free.

Session two, a LaborFest Forum and Film, will be held on Saturday, October 14 at 11 a.m. at the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium of the Cleveland Public Library at 325 Superior Avenue NE. Admission is free and open to the public and lunch will be served.

The film The Wobblies, a documentary by Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird features interviews with old-timer Wobblies. The Wobblies is one of the few films to document the efforts of the radical labor movement to organize the unorganized and preserve memories of its many battles with capital and the corporate state.

Following the film, there will be a forum. Peter Cole, a professor of history at Western Illinois University, will speak about Local 8- Philadelphia’s Interracial Longshore Union. Mary Triece, a professor in the School of Communications and Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Akron will speak about Women and the IWW. Ahmed White, professor of Law at the University of Colorado, Boulder will speak about Anti-Radical Law, the IWW and the American Left.

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