See ‘Labor Wars of the Northwest’ on Sept. 4 in Bellingham

The following is from the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council:

BELLINGHAM — All union families and community supporters are invited to attend a screening of Labor Wars of the Northwest, a documentary covering three decades of labor strife in the Pacific Northwest at the turn of the 20th century, at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street in Bellingham. Tickets are $7 for the public, $5 for Pickford members, $3 for students with identification.

Following the film, PNW historian David Jepsen, who wrote and directed the film, will lead a discussion on labor issues and answer audience questions. The other panelists are Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development and Conor M. Casey of the University of WA Labor Archives.

A century ago in 1919, Northwest cities roiled with labor unrest, strikes, and gunfights. That cauldron of radicalism and violence is chronicled in the documentary Labor Wars of the Northwest. The film examines labor conflict in the context of a decades-long struggle that began with the arrival of the railroads in the 1880s and spread throughout the region.

It shines new light on tragedies like the 1916 Everett Massacre, the 1919 Seattle General Strike and the 1919 Centralia Massacre. The documentary was created in part to commemorate the centennial year of those 1919 events. Bellingham and Whatcom County are no strangers to labor conflict, evidenced by the 1907 riots in which five hundred South Asian migrants were expelled from Bellingham.

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