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We continue our dive into the history of general strikes in US history this week with the San Francisco general strike of 1934. As with the 1919 Seattle general strike, this one started on the docks but quickly spread to the entire city. Unlike Seattle, which was entirely peaceful until the violence unleashed after the strike, the San Francisco strike became immediately violent. This strike reverberated across the entire country, paralyzing west coast trade and driving the ruling class out of their minds. The legacy of 150,000 workers standing up against the entire armed force of the state continues to be felt today. In Part 3, we will discuss more of the major strikes of 1934, including in Toledo and Minneapolis.
Primary sources for this series include: People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, Labor’s Untold Story by Boyer and Morais, Strike! By Jeremy Brecher, A History of America In Ten Strikes by Erik Loomis and The Fall of the House of Labor by David Montgomery
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