US longshore workers, members of the ILWU, today pay tribute to the two union brothers, the ILWU’s first martyrs, who were the first to give their lives in the Strike of 1934, with the unveiling of a sculpture of Harry Bridges.
It is the 75th anniversary of the deaths of Richard ‘Dickie’ Parker and John Miles Knudsen.
To commemorate the event, locals 13, 63, 94 and the Southern California Pensioners Group decided to organize a march and memorial service.
The three mile march will begin at the Harry Bridges Boulevard in Wilmington and conclude with a 12:00 p.m. memorial at the Longshore Memorialin San Pedro.
The highlight of this year’s event will be the unveiling of a bronze bust of Harry Bridges, sculpted by the renowned artists Eugene Daub and Rob Firmin of San Pedro and Emeryville, California.
Harry Bridges was the legendary founder of the ILWU, an Australian seafarer who jumped ship in San Francisco in the twenties, joined the waterfront and founded the ILWU after bitter struggle culminating in police firing on workers on July 5, 1934, Bloody Thursday.
Dave Schliebs, MUA Victoria Branch deputy secretary, will be representing the union and reporting on the march on his return.
Hundreds of participants are expected to attend the event, which will commemorate the sacrifices made in 1934, and pay tribute to all longshore workers who have lost their lives while working in ILWU ports.
Further celebrations will be held in San Francisco in July.