“Cities, Labor, and Culture: Present Crises, Past Documents”: 4 screenings on labor and community organizing @15 Nassau St.

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Date/Time: 11/04/2006 12:00 am

“Cities, Labor, and Culture: Present Crises, Past Documents”
4 screenings on labor and community organizing
April 4, 11, 18, 25
7:30 PM
The film and discussion series is an attempt to connect past and
present struggles of the labor movement and community organizing, as a
way of considering what has changed, what is still the same, and more
importantly, what can we learn in terms of past successes or
failures—especially questions of how we organize, how we negotiate
issues of race, class, gender, different labor sectors, changes in the
labor market or housing/urban development issues. The series is also
an attempt to counteract historical amnesia: of how we are conditioned
to think that any hard-won victory for working people was handed to us
on high, rather than being the product of struggles. But also, the
films are experiments in participatory documentary filmmaking. The
film series is about trying to remember those struggles, and
hopefully, to bridge different generations of activists, and allow for
discussions between labor and social justice movements and arts
Contact information: info@thewatercarriers.org
Website http//www.thewatercarriers.org
April 11, 7:30PM
“Finally Got the News”
16mm color/b&w film, 1970 , 55 mins.
An inside look at an auto assembly line. The film focuses on the late
1960’s work of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in Detroit,
which formed in response to unsafe working conditions and the UAW’s
failure to adequately confront racism. It depicts the organizing
efforts in the auto plant and their involvement in the surrounding
Black community. A good discussion film for trade union, rank and file
working, and college classes.
“It’s Not Working”
16mm color film, 1980, 25 mins.
An excellent Bill Moyer’s Journal production on the shutdown of the
U.S. Steel Plant in Youngstown, Ohio, and the efforts of workers to
set up a community-controlled steel plant. Moyers raises basic
questions about unemployment, worker control and the American economic
system itself – all with ringing clarity. Good analysis of how big
companies actually makes decisions that affect thousands of powerless
people. Shows steel workers locals with church and community backing
seeking federal support to re-open and renovate the mills under
community/worker ownership – a move opposed by U.S. Steel. As other
plants in U.S. basic industry continue to shut down, this film can be
used to show workers that they can take the initiative in shaping
their economic future.
“We’re Not Gonna Take It”
video, 1986, 16 mins.
Excellent footage and good background information on the beginnings of
the 1985 Hormel strike in Austin, MN, a strike that for a time was
transformed into a national social movement in defense of worker
rights. This is a story of wage cuts, work speedups, industrial
injuries and worker give-backs, all of which characterize other
attacks on workers rights across the country. Footage of the National
Guard being called in and the vast support infrastructure that workers
and their families established as the strike spread to other areas and
as the distrust between workers in different unions began to break
down. Ends in 1986 while the strike continued.
Location: 15 Nassau St. between Cedar and Pine.
Train: near Wall St, Fulton St and Broadway/Nassau (A, C, J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The film series is organized by CAMEL, a NYC collective working
around the issues of labor, culture and economics, and, in general,
attempting to build bridges between arts communities and social
All screenings will be held at 15 Nassau St. between Cedar and Pine,
are free and open to the public, and will start at 7:30PM (please note
that the April 18 screening will be held in the LMCC offices at 125
Maiden Lane, 2nd Floor. See listings for more information.)
Acknowledgements: “Cities, Labor and Culture: Present Crises, Past
Documents” is made possible by Swing Space, a program of the Lower
Manhattan Cultural Council, generously supported by the September 11th
Fund. Space is donated by Silverstein Properties. The films are from
the Film and Video Lending Library of the American Friends Service

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