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1946 general labor strike re-enacted as street theater in Oakland

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 07:42 PM
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1946 general labor strike re-enacted as street theater in Oakland

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11165156

By Sean Maher

Bay Area News Group
Posted: 12/07/2008 09:47:43 PM PST

A crew of labor organizers and artists turned Oakland's Latham Square into a stage Sunday afternoon, armed with a wardrobe of 1940s-style clothing, some historical research and a cause: labor solidarity.

The performance of "Oakland 1946!" told the true story of a retail workers' strike, organized on that exact site, that eventually ballooned into a general labor strike, shutting down the city for two days. The audience of about 100 was brought into the show, given picket signs and drawn into a dance of celebration.

The Boss, a vaudeville villain and oppressor of the poor played by UC-Davis theater Professor Larry Bogad, drew hearty boos and hisses from the crowd, pulling up a volunteer to kneel on the ground and act as his footrest as he pretended to call city officials and get police to help him break a picket line.

When a father in the audience held up his infant child and the kid blew a loud raspberry at Bogad, he turned, raised an eyebrow, grabbed the cigar from his mouth and said, "Just what I need. A Zapatista baby."

Director and labor organizer Max Bell Alper said the idea was to take the passion of a successful historical strike "and bring it to life on-site.''

"We wanted to make it as engaging as possible so people will remember this, and then connect it to current struggles," he said.

FULL story at link.

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