BEST FESTIVAL Minneapolis 2005 -
On July 20, 1934, Minneapolis cops opened fire on striking truck drivers, killing two and wounding 67 others. This bloody day was significant not only because of the tragic deaths; it also marked the end of the "open shop" era in Minneapolis. After decades of vigilant, violent antiunionism, horror over the bloodshed finally forced the city's corporate titans to allow collective bargaining. This 70th-anniversary commemoration of the Teamsters strike attracted some 1,000 people to the Warehouse District spot where the killings occurred. Organized primarily by a group of young union activists, the gathering blended history, politics, and music. Local historian Dave Riehle detailed the fateful events of 1934. Current union members made the case for why organized labor remains important to today's workers. And righteous local musicians like Brother Ali and Heads and Bodies rocked the crowd. It was a fitting memorial for a dark day in Minneapolis's history.