With today’s labor civil rights still under attack, join us to remember and to commemorate the brave people who sailed to Everett from Seattle in a fight for free speech. Theirs is a cause to remember, to celebrate, to win. Their fight is our fight.
Sail from Seattle to Everett on the Virginia V November 12, 2016 with the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) and the Snohomish County Labor Council.
Boat Tour Schedule:
9:30 AM Board Virginia V at Shilshole Bay Marina.
9:30AM-11:30 AM Sailing Aboard the Virginia V to Everett
c. 11:30 AM- c. 1:30 PM Event at Port of Everett
c. 2:00PM- c. 4:00 PM Sail back aboard Virginia V to Shilshole Bay Marina.
There will also be a free event from noon to 2:30 PM at the Port of Everett if you are not able to sail with us.
Boat Tour Tickets: The boat tour has been sold out. If you still wish to participate, please consider joining us at the FREE event from 12pm-2:30pm at the Port of Everett on November 12.
On November 5th, 1916 250 men packed aboard the steamers Verona and Calista and sailed from Seattle to fight for their right to free speech and to support striking shingle workers in Everett. Five of them would never make it back.
These men, from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), though not part of the AFL like the shingle weavers, felt the need to help their fellow workers get a decent wage for their work. As they were landing they sang, “Hold the Fort for we are coming, Union hearts be strong…”
The business leaders in Everett, fearful of the IWW’s revolutionary rhetoric, had the sheriff and some 200 “deputized” and armed men confront the union men at the docks. Undeterred by the hundreds of guns pointed at them, they prepared to disembark.
“Who is your leader,” shouted Sheriff Donald McRae.
“We are all leaders here.” Came the reply.
McRae pulled his gun. The gangplank was almost in place. “You can’t land here!” McRae shouted.
“The hell we can’t!”
A shot rang out from somewhere. Then another. Then the battle was on and all chaos erupted. After the shooting stopped, five men from the IWW lay dead as did two deputies. Many more were wounded. Once the members of the IWW returned to Seattle they were arrested and charged with murder, but no one was convicted and eventually all charges were dropped.