Honoring the Workers

 Posted by on January 20, 2000
Jan 202000
Corner of Mission and Steaurt

An Injury to One is an Injury to All РThe rallying cry of the Wobblies.  That is the name of this sculpture found on the corner of Spear and Mission Streets, San Francisco.

The brass plaque that accompanies it reads

“In memory of Howard Sperry and Nick Bordoise, who gave their lives on Bloody Thursday, July 5, 1934, so that all working people might enjoy a greater measure of dignity and security.

Sperry and Bordoise were fatally shot by San Francisco police at the intersection of Mission and Steuart Streets, when longshoremen and seamen attempted to stop maritime employers from breaking joint strike. Community outrage at these killings sparked a general strike by all San Francisco unions.

The maritime strike continued through the middle of summer, concluding with a union victory which brought decent conditions to the shipping industry and set the stage for the birth of a strong and democratic labor movement on the west coast.”

Painted in 1985 by an artist’s collective on steel forms shaped to evoke images of the sea, the six panels depict the events before, during and after the 1934 Maritime Strike. This mural-sculpture was placed by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union near the Sperry and Bordoise Memorial (which consisted of the brass plaque, mounted on a stone monument). When the Hotel Vitale was built in 2004, the sculpture and plaque were moved a short distance and re-erected, with the plaque now mounted on the wall of the hotel.

The artists were: Miranda Bergman, Tem Drescher, Nicole Emmanuel, Lari Kilolani, James Morgan, Raymond M. Patlan, Eduardo Pineda, James Prigoff, O’Brian Theile and Horace Washington.