Filmmaker to discuss shingle mills, labor and the 1916 Everett Massacre at Redmond Historical Society event

  • Monday, October 30, 2017 10:23am
  • Life

Denise Ohio

Like most people, Denise Ohio had never heard of the Northwest’s bloodiest labor battle, the 1916 clash in Everett that left seven men dead and dozens wounded when gunfire erupted between Snohomish County Sheriff Don McRae and 140 deputies at the Everett City Dock and the 250 members of the Industrial Workers of the World aboard the steamship Verona. As she learned more, the Monroe filmmaker became fascinated by the fact that people who should have been on the same side were turned against one another.

“I wanted to explore why and how that happened,” says Ohio, who went on to research that history in her documentary, “Verona: The Story of the Everett Massacre”.

Ohio will present her research and talk about her film at the Redmond Historical Society’s Saturday Speaker Series program, 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center, 16600 NE 80th St. Redmond.

What had started as a strike between Everett’s shingle weavers union and shingle mill owners turned into a free-speech battle between the IWW and Sheriff McRae, a man elected twice with labor’s support. The violence escalated with jailings and beatings until that Nov. 5 shoot-out. Besides the dead and wounded, Everett was torn in half and the shingle weavers union was destroyed.

A century later, the conflict’s core values are still relevant.

“We continue to debate issues of civil rights versus security, economic opportunity versus economic exploitation, and equality before the law,” Ohio says. “The arguments people were having on the streets of Everett in 1916 were fundamental concepts of what it means to participate fully and equally in American society. We continue these debates today and continue to see what happens when those who have nothing defy those who have everything.”

For Ohio, the biggest takeaway from her research was learning “how courageous ordinary people could be on behalf of the rights of others. Townspeople joined members of the IWW to stand up for the right of free speech, freedom of association, and freedom of assembly and they spoke up knowing they risked losing their jobs or getting jailed or beaten because it was the right thing to do.”

More in Life

Neil Simon play ‘Jake’s Women’ opens Feb. 2 at Valley Center Stage

Jake’s Women, Valley Center Stage’s newest production, “Jake’s Women,” opens Friday, Feb.… Continue reading

Playwrights Festival runs Thursday and Friday at Cafe Black Dog

The Black Dog Arts Coalition and Theatre Black Dog host their fifth… Continue reading

Hammontree named to Carson-Newman dean’s list

Cameron Hammontree of Duvall has been named to the fall dean’s list… Continue reading

Cruso performs Saturday in concert at Black Dog Cafe

Carolyn Cruso, singer, songwriter and musician, performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan.… Continue reading

Clark named to Baylor honor roll

Jennifer Clark of Snoqualmie is one of the more than 4,000 students… Continue reading

Justin Lutz named to Spokane Falls Community College honor roll

Justin Lutz of North Bend was named to the fall fall honor… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Valley students named to Oregon State honor roll

Oregon State University in Corvallis has announced the names of the students… Continue reading

Low inventory drives up area housing prices, but many properties expected on the market in early 2018

The number of homes available for purchase in December, 2017, was exceptionally… Continue reading

Bob Summers, former Tolt H.S. track coach, to be named to state hall of fame

A part of Carnation history will be recognized this month when Bob… Continue reading

Most Read