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LaborFest-Sat. July 1, 1-3PM
July 1 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
July 1 (Saturday) 1:00 PM to 3:00PM. National Japanese American Historical Society – 1684 Post St., S, 94115. EVENT IS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Internment, Japanese Americans, Labor and The Lessons for Today
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. There is also the little known rendition and internment of over 2,000 Japanese Peruvians during WWII, and their on-going fight for justice. Given current ban on immigrants and refugees from six Muslim countries, this panel will look at this struggle and lessons for today with California historian Charles Wollenberg, who is currently completing a book about civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins. During the 1940s, Collins bucked prejudice and war hysteria to take cases related to Japanese American evacuation and internment. Among others, Collins defended Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American citizen who refused to report for the camps and was imprisoned. The high profile Korematsu case reached the Supreme Court. Wollenberg’s talk is entitled “Wayne Collins: Rebel with a Cause.” In it, Wollenberg will discuss Collins’ legal defense of Nikkei (second generation) rights and liberties, including the Korematsu case. Author Laura Atkins, who is co-author with Stan Yogi of “Fred Korematsu Speaks,” will also discuss this important book for young people about the life of Fred Korematsu. Civil Rights Activist Grace Shimizu is Director of the Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project and the Campaign for Justice: Redress Now for Japanese Latin American Internees. She will speak about the ongoing fight for the Peruvian Japanese who were kidnapped from Peru and used as international hostage exchanges. Panel member ILWU historian Harvey Schwartz has written about the role of the ILWU in fighting discrimination after the war against Japanese Americans. Larry Yamamoto, Bay Area artist, camp survivor, and retired ILWU longshore worker, will serve as commentator for the event. Rosalyn Tonai, executive director of the National Japanese American Historical Society will convene the program with Peter Yamamoto serving as chair.