May Day Fun Fact 56 What was Bloody Wednesday?

Striking longshore workers occupy the railroad tracks near Pier Park and N. Columbia Blvd. courtesy of City of Portland Archives & Records A2004-002.9377,

What was Bloody Wednesday?

Bloody Wednesday on July 11, 1934 was a victory for the ILWU, in the effort to gain Union recognition.  The great West Coast Maritime Strike of 1934 left its mark in the trees of Pier Park.  Police shot at strikers blocking the train tracks leading to Terminal 4 in St. Johns,   Chief of Police B. K Lawson had been instructed to break the picket line. Four strikers Elmus W. Beatty, Peter Stephenson, Bert Yates and W. Huntington and many trees were shot by Portland Police.  “Police said not more than thirty-five shots were fired while strikers said several hundred were fired. Police Captain Fred West said a shot rang out in the woods of Pier park and men in brush and behind trees started a a rock bombardment. ‘I do not think anyone gave instructions to “fire” but the police considered themselves in danger.” (The Statesman Journal, July 12, 1934 pp 1,2).  The picket line held.