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Social Unionism in Action

Los Angeles: Garment workers at a rally in Union Square circa 1910, carrying signs in Yiddish, Italian and English

Photograph from “The Inheritance.” ILGWU Archives, Kheel Center, Cornell University.

We end this organizing section on the image we began with—early twentieth century garment workers carrying multi-lingual signs. Vasquez and her fellow organizers in Los Angeles in the 1970s used innovative organizing techniques, including leaflets, posters, cartoons, caricatures and comic strips that were all bilingual—something entirely new for the union in Los Angeles. It was only later on that they came upon the historic leaflets and posters in many languages were used as part of the early 20th century organizing efforts in New York City.