Justice for Janitors block DC bridges (1996)

Labor Struggles/History

Justice for Janitors bridge occupation
The bridge just ahead of us is the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. During a week of actions near the end of September, 1995, activists with Justice for Jan-itors engaged in a series of actions to protest DC budget cuts that would ad-versely effect working families in the district. On September 20th, activists loaded up into 3 buses at Justice for Janitors headquarters on K St. and drove around the city, being followed by MPD. A fourth bus evaded surveillance by departing from Virginia and drove onto the Roosevelt Bridge and parked diag-onally across it, blocking all four lanes. It was part of a larger campaign that used traffic disruptions as a tactic to shut down business-as-usual in the district (and indeed throughout the country) during 1994–1995. Earlier in the week, Justice for Janitors activists had shut down the 3rd Street Tunnel, and that spring, they had shut down the 14th St. Bridge. Their actions were effective enough that they prompted a congressional hearing on the matter in October of 1995.
On June 15, 1990, striking janitors and their supporters held a peaceful march and demonstration in LA’s Century City district. As the protest got underway, 400 striking janitors fighting to win a union to build a better life for their families found themselves squaring off against fifty baton wielding police officers - when the workers linked arms to cross the street, they were beat back by dozens of police officers, and thir-ty-eight of the wounded marchers were arrested; photo courtesy SEIU

Anacostine island
Out in the middle of the Potomac, you can see Anacostine island, so named for the small settlement of the remaining Anacostan tribe who relocated there, only 60 years after their first contact with Europeans, with their numbers greatly depleted by Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. The island is now referred to as Roosevelt Island.
- Fhar Miess

14th Street Bridge

DC Labor Map

Welcome to the DC Labor Map! Here you can find both current and historic labor sites in Washington, DC, including union hotels, restaurants, international and local union organizations, labor art and historic labor sites. You can use it for an online virtual tour of DC labor, or to plan your visit to our nation’s capital.
CLICK ON "LEGEND" at right to view categories; TO CHOOSE A SPECIFIC CATEGORY just click on it and only those sites will be shown.
We welcome your comments and suggestions: click on the “comments” tab at the bottom of the map. The DC Labor Map is a project of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO: primary research was done by Chris Garlock, Jon Garlock and Lisa Garlock; contributors include: Saul Schniderman, Peter Winch and Fhar Miess.