last surviving veteran
battling police and hired goons
His son and daughter just wrote that Marvin Ricks, the last surviving veteran of the 1934 longshore strike in Portland, died June 10 at the age of 97.
As a young longshoreman in 1934, he served in one of the "riot squads" that discouraged scabs from crossing picket lines and was one of the "29 innocent men" wrongly jailed in the death of one of the scabs. He always took Broadway cabs because they delivered food to the picket lines during the strike and kept the card of business women who made sandwiches and provided their services on credit to strikers. Brother Ricks was a regular speaker at ILWU Local 8's annual Bloody Thursday commemoration at Oaks Park where he urged today's members not to forget the sacrifices of their union brothers that made the ILWU one of the most progressive unions in the country.
His children wrote that "He passed away yesterday at Beaverton Hills with Patty holding one hand and Bob the other. He had completed all he wanted to do and went softly with the flow."
Marvin Ricks, 1911-2009 R.I.P.
Photo by Amy Ouellette.