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Sea Channel Movie Screening: Murders of Filipino American Labor Activists
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One Generation’s Time: The Legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes
Seattle Channel documentary details 1981 murders of Filipino American labor activists, public preview screening, May 4

SEATTLE—Seattle Channel’s Emmy-award winning Community Stories series tells the story of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes, two Filipino American cannery worker activists who were murdered in Seattle in June 1981.

A free preview screening of the one-hour documentary One Generation’s Time: The Legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes will take place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4 at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, 719 S. King St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments; screening at 7 p.m.; followed by a post-film discussion led by Seattle Channel Senior Producer Shannon Gee, who wrote, directed, photographed and edited the documentary, and Co-Producer Ron Chew. The film is narrated by George Quibuyen, aka Geo from the Seattle-based hip-hop duo Blue Scholars.

Admission to the preview screening is free, however seating is limited and advance reservations are strongly recommended. RSVP to contact@seattlechannel.org or (206) 733-9764.

Domingo and Viernes, two reform officers in Seattle’s Alaska Cannery Workers’ Union, Local 37 of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), were gunned down as they worked in the union offices near Pioneer Square. The men were attempting to reform the union and were calling for better working conditions in the canneries. On the surface, their murders were meant to look like just another gang-related slaying, but later were revealed to be a hit originating from the Marcos regime.

The documentary details the murders, the fight for fair labor conditions, the civil rights movement the murdered men helped foster and the ensuing efforts to seek justice for their killings.

“Telling this story has been an honor and a privilege,” said Gee, who was a young child when the murders occurred but remembers their profound effect on the Seattle Asian American community. “To talk to the people who fought alongside Gene and Silme and then continued to carry the work forward all these years is an inspiring example of standing up for what you believe in.”

“This is a local civil rights story told through the eyes of two activists and their generation,” said Chew, a close friend of the slain men and author of Remembering Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes: The Legacy of Filipino American Labor Activism published by University of Washington Press. “The deaths of Silme and Gene ultimately unleashed a movement for justice that continues to reverberate through the efforts of another generation which carries on the fight for a more democratic and just society.”

Chew will sign copies of his book at the screening.

The preview is presented by the Inlandboatmen’s Union, Seattle Channel, University of Washington Press and the Department of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington.

Seattle Channel’s Community Stories series is about the inspirational people, the relevant issues and the cultural traditions and rich histories that make up our many communities. These television profiles highlight our residents through stories consisting of personal interviews, slice-of-life episodes and insightful portraits.

Seattle Channel is an Emmy-award winning local TV station that reflects, informs and inspires the community it serves. Seattle Channel presents programs on cable television (channel 21 on Comcast and Wave) and via the Internet to help residents connect with their city. Programming includes series and special features highlighting the diverse civic and cultural landscape of the Pacific Northwest’s premier city.

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