File Photo by Lola M. Chavez

A group of artists, musicians and activists will mark May 5 by exploring the history of the battle that made the day famous, in which a Mexican militia defeated the French army in Puebla, Mexico.

The San Francisco Living Wage Coalition will host an art and literature gala with work exploring the meaning of the holiday, and its modern significance, on May 5 from 6-9 p.m. at the Redstone Labor Temple on 16th Street.

“The intervention of the French could have been a decisive factor leading to a Confederate victory in the Civil War,” the organizers wrote. “Today, more than ever, we need unity in a renewed struggle for greater democracy, especially economic democracy.”

Work will be exhibited by artists Rene Yanez, Calixto Robles, Carina Lomeli, Doug Minkler, Art Hazelwood, Michael Roman, Romeo Osorio, Txutxo Perez, Ana Colomo, Ramon Deanda, David Duckworth, Talleres Populares 28J, Sara Thustra, Rodger Scott, and Nancy Reese. Performers and speakers will include Una Flor, Un Canto y Una Poesia – Mario, Elizabeth and Nancy Esteva; John Radogno; Diego Sardaneta; Tony Robles; Saul and Jean Bridges, and Archbishop Franzo King, St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church.

Food and drinks are complimentary, but admission costs $5, with proceeds going to the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition and Las Hormigas in Ciudad Juarez.

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