Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Women and the Winnipeg General Strike

From May 15 to June 28, 1919, the City of Winnipeg was engulfed in Canada's most famous strike. The Winnipeg General Strike emerged from a cauldron of social unrest including such ingredients as the deteriorating economic situation for workers, the return of unemployed WWI veterans, and the growing size of the labour movement. This led to an upsurge of support for the One Big Union, and the leadership they could provide. The influence of the still developing Russian revolution on the people of Winnipeg coupled with the growing "anti-alien" (and anti-Bolshevik) fury generated by business interests and governments created tension amongst opposing factions in the city. The people had had enough and were ready to strike.

On October 18th, the WHM will be hosting an interactive story telling event on the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 that promises to open the door to a much-neglected aspect of Canada's most famous trade union uprising.

Much has been written on the role of men in the fight for collective bargaining rights, against terrible working conditions and against the vicious attacks of the police, army and the "Citizens Committee of One Thousand". But very little has been written or otherwise published on the critical role played by women during this historic Canadian labour struggle.

The stories of Elizabeth Coulter and Helen Armstrong, and the panel discussion that follows, are steps towards righting this imbalance with their focus on Women in the Winnipeg General Strike.

Please join us on October 18th for the Storytelling event. Admission is $10.00 and all proceeds will go to the Workers' History Museum. The event will be held from 7:30 - 10:00 pm in room 5050 of the Minto Centre, located at Carleton University. For a map of the Campus, click Here.

This event has been co-sponsored by The Workers' History Museum and the Carleton Centre for Public History

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