June 21, 1919 Bloody Saturday marks the defeat of the strike.

winnipeg general strike of 1919 essay

June 21, 1919 became known as Bloody Saturday, because the North West Mounties killed two strikers, wounded thirty-four and made nearly a hundred arrests. The mural on Main Street has a portrait of one of the men who died. His name was Mike Sokolowski. After Bloody Saturday the strike organizers fearing more violence called the strike to a halt and the strikers went back to work on June 26th.

A revolution is the forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system (Oxford Dictionary). Does it apply to the Winnipeg General Strike in 1919? Was what happened to Winnipeg an attempt of a revolution? This essay will attempt to answer these questions.

June 21, 1919 became known as Bloody Saturday, because the North West Mounties killed two strikers, wounded thirty-four and made nearly a hundred arrests. The mural on Main Street has a portrait of one of the men who died. His name was Mike Sokolowski. After Bloody Saturday the strike organizers fearing more violence called the strike to a halt and the strikers went back to work on June 26th.

Winnipeg general strike of 1919 essay help

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bloody saturday | Destination Winnipeg

The final presentation on “The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919” was led by Alex Grant, editor of Fightback. Alex found it important to highlight how the strike itself was an extension of the revolutionary fervour which captured much of the world in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was no coincidence, he noted, that the radical workers of Western Canada sent their comradely greetings to the newly formed Soviet Union. Alex commended the bravery of the workers for conducting a general strike, but reinforced the perspective that a general strike was only a show of power by the working class. The general strike laid clear the question of which class holds the reigns, but only the seizure of power by the working class could fulfill the aspirations of the Winnipeg workers. Though the strike leaders referred to themselves as Marxists, their lack of a fully fleshed out class analysis prevented the strike committees from evolving into real organs of working class power, and allowed for the repression of the strike by pro-capitalist thugs and federal government during the infamous “Bloody Saturday”. Alex suggested that there were a great deal of lessons to be learned by revolutionaries from the Winnipeg General Strike — notably that the indefinite general strike is only a means towards working class power and not an end in itself.

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September 2, 2017: Steven Tufts

Winnipeg General Strike, Bloody Saturday, June 21, 1919. In Canada, one of the most well known steps on the road to winning the right to organize industrial.


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Not only did the competition for jobs have a negative effect in a number of ways, but also the cost of living was rising in Winnipeg and across the nation. This caused families to struggle to stay above the poverty line. Inflation was a byproduct of the war which caused prices to go up while salaries were lowered, making things much harder than it already was. All of the problems created a stressful environment in Winnipeg, and when the city voted on the strike, the votes were clear that the strike was needed. According to the CBC Documentary Bloody Saturday: The Winnipeg General Strike. “When the votes were tallied it was clear that the majority of the working class in Winnipeg agreed on a strike with the votes being eleven thousand to five hundred” (CBC, 2007, Bloody Saturday). Winnipeg was a fragile city that was separated by upper and lower class. The separation was not only economical but...

Better Working Conditions Essay Examples. 824 total results. The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 Bargained for Better Working Conditions. 642 words. 1 page.

The group was informed at the start of the tour that the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was one of the most influential strikes in Canadian history, and became the basis for future labour organizing. The tour showcased some historic buildings that had significance during the strike, such as the Union Bank Tower that still sits at the corner of Main and William. The tour included the use of historical photos showing us what happened 93 years prior.

The tour wrapped up in an alleyway at the intersection of Lily and Elgin, which is more significantly known as Hell’s Alley. On June 21st, 1919 a day known as Bloody Saturday, the government sent in a special detachment of the Northwest Mounted police to repress the protestors. One of the officers killed a bystander, as other strikers were herded into a lane called Hell’s Alley. There the police forced the protesters to surrender at gun point. In light of these events, the strike committee urged the people to leave the next stage of the strike to parliamentary procedure. With several dead, many more injured and hundreds imprisoned, the Winnipeg General Strike effectively ended on June 26 at 11 a.m.

As a group of young activists it was incredible to take in this tour. It’s a vivid reminder to all of us the power of a unified and organized workers movement.