BCLHC – June Newsletter
Riots and Repression in 1935
During April 1935, in the depths of the Great Depression, thousands of men from around BC declared a strike against the humiliating Relief Camp work program run by the military. Demanding “Work and Wages” they staged demonstrations and protests in Vancouver during April and May, always under the watchful eye of authorities, and dogged by hysterical pronouncements by the likes of Vancouver Mayor Gerry McGeer. On June 3 the men embarked on the infamous On to Ottawa Trek, to take their case directly to Canada’s leaders.
Meanwhile, trouble was brewing on the waterfront. On June 18, longshoremen set out to confront strikebreakers at Ballantyne Pier on Burrard Inlet in Vancouver. Without warning the union men were charged by police on horseback and pursued through the streets of the city. The Battle of Ballantyne Pier continues to be remembered every year by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Renowned and passionate BC labour historian Clay Perry shares this story of a logger – Ernie Dalskog – and his encounter with a policeman during one of the 1935 unemployment protests in Vancouver. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5rPUks0rTg
Get On Board! Virtual On to Ottawa
All Aboard!!! Starts June 3, 2021
Hosted by the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, this virtual walk/run/roll is unique! Discover the historical events of the 1935 On to Ottawa Trek as you log kilometres and hit key waypoints along your chosen route and earn an amazing custom enamel pin when you finish! There’s no deadline; move at your own pace.
Sign up here! https://virtualontoottawa.ca/
Winnipeg’s “Most Dangerous Man”
In 1919, Roger Bray was one of eight leaders of the Winnipeg General Strike who was sent to jail for sedition. “I have no apologies to make nor any regrets,” he told the jury. IN OUR LATEST BLOG POST we explain how Roger Bray went from being the “most dangerous man” in Winnipeg to one of North Vancouver’s oldest and most respected citizens.
We have lesson plans and resources for teachers, educators and parents.
- “Bows and Arrows” is a short video that is part of the Working People series produced in partnership with Knowledge Network. An accompanying lesson plan on early Indigenous longshore union activity along Burrard Inlet is available for download.
Indigenous Workers in the Early History of British Columbia is a new (2020) lesson plan that explores the role of Indigenous peoples of British Columbia in the early economic development of British Columbia.