UWinnipeg prof kick starts the Winnipeg General Strike Centenary Lecture Series

1919 Winnipeg Strike, photo supplied

1919 Winnipeg Strike, photo supplied

This year  marks the Winnipeg General Strike Centenary. In honour of this centenary, the Winnipeg Millennium Library presents a five-part Winnipeg General Strike Lecture Series that kick starts with  UWinnipeg’s Dr. Nolan Reilly (history).  Reilly will be speaking on Winnipeg 1919: A City in Crisis on Wednesday, March 20 at 12:00 pm at the Carol Shields Auditorium, Millennium Library, 251 Donald Street. 

Reilly’s popular Winnipeg General Strike Tour comes with an introduction to the key events and players of the most prominent general strike in Canada’s history.

“The strike did a very big, important thing to me… for me, it opened the doors to understanding what the class struggle really means,” said Olga Hunka, 20-year-old Ukrainian immigrant in spring 1919.

Reilly will also introduce the new guide to the confrontation:  1919: Winnipeg General Strike Driving and Walking Tour: 100th Anniversary Edition.

Everyone is welcome to drop in for the free lecture series that delves into the history and lasting impacts of the Winnipeg General Strike.

In addition to this lecture series the Winnipeg General Strike 100th Anniversary Committee presents a conference at UWinnipeg from May 8 -11, 2019. For more information on the conference please visit Winnipeg General Strike 100th Anniversary Committee.

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was a landmark moment in North American working-class history. In May and June that year, over 30,000 workers ceased work for six weeks. Provoked by the inequities of industrial capitalism, the authoritarianism of their workplaces, the brutal experiences of the First World War, rising prices and stagnating wages, an insecure economic outlook, intransigent employers, and a federal state that responded to their demands with growing repression, the city’s workers stood together in an astounding display of unity. This was also an era filled with hope; the horrors of industrialization and militarism encouraged many to think of ways of constructing a better world. The combination of anger and hope was infectious. In 1919, Winnipeg workers displayed an inspiring unity, facing hunger, threats of permanent dismissal and blacklisting, and violence at the hands of authorities, most notably in the vicious assault they unleashed on “Bloody Saturday,” killing two workers and injuring many more.

This lecture series is presented by Winnipeg Public Library in partnership with Paul Moist, Sharon Reilly and the Winnipeg General Strike 100th Anniversary Committee.

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca

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