Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

On the morning of May 15, 1919, what would become known as the Winnipeg General Strike begins as 30,000 workers walk off the job and take to the streets after negotiations over wages and working conditions break down. The same day, police officers, public servants and municipal employees join the private-sector workers in solidarity. Six weeks later, June 21, on “Bloody Saturday,” the North West Mounted Police charges and attacks the striking workers. One person dies, and 30 people are injured in the confrontation. The strike finally ends on June 26, as labour leaders call it off for fear of more violence. This Co-Lab challenge features a range of records related to the arrests, deportations, and trials of the strike leaders. They include petitions and letters of protest against the detention of the leaders, and evidence seized by the police in a raid on the strike committee’s headquarters. These documents capture some of the tension and frustration that lingered in the wake of the strike as the leaders awaited their trials.

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