About OOTOUB and the Winnipeg General Strike Stories
Lately this blog has started to include some fiction as well as book reviews and paintings. This is the outcome of years of wrestling with the subject, “Bloody Saturday” of the Winnipeg general strike, and its significance in my life both politically and personally.
Reading the blog you will figure out quickly that I consider myself a Marxist. I’ve organised unions and solidarity campaigns, walked picket lines and sold newspapers at rallies, conventions, Demos and strike actions. As well, I’ve made an attempt to educate myself.
But my grandfather was a strike breaker during one of the most intense periods of class struggle in Canadian history. He joined the R.N.W.M.P. at the age of 18, and was sent to Winnipeg to ride down the workers and soldiers protesting on June 21, 1919. Before his basic training was even finished. That experience would shape the man he would become and in turn echo through my father into myself.
The fiction I’ve started to write is the result of the intersection of that contradiction between what he was a part of and what it is that I believe in. He died well before I was born but in an attempt to contextualise my present I am driven to look into the past. I never knew the man, yet the choices he made have had a massive significance in my life.
My interest is the result of a collision of the personal and political. It is expressed from a class perspective. Historical fiction in this case is means to both express that perspective in relation to “Bloody Saturday,” and it is also an attempt to get to know my grandfather by trying to put him into a human context.
- Follow Out of the Oubliette on WordPress.com
Tag Archives: 1919
Just before sunset Doak came in to the stables. “How’s it going? He asked half sitting, half leaning on a double stack of hay. “Was it worth it?” He said, smiling. “You bet, did you even see her?” Russell stood … Continue reading
The barracks began to buzz as the trumpeter blew reveille. As usual over the past four and a half weeks the N.C.O instructors, assisted by the recruits assigned to fire patrol duty at that hour, roused the barracks. The fire … Continue reading
The next morning at reveille Doak was not in his bunk, and his blankets, pea coat and jacket were still missing. The Troop assembled in Sleigh square and marched off to breakfast at the division mess behind the barracks, no … Continue reading
Russell closed the door behind him and headed out to the front of the building. A seven seater McLaughlin- Buick with its cloth roof up was idling across the street. The man behind the wheel looked over, saw Russ and smiled. “You … Continue reading
The train coming from the northwest pulled into Regina as the sun finally dipped below the horizon behind it. Wheels screeching and smoke belching from the stack atop the engine three cars forward, a young man jumped off the steps … Continue reading