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.
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Tag Archives: Alberta
The Alberta Legislature was completed between 1907 and 1915. In 1905 Alberta became a Province of Canada and the Legislature building sits a stones throw from the sight of Fort Edmonton, a key Hudson Bay trading post that had occupied … Continue reading
This book is a quick read, and keeping track of the action might take a bit of effort if your not familiar with the events it relates to. There are also problems of representation which undermine the book as a piece … Continue reading
Read Part I, II. In late 1941 Joe Schmidt, just recently an esteemed resident of Cold Lake, Alberta, was hand picked by the Nazi’s to be a saboteur as part of Operation Pastorius, the Nazi attack on America. He was considered … Continue reading
Read Part I Joe Schmidt was born in Cologne, Germany in 1911. He had left in the mid 1920’s to come to Alberta where he found work on farms, eventually obtaining a homestead near Cold Lake in 1933. He was … Continue reading
March 23, 1984. Three articles in the Friday edition of the Edmonton Journal. ‘Cold Lake’s lone-wolf served on Hitlers terror squad;’ ‘Cold Lake’s ‘Nazi Spy’ was just plain Joe;’ and ‘Schmidt a star pupil in Hitlers school for saboteurs. Fast … Continue reading
I enjoyed this book, it reminded me of why I read sci-fi novels so eagerly as a kid. It’s got it all, neat science and tech, an alien species with whom humanity finds itself locked in a bitter struggle, an outcome that is far from certain and a vision of our future meant to provoke thought.