Au mois de mai et juin 1919, plus de 30 000 travailleurs et travailleuses de Winnipeg, au Manitoba, quittent leur emploi. Ils mènent une grève pour diverses raisons — de meilleurs salaires, le droit à la négociation collective, et plus de pouvoir pour la classe ouvrière. Les grévistes font les manchettes des journaux nationaux et internationaux, et ils inspirent d’autres travailleurs à mener des grèves de solidarité dans de nombreuses autres villes canadiennes. La grève générale de Winnipeg, qui aura duré six semaines, se solde finalement par une défaite. Elle est violemment écrasée par la police, en collusion avec des représentants de l’État et des dirigeants commerciaux de Winnipeg.
Cent ans plus tard, la grève générale de Winnipeg demeure l’une des grèves les plus déterminantes de l’histoire du Canada. Cette bande dessinée revisite la grève pour présenter aux nouvelles générations les nombreuses leçons que l’histoire de la classe ouvrière a à offrir, notamment le pouvoir de la lutte des classes et de la solidarité, ainsi que la détermination des gouvernements et des patrons à employer des tactiques musclées pour écraser les mouvements ouvriers. La grève générale de Winnipeg est un rappel brutal que la classe ouvrière et la classe dominante n’ont rien en commun, et que l’État n’a pas peur de se couvrir les mains de sang pour protéger les intérêts du capital. Face à cela, les travailleurs et les travailleuses doivent compter les uns sur les autres et lutter ensemble pour faire renaître de ses cendres un monde nouveau, plus juste.
When war and nationalism bolstered the rich and the powerful, it also brought the working class together. It is inspiring to remember that the struggles of all working-class people intersect with the fight against oppression of Indigenous peoples, women, and people of colour. 1919 is a timely reminder that we are allies in struggle and that structural change happens when we fight together, united.
– Althea Balmes, Kwentong Bayan Collective
They live in our imaginations still: those remarkable days when workers in one of Canada’s largest cities seized power and dared to dream of an egalitarian, post-capitalist society. 1919 is a stirring, vivid centennial portrayal of the Winnipeg General Strike that makes it come alive again for a new generation.
– Ian McKay, author of Rebels, Reds, Radicals and Reasoning Otherwise and L.R. Wilson Chair in Canadian History, McMaster University
[a] compelling chronicle of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.
– Fifth Estate
An engaging and easy way to learn about Canadian labour history that reflects today’s ongoing struggle for fair wages and working conditions.
– Kevin Rebeck, President, Manitoba Federation of Labour
Imaginative and deeply moving, 1919 is a triumph. It presents the background and multifaceted story of the Winnipeg General Strike clearly by drawing fully on historical research to pay attention to class, gender, race, and politics. This book is the perfect introduction to the events of 1919 for a range of audiences from social studies classes to universities to unions.
– Mark Leier, author of Red Flags and Red Tape and Professor, Department of History, Simon Fraser University
1919 captures the intensity and vibrancy of the Winnipeg General Strike. This book is a must-read for history buffs, comics fans, and everyone seeking a more just world.
– Candida Rifkind, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Winnipeg
1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike, bolstered by historical analysis in its foreword, is a useful and clear account of the strike with attention paid to holding some of the disparate threads of history in dialogue with each other. Easy and fun to read, with an urgent energy, this book will certainly familiarize and interest its audience with this important history and in doing so can further the vital conversation around the character of class struggle in settler colonial Canada.
– The Volcano
A concise, powerful, and beautifully illustrated account of the Winnipeg General Strike that confirms its contemporary relevance for workers demanding their rights and dignity today.
– Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress
1919 uses radical art and history to remind us, in Winnipeg as elsewhere, that the status quo is not a foregone conclusion as long as we choose to organize and actively resist it.
– Chris Hannah, vocalist and guitarist, Propagandhi
This is one of the most important books of our time for educating people about the very important history of our city and the labour movement.
– Basia Sokal, President, Winnipeg Labour Council
1919 illustrates not only the brazen spirit of Winnipeg strikers, but the strategies they used to coordinate their mass defiance of poverty, war, and the colluding interests of capital and the state. This is essential reading for young workers and organizers today.
– Emily Leedham, Fight for $15 & Fairness Manitoba
These graphic histories were enjoyable reads and I look forward to see what the Graphic History Collective is up to next.
This is a wonderful project that will help activists today understand the character of class struggle in Winnipeg and beyond.
– Cy Gonick, founder of Canadian Dimension magazine
1919 captures the raw intensity of class struggle during the Winnipeg General Strike and conveys important lessons about organizing and the power of solidarity for new generations.
– Gregory S. Kealey, author of Workers and Canadian History
This is a dynamic and engaging comic book history of the Winnipeg General Strike that keeps the memory of an important class conflict alive.
– Gord Hill, Kwakwaka’wakw author and illustrator of The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book
This brilliant account of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike is as sharply analytic and richly researched as it is vividly and movingly illustrated. 1919 captures the greatest event in Canadian labour history better than anything else I have ever seen.
– Leo Panitch, editor of the Socialist Register
Read this book. Share it. Learn from the truth it shares and think about the questions it raises. And then ask some of your own, like: ‘When do we do it again?’
– Monique Woroniak, librarian in Winnipeg, co-founder groundworkforchange.org
1919 is fantastic! The lessons of the Winnipeg General Strike, an event at once local, national, and international, come alive in these pages and highlight how women workers defied gender and class expectations to join working-class men in seeking a fairer economic, political, and social system.
– Linda Kealey, author of Enlisting Women for the Cause
With the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike upon us, 1919 could not be a more timely or important book. This is Canadian labour history at its engaging best.
– Joan Sangster, author of Transforming Labour and co-editor of Labour/Le Travail
1919 is both inspired and inspiring; it is essential reading for our times!
– Paul Buhle, editor of Wobblies! and co-author of A People’s History of American Empire
This is a rigorous, thoroughly engaging, and dynamic recounting of the Winnipeg General Strike, one of the most dramatic episodes of labour unity and activism in Canadian history. The illustrations, grounded in key visual sources, underscore the event’s high stakes and emotion while at the same time honouring and commemorating its supporters. This is a timely and important work.
– Rhonda Hinther, author of Perogies and Politics and Associate Professor, Department of History, Brandon University