Our Times 3

Riley McMurray

  • Learning from the mistakes of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Strikes remain the most powerful tool available to regular people under capitalism, and the general strike is the most powerful kind of strike. Even if it takes a half century or more, it is better to begin today than tomorrow in working towards the point at which the working class “shall demand, not the half-loaf which is said to be better than no bread, but the whole bakehouse.”

  • Why we need to resurrect the ‘syndicalism’ of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Capitalism has changed very little over hundreds of years, and general strikes, now as in 1919, remain the most powerful form of anti-capitalist action. Amid ever-worsening inequality, progressives of all stripes must shift away from electoral politics and focus on organizing general strikes, as workers did more than a century ago in the streets of Winnipeg.

  • Alternatives to neoliberalism: Anarchist schools in the United States and Winnipeg

    The political context of anarcho-syndicalism from which the Modern School movement emerged is worth revisiting as a viable means for those who care about public education. This model has the potential to positively transform the anti-democratic administrative power structure within schools, as well as the austerity of neoliberal governments outside of them.

  • Disease and direct action: Organizing the Winnipeg General Strike and the 1918 influenza pandemic

    The influenza outbreak experienced in Winnipeg over a century ago, described in detail in Esyllt Jones’ Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg, echoes many of today’s crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it also offers a rough guide for what may come next.

  • Note to Justin Trudeau: Climate leaders don’t build pipelines

    Social change does not come from asking a politician a hard question, from a single moment of glory. Social change comes from sustained resistance by huge numbers of people over extended periods of time. Don’t let the powers-that-be-damned make you think you can only engage in democracy once every four years.

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