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Writer & Historian

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Labour

Robeson Peace Arch Concerts

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March 22, 2011
Robeson Peace Arch Concerts

Sixty years ago this May 18, an estimated 40,000 music lovers, trade unionists and left-wing politicos gathered at Peace Arch Park near on the United States-Canada border at Blaine, WA, to hear American singing star Paul Robeson. Only a dim public memory, the four annual concerts from 1952 to 1955 are the stuff of...
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Boost, boom and ‘kaboom’ – A history essay

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March 5, 2011

Few Canadians will have heard of the infamous Ludlow Massacre, a “slaughter of the innocents” at a workers’ tent city in the coalfields of Colorado in the spring of 1914. Fewer still will know that in the footnotes to that show of corporate bullying against miners and their families a familiar name pops up,...
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Muckers and Blackholers – A history essay

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February 24, 2011
Muckers and Blackholers – A history essay

Descendants of western North American mining and smelting families know that their grandparents came to the United States and Canada as illiterate farmers, shopkeepers, muckers and blackholers looking for a better life, a way to keep their children from dying of destitution in their home villages of Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
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Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

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February 21, 2011
Wobbly free speech trek celebrated

Trade unionists and social activists celebrated the 100th anniversary of a uniquely local moment in United States labour history on Feb. 16, 2011, in the quiet little university city of Eugene, OR.
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British labour historian dies

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February 9, 2011
British labour historian dies

British labour historian Dorothy Thompson died on Jan. 29, 2011, at age 87. Thompson focused her studies on the 19th-century Chartist movement. Her spouse, the late E.P. Thompson, wrote a groundbreaking history called The Making of the English Working Class.  Together they made a formidable team of activist historians, both dedicating themselves to the Campaign for Nuclear...
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Changing Images

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January 24, 2011
Changing Images

This report is based on a three-month study of trade union communications in the United Kingdom conducted from May to July 1990. Funding was provided by the Commonwealth Relations Trust, a London-based organization that sponsors a bursary each year for one Canadian trade unionist to study in the United Kingdom.
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Selling Labour Down Under

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January 23, 2011
Selling Labour Down Under

Reference Verzuh, Ron. Selling Labour Down Under: Australian union communications in a time of peril  (Toronto: Canadian Association of Labour Media, 1996). Synopsis On March 2, 1996, the Australian Labor Party lost the federal election.  After 13 years, it relinquished power to a coalition of right-wing parties led by Thatcherite John Howard. The upset was not entirely...
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Radical Rag

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January 10, 2011
Radical Rag

Canada’s trade unions have long claimed a prominent place in the struggle for social democracy. From the earliest years of that struggle, the labour movement’s press has been on the front lines. Radical Rag tells the colourful story of those pioneer days, recounting the war for social justice fiercely waged through the pages of...
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Real Indians didn’t work, did they? – A history essay

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December 15, 2010

The noble savage is dead. Long live the noble savage. That seems to have been the view of many politicians, land promoters, frontier boosters and historians as the nineteenth century drew to a close and western settler society clinched its hold on former aboriginal lands forever. At least that is the view that was...
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