On to Ottawa Fundraiser-Monday April 26 6-9pm-Railway Club

When: Monday, April 26th -6-9pm
Where: Back room of the Railway Club
Fundraiser: $20 or whatever you can afford (no one
turned away)

Hosted by the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike Relay
in partnership with the On to Ottawa Historical Society

In the severe economic depression of 1929-39 Canadian
labour engaged in many fierce battles. One of the
highlights was the general strike of young unemployed single men
in work camps in the province of British Columbia on
Canada’s west coast in April,1935 where they laboured six and
a half days a week for the paltry wage of 20 cents a day.

The strikers abandoned the camps and congregated in the
city of Vancouver. After two months of valiant but
unsuccessful struggle for union wages, they decided to take their
case direct to Ottawa, the nation’s capital, three thousand
miles to the east. Their journey was enshrined in history as
the On To Ottawa Trek .

They left Vancouver on June 3. “Riding the rod” (on
and in railway freight cars) across mountains and prairie
they reached Regina, still only half way to Ottawa. Here
they were stopped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP)on orders from Ottawa and a month later the strike was
brutally smashed on July 1 in a police-inspired riot and its
leaders arrested.

Their epic strike and trip captured the hearts and
minds of Canadians.

While the strike was suppressed, it wasn’t lost. In the
federal election a few months later, the hated,repressive
Conservative government of Prime Minister R.B.”Iron
Heel” Bennett went down to resounding defeat. The new Liberal
government felt compelled to abolish the camps.

As a delegation from the 2010 Homelessness Hunger Strike
makes a commemorative trek
to Ottawa in June 2010, we are trying to raise funds to
subsidize some of the participants in this year’s trek
and also raise money for a commemorative plaque which will
be placed on the Main Street overpass.

Join comedian Charles Demers, Joey Hartman from the On to Ottawa Historical Society and John Richardson from the Red Tent Campaign.

If you can’t attend, donations can be mailed to:

On to Ottawa 75th Committee
256 North Gamma Avenue
Burnaby, BC
V5C 1X9

Contact – Am Johal – 778-895-5640

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