ARCHIVED - Permission card used during the Winnipeg General Strike, 1919 - The Canadian West - Exhibitions - Library and Archives Canada
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Permission card used during the Winnipeg General Strike
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Detailed Description

Permission card used during the Winnipeg General Strike

When the strikers in Winnipeg voted in favour of a general strike that would close down the city's services, both Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden and the city's elites considered this to be a conspiracy to revolution. Yet it is important to note that the strikers provided for the continuation of essential services such as milk and bread delivery. The Winnipeg Trades and Labour Council gave the General Strike Committee the task of placing placards (or "permission cards") on delivery wagons announcing that essential services were operating with the permission of the Strike Committee. This was done so that striking workers would know that the services were not being run by strike-breakers or "scabs." But the placards gave the impression that the Strike Committee was now running Winnipeg, instead of the legally-constituted city government. The Citizens' Committee of One Thousand, which included Winnipeg's politicians, manufacturers, and bankers, believed the same thing. In their view, the placards became a symbol of the breakdown of public authority.

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