Dan Keeton photo, Pacific Tribune photo collection, SFU Library MSC160-869-17

The largest political protest in BC’s history.

In 1983, labour and activist organizations alike across the province, including unions, environmental, religious, social justice and women’s rights groups, came together over the course of several weeks through escalating actions in what would effectively become the largest political protest in BC’s history. It was in response to the most sweeping assault on rights in Canadian history by the newly re-elected Social Credit government.

This project explores the diverse experiences and recollections of workers involved in this moment in history through archival photos, videos, objects, and oral history interviews, to help us learn from the past and work towards the future.  In late 2019 we will be publishing an exhibit at the Virtual Museum of Canada, exploring Solidarity through stories, artifacts and memories.

July 7, 1983: Twenty-six pieces of legislation introduced by BC government
• Human Rights Branch and Commission fired
• Rentalsman Office closed
• Employment Standards Board, Alcohol and Drug Commission, vehicle testing stations, BC Harbours Board axed
• Government gives itself power to fire school boards
• BCGEU contract gutted
• All public employers to get the right to fire employees without cause


Knowledge Network/BC Labour Heritage Centre video on Solidarity. (2:50)

Past President of MoveUP, Andy Ross, describes August 10, 1983 when he and other uniformed ICTU (bus drivers) members marched into Empire Stadium. (1:11)

Historic Photos

Photos from 2018 Solidarity35 retrospective