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.

Upcoming Event:

“A Time to Act”
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 7 pm
Anvil Centre, New Westminster
FREE! Register here.

This event will focus on the strike action that took place in October and November 1983 and will include archival video footage and current recorded oral histories of participants.
Moderator: Dr. Kendra Strauss, Director, SFU Labour Studies
Cliff Andstein, Chief Negotiator BCGEU
Rod Mickleburgh, Labour Reporter Province Newspaper
Ken Novakowski, BCTF Bargaining Staff
Patsy George, fired BC government Social Worker
The Rev. Margaret Marquardt, Priest, Anglican
Church of Canada

Download a shareable poster:


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)

July 7, 1983: Twenty-six pieces of legislation
• 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
• Government gives itself and all public employers the right to fire employees without cause