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 Oct. 2019, we published an exhibit through the Virtual Museum of Canada Community Stories Program, exploring Solidarity through stories, artifacts and memories.
Knowledge Network/BC Labour Heritage Centre video on Solidarity. (2:50)
Andy Ross clip - Solidarity
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)
On July 23, 1983 more than 20,000 demonstrators marched in Vancouver in a pro-Solidarity rally organized by the Lower Mainland Budget Coalition, Pacific Tribune photo, SFU Library
Front page of Victoria Times Colonist, July 28, 1983.
July 27, 1983. Victoria Times Colonist photo.
On September 10, 1983 during the Solidarity crisis in British Columbia, candlelight vigils were held in Vancouver, Victoria, Terrace, Prince George, Cranbrook and Victoria. Victoria Times-Colonist photo.
Photograph shows Provincial Council of Carpenters secretary Lorne Robson (right) and Jim Green, two of the spokespersons for the Cabinet office occupiers. September 16, 1983. Photo: Pacific Tribune Collection (MSC160-877_19), Simon Fraser University.
Flyer announcing plans for massive protest on October 15, 1983. 60,000 attended.
Banners from Health Sciences Association of British Columbia, Sikh Solidarity Coalition, Letter Carriers Union of Canada and CBRT are visible at the October 15, 1983 march and rally. Sean Griffin photo, Pacific Tribune, SFU Library
BCGEU pickets celebrate the end of their strike, November 13, 1983.
Renate Shearer, Chair of the Solidarity Coalition and Art Kube, President of BC Federation of Labour join hands at the 1983 Federation Convention in Vancouver. Image MSC160-915_10, Pacific Tribune Photo Collection, SFU Library
Photos from 2018 Solidarity35 retrospective
Gary Steeves and Gord Larkin share memories at a Solidarity35 Advisory Meeting, 2018.
Solidarity Walking Tour in downtown Vancouver, August 10, 1983.
Members of the Troika Collective used street theatre to share the history of Solidarity.
Some participants in our August 10, 2018 Walking Tour pose with historic flag of Operation Solidarity.
One of the millions of buttons distributed during 1983 Solidarity protest.
Archived flag flown over Tranquille Institution in Kamloops during worker occupation in 1983.
Panelists: Larry Kuehn, Hanne Jensen, Gary Steeves, Peter Leask and moderator Bethany Hastie at October 8, 2018 panel discussion