The Waterfront Organizer

Microfilm Reel 1568

Harsh economic realities saw 1930s British Columbia endure the highest general level of political activism in the history of the province. Working class consciousness was at an all-time high. A strong wave of activist publications resulted. Amongst the more radical broadsheets included: The Unemployed Worker, The Waterfront Strike Bulletin, The Heavy Lift, The Canadian Labour Herald, The Peoples’ Advocate, The Waterfront Organizer, and The BC Lumberworker. These publications are all examples that expressed the tumultuous mood of politics in BC.

The city of Vancouver became a focal point for the social and economic discontent of a generation of British Columbians. The year 1935 saw the On-to-Ottawa Trek begin in the city and a waterfront strike that was one of the most violent labour actions in the province’s history. Two years later the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion built on this social movement to mobilize through Vancouver a considerable number of volunteers from Western Canada to fight fascist Spain. The Waterfront Organizer was a sign of these times. In publication from May to October 1937, the cited page is a good example of the collective consciousness of the economically disenfranchised.

The BC Archives holds a large number of small scale and activist newspapers and broadsheets reflective of significant social movements across the 20th century of British Columbia.

This object selected by Ann ten Cate. View Profile »