Friday, June 5

Friday, 6 June 1919 - The Newsstand

Western Labor News
- Today's front page shows how large, and eventful, the marches are becoming. One story is of tells of "Ten Thousand Marchers" and that a "clash" was narrowly averted.
- Another story openly accuses the Committee of 1000 of having "armed thugs" watching the marches ready to cause trouble in the crowd. It tells of one such man being arrested and the mayor chasing the paddy-wagon down Main street demanding that the man be released from custody. A scuffle ensues when the Mayor leaves his car.

The front page also carries this notice for strikers:


Winnipeg Citizen
- Again uses the "child murderer" tag to describe the Strike Committee, accusing them of wooing dairy workers to consider strike action just days after a 'truce' was reached allowing the delivery of milk to resume.

- They, too, tell the story of the Mayor intervening in the arrest of an armed man on Main Street. Apparently, the man was a federal officer.


Winnipeg Telegram Strike Edition
- Carries the headline "Mayor Gray is Assaulted", also recounting the arrest story.

- One of the strike's prominent women leaders, Helen Armstrong, appeared in court today after an altercation between strikers and newsies.
- Today's editorial "The Influx of Undesirables" says that the increasing unrest of the marches is attracting "professional agitators and crooks" from across the country to Winnipeg. The "riff-raff" of various vices are coming because they know there is no police force in place.

The New York Times
- "Winnipeg Quieter with Soldiers' Aid"
The strengthening of Winnipeg's police force by 1,000 war veterans as special constables caused an increase in minor strike disturbances today. There were personal encounters but no serious demonstrations occurred.

Thursday, 5 June 1919 - The Great War Veterans' Association Takes Sides

Tensions have been growing within the ranks of returned Veterans over their position on the strike. By this time, there are both pro and anti strike Veteran groups marching.

The largest umbrella group for the men is the Great War Veterans' Association. It was established in 1917 after a number of failed or modest attempts by the government to assist soldiers upon their return:

"... the returning soldiers began to create their own organizations. The most powerful of these was the Great War Veterans' Association. Through these organizations, the soldiers pressured the government to give preference to veterans when hiring and to increase pensions for common soldiers, widows, and the disabled". source

Officially, the GWVA was neutral but that changed today. At a boisterous meeting at the GWVA hall the following resolution was put forth from the floor over the attempts of the chair to overrule it.


The motion passed with the required majority. The GWVA is now on-side with the strike.

The next day it was announced that the GWVA executive voted to cancel all meetings of the organization until fourteen days after the strike was declared over.

Also see "From Great War Veterans' Association to the Legion"

Thursday, 5 June 1919 - The Newsstand

Western Labor News

- Today's big news, of course, is the endorsement of the Great War Veterans' Association for the strike.

- Reporting on Tuesday night's Strike Committee meeting, this interesting bit: "The time has come when the strike must be taken out of the hands of Winnipeg alone" as it now involves "the whole Dominion" and negotiations with Ottawa

Winnipeg Citizen

- Accuses the Strike Committee of "An attempt at wilful murder". It stems from minutes they obtained from a strike subcommittee explaining why, in part, the committee dropped the "Permitted by Authority of..." card system for milk delivery and are now allowing the city to set up milk depots. "Their action was upon the point of killing babies" the story accuses.

- This small notification also appears:

Telegram Strike Edition

- Has the first major report of physical violence so far. Most takes place as pro and anit returned solders marches meet near city hall. "Rioting and street fighting ran rampant in Winnipeg today for over an hour" the Telegram reports. No serious injuries were reporte. Eight arrests were made.

- More on the milk and bread depots being set up by the city. The Telgram interprets it as a sign that the strike may be ending.

Thursday, 5 June 1919


Concerned about the size of the daily marches now taking place, the mayors of Winnipeg and St. Boniface order that: “By virtue of the authority vested in me, I do hereby order that all persons do refrain from taking part in any parades.”(source)