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The Trekkers sat in the meeting like a bunch of tramps, but they were unbowed. Bennett asked each man where he had been born. “Ireland,” Walsh said. It wasn’t true, but Walsh didn’t care what he said. If it mattered, his forefathers had come from Galway. The meeting was a disaster. Evans stated the complaints of the men as succinctly as possible. Bennett hectored and chided, ridiculed and redbaited. Communism, he said, would not be tolerated. ” Bennett made his statements and filed his accusations.

C. Soon he was organizing there for the Relief Camp Workers’ Union. Then came the On to Ottawa Trek and the bloody Regina riot. After that Williamson could see no sense in going back to Vancouver and continuing the camp struggle. So he took the offered train ticket east to Winnipeg. In Winnipeg, many of the three thousand men who had been waiting to join the trek were still around. Williamson joined some of them in a new, smaller trek they started toward Ottawa. Several hundred men rode the rails all the way to Kenora, but their numbers kept dwindling with every stop, and soon it was obvious the spirit of the first trek was gone.

Most of the meetings were organized by the Canadian League Against War and Fascism. Since its formation on October 6, 1934, at the Oddfellow’s Hall in Toronto, the League had emerged as Canada’s major anti-fascist voice. Salsberg admired how the League united people from across the progressive social spectrum into one body. In all, 211 organizations were involved in the League’s establishment. The membership of these organizations comprised 337,000 Canadians. Among the member organizations were the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF); the Trades and Labor Congress; the All-Canadian Congress of Labor; the Federation of Catholic Workers of Canada; the Ex-Service Men’s League; such unions as the International Fur Workers’ Union, the Cutters’ Local Industrial Needle Workers’ Union, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, and the Auto Workers’ Union; the Toronto and Edmonton boards of education; and the Workers’ Party of Canada.

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Canada - Quibec - Exuberantly Wild


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