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Muddied Water

Author: CBC Radio

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Winnipeg in 1919 is a city divided but when the two sides collide it's difficult to know who's right and who's wrong, and if faced with similar conditions if we'd make the same choices today.
7 Episodes
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On June 21st, the government sent in the militia. One man is shot dead, dozens are wounded, and thousands are sent running for their lives. Hear from eyewitnesses to the event known as Bloody Saturday, the day that broke the back of the strike. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa. With files from Margaux Watt.
May 30th, 1919, Winnipeg police officers were asked to sign a document. In it they pledge allegiance to the Police Commissioners and promise not to join 30,000 other workers in a city-wide strike. It was called "the slave pact" by many of the 252 members who refused to sign it, and it led to them being replaced by a group of citizen constables called the "Specials." Some remember them as a formidable force, others, a band of fools. Either way you look at it, it's law and disorder in Winnipeg as we head toward the end of the strike. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa.
On the other side of 30,000 striking workers one man's name stands alone: A.J. Andrews. He and his Citizens Committee of 1,000 are credited with breaking the back of the strike in 1919. But how did they do it? Meet the man at the head of the business elite and hear what some of his descendants think of his actions today. It's time to visit the south side of the tracks. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa. With files from Margaux Watt and Darren Bernhardt. Voice work by Darren Bernhardt.
She shouted from pulpits, raised her fists on the picket line and sang songs of freedom outside of prison walls the night the strike leaders were arrested. Oh ya, and she also ran the Labour Cafe, feeding thousands of striking women, in her spare time. Meet Helen Armstrong, a constant organizer who, by most accounts, was a strike leader, but underestimated by authorities because she was a woman. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa. With files from Margaux Watt and Darren Bernhardt.
Bill Pritchard was one of the brains behind the strike. He was in Winnipeg just six days but would end up imprisoned for a year because of his "involvement" in the strike. In this episode we focus on the media and the messages of the day, from the One Big Union to the one big communist uprising feared by the governing elite. On June 10, 1919, the two sides would collide in what some history books call a "riot" and foreshadow the height of the violence to come. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa. With files from Margaux Watt.
When the city stopped the first day of the strike, milk was not delivered to the Children's Hospital. This is how we come to know Ethel Johns, the superintendent of the Children's Hospital at the time. Her need for milk for the sick children contributed to the Strike Committee's creation of placards, which authorized certain services in the city. They read: "Permitted By Authority of Strike Committee". Ethel considered herself part of the middle class but, having come from modest roots, sympathized with strikers. Her character is tested on the night of a big storm when the Children's Hospital caught fire, and its roof was ripped off. Produced by Kim Kaschor and Marcy Makusa. Voice work by Nadia Kidwai.
Muddied Water trailer

Muddied Water trailer

2019-06-0603:22

Muddied Water is a podcast about the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike that explores our desire to find heroes in an often unclear past. In a "fight for fair" that brought strikers out in the thousands, you'll meet characters like Helen Armstrong and AJ Andrews, but if you think you know on which side of history they fall, think again. Winnipeg in 1919 is a city divided but when the two sides collide it's difficult to know who's right and who's wrong, and if faced with similar conditions if we'd make the same choices today.
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