The Possibility of a General Strike in America

Is There a General Strike in America?

As the federal government shutdown continues, union leaders have begun calling for a general strike. Whether or not such a strike is possible, however, depends on many factors.

One of the biggest is the political climate. Another is the current high level of public support for unions. But, a look at labor history shows that the effectiveness of strikes has varied widely across time and place.

The Origins of the Modern Strike

As the government shutdown enters its fourth week and hundreds of thousands of workers are out of their jobs, the word strike seems to be on everyone’s lips. Union leaders and activists are discussing the possibility of a general strike, but there has not been one in America since 1946.

A general strike is “a large-scale worker uprising organized by a trade union to address an economic issue,” according to historian Mark Singer. Unlike run-of-the-mill work stoppages or even more militant wildcat strikes, a general strike is typically not called—rather, it spreads from one group of workers to another.

The general strikes of the past—which ranged from a single day’s protest by New York journeymen tailors to a nine-week action by Houston janitors—showcased the power of solidarity among workers. But a general strike is also incredibly dangerous to the people in power. If successful, it lays bare the structural and legal inequalities that the 1% seeks to protect.

The Oakland General Strike

The last general strike in America took place in Oakland in December of 1946, a massive “work holiday” that shut down the entire city for 54 hours. It was the last of the mass strikes that swept the country following World War II and ushered in a new era of deindustrialization and unemployment that continues to this day.

The strike started when 400 retail clerks from Hastings and Kahn department stores walked off their jobs to protest the firing of one of their number for union activities. The strike quickly grew as more and more workers joined the rank and file. Eventually 142 local labor councils affiliated with the Alameda County AFL declared a work holiday and 142 companies halted operations in the city.

The streets were a ghost town. Picket lines swelled as the city’s street cars and Key System ferries stopped operating. The only way that capitalist businesses could get their business back was to break the strike and bring in scabs. This they did by hiring police to beat and arrest strikers.

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877

In the summer of 1877, railroad workers played a role in the first general strike since the Civil War. The upheaval began in Martinsburg, West Virginia when workers for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad walked out of work in protest of their employers slashing their pay by 10 percent. In the following days workers began to walk out of their jobs and act in solidarity with each other on significant rail routes across the country.

The resulting actions resembled more of a mob uprising or socialist revolution than the squabbles between union and management that typically marked most strikes. However, unlike the Bolsheviks or the Paris Commune of 1871, there was no central leadership to direct and coordinate these actions; most were spontaneous acts of resistance triggered by news of a similar action in another city.

While the strike did not last long, its legacy was profound. It demonstrated that working class people could mobilize with tremendous power and it disseminated socialist ideas about the nature of capitalism in the United States.

The Great War General Strike

The end of World War I saw working people face a sharp reversal in wage gains and an explosive rise in labour conflict. This sparked the first general strike of the 20th century.

On Bloody Saturday, riots between pro- and anti-strike veterans erupted during a parade. Two strikers were killed and many others injured. Police and company-hired thugs beat up picketers. Thousands of black workers, who couldn’t join unions because of racial prejudice, were brought in as strikebreakers.

The striking unions wanted to win the support of returned soldiers, who were highly respected for their service and viewed as moral role models. They could sway public opinion with their moral authority. To this end, they tried to gain the undivided support of the Great War Veterans’ Association (GWVA). When the GWVA refused, Captain F.G. Thompson formed his own anti-strike organization, the Loyalist Returned Soldiers’ Association. Both sides lost the battle, and the general strike was crushed.

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Connecting Fans Worldwide: Discover the Thrill of ‘nba중계’

Basketball, with its high-flying athletes and buzzer-beating shots, has held the world in its grasp for many decades. The National Basketball Association, better known as the NBA, is home to this sport’s elites, offering a thrilling spectator experience with its regular broadcasts, or as some may refer to, the ‘nba중계’.

The NBA is an international sensation, with individuals from across the globe tuning in for every dunk, every defensive stop, and every game-winning shot. Broadcasts of these games, known in Korea as ‘nba중계’, gives fans near and far the opportunity to be part of the action, the thrill, and the sheer beauty of the game, no matter where they are.

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A General Strike and Social Unrest: Iran’s Labour Movement Challenges the Regime

Iran General Strike Enters Fourth Week

Iran is facing one of its biggest challenges in decades. A general strike has entered a fourth week and is spreading to critical sectors of the economy.

Videos shared by 1500tasvir and Hengaw show shops closed across the country. The action follows calls for a three-day general strike to demand political reform following the death in custody of a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police.

The labour movement

After a break for the holidays, the labour movement in Iran is taking up the call to action and striking. The strikes have sparked massive social unrest across the country, exposing the regime’s vulnerability and bringing new dimensions to the protest movement.

Iran’s workers are the most powerful force challenging the regime. Their demands are rooted in class and community. They call for the end of exploitation, poverty and oppression. The workers are bridging ethnic, religious, gender, class and generational divides like never before.

They have also fought to establish independent unions in the face of government suppression. This is particularly notable in light of the fact that Iran’s labor law does not allow for the formation of unions outside the sanctioned ones. They are also tackling corruption and mismanagement of their workplaces. For example, the workers in the Haft Tappeh sugar cane company are demanding immediate payment of three months overdue wages, renewal of insurance coverage, and the immediate arrest of the CEO and one of the owners who have been implicated in a $1.5 billion FOREX corruption case.

The economy

In Iran, where most workers live on $3 a day and inflation is raging, it’s unlikely that this latest wave of strikes will amount to much. But it’s a sign that serious working-class action is re-emerging as an organizing force in the country.

Organizers are coordinating their actions with each other over social media to increase the chances that they’ll win concessions from the regime. They’re also trying to turn the protests into a movement of the entire Iranian working class by tying them to economic demands.

In a letter to teachers, the Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has urged all Iranians to support their “reasonable demands.” That could prove difficult for Tehran. If Iran’s economy continues to crumble, it may be forced to resort to printing money—which will further fuel inflation and alienate key constituencies. Then it will be stuck in a cycle of unrest that it can’t escape.

The regime

Across Iran, shopkeepers and lorry drivers are joining oil workers in their general strike against skyrocketing petrol prices. As the regime struggles to contain protests, it is also running out of options to subdue them.

The success of the oil workers’ strike shows that a diverse range of social movements can coalesce around a common antagonist and use everyday politics to build solidarity. Although students’ and workers’ grievances are seemingly distinct, they have converged around the coloniality of the oil company and its refusal to listen to their demands.

The Iranian leadership appears increasingly unnerved by these developments. They fear that workers’ movements can erupt at any moment and have the potential to grow from small localised actions to broad rejection of the regime. They are also concerned about the proliferation of protests via social media and the speed with which they have spread from city to city. This makes them particularly worried about the oil industry.

The diaspora

Iranian expats living in the West, as well as many of those who have left Iran since the revolution, have been among the biggest supporters of the protest movement. They have provided funds and re-broadcast live streams of protests on social media, providing a crucial link between Iran and its citizens.

But as the protests enter a second day, the government is doubling down on crackdowns. It has denied a claim by a senior official that the morality police were being abolished and imposed restrictions on women’s dress. Domestic media, including 1500tasvir and the state-run Fars news agency, shared footage showing shops closed in Tehran and other cities.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, a journalist with the state-run Hammihan Daily, remains in prison in poor health serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime”. Fellow journalist Mohammadi Mohammadi was arrested for attending a memorial service for poet Baktash Abtin who died in custody after contracting COVID-19 in Evin Prison.

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The Power of Solidarity and Comradeship in Revolution and Literature

Hearts of Iron 4

The general strike is a most fundamental method of revolutionizing industry. The present leaders of the unions and their masses are not adapted to oppose it with any strength.

They slander the idea with the same idiotic phrases as big-bellied bourgeoisie have always used, and in doing so prove their own ignorance.


Solidarity is an idea that unites the different parts of society in one community. It is the principle that everyone should give up their own personal interests in order to benefit the community as a whole. This idea is central to the philosophy of communism.

During the general strike, the organisers called for a united front to confront the government, and many workers pledged to support the striking miners. This solidarity was a key strength of the movement, and helped to bring about its success.

Despite its widespread popularity, the concept of solidarity faces some criticisms. Some people argue that solidarity stymies diversity and pluralism. Others say that it promotes false beliefs and self-conceptions among participants (Shelby forthcoming). These concerns are important to consider, but they must be weighed against the idea that solidarity has non-instrumental value of an intrinsic kind. Moreover, there are ways to defend solidarity against these concerns. For example, some scholars have suggested that unlike friendship or love relationships, solidarity obligations are grounded not in the value of the relationship but in a relationship-independent value of the duties themselves.


Comradeship is a quality of friendship, closeness and solidarity which binds people together in times of distress. It has been the distinguishing feature of Australians during wartime, and has left its mark on the fabric of our nation. The war memorial’s stained-glass windows reflect some of these stories of comradeship. Corporal Leslie “Peter” Chitty BEM offered a distraction on the sporting field; Lorrae Desmond MBE offered comfort and encouragement through music and laughter; and Trooper David “Poppy” Pearce helped countless men to find a way to cope with their loneliness.

This general strike has brought the working class face to face with the political issue of power; it has revealed the complete impotence of the old trade union tradition, parliamentarism and pacifism. It has also shown that it is a vital iron necessity to the working class that it should have a revolutionary mass political party to lead its struggle. It is to this end that the workers must devote themselves to the preparation of the next fight.


Symbolism is an important part of literature and can be used to add emotional weight or evocative imagery. It can also help authors convey themes that might be too controversial or sensitive to state openly. It can even imply change or growth in characters through symbolic shifts in their interaction with certain objects, or ways in which those symbols evolve over time.

Literary scholars sometimes use the term symbolism to describe a style of writing that emphasizes evocative imagery and allusions. However, it’s important to remember that symbolism is not merely a style of writing; it’s an art form. You can find symbols in every type of art, including painting, film and TV, music, sculpture, and literature.

Symbols can also have more than one meaning, like the iconic Rosie the Riveter. This powerful symbol has been reframed in different contexts to stand for initiative and empowerment, from WWII employment posters to Covid-19 pandemic awareness. Its power lies in its ubiquity and recognizability, rather than its specific visual details.


The general strike has taught the English working class a lesson which they must learn. It is the lesson that they need a revolutionary political party, which should be the mass organisation of the trade unions, to lead them in their struggle against the capitalists.

The old sectional trade union fighting, no matter how brilliantly carried out in particular industries, can no longer stop the capitalist degradation of working-class conditions or win any important advance for the whole working class. A more fundamental class battle is necessary and this requires a greater degree of courage, confidence and class-will.

The collapse of the general strike, with its utter disintegration of fronts and the break-up of the leadership, demonstrates that the leaders have not yet reached this higher stage of consciousness. But the masses have entered the full highway of a struggle and shown a power, courage and class-will which assures them of future revolutionary victory. This struggle must be fought most mercilessly.

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The General Strike of 1934: A Milestone in American Labor History

The General Strike of 1934

The images in this collection capture events that were pivotal in the growth of a militant labor movement across America in the 1930s and 1940s. The general strike of 1934 began on July 16 when the International Longshoremen’s Association struck for control over hiring halls and better pay and hours.

The Cause

Until 1934 most workers in the United States had never experienced a mass strike. But the determination and militancy of the rank and file members of the International Longshoremen’s Association ignited an 83-day struggle that shut down 2,000 miles of the Pacific coastline from Bellingham to San Diego, defying local business leaders, the federal mediators appointed by President Franklin Roosevelt, and the conservative AFL union leadership.

The strike’s outcome was a triumph, but the fighting that broke out between strikers and police was brutal and bloody. Strikers were beaten and sprayed with bullets, killing two men – 20 year old “Dickie” Parker and John Knudsen. Gangs of vigilantes roved the city, smashing halls and homes they believed to harbor Communist sympathizers.

The rioting of July 5 became known as “Bloody Thursday.” Despite these bouts of violence (shown in this collection), strikers, led by Harry Bridges, refused to break their resolve. In the end the ILA agreed to binding arbitration, conceding a majority union hiring hall and shorter hours, ending the general strike.

The Strike

The spring and summer of 1934 saw an unprecedented escalation of conflict between workers and employers. Many mill owners feared that workers who joined unions could become disloyal, and they frequently fired or forced out union representatives and organizers. In response, workers began a series of walkouts that eventually escalated into a general strike in San Francisco that brought the city to a standstill and would have a pivotal impact on the growth of militant labor in America during the 1930s and 1940s.

The strike started on May 9, when dockworkers of the International Longshoremen’s Association walked off the job, crippling West Coast shipping. Throughout the course of the 83-day strike, the city became a tinderbox of violence as police clashed with strikers, and the press accused radical “Reds” of being behind the violence. The worst clash occurred on July 5, known as “Bloody Thursday.” The strikes resulted in the deaths of two longshoremen and a series of raids by police, who arrested hundreds of suspected “radicals” and “subversives.” The images presented here document the events leading up to that day.

The Final Countdown

What started as a dispute between longshoremen and ship owners morphed into one of the most sweeping industrial conflicts of the Great Depression. On May 9, 1934, International Longshoremen’s Association workers launched a general strike that shut down 2,000 miles of Pacific coastline from Bellingham to San Diego. The 83-day conflict defied President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s federal mediators and the conservative leadership of the AFL union.

The images in this collection record a pivotal episode in the rise of organized labor in the United States. It was the first time a major port city was completely shut down by a strike.

The strike’s success fueled public sympathy for the longshoremen. Among other things, it highlighted the brutality of employers and police in clashes like the one that took place on July 5, “Bloody Thursday,” when two strikers were killed. This tragedy and the solemn dignity of the strikers’ funeral march (pictured in two photographs) inspired radical labor leader Harry Bridges to call for a nationwide general strike.

The End

On May 9, 1934 West Coast longshoremen of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) struck, shutting down docks along 2,000 miles of coastline from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California. Powered by the determination and militancy of rank-and-file members, this 83-day struggle defied the employers’ Industrial Association of San Francisco, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s federal mediators, and the conservative American Federation of Labor (AFL) union leadership.

The deaths of two strikers on what became known as “Bloody Thursday” inflamed public sentiment for the workers. Thousands of working men joined the funeral march—some eight abreast—in a moving display of solemnity and dignity.

But the tide turned quickly. As the general strike drew to a close, employers won concessions from the ILA in return for arbitration of their claims. Eventually the union dropped their demand to control hiring halls and ended the general strike. Nonetheless, the event sparked new movements for workplace democracy and improved conditions for workers in the United States.

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Can a General Strike End the Government Shutdown?

Can a General Strike End the Government Shutdown?

As the government shutdown stretches into its fourth week and workers struggle to survive without paychecks, the words “general strike” have been popping up in news articles and on social media. But what exactly is a general strike?

The IWW places a high importance on the general strike as a weapon of mass inspiration. However, a general strike cannot substitute for building independent political voices and the development of revolutionary leadership that can sink capitalism.

What is a General Strike?

The term general strike describes a situation when a large number of workers refuse to work. This can be achieved by a single union or a coalition of different ones, as was the case with the Seattle general strike of 1919.

The Seattle general strike lasted for multiple days and was a major event in 20th-century labor history. This archived collection includes complete copies of the daily newspapers that covered it, including a day-by-day record from the first week of the strike.

The current global wave of mass protests is often referred to as a general strike because it involves millions of people refusing to go to work. The UK last saw a general strike in 1926 when the TUC called one in defence of 1.2 million miners. Legislation now prevents the TUC from calling a general strike, but this does not stop individual unions from coordinating their strikes with other workers across the country.

Why do we need a General Strike?

Many workers today are concerned about attacks on wages, benefits, and union rights. But can they take a page from history and fight back with a general strike?

A general strike involves people from all different industries stopping work at the same time to force change. It’s an extremely powerful tool because it can paralyze the economy and expose the underlying issues that must be changed.

The IWW believed that the general strike could be a way to unite workers across all sectors of society, including those who aren’t affiliated with a trade union. It could also bring in support from non-workers like students, people who depend on public services, or community activists. In the case of the Seattle General Strike of 1919, it even brought in solidarity from enslaved African Americans!

How do we organize a General Strike?

A general strike is a massive form of protest that involves workers from a wide range of industries in the same area stopping work at the same time. It is difficult to pull off and requires the will of a large population. This is why it usually happens as a last resort.

During a general strike, organizers will need to ensure that all participants are cared for. This includes building out community systems to support people during the strike. It is also important to have a clear message that reflects the demands of the strike. It is best to make these messages as simple as possible, so everyone can understand them.

Before 1947, when Congress passed the Taft-Hartley Act in the wake of the Oakland general strike, unions would often go on strikes in solidarity with other unions. However, since that law, the idea of a general strike has been nearly impossible to execute. A general strike is only a possibility when multiple unions have a legal right to go on strike and have a common set of political goals they want to advance.

How can we win a General Strike?

As the government shutdown drags on and federal workers struggle to pay their bills without income, the word “general strike” has been appearing with more frequency on social media. On January 20, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson suggested that a general strike could end the shutdown.

The idea of a general strike isn’t new, but it’s hard to win one, and requires a massive amount of preparation. First and foremost, it’s important to build mutual aid networks and community systems of care that will be there for people during a general strike.

It’s also important to educate people about the basics of a general strike so they know what it looks like and how to support it. This could be done through a variety of ways, from teaching classes at local schools to passing resolutions at unions, like this one passed by the CWU in support of their strike against Royal Mail. The 1919 Seattle general strike was the first 20th-century solidarity strike to be referred to as a general strike, and it taught an historic lesson: the working class can run society without the bosses.

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Unveiling the Excitement of 에볼루션 파워볼

Understanding 에볼루션 파워볼

Ever wondered what makes 에볼루션 파워볼 stand out in a world where there are countless gaming options? Well, let’s plunge into the world of online gaming and unearth more about it.

Discovering the Allure of 에볼루션 파워볼

The online gaming industry has been redefining entertainment globally. And among the plethora of games, the has managed to carve a niche for itself, thanks to its unique gaming style and reliable outcomes. Have you tried it yet?

The Game Dynamics

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Frequently Asked Questions

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It’s an exciting online game that offers a unique blend of traditional and advanced gaming elements.

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The game primarily depends on luck. However, with strategic gaming and understanding the dynamics of the game, you could tilt the scales in your favor.

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You sure can! The game is designed in such a way that you can enjoy it on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Where can I play 에볼루션 파워볼?
You can play 에볼루션 파워볼 at . Enjoy gaming!…

Unlock the Power: Exploring the Impact of Evolution Eggs in MMORPGs

Understanding the Magic of Evolution Eggs

Have you ever naively pointed at the captivating, radiant orb in a video game and elaborated with sparkling eyes, “That’s an Evolution Egg!” Days are gone when this scenario would have been viewed as a childish fascination. On the contrary, in today’s advanced gaming sphere, the tide has considerably changed. The foreign term “에볼루션 알” translated to “Evolution Egg” in English, is now an integral aspect of multiple multiplayer online roles playing games (MMORPGs).

What Is an Evolution Egg?

The Evolution Egg, or as it’s known, the “에볼루션 알”, is an extraordinary item in the world of MMORPGs. Usually, this magical orb is used to upgrade or expand the abilities of a player’s avatar or game creature. Amid the breathtaking and perilous gaming world, it gives your character a new lease of life, a power surge, allowing them to perform mighty feats only dreamt of previously. So, what is this really all about?

Functionality – How Does It Work?

Intriguing, isn’t it, how a virtual egg can provide such profound impact? Well, once your character procures the Evolution Egg, they harness the power to confront colossal foes confidently or take on tasks that once seemed insurmountable. The Evolution Egg plays a vital role in altering the avatar’s abilities, enhancing their game status, hence opening a broader spectrum of game strategies and battle plans. That is the power of an .

The Excitement That Revolves Around Evolution Eggs

Suppose you are a zealous gamer, you must know the adrenaline rush when your avatar stumbles upon the Evolution Egg. The thrill is unprecedented—comparable to a warrior finding his lost magical sword. This magical orb alters the game dynamics, providing an exhilarating gaming experience. The Evolution Egg—or the 에볼루션 알 as referred to—imbues you with a sense of absolute control over an uncontrollable world.

In conclusion, the Evolution Egg or the “에볼루션 알” is much more than just an item in your inventory. It is a revolution that paves the way to limitless opportunities and brings an exciting twist to the gaming experience. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a seasoned pro, acquiring this magical orb may shape your gaming future.

Frequently Asked Questions

**Q1: What is an 에볼루션 알?**
A1: 에볼루션 알, known as Evolution Egg in English, is an item in MMORPGs, used to advance the player’s avatar abilities.

**Q2: How can I get an Evolution Egg in a game?**
A2: Each game has different methods to obtain an Evolution Egg. It could involve a quest, purchase, or other means.

**Q3: Do all MMORPGs feature Evolution Eggs?**
A3: Not all MMORPGs use Evolution Eggs. The feature depends on the game’s development and design.

**Q4: Does the Evolution Egg make my character invincible?**
A4: Not necessarily “invincible”, but it provides significant power boosts or ability enhancements.

**Q5: How is 에볼루션 알 pronounced?**
A5: 에볼루션 알 is pronounced as “Eh-bol-loo-syon Al”.…

Access the Thrilling World of NBA중계: Uniting Fans Worldwide.

Thrilling Moments as You Access the NBA중계

Entering the vast world of NBA중계, you encounter an ocean of fast-paced, high-energy basketball matches that keep you on your toes. From novice to seasoned fan, the addictiveness of the NBA중계 is undeniable.

Laying the Groundwork for NBA중계 Passion

What nudged this fervor into life, you may wonder? The evolution of basketball in the modern world owes its existence to the enthusiasm of the players and fans alike that build the NBA중계. It offers a live broadcast of the adrenaline-pumping games that the world can’t get enough of. Here, the crowds cheer, the players sweat, and brings the thrill to your fingertips.

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While being in the middle of the action is everyone’s dream, NBA중계 makes this possible in the comfort of your own space. The players’ skills extend beyond the physical court as NBA중계 exposes the world to exceptional, top-tier talent.

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Q1: What is the purpose of NBA중계?
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A5: The NBA중계 plays an indispensable role in uniting basketball fans worldwide, irrespective of their language or location. It allows fans to be an integral part of the game, fueling the love and fervor for the sport.…

Winnipeg General Strike: A Battle for Fair Wages and Collective Bargaining

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

On May 15, 1919 tens of thousands of Winnipeg workers walked off the job. The building and metal trades federations were asking for fair wages and collective bargaining.

They shut down privately owned factories and shops as well as public services including police, firemen, postal workers and telephone and telegraph operators.

The Strike

The strike began on May 1 when the workers in the building and metal trades went on strike because their employers would not enter into negotiations. On May 15, a large number of workers, including those in other unions, joined the strike. They shut down the city’s factories, shops, and trains as well as many public sector services such as police, firemen, postal workers, telephone and telegraph operators, and utilities workers.

In response to the strike, Winnipeg’s wealthy manufacturers and business people formed the Citizens’ Committee of 1000. They argued that the strikers were Bolsheviks and “alien scum” and that they were trying to stage a revolution. They also feared that the strike would encourage strikes in other cities. The federal government stepped in and supported the employers by threatening to fire federal employees who continued to support the strike. Two Cabinet members, Senator Gideon Robertson and Arthur Meighen, visited Winnipeg to assess the situation.

The Citizens’ Committee

A fervour for industrial unionism and radical politics had transformed postwar Winnipeg into a hotbed of class confrontation. The refusal of employers to recognize the councils of unions for their metal and building trades pushed workers into an explosive position that threatened to upend their society.

Tensions were heightened by the growing popularity of revolutionary ideas sparked in part by the Bolshevik overthrow of the Czar of Russia. Fearing a similar revolution at home, business leaders formed the Citizens’ Committee to oppose the strike and turned to the federal government for support.

Worried about escalating tensions, several cabinet ministers visited Winnipeg and met with local officials and the Citizens’ Committee. However, the Committee refused their requests for federal intervention. Instead, Ottawa supported the city’s employers by amending the Immigration Act to allow for the deportation of British-born immigrants and broadening the Criminal Code’s definition of sedition. It also dismissed the municipal police force and brought in a baton-wielding civilian volunteer militia, the Red Coats, to quell the strike.

The Federal Government

Seeing that the strike was growing, federal authorities were concerned. They sent Senator Gideon Robertson, Minister of Labour and Arthur Meighen, Canada’s Minister of Justice to Winnipeg. The two refused to meet with the Citizens Committee or any of its allies. They also issued ultimatums to workers in federal institutions who supported the strike and enacted new legislation, which included broadened definitions of sedition and alienage.

At a second meeting called by the Socialist Party at the Majestic Theatre, speakers condemned the press for misreporting events in Russia and rejected capitalism. They advocated a new system that would put workers in control. This meeting was also attended by undercover federal agents who reported to their bosses that a new militancy had emerged amongst the Winnipeg workforce. This prompted the government to escalate its action. It established a Citizens’ Committee of 1000 and branded the strikers as Bolsheviks and “alien scum.” The committee ignored the strikers’ basic demands and concentrated on discrediting the movement with these false charges.

The Arrests

A century later, the issues that sparked the general strike continue to be debated. Labour activism has never been more relevant, and the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining remains a key battleground across Canada, and around the world.

Influential capitalists quickly formed the Citizens’ Committee of 1000 and launched a campaign to stop the strike. They branded the strikers as Bolsheviks and “alien scum” and portrayed them as foreign agitators who wanted to destroy Canada. There was little evidence to support these claims, but the Citizens’ Committee used them to block any attempts at conciliation.

The federal government stepped in to protect the interests of business. Canadian Minister of Labour Gideon Robertson and the future Prime Minister Arthur Meighen met with city officials but refused to meet with the Citizens’ Committee or strike leaders. They threatened to fire workers in federal institutions and changed the Immigration Act to allow for immediate deportation of immigrants deemed to be disloyal or seditious.

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