Tag Archives: This day in history

This day in 1885: Anniversary of the hanging of Louis Riel

Métis leader Louis Riel (centre) surrounded by councillors of the Métis Legislative Assembly of Assinaboia.

Métis leader Louis Riel (centre) surrounded by councillors of the Métis Legislative Assembly of Assinaboia.

ON NOVEMBER 16, 1885, the British colonial power executed the great Métis leader Louis Riel. Riel had been charged and found guilty of high treason after the Métis were defeated at the Battle of Batoche in May of that year. The execution of Louis Riel was intended as an assault on the consciousness of the Métis nation, but was unsuccessful in putting an end to their fight for their rights and dignity as a nation. The struggle of the Métis to affirm their right to be and exercise control over their political affairs continues to this day. Continue reading

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100th anniversary of the First World War and Canada’s ‘Coming of Age’

On the important questions of war and peace

A sovereignty based on empire building

In Europe’s reeking slaughter-pen
They mince the flesh of murdered men,
While swinish merchants, snout in trough,
Drink all the bloody profits off!
– 
In WartimeStephan G. Stephansson, 1916

trenches-world-war-1

(Originally published on this blog on July 28, 2014.)

July 28 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War. One hundred years ago, on this day, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia followed in declaring war on Austria-Hungary, and within six days, Britain, France and Germany were officially at war. Canada as a self-governing dominion of the British Empire was automatically at war when Britain declared it. Continue reading

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This Day. Martyring the six ‘Chilcotin Chiefs’

1864.The hanging of the Chilcotin Chiefs.Drawing by Shawn Swankey

October 26 is the anniversary of the 1864 hanging of the six “Chilcotin Chiefs” (also Tsilhqot’in) by the Colony of British Columbia. The hanging took place at 7 a.m. on Front St. in Quesnel, one of the largest mass hangings in Canadian history. They had been ambushed at what they were told was a peace conference where they would meet the newly-installed Governor Frederick Seymour and discuss terms. The mostly indigenous crowd of 250 represented seem to have been Dakelh from the north, Secwepemc from the south, some Tsilhqot’in and a party of Nuxalk who walked 1000 km to honour the “Chiefs.”  Continue reading

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Women in US organize march on Pentagon

181020-21-WomensMarchonPentagonGraphic1

On October 21 and 22, women in the United States are organizing an anti-war march on the Pentagon to demand the complete end to the wars the U.S. is conducting abroad; the closure of foreign bases; and a significant cut to the Pentagon budget, to instead fund healthy social programs in the U.S. There will also be sister actions across the country. Continue reading

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This day. The 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris: When the media failed the test

Freedom of press of the reactionary ruling classes

Carte.ParisAlgeriecleIn 1961 and for years after, the French and Anglo-American media colluded with the state to cover up the 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris, ensuring impunity for those responsible for this heinous crime such as the Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon, Prefect of the Paris police. This is an apt time to recall what happened. Continue reading

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This day. The Paris massacre of 1961

Carte.ParisAlgeriecleWhen the Seine was full of bodies – as many as 300 Algerians massacred in Paris by order of the police Prefect, a Vichy Nazi collaborator, who was never prosecuted for this heinous crime. The provocation came in the form of a police order that Muslim “citizens” of Algeria only should be subject to a curfew from 8.30pm to 5.30am, on the pretext that there had been a significant increase in the number of attacks on policemen. What happened on 17 October 1961 is not a matter solely for historians. Continue reading

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This day. The Black Power salute

1968.Black Power salute

October 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Black Power protest at the 1968 Olympics 200 metre medal ceremony by African American athletes Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right), the gold and bronze medalists. Peter Norman (left), the silver medalist from Australia and an opponent of the White Australia policy, displayed the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). This was – and is – a powerful example of defiance in the face of racist oppression, in particular, and for human rights for all, in general. Continue reading

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