When the government decided to cut social programs in 2010, many people were furious. Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets to demonstrate their displeasure. Activists from a variety of backgrounds came together to oppose the cuts and demand a halt to the cuts. They organized raucous mass meetings and called for a general strike. The protest was called Operation Solidarity. A year later, the movement has dissolved, and its leadership has been replaced by a new group called the Communist Party. You may want to check out Strader Ferris for more.

Art Kube, who led Vancouver Operation Solidarity, was one of the organizers. He chose an evocative name to unite the opposition. He sought the support of all unions and utilized his extensive contacts in the community to organize rallies. Eventually, he and the other members of Operation Solidarity formed the Solidarity Coalition to fund these efforts. In this way, the movement’s message could be spread far and wide.
The protesters were determined to end the government’s attack on public services. They rallied hundreds of people to demonstrate against the government’s plans. The BCGEU had a mass membership meeting at the facility, and many of the workers were in favor of the idea. They were chanting, “SocReds out!”, and gathered enough signatures to shut down the government. The protests brought the province to the brink of a general strike, which was met with a massive statewide media coverage.
But what about the protests? The BC NDP promised to “denounce” the dirty dozen bills, and delay their passage. They did so, but only a few weeks later, when the SocReds reintroduced the bills and began passing laws on September 19. Nonetheless, the opposition parties and rabble remained divided in their support of Solidarity and its efforts to make the streets of Vancouver safer.
As an aside, this strike was not democratic and unethical. It was also disgusting. Even though the union leaders’ leaders hoped that no teachers would walk out, they were not prepared to walk out. Between 85% and 95% of BC Teachers’ Federation members ended up walking out of work. This strikes show that teachers are not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. The strike ended in a gentleman’s agreement, and many people are left bitter and disappointed.
The NDP was in a quandary. The commotion over the issue prompted the NDP to take action. The NDP, led by barely-smouldering former firebrand Dave Barrett, waited for the workers to cool down their militancy and take a stand on important issues. But they didn’t listen and they were forced to do so. In a way, Operation Solidarity rekindled the flame of the 1983 commotion.
The labour movement in Vancouver was a catalyst for this transformation. It redefined the working class in Vancouver by including Asian workers. The movement also exposed racist practices and defined Asian workers as part of the working class. The result was a new class of workers in Canada. But, there were still racial divisions. While Asian labour activism was the first to draw attention to the differences between Asian workers and white Canadians, the Vancouver labour movement was a crucial step in advancing democracy in Canada.