Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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June 18, 1935
The Battle of Ballantyne Pier. Dockworkers who have been locked out by the shipping companies march towards Vancouver’s Ballantyne Pier, where scabs have been brought in to unload ships. As they approach the pier, they are attacked by a massed force of hundreds of city, provincial, and federal police. Police also attack the union hall, and a first aid post set up by the women’s auxiliary.
Despite the police violence, the strike continues until December. The strike eventually fails, but lays the groundwork for the formation of a new union in 1937, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Organized as the ILWU, workers are able to win substantial gains in pay and working conditions in the 1940s.
June 18, 1984
The Battle of Orgreave. Striking coalminers and their supporters confront police who have been sent to help British Steel in its attempt to break the miners’ union. Between 4,000 and 8,000 police are deployed against the picketing miners. They are helped by intelligence provided by the British security service, MI5, which has infiltrated the miners’ union in order to gather intelligence to be used in defeating the strike.
Police repeatedly charge the strikers. They arrest 95 workers, but all the trials collapse after it becomes clear that police have lied and fabricated evidence. In 1991, South Yorkshire Police are forced to pay out half a million pounds in compensation to 39 miners who they had arrested.
June 18, 2004
The United States launches its first drone attack on Pakistan. The attacks continue to the present day. Other countries targetted by drone attacks are Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.
Related Topics: DronesPakistanU.S. Imperialism

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: