Ginger Goodwin's Grave Desecrated

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quizzical
Ginger Goodwin's Grave Desecrated
Unionist

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

lagatta4

Horrible.

Pondering

This is sad, but it is a piece of rock and the desecration is an opportunity for education. What are the conditions of life of the people who desecrated it? Are they of the oligarchy? The upper middle-class? Could it be valid resentment and anger being misdirected? 

When Singh was accused of supporting Sharia law he responded to the heckler by saying "we welcome you".  In so doing he took away her power. He refused to be provoked to anger. He didn't try to correct her because he knew she had been indoctrinated and her objections had nothing to do with Sharia law. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's part of the continuous right-wing campaign to erase the history of the workers' struggle in B.C., the rest of Canada, the rest of North America and the rest of the world.

Perhaps there could be an annual repainting/rededication ceremony at Ginger's grave.  A lot of other things could be tied to that.

lagatta4

Ken, here in Montréal, in the Plateau - Mile-End district just south of mine, there is a lovely mural of Léa Roback, and of late, rightwingers have been defacing it. Fortunately our late friend has buddies who ensure that the mural is restored. My fondest memories of Léal and of Madeleine Parent are on public transport. Léa above all on the no. 15 bus; Madeleine on the Mtl-Ottawa Via train.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

This is sad, but it is a piece of rock and the desecration is an opportunity for education. What are the conditions of life of the people who desecrated it? Are they of the oligarchy? The upper middle-class? Could it be valid resentment and anger being misdirected?

Did you read the article? Thank you for suggesting it is an opportunity for education, to a community that has been involved in labour education for decades. It is one of the few places in Canada that is keeping its labour history alive and many people object to having the red flag held high but we say fuck them and the sycophants that want to pretend the problem is anything other than violent assholes desecrating a gravestone of a labour martyr. The YouTube video is from last years 100th anniversary of his funeral march after he was murdered for his activism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG-dchT0fj4&fbclid=IwAR0YMiuKIfAujPRmm3z...

 

Here is some further information from a local Facebook page. Robyn is a labour historian and graphic artist who is involved in putting on the Miner's Memorial event.

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=cumberland%20museum%20and%20archi...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

From the Face book page for those of you who don't go there.

The Cumberland Museum & Archives along with the Miners Memorial Weekend - Cumberland, B.C. is disappointed to learn about the recent vandalism and desecration of Albert "Ginger" Goodwin's grave marker.

The life and death of Albert "Ginger" Goodwin, along with the stories of all others that share his final resting place, come together to form the backbone of this community's history. To see such a determined effort to destroy that history is troubling, particularly in the lead up to Miners Memorial Weekend, when the community comes together to hold vigils and participate in a flower-laying ceremony at his gravesite.

Symbols on Goodwin's grave marker were targeted, as is made evident when looking at the photographs of the damage. These symbols, the hammer and sickle, are connected to the Communist Party and reflect the politics of the people who sponsored its creation in the 1930s, not Goodwin, who was a Socialist. Removing them neither destroys Goodwin's legacy or the memory of labour organizers in the years that followed.

We are often asked about the history of his gravestone. In light of these recent actions and in advance of this weekend's Miners Memorial, we have included a bit of information below, taken from Roger Stonebanks' book, Fighting For Dignity: The Ginger Goodwin Story.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

Ken, here in Montréal, in the Plateau - Mile-End district just south of mine, there is a lovely mural of Léa Roback, and of late, rightwingers have been defacing it. Fortunately our late friend has buddies who ensure that the mural is restored. My fondest memories of Léal and of Madeleine Parent are on public transport. Léa above all on the no. 15 bus; Madeleine on the Mtl-Ottawa Via train.

Thank you for telling me about that.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

OK - more amazing stuff happening up here in the hills <3 This weekend is Miners Memorial Weekend - Cumberland, B.C. - its an annual event hosted by the Cumberland Museum and Archives. What's going on? Welllll.......

FRIDAY JUNE 21:

*6 pm Coal, Conflict, and Community: Exhibit Talk with Robin Folvik. Learn about the new permanent labour history exhibit that spans over one hundred years of working and labour history through interpretive panels, music, artwork, and illustrations.

*7 pm Songs of the Workers 2019. A cabaret style music night featuring workers songs and stories from across Canada and beyond! Admission by donation! Cultural Centre. All welcome.

SATURDAY JUNE 22

*8 am to 10 am - Community Pancake Breakfast at the CRI

*9 am Guided Museum Tour with Meaghan Cursons (me!)

*11 am Graveside vigils start at the Japanese Canadian cemetery at 11 am, followed by the vigil at the Municipal Cemetery at 12 pm. All welcome. Music, speakers, poets.

*4 pm Guided Village Walking tour with Marianne Bell

*7 pm Theatreworks Presents: The March of the Innocents - original theatre about Mother Jones, child labour and the textiles industry

SUNDAY JUNE 23

*11 am - Book Launch & Talk - Graphic History Collective w/ David Lester

*2 pm - Theatreworks Presents: The March of the Innocents - original theatre about Mother Jones, child labour and the textiles industry

All the details can also be found HERE!

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=miners%20memorial%20weekend%20-%2...

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Did you read the article? Thank you for suggesting it is an opportunity for education, to a community that has been involved in labour education for decades.

Education in the sense that people are hearing about her because it is in the news. The important part about remembering her isn't respect for a rock it's respect for her life.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

No idea you would have to ask quizzical.  Pondering you do not understand how dismissive you are of many hard working peoples decades long year after year volunteerism to keep labour history alive. I can't help it if you are ignorant and chose to post before understanding the issues or history or apparently reading the story. Please do not turn this thread into an endless tangent.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

Albert Goodwin was known as "Ginger" because of his bright red hair.  "Ginger" is a common term for redhaired in the British Isles, and in at least some contexts the term is a way for the English to express prejudice against people of Celtic ancestry-Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish, and as Lagatta pointed out Breize(Breton) people-because they are more likely to have red hair than Anglo-Saxons are.

lagatta4

This also extends to Breton people, though I've never heard gingembre in French. More rouquin.

quizzical

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

No idea you would have to ask quizzical.  Pondering you do not understand how dismissive you are of many hard working peoples decades long year after year volunteerism to keep labour history alive. I can't help it if you are ignorant and chose to post before understanding the issues or history or apparently reading the story. Please do not turn this thread into an endless tangent.

 i don't know why it appeared there i didnt do it knowingly. will try and fix it.

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

No idea you would have to ask quizzical.  Pondering you do not understand how dismissive you are of many hard working peoples decades long year after year volunteerism to keep labour history alive. I can't help it if you are ignorant and chose to post before understanding the issues or history or apparently reading the story. Please do not turn this thread into an endless tangent.

I was not being dismissive.  That you interpret it that way doesn't make it so. If it is off tangent it is because you took the conversation there. 

I don't know Albert (Ginger) Goodwin specifically.  In my opinion activists as effective as he apparently was care more about spreading the word than being personally offended, much like Jagmeet Singh. 

The people who did this are probably the very ones who would benefit most by Goodwin's actions had they lived in the same time. 

The histrionics have no  impact on me so I hope you get something out of it other than higher blood pressure. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thanks Pondering. I do not think you have ill intent its just that you make very ignorant posts. Ignorance is something that you can overcome by reading, try it some time.  I have posted many articles over the years about Miners Memorial and Ginger so I have tried to provide the education.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thanks Pondering. I do not think you have ill intent its just that you make very ignorant posts. Ignorance is something that you can overcome by reading, try it some time.  I have posted many articles over the years about Miners Memorial and Ginger so I have tried to provide the education.

Thanks for your patience, krop. You're doing better than I would.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

quizzical wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Allow me to begin that education.  Albert (Ginger) Goodwin was a dude.

That said, just curious why, in the thread title, the G is accented the way it is.  I'm pretty sure it's not the French spelling.

No idea you would have to ask quizzical.  Pondering you do not understand how dismissive you are of many hard working peoples decades long year after year volunteerism to keep labour history alive. I can't help it if you are ignorant and chose to post before understanding the issues or history or apparently reading the story. Please do not turn this thread into an endless tangent.

 i don't know why it appeared there i didnt do it knowingly. will try and fix it.

It's not a big deal...Perhaps some were wondering if you'd uncovered a secret French ancestry for Comrade Goodwin.  Thanks for the response.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

It's not a big deal...Perhaps some were wondering if you'd uncovered a secret French ancestry for Comrade Goodwin.  Thanks for the response.

Since the thread drift appears to be incurable, let me be so audacious as to point out to both of you that the symbol quizzical inadvertently used (Ģ) does not exist in French.

Ginger Goodwin was (in my memory) always celebrated as a hero and a martyr, at least in western Canada. The desecration of his grave is particularly poignant during the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike, and within a year of the centenary of the Vancouver General Strike. And yet, as one of the activists who discovered the defacement was quoted as saying: “It’s actually sort of a compliment that after over 100 years Ginger is still seen as a threat by the right wing today.”

lagatta4

Who claimed he was of French or Francophone origin? I'd never heard any reference to that. And thanks to Kropotkin for improving my admittedly limited knowledge of labour movements, heroes and martyrs in BC.

Unionist

lagatta4 wrote:

Who claimed he was of French or Francophone origin? I'd never heard any reference to that.

Nobody claimed that. Ever. Not here, not anywhere. Quizzical accidentally used a cedilla under the G in the thread title, and that led to the usual preposterous thread drift. 

Quote:

And thanks to Kropotkin for improving my admittedly limited knowledge of labour movements, heroes and martyrs in BC.

Yes, glad Krop gave references. We all know sadly little about the history of progressive movements in Canada, because they're not allowed to teach that dangerous stuff in schools. We need to turn that situation around. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

It's not a big deal...Perhaps some were wondering if you'd uncovered a secret French ancestry for Comrade Goodwin.  Thanks for the response.

Since the thread drift appears to be incurable, let me be so audacious as to point out to both of you that the symbol quizzical inadvertently used (Ģ) does not exist in French.

Ginger Goodwin was (in my memory) always celebrated as a hero and a martyr, at least in western Canada. The desecration of his grave is particularly poignant during the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike, and within a year of the centenary of the Vancouver General Strike. And yet, as one of the activists who discovered the defacement was quoted as saying: “It’s actually sort of a compliment that after over 100 years Ginger is still seen as a threat by the right wing today.”

Sorry, I stand corrected on the punctuation mark.  Ginger Goodwin is a great hero of mine-I learned about him at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 2006, when they spent an entire festival workshop teaching and singing about his story.

lagatta4

One thing we did learn about was the militant dockers' unions in the Pacific northwest. Otherwise more about the Prairies due to the Winnipeg General strike, the CCF and its role in the creation of public healthcare. In Québec, also a lot about Louis Riel and other protagonists in the Métis and allied First Nations struggle.

Back home, dealing with rightwing nationalists (La Meute and certain reactionary fringes of the CAQ and the PQ, as Gérald Godin rolls round in his grave) who oppose the renaming of rue Amherst, though logically they should approve the renaming a street baptised for a British general and Governor General...

Paladin1

Unionist wrote:

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

Like, cut their hand off witth a sickle? Hit them with a hammer?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

Like, cut their hand off witth a sickle? Hit them with a hammer?

Cheap shot.  You know perfectly well Unionist has never defended Stalinism.  He salutes the Red Army for liberating the town where his family lived during the war, but anybody whose family owed their lives to the Red Army would do so.  

I'd suggest that the replace the hammer and sickle on Ginger's grave with the Socialist Party of Canada symbol, or whatever the symbol was of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers' union in Ginger's day.  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And apologies for my part in the thread drift.  I was trying to lighten up the mood with what was meant to be a joke, and shouldn't have tried that since I was clearly not fully informed. My bad.

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

Like, cut their hand off witth a sickle? Hit them with a hammer?

Cheap shot.  You know perfectly well Unionist has never defended Stalinism.  He salutes the Red Army for liberating the town where his family lived during the war, but anybody whose family owed their lives to the Red Army would do so.  

I'm impressed, and grateful, that you've followed my posts enough over the years to so very accurately explain where I stand on these issues. Thank you, Ken.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

You're welcome.  You have taught me many, many things over the years.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

Like, cut their hand off witth a sickle? Hit them with a hammer?

I'd suggest that the replace the hammer and sickle on Ginger's grave with the Socialist Party of Canada symbol, or whatever the symbol was of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers' union in Ginger's day.  

I think that the history I posted up thread explains its origins in the dirty thirties by people who were fighting the good fight. My understanding is the socialist party Ginger would have been affiliated with became defunct when most non social democrats began using the international term communist. I think it would be a denial of the pre-war generations struggle against capital in this country to try and erase that history because of the excessses of Stalinism.

For those that like a little labour history in their music here are a couple of pieces, the Ginger song is by a Cumberland artist, I can hear myself in the chorus since I was at this show.  I've posted them in the past but who could find them now.

Also here is a piece from last years hundredth anniversary, since it is Miners Memorial weekend.

100 years after his death, Ginger Goodwin remains one of B.C. labour’s most revered figures, and one of its most controversial.

Albert Goodwin emigrated from England to Canada in 1906, arriving in Cumberland in the fall of 1910 where he worked as a mule driver in the No. 5 mine. Known by his friends as ‘Ginger’, Albert was slight, and short, with a shock of red hair.  He was quiet, but tough and smart, with a playful sense of humor. At 23, he had already laboured nine years underground, yet was still healthy enough to play soccer, swim, and take his young friend Karl Coe on fishing excursions. It was not long, however, before his health deteriorated.

The conditions for workers in the Cumberland mines were atrocious with the ever-present threat of black lung, explosions, and deadly vapours. Goodwin quickly became known as a union organizer, impassioned speaker, and labour activist fighting for better working conditions for his fellow miners.

Cumberland Museum and Archives C261-015. Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin, second from the left, front row. Circa 1910.

Following the Big Strike of 1912 – 1914, Goodwin was one of hundreds blacklisted from the mines due to his union activity. After remaining in Cumberland for a year without work, he found a position as a smelterman in Trail, B.C, where he remained politically active, speaking publicly about socialism and the fight of the working class. In 1917 Goodwin was elected treasurer to the Trade Mill and Smelters Union, and Vice-President of the BC Federation of Labour.

Goodwin was a known Conscientious Objector and anti-war advocate, however it was his ill health caused by life as a miner and smelterman that allowed Goodwin to avoid conscription for WWI. His first prominent act after being declared unfit for active duty was his leadership in a Trail Mill and Smeltermen’s Union strike. Eleven days into the strike Goodwin was instructed to appear for conscription re-examination where his status was then changed to ‘fit for combat’.

Following a series of un-successful appeals, Goodwin returned to Cumberland in April 1918 to live beyond Comox Lake with a small group of like-minded war resistors. These men were able to survive for months in the wilderness due in large part to the support and generosity of local labour activists and Cumberland businesses who brought food and supplies to their camp.

In July of that year a special force of Dominion police was sent to Cumberland to bring in the draft evaders. One of these officers was Constable Dan Campbell, who tracked, shot, and killed Goodwin at the young age of 31 years. Although Campbell claimed the shooting of Goodwin was an act of self-defence, the Labour community always considered it to be an act of cold blooded murder; a sentiment that remains to this day.

The shock and anger around Goodwin’s death was felt not only in Cumberland, where his funeral procession was over a mile long, but throughout the Province. Goodwin’s death sparked Canada’s first general strike in Vancouver on August 2, 1918, the day of his burial. This strike was the precursor to the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 – a defining moment in Canadian labour history.

Although those who knew Goodwin personally have now passed, his legacy has far from died. Albert Goodwin is honored each year at a graveside vigil during Miners Memorial, presented by the Cumberland Museum and Archives. His story has caught the attention of academics and artists alike, sparking fiction, creative non-fiction, film, songs, poetry, visual arts, films, documentaries, and theatre productions locally and internationally. He remains one of the most well-known labour activists in the history of our country.

In 2018 we marked the hundred-year anniversary of the death of Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin, one of the most well-known labour activists in the history of our country.

The Cumberland Museum & Archives paid tribute through participatory art and music projects, an exhibit ‘Goodwin’s Reach’, an arts symposium, the re-enactment of Goodwin’s funeral procession and other engaging programming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXBcSsQJ4uE

Here is what happened to the trade union movement in North America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uav9rHk_Lk0

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

It's not a big deal...Perhaps some were wondering if you'd uncovered a secret French ancestry for Comrade Goodwin.  Thanks for the response.

Since the thread drift appears to be incurable, let me be so audacious as to point out to both of you that the symbol quizzical inadvertently used (Ģ) does not exist in French.

Ginger Goodwin was (in my memory) always celebrated as a hero and a martyr, at least in western Canada. The desecration of his grave is particularly poignant during the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike, and within a year of the centenary of the Vancouver General Strike. And yet, as one of the activists who discovered the defacement was quoted as saying: “It’s actually sort of a compliment that after over 100 years Ginger is still seen as a threat by the right wing today.

Where is the outrage? The desecration of a grave is actually a compliment because it means Ginger is still seen as a threat but saying it brought attention he otherwise wouldn't get is an insult. 

You should just admit to yourselves that where I am concerned you have a hair trigger and you are always ready to assume the worst. That's my last word on it. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I don't believe in capital punishment. But a close approximation, yes.

Like, cut their hand off witth a sickle? Hit them with a hammer?

I'd suggest that the replace the hammer and sickle on Ginger's grave with the Socialist Party of Canada symbol, or whatever the symbol was of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers' union in Ginger's day.  

I think that the history I posted up thread explains its origins in the dirty thirties by people who were fighting the good fight. My understanding is the socialist party Ginger would have been affiliated with became defunct when most non social democrats began using the international term communist. I think it would be a denial of the pre-war generations struggle against capital in this country to try and erase that history because of the excessses of Stalinism.

For those that like a little labour history in their music here are a couple of pieces, the Ginger song is by a Cumberland artist, I can hear myself in the chorus since I was at this show.  I've posted them in the past but who could find them now.

Also here is a piece from last years hundredth anniversary, since it is Miners Memorial weekend.

100 years after his death, Ginger Goodwin remains one of B.C. labour’s most revered figures, and one of its most controversial.

Albert Goodwin emigrated from England to Canada in 1906, arriving in Cumberland in the fall of 1910 where he worked as a mule driver in the No. 5 mine. Known by his friends as ‘Ginger’, Albert was slight, and short, with a shock of red hair.  He was quiet, but tough and smart, with a playful sense of humor. At 23, he had already laboured nine years underground, yet was still healthy enough to play soccer, swim, and take his young friend Karl Coe on fishing excursions. It was not long, however, before his health deteriorated.

The conditions for workers in the Cumberland mines were atrocious with the ever-present threat of black lung, explosions, and deadly vapours. Goodwin quickly became known as a union organizer, impassioned speaker, and labour activist fighting for better working conditions for his fellow miners.

Cumberland Museum and Archives C261-015. Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin, second from the left, front row. Circa 1910.

Following the Big Strike of 1912 – 1914, Goodwin was one of hundreds blacklisted from the mines due to his union activity. After remaining in Cumberland for a year without work, he found a position as a smelterman in Trail, B.C, where he remained politically active, speaking publicly about socialism and the fight of the working class. In 1917 Goodwin was elected treasurer to the Trade Mill and Smelters Union, and Vice-President of the BC Federation of Labour.

Goodwin was a known Conscientious Objector and anti-war advocate, however it was his ill health caused by life as a miner and smelterman that allowed Goodwin to avoid conscription for WWI. His first prominent act after being declared unfit for active duty was his leadership in a Trail Mill and Smeltermen’s Union strike. Eleven days into the strike Goodwin was instructed to appear for conscription re-examination where his status was then changed to ‘fit for combat’.

Following a series of un-successful appeals, Goodwin returned to Cumberland in April 1918 to live beyond Comox Lake with a small group of like-minded war resistors. These men were able to survive for months in the wilderness due in large part to the support and generosity of local labour activists and Cumberland businesses who brought food and supplies to their camp.

In July of that year a special force of Dominion police was sent to Cumberland to bring in the draft evaders. One of these officers was Constable Dan Campbell, who tracked, shot, and killed Goodwin at the young age of 31 years. Although Campbell claimed the shooting of Goodwin was an act of self-defence, the Labour community always considered it to be an act of cold blooded murder; a sentiment that remains to this day.

The shock and anger around Goodwin’s death was felt not only in Cumberland, where his funeral procession was over a mile long, but throughout the Province. Goodwin’s death sparked Canada’s first general strike in Vancouver on August 2, 1918, the day of his burial. This strike was the precursor to the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 – a defining moment in Canadian labour history.

Although those who knew Goodwin personally have now passed, his legacy has far from died. Albert Goodwin is honored each year at a graveside vigil during Miners Memorial, presented by the Cumberland Museum and Archives. His story has caught the attention of academics and artists alike, sparking fiction, creative non-fiction, film, songs, poetry, visual arts, films, documentaries, and theatre productions locally and internationally. He remains one of the most well-known labour activists in the history of our country.

In 2018 we marked the hundred-year anniversary of the death of Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin, one of the most well-known labour activists in the history of our country.

The Cumberland Museum & Archives paid tribute through participatory art and music projects, an exhibit ‘Goodwin’s Reach’, an arts symposium, the re-enactment of Goodwin’s funeral procession and other engaging programming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXBcSsQJ4uE

Here is what happened to the trade union movement in North America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uav9rHk_Lk0

Thank you for all of that.

Paladin1

Ken Burch wrote:

Cheap shot.  You know perfectly well Unionist has never defended Stalinism.  He salutes the Red Army for liberating the town where his family lived during the war, but anybody whose family owed their lives to the Red Army would do so.   

I can't say that for sure but I have no reason to believe he would either. Happy to take your comment as truth. My comment was born more of a lack of understanding the relationship between the Socialist Party of Canada symbol, communisim and Stalin. I'm sure he;s never defended Stalin or anything evil.

Still I'm really curious what kind of close to the death penalty punishment someone deserves for busting a statue in Canada.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I can't speak to what "close to the death penalty punishment" means, but as to the symbol on Ginger's tombstone:  Ginger was never a member of the Communist Party-in fact, he actually couldn't have been, since it didn't exist in Canada during his lifetime-and it goes without saying that Ginger himself did not support anything remotely similiar to the ways the Soviet Union was run after 1920 0r so-between 1918 and 1919, the USSR was the least repressive government the history of Russia or any of the former Tsarist colonies which would become part of it-and neither Ginger, being dead when the symbols were painted on, nor Unionist, who wasn't yet born when they were-was responsible for their being placed there.  The symbols were placed there by CP members in the Thirties, people who were good, decent, honorable activists for social and economic justice in Canada and the world.  They saw the CP as a means to work for what they wanted, and it's likely they had no idea what Stalin was doing.  When the word did get out, most party members did quit-they'd likely have quit in the early Forties had it not been for Hitler invading the USSR and the feeling that inspired-I feeling I would hope you and any other decent person would agree with-that nothing could possibly be worse than the Soviet Union being subject to a Nazi takeover, since such an outcome would have meant permanent Nazi control of the planet-and that therefore they had to stay in the CP as a means of saving the world from both fascism and the likely extermination of anyone who wasn't a white Nordic heterosexual berserker.                                                                    

To clarify, there was no relationship to the Socialist Party of Canada symbol I referenced and the hammer and sickle-they were parts of separate left traditions.  I suggested trading out the symbols in the hopes it might discourage vandalism, and now believe I was foolish to even propose the idea.

My response to what you posted was to call out what sure as hell looked like redbaiting on your part.  Most people reading what you wrote there would assume you were accusing Unionist of defending Stalin and his works.  You've been on this board for years.  You know he's never defended the purges, the famines, the censorship, any of the various campaigns of slaughter "Uncle Joe" started.   

Acknowledgling the fact that, were it not for the Red Army, the Third Reich would have won that war and the world might still be living under Naziism and that the extermination campaigns of the Reich would have finished with the absolute extermination of all those Hitler targeted-extermination which would likely been extended to African peoples or the Indigenous populations of the Americas and the Antipodes, as well as to the non-Japanese communities of Asia as part of the despicable work of carrying the Nazi project to the conclusion its despicable, soulless logic would inevitably have led it to-is simply an acknowledgment of reality.

Stalin was a monster, but the Red Army saved the world from Hitler.  

That's the facts. 

WWWTT

Good to read up on a labour socialist  activist from the times before the darkness of materialism consumed most people. 

Wont see many people like this Ginger character around anymore. Too many enslaved with mortgages, cell phone data plans fashion vacations fancy restaurants  etc etc

Paladin1

Thanks for the indept post Ken.

Quote:
You've been on this board for years.  You know he's never defended the purges, the famines, the censorship, any of the various campaigns of slaughter "Uncle Joe" started.  

Fair enough, no argument here. I 100% believe he hasn't.

That said I have seen some members of this board defend people like Che Guvara but that's another topic.

As for Russia and the Red Army, they also secretly trained and armed german soldiers and airmen inside Russia pre-ww2. Would WW2 had been so devastating if the Russians didn't secretly train and make deals with Germany? Yup they helped stop Nazi Germany's world domination, but they also had a big hand in starting it so I'm not ready to laud them as saviors.

 

The workers party of Canada actually makes a really interesting read and I'm enjoying going down different rabit holes on the internet about it. Thanks for peaking my interest.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

As for Russia and the Red Army, they also secretly trained and armed german soldiers and airmen inside Russia pre-ww2. Would WW2 had been so devastating if the Russians didn't secretly train and make deals with Germany? Yup they helped stop Nazi Germany's world domination, but they also had a big hand in starting it so I'm not ready to laud them as saviors.

Please leave your right wing fake news out of this. Like all fake news a germ of the truth is conflated to hide or obfuscate the real truth.

Here is the first pick of a quick search on the topic. I liked Ken's post and mostly just disagree that the fascists lost. Like a bacteria that is reduced but not wiped out the real fascists merely grew stronger for thirty years after the war and are now in control of the world.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/secret-history-the-u-s-supported-and-inspi...

https://11points.com/11-companies-surprisingly-collaborated-nazis/

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Paladin1 wrote:

As for Russia and the Red Army, they also secretly trained and armed german soldiers and airmen inside Russia pre-ww2. Would WW2 had been so devastating if the Russians didn't secretly train and make deals with Germany? Yup they helped stop Nazi Germany's world domination, but they also had a big hand in starting it so I'm not ready to laud them as saviors.

Please leave your right wing fake news out of this. Like all fake news a germ of the truth is conflated to hide or obfuscate the real truth.

Here is the first pick of a quick search on the topic. I liked Ken's post and mostly just disagree that the fascists lost. Like a bacteria that is reduced but not wiped out the real fascists merely grew stronger for thirty years after the war and are now in control of the world.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/secret-history-the-u-s-supported-and-inspi...

https://11points.com/11-companies-surprisingly-collaborated-nazis/

The way I see it, Krop, is not that "the fascists lost", but "the fascists lost THAT round".  The fight against fascism never ended.

As Brecht put it at the end of his play "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui"-in which the rise of Hitler is depicted as a low-budget 1930s movie about gangland Chicago-the actor who has been playing Ui, the character who's the equivalent of Hitler, takes of his fake Hitlerstache, drops character, and says these words to the audience:

Therefore, learn to see and not to gape,                                                                                                                                                  to act instead of talking all day long;                                                                                                                                                       The world was almost won by such an ape,                                                                                                                                              The nations put him where his kind belong.                                                                                                                                             But don't rejoice too soon at your escape-                                                                                                                                                 The womb he crawled from is still going strong.

La Lucha Continua!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Paladin1 wrote:

Thanks for the indept post Ken.

Quote:
You've been on this board for years.  You know he's never defended the purges, the famines, the censorship, any of the various campaigns of slaughter "Uncle Joe" started.  

Fair enough, no argument here. I 100% believe he hasn't.

That said I have seen some members of this board defend people like Che Guvara but that's another topic.

As for Russia and the Red Army, they also secretly trained and armed german soldiers and airmen inside Russia pre-ww2. Would WW2 had been so devastating if the Russians didn't secretly train and make deals with Germany? Yup they helped stop Nazi Germany's world domination, but they also had a big hand in starting it so I'm not ready to laud them as saviors.

 

The workers party of Canada actually makes a really interesting read and I'm enjoying going down different rabit holes on the internet about it. Thanks for peaking my interest.

1) Is there really any difference between those who defend Che because of his role in the overthrow of the Batista regime in Cuba and the creation there of a flawed, excessively repressive but at least functionally redistributive system which made life materially better for most of the Cuban people, on one hand, and those who defend Churchill for his role in World War II(the only positive or even vaguely competent portion of the man's political career) even though he played a major role in the pointless imperial slaughter of 1914-1918 and his responsibility for at least abetting a famine in India which killed two million during the 1939-45 conflict, and his all-out opposition to independence for the Indian Subcontinent and Africa?  Che is far from the only contradictory figure in history, and, while few people if anyone would follow his path today, it's never going to be as simple as saying that he was evil and that's the end of it.

Defending Che is not the same thing as either defending Stalin or supporting racist, antisemitic pro-Nazi Slavic nationalists during and after World War II, on the grounds that they were "anticommunist".

Paladin1

kropotkin1951 wrote:

 

Please leave your right wing fake news out of this. Like all fake news a germ of the truth is conflated to hide or obfuscate the real truth.

Really interesting reads Kropotkin. I was tracking some companies worked with the Nazis but not to that depth and some of the names  surprised me. Over all I'm not surprised (nor surprised by shit like Operation Paperclip) that American companies did that.

Nothing in those links however refutes the fact that Russia secretly trained and armed German soldiers and Airmen pre-WW2. Did training pilot and tank crews impact the German war machine more than what the American comapnies did? Maybe. (I'd say maybe yes but then again Standard Oil providing oil is pretty huge!).

I'll settle on saying neither the Red Army(Russian government) or American companies were heros. Shitty move by both of them.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

None of that, though, minimizes the fact that, had it not been for the Red Army stopping Hitler at Stalingrad, Germany would have won the war.  Agreed that Stalin should not have done the Pact-though we can fairly argue that the business dealings between the Reich and many if not most US/UK/European corporations did just as much to build up Hitler and enable the push for war and extermination every country who traded with the Reich always knew Hitler was going to make.

Stalin had dirty deeds and was far from anyone's measure of purity-that that still doesn't come anywhere close to your idea that those training exercises, vile and indefensible as they were, somehow negate the role of the Red Army in the military defeat of the Reich.

Bottom line:  if Hitler had faced no opponents other than the U.S., the Dominions, the Imperial forces and the French Resistance, valiant as the troops from all of those countries were, Hitler would have won the war.

Half of the tensions between the U.S. and the USSR, and then the U.S. and post-Soviet Russia, come from the refusal to admit that the Red Army-not the Soviet leadership, the Red Army itself-has NEVER been given the credit it deserves by the West for winning THAT round in the fight against fascism.  

To further clarify, those in the Red Army that I revere are the rank and file soldiers, not the high command or anybody in any decision-making process.  The rank and file troops are the ones who should be saluted for stopping Hitler, for at least winning that round of the antifascist struggle.  Admitting that is not at all the same as defending Stalinism.

 

 

Webgear

It is very much true that the Germans were allowed to use the USSR as a training and experiment/research site in the 1930s. Soviet factories also produced some German military equipment, so that Germans could equipped themselves in secret.   

There are sources that indicates that some of modern German war theory can be trace to joint training/observing the Soviets preparing for war in the 1930s.

We must remember that the Red Army co-invaded Poland in 1939 thus helping the Germans take over the Poland in a much-increased timeline.

The Soviets also invaded Finland in 1939 in another expansionist land grab, however, they were not that successful in that adventure.

As for the opening post, I think defacing/destroying gravesites and monumnets is a horrible crime and should be punished more severely in Canada.  

I have enjoyed reading about the history of Albert Goodwin, a very interesting person.

 

Paladin1

Ken Burch wrote:

None of that, though, minimizes the fact that, had it not been for the Red Army stopping Hitler at Stalingrad, Germany would have won the war.

I'm not saying it minimializes what they did, just perhaps they wouldn't have had to defeat them at Stalingrad had they not secretly trained them.

Quote:
Stalin had dirty deeds and was far from anyone's measure of purity-that that still doesn't come anywhere close to your idea that those training exercises, vile and indefensible as they were, somehow negate the role of the Red Army in the military defeat of the Reich.

I never implied their role was negated. Simply pointing out (again) they may not have had to deal with it, so that said I'm falling short considering them big saviors.

Quote:
Bottom line:  if Hitler had faced no opponents other than the U.S., the Dominions, the Imperial forces and the French Resistance, valiant as the troops from all of those countries were, Hitler would have won the war.

Getting further and further off topic, but Would Hitler have won the war even with the US flinging around atomic weapons? On the other hand maybe without resources being set to the western front to fight the Russians the Germans would have developed their own atomic weapons and employed them first.

Quote:

To further clarify, those in the Red Army that I revere are the rank and file soldiers, not the high command or anybody in any decision-making process.  The rank and file troops are the ones who should be saluted for stopping Hitler, for at least winning that round of the antifascist struggle. 

I understand your sentiment but it's a bit misplaced in that without leadership, high command and people making those hard decisions all those rank and file troops would be dead in days. It's logistics that win wars, that and statigic planning. If you want to credit soldiers for their resilency hardiness and sacrifice you also have to credit their leadership for putting those soldiers in the postions they needed to be to defeat the German army. Know what I mean?

 

 

Aristotleded24

Paladin1 wrote:
Getting further and further off topic, but Would Hitler have won the war even with the US flinging around atomic weapons? On the other hand maybe without resources being set to the western front to fight the Russians the Germans would have developed their own atomic weapons and employed them first.

Actually Germany was developing nuclear weapons. They abandoned the plans when they realized just how potentially destructive they could be. The US had no such reservations and ploughed ahead.