St. Catherines Day Of Action

Bonnie Briggs (
Sat, 02 May 1998 13:40:07 PDT

Bonnie Briggs
Hi gang,
  I, like Graeme, am another one of the "fools" who went to St. 
Catherines to shut it down. OCAP went as a part of the Postal Workers' 
contingent. The buses left the OCAP office at 4:00 am on Friday morning 
and went non-stop to the postal sorting building in St. Catherines. We 
encountered no resistance there. In fact, it was rather boring. We 
learned that, before we arrived, the truck carrying the mail to be 
sorted was turned away at the gate. As a result, there was no mail to be 
sorted. Also, before we arrived, management came and was turned away. 
There were no more challenges while we were there. 
  Our next picket was the GM plant. We learned that there were workers 
inside the building who wanted to leave and other workers who wanted to 
go in. This picket was a little more lively. OCAP was split up between 
several gates, and with our voices, two drums, plastic pails, and two 
megaphones, one musical, we tormented the workers inside the plant. We 
could, occasionally, see some of the workers walking around inside. 
Eventually, some of us left to try to find the march which had already 
started by this time. Some people stayed to turn away the 2:00 shift 
when they arrived for work. I'm not sure how that went. Graeme? I left 
with some of my friends and started walking towards the park where the 
march was slated to end. We decided that there was no point in seeking 
the march since it was almost over. So, we went directly to the park for 
the rally. They were planning to have live music, and after a few 
problems with the sound check, the Rank And File Band began to play. 
Arlene Mantle was also there and sang two songs for us. There were 
several speakers, including Buzz Hargrove, Sid Ryan, John Clarke of 
OCAP, a student from the Canadian Federation Of Students, and others. 
The Band played again and then, the march arrived! What a sight! We all 
stood up and applauded the marchers as they arrived and filled up the 
park. Everyone was singing, the banners and flags were waving, and there 
was a real sense of solidarity in that park. The announcement was made 
that it was the largest Mayday celebration in Canadian history. It was 
also announced that it was largest student showing in Canadian history. 
We kicked butt! Next stop, Kingston on June 8/98. Mark your calendars 
and join us. On to Kingston and the province-wide general strike in the 
Fall! Down with the Harris Government! Solidarity forever! 

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