Yesterday, Adrian made a commitment. “I will never delete the blog,” he wrote. “There are over 200 blog posts and nearly 8,000 comments here. I am sure this will be a valuable resource to someone at some time in the future.”
Good to hear you’ll never delete this blog, Adrian. Damn right it will prove a valuable resource to the future.
For a period of 3 months, between Nov. 6, 2008 and February 2, 2009, a relatively small band of 3000 striking workers held 50,000 students hostage — and brought an institution of almost 70,000 to its knees. Even though the strikers were by no means essential workers, Ontario’s Provincial government had no choice but legislating Cupe local 3903 back to work.
Whether York University ever recovers from the consequences of 3903’s economic siege remains to be seen. Ontario’s labour relations will certainly never be the same. And while there will generally emerge consensus how pivotally significant the 2008/09 York strike was, the meaning of it might well remain forever contested across the Canadian political spectrum.
Even though 3903’s strike ended in utter defeat — how should it be understood? How should it be remembered? Was it a heroic struggle for economic justice? Or was it a complete abuse of the right to strike — by a local gone way over the ideological deep end?
As left and right extremes grow increasingly polarized in Canadian politics, so the meaning of this strike will become increasingly contested in the future. More lies will be told. But to ensure future lies don’t grow too tremendous — the raw data is here. Right here @ this electronic space Adrian built.
It will not be controlled and censored fora the future shall glean backward to figure what happened this strike. Not the absurdly dishonest 3903 strike pages. Not the prissyly incomplete York narrative. Not even all the shallowly credulous media coverage. Not while this record of open, honest and often vehement dispute remains accessible.
This is the annotation of ideologies clashing over York these past 3 months. Keep it up, Adrian. Both the blog — and whatever good work you turn to next.