Revisiting The Great Strike (1917)

The great strike that erupted in Sydney in early August 1917 has been described as ‘the greatest class confrontation in Australian history’.1Robert Bollard, ‘The Great Strike of 1917—Was defeat inevitable?’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2010, p. 159. See generally Ian Turner, Industrial Labour and Politics: the Labour Movement in Eastern Australia 1900–1921, Canberra, 1965, ch. 6; Dan Coward, ‘Crime and Punishment: The Great Strike in New South Wales, August to October 1917’, in John Iremonger, John Merritt, and Graeme Osborne, eds, Strikes: studies in twentieth century Australian social history, Sydney, 1973, pp. 50-81; Lucy Taksa, ‘“Defence Not Defiance”: Social Protest and the nsw General Strike of 1917’, Labour History, No. 60, May 1991, pp. 16-33; Robert Bollard, ‘The Active Chorus: The Mass Strike of 1917 in Eastern Australia’, PhD thesis, Victoria University, 2007. While the dispute garnered sympathetic commentary in various media outlets upon its centenary,2 Compare Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 2017; ABC News, 28 July 2017; Green Left, 25 August 2017; Goulburn Post, 26 June 2017. the situation was much different in 1917. Continue reading “Revisiting The Great Strike (1917)”