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Direct Action Gets the Goods: A Graphic History of the Strike in Canada

Art has always played a significant role in the history of the labour movement. Songs, stories, poems, pamphlets, and comics, have inspired workers to take action against greedy bosses and helped shape ideas of a more equal world. They also help fan the flames of discontent. Radical social change doesn’t come without radical art. It would be impossible to think about labour unrest without its iconic songs like “Solidarity Forever” or its cartoons like Ernest Riebe’s creation, Mr. Block. 

In this vein, The Graphic History Collective has created an illustrated chronicle of the strike—the organized withdrawal of labour power—in Canada. For centuries, workers in Canada—Indigenous and non-Indigenous, union and non-union, men and women—have used the strike as a powerful tool, not just for better wages, but also for growing working-class power. This lively comic book will inspire new generations to learn more about labour and working-class history and the power of solidarity.

Reviews
"There are so many exciting and vitally important stories from the history of social movements, and the most engaging way to tell those stories is through art, in its various forms.  The Graphic History Collective is brilliantly doing just that." - David Rovics, singer, songwriter, activists 

"The Graphic History Collective shows us that art can inspire hope for radical social change" - Noam Chomsky

"Brilliant in narrative power and artistic expression, Direct Action Gets the Goods offers more proof of the Graphic History Collective's prowess with the graphic form. Magnificent!" - Paul Buhle 

"Direct Action Gets the Goods is a brilliant and essential resource. Through well-researched history and powerful graphic art, it shows how the strike is key to revolutionary unionism and social movement solidarity. This book will inspire future generations to fight and win against bosses and capitalism." – Harsha Walia, community organizer and author of Undoing Border Imperialism

Educator Information
The Graphic History Collective is made up of activists, artists, writers, and researchers passionate about comics, history, and social change.  They produce alternative histories - people's histories - in an accessible format to help people understand the historical roots of contemporary social issues. 

Additional Information
64 pages | 8.50" x 11.00" | 80 illustrations

Authenticity and Content Note: This work contains contributions from Gord Hill, a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation.  Indigenous content and perspectives, therefore, may be included but are not the sole focus of the work.