Saturday 11:45am

Breaking all the rules: the Clarrie O'Shea strike of 1969

Organising workers

In May 1969, a million workers around Australia were part of a rolling, illegal general strike. This colossal act of mass defiance freed Tramways Union leader Clarrie O’Shea from jail, smashed the anti union “penal powers” laws of the time, and helped spark an era of industrial militancy that shook Australian society.

Kath Larkin is a leading delegate in the Rail Tram and Bus Union, and had family involved in the 1969 strike wave.

In this session she’ll bring the story of the O’Shea strike – and the wave of radicalism of which it was part – to life in a multimedia spectacular, featuring documents, photos and recollections from the era.

Join us for this special celebration of one of the great revolts of Australian working class history.


Katie Wood - Beating anti-union laws: the Clarrie O’Shea strike Red Flag, 27 October 2017 (shorter)

Katie Wood, Fighting anti-union laws: the Clarrie O’Shea strikes, Marxist Left Review, 2013 (longer)

Historic strike wave defies penal system – Tribune, 22 May 1969

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