Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mackenzie-Papineau War Memorial in Victoria BC

In February 2000 a war memorial to the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion was unveiled in Victoria.

The Mac-Paps were a battalion of 1200 Canadians that volunteers to fight for the government of Spain against the fascists that were overthrowing democracy.

Of the 1,546 Canadians known to have fought in Spain, 721 of them died.   That is 46.6% of them.

Those that returned to Canada were considered politically unreliable by the government and when the war with Germany started many of them were imprisoned for being premature anti-fascists.  The term premature anti-fascists is really short hand for communist and was the useful pretext for the government to imprison them.

The Mac-Paps were fairly strongly working class communists.  Given the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact in August 1939 did make the communists in Canada quasi the enemy.

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