The Vancouver Hunger March of 1932: explaining a third period success

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University of New Brunswick


On 25 February 1932 some 6000 protestors descended on Vancouver for a “Hunger March” organized by the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) to demonstrate for better conditions for workers, both employed and unemployed, across the nation. Although Hunger Marches were organized throughout Canada, Vancouver’s march was by far the largest and certainly the most successful. This study presents a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding the Hunger March and explains what made the event such a unique success in this city. The event’s success derives from the Vancouver CPC ‘s ability to take advantage of the large mass of transients who came into the city in the early part of the Great Depression and then to funnel their discontent into mass agitation. The following study shows how the Hunger March is symbolic of the Vancouver CPC’s revolutionary pragmatism during the Third Period,