November 25, 2010

She Never Was Afriad: Annie Buller

By Erin Searle

Annie Buller (December 9th, 1895 – January 19th, 1973)

Buller was born in the Ukraine and immigrated to Montreal with her parents in the early 1900’s. She became active in the Socialist Youth Movement during World War I and studied Marxism at the Rand School of Social Science in New York. Once back in Montreal, Buller, Becky Buhay, Bella Gauld founded the Montreal Labour College.

Buller joined the Communist Party of Canada in 1922. She devoted herself to party organizing full-time and party publications managing for papers such as the Tribune and National Affairs.

In 1931 she led a general strike for better wages and working conditions for dressmakers in Toronto. That same year, she organized support for coal miners in Estevan, Sask. After a riot in which 3 strikers were killed by the RCMP, Buller was jailed. While working as a business manager for the communist paper The Western Clarion in 1939, she was again arrested and interned until 1942.

Buller ran for public office several times. In 1932 she ran for a Toronto City Council position as a Workers United Front candidate. She ran as a Labour Progressive candidate in St. Paul's in 1952 and in Spadina Ward in 1957.

After World War II Annie Buller continued to be involved in CPC activities such as the campaigns to roll back prices organized by National Women's Commission and the Housewives' Association.

She remained active in the CPC until her retirement from her publication responsibilities in the late 1950s.

Sources: Louise Watson, She was Never Afraid: The Biography of Annie Buller (1976); The Canadian

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