- The Guardian
- Issue #2051
Adelaide – March & Fun Day
Hundreds joined the May Day March and Family Fun Day in Adelaide Saturday 29th April with the March from Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square) on Kaurna land in the heart of the city to Pakapakanthi (Victoria Park) in the West Parklands. Guest speaker at the city rally, ACTU president Michelle O’Neil, urged all unionists, workers and supporters present to maintain their struggle, despite having Labor governments in power and some recent gains for working people. As unionists, O’Neil stressed how everyone should support the Yes vote for the Voice to Parliament and constitutional recognition.
The March to Pakapakanthi was a rousing, colourful spectacle, with the May Day banner especially prominent among those of Australia’s strongest trade unions. The CPA banner stood out notably as one of only a few political parties participating. Slogans carried by activist marchers effectively highlighted issues of significance – AUKUS is an obscenity, HOMES NOT SUBS, Tax the rich so everyone can all live with dignity.
The CPA stall offered, among quite a number of items, copies of the Communist Manifesto to mark this historic document’s 175th anniversary. The Guardian’s centrefold May Day poster was also on display. Long Live May Day! In a spirit of solidarity, the Party shared facilities with our Australia Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) compañero in recognition of the monumental struggle for socialism that continues for the Cuban people against a monstrous capitalist foe.
A feature of the day at Pakapakanthi was the “union family hub” where families could enjoy face painting for children and a petting zoo, along with live music and a free sausage sizzle.
Truly, it was a great day for reconnecting with friends and comrades, and for our Party to promote the continuing struggle for fairer society.
Fremantle – Rally & March
30th April this year was the first time since 2019, that trade unions and their members have celebrated May Day with the traditional rally and march through the streets of Fremantle. 3500 union members and other social and political activists attended, including the Communist Party of Australia, ACFS, Stop AUKUS, and the Greens.
There were speeches by Rikki Hendon, Senior Vice President of Unions WA and Secretary of Community and Public Sector Union CSA, who said that the union movement had continued to advocate for workers during the pandemic and brought about rights dealing with working from home, COVID leave, and increases in JobSeeker for the many workers who lost their jobs as a consequence of the pandemic. The last four years have also seen new health and safety laws brought in which have beefed up protections and rights for workers to have a safe workplace. There has been some progress in implementing industrial relations reforms but much more needs to be done.
The theme for this year’s May Day in WA, was trade unions in support of Yes on the referendum for the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament, as well as an acknowledgement of the exploitation of Aboriginal workers on which this nation is founded. Owen also spoke of the history of this nation’s longest strike, the Pilbara Aboriginal workers strike of 1946 which lasted over three years, for proper wages and conditions for Aboriginal pastoral workers. Following the rally, unions marched behind their respective banners through the streets of the port city of Fremantle to remind people that Western Australia has a proud tradition of active and militant unions fighting for the rights of workers and the communities in which they live.
Sunshine Coast – March & Celebration
The new Sunshine Coast Branch of Queensland had a great Sunday 31st April at the Caloundra Shark’s Rugby field, where our stall was amongst the many unions celebrating the day. There was a lot of interest shown with our representation, with a number of the workers remarking that the Communist Party was back in the Sunshine Coast.
On May Day, the Sunshine Coast joined with the Brisbane Branch to march from Leichhardt Street to the Royal Show Grounds in the Fortitude Valley. A lot of interest was shown with the Party marching and the stall. The comrades had a great time celebrating the important event.