The violent removal of Occupy Melbourne protestors by Victoria Police on Friday 21st October 2011 from Melbourne’s City Square after being given the green light by the Melbourne Mayor, Robert Doyle, and the Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu highlights how important it is to reclaim open public space for political activity in the City of Melbourne, a city that only gives lip service to the right to protest.
The 11th November has played an important role in radical Australian history. On the 11th November 2011 the Melbourne based Anarchist Media Institute encourages the people of Melbourne to reclaim Melbourne’s City Square to commemorate:
The 11th November 1854, the day 157 years ago when the Ballarat Reform League, the organisation behind the Eureka Rebellion, was formed on the Ballarat goldfields.
The 11th November 1880, the day 131 years ago when Ned Kelly one of Australia's most well known rebels was executed in the Old Melbourne Gaol.
The 11th November 1918, the day 93 years ago that marked the end of World War One, a war fought by workers at either end of a bayonet fo the glory of God, King and Country that resulted in the death of ove
60,000 young Australian men from a population of only five million people.
The 11th November 1975, the day 36 years ago when the Governor General dismissed the Whitlam Labor government, a government that introduced more reforms in four years than every post war Australian government put together has been able to achieve.
Join us - Midday Friday 11th November Melbourne City Square Reclaim the Past to Understand the Present and Change the Future.
Australian Radical History the Eureka Series 2011 No. 10 - Think about it!!
The media reports about the violent dispersal by the Victoria Police of peaceful Occupy Melbourne protestors on the 21st October 2011 is full of justifications for the outrageous actions of the Lord Mayo Robert Doyle and the Premier Ted Baillieu. One hundred and fifty-seven years ago, despite the authorities best effort, the people of Victoria rallied behind the Eureka rebels, not Governor Hotham and Queen Victoria.
Within four months of the rebellion the 13 men charged with High Treason for their participation in the rebellion had been acquitted in the Victorian Supreme Court by a jury of their peers. Within six months a General Amnesty was declared for all those miners and esidents connected with the Eureka Stockade. Within six months a new Electoral Act gave miners the right to vote. Within seven months the notorious gold license was replaced with an export duty on gold and the hated Gold Commission was abolished.
Within eight months Raffaello Carboni, one of the leaders of the Eureka Rebellion, was elected to the Local Court at Ballarat to adjudicate mining disputes. Within eleven months both Peter Lalor, the elected leader of the Eureka rebels and John Humffray, the leade of the passive resistance group within the Ballarat Reform League, were elected to the Legislative Council of Victoria.
The difference between 1854 and 2011 is a free diverse vibrant media that reflects the will of the people not the will of the corporate sector and the government. The Eureka Rebellion did not end on the 3rd December 1854, the Occupy Melbourne protests will not end on the 21st October 2011, they will continue while that small section of society that owns the means of production, distribution and exchange dominates every aspect of our lives.
You can hear Joe Toscano's wonderful weekly radio show on 3CR by podcast. Catch the latest here