May Day in Melbourne : 2024

I’ve periodically written about May Day over the years, on the last occasion in 2021. In fact, I started blogging here on May Day in 2006 — 18 years ago! — and started my Patreon account on this date in 2019. In Melbourne (Naarm), May Day’s been a largely desultory affair during this period — and for many decades previous — which I think is both unfortunate but also explicable.

Who knows, maybe one (May) day things will change?

In any case, in 2024 I thought I’d once again cast my eye over whatever’s happening, and note the following:

Melbourne community radio 3CR has a special workers’ radio broadcast on May Day, beginning with a marathon edition of Talkback With Attitude from 12 midnight to 7.30am, followed by dedicated episodes of Wednesday Breakfast, Stick Together, City Limits, Anarchist World This Week, Bunjil’s Fire, Kultural Kinetics, Lazy Wednesday Afternoon, Radical Australia, Uprise Radio and concluding at 7pm with a special episode dedicated to the Pilbara Strike, ‘the longest strike in Australian history lasting 3 years, starting on 1 May 1946 and ending in 1949’.

Other May Day related events conducted under the auspices of VTHC include a wreath laying-ceremony and dinner on Thursday May 2, a rally and march on Sunday May 5, and guided tours of Trades Hall on Monday May 6 and Thursday May 9.

Also in Sydney on May Day, CFMEU and MUA members — along with other unionists and activists — will be taking part in a walk-out, march and rally to protest a proposed ban on duck hunting for workers’ rights, wage justice and in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

BONUS! historical note : The ACTU Institute artfully manages to provide an account of ‘The origins of May Day’ (April 27, 2022) without making mention of Haymarket, the Martyrs or anarchism. A more useful (and thorough) account is provided by Peter Linebaugh in The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day (PM Press/Spectre, 2016). By the same token, as Erica Lagalisse notes (Occult Features of Anarchism: With Attention to the Conspiracy of Kings and the Conspiracy of the Peoples, PM Press, 2019, pp.54–55):

Over time, these symbols [the red star and the circle-A] have developed a new complement of meanings — many twenty-first-century anarchists don’t even know that the star used by communists, anarchists, and Zapatistas alike is the pagan pentagram. They are not reminded of the mathematical perfection of cosmogony when they behold it, or of Giordano Bruno’s geometric arts of memory, nor do they necessarily realize there is a genealogical link between the (neo)pagan May Day celebration and today’s anarchist May Day marches. Nowadays the May Day march is taken to commemorate the Haymarket massacre (1886), yet it is no coincidence that there was much upheaval in Chicago that day, because revolutionaries had been honouring May Day since before the time of the Illuminati, which was also founded on this symbolic day. In the nineteenth century, these symbolic associations were well known by those involved.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anarchism, History, State / Politics, That's Capitalism! and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.