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May Day rally in Adelaide – strength in diversity in action.

Written by: Ned K. on 5 May 2024


On Saturday 4 May, about 2000 people rallied at Tarntanya Warma (Elder Park) and in high spirits marched to Tarntanyangga (Victoria Square)

The rally and march was a "sea" of flags of different colours from the Aboriginal flag to many union flags to Palestinian flags, carried by unionists in their equally colourful union t-shirts.

The rally started with a Welcome to Country from Kaurna woman Rosalind Coleman.

She emphasized the importance to Kaurna people of the starting point of the rally and said that the name of Tarntanyangga, where the march was to end, referred to the red kangaroo and kangaroos only move forward and that was a timely message in itself for a May Day celebration.

The main speaker at the rally was a United Workers Union member who worked in Early Childhood Education. She said that Early Childhood Education workers were one of the first sections of the working class to put the Albanese Government's multi-employer bargaining laws to the test. Thousands of low paid almost entirely women workers in the sector were ready to take industrial action against private for-profit corporate childcare centre owners if they did not agree to at least 25% wage increases as a first step towards valuing the work performed by mainly women workers in what was now an essential service.

A representative of the ACTU spoke about the declining real living standards in Australia manifested in rising prices of food and household goods and the crisis of lack of affordable housing.

The welcomed historic presence of Palestinian flags and members from Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) was a reflection of the ACTU's expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their recent demand that the Australian Government end all military trade with Israel. 

The combination of Kauna leader Rosalind Coleman's Welcome to Country, the diversity of unions represented at the rally and the presence of Palestinian flags and AFOPA was a timely reminder that for May Day 2024, the call - "WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES OF THE WORKD UNITE" is as powerful and relevant as ever.


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