ABCC law broken by mass action

Congrats ark tribe

there are too few comrades
With sufficient zeal & will
whence face to face
with an unyielding
ruling class obduracy

as well as turn a challenge
on its head & upset
their all too suggestive
Fashioned status quo
Power-over fashion
Jim Sharp

Leaving the court, Mr Tribe pumped the air with his fist and vowed to fight for other workers if they faced charges under the laws.

“Australians, regular working Australians can feel proud, we got them,” he said.

An old comrade wrote:

“but this boozh-wah- law will stand until ‘we the working class break it by mass action”

More reports below


Ark Tribe, Not Guilty

Dear Supporter,

At 9:57 am, in Room 21 of Adelaide Magistrates Court, Ark Tribe was found not guilty.

Ark sat in front of the magistrate accompanied by his lawyer Stephen Dolphin, union representative and his family.

The packed court room was filled with media, Ark’s mates who work on site with him and supporters. People were spilling out into the hallway.

Outside over 5000 supporters filled Victoria Square, from the park to the court steps to show their support for Ark.

You can send a message of thanks to Ark and congratulate him on his freedom.

Without Ark these laws would never have been tested.

Before he went into the court room this morning, we presented Ark with over 2500 messages of support from you.

The Government must now recognise the Australian Building and Construction Commission to be a shambles and move to abolish it once and for all.

The controversial ABCC has the power to coerce construction workers into secret interviews without legal representation of their choice – powers that exceed even those of ASIO.

For allegedly failing to comply with the interview process Ark was dragged through the courts for 18 months. poll

This is a historic day in our campaign to get rid of the ABCC and the laws that underpin it. Your support for Rights on Site has helped us get here.

We have to make sure no other worker is hauled through the courts for not attending a hearing with the ABCC. And we won’t stop until the laws that underpin the ABCC have been abolished.

Dave Noonan and the Rights on Site team

P.S. are running and online poll asking if readers think this to be a significant moment for the union movement. Nearly half the people are saying it changes nothing.

Make your views heard – click the link and give your vote. We know democratic freedom has been upheld today.


Magistrate David Whittle’s complete judgement document, on his landmark decision for finding Ark Tribe not guilty

3 thoughts on “ABCC law broken by mass action

  1. The law remains as it was.

    Ark Tribe was found not guilty on a mere technicality; that the ABCC Commissioner had not delegated his functions to his deputy commissoner, but only his powers. If the ABCC had got their paperwork right, the wording of the judgement shows Ark Tribe would have been found guilty.

    The ABCC has not been defeated, just obstructed.

  2. Hello David,

    After Clarrie O’Shea was jailed in 1969 for refusing to dob in his mates under the penal clauses, a million workers came out. Clarrie was released even though John Kerr (later sir John) had found him in contempt of the penal provisions.

    The penal clauses that jailed Clarrie remained on the books for the next 30 years but were never used again by the bosses courts. That is the power of mass action that the headline refers to. The same goes for the ABCC.

    If unions continue to mobilise at the rank and file level, like the BLF/CFMEU have with Ark then it does not matter what bourgeois laws are on the books — be they penal clauses (as with Clarrie), or Workchoices, ABCC (as with Ark), or FairWork – the laws will have no practical effect.


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