The fighting spirit of Eureka lives today – 3 December anniversary

The struggle is long but hope is longer

Eureka Stockade Anniversary

The fighting spirit of Eureka rebellion for justice and democratic rights lives on in the struggles of ordinary people today

  • Tax the Super-Profits of Mining Monopolies, Not the People!
  • Abolish the ABCC!
  • Equal pay for work of equal value – equal pay for women!

Friday 3 December
Victorian Trades Hall
cnr. Lygon and Swanston streets
Next to 8 hour monument
Raising the Eureka flag and rebels’ oath
Old Council Chamber (first floor – Trades Hall)

Brian Boyd – Secretary, VTHC
Humphrey McQueen – Historian activist
Luke van der Meulen – President, CFMEU – Mining Energy Division, Vic.
Representative from ASU and others……..

Followed by discussion on the significance of the Eureka rebellion and its relevance to today’s struggle. Leaflet attached.

Organised by the Spirit of Eureka Committee
Contacts: 0417 456 001, 0421 957 341 or <>

Eureka Anniversary 2010 leaflet PDF 4 November.pdf

6 thoughts on “The fighting spirit of Eureka lives today – 3 December anniversary

  1. Stupid racist mythology!

    The right to mine Aboriginal land is not a democratic right and the exclusion of blacks and Asians is racist.

    While there was indeed conflict between the white working class miners and the ruling class’s police agents, the much worse oppression of Aboriginal and Chinese people by the police and fellow miners was no more part of the Eureka platform than it was part of Pauline Hanson’s.

    Eureka, including the Ballarat Reform League’s objective of opening up the land, is as much a part of Australia’s ignorant and racist history as the white Australia policy was and is as much of a sugar coated reconstruction of history as ANZAC day is to the Gallipoli massacres.

    Australia’s racist colonial history should not be glorified and mythologised by the right or the left. Such ignorant jingoism is already a pillar of Australian identity and should be undermined rather than reinforced by those Australians with a commitment to justice and democracy and in particular the Aboriginal struggle.

    This is the third comment on BT I have recently made about left wing delusions – the nature of international law, the nature of the Catholic Church and now the nature of Australian identity.

    The left has collapsed in Australia, not because the objective conditions are not ripe, for they are riper than they have ever been, the contradictions of capitalism are more obvious and more putrid than at any previous time. The problem is the left’s habitual reliance on ideological illusion rather than the real facts of history as the basis of their activism and organisation.

    For example, the left’s recent attack on two disabled people and the film project they were involved in – in the name of rights for the disabled.

    And the Aboriginal Rights Coalition protesting against Cape York communities right to create their own solutions to their own problems (FRC) – in the name of Aboriginal rights.

    Or the Palestinian support movement’s vocal support for an apartheid two state solution as an alternative to the de facto apartheid of the status-quo.

    or the lefts’s support for Morgan Tsvangira and the MDC’s neo-liberal/ world bank framework of white control of mining and agriculture in Zimbabwe.

    or the left’s opposition to applying the principles of the U.N. declaration of indigenous rights to Wild Rivers laws.

    Hare Krishna philosophy is more relevant to Australia’s historical circumstance and the struggle against oppression than the scattergun delusions of the radical left are. This is why the Hare Krishna movement is more organised and powerful than the radical left is.

    Let us salute Twiggy Forrester and Clive Palmer – heroes of the Eureka tradition and still fighting crown restrictions on mining.

  2. jim sharp says:

    I’ll answer to john t.
    [By way of this poem by Mayakovshy]

    Past one o’clock

    Past one o’clock. You must have gone to bed.
    Night’s Milky Way flows like a silver stream.
    No rush. I’ll not wake you, bothering your head
    With lightening telegrams to crush your dream.
    As they say, that’s the end of the story,
    The boat of love has smashed against life’s reefs.
    We are quits and we don’t need an inventory
    Of our mutual hurtings, insults and grief’s.
    And see how the world lies in quietness
    The sky pays night with a rash of stars from its purse.
    In hours like these, one gets up to address
    All Time and History & Universe!
    [this poem was found in mayakovsky’s pocket after his suicide]

  3. I’m sorry Jim, I can’t see the relevance of a suicidal poet’s final reconciliation with his lover(s) as an explanation of the white-washing of history.

    I hope nobody is considering suicide because I included Eureka in my inventory of hurtings, insults and grief.

    Those of us who have been influenced by the “black arm band” perspective of history must be braver than Mayakovsky and apply this perspective to our own sacred cows too.

  4. I have mentioned previously on BT the fact that many of the Eureka rebels later joined the imperial army to fight Maori uprisings.

    My annual googling of Eureka has uncovered something I did not know that I would like to share, although I assume the labour historians amongst the BT readership are already aware of this.

    After Eureka, Peter Lalor became a director of a mining company (as well as an MP) that used Chinese labour to break strikes. (google – Peter Lalor Clunes Lothair mine)

    What is the difference between the Australian fascists’ adoption of the Eureka myth and flag and the Australian left and union movements’ adoption of these things? Or is Eureka a point of national unity from right to left?

    Why does the left identify so strongly with this same mythology of the right yet offers no critique – in fact it offers full support – to this racist history and mythology?

    I would be curious to hear any answer more comprehensive than a sad Russian poem.

    Or is the Eureka myth so intensely ingrained into the consciousness of the white left, as with the rest of white Australia, that a rational historical analysis or critique is psychologically impossible?

  5. Hello John and Jim,

    As it turns out I am driving to Ballarat tomorrow with a friend.

    As part of the radical tradition of Eureka, my friend is to receive an award on behalf of his father who recently passed away.

    His father was a militant unionist who the bosses at Evans Deakin shipyard hated.
    Yet when the huge ship the ‘Robert E Miller’ busted lose from its moorings at Kangaroo Point in the 1974 flood, who did the manager call to forge the huge pin that would allow the tug boats to pull this massive vessel from wreaking havoc further downstream?
    My mate’s dad.

    I told a Murri friend about going to Sovereign Hill and asked him about the stolen land.

    He said you are going to Ballarat to be with a mate to get an award for his dad, that’s all. He said we (Murrie) know all about it (the Eureka stockade) and what happened on aboriginal land. No one can tell us. But do not feel guilty about it. ”

    No pointing of the finger there. No sectarian accusations. Why does everyone on the Left have to be perfect? Why is no latitude given? Everyone a saint. Well no one is.

    We won’t get anywhere unless we learn forgiveness, in the Murri way. Or as Jim’s dead poet (Mayakovshy) says:

    “We are quits and we don’t need an inventory
    Of our mutual hurtings, insults and grief’s.”

    Nov 2010

  6. Ian,

    “We are quits” refers to suicide. The poem is to either his last lover that he just broke up with the night he killed himself, or to his long term on again off again relationship with another woman. Some say his suicide was a fulfilment of his artistic obsession with death.

    It is truly creepy that you and Jim might might use dysfunctional love and suicide to somehow deflect historical critique. Why?

    I have not promoted guilt, quite the opposite in fact. I am calling for an open and honest analysis, without guilt and denial, of the truth of Eureka. Guilt and psychological denial is what leads to the uncritical embrace of myth.

    Your Murri friend is correct that Eureka is for and about white people. All I am saying is that needs to be acknowledged and understood in the broader context of invasion, colonisation, genocide and racism.

    Or perhaps you agree with John Howard’s defence of Australia’s history, that we cannot judge the past by today’s standards?

    Until you stop pointing the finger at the Catholic Church, the police, Israel, bosses, the Greens, Bush/Obama, Clive Palmer, Michael Noonan, etc. then your plea that nobody is a saint just sounds shallow and hypocritical.

    And finally, forgiveness is meaningless without repentance, especially in Murri culture and law. Consider the present dramas in Yuendemu or the Coco Wharton videos on BT in relation to your misguided notion of Murri forgiveness. We cannot appeal to Murri forgiveness to wash away our sins and such forgiveness is not yours to offer.

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