Mayday 2011

Pipe band leads march from Trades Hall

Numbers were up on last year, partly no doubt because the day fell on a Sunday, allowing the May Day Committee to fall in line with the rest of the world, but also boosted by the arrival of a large contingent marching under the banner of Middle East Solidarity and demanding democracy in Syria:

Syrian pro-democracy demonstrators arriving at Trades Hall

Closeup of women and children with Syrian flags

Syrian spokesman appeals for support

A spokesman for the Syrian community appeals for Australian support

As always, the march was led by the Ringwood RSL Pipe Band, and followed the traditional route down Russell Street to LaTrobe, Swanston Street to Collins, and so back to Trades Hall via Russell Street. Proceedings began with a Welcome to Country from Indigenous activist Sharon Firebrace:

Sharon Firebrace speaking from the stage

and ended with more speakers, and performances by the Victorian Trade Union Choir:

Victorian Trade Union Choir performing

These photos represent the three stages of the event, beginning with the stalls in Lygon Street and preparations for the march. Most require no comment:

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) stall

Spirit of Eureka stall

Free West-Papua stall and flag

Melbourne Anarchist Club (book)stall

Communist Party of Australia stall

Equal Pay [for women] campaign stall

Man with TCFUA flag waiting for start of march

LASNET stall

Banner with portrait of Salvador Allende

Craig Johnston at the BBQ

AEU member in wheelchair, with flag

Dogs with red scarves ready to march

The band tuning up

Tuning up

On the march:

Band leading march down Russell Street

Flags including Aboriginal flag near head of march

Tamil and CPA banners

Socialist Party bannerAnarchists and Workers Solidarity Network

Pay Justice Action - Freedom Socialist Party banner

Bringing up the rear - train with children and others prefering not to march

Young people with flags leading march down Swanston Street

Anti-US banner - Rogue State

Socialist Party banner and Syrian placard

Middle East Solidarity banner

Japanese solidarity

Workers Solidarity Network again

Anarchist flags on Swanston Street

MUA flags in Swanston Street

Band leading way up Russell Street again

Boy on scooter, girl with dog - following the band up Russell Street

ANF flags up Russell Street

CEPU flags up Russell Street

Anti-Intervention placard

Flags at head of march, including Aboriginal flag

March returning to Trades Hall

Returning to starting place

Brian Boyd speaking from the stage

Brian Boyd

Outstanding amongst the speakers at the end of the march was anti-Intervention campaigner Barbara Shaw of the Intervention Rollback Action Group in Alice Springs:

Barbara Shaw at the microphone

Barbara Shaw speaking in front of anti-Intervention banner

The anti-Intervention banner - Sack Jenny Macklin

The audience in Lygon Street, Barbara Shaw speaking

This took things up to 3pm, which is when Melbourne Protests’ reporter had to leave … As always there was no shortage of leaflets on offer; one of these, from Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group entitled simply ‘May Day’, has been made available for this post: May Day 2011