Mayday 2005

The numbers were up from last year, and probably about matched the turnout for the anti-VSU rally in Melbourne last Thursday, say four thousand plus. The march was led by a Highland pipe band, playing mostly ‘Scotland the Brave’; a bit more variety might have been welcome. But there was a sombreness about the march, and not many smiling faces … though at the end the children were obviously enjoying playing in an enormous ‘giraffe’ in the Treasury Gardens. Well done whoever thought of arranging that.

The march began at Trades Hall according to custom, setting off down Russell Street led by a pipe band; Indigenous and Eureka flags had pride of place:

Eureka and Indigenous flags leading the march down Russell Street

Pipoe Band lleading march in Collins Street

Anarcho-syndicalist banner

A contingent of Melbourne’s anarcho-syndicalists

MUA banner

And the MUA

A small contingent of refugee activists calling attention to the plight of Iranian union activist Daryoush Nejad, held in detention in Australia since October 2000:
Banner - Free Daryoush

There were several reminders that May Day is an international event, including this banner:
Banner - Proletarians of all countries ... unite

And this:

Banner of PLF Sri Lanka

Not to mention these tireless campaigners, one of whom told me they would be marching ‘until their legs dropped off’:

Lesbain and Gay Solidarity

A grim-faced union leader:

Martin Kingham

The giraffe was popular with the kids:

Inflated griaffe in Treasury Gardens