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Capitalism is a war on the poor sign at Spring street - Melbourne May Day is May 1, 2012 | by John Englart (Takver)
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Capitalism is a war on the poor sign at Spring street - Melbourne May Day is May 1, 2012

Anarchists have been associated with May Day in Melbourne for 126 years with the formation of the Melbourne Anarchist Club on May 1st, 1886 while a huge labor demonstration was about to occurr in Chicago. The anarchist Chummy Fleming chaired the first May Day public meeting on the Yarra Bank in 1892. Anarchists continue to be part of the tradition of May Day in Melbourne.


In 2012 a small commemoration was held in front of Her Majesties Theatre where the MAC held it's first meeting in a first floor office on May 1, 1886. But the main public event was a gathering at the Melbourne 8 hour day monument. The gathering then held a vary anarchic march through the streets of Melbourne, going past the Police Remand Centre, the Law Courts where Max Brenner protestors are defending their right to protest in court, the Reserve Bank of Australia, several of the big 4 bank branches, and the Victorian parliament on Spring Street, before ending back at the 8 hour day monument, opposite Melbourne Trades Hall.


The march was relatively small, perhaps 50 people, and soon attracted a 20 strong police escort. The best part was the music being pumped out of the sound system on the support vehicle. It made a long and potentially boring march into something a little bit more bearable.


Just like on May Day 2001 I had the feeling the ghost of Chummy Flemming accompanied us on the march and benevolently smiled at all the young people keeping the spirit of anarchism alive, even though fashions and music have drastically changed. He would have been chuffed at Jacob Grech's speech today at the Eight hour day monument.

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Taken on May 1, 2012