VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


Free Palestine rally leads Melbourne May Day march

Highlight of this year’s May Day in Melbourne was the extended march through the city streets led by Free Palestine supporters who had already marched up to Trades Hall from the usual Sunday rally at the State Library.

This more than doubled the numbers who had earlier turned out for the annual May Day rally, this year falling on May 5th. At least 2000 at a guess.

Prior to this, the May Day event attracted a number of trade union members and activists from Construction unions, Plumbers, Maritime workers, Rail Tram and Bus, Nurses and Midwifes, student unions and individual unionists.  

Various radical, revolutionary and environmental groups set up stalls and handed out literature, while banners and placards supported the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Zionism and condemned US imperialism and its criminal AUKUS war pact.

The popular Trades Hall Choir delivered its usual stirring songs of struggle, and a guest speaker from the Construction union deplored the falling living standards faced by working people whose wages and conditions were being whittled away in the face of ever rising costs and lack of social services. Housing, decent education and accessible and affordable healthcare were all getting further out of reach for many families. He called for workers to take action, to increase the level of struggle and not let the bosses get away with it any longer.

The second guest speaker exposed the rotten AUKUS agreement embraced by the Albanese Labor government. Her powerful speech pointed out that it was a war pact designed to tie Australia into a US instigated war with China rather than anything to do with the defence of Australia. She pointed to the sinister role of the US controlled Pine Gap spy base in supporting Israel’s genocide in Gaza, and the danger of this being a nuclear target in any war with China. “The only imminent threats to the Australian people’s safety and security come from the aggressive AUKUS war alliance, the US military bases across the country, the secretive US controlled Pine Gap spy base, the nuclear weapons carrying US bombers and warships in our ports and airfields, the AUKUS nuclear powered submarines in our ports, the deadly nuclear waste stored on the lands of the First Nations people, the US-Australia Alliance and the devastation of climate crisis. These are the real threats to our safety and sovereignty.”

She continued, “The Palestinian struggle for liberation is setting the world on fire, exposing the face of imperialism behind the wars of aggression, invasions, military occupations, political and military coups and foreign interferences in countries.”

When the Free Palestine rally marched up, they were given a warm welcome as they joined in the May Day crowd, livening things with drums and music. This continued as the whole combined rally marched through the city and then returned to Trades Hall, chanting “Free, free Palestine!”, “The workers united, will never be defeated!”

On the return to Trades Hall, two Palestinian speakers addressed the crowd, expressing the determination of the Palestinian people to win their liberation in facing the genocide and expressing respect for the solidarity shown to them by people across the world, including many Jewish supporters.

The final speaker was the Chairperson of the Melbourne May Day Committee, Len Cooper. He also denounced the role of US imperialism in financing and arming Israel’s aggression and racist genocide in Gaza and the West Bank.

The Melbourne May Day rally ended with the ceremonial burning of a US effigy and flag, which delighted the crowd and was a fitting recognition of the main enemy of the oppressed people of the world.