May Day 1932

From the Workers' Weekly 6 May 1932 p. 4.
South Coast, N.S.W.

Sunday, 1st May, 1932, was the greatest challenge yet offered to the capitalists and their lackeys in Wollongong. From the very moment of the setting up of the first provisional May Day Committee, to the very moment of its setting off from Railway Square, where names were taken by the police, the procession and demonstration of the workers was sabotaged at every step.

Wollongong Council refused permission to hold a demonstration; the committee in charge of the showground refused the use of that land; FRED LOWDEN, the miners' president tried by every artifice known to him to prevent the miners taking part; aldermen, New Guards, parsons, union officials—all joined hands to prevent the workers demonstrating their solidarity.

On the eve of May Day, the "South Coast Mercury," Fascist newspaper and official mouthpiece of the "New Guard" came out with a leading article branding the demonstration as being one of anti-religion and a direct attack on all churches. In this article the names of LOWDEN and SOUTHERN miners' officials, appeared in large type, protesting that they were not connected with the workers in the demonstration. Incidentally, the miners can now see exactly where their leaders do stand.

A parson named DUFFY appealed for a united front of churches to prevent the demonstration taking place. Duffy had a congregation of about 30 in his church; the editor of "Mercury" was not at church, he was standing, scowling, at a street corner as the procession passed. And the answer of the South Coast workers to all these attempts at splitting their ranks was: the greatest procession and demonstration yet witnessed in Wollongong.

Over 200 workers—men, women, and children (about 200 of the latter)—marched the full length of the town, red flags waving in the wind, headed by the Corrimal Band, a body of working miners who have won the championship of the Coast and Southern Tablelands, and the Paling gold cup, for their music. Although the day was raw and cold, over 2,000 workers marched, while twice that number lined the footpaths; thus the workers answered the Fascists and their willing tools, Lowden and Southern.

Drawn up along the line of march were to be seen carloads of New Guards, silent—seeing in this great demonstration a vision of the future wherein the workers shall rule, and New Guards and all they represent shall be swept from the path of process.

Once again the workers of the Coast demonstrated clearly that they were ready to put this Fascist force in its right place. Arrived at its destinaton, MORGAN'S BLOCK, over 2000 workers gathered round to sing workers' songs, to hear the speakers, to carry resolutions against the ban on the Workers' Press, against the permissible income regulations; and to express their solidarity with the world's workers and the victorious workers of the U.S.S.R. Also to receive tea and sandwiches, provided by a committee from the W.I.R.

One bourgeois dame was heard to remark that this was the first time she had seen hungry children served with food, although much soliciting by relief organisations went on in Wollongong. To sum up, the weather was against us, a cold wind blowing and rain threatening; the whole of the bourgeois institutions, some of the churches and all of the trade union officials were against us—yet the workers of the South Coast demonstrated their solidarity with their class the world over, and their determination to struggle under the lead given by the Communist Party, on SUNDAY MAY 1st.

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