A Celebration of Australia's Cultural Heritage.
This date marks the anniversary of the Eureka Stockade. On this day we remember the sacrifices of the diggers of Ballarat, who made a stand in the name of democracy and justice against an old order of patronage and privilege.
The miners "rebellion" on the Ballarat gold fields of December 3rd 1854 left the Nation a powerful legacy: a "myth" of Australian identity and a symbol of patriotic struggle bathed in Australian blood. The Eureka Stockade incident and its Southern Cross Flag were elements in the nineteenth century fight to define who the Australians were in the then - environment of British imperial control of the continent.
However, in this new era, these living aspects of our national drama still offer a beacon. Eureka was not a fight on a foreign battlefield; it was a fight on OUR OWN SOIL for freedom against an alien State.
Today, Australians are misruled by a State a hundred times more malignant than the old imperial State and one which organises against its own National idea and People; this "State" operates to sink Australia into a foreign east Asian trade zone, for profit and for power to its supporters.
Yet a rebellious spirit is on the march in Australia today as Australians mobilise to reclaim their national future.
The men of Eureka were not an unruly mob. The Ballarat Reform League was formed for submitting their complaints in an orderly fashion through democratically decided resolutions, by appeals and formal deputations to authority.
The miners grievances related to exorbitant licence fees and denigrating police methods of enforcing the licence system. They also demanded the vote and representation in government, but in the face of an insensitive authoritarian Colonial administration were driven to fight for their rights.
The incident was not a class struggle between capital and labour. The miners formed a variegated society - shearers, carpenters, storekeepers, civil servants, squatters, academics and others, united in the search for gold.
This was the first time on our continent that free men from the old nations of Europe joined together not as Irish or English, nor as German or Italian or whatever, but as Australians under a uniquely Australian flag.
In confirmation of solidarity hundreds of the diggers took their oath - "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by one another and to fight to defend our rights and liberties".
The fight took place at 4 a.m. on Sunday 3rd December 1854 when the diggers stockade was charged by the troopers and police, being overwhelmed in a short time, the diggers continuing to be brutalised after surrender and Australs banner trampled in the dirt. The camp, as a peoples militia, was a failure with some thirty diggers killed, as well as five troopers.
Although the diggers were massacred, the reforms demanded came to be implemented, and the Stockade passed into our folklore tradition as "the finest thing in Australian history".
Australia's nativist movement from the 1850's on celebrated the Eureka rebellion as an inspiration for the character and identity of Australians - European, democratic, independent, mateship, disliking of authority, determination, hard work.
The Southern Cross flag was taken up by Australian Republicans in the quest for independence and freedom from colonialism in the struggle to build "the Great Southern Nation". It was acclaimed as "the Australian flag", "the safeguard of Australian nationality", "the symbol of Australian liberty and unity".
A Eureka like flag was carried in the 1861 incident at Lambing Flat [Young NSW] when the diggers rose against "the Chinese plague", and again in 1878 the Eureka flag was raised during the Sydney maritime strike against Chinese labour. In 1891 the shearers of Queensland flew the "flag of blue and silver stars" in their fight against poverty by an overseas induced depression, taking to arms to defend their cause.
In effect the great traditions of Eureka - freedom and democracy, are reflected in our Southern Cross flag as an immortal legacy. It is the expression of our forthcoming national rebirth that will ensure our Australian nationality and culture for the 21st century; that will eject from political power the internationalist serfs of the Labor/Liberal/Democrat parties who seek to replace our culture with anti-Australian multiculturalism; who are responsible for dumping 1500 unwanted migrants per week onto our shores with devastating social, cultural, economic and environmental effects; who are selling off our productive wealth to foreigners.
On this Eureka Day, we reflect on our great traditions, not only of the Stockaders, but the deeds of our pioneers, the ANZACS and so many others. We call on citizens to celebrate Australia's unique cultural heritage, and to rally to the struggle for economic, political, and cultural independence.
For a National Eureka Stockade!
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