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1 August 1930 March of the unemployed

 1 August 1930 March of the unemployed

A group of unemployed people left Port Adelaide shortly before 10 am on 1 August 1930 and marched to the city demanding work or the basic wage and the removal of police from the waterfront at the Port. The party numbering about 100, said to be led by Communists, carried red flags and placards with inscriptions such as ‘We want work or full sustenance’. When rain began falling at the half way mark, the procession broke up, but many obtained lifts from motorists and truck drivers and re-assembled at the Newmarket Hotel where they were joined by another group of unemployed from Adelaide. By now numbering about 400 they marched along North Terrace, Hindley, Rundle and King William Streets to the Premier’s office. When Mr Hill refused to see them until the appointed time of 2.15 pm the crowd became boisterous and blocked Flinders Street. Several police and motor traffic men tried to keep them in check until mounted police arrived and rode through the group to loud jeers.

The men re-formed and marched down to Rundle Street where in front of Myers Mr McGillick, a communist candidate in the recent State elections, tried to address the group, but was arrested by a constable. When his followers attempted to come between him and the police, other motor traffic police and constables dispersed the crowd with batons and opened the street to traffic again. The group then marched to the office of the Communist party in Franklin Street where they were entertained for nearly two hours by speakers who addressed them from a second-storey window. When rain started again police escorted them to the Railway Station where they boarded three special carriages to take them back to Port Adelaide.

Advertiser, 2 August 1930.

Tags: Great Depression,