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9 January 1931 Beef March

 9 January 1931    Beef March

On 9 January 1931 a number of young men met at Port Adelaide then moved to the Nile Street offices of the Waterside Workers Federation and Seaman's Union. There they invited members to join them in a march to the city to protest against the action of the Government in omitting beef from the ration issued to the unemployed. The marchers, led by men carrying red flags and placards, were joined by others along the way. At Southwark they were joined by about 1000 more people who had marched from the Labour Exchange in Adelaide to meet them. The crowd, numbering about 2000, marched in an orderly fashion to King William Street and then down to the Treasury Building which housed the Government offices. There the leaders demanded to see the Premier.

Some marchers became impatient and suddenly several bricks were hurled, one striking a plainclothes policeman on the jaw. Others armed with sticks and bars surged forward and in the ensuing melee several more police were injured as well as a number of marchers. Eventually after a dozen of the leaders of the march were arrested the rioters gradually dispersed and the situation calmed. Another disturbance at Port Adelaide that evening at another meeting was blamed on Communist agitators.

Advertiser, 10 January 1931, p. 9.

Tags: Beef March, Great Depression,