Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations

Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations

The Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations occurred on the 1st to the 4th of May, 1986 in Melbourne, Australia.

Preparations to celebrate the centenary of the formation of the first known anarchist organisation in Australia commenced in August 1984 by the Libertarian Workers for a Self Managed Society (L.W.S.S.) [ [ Australian Anarchist Centenary posters] Labadie Collection. Accessed May 1, 2007] The Melbourne Anarchist Club was formed on May 1 1886 and included David Andrade and Chummy Fleming. [ [ Reason in Revolt] Source Documents of Australian Radicalism. Accessed May 1, 2007]

Eight hour day Monument on May Day, 1986] The Centenery Celebrations were used by some anarchists to rebuff the negative connotations placed on the word "anarchy".

The Centenary celebrations included a May Day march on May 1 of about 400 people, including several large puppets and many banners, and several visiting anarchists from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, United States, England, France and Spain. ["Anarchists celebrate 100 years, but the march confuses some" "The Age" May 2, 1986] Over the weekend several events occurred including banner, poster and historical displays, a two day conference held at RMIT and Melbourne University, and a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. ["Anarchists come out to clear their name" "The Age" April 30, 1986]

In conjunction with the conference, a two day anarchist film festival was held featuring films such as "All our lives", a history of Mujeres Libres told by the women themselves; "We Aim to Please", a short Australian film on gender politics; "Liberty My Love", an Italian anarchist film; "Harry Hooton" about an Australian poet; and "Elsie: a study of a collective" about a Sydney women's refuge; and many more. ["Free Women of Spain" "The Age" April 30, 1986]

After the Anarchist Centenary Celebrations, the Anarchist Media Institute was established by Dr Toscano and other Melbourne anarchists to increase the media profile of anarchists and Anarchism in Australia and correct bias and misconceptions about anarchism in the media. [ [ Australian Press Council] Adjudication No. 1239 (April 2004)]


*"Anarchy is Order Government is Chaos. Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations" (Ed) Joseph Toscano & others (1988) Melbourne, No ISBN
*"The International Anarchist Film Festival. Melbourne May 2 - 4, 1986" Hilary May and Patrick Watson (Eds), Melbourne (1986) ISBN 0958902801


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