History

Battle Preparations: The Flag and The Oath

 

This inspection foray hastened a change in the leadership of the Reform League, to people who championed 'physical force' over 'moral force' as argued by Humffray and the old leadership.

The incensed miners elected the more militant Peter Lalor as their leader. Quickly a military formation was organized amongst the miners and a defensive stockade was built against further government attacks. The Eureka Flag was unfurled, and an oath of allegiance was sworn.

"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

On Sunday at dawn on 3 December, 280 soldiers and police charged the stockade whose numbers had dwindled to around 120 diggers. The police units emulated the army with a ruthless bayonet charge. About 22 diggers and 6 soldiers were killed in the fight. Some 140 men were arrested, but most were eventually released. The authorities chose 13 supposed ring-leaders for trial.

 

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Aftermath to Eureka

 

Support for the Eureka rebels amongst the local population of Victoria was widespread. Massive meetings took place in Melbourne, where more than 10,000 people attended mass meetings in the city streets and were outspoken in their support of miners at the Eureka Stockade. Resolutions were accepted insisting on change.

The 13 Eureka Rebel ‘leaders’ who were tried for treason were all acquitted by the court jury.  A commission that enquired into conditions on the goldfields saw to the Miner's Licenses being abolished and replaced by a Miner's Right of one pound a year. This entitled the holder of the right to vote in Victoria’s Legislative Council elections, as the vote was available to those who paid the £1 per year for the Miner’s Right.

 

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Eureka

Naturally, this firm irreverence towards those in power is ongoing. Sedition and rebellion has always worried the political overseers of Australia.

The nation’s sovereignty has been compromised for alliances with foreign powers. This spirit of Eureka is closely connected to the unfulfilled attainment of Australian independence.

Australia’s current lack of political, economic and socio-cultural sovereignty is symbolically challenged when the Eureka flag is taken up by Australian citizens in struggles for justice, equality and a democratic lifestyle now and into the future.

 

Parent Category: Spirit Content

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"WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS TO STAND TRULY BY EACH OTHER AND FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES."

FOR A JUST, SOVEREIGN AND DEMOCRATIC AUSTRALIA.

The Spirit of Eureka Committee was established in the lead up to the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade in 2004, to give a strong and united voice to the current struggles of Australia’s working people.

The Spirit of Eureka draws on the continuity and relevance of this important event in the history of Australia to present day endeavours and struggles for justice, democracy and sovereignty.

The Eureka rebellion laid the foundations for Australia’s continuing social, industrial and political struggles. It was advanced for its time and represents an important fighting tradition that continues to inspire our fight today.

 

Eureka Day

Eureka Day Eureka Day
Past Eureka Day anniversary commemorations organised by the Spirit of Eureka                     Melb Eureka Dinner 2018        Melb Eureka Dinner 2019        Melb Eureka...
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Our Mining Tax Petition

Our Mining Tax Petition Our Mining Tax Petition
Take Action: sign our petition calling for an increase to the Minerals Rent Resource Tax. Australia is a country rich in natural resources. This sovereign...
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Spirit of Eureka Award

Spirit of Eureka Award Spirit of Eureka Award

The 2019 and Inaugural Spirit of Eureka Award is open for nominations.

The Award will recognise someone who, in the spirit of the Eureka rebels, has demonstrated an outstanding and ongoing...
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Charter of Rights

Charter of Rights
We pay tribute to Australia’s Indigenous people in recognition of their struggles since British colonization in 1788. OUR VISION: The Spirit of Eureka Committee actively seeks to promote a vision and...
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