On this date 100 years ago, the first Communist Party was founded in Australia. The party was founded at a conference on 30th October, 1920 at the Sydney trades hall. It was a bold act inspired by the triumph of the workers and peasants of Russia in 1917. It broke with the flawed tactics and strategy of reformism and sectarianism to unleash grass roots forces for social change. The Unemployed Workers’ Movement, the Workers’ Defence Corps, the Militant Minority Movement in the trade unions and the Militant Women’s Movement all wrote glorious chapters in the history of the Communist movement of this country.
Australian Communists were the first non-Indigenous Australians to fight for lands rights for the Aboriginal people. They were a major obstacle to plans of the imperialists for wars of conquest and the first to offer practical solidarity to their brothers and sisters around the world. They struggled in support of the people of Russia, India, China, the Spanish Republic, Indonesia, Vietnam and many other countries. They pioneered trade union tactics to protect our natural and built heritage from reckless “development”.
Every one of these actions was accompanied by remarkable bravery and self-sacrifice. The tactics of these comrades should be studied and their spirit revived. It is precisely this task that has been taken up by the Australian Communists in recent years including this pandemic era. The centenary of the foundation of the Communist movement in Australia is an opportunity to re-commit to the revolutionary transformation of Australia to be a socialist country in a socialist world committed to the building of Communism.