May Day 2021: Join us in Parramatta for a rally & Union picnic this Saturday
May Day has always been a day to highlight workers’ struggles, and the struggles of working people have always extended far beyond our workplaces. Unions can, and should, fight for a better world outside of work.
That’s why this Saturday, May 1st, at 10:30AM at Prince Alfred Square in Parramatta, the UWU will celebrate May Day by making sure workers & their communities have the final say in what happens to their city; the city that they built & continue to bring to life with their collective labour.
This is a family-friendly event & all are welcome. We encourage you to bring your colleagues, friends & family along!
What are we fighting for?
The NSW government wants to demolish Willow Grove, a site of significant Indigenous history, and cultural and community connection, to make way for the poorly-planned Parramatta Powerhouse Museum development.
The project has been fiercely opposed by the traditional owners (the Dharug people), the community & advocacy groups who are calling on the state government to have the museum either re-designed or relocated to save the Willow Grove site. The Australian Museum and Galleries Association have echoed the community’s demands.
Union members from the construction union, the CFMMEU, have even placed a Green Ban on the site. Make no mistake – this is a huge move by workers refuse to engage in construction or demolition work on the site until the government listens to the local community (learn about the incredible history of green bans here).
Why is Willow Grove so important?
Very few areas in Australia have remained accessible to First Nations people after the displacement & dispossession brought by European colonisation. Willow Grove has strong connections to First Nations people in the area and remains one of the rare places in Parramatta’s colonial history with few negative connotations.
After the Victorian mansion was built on the unceded land, the original female owner, businesswoman Annie Gallagher, did not block the local Indigenous population from access to the riverbank & their traditional fishing areas, as did most other grand homes built along the Parramatta River in the 19th century.
When the building was converted to a maternity hospital in the early 20th century, Indigenous women were not excluded. Midwives delivered thousands of children at the hospital & served their local community for three decades. The site holds strong connections to many families in the Parramatta community.
How to find us on the day:
WHERE TO MEET:
When: 10.30am, Saturday May 1st (this Saturday!)
Where: Prince Alfred Square
353D Church Street,
Parramatta NSW 2150
From there, we will march to Willows Grove for a short program and speeches.
After the march, Unions NSW will be putting up a family day back at Prince Alfred Square – bring your family along!
May Day has always been a day to highlight workers’ struggles. It has always been an avenue to come together and fight for fairness and equality. We hope to see you on Saturday.