Friday, October 30, 2009
Tribe follows Ark to the steps of courthouse
Around one thousand supporters of Ark Tribe chanted "one law for all" as the Adelaide construction worker entered court for the third time since August. This time the case was heard in the Adelaide Magistrates Court which meant workers were able to come off various jobs to support Ark in his fight for justice.
SA CFMEU Construction & General Secretary Martin O'Malley introduced a number of speakers including historian Humphrey McQueen who had travelled from Canberra to address Ark's supporters. McQueen openend and closed his speech, which drew loud applause from all in attendance, with this quote from Samuel Champ, BLF organiser from Hobart in 1916:
"Our liberties had not been won by mining magnates or stock-exchange jobbers, but by genuine men of the working-class movement who had died on the gallows and rotted in dungeons and were buried in nameless graves. These were the men to whom we owed the liberties we enjoyed today."
CFMEU Federal Secretary, Construction & General, Dave Noonan followed Humphrey McQueen, telling the crowd that the union's highest decision making body - its Federal Executive - had recently determined that industrial action would be taken on building sites acrorss the nation should Ark or any other construction worker be jailed under the powers of the ABCC.
Revved up by the union's strong commitment to stand behind its members, the large crowd stood tall behind Ark Tribe who led them toward the Magistrates Court where he entered to await his fate.
With Ark Tribe inside the courtroom, men and women from trade unions, progressive political parties, community organisations and the like chanted "One Law for All" while they waited for Ark to emerge. Less than 15 minutes later, Ark appeared with legal counsel Stephen Dolphin and it was announced that for a third time, the case would be adjourned - this time until 18 December.
Audio of Humphrey McQueens speech, along with video footage and interviews from the rally, will be available in full on this blog soon. Stay tuned!