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Ooh-Aah2 Eureka stockade 150 years old (songs about) (59* d) RE: Eureka stockade 150 years old 04 Dec 04

I too went to secondary school in Ballarat (Ballarat and Clarendon College actually!) I remember being forced to swim in the pool next to the Eureka monument.

I have problems with the Eureka rebellion. The miners were apallingly racist, and spent a great deal of their time calling for the Chinese to be barred from the goldfields - the Chinese, with centuries of technical know-how, were adept at extracting gold where the white miners couldn't (especially mullock heaps) to their great jealousy and frustration. For decades the Eureka flag featured at the head of 'The Bulletin' magazine alongside the disgusting slogan 'Australia for the white man'. It has been called 'the first flag of white racist Australia.' It was the 'wicked' old colonial government who provided special officers to protect the Chinese (most of them refugees - nothing changes) from the white miners who were constantly threatening to run them off the gold-fields. The claims I heard recently about Eureka being a model of multiculturalism are revoltingly hypocritical - the miners came from all over the place, true, but they were all white and overwhelmingly racist.

The claims re. advancing democracy made for the miners are utterly ridiculous. The incident actually set democracy in Victoria back significantly - according to a program on Radio National that was on recently, the biggest reaction was embarrassment and humiliation. It was realised that the hard core of the miners were Irish and Americans persuing their private hatreds against the British, and not representative of the vast majority of loyal Victorians at all. Meanwhile the other states progressed happily to democracy without any blood being spilt. New Zealand, with an extremely small Irish component compared with Australia, remarkably strong loyalty to Britain and no bloody rebellions had full sufferage for men AND women before almost anyone else in the world. Eureka, schmeureka.

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