Bendigo Red Ribbon Commemoration Sunday 27 August at 11 am at the Bendigo Piazza, View Point, Rosalind Park
Members & Friends
The Committee of Eureka Australia is making a special effort to attend this ceremony.
We would be delighted to see members there
The Red Ribbon Agitation of 1853 was one of the earliest in the string of events that led ultimately to the Eureka Stockade uprising in Ballarat. Miners were required to pay a licence fee of 30 shillings a month whether they found gold or not. This was an unfair tax that never should have been perpetrated on the people and it was that sense that the tax was absolutely unfair that led them to protest. The miners wanted land and they wanted representation.
They were taking up the American cry of `no taxation without representation’. So they had a monster meeting on Saturday 27 August 1853 and the more than 10,000 diggers wore red ribbons to indicate that they would not pay the licence. The authorities in Bendigo were sensible and suspended the licence for a month.
That one month without the license fee being collected provided a relief valve for building tensions on the goldfields, but it was only temporary. More meetings and protests followed the 1853 Rebellion, and miners continued to protest the licence fee and advocate for changes; tensions eventually erupted in the Eureka Stockade on 3 December 1854 resulting in the 35 deaths of miners and soldiers.