Communist Party of Australia

Green Left Weekly #616 – February 23, 2005
By John Percy

Laurie Aarons, general secretary of the Communist Party of Australia in the crucial years 1965-76, died earlier this month at the age of 88. The Aarons family played an important role in the CPA: Laurie’s grandparents were members, his father Sam was a national leader, his brother Eric was general secretary in 1976-82, and his son Brian was later a national secretary.

The Activist – Volume 10, Number 7, August 2000
By Doug Lorimer

The Communist Party of Australia has recently published a pamphlet by David Matters entitled Putting Lenin’s Clothes on Trotskyism which claims that the DSP’s rejection of Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution is really a cover for its support for Trotskyism. However, the real purpose of the pamphlet is to criticise the DSP’s position on the 1998 waterfront dispute.

Green Left Weekly #211 – November 14, 1995
By John Percy

The Communist Party of Australia developed a strong base in important industrial unions during the 1930s. As the depression eased, CPA members recruited from the unemployed and trained in action through the struggles of the Depression, had got jobs in industry. This working class base, which became the core of the CPA, grew and was consolidated during the 1940s.

Green Left Weekly #209 – October 31, 1995
By John Percy

The Communist Party of Australia experienced its most rapid growth in the years 1930-1934, going from 300 to 3000 members. The misery and desperation of the depression years, with up to one third of the work force unemployed, pushed many to look for radical solutions.

Green Left Weekly #207 – October 17, 1995
By John Percy

Ten years after the Russian Revolution that was the inspiration for the formation of the Communist Party of Australia, much had changed in the Soviet Union. Bureaucratism was rampant, Lenin was dead, and Stalin was rapidly pushing aside many of the old Bolshevik leaders. The first workers state had survived, but at a cost.

Green Left Weekly #205 – October 3, 1995
By John Percy

On October 30, 1920, the Communist Party of Australia was founded at a meeting in Sydney attended by 26 men and women. They represented the most radical of the small socialist groups, militant trade union activists and officials and former members of the Industrial Workers of the World. Their direct inspiration was the Russian Revolution of October 1917 led by Lenin’s Bolshevik party, the first example of workers overthrowing capitalism, taking power in their own hands and setting out on the path of constructing socialism.

Jim Percy Memorial Lecture – October-November 1995
By John Percy

Seventy-five years ago, under the impact and inspiration of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Communist Party of Australia was founded. 26 people attended the founding conference in Sydney on October 30, 1920. There were two main groupings, those from the Australian Socialist Party, and the “Trades Hall Reds” around TLC secretary Jock Garden, plus former IWW members and representatives from other small groups.

Green Left Weekly #204 – September 27, 1995
By John Percy

Seventy-five years ago, under the impact and inspiration of the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Communist Party of Australia was founded. It was a modest beginning, but an historic event. The CPA formed in 1920 finally dissolved in 1991, but for most of its life it was the dominant party on the left in Australia and an important force in the workers movement. There are many proud chapters in its history – the numerous trade union struggles led; organising the unemployed, women, Aborigines, young people; important civil liberties fights; and solidarity with international struggles, in Spain, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and East Timor, to name a few.

DSP Conference – January 1989
By John Percy

In September 1944 the Communist Party of Australia had reached 23,000 members. It had led mass struggles of the unemployed during the 1930s. It had developed substantial support amongst Australian workers. During the late ‘40s CPA members occupied leadership positions in unions representing nearly half the organised working class. At the end of WWII the CPA had 4000 of its members in the armed forces. Its national weekly had a circulation in the tens of thousands, and it published separate weekly papers in Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia as well.