September is strike season in Australia. The Great Strike of World War I reached a climax in September 1917, when Adela Pankhurst (youngest of the suffragette Pankhursts) led a march up Melbourne’s Bourke Street, calling on her followers to smash shop windows and break into Parliament House. Pankhurst went on to help establish the Communist Party of Australia. She later repented and became (gasp) Catholic.
In Sydney, future prime minister Ben Chifley lost his train-driving job in retribution for his work in organising weekly demonstrations in Sydney’s Domain. The strikers lost in the end, but not before doing their bit to set back the Allied war effort. Chifley moved on to the right side of history, serving as finance minister during World War II.
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