Ballarat Reform League Inc. Bendigo Monuments
On 27 August 1853, after a giant petition known as the Goldfields Petition was rejected by Governor Charles La Trobe, 10,000 diggers met in a well organised meeting to protest meeting wearing a rid ribbon in defiance.
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 seen as an unfair tax. The Red Ribbon Movement was active on the Bendigo diggings where diggers demanded a license fee from 30 shillings to ten shillings. The diggers planned to offer 10 shillings for a license and allow themselves to get arrested so as to cause overcrowding in the prisons, and an increase in administration.
Agitators involved in the Red Ribbon movement (who sported red ribbons in their hats to symbolise their defiance of the law and the prohibitive licence fees imposed on lucky and unlucky miners alike) organised the Bendigo Petition in mid-1853.
The miner’s used the colour red to signify unity and defiance against an unjust government. On 27 August 1853, ten thousand miner’s peacefully protested against the despised 30 shilling mining licence fee. Governor Charles La Trobe had rejected an earlier petition to axe the fee. Following the agitation, he agreed to removal of the fee for the month of September. Civil liberties and injustices continued until the height of agitations in 1854 at the Eureka Rebellion. 
- http://monumentaustralia.org.au/monument_display.php?id=30387&image=0, downloaded 15 March 2013.
- Bendigo Weekly, 27-Aug-2013.