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Gemma Weedall presents Australian politics report. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.
Australian politics and campaigns perspectives resolutions adopted by the 11th national conference of Socialist Alliance
By Alex Bainbridge, Sydney
June 20, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The campaign against closure of Aboriginal communities and mobilisations against unconventional gas in eastern Australia are some examples of growing campaigns that are successfully challenging the agenda of capitalist governments in Australia, according to the 11th national conference of the Socialist Alliance.
The Australian politics resolution adopted by the conference highlighted these and other campaigns — such as the successful campaign against the East West Link in Melbourne and the campaign to free the refugees — as important examples of resistance in Australia today.
For more discussion on feminism, click HERE.
October 13, 2013 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialist Alliance and socialist youth group Resistance held a seminar in Sydney on March 14, 2013, on the topic of 21st century feminism. Socialist Alliance's Lisa Macdonald, a Green Left Weekly journalist, and Alison Pennington, a member of the Resistance and Socialist Alliance, spoke about the culture of violence that exists in our society, how women can fight collectively to live in an equal and violence-free society, and why socialists wholeheartedly support these struggles.
Jock Palfreeman interviewed by Tony Iltis, Sofia
May 17, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- “I’m in Villawood!”, Jock Palfreeman exclaimed, with the cheerful exuberance he displayed throughout an interview conducted through glass and wire-mesh partitions in the gloomy surroundings of the visiting room of Sofia central prison.
He told Green Left Weekly that it was the plight of refugees illegally detained in Sydney's Villawood detention centre by the Australian government that first radicalised him. His first protest, as a high school student in Sydney, was a blockade of the offices of Villawood’s then operator Australasian Correctional Management on May Day in 2002.
A year later he organised students at his school to attend the “Books Not Bombs” student walkouts to protest against the war on Iraq.
It was because of his seeming inability to ignore injustice that he is now serving a 20-year sentence in Bulgaria.
February 22, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- The Green Left Report hosts a roundtable discussion and debate on the millions-strong protests prior to the US war on Iraq, held around the world on February 15, 2003. The roundtable includes some key activists at the time who reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the protests in Australia and lessons for progressive struggles today.
Pip Hinman was a leader of the anti-war movement in Sydney at the time; Nick Deane convened a local peace group; and Jim McIlroy, who has been an anti-war activist since the Vietnam war, was part of the Brisbane protests. Also featured is an interview with Simon Butler, who led Books Not Bombs protests of high school and other young people opposed to the war. Hosts are Mel Barnes and Peter Boyle. Footage of the 2003 anti-war marches in Sydney by John Reynolds and Jill Hickson of Actively Radical TV. The episode ends with Carlo Sands critiquing the notion of the "lesser evil".
Produced by Green Left TV -- media for the 99%. Watch it, share it, film it, support it
July 27, 2012 -- GreenLeftTV -- Guillaume Legault is a leading member of Quebec's CLASSE, a radical student organisation at the forefront of a months-long student strike against tuition fee hikes. Legault toured Australia and New Zealand in July-August 2012 as a guest of the socialist youth organisation Resistance. Above is Legault's address to the Resistance national conference, held in Adelaide.
[August 3, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following document is the manifesto of Quebec's militant student union, Coalition large de l’Association pour une solidarité syndicale (CLASSE). For more on the student struggle in Quebec, click HERE.]
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim and Laura Gilbie
March 11, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- After two decades of political deadlock, Africa’s oldest refugee population is losing faith in UN mandated peace negotiations.
“No one will give us our freedom — we must take it!,” Sahrawi journalist Embarka Elmehdi Said told Green Left Weekly. Said sees little hope for a peaceful resolution to the crisis that has gripped Western Sahara since its independence from Spain in the 1970s.
A child when her family fled the Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara in 1975, Said has spent most of her life in the Polisario run refugee camps on the Western Sahar-Algeria border.
Her two sons, aged 12 and three, have spent all their lives in the camps.
Occupy Brisbane, Australia.
By Ash Pemberton
October 29, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Some conservative commentators have declared the global Occupy movement to be “socialist”. Right-wing musician Ted Nugent said in the Washington Times on October 14: “Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade... These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.” Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly declared: “The Occupy Wall Street movement is basically socialistic.”
By Viv Miley
October 8, 2011 -- Socialist Alliance -- More than 500 people gathered in Melbourne over September 30 to October 3 to take part in four days of stimulating talks and discussion at the second Climate Change Social Change conference. The conference, which featured five plenary sessions, 39 workshops and more than 90 speakers, was organised by Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and Resistance. Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal also sponsored the conference.
The conference brought together activists, academics and unionists from Australia, Asia, North America and the Pacific to share ideas and experiences from the movements for Indigenous people's rights, against environmental destruction, for women's rights, for queer rights, for peace, social justice and workers’ rights.
By Mark Harris
July 23, 2011 -- Resistance.org.au -- There is no denying it, depression is on the rise across the world. The World Health Organization says depression will be the second largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020. For young people this is already the case. Depression leads to about 850,000 deaths every year.
But why is depression on the rise? In some instances it is a product of more readily available methods of diagnosis and public understanding of the disorder. But increases in suicide rates and other indicators suggest that the increase in depression is well beyond this statistical readjustment.
Depression is not always caused by a chemical imbalance or as a result of human biology. It is a result of social factors such as loneliness, lack of social support, financial strain, lack of purpose and unemployment. These are endemic under capitalism.
Even in a wealthy country like Australia, youth often look to a future that is at best unfulfilling. Furthermore, capitalism is based on competition. In all sorts of ways we can only succeed if someone else fails. Obvious examples are job interviews or exams to get into uni.
Capitalist culture emphasises competition and individualism. Even the main form of transport — cars — means being physically separated from, and often in competition with, other people travelling on the same road.
(Updated July 22) Asia-Pacific socialists demand: 'Free all political prisoners! Democracy for the Malaysian people!'
[Urgent appeal for protest letters to be sent to the Malaysian government, please visit http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/en/articles/1585 for details of where they can be sent. See also "Malaysia: Protests demand release of democracy activists".]
September 18, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- Ammar Ali Jan is a 23-year-old activist in Pakistan who visited Australia earlier this year to speak at the Resistance national conference. He is an organiser of the Progressive Youth Front (PYF), which campaigns for democracy and against corruption. He spoke to Melanie Barnes from Resistance about what’s been happening in Pakistan, especially the devastating impact of the recent floods.
* * *
By Nick Southall
[The following speech was presented to the socialist youth group Resistance national conference dinner, held in Thirroul, Australia, on April 24, 2010.]
Tonight I will be looking at love as a form of power, a form of work and a form of wealth, as a need, desire, intention and action, and I will be locating our ability to transform social relations in political acts of love.
Capitalism poisons our lives with a concentration on consumption, materialism and competition, undermining loving relationships. Yet, alongside the system's violence, exploitation and oppression, there are continuing struggles about who has control over social relations, social cooperation and labour, over whether love is destroyed, suppressed, harnessed to strengthen capital or used to build and extend loving alternatives.
March 21, 2010 -- UNITYblog -- Ben Peterson is a young Australian socialist who spent four and half months in Nepal last year. Ben is crossing the Tasman for a speaking tour of New Zealand from March 21-26. Ben was kind enough to answer some questions for UNITYblog about his experiences in Nepal.
* * *
When did you go to Nepal? How long were you there for?
I was in Nepal last year from the beginning of March to July, about four and half months in total.
Why did you go to Nepal?
By Jess Moore
There are social expectations on everyone, men and women, to act in particular ways based on our sex. This is bad for everyone because it’s stifling, but it’s worse for women and queers.
These gender stereotypes and roles put men first and women second:
Statement Bersama: Hormati Hak Asasi Manusia – Bebaskan Para Pengungsi! Tolak “Solusi Indonesia” Buatan Australia!
Statement Bersama oleh Australian Socialist Alliance; Socialist Party (Australia); Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM); Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Malaysia; CWI Malaysia; Konfederasi Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI); Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja (PRP); Partai Persatuan Pembebasan Nasional (PAPERNAS); Front Nasional Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia (FNPBI); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philipina; Transform Asia, Philipina; Labour Party Pakistan; Resistance (Australia); Militan-Indonesia; Socialist Appeal New Zealand; Partido ng Manggagawa, Philippines; Asia-Pacific Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)
5 November 2009 – Penghormatan terhadap Hak Asasi Manusia telah dibuang ke laut oleh pemerintah Australia, Indonesia dan Malaysia ketika mereka menolak gelombang baru pencari suaka Tamil yang melarikan diri menghindari perang dan penindasan di Sri Lanka dan malahan mengancam mereka seperti kriminal.
Joint statement: Respect human rights -- free the refugees! Reject Australia's 'Indonesian solution'! Welcome the asylum seekers
Australian Customs commandos with Oceanic Viking in the background. Photo: ABC.
Joint statement by the Australian Socialist Alliance; Socialist Party (Australia); Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); Network of the Oppressed People (JERIT), Malaysia; CWI Malaysia; Confederation Congress of Indonesian Union Alliance (KASBI); Working Peoples Association (PRP), Indonesia; National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS), Indonesia; Indonesian National Front for Labor Struggle (FNPBI); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines; Transform Asia; Labour Party Pakistan; Resistance (Australia); Militan-Indonesia; Asia-Pacific Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU); Socialist Appeal New Zealand; Partido ng Manggagawa, Philippines; Solidarity (Australia)
By Jess Moore
August 9, 2009 -- We face a climate crisis and something needs to change. The world’s resources are finite, as is the amount of destruction humans can do to the planet if we are to survive. There is a debate in the environment movement about whether or not curbing population is an essential part of the solution. We have a decade, maybe a decade and a half, to transform our current relationship with the planet. Of course, the starting point for environmentalists cannot be solutions. We first need to identify the cause of the crisis before we can know how to fight it.
People who see limiting population as essential to solving the climate crisis argue the cause of environmental degradation, at least in part, is overpopulation. Most “populationists” argue there are already too many human beings on the planet to provide for everyone’s basic needs. All contend that curbing population growth or decreasing population is some or all of the solution to climate change and to the fact that the basic needs of many people are not satisfied.
By Ben Peterson
[The following are a series first-hand reports from Nepal, by Australian socialist activist Ben Peterson, a member of the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the socialist youth organisation Resistance, both affiliated to the Socialist Alliance. They first appeared at Ben's blog, Lal Salam, and are posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with his permission.]
* * *
First impressions and adventures in NepalMarch 6, 2009 -- And here I am. After too long speculating from the sidelines (and sidelines 10,000 kilometres away) I have finally arrived in the land of Mountains and Maoists. On Tuesday night at about 10 pm, I landed in Kathmandu to see with my own eyes the processes unfolding here.
This is less of an in-depth analysis and more of a account of my personal experiences so far, which have been really intense.