While we heralded the end of the Howard regime, those of us involved in the many campaigns for social and environmental justice knew the fight had not ended with his demise. We knew the struggle for real and lasting justice would go on, and this is why it is important that we stay inspired and active.
Resistance is a socialist youth organisation that is committed to building broad movements for change, to further our goal of fighting for a better world. To achieve this, we stand in solidarity with all people around the world who are also campaigning and struggling for change.
The upcoming Resistance 2008 national conference will be a great place remind ourselves of the importance of these campaigns, and plan the next steps. Attending the conference will be Kiraz Janicke, a Resistance member who has been based in Venezuela for the last 12 months. She is a staff writer for Venezuelanalysis.com and a member of Green Left Weekly's Caracas bureau.
"As a member of Resistance I have been following the radical developments in Venezuela for some time. What I have learnt from my time here is that there are very few countries that demonstrate, like Venezuela does, that another world is not only necessary, it is absolutely possible. I have been really fortunate to have been able to spend the last year in Venezuela", she told GLW.
Kiraz joined Resistance and the Socialist Alliance in Perth in 2003 through her involvement in campaigning against the war in Iraq. In 2005 Kiraz went on the first Australian solidarity brigade to Venezuela. It was her experience in Venezuela that convinced her to move to Sydney in to be a Resistance organiser, where she helped to organise the June 1 student strike against Work Choices and various other campaigns.
As a journalist in Venezuela, Kiraz has written on topics ranging from the Venezuelan economy, Venezuelan ties with other Latin American countries, Indigenous rights, food scarcity problems, workers' rights and, more recently, the Sidor steel company nationalisation.
"It is important that those of us who live in Australia pay attention to, study and get enthusiasm from revolutionary struggles overseas. It is also our responsibility to give people struggling around the world practical solidarity. But even more importantly, we learn lessons from struggles overseas so we can struggle for change here."
Kiraz will be giving her firsthand account of the revolution at the Resistance conference, and all are welcome to attend. The conference will be held from Friday June 27 — Sunday June 29. For more information, including the agenda go to http://www.resistance.org.au. There are also plans for Kiraz to do a national speaking tour later this year organised by Resistance and the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network.