Emma Clancy, Sydney
Radical young activists from around Australia will be converging on Sydney from July 8-10 for three days of political discussion and campaign planning at the 35th Resistance national conference, themed "Unfuck the world: Fighting for socialism in the 21st century".
According to Resistance national coordinator Fred Fuentes, many Resistance members became political activists in response to "the blatant injustices of global capitalism, which slaughters human beings for profits". However, he said, "It's not enough to feel outrage and horror. We need to study, analyse and understand the causes of this injustice, so that we can fight it most effectively."
This Resistance conference is shaping up to be an important event for young revolutionaries, Fuentes said, and a feature will be the participation of young activists from Venezuela, New Zealand and West Papua.
Fuentes spent last year travelling through Venezuela and Bolivia and said he is convinced that the Latin American revolt against imperialism, and in particular, Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution, is helping to turn the tide against the US empire. "One of the most significant things about the Venezuelan revolution is the impact it is having in the global battle of ideas: boldly challenging the claim that imperialism is invincible and capitalism inevitable.
"One of the most popular slogans among revolutionary youth in Venezuela is 'Another world is possible — if it's socialist!'" Maria Rosa Jimenez, a visiting young leader of the Venezuelan socialist youth organisation the Frente Francisco de Miranda, will share her views about the Venezuelan revolution's contribution to the international discussion on "the new socialism of the 21st century".
According to Fuentes, "This is a real discussion taking place in Venezuela, and we want to bring it to Australia. This means we need to carry out our own battle of ideas, on campus, in schools and on the streets." He said Resistance wants to use the conference to organise an offensive against the ideas that capitalism indoctrinates us with — "that we are powerless and can't make a difference".
"Above all", Fuentes said, "we want to use the conference to draw up a plan to seriously challenge this government. This has been a year where young people around the world have gone on the offensive, from Venezuela to France, from Chile to the US — and we will be planning how we can organise young people here to take forward campaigns against the Howard government's raft of reactionary policies."
Key areas likely to be discussed include "activating young people against the occupations of Iraq and Palestine — and the Australian government's support for [US President George] Bush's empire-building — and against any future attack on
Iran", involving young people in the fight-back against Howard's attacks on workers' rights, and "challenging the government's racism, homophobia and attacks on our basic democratic rights".
[Resistance is organising a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people as part of the conference, on July 7 at 5pm in Martin Place, Sydney. To register for the conference or for more information, visit <http://www.resistance.org.au>.]
From Green Left Weekly, July 5, 2006.
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