Crowd celebrates new Resistance Centre

July 22, 2011

After 28 years, the Sydney Resistance Centre has moved to its new location at 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo. The new centre was officially opened on July 16. It was a special day for the Socialist Alliance national office, the Socialist Alliance Sydney branch and Green Left Weekly.

The event was joined by more than 120 people and included greetings from NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge, Aboriginal activist Patricia Corowa, independent journalist Antony Loewenstein, Solidarity activist Mark Goudkamp, Thai Red Australia’s Lek Jimdaratana, Resistance national coordinator Mel Barnes and Socialist Alliance national convener Peter Boyle.

Guests arrived at the ground floor of the Resistance Centre where the new Resistance book store is located. The event started with Socialist Alliance national trade union convener Susan Price inviting Shoebridge to give his greetings.

He delivered a powerful speech and toast congratulating the Socialist Alliance and acknowledged the new centre stood on Aboriginal land.

Guests were served with delicious Thai finger food compliments of the Thai Red Australia group. There were also raffle tickets on sale with the prizes of a Palestinian Keffiyeh scarf and a bottle of Cuban Rum — a “treasure” discovered while moving from the previous offices.

Price then ushered the attendees to the second level of the new centre, where the opening party continued. The new, modern Resistance Centre is a huge change from the previous centre, which was very old, but had a lot of character.

Guests were entertained with traditional performances from West Papuan activist Henk Rumbewas and Iranian musician Mohsen Soltany.

In his speech, Boyle said Socialist Alliance members had discussed whether to change the name of the new centre, but had decided to still call it the Resistance Centre. The name symbolises the resistance of people fighting for free speech and against injustice around the country, he said.

He also called for greater solidarity with Malaysia’s “Bersih 2.0” democracy movement that is uniting Malays of all races and ages. Boyle led the crowd with Malaysian chant hidup rakyat, which translates as “long live the people”.

The event concluded with a performance from the aptly named band The Freedom Fighters.

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