Gregory Martin, Gold Coast
On June 10, 20 people attended a seminar and political performance at Fradgely Hall in Burleigh Heads, organised by the Gold Coast branch of the Socialist Alliance.
Participants discussed progress in socialist organising in the region and the development of the newly formed United Casual Workers Alliance. Amelia Taylor from the UCWA explained to the meeting that approximately 70% of Gold Coast workers are casual employees and experience some of the worst working conditions in Australia. The UCWA has received an encouraging response from workers, she added.
Professor Dave Hill, a former British Labour Party politician and Marxist academic who is currently visiting Australia, gave a talk titled "Class war from above: The social democratic and Marxist left". Hill argued that "a permanent war under capitalism is in full swing" and spoke at length about the class impact of the worldwide neoliberal social and economic agenda.
Addressing the question "what is to be done?", Hill stressed the importance of class solidarity and political organisation, and pointed to recent developments in Venezuela and Bolivia.
Halil Karatas, a former trade union activist in Turkey and now a Socialist Alliance member, provided some information about the political situation in Turkey, including human rights abuses by security forces. After dinner, Sara Moss, Shane Carter and Pablo Alvarez provided political entertainment.
For more information, visit the Institute for Education Policy Studies, of which Hill is the founding director, at <http://www.ieps.org.uk> or the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies at <http://www.jceps.com>, which welcomes articles
from activists and academics around the world.
From Green Left Weekly, June 21 2006.
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