Melbourne talks set high standard


By Dave Holmes

MELBOURNE — From the opening public meeting on Thursday evening, which was addressed by Russian socialist Boris Kagarlitsky, to the final Sunday afternoon plenary discussion on the vexed question of the Labor Party, the conference here was marked by the high standard of talks and discussion.

Some 200 people participated in the three-day event, held at the Lincoln Institute in Carlton. As well as members of the DSP and Resistance, the conference involved activists from a variety of political backgrounds.

With an agenda composed of more than 30 plenary and workshop sessions and some 60 speakers, the conference provided rich fare for those interested in progressive social change and the theory and practice of socialism.

The program grappled with a great many issues and themes — international solidarity, the Kennett offensive and the struggle against it, feminism past and present, campaigning against woodchipping, renewing the union movement, culture and social change, and lots more.

It wasn't all hard work, however. The "Building the links" conference dinner, held at the Resistance Centre on Saturday night, was attended by about 100 people who relaxed, enjoyed good food and heard a short address by visiting US socialist Malik Miah.

Today the socialist movement is living through challenging and difficult times. The Easter Marxist Educational Conference was a modest but very real contribution to checking our ideas, fortifying us in the struggle and preparing us to face the future with confidence.

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