After an intense year of political activity in 2011, Socialist Alliance members have been preparing for the organisation’s eighth national conference, which will be held in Sydney over January 20-22.
Delegates are being elected from branches and already more than 10 volumes of Alliance Voices, the Socialist Alliance’s public discussion bulletin, have been filled with discussion about our political work, proposed resolutions, policy amendments and documents for the conference. More volumes will probably be produced between now and the conference.
In response to the new waves of revolt and anti-capitalist sentiment that have been sweeping the world since the “Arab Spring” uprisings last year, the Socialist Alliance national executive will propose to the conference that Socialist Alliance hold its next national conference in a years’ time and, in the meantime, conduct a public discussion about a new resolution on socialism.
The idea is to use this process to deepen the political agreement within the Socialist Alliance and to spark a discussion more broadly about socialism in the 21st century.
Two drafts of the resolution on socialism and a series of Socialist Alliance perspectives resolutions have been made available to the membership in Alliance Voices. The second drafts of these documents have sought to incorporate suggestions and ideas that have been raised by members in pre-conference discussion.
The conference will be held at the new Sydney premises of the Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly at 22-36 Mountain Street, Ultimo.
The conference agenda can be found here.
In addition to the reports, discussions, decision-making sessions and the election of office bearers, there will be a program of educational workshops and presentations.
On January 20, at 7pm, there will be a public forum with Dick Nichols (from Green Left Weekly’s European desk) on the topic “The Indignado movement and beyond: Crisis, revolt and the left in Europe”.
Nichols is now based in Barcelona, but has returned to Australia for the conference.
During the times allocated for discussion of reports and resolutions, non-delegates can attend several socialist education workshops on the following topics:
• Introduction to Marxist political economy (Dave Holmes)
• History of Aboriginal resistance in Australia (Ray Jackson and Raul Bassi)
• Socialism and feminism (Jay Fletcher)
• Political-cultural action and the socialist movement (Vivienne Porzsolt)
• Introduction to Socialist Alliance
• Revolution, bureaucratisation and counter-revolution (Kathy Fairfax and Marcel Cameron)
• Socialism and co-operatives (Linda Seaborn and Dave Kerin)
• Introduction to Australian labour history (Chris Pickering and Dave Kerin)
• Introduction to dialectical materialism (Haskell Musry and Coral Wynter)
From 7pm on January 21, Green Left Weekly will launch a fundraising dinner for its 2012 Fighting Fund with music and performances at the Art Resistance hut in the Addison Road Community Centre. To book call 02 8070 9331.
All Socialist Alliance members and members of affiliated groups may attend the conference, speak and move and second resolutions. Other guests and observers have to be invited or apply to local branches or the national executive to be invited. You can apply to attend the conference or register online here.
[Peter Boyle is the Socialist Alliance national convenor.]