Socialist youth conference big success

Partipants at the closing session of the 'How to make a revolution' conference. Photo: Alex Bainbridge.

Resistance and the Socialist Alliance held a joint educational conference called “How to Make a Revolution” for young people in Brisbane over December 13 – 15.

About 80 people from around the country attended over the weekend, mostly young people wanting to discuss all things political, activism and more importantly what strategies socialists should be using in Australia to take the movement forward.

Throughout the conference there was a running theme of mass action strategy, and the importance of forming alliances with the broadest layer of people to win demands.

One of the highlights of the conference was a workshop called “Liberalism, Ultraleftism, Mass Action: strategy for revolutionaries” which gave young people the opportunity to discuss social movements happening now in Australia and the pros and cons of strategies used.

The conference hosted guest speakers including Soh Sook Hwa from the Socialist Party of Malaysia, who spoke about the steps socialists are taking in Malaysia to combat ethnic divisions among oppressed minority groups and the effects that neoliberalism is having in Malaysia.

This conference represented the culmination of months of effort and building. The conference was a great experience for revolutionary youth to meet and discuss politics, but for those in Brisbane who worked on its preparation, the process of building and preparing the conference was just as important.

It allowed young activists to step up and take on organisational roles in ways that they had not before. It also allowed the activists involved to have a central project to build their work on campus and on stalls, allowing them to invite along young people interested in politics.

An important part of this was trying new places to take Resistance’s politics, with Resistance beginning to do bi-weekly stalls in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall, a trend that they hope to continue into next year, as well as high school stalls, which have been essential for building young and vibrant social movements in the past.

The conference has certainly inspired the activists involved to look forward to next year with a political clarity and confidence, that will hopefully lead to a vibrant and politically active year.

The same can be said for the effects the conference has had nationally.

By all accounts branches across the country that had their younger membership attend the conference were sent back young people who were inspired to be more active, and more importantly, who wanted to play more of a leadership role in their respective branches.

The preparation, planning and carrying out of this conference by the pre-existing national youth leadership of Resistance and Socialist Alliance was beneficial as it got the youth leadership across the country working together in a coordinated way.

Preparations have recently begun to form a working group who will plan a similar conference for the end of this year which those involved hope will be even bigger and better than the last.

After the three-day conference there was a planning day for campus work for this year, which allowed those in attendance to share experiences on campus and ideas for the upcoming campus orientation weeks across the country.

It is clear that there is great potential for youth leadership which bodes well for the future of the socialist movement in Australia.