'Time of revolution' energises socialist youth conference

Planning has started for the Resistance National Conference, to be held this year in Adelaide, South Australia, over July 20-22 at the University of Adelaide.

With the Arab Spring in the Middle East, anti-austerity protests across Europe and the Occupy movement in the US, last year was a year in which people’s movements around the world stood up to take centre stage in world politics. The theme of this year’s conference, “A Time of Revolution”, was inspired by these uprisings.

This year, these processes are still in motion. Occupy in the US had massive rallies on May 1, students in Quebec are taking to the streets in the hundreds of thousands to oppose education fee hikes and movements across the world are standing up against government cuts to vital social services.

But globally, the richest 1% continue to grow their wealth, while rampant poverty and inequality remains. If this makes you angry, don’t agonise, organise. Come to the conference to help make sure this time of revolution continues and expands.

The conference will be an important gathering of young socialists and left activists in Australia to prepare for the battles ahead as capitalism’s crises deepen. The conference format will consist of panel presentations and workshop discussions on a wide range of issues confronting humanity today.

As well as plenary sessions on Australian politics, international politics and building Resistance, the conference will feature a session on strengthening left unity — an area where Adelaide is leading the way.

It is guaranteed the conference will have something of interest for activist or radical thinker, with workshops covering a diverse range of progressive campaigns including refugees, equal marriage, feminism, Palestine solidarity, Aboriginal justice and sovereignty, climate change and anti-coal seam gas.

There will also be a range of engaging educational workshops that will discuss Marxist theory, significant radical events in history and current examples of inspiring movements and revolutions around the world.

This year the Resistance conference will also host a special workshop on “activist skills”, including public speaking training, meeting facilitation and writing and filming for alternative media.

The conference will feature guest speakers from Australia and around the world — revolutionaries from Britain, the Middle East, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region will attend.

A key speaker for the conference is Shamikh Badra, student and youth activist with the Palestinian People’s Party.

Joel Cosgrove, from the Workers Party of New Zealand, will also speak at the conference. He told Green Left Weekly he looked forward to exchanging ideas and experiences with comrades from around Australia.

“I think when you put a whole bunch of radical socialists in a space together, you can get some amazing synthesis and convergence of different ideas, arguments and experience,” Cosgrove said.

More speaker and program announcements will be released through the Resistance website and published in GLW over the coming weeks.

Alongside the three days’ discussion of ideas to change the world, the conference delegates will vote on plans for Resistance’s practical campaigning this year.

Finally, having hundreds of young politically involved people in the one place at the one time makes for one hell of a party. After each day of inspiring panels, engaging workshops and political discussion, the conference will host social events at night, including a big GLW fundraiser dinner and gig, featuring entertainment from Adelaide and around the country.

The Resistance conference is always a great chance to meet young activists from around the country, make new friends and have a lot of fun.

Adelaide Resistance member Danny Kakoschke told GLW: “I am excited about Resistance conference because it provides us an opportunity to exchange ideas outside of our usual geographical boundaries, to network and develop friendships spanning the country.

“It reminds us that although we are separated by distance, we are united in purpose, not just with our Australian comrades, but with all comrades everywhere.”