Time to take action: Resistance 2008!


Young people today are angry: there are major and urgent problems in our society including global food shortages, a rise in oil prices — which will send millions into greater poverty — and the build-up of greenhouse gas emissions.

Are we doomed, or is there still the possibility of turning anger into action and changing the world? These critical questions will be discussed at the Resistance Conference from June 27-29 at Sydney's University of Technology.

Young people from across the country will be discussing taking on some of the challenges society faces today in which the elites rule for each other, and the rest of us are expected to sit back and cop it.

We'll be discussing ideas about how to combat the system that puts profits before people's needs — capitalism — and instead help construct a society in which the community's needs and the environment come first.

The conference will feature a series of workshops including: Marxism: its relevance for today; Biofuels: staving the poor to fuel the rich; The fight against homophobia; The struggle for women's liberation; The Indigenous revolution in Bolivia today; and Justice: where the bloody hell are ya? — building opposition to the government's racist Northern Territory intervention.

The delegates will be discussing, and voting on, action plans to build the anti-imperialist movement to pressure the Rudd government to bring all the Australian troops back from Iraq and Afghanistan. They will also be debating how to build a movement to address the serious ecological crisis, which is caused primarily by corporations' profit-hungry addiction to fossil fuels.

"These serious social and environmental problems are fundamentally caused by a system that is, itself, in crisis — capitalism", Paola Harvey, a Resistance member from Wollongong, told Green Left Weekly.

"The market system is failing the majority of the world's people. You only have to look at the protests taking place today all over Asia because of the huge increases in the price of oil. We do want the world to move way from its reliance on fossil fuels, but to condemn millions more to hunger and greater impoverishment is certainly not the way. The rich countries should be leading the way in sustainable energy technologies and assisting others to do the same."

Harvey encouraged all those interested in discussing solutions to the global injustices to come to the conference and have their say. "I'm going because it is possible to turn rage and anger into real change", she said. "While it is being organised by young people, the conference is open to all those concerned about needing change: age is not a barrier to participation."

In other features, Tamil activists will be presenting their case for why we should step up our support for their struggle for self-determination. Demonised as "terrorists" by the Sri Lankan and Australian governments, Tamil activists will detail the atrocities being carried out against the people of Tamil Ealam who are simply struggling for basic democratic rights.

Another important struggle to be featured at the conference will be that of the Palestinians, who have been waging a struggle against the occupying power, Israel, since 1948. Special guest Isaac Shuisha, an Israeli citizen and Palestine solidarity activist, will address the topic of the Palestinian people's continuing resistance in the 60th year since Al Nakba (the catastrophe), when Palestinians were expelled from the newly created Israel.

Shuisha has just completed a successful speaking tour which developed links between the Palestinian solidarity campaign and other student activist groups and Islamic-based organisations interested in campaigning to end the occupation.

Another highlight will be hearing from two reporters who have spent a year in Caracas, Venezuela working and writing for Green Left Weekly.

Fred Fuentes worked as an aide to an advisor within the socialist government of Hugo Chavez and will be speaking about revolutionary developments in Venezuela and Bolivia. Fuentes edits the website Bolivia Rising and is a co-author of MAS-IPSA of Bolivia: a Political Instrument from the Social Movements.

Kiraz Janicke, who has been writing for the online magazine Venezuela Analysis, and GLW, will be another featured speaker. Both activists will be able to provide an insight into a society iwhere revolutionary changes are taking place.

These changes have been the trigger for political developments over the whole Latin American continent, and they provide a rich source of inspiration to progressive activists all over the world.

Don't miss the opportunity to be inspired and empowered by participating in the discussions at this Resistance conference. For more information, to register online, or look at the conference agenda visit .