"The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has reopened, on a world scale, the discussion about socialism. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has called for building a new 'socialism of the 21st century'.
"As a socialist youth organisation, Resistance is not only in complete solidarity with the Venezuelan people's struggle, but is taking up that challenge here in Australia", Fred Fuentes, the national coordinator of Resistance, told Green Left Weekly. "That is why Resistance's 35th national conference will host the most important discussion on 21st century socialism in Australia this year."
The conference, at Glebe Town Hall in Sydney on July 8-10, will host Maria Rosa Jimenez from Frente Francisco de Miranda, a revolutionary youth organisation in Venezuela. Rosa will speak about Bolivarianism, socialism and the unfolding Venezuelan revolution.
"Unfuck the world — fighting for socialism in the 21st century" is the theme of the conference. It will bring together young activists from around the country and will be an important space for planning Resistance's campaigns, discussing how best to resist Howard's attacks on our rights and, most importantly, how to change the world. A key part of the discussion will be how to build on the success of the June 1 student strike against Work Choices, initiated by Resistance.
The conference will host two other international guests, Joe Carolan from the Unite union in New Zealand and Hendrik Ervan Baldus from the National Front of Papuan Students. Both speakers will report on the situation in their countries and contribute to the discussion about socialism.
"In some respects, the conference will be an important gathering for building international solidarity. But equally important will be the plans that it generates to intensify the battle here in Australia against the Howard government and to win more young people to socialist ideas" Fuentes said.
"Internationally, Howard is in a weak position on the issue of Iraq. It is becoming clearer every day that the 'coalition of the killing' is losing in Iraq and young people, particularly students, are beginning to organise against the occupation of Iraq. Resistance members, who have been an important part of the revival of anti-war activism on campuses, will discuss how to make Howard pay a bigger price for his support of the occupation.
"At home, Howard is vulnerable on two fronts — uranium mining and the Work Choices laws. The June 1 student strike showed that young people are angry about losing their rights at work and are willing to fight to stop the government's attacks. Resistance members are now organising youth contingents to join the June 28 national protest actions against Work Choices, as well as meetings about workplace rights on schools. The conference will provide an opportunity for young workers and students to come together and plan the next steps in this national campaign."
The conference agenda will include many workshops on socialism and Marxism, revolutions in Latin America and elsewhere, and Australian imperialism. It will also discuss Resistance's campaigns in the second half of the year on campuses, schools and the streets.
To register for the conference, contact your local Resistance branch (details on page 2) or visit <http://www.resistance.org.au/conference>.
From Green Left Weekly, June 14, 2006.
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