The first School of Rebellion, held in association with Marxism 2013 over the Easter weekend in Melbourne, drew about 30 kids for a weekend of thinking, talking, making noise, art, music, poetry, mess and friends. It was declared “awesome” by a random sample of kids, teachers and parents and the program will definitely be back, bigger and better, for Marxism 2014.
The overwhelming majority of the 1140 people who attended some part of the Marxism 2013 conference would have agreed with Socialist Alternative national executive member Vashti Kenway at the opening session: “I am feeling extremely hopeful of developments here in the left in Australia.” The hopes for closer unity of the revolutionary left infused the conference with excitement in the wake of the March 28 merger of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Socialist Alternative and the participation in and endorsement of the conference by the Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly.
A capacity crowd of about 350 people filled the room for the opening night of the Marxism 2013 conference in Melbourne on March 28. The forum, called "Uniting the left to resist austerity, war and crisis", heard from six speakers, including Australian unionist Bob Carnegie, striking airline union PALEA president Gerry Rivera, US teacher and socialist Brian Jones, Socialist Alliance co-convener Peter Boyle, Socialist Alternative national executive member Vashti Kenway, and the Revolutionary Socialist Party's (RSP) Kim Bullimore.