socialism

The path for Maori liberation, debates on left perspectives and the 30th anniversary since the 1981 Springbok tour were some of the discussions at “Workers Power”, the national conference of the Workers Party held in Hamilton over June 3 to 5.

The recent formation of the Mana Party was a focus of the discussions.

Prominent Maori leader and MP Hone Harawira initiated Mana after leaving the Maori Party, frustrated over its deals while in coalition with the right-wing National Party.

Harawira resigned his seat to force a by-election and stand again as a Mana candidate.

The debate over the Western military intervention into Libya that has swept sections of the world’s left since it began in March were concentrated into one passionate session at the annual congress of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA), held in Copenhagen over May 20-22.

The 300 congress delegates, representing 5900 members, were asked by a majority of the RGA’s National Board to endorse the March 18 vote of its four MPs in support of the “no-fly zone” imposed on Libya by NATO powers including Denmark ― acting in the name of United Nations resolution 1973.

Resistance held its 40th national conference on the weekend of May 6 -8. One-hundred-and-fifty people came over the three days and took part in diverse workshops and panel sessions.

One major session featured Matthew Cassel, former assistant editor of Electronic Intifada and an independent journalist, gave an eyewitness account of the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

He said: “Something common among dictatorships in the Arab world and so-called democracies in the West and elsewhere is the lack of accurate information available to most people through the mainstream media.

Bob Gould was a veteran of the labour left in Australia. He died on May 22, at the age of 74, of injuries suffered after a fall in his well-known bookshop, Gould's Book Arcade, in Newtown, Sydney.

He had been unwell for some time, but his accidental death was untimely.

Gould was a member of the early Australian Trotskyist group active in the 1950s and 1960s, along with Nick Origlass and others, who fought for socialist politics within the Australian Labor Party and against the Stalinism of the Communist Party of Australia.

The crowd at Harry Black’s funeral, on May 23, filled the South Chapel in Rookwood Garden Cemetery, the overflow room and the upstairs gallery. Family, comrades, wharfies, seafarers and even a few old fellow soldiers from World War II were there to say goodbye.

It was a fitting reflection on the life of a treasured comrade.

Harry was born in Rylstone, NSW, the son of a butcher in a small rural town, said Jim Donovan, the president of the Retired Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Members, in his eulogy at the funeral.

Below is the Resistance Action Plan, which was adopted by delegates at the Resistance national conference held in Sydney over May 6-8.

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Resistance is Australia’s only socialist, feminist, social justice, environmental, revolutionary youth organisation. We seek to organise young people to fight the injustices we see in the world, from war and poverty, to environmental destruction and discrimination against minority groups.

The "Take the power back" conference of the socialist youth organisation Resistance was held at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney on May 7-9. Below are videos of sections of talks given by some of the speakers.



Matthew Cassel, former editor of Electronic Intifada, speaks on activist media and the Arab Spring.

The sixth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba ended on April 19. Not by accident, the date chosen for the meeting coincided with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the victory of Playa Giron [Bay of Pigs — at which the Cuban people defeated a US-sponsored invasion in 1961].

"Another Australia is Possible" was the main theme of the Socialist Alliance Queensland State Conference, held on Saturday April 16 in the Brisbane Activist Centre.

A feature panel, “Fighting for Another Australia”, included presentations from Murri community leader Sam Watson, Sri Lankan human rights activist Dr Brian Senewiratne, socialist educationalist and writer Gary MacLennan, and Socialist Alliance national executive member Lisa Macdonald.

The ALP took government on the back of the “Your Rights At Work” campaign. But Labor has failed to “rip up” the Howard government’s Work Choices laws.

Australian Industry Group boss Heather Ridout told the 2011 HR Nichols Society conference: “There were many positive elements of the previous [Coalition] government’s workplace relations laws that have been retained by the Labor government.”

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