May 28, 2011
By Rebecca Broad, National Organiser of the Workers Party
On the weekend of the 6th-8th of May this writer attended the national conference of the Socialist Party Australia (SPA), in Melbourne. This facilitated face to face discussion of experiences around organising and promoting socialist ideas in Australia and New Zealand.
Both similarities and differences exist in terms of the economic, social and political conditions of the two countries. The policy of mandatory detention of refugee and asylum seekers is currently at the forefront of Australian politics (See The Spark May issue). On Friday afternoon a demonstration was organised at the offices of CIRCO, a company contracted to run detention centres. The entries to the building were blocked by lines of protesters for an hour, preventing access in and out. Around 100 people supported the protest, and despite pressure from the heavy police presence there were no arrests and the picket line was not breached. Read the rest of this entry »
May 28, 2011
The national conference of Resistance was held May 6th – 8th at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. Heleyni Pratley, a member of the Wellington Branch of the Workers Party, attended on behalf of Unite Union. Her following report will be published in the June issue of The Spark.
Resistance is the youth wing of the Socialist Alliance (Australia). Topics covered during the conference included Palestine, uprisings in the Middle East, refugee detention in Australia, and the environment. The conference began with an acknowledgment that we were on stolen Aboriginal land. Around 100 people attended this conference from all over Australia. Guests included Matthew Cassel from Chicago, former assistant editor of Electronic Intifada; Antony Loewenstein, a Sydney-based independent freelance journalist and author of the book My Israel Question; and Ravindran, a youth leader from the Socialist Party of Malaysia. Overall there was a positive welcoming environment, which is important for young people to be able to debate and ask questions freely. The workshops over the weekend echoed this sentiment. Read the rest of this entry »