In Sept 2010 UN General Assembly was devoted to a discussion on ending global poverty, to the fulfilment of the socalled Millennium Goals first adopted in the year 2000. A decade after the adoption of these goals, UN agencies reported that while 830 million people lived on the brink of starvation when the goals were adopted a decade ago, this number had soared to over 1 billion and that in 2010 almost the same number were forced to live on less than a dollar a day.
Talks & Workshops
The direct war by the United States and its allies, including Australia, against the people of Vietnam lasted for 10 years, beginning with US air strikes against North Vietnam in February 1965 and the landing in South Vietnam in March 1965 of 3500 US combat troops. Over the next seven years US warplanes dropped a total of 7mn tonnes of bombs on Vietnam, 3½ times the amount dropped by US warplanes during all of World War II. Despite this, by the end of the war on April 30, 1975, the Vietnamese people had defeated the mightiest military power in human history. But this victory came at the cost of at least 3 million Vietnamese dead.
In a December 1915 introduction to Bolshevik theorist Nikolai Bukharin’s book Imperialism and World Economy, Lenin wrote: “There had been an epoch of a comparatively ‘peaceful capitalism’, when it had overcome feudalism in the advanced countries of Europe and was in a position to develop comparatively tranquilly and harmoniously, ‘peacefully’ spreading over tremendous areas of still unoccupied lands, and of countries not yet finally drawn into the capitalist vortex. Of course, even in that epoch, marked approximately by the years 1871 and 1914, ‘peaceful’ capitalism created conditions of life that were very far from being really peaceful both in the military and in a general class sense.
We mourn our friend and our comrade Gail, who lost her valiant battle against cancer on July 2. It’s so sad, a life cut short. But it was a life well-lived, a proud life, a productive life, a life on the side of the poor and oppressed of the world. Gail was such an inspiration to others, with her 40 plus years of struggle. She never gave in. She never accepted the injustices, the crimes, the rottenness of the system.
For those who believed that the overwhelming demonstration of US military power in Afghanistan and Iraq would “shock and awe” the rest of the world — and particularly Washington’s foes and aspiring rivals — into accepting its goal of making the 21st century a “new American century” of US political and economic global domination, 2006 was not a good year.
Comrades, I bring warm greetings of solidarity from Australia on behalf of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, our youth organisation Resistance, and our newspaper Green Left Weekly. We warmly salute the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, when Comrade Ho Chi Minh proclaimed Vietnam’s independence to hundreds of thousands gathered in Hanoi on September 2, 1945. After years of fighting the French colonialists, and then five years of Japanese occupation, Vietnam was free. But full liberation was to take another 30 years of suffering and sacrifice, and fierce fighting.
1. Exciting developments are occurring today throughout Latin America, in fact there’s been turmoil on that continent for decades. But a revolutionary process is underway in Venezuela. There’ve been mass mobilisations in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay – strikes, demonstrations, governments toppled, and sometimes left governments elected. But in Venezuela, a revolution is happening, the masses are taking that road.
Comrades, I bring the warmest greetings of solidarity from the DSP in Australia, from our youth organisation Resistance, and from the newspaper Green Left Weekly, and I congratulate the comrades from the Malaysian Socialist Party for organising this inspiring conference.
One hundred years ago this month, the first proletarian revolution in the new imperialist epoch of capitalism began. This revolution, the first Russian revolution, was born of mass discontent aggravated by a deeply unpopular war, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. It began with a wave of strikes, riots and street demonstrations protesting the police shooting on a peaceful mass workers’ demonstration in St Petersburg, the capital of the vast Russian Empire, on Sunday, January 22, 1905 (January 9 in the Julian calendar still in use in Russia at the time), killing 1000 and wounding 2000 of the 200,000 marchers.
I won’t spend time detailing the actual all-too heinous crimes, betrayals and pro-capitalist actions of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). For a start, I’ve only got 15 minutes, not the 15 hours you’d need to begin. I’m sure Judy and all ISO comrades here would agree in condemning their racist, pro-imperialist, pro-war, pro-boss record, in government and out – although when they’re out they sometimes have to put on a bit of an act.