I was born in 1951. I was in my early teens when the American war in Vietnam started to become news. I just missed out on being old enough or exposed directly enough to be fully caught up in the 60s radicalisation, but it was the 60s all the same that framed the picture of the world that I gazed upon and eventually engaged with. The 60s was a period of multiple, myriad, kaleidoscopic, even hallucinogenic angles of gaze and questioning. Engagement with social and political realities exploded with militant protest movements, subversive culture and the sharing of songs hitherto without voices.
Internationalism & International Solidarity
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.
How should we carry out our international work and international relations with other parties in the period ahead? As the DSP, as the Socialist Alliance, or both? And what has been our experience internationally functioning as the Democratic Socialist Perspective, an internal tendency within the Socialist Alliance?
January 2004 – Embarrassing details of an extensive scam being operated against left-wing organisations surfaced in the Ukraine in mid-2003. At least twelve, possibly up to twenty, small left groups, mainly in England and the United States, were conned by an enterprising group of Ukrainian politicos pretending to be supporters of each of these parties or their “internationals” setting up their Ukrainian “sections”.
The political context for our international work is the heightened crisis and rising stakes resulting from firstly, the real capitalist crisis arising from the failure of their neoliberal panacea, and secondly, the ruling class strategy of aggressive war and domination abroad coupled with domestic repression.
The second Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference, held in Sydney March 28-April 1 was an outstanding success. Seven hundred and fifty people, including international participants from more than thirty countries, attended.
Exhausting but exhilarating, sometimes a bit chaotic, but always politically stimulating, it provided a unique opportunity for left activists in the Asia Pacific region to get together, exchange views, discuss politics and build closer collaboration and foster solidarity actions with each other’s struggles.
In this period of a stepped up ideological offensive by the ruling class, with the neoliberal attack on all past working class gains, the glorification of the market economy, the boasting about the end of communism, many on the left have retreated.
Capitalism is in crisis, and you’d have to be blind, or a particularly gross and stupid billionaire, not to know it. Just look around the world and you’re faced with the squalor of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, exploitation, and environmental devastation. And you also see the obscene wealth, the luxury for a few. In Indonesia the crisis is very visible, in your face.
Our party congress was held not much more than three months ago, and discussed thorough reports on perspectives for our work in Australia and for our international work. But some matters were left unresolved, with question marks over them. For example, we didn’t make firm projections for our election work. And we raised the question, “Let’s wait and see if the ISO here follows the line of the SWP in Britain.” We didn’t have long to wait. Certainly there’s been a rapid resolution on that front, with big developments in Australia.