Program

CONFERENCE PROGRAM

(as at May 7)

Please note: details below are subject to change, as workshops are confirmed.


FRIDAY MAY 13

9am Registration opens [VENUE: Quad General Lecture Theatre N205]

10am Acknowledgement of country and welcome by Aunty Jenny Munro [VENUE: Quad General Lecture Theatre N205]

10.15am FEATURE PANEL: Fighting colonialism and racism today - This panel will explore the struggle against racism and the resistance to Australian neo-colonial policies in the region. [Featuring Ken Canning, Tomas Freitas, Jose Da Costa] [VENUE: Quad General Lecture Theatre N205]

LUNCH (11.45-12.30pm)

12.30pm FEATURE ROUND TABLE: Building alternatives to neoliberalism in Latin America [With Marta Harnecker, Michael Lebowitz and Luis Angosto Ferrandez] - A round-table discussion co-hosted by the Department of Political Economy and the Sydney University Research Community on Latin America. Chair: Dr Fernanda Penaloza (Dept of Spanish & Latin American Studies at Sydney University). [VENUE: Quad General Lecture Theatre N205]

2.15pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

TALK: From Bukittinggi to The Hague: Marking fifty years of the 1965 anti communist violence in Indonesia [With Vannessa Hearman] - Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the anti-communist killings in Indonesia, in which half a million leftists were killed and many more imprisoned for varying lengths of time. The killings ushered in authoritarian rule under President Suharto (1966-1998) and the persecution of the Left for decades. This presentation looks at civil society efforts to fight state impunity in Indonesia, focusing in particular on events marking the fiftieth anniversary of the anti-communist violence in Indonesia and reflects on the prospects for obtaining justice for victims of the violence. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Room 351]

PANEL: Fighting Sexism and Misogyny today [With Kamala Emanuel, Sarah Eleazar and Liah Lazarou] - Sexism and misogyny is alive and thriving. From casual sexist remarks, sexist portrayals of women in the media, to the shocking reality of gender-based violence and discrimination. The view that women are second-class citizens and sexual objects — and can be treated as such — remains strong. This panel will discuss how women and their allies can and do organise and struggle against such oppression — in Australia and in Pakistan — and how this is linked to the broader struggle for human liberation. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 275]

AFTERNOON TEA

4pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

TALK AND FILM SCREENING: Telling Timor-Leste in film [With Jose Da Costa] - In 1995, Jose Da Costa was one of 18 young East Timorese who sailed to Australia for five nights, in a small fishing boat, seeking safety. Jose is now a primary school teacher, film-maker and actor. Jose will talk about his experiences and the challenges facing Timor-Leste today, including the Australian government's theft of Timor's oil and gas reserves and Timor's forthcoming national election. To finish the session, Jose will screen two of his short films: 'Jose's Story' a 6 min shot animation directed by Wendy Chandler, produced by Jose Da Costa and Wendy Chandler and a short documentary 'Salvador' directed by Jose Da Costa and produced by Dili Film Works. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 275]

PANEL: Corbyn, Sanders and the repopularisation of socialism [With Cat Moir and Stuart Munckton] - In the UK, Jeremy Corbyn won leadership of the British Labour Party with a landslide of support from old and new members. While Corbyn faces resistance to his progressive agenda of renationalisation, rent controls, taxing the one percent and opposition to nuclear weapons, his popularity is a reflection of the rise of anti-austerity politics in the UK and Europe today. In the US, Democratic Party nominee Bernie Sanders’ message of free education, affordable health care, a $15 minimum wage, taxing the mega-rich and support for renewable energy is connecting with young people, and is reinserting concepts like ‘socialism’ and ‘political revolution’ into popular discourse. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Room 351]

DINNER BREAK

6.30pm EVENING FEATURE SESSION & LAUNCH: Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the crisis of the Earth System [With Ian Angus and Christopher Wright] - Bridging the gap between Earth System science and ecological Marxism, Ian Angus will examine the latest scientific findings about the causes and consequences of the Anthropocene, and the social and economic trends that underlie the crisis. This is the first Australian launch of Ian Angus' new book 'Facing the Anthropocene', published by Monthly Review Press. Copies of this new title, which features a foreword by John Bellamy Foster, will be available for purchase at this special event. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 159]


SATURDAY MAY 14 [All sessions will be located in the Carslaw Building]

9am Registration opens [VENUE: Carslaw 360]

10am FEATURE SESSION: Sovereignty Never Ceded Voices: from Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander resistance [With Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, Vicki Grieves, Aunty Jenny Munro, Uncle Sam Watson] - Uncle Sam Watson will give a presentation on the Stolen Generations, as part of this panel. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

MORNING TEA

12pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

PANEL: The Rojava revolution: A beacon of hope [Featuring Hawzhin Azeez and John Tully] - Rojava, the Kurdish-majority liberated zone in northern Syria, is the location of a unique experiment in grassroots, participatory democracy. It is undergoing a profound social revolution that emphasises social and economic equality, ecology, religious tolerance, ethnic inclusion, collectivity combined with individual freedom and, most obviously, feminism. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

PANEL: Venezuela and Bolivia: Revolution, counter revolution and resistance [Featuring Nelson Davila, Federico Fuentes and Denis Rogatyuk] - This session will discuss the dynamics and challenges of building Bolivarian socialism in Venezuela and Communitarian socialism in Bolivia and how we can build solidarity today against the renewed threats from US imperialism. [VENUE: Carslaw 451]

PANEL: After Paris, building the movement for climate justice [With Ian Angus, Pip Hinman, Helen Bender and Marco Avena] - The Paris Agreement on climate change has been hailed as a 'turning point' yet won't guarantee that global temperature increases will be kept below 2 degrees. How should activists respond to ensure a safe climate? [VENUE: Carslaw 452]

PANEL: Palestine will be free [With Mona Abu Zalaf, Shamikh Badra and Lisa Arnold] - May 15 marks the annual commemoration of Al Nakba (the catastrophe), when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes and their homeland by Israeli paramilitaries, sparking an unimaginable humanitarian disaster. On the eve of Al Nakba, Palestinian solidarity activists will discuss the ongoing campaign for liberation and justice for Palestine. [VENUE: Carslaw 453]

TALK: The rise of the far right in Europe and responses of the left [With Liam Flenady and Tibot Henry] - For decades Europe has tried to present itself to the world as a liberal, democratic, and socially progressive political union. Yet this image has begun to unravel over the last few years. This session will attempt to draw out the links between the economic crisis of the eurozone, the creeping fragmentation of the EU and rise of new nationalisms, islamophobia, and the attempts to secure ‘fortress Europe’ against a growing wave of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Such links show that the fight against austerity and for democracy in Europe are directly linked to the struggle against all forms of racism and fascism. This session will also include a presentation on the Nuit Debout movement in France by Tibot Henry. [VENUE: Carslaw 454]

LUNCH (1.30-2.30pm)

2.30pm FEATURE SESSION: What is Socialism for the 21st Century? [With Michael Lebowitz] - "Capitalism is an organic system, one which has the tendency to reproduce the conditions of its existence (including a working class that looks upon its requirements as “self-evident natural laws”). That is its strength. To counter that and to satisfy “the worker’s own need for development”, the socialist alternative we envision also must be an organic system, a particular combination of production, distribution and consumption, a system of reproduction. What Chavez named in January 2007 as “the elementary triangle of socialism” (social property, social production and satisfaction of social needs) is a step forward toward a conception of such a system." [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

AFTERNOON TEA

4.15pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

PANEL: Spain: Flash point of the crisis in Europe [With Dick Nichols and Julian Coppens] - This session discusses how recent political developments in Spain fit into the Europe-wide struggle against austerity and the challenges and opportunities facing the radical left movement, especially in the run-up to the June 26 Spanish election. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

WORKSHOP: Marxism 101: Ideas to change the world [With Nick Fredman] - Marx's philosophical, economic and political thought and writings remain essential tools for activists today. This workshop is designed for participants new to these ideas or wanting to know more. [VENUE: Carslaw 451]

PANEL: Rural workers, communities and farmers in struggle [With Radhika Menon, Suresh Kumar, Helen Bender and Elena Garcia] - From rural communities in India and Malaysia to Australia, this panel will discuss the significant struggles of farmers, rural workers and communities against the power of developers, mining companies and multinationals. [VENUE: Carslaw 452]

PANEL: 30 years since the EDSA uprising: Building Bayanihan socialism in The Philippines [With Sonny Melencio and Reihana Mohideen] - 30 years ago the people of The Philippines rose up and toppled the Marcos regime, but this was an 'unfinished revolution'. The struggle for fundamental social change continues in The Philippines, finding new forms of struggle and a new movement for Bayanihan (communal) socialism. [VENUE: Carslaw 453]

TALK: The struggle for independence in Kanaky [With Charles Wea] - This talk will explore the struggle for Kanak independence and socialism in Kanaky (New Caledonia). [VENUE: Carslaw 454]


SATURDAY NIGHT

6.30pm Stir it up! Cultural activism and social change [Featuring Radikha Menon, Munkimuk, Mesut Eroksuz and friends, 'Eski' and other performers]. This special event also features a celebration in multimedia of 25 years of Green Left Weekly.

VENUE: Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Corner of King St and Australia St, Newtown NSW 2042.

Dinner and drinks available from 6.30pm, performance starts at 7.30pm.

 

SUNDAY MAY 15 [All sessions will be located in the Carslaw Building]

9am Registration opens [VENUE: Carslaw 360]

10am FEATURE SESSION: Strategies for social change: People's power and political instruments [With Marta Harnecker] - "In order for political action to be effective, so that protests, resistance and struggles are really able to change things, to convert insurrections into revolutions, a political instrument capable of overcoming the dispersion and fragmentation of the exploited and the oppressed is required, one that can create spaces to bring together those who, in spite of their differences, have a common enemy; that is able to strengthen existing struggles and promote others by orientating their actions according to a thorough analysis of the political situation; that can act as an instrument for cohering the many expressions of resistance and struggle." [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

MORNING TEA

12pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

TALK: 'Walking on two legs' to fight the system [With Michael Lebowitz] - "A socialist party must walk upon two legs. It must struggle to capture the existing state from capital so that state can serve the needs of the working class rather than capital. However, it also must promote by all means possible new democratic institutions, new spaces in which people can develop their powers through their protagonism." [VENUE: Carslaw 454]

PANEL: Malaysia -Voices from the left [Featuring Suresh Kumar and Sivarajan Arumugam] - These two leading members of the Malaysian Socialist Party will present some of their recent experiences in building the left and progressive movement in Malaysia. session [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

WORKSHOP: What is Ecosocialism? [With Gemma Weedall] - There can be no lasting solution to the world’s environmental crises as long as capitalism remains the dominant economic and social system on this planet. This interactive workshop will examine how ecology was fundamental to the thought of Karl Marx and Frederik Engels and why an ecosocialist perspective is essential to building the movements to liberate humanity and prevent climate disaster. [VENUE: Carslaw 451]

PANEL: The imperialist drive to war [With Reihana Mohideen and Tony Iltis] The insatiable hunger for higher profits by global elites creates a dynamic that drives towards economic domination, subjugation and the constant threat of war. This panel will explore the inter-imperialist rivalries in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East. [VENUE: Carslaw 452]

WORKSHOP: Building a fighting labour movement [With Tim Gooden, Mich-Elle Myers, Craig McGregor and other labour movement activists] - 30 years since the deregistration of the militant Builders Labourers Federation, how can unionists organise today to resist the attacks by employers and the governments that serve their interests. [VENUE: Carslaw 453]

LUNCH (1.30-2.30pm)

2.30pm - CONCURRENT SESSIONS [VENUE: Carslaw Building]

PANEL: Building socialism in the Asia-Pacific: Experiences in India and Pakistan [Featuring Radhika Menon and Sarah Eleazar] These two leading members of the CPI(ML) (Liberation) and the Awami Workers Party will share their recent experiences of building the left and challenging communalism and neoliberalism.  [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

WORKSHOP: Socialist organising in Australia: An introduction to the Socialist Alliance and Resistance [Includes Q&A session] [With Chris Jenkins and Sarah Hathway] - This introductory session is for new members of Socialist Alliance and those interested in getting involved. [VENUE: Carslaw 451]

PANEL: 'Yes I Can': Cuba's internationalism in practice [With Bob Boughton, Jack Beetson and Ruth Ratcliffe] - "Yes I Can!" is a Cuban-designed literacy campaign which has allowed 8 million people in 29 different countries learn to read and write.  In Australia, up to 60% of Aboriginal adults living in rural and remote areas are functionally illiterate in English.  Since 2012 Cuban educators have been working with the Aboriginal-led Literacy for Life Foundations and communities across the far west of NSW to address this crisis. Already, more than 100 Aboriginal adults from the Murdi Paaki region in western NSW have graduated from Yes I Can.  This workshop will explore Cuba's own heroic 1961 literacy campaign and how that has shaped the Yes I Can campaign internationally.  It will also address questions such as - What do these literacy campaigns teach us about social change?; and - How can we best support the campaign here in Australia? [VENUE: Carslaw 452]

TALK & FILM SCREENING: Gender, jobs and justice. Including a special preview screening of the forthcoming short film "The Women Who Were Never There". More than 40 years since the passing of legislation outlawing sex-based discrimination in the workplace, women are still fighting for equal pay and to live their lives free from discrimination, harassment and violence. [Featuring Carla Gorton, Pat Brewer and Robynne Murphy]  [VENUE: Carslaw 453]

PANEL: From Stonewall to Safe Schools: The struggle for rainbow liberation. [Featuring Rachel Evans, Ken Davis and Brodie Paparella]  - This workshop will cover the historical orgins of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement, it’s contemporary situation, and how we will advance the struggle for full sexual and gender equality. [VENUE: Carslaw 454]

AFTERNOON TEA

4.15pm FEATURE SESSION: Building a progressive social and political alternative in Australia today [With Rob Pyne (MP), Sue Bolton, Peter Boyle] - Speakers will contribute their thoughts on how the movement for radical social change can be built today, the role of the left and the alliances that will need to be forged with social movements in order to move beyond capitalism. [VENUE: Carslaw Lecture Theatre 157]

6pm CONFERENCE CLOSES