Socialist Party members gathered on August 12 for a day of vibrant discussion in what was a very successful National Conference. This year there was a special enthusiasm following the return from Barcelona of six Australian delegates to the CWI Summer School. They brought with them reports of the discussions and developments that took place there.
Anthony Main introduced the first session, which drew out the ongoing economic crisis of capitalism and how this is impacting politics around the world. There was a focus on the declining power of the US. This is expressed in the unstable Trump administration and its heightened rivalry with the Chinese and North Korean regimes.
The second session, initiated by Meredith Jacka and summed up by David Elliott, dealt with the situation within Australia. Despite 26 years of economic growth, wages are stagnant and there are 19 job seekers competing for every vacant job. The weak Turnbull government is able to carry out attacks on ordinary people only because of the absence of an organised fightback. The marriage equality plebiscite, while far from ideal, could potentially mobilise the community and show the anger most people feel towards the government and establishment.
The conference was infused with international solidarity. It opened with greetings sent from the International Secretariat of the CWI. After the second session, our members sent a message of support to Ali Fourez, a journalist, trade unionist and LGBTIQ rights campaigner imprisoned in Russia for his activism.
Jeremy Trott and Triet Tran spoke to the final session of the conference, which focused on building the Socialist Party in the year ahead. It gave rise to a robust discussion that covered every aspect of our work.
The passion and dedication of our members was underscored by the financial appeal, which raised over $11,000. This money will go towards bringing our ideas into the wider movement, beginning with a fighting campaign to vote ‘yes’ to marriage equality and beyond for full LGBTIQ liberation.
By Socialist Party reporters