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John Passant

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Marxism 2011 opening night: The return of revolution

The opening night of Marxism 2011 was inspiring for the many hundreds there. With speakers from the heart of the struggles in Greece, Egypt and the US, the message was clear. Revolution and resistance are breaking out around the globe.

Thanasis Kourkoulas from the Greek International Workers Left, Kabul based international journalist Anand Gopal, Shaun Harkin from the US International Socialist Organization and Diane Fieldes from Socialist Alternative in Australia all had much the same message. Around the world revolution is back.

The Arab masses have been and are overthrowing their dictatorships. They have moved from 30 or more years of repression to a sense of empowerment, freedom that has not yet been fully won but which has not yet been defeated either.

In Wisconsin workers occupied the Capitol for 17 days. As an Iraqi veteran put it: I left Iraq and came home to Egypt.

Wisconsin workers occupying the buildings of state were chanting this is what democracy looks like.

And as all the speakers emphasised, echoing an Egyptian placard which read ‘Egypt supports Wisconsin workers: One world one pain,’ The struggle for a better world is international and capitalism and its constant crises make resistance inevitable.

Even in Australia, where the old mole of class struggle is buried below the muck of ages, imprisoned refugees are burning down their concentration camps and, like their brothers and sisters in the Arab world, unfurling the banner of freedom.

In Australia we don’t know when, and we don’t know how, but mass working class resistance will happen.  We need to build an organisation today that is intellectually and practically able tomorrow to help workers empower themselves and move their revolution forward to a democratic world where satisfying human need is at the centre of the new society.

It’s too late to become a socialist when the fightback begins. The struggle needs you now.  Join Socialist Alternative.



Comment from oto kiralama ankara
Time April 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

I would say that you have answered my question thanks

Comment from dl
Time April 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Well John, that’s my neck of the woods, i’m considering swanning down to Melbourne University tomorrow for a look in.

Regards dl

Comment from Calligula
Time April 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

John, DL –
Hold that banner high and make a statement for me.
I can’t afford the cab fare.

Bless you!

Comment from John
Time April 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm

OK dl, might see you there. It costs by the way. Not sure how much day tickets are, but to give you an idea of the talks here are some for Saturday (and note there are talks on at the same time at different venues:

10 am

1) Marxist thinkers: who was Georg Lukacs?

2) Revolution stalled? Venezuela and Bolivia

3) Indigenous struggle in Chile with a special guest from Chile

4) Are the Greens a genuine left alternative to Labor?

11.30 am

1)The politics of stalinism and its impact internationally

2) Israel dn US imperialism int eh 21st century: watchdog or master?

What does a revolution look like? Portugal 1974.

4) World economic crisis and rebellion

5) Rebuilding grass roots unionism today


1) White Australia has a black history with Gary Foley

2Jim Cairns: the last radical ALP leader?

3) Blue collar/white collar: what makes you working class?

4) The Communist Manifesto

Raunch culture and sexism in sport with Cordelia Fine and Monica Dux

4 pm, 7 pm various talks, and then at 9 pm a radical history tour of Melbourne.

Comment from Calligula
Time April 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

John –
Are you serious?
What did it cost, other than the bloody obvious, to have your head shot off in what became Red Square?

Comment from John
Time April 23, 2011 at 7:13 am

It was called Red Square because of its colour well before the revolution. Not sure what your point is but the revolutions in the Arab countries, the rebirth of the labour movement in the US and the general strikes in Europe give hope to those fighting against neoliberalism and for freedom.

Comment from Calligula
Time April 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

You mentioned that it will cost to attend the shindig this weekend.
My point being – why should it cost this weekend?
In comparison to what it cost to be a Bolshie that infamous time in Red square – a few dollars mightn’t be much – however seems typically capitalist.
In fact the more I think about it charging anything other than at the barricades at a socialist gathering is definitely a bit Ankh Morporkian in my humble opinion.

Never mind me. I’m just suffering from the mass dolorousness of Easter.

PS – Say G’day to Drooley if you see him about.

Comment from John
Time April 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm

We live under capitalism. It costs to put this event on. If we don’t charge for it members like me end up paying hundreds for it. Since all attendees enjoy the talks, they should contribute to the cost. Didn’t see Gra Gra, even though he ‘promised’ to sponsor it. Bit like the big banks I guess; never trust them.