Israel has waged a settler colonial campaign of dispossession and ethnic cleansing in Palestine for decades. The violence and colonial occupation of Palestine by the Zionist state continutes to this day. The murder of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in June and the eviction and ethnic cleansing of over 1000 Palestinians from the West Bank are the latest demonstrations of Israel's oppression of Palestinians. The struggle for national rights, self-determination and against apartheid in Palestine is ongoing across the entirety of historic Palestine.
Join us this session for a discussion of the situation on-the-ground in Gaza today, the details of the Israeli occupation, and the prospects for resistance ahead.
Conservatives like to present gender as a natural binary, rooted in biology. In reality, gender is constructed and enforced from birth. It is shaped by socialisation in the family and in school. It is regulated through the capitalist state and broader social organisation. Those who transgress from gender roles are discouraged and punished.
While resistance and broader societal changes has redefined gender roles and allowed women and LGBTI to enter sections of society previously limited to them, the system still places serious constraints on women and LGBTI people.
Scientists are already warning that it's probably impossible to limit warming below to below the 1.5 degrees Celsuis level that many scientists regard as "safe". If we fail to act, a chain of irreversible tipping points will be crossed that will initiate cascading waves of cataclysmic environmental breakdown.
If we overshoot these tipping points, is all hope completely lost? And if not - how can a path to environmental restoration be constructed in the face of such irreparable damage? This session will discuss the climate crisis and if it's already too late to avoid catastrophe.
Every movement fighting for workers rights, social justice and climate action needs power to make change. The working class is one of the most powerful social forces in world history. But do they, as a class, have an interest in fighting in these movements? And if so, what factors make this possible?
There is a major backlash taking place in the USA today. A backlash against women's rights and the gains of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. A right wing appointed Supreme Court has just overturned Roe vs Wade, effectively meaning abortion will be illegal in much of the country. This decision has emboldened the far Right in the USA and further legitimised the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party. In this session we will hear from US socialist Ashley Smith on the broader situation in the USA and from Perth socialist Vashti Fox on the attacks on abortion rights in particular.
Between 1830 and 1840 British settlers and soldiers forcibly took possession of the fertile valley of the Avon river (Gogulgar Bilya) 60 miles to the east of Perth. The Ballardong Noongar resistance to this incursion was so fierce that in mid 1837 prominent colonists warned that 'the district of York may be considered, at present, in a state of war'. This talk, presented by prominent West Australian historian Jeremy Martens, focuses on both the wide extent of settler violence and the tenacious resistance mounted by Ballardong Noongar communities in defence of their country. Martens will argue that the conquest of the Avon valley was actively facilitated by governor James Stirling, who ordered and encouraged British army officers, civil officials and the settler population at large to employ extreme measures to 'tranquilize' the York district. In carrying out these instructions, soldiers and colonists frequently employed illegal extrajudicial violence, including murder; however, they were never held to account for their actions.
Socialists champion revolutions. Revolutions are the stage where the most epic scenes of humanism play out; where infinite reserves of selflessness, commitment and hope are expressed by people on a colossal scale. In revolutions, everything in society - from the institutions, to the ruling class, to the people fighting in the revolution themselves - is transformed. So much so that it seems, as Marx said, that "All that is solid melts into air".
Join this session to understand the significance of revolutions, their relationship to socialism and what they look like today.
On the internet and on the international left, Stalinism remains influential. Stalinism has an impact well beyond the crudest gulag memes and the explicitly pro-Stalinist parties. It creates a dismissive or hostile approach to the oppression and resistance of those facing the violence of the Chinese or Russian states, like the Uyghurs in Xinjiang or the Hong Kongers fighting for democracy. It shapes an approach to imperialism that solely focuses on the US, and considers repressive capitalist states like Iran as "anti-imperialist" for being in the non-US bloc.
Is there anything radical about Stalinism? Are Marxist-Leninists the ardent anti-imperialists they claim to be, or are they apologists for a section of imperialists? Why does Stalinism have a continued impact long after the death of Stalin? Do these debates still matter?
Join this session to hear a Trotskyist critique of the ongoing legacy of Stalinism, and weigh in with your thoughts.
It is well known that politicians are shills for their friends in business and the capitalist class. But pro-capitalist establishment politicians haven't been the only ones to ever take office. Left-wing radicals have been elected to parliament before who have used their platform to popularise socialist politics and to stimulate class struggle. This has not been the case for a long time. But by the end of 2022, this may change. The Victorian Socialists are a radical socialist party running in the Victorian state elections at the end of 2022. They have a shot at winning an upper house seat in the Western and Northern metropolitan regions and if they do, they will be the first revolutionary socialist parliamentarians Australia has seen elected in decades.
Join us in this session to hear from Jerome Small, a long-time socialist activist and a candidate for the Victorian Socialists in the upcoming state elections, to learn about the Victorian Socialists project and explore what it would mean for the Australian left to have a socialist in parliament.
Capitalism's drive to squeeze every drop of profit out of humans and the natural world has brought with it an explosion of technological and scientific innovation. Marx and Engels wrote:
"The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature's forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground - what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?"
But for capitalism, the advancement of knowledge and technology has always held second place to the accumulation of profits. The pleas of climate scientists and ecologists are ignored, while funding pours into studies with military or commercial applications. When Covid-19 threatened the stability of global capitalism, scientists developed new vaccines in record time. But the poorest countries remain unvaccinated, and continue to suffer from treatable diseases.
Join us for a discussion of how capitalism distorts, corrupts, and constrains science, and how winning a socialist world can free science from the shackles of the market.
Session description coming soon...
Since early April, Sri Lanka has been engulfed by a wave of mass protests demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Thousands of workers and students have mobilised in the most significant mass movement in 30 years.
On July 9, hundreds of thousands of people descended on Colombo to protest. They took over Gotabaya's official residence. Hundreds streamed into the palace and quickly made themselves at home-diving into his pool, drinking his whisky, working out in his gym and cooking in his kitchen, marvelling at the luxuries enjoyed by the man who oversaw the collapse of the country's finances.
Much is still unknown about how this struggle will develop. But one thing is for certain: the crisis of Sri Lankan capitalism is far from over. The government has run out of money, food and fuel remain scarce, and economists predict that the situation will get worse before it starts to get any better.