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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Major Communist Conference Held in Melbourne

This weekend, several hundred Trotskyists, communists, unionists, anarchists and indigenous activists have gathered in Melbourne Australia to plot the downfall of Western capitalist civilisation.

The conference, The Latin American & Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum is the brainchild of Australia's largest Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Perspective (DSP).

It is co-sponsored by a range of mainly Australian radical organisations including Actively Radical TV, Australian Solidarity with Latin America (DSP front), Australia Cuba Friendship Society, Communist Party of Australia, Communist Party of Chile, Chilean Popular Indigenous Network, Direct Action, Electrical Trades Union (Vict.), Fairwear Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), Green Left Weekly (DSP magazine), International Socialist Organisation, Maritime UNion of Australia (Victoria), Radio 3CR, Resistance (DSP Youth wing), Socialist Alliance (DSP front), Socialist Party, Solidarity (Sydney), Ocean Press and Union Union Solidarity

More than 40 representatives from "progressive" organisations and campaigns in 22 countries will address the forum.

They include mainstream communists from Australia, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela, El Salvador and East Timor, Trotskyists from Canada, Indonesia, Pakistan and New Zealand and Maoists from India, the Philippines and New Zealand.

Participants include;

* Eduardo Yssa, National Coalition for the Defense of Water, Basic Services, the Environment and Life of Bolivia
* Roger Annis, Canada Haiti Action Network
* John Riddell, Socialist Voice
* Suzanne Weiss, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
* Payo Grondona, musician & cultural activis
* Ismael Duran, Grass root Community Activist and Latin Americam New Song Musician
* Cristian Quechupan Huenunir, Xeg-Xeg development and communiction Mapuche Coalition
* Liliany Obando, National Federation of Agricultural Farming Unions (Fensuagro)
* Nélida Hernández Carmona & Ifrahim Miranda León, Cuban Consul-General & Consul in Australia
East Timor
* Avelino Coelho, General Secretary, Socialist Party of Timor
* Tomas Freitas, Luta Hamutuk ("Struggle Together")
* Joaozito Viana, Luta Hamutuk
* Jose Teixeira, Fretilin, Member of Parliament
* Efren Calapucha, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE)
El Salvador
* Sigfrido Reyes Morales, Member of Parliament, FMLN Political Commission.
* N Vasudevan, Trade Union Solidarity Committee, Mumbai
* Dita Sari, Founding chairperson of Centre for Indonesian Workers Struggle (FNPBI)
* Agus Priyono, Chairperson, National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS)
* Yamasaki Seeitchi, Asia Pacific Worker Solidarity Links
* Reverend Jang Chang Weon, Osan Laborers and Migrants Shelter, Reconciliation and Unification Mission Center
* Irene Xavier, Coordinator, Transnational Information Exchange Asia
Estela Morales, from radio New-generation and The other Campaign from Mexico
* Ric Reyes, Chairperson, Laban ng Masa
* Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, Labour Party Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
* John Chitoa and Rosa Koian, Bismarck Ramu Group
* Lucia Jayaseelan (Committee for Asian Women)
* Junya Lek Yimprasert
* Eva Golinger, author of The Chavez Code and Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela
* Carolus Wimmer - Communist Party of Venezuela
* Nelson Davila, Venezuela's Charge d'Affairs in Australia
* Chau Nhat Bihn (General Confederation of Labour)
* Tran Dac Loi, the secretary general of the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation
* Tran Quoc Khanh, Vietnam's Deputy Consul General in Australia
* Vietnam General Confederation of Labour delegation
West Papua
* Anak Jehudi, Patron, West Papua Students Association, Port Morseby.

There are also four New Zealand speakers.

* Sina Brown Davis- a Melbourne based Maori/Pasifikan activist, anarchist and blogger
* Vaughan Gunson, Socialist Worker NZ, an art lecturer at Northland Polytechnic
* Mike Treen, Unite Union
* Phillip Ferguson, NZ Workers Party and lecturer at Canterbury University

The presence of the Workers Party is interesting as until recently there have been few links between the DSP and our local neo-Maoists. Their common interest seems to be support for president Chavez's unfolding Venezuelan revolution.

Conference themes include;

The histories & experiences of struggles & movements of resistance

Campaigning & organising strategies

Anti-capitalist & revolutionary theory & practice

Emerging alternatives to neo-liberalism

Saving our planet from ecological collapse

Indigenous struggles & resistance

Cultural action & liberation

This conference proves several things beyond the obvious "communism is not dead".

Firstly it shows the level of integration between the mainstream communist parties of Vietnam and Cuba and the newer revolutons of East Timor, El Salvador, Venezuela, the Philippines and Bolivia.

Secondly it shows the growing links beteen the mainstream communist parties and the once hated Trotskyists and Maoists.

Thirdly it demonstrates the links beteen the indigenous rights, green, women's, labour movements and the resurgent world revolutionary movement.


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