Sydney meeting on the economic crisis

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Tim B
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Apr 11 2009 13:15
Sydney meeting on the economic crisis

Hey comrades,

if any of you are interested in this (the callout has been endorsed by the Mutiny collective-

http://jura.org.au/mutiny) ...

I'd love to hear people's thoughts & ideas.

x tim

The Global Economic Crisis & Radical Class Responses: Callout for Conference

This is a callout and invitation to be involved in organising a conference to discuss and debate strategies and responses to the global economic crisis. The first meeting is to be held on the 14th of April, at 6:30pm at Jura Books, 440 Parramatta Road, Petersham.

The governments, capital and the bosses are trying to make us pay for their crisis. We can't pay and we won't pay. We think that it is crucial that all people outraged and motivated to respond to the crisis come together to work on establishing common political grounds from which to fight back and turn the bosses' crisis into a working class offensive. We think it would be useful to come together based in a politics of respect both for different strategies, diverse tactics and open constructive debate.

Class antagonism and resistance are always evident in the daily routine of life under capital, and it should be expected to intensify in the coming years. Various forms of radicalisation have already been seen. Never the less, it will be helpful for those engaged in anti-capitalist and class struggle, to look for ways in which struggle is not recuperated and bound to the logic and ends of productivity for capital. Finding ways to articulate a common struggle beyond these compromises is a task that confronts us all, and requires us to look beyond the ALP and the union leadership

There are a number of problems and challenges that confront the class immediately, and which will only become more pronounced as the global economic crisis plays out. It is obviously foolish to celebrate the crisis as a potential moment of liberation, as if hitting bottom will produce emancipation. Capital has used, and always will use crisis to impose increased austerity, to roll back previous victories of struggle, and ultimately strengthen its hold. In this sense, crisis opens an opportunity for capital in the class struggle.

Thus, the only real challenge that capital faces comes through our refusal to submit to its logics, our rejection of compromise through social democracy, and the expression and intensification of our own desires and struggles beyond the limits of capital. It is only in this sense that we should use the term crisis for our own ends, as one of transformation arising from the struggles of the class. In this instance the global economic crisis confronts us with two options: recuperation within the logic of capitalist accumulation, or radical transformation from the ground.

With these challenges in mind, questions and problems of strategy and tactics immediately arise. Responding to this situation requires a strong class response, which will need to be based upon a commitment to solidarity. In the interests of attempting to achieve such we believe it will be in our collective interests to meet and discuss and debate our thoughts on a radical way forward for class struggle. Moving further, it will be good to work towards the establishment of a common ground, which allows for difference and debate, which can inform our response to the crisis.

Some proposed ideas for workshops:

history of unemployed workers' struggle, unemployment and race, refusal of work & right to work struggles in periods of economic downturn, workfare and welfare, critiques of social democracy and the tendency towards it within the left, recession and racism, resisting nationalism, these are just some ideas obviously...

All welcome, Tuesday 14th April, 6:30pm Jura Books, 440 Parramatta Road, Petersham

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Anarchia
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Apr 11 2009 14:19

Hey Tim,

Some thoughts from across the Tasman -

First, it sounds good, a real positive step - it'd be awesome if when the conference eventually happens if the workshops could all be recorded (video and/or audio) for those of us too far away to attend smile

The proposed list of workshops all look good, but I noticed there's nothing on workplace organising/resistance in there. Seems like something pretty big to be missing!

Thirdly, I saw Union Solidarity in Melbourne recently ceased to exist, which was pretty sad (I thought they'd done some pretty wicked work). At times like this where compulsory redundancies, firings, lockouts etc are all becoming more common, a group like that (broad based - radical leftists, rank and file unionists etc etc) ready for flying pickets seems like an extremely worthwhile project - just a suggestion for something you folks could talk about maybe smile

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Apr 26 2009 12:39

I am in great favour of the workshops being filmed.
That's also real sad that union solidarity is gone, they were very necessary, maybe just needed more energy? I'd be interested to find out the why of US's dissolution.

xo

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With Sober Senses
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Apr 29 2009 09:59

Hi all.
I was part of a discussion on Monday night in Brisbane called Union and Community Renewal. Comrades there were of the opinion that Union Solidarity is still going but in some new form. They either just had or are about to have a three day retreat and discussion in the wilds of Victoria...
rebel love
Dave

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With Sober Senses
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Apr 29 2009 10:05

Ah! Here is a little blurb about these weekends!

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With Sober Senses
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Apr 29 2009 10:07

http://communityunionweekends.wordpress.com/

Anarchia's picture
Anarchia
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Apr 29 2009 11:22

Cheers for the update gc, good to hear smile

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LeftResistance
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Apr 30 2009 07:56

Having heard a talk from a member of Union Solidarity recently, i'd argue it's still around... albeit in a underground form. The comrade was talking about some interesting things regarding co-operatives and solar panels being developed by the AMWU in near future. So keep an eye out for that....

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Rats
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May 2 2009 17:29

Hey, yeah, the co-op project. Interesting stuff, i'd like to see how that progresses.

Tim B
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Aug 3 2009 06:18

Hey comrades,

just an update as to how this project is going...Would be great to hear more ideas, feedback, etc

Tim

Seeing through Empire’s new clothes is a conference that will be held from September 12-13, 2009 at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney.29 Hugo Street, Redfern. 5 minutes walk from Redfern Station.

If you have any questions or ideas, we’d love to hear them: crisisconference2009@gmail.com

http://crisisconference2009.wordpress.com/

Our political and economic context is defined by a state of crisis.

The stories we are usually told about the financial crisis place it beyond our control – it is intricate hedge funds and sub-prime mortgages, it is a lack of regulation, it is greedy bankers, it is extreme capitalism. The ‘solutions’ that governments and the media are pushing, such as stimulus packages and false promises of ’saving jobs’, remain in a capitalist logic.

We need something more. This could include struggles, on our own terms, against unemployment and increased work rates, racism, and the escalation of sexualised and gendered divisions of labour. We must place the current crisis within the ongoing struggles of people across the planet.

This means asking questions. What are the origins of the crisis? How is it affecting workers? What is the relationship between the current crisis and earlier times of working class resistance? What is the capacity for resistance and solidarity now? How are they being organised, and how can they be strengthened?

The only real crisis that capitalism faces is the refusal and resistance of ordinary people, in our daily lives.

This conference aims to critique the current wave of responses to capitalism’s current predicament. It is an opportunity to collectively analyse its ‘new clothes’. As ordinary people ourselves, it is a chance to strategise together for solidarity with emerging and ongoing struggles for workers autonomy and control, peoples’ freedom of movement, sustainability, sovereignty and self determination.

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Rats
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Aug 4 2009 05:28

I would love to come to this conference, and infact, just might!
xx

Tim B
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Sep 6 2009 03:16

Hi,

fyi there is a full program, with workshop outlines, now available:

http://crisisconference2009.wordpress.com/discussions-and-workshops/

Tim