From Grant Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a short report on the Anti-Capitalism Conference, convened by the Socialist Workers Organisation in Auckland last
weekend (1-2 September). The conference was part of the build-up to the protests in Melbourne against the World Economic
Forum, the global roundtable of the top 1,000 multinationals.
With between 120-150 people attending over the two days, this was the biggest radical left conference that New Zealand
has seen for many years. It was also the most exciting. The meetings were buzzing with lively people, overwhelmingly
young, a mix of workers and students. At the final session, some of the 15 or so NZ activists going to Melbourne were
given a rousing send-off, followed by everyone singing the workers' global anthem, "The Internationale".
The conference showcased speakers from across NZ's left spectrum, including the Alliance, Greens, Young Labour, union
movement, eco-activists, Pacific Island action group, anarchist movement and third world activists, as well as the SWO.
In addition, we heard four overseas speakers: an activist from the Melbourne S11 Alliance, a veteran of the "Battle in
Seattle" and two indigenous North American critics of bio-colonialism.
There was a refreshing absence of the sectarian bitchiness which has plagued the left in NZ for too long. Conference
goers from different left perspectives simply put up their own ideas, at times in explicit opposition to those of
others, without falling into the dead-end of personality politics or group egotism. And, above all, there was a sense of
unity against the corporate bosses and politicians.
All groups attending were encouraged to distribute their own literature. Bookstalls were set up by four different
groups. Those run by the SWO and the Freedom Shop (Wellington anarchists) did particularly well.
The SWO recruited over a dozen new members. This bodes well for building an influential Marxist party dedicated to
maximising the power of grassroots revolt.
The conference allowed lots of detailed networking to take place. For instance, the SWO's Freedom to Strike petition was
discussed with other activists, and the beginnings of a broad-based united front around this issue took more concrete
shape. Further talks will, hopefully, cement this common activity. The spreading mood of confidence among grassroots
workers should be given a boost by different left organisations working together to promote workers' most basic right -
the freedom to strike.
Contact me for info and/or petitions on the freedom to strike. Phone (09) 634 3377 or email email@example.com
As one of the conference organisers, I'd like to thank all the speakers and everyone else who took part in a fantastic
radical left hui.
SWO national organiser