“Socialists are involved in the same project all over the world – whether in Iraq, Australia or the US. Those who fight for revolution are tied together across borders and across time – both those who came before us and those who will come afterwards. Today is our time to carry the banner of socialism proudly. Here’s to revolution in our lifetime!”
With these words, US African-American activist and socialist Khury Petersen-Smith brought the Marxism 2015 conference to a close on Sunday night. The conference offered four days of inspiring talks, debates, songs, art exhibitions and movie screenings.
More than 900 people attended Australia’s premier left wing conference, held this year for the first time at the Victorian College of Arts.
Speakers and attendees came from around the world – from the Philippines and Indonesia, from the US and Russia, from Ireland and Palestine – and from around the country. Many brought stories of their involvement in struggles, some over the last few months and some over a lifetime.
Aboriginal activists Marjorie Thorpe, Gary Foley, Noel Tovey, Meriki Onus and Sam Watson told packed meetings about the struggle for Aboriginal rights. Marjorie Thorpe spoke about growing up in a strong union town in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley before joining the fight for black rights in Fitzroy in the 1970s. Gary Foley was back for the 5th year to speak to a sold-out audience about his involvement in promoting Aboriginal issues and identity through art, film and television.