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More than 500 people participated in the biggest gathering of social justice and international solidarity activists in Australia since 2002, when they attended the Third Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference (APISC 2005), in Sydney on March 24-28.

The APISC conferences (the last was held in 2002) are established as the biggest left discussion conferences in Australia. The conference was opened by Ashfield mayor Rae Jones, who declared Ashfield municipality a no-war zone soon after he was elected 10 months ago. Messages have come in since the conference from many participants, both from Australia and overseas, declaring it “the best APISC ever.


Below is a slightly abridged version of notes used for a talk given to a political conference in Australia, in January, 2005

Internationalism in the era of so-called “globalisation”.

On 26 December, 2004 one of the worst earthquakes in a century occurred sending a massive tsunami traveling at 800 km per hour out from an epicenter off the island of Sumatra. This tsunami hit a series of countries around the Bay of Bengal and down to the tip of Sumatra, Aceh. The devastation and death caused by this natural phenomenon has been massive with more than 150,000 dead. This scale of death and devastation, however, does not actually reflect the scale of the event of nature but rather the monstrous scale of the manmade situation that allowed so much horror to befall so many human beings.


Issue #314, Green Left Weekly, April 22, 1998
SYDNEY -- More than 750 people participated in a historic event, the first Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference, held here April 10-13. The conference was characterised by an electric atmosphere of solidarity and struggle, with both in-depth discussions in workshops and plenary sessions and also packed-out evening cultural and solidarity events.

On the last day, more than half the conference also mobilised for a 7.00am solidarity rally with the waterside workers picketing outside Darling Harbour docks.


[This talk was presented to the Asia Pacific Solidarity Conference, April 10-13, 1998 by Max Lane, conference convenor and foreign affairs spokesperson of the Democratic Socialist Party.]

Comrades, during the conference welcome I put forward the proposal that one of the purposes of organising this event was to facilitate all of us taking further steps forward in building confidence between the organisations of the Asian and Pacific region. It was about building confidence between each other so that we can take further concrete steps in forging a closer cooperation and coordination in the struggles that lie ahead.


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