‘I saw myself as an activist, an organiser and a political cadre’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 2)

On Thursday 24 March 2016 I interviewed my friend and comrade Nick Southall about some of his experiences as a young activist in the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the interview we touch on a number of themes including Nick’s early involvement in the Young Communist Movement, his years as a full-time party cadre, tensions within the party between the national leadership and the South Coast District and the party’s relationship with international communist and resistance movements and domestic social movements. Where many histories of the CPA focus on machinations at the national level, Nick’s story reveals a living organisation with deep roots in the Wollongong labour movement and community that functioned as a family, if at times a dysfunctional one.

I have edited the transcript for clarity and length with Nick’s approval. – Alexander

Part 1 can be found here

Continue reading “‘I saw myself as an activist, an organiser and a political cadre’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 2)”

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6 thoughts written in Brisbane on Gilets Jaunes

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  1. Now huge upsurges of popular protest arrive as a shock, are full of messy contradictions and sit outside of the certainties of the historical Left and Workers movement.
  2. The stratifications that exists amongst the people are both active and present in these explosions and can be challenged and subverted by the encounters going on in the streets.
  3. The methods of struggle aim to block capital not at the site of production but at the choke points of circulation.
  4. The post-2011 radical social democratic projects appear on the wrong side of the barricades.
  5. These upsurges expose the lack of space the state has to offer a new set of reformist policies.
  6. A completely different way of organising social life is an immediate need.

 

Many excellent reports and discussions on Gilets Jaunes can be found at ediciones ineditos

‘The Party Was Like Our Family’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 1)

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Nick’s CPA Membership Card

On Thursday 24 March 2016 I interviewed my friend and comrade Nick Southall about some of his experiences as a young activist in the Communist Party of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the interview we touch on a number of themes including Nick’s early involvement in the Young Communist Movement, his years as a full-time party cadre, tensions within the party between the national leadership and the South Coast District and the party’s relationship with international communist and resistance movements and domestic social movements. Where many histories of the CPA focus on machinations at the national level, Nick’s story reveals a living organisation with deep roots in the Wollongong labour movement and community that functioned as a family, if at times a dysfunctional one.

I have edited the transcript for clarity and length with Nick’s approval.

Continue reading “‘The Party Was Like Our Family’: An Interview With Nick Southall (Part 1)”

Living The Dream with the Anti-Poverty Network Queensland

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In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Andrew(@fernandre3000) and Feargal(@feargal89) from the Anti-Poverty Network Qld. We talk about what they have been up to, what their strategy is and how this has gone. APN Qld are one of the most exciting developments going on in Queensland right now with friends and comrades leaving old and stale forms of activism behind to experiment with organising based on where people are at and in ways that directly speak to lived conditions. It is exciting stuff.

APN have a conference coming up We Deserve A Living – Anti-Poverty Week Conference 2018

We talk about:

‘We had Marx, they had Pauline’: left organising in poor communities by Joanna Horton

Working for the class: The praxis of the Wollongong Out of Workers’ Unionby Nick Southall

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What’s going on with Change the Rules? A report from the Melbourne Delegates Meeting 25th September

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(What’s going on with Change The Rules? There is a lot of hype out there but what is happening on the ground? Here is a report back from a friend and comrade of the Melbourne Delegates Meeting held on 25th September.)

Hey all, this is some notes I posted on my facebook page for friends and comrades about the delegates meeting held by the ACTU at Melbourne Convention Centre on September 25th. They weren’t meant for wider circulation but Dave suggested putting them on the blog, so please forgive the lack of formality and take them as an invitation to further discussion.

Continue reading “What’s going on with Change the Rules? A report from the Melbourne Delegates Meeting 25th September”

Living The Dream with a UBI whilst fighting against racism and for public housing

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In this episode Dave(@withsobersenses) chats again with Michael. We talk about a recent article he wrote on Universal Basic Income and the debates it sparked with proponents of a Jobs Guarantee, his attendance at and thoughts on Tim Soutphommasane’s recent Whitlam Institute speech on combating racism, and Michael’s participation in recent struggles for increased Public Housing.

Stuff we mention includes

Michael Thorn – Is There Room for Universal Basic Income in Australia

Tim Soutphommasane – Confronting the Return of Race Politics

The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union

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Living the Dream after the Plebiscite and amongst the Alt-Right

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In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) and Jon (@jonpiccini) catch up with Simon Copland (@SimonCopland) ‏ again. We talk about how despite the plebiscite being a fantastic victory the Left (for lack of a better term) seems determined to see it as a defeat and what the impact of this is. Simon also talks about going to, live tweeting from and then writing about a recent Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux talk and his thoughts about how the struggle against reaction can be renovated.

Things we mention include:

Simon Copland – Racists on speaking tour: rethinking our response

Alison Pennington – On the Plebiscite: Beyond Defeatism, Moralism and the Politics of Scarcity

Red Action – Declaration Of Independence

You can find Simon’s work here and our older episode with him here

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Living The Dream with the National Disability Insurance Scheme Ep 2

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In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with friend of the show Michael. Michael talks about how the NDIS has changed the experience of those that work in care and community services, how it has impacted work conditions and how it has undermined the kind of care that those on the NDIS receive. We also talk about what does this mean for struggle around these issues? What are the unions doing? What are the workers doing? How does this impact with a larger question about the struggle against poverty in Australian society?

This is the second show we have done on the NDIS. Our first episode can be found here

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Living The Dream wth the Communist Party of Australia and Indigenous Struggles during the 1920s and 1930s.

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CPA Banner circa 1982 courtesy National Museum of Australia

In this episode Dave(@withsobersenses) and Jon (@jonpiccini) chat with Padraic Gibson (@paddygibson) about his research into the Communist Party of Australia and its early, or lack there of, engagement with Indigenous struggles in the 1920s and 30s. Not only is the history fascinating but Paddy also really digs into what was wrong with socialist and communist thought at the time, and the inheritance of Marx and Engel’s work, that made it hard for the CPA to connect with these struggles. How and why did this change? And how do these concerns play out today?

Sadly Jon’s internet dropped out 15 or 20 minutes into the conversation

Paddy is a member of Solidarity and his work can be found there.

Paddy would like to acknowledge that the history about the links between the Garvyist movement and Aboriginal activists in Australia in the 1920s he talks about comes from John Maynard’s book Fight for Liberty and Freedom

Paddy was nominated as an interviewee by John Passant when John donated to Living the Dream. Thanks John!

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