Living the Dream with the Struggle to Decriminalise Sex Work

Image from Respect Inc

In this episode Dave (@withsobersenses) chats with Elena Jeffreys (@ElenaJeffreys) from the sex worker organisation Respect Inc. Elena talks about the history of sex worker self-organisations, the conditions of sex workers in Australia today and the importance of the struggle to decriminalise sex work to improve the working conditions and lives of sex workers. Elena digs into the what is wrong with the ‘Swedish Model’, the negative and violent impact it has had on peoples’ lives, and the role that sections of feminism and the Left have played in instituting it. Content Warning – the episode mentions violence against women.

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Music by Goran Bregovic – (with possibly ambiguous lyrics)

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Statement from organisations and collectives in Australia: the EZLN is not alone.

25 January, 2019

To our comrades Zapatistas in Chiapas,

To our comrades in Mexico and in the world.

Some of us are old enough to remember the stunning images of indigenous rebels storming San Cristobal de Las Casas in 1994. We took in the reports with awe and excitement. These visions became emblematic of a wave of global struggles against late capitalism’s global trade plans and the subsequent impoverishment of the majority world’s peoples and lands. They captured the attentions of many different perspectives, under a banner of global resistance that continues to shape the world we know today.

Ten years later, some of us gathered together to form an organization in Australia aiming to think about Zapatista politics and critically engage with the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle. Most of us had never been to Mexico, let alone to the Zapatistas’ autonomous communities. This didn’t matter. We could learn from the words of our Zapatista comrades regardless of where in the world we were. True, the situation that we confront in various cities in Australia was (and continues to be) very different to the situation lived in communities like La Garrucha or 22 de Diciembre. But we felt that we shared a desire for a world in common, not a world at the disposal of big capitalist ambitions to excavate the mineral resources, to destroy the forests and to put us all to work at the service of the bosses’ wallet. We too live on lands where genocide of Indigenous peoples continues to occur in order for capital to command the lands and the peoples who belong to the land. While Australia may be rich as a nation, it continues to have some of the world’s worst rates of curable diseases and poverty among  Aboriginal peoples. The Zapatistas put into words what many of people here had felt for a long time.

Continue reading “Statement from organisations and collectives in Australia: the EZLN is not alone.”

Living The Dream whilst abolishing prisons

In this episode Dave talks with Bridget Harilaou about the recent Imagining Abolition Conference organised by Sisters Inside. Bridget discusses the ideas that were discussed there, their implications for struggles and the kind of future abolishing prisons points to. She digs into how prisons quilt together histories of colonialism, the operation of patriarchy and the oppression of Indigenous people and thus why the struggle against them is so important.

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Bridget’s work can be found in many places. Here is some of it: 

Flavours Of Forgiveness — What Bao Tells Us About Family

What we get wrong about smart Asian kids

Why Asian Australians should call out racism beyond their own culture

Activist Or Professional? A Feminist Question

Sisters Inside do lots of amazing things. They are currently raising funds to free Aboriginal women imprisoned for the non-payment of fines. Chip in if you can

Music by Cat Power

Living The Dream in 2019!

Living The Dream in 2019!

2019! Wooooo! In this episode of Living The Dream Jon (@jonpiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) take off the party-hats, pick the streamers from their shoulders of their tuxedo jackets, set aside the Champagne flutes and have a chat about what 2018 was all about what we think is going to happen in 2019. Climate Change, fascism, #libspill, disaster communism, power prices, radical social democracy, #changetherules, #metoo, book recommendations and angry clowns air boxing whilst riding unicycles – this episode has it all!

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Stuff we mention includes:

Cronulla 2.0? : Racist assembly @ St Kilda Beach, Saturday, January 5, 2019

Kieran’s Review

Stephen Wertheim – Return of the Neocons

Keir Milburn and Bertie Russell – What can an institution do? Towards Public-Common partnerships and a new common-sense

Cinzia Arruzza – From Women’s Strikes to a New Class Movement: The Third Feminist Wave

Endnotes – The Holding Pattern

Salvage Editorial Collective – Salvage Perspectives #6: Evidence of Things Not Seen

Out of the Woods – The Uses of Disaster

The Dig – The Green New Deal with Kate Aronoff

Madeline Lane-McKinley – #MeToo From Below

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

Jobs You Can Count On – a secure work future for Australia

Goodbye Neoliberalism

Class War #73 Class War is Dead…Lone Live the Class War

The Universalism Debate

Music by Tom Waits

‘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)”

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

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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Music by Gang of Four

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 after the Plebiscite and amongst the Alt-Right

australia_begins_same-sex_marriage_vote

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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Music by Idles

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