“Seeing through Empire’s new clothes” is a conference that will be held from September 12–13, 2009 at the Redfern Community Centre in Sydney. The conference aims to discuss economic ‘crisis’ and responses to it. Or:
What are the origins of the crisis? How is it affecting workers? What is the relationship between the current crisis and earlier times of working class resistance? What is the capacity for resistance and solidarity now? How are they being organised, and how can they be strengthened?
The only real crisis that capitalism faces is the refusal and resistance of ordinary people, in our daily lives.
This conference aims to critique the current wave of responses to capitalism’s current predicament. It is an opportunity to collectively analyse its ‘new clothes’. As ordinary people ourselves, it is a chance to strategise together for solidarity with emerging and ongoing struggles for workers’ autonomy and control, peoples’ freedom of movement, sustainability, sovereignty and self determination.
In Melbourne, this Friday (July 31), from 12.30–1.30pm, a rally is being held outside of the HQ of International Power @ the Rialto Hotel:
International Power Australia Pty Ltd
Level 37, Rialto North Tower
525 Collins Street
In brief: Emergency Services Officers (ESO) at International Power Hazelwood in Morwell (the most polluting station in the industrialised world) have been on a picket line for nearly four months. These workers have their public holidays and penalties included in their industry’s lowest hourly rate. They are merely seeking an industry standard, the norm at other power plants and mines for the same work. Their direct employer, Diamond Protection, have admitted that they cannot negotiate the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement meaningfully — International Power is the power behind Diamond Protection’s throne.
Note that the KRudd Government is currently considering providing $20 billion in corporate welfare to ‘big electricity generators’ “with some suggesting the compensation could be tied to new investments in renewable power” (Big electricity generators plead for $20bn ETS aid, Lenore Taylor, The Australian, July 23, 2009). Among those going to Canberra armed with begging bowls is International Power, the owner of Loy Yang B and Hazelwood generators in the LaTrobe Valley:
The government is already offering the generators 130 million free permits worth at least $3.5bn over the first five years of the ETS [Emissions Trading Scheme]. However, the generators – which provide more than 20 per cent of Australia’s east coast power – claim that will not be enough to stop a looming financial crisis and possible future disruptions to power supplies.
Further note that, @ the same time as the conference in Sydney, “On Sunday September 13 2009 people from across Victoria, and Australia, will come together for a day of peaceful community mass civil disobedience to Switch off Hazelwood and Switch off Coal – we will be taking direct action for renewable energy.” For further infos, please see : Switch off Hazelwood.
Finally, note that governments — including that of Old Boys such as Brumby’s — are shitting bricks over how best to ensure that movements for environmental and social justice do not interfere unduly with the business cycle as it renders Our Earth into a Wasteland.
Here’s to a World in which androgynous plants copulate, the Mediterranean remains milder than the North Pole, the oceans are made of lemonade and full of happy dolphins, whales and other life, and the world contains 37 billion poets “equal to Homer.”
Noam Chomsky : Crisis and Hope : Theirs & Ours (June 12, 2009)