Monday, March 23, 2009

Perth Praxis: Building Community Solidarity in Perth

One of the functions Bluestocking hopes to fulfill is to be another source for information on events coming up that fit in with our areas of interest. As the blurb for this event notes, life in Perth can feel quite isolated at times. Why not think more about how to build communities and get involved?


Join other concerned and free thinking community members on Friday March 27th at 7pm at the Earthwise Community Centre (317 Bagot Rd, Subiaco) for the first of many dinner and political discussion events.

Living in Perth can be suffocating. It's a city built mostly to sustain a mining boom, a ‘Perth min(e)d blank’, where often it feels like there are more roads than people, or at least people that will stop and talk to you. Similarly Perth’s political landscape can be isolating, Radical or progressive communities are often splintered or rely on the same twenty odd Anarchists and Socialists; therefore not many grass roots campaigns survive to see success.

Culturally you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that we're trying to emulate a Stalinist Gulag and one must dig deep to find any interesting independent arts and music.

In the end most free-thinkers, radicals, artists and others with a distaste for Perth’s conservative conventions tend to emigrate east, trading in our ‘good weather’ for a Brunswick cafĂ© strip or a Sydney Socialist scene. What’s all fine and good if you are only interested in activism and art as a lifestyle, but what about the rest of us, those who wish to create social change here in PERTH?

For thirty years we’ve been told that there is no alternative to Capitalism. We’ve been told that embracing free trade, deregulation and privatisation is the best and only way to run society.

Earlier this year the smoke ran out and the mirrors shattered. The Wall Street party was over and ordinary people were left to clean up the mess.

Of course many knew that at some point the mirror-ball was going to drop, the lights would stop flashing and a cold after party reality would begin to surface. That reality is now as clear as day: the system does not work. Already thousands of ordinary people across Australia have lost their jobs and homes. In the Third World, the daily struggle for survival is getting harder than ever. Meanwhile we are faced with some of the toughest social and environmental problems to face any generation; climate change, war and poverty require urgent global and local action from all of us.

History has taught us many lessons but above all it has taught us that we can never rely on our governments to act on our behalf. It is integral that we rebuild a radical community and movement in Perth to both confront the crisis of Capitalism whilst building social, environmental, cultural and economic alternatives.

Join other concerned and free thinking community members on Friday March 27th at 7pm at the Earthwise Community Centre (317 Bagot Rd, Subiaco) for the first of many dinner and discussion events - if you can please come to Earthwise from 4pm to help us cook the evening’s meal. Otherwise please bring food and drink to share at 7pm.

As a part of the event long time social justice activist Cedric Beidastch (PHD Candidate in History at UWA) will discuss ‘a radical democratic vision for long term social change’ as well as elaborating on the personal experiences that shaped his political thinking.

If you are sick and tired of being a frustrated spectator and want to be part of the solution – please come, bring your ideas, your questions, your family and you friends.

However if you believe the group you represent already knows all the answers and all you want to do is to recruit more people for your cause, then this gathering may not be for you. If on the other hand you want to start an open-minded quest for change, then come in droves!

Because the problems we face cannot be solved by the minds that created them.

NB: Please respect the nature of this gathering and do not hand out any political party based brochures or flyers on the night. There will be a table provided for activist/campaign propaganda.

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