DON'T FORGET
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME!
Daylight Saving begins at 2:00am on Sunday 26th October, when you put your clocks and watches ahead 1 hour. Sure, it may mean less sleep on Saturday night, but it also means summer officially starts at the SSF!

Workshop list is current as of 23 Oct .

PROPOSED WORKSHOPS

Below is a list of of the proposed workshops for this year's SSF.


SATURDAY - 25 OCTOBER

Workshop Session 1
10:15 - 11:30

Fighting the biotech industry
The biotech industry represents capitalism at its core: privatising life, exploiting it for profit without any recognition for the precautionary principle and thereby threatenting the environment , health of animals and humans as well as sustainable farming ( ecologically, economically and socially). How do we hit them where they are most vulnerable (consumer level) despite realising that 'green consumerism' is not going to save the world? Let's build strong networks on workshopping the underlying concepts as well as coming up with hands-on ideas!
Tina Meckel & John Hepburn
Greenpeace

Key aspects of the Refugee Campaign:
What you need to know

Thi session will have 5 x 5 minute intros followed by discussion on the following topics: temporary protection visas, the deportation campaign, our alternative to detention, border protection and the politics of fear, as well as the next steps in the campaign for justice for refugees and asylum seekers.
Refugee Action Coalition (RAC)

Anti-capitalism and Militant Trade Unionism
Trade unions have played an important part within the anti-capitalist movement since Seattle when the famous "Teamster-Turtle" alliance showed the potential for a new unity between workers and the social movements. In Australia the election of reforming union leaderships in the MUA and other unions show signs that the union movement in Australia is reviving. How can the anti-capitalist and anti-war movements engage with rank and file workers? What strategies and tactics are needed to revitalise workplace organisation in the era of corporate globalisation?
Socialist Alliance

Argentine assemblies, Bolivarian Circles and occupations: Grassroots democracy in Latin America
The growing crisis in neo-liberalism has hit no place harder than the region of Latin America. Yet amongst the chaos and confusion of the market, ordinary people of Latin America are coming up with their own solutions to the crisis. Bankrupted factories are being occuppied by workers to maintain production. Unused estates are being seized by peasants to feed their families. Barter economies are being created in the absence of cash economies. Throughout the region people are coming together to form their own communities and organise their own lives. In practice they are showing that not only is another world possible - but that another world is necessary! Speakers will draw on the recent specific examples from the region and pose the question as to how they relate to the global struggle to build a new society.
Series presented by
Committee in Solidarity with Latin America & the Carribbean and
Latin America Action Group

What is Global Tax Justice?
Eliminating Tax Havens and the implementing the Tobin Tax
How Tax Havens let corporations and the wealthy shift the national tax burden onto the rest of us. What is the Tobin Tax and how can it strengthen democracy and alleviate poverty?
Chris Dubrow and Felicity Milner
ATTAC Australia

Australia and the New Interventionism : In whose interests?
AID/WATCH and partners will investigate the real influences and drivers of Australia's new interventionist approach in our neighbouring region with an overview of recent events and an analysis of recent reports. Focusing on the Australian aid program, military intervention in the Solomon Islands, the proposed police intervention in PNG and discussing the disparity between Good Governance and Traditional Governance, the workshop aims to give a clearer picture of why this new approach has been adopted and where the change in policy has materialised from.
Aid/Watch

A Radical Gay/Lesbian Alternative
Many people think that once legal equality for gays and lesbians is achieved, the gay/lesbian agenda is finished. This workshop will try to establish that there are plenty of reasons why, while we absolutely need to work for social reforms, we also need to go beyond, towards a more radical questioning of the way our society is set up to assume that hereosexuality is normal, and homosexuality, at best, is to be tolerated. Once a gay rights agenda is achieved, is there scope for a radical politics? A look at gay liberation, more recent radical queer groups and radical developments at the WSF and the ESF.
Michael Schembri
Gaywaves, 2SER

Video Presentation - Creating Prosperous Communities
In this workshop, a short documentary film will be shown, outlining the growth of the cooperative movement in Maleny, Queensland. People are invited to share their views and experiences of the cooperative movement.
Paunkaj, Proutist Universal

Workshop Session 2
11:45 - 13:00

Community Unionism:
A strategy for confronting neoliberalism
As our social institutions and social well-being are dismantled by the vicious hands of neoliberal government and corporate influence, it is vital to examine the varied role that the union movement can play in the development of social forces that fight for the interests of working people.This session will explore the issue of social movement unionism, and discuss usefulness of unions campaigning on issues beyond wages and conditions.
Bradon Ellen, Work & Organisation Dept, Sydney University
Amanda Tattersall, Special Projects Officer, Labor Council of NSW

Life After Capitalism: Is Parecon the Answer?
The phrase "Another World is Possible" has become one of the defining slogans of the growing movement against corporate globalisation. But what exactly is that other world? If we were to successfully rid ourselves of capitalism, what might our society look like? Z-Net editor Michael Albert's "participatory economics" is one idea about how society could be radically changed for the better. Vince Caughley challenges you to "dare to dream" as he takes you through Albert's and similar strategies and ideas for a society genuinely based on democracy, solidarity, co-operation and the real needs of people and our environment.
Vince Caughley
SSF Organising Group

Public Interest Environmental Law in Australia
Aims are to introduce the concept of public interest environmental law, describe the role of the EDO network in developing public interest environmental law in Australia, explore future directions and priorities for public interest environmental law in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
Jeff Smith
Environmental Defender's Office NSW

An Activist's Guide to Global Economics Pt 1:
What are Inflation, Interest Rates and Foreign Exchange Rates, and why do I care?

A user-friendly over-view of these aspects of the global economy and how they effect you every day.
James Murray and Tom K
ATTAC Australia

Environment and Population
This workshop will explore issues around the population debate and how saving the environment has been used as an excuse to reduce the population and in some cases any inflow of refugees. The more political issues of consumption and control of and access to resources has been conveniently left out of the picture and will be explored in this session.
Cam Walker
Friends of the Earth

Aceh: Indonesia's Dirty War
Video screening, plus Nurdin Abdul Rahman from Aceh Community. Will Aceh be Indonesia's Vietnam? Mired in a protracted war on the Acehnese people, facing economic turmoil and the democratic movement of the Indonesian people, the regime in Jakarta faces new cycles of political crisis and undoing. This workshop features exiled Acehnese human rights activist Nurdin and a documentary video on the Aceh war.
Aceh Community of Australia
Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific

Food Matters: Sustainable Social Change with Every Meal
"If you want to help yourself, the planet and millions of animals in one simple step, what can you do?"Being Vegetarian is a natural progression for anyone concerned about the future of the planet and its people. This challenging workshop will confront one of the personal decisions we make every day – the choice about what we put in our mouth! How does what you eat effect the Earth and its people? How does eating plant-based food have a profoundly positive effect on global warming, water shortages and developing economies? Why do some dedicated activists turn a blind eye to this important lifestyle? Learn how to make simple personal changes that will ensure effective social change.
Ryan Browne, Australian Association of Yoga in Daily Life
Mark Berriman, Director Australian Vegetarian Society
Mark Johnson, Australian Association of Yoga in Daily Life


Democracy and Dissent in Cuba
The aim is to look at the issue of democratic participation in Cuba. What has been the history and how is it being developed currently. This workshop looks at democracy and the issue of political dissent in Cuba. With the recent arrest and imprisonment of over 70 ''democracy activists'' there has been a lot of discussion over the issue of how deocracy works in Cuba.
Kim Bullimore
Series presented by
Committee in Solidarity with Latin America & the Carribbean and
Latin America Action Group

The Re-branding of Sexism & the Fight for Womens Liberation Today
Globalisation and neo-liberalism are driving increasing numbers of women into poverty worldwide. The majority of the world's poor are women. Women are also faced with an enormous ideological offensive from our rulers, aimed at reinforcing womens' roles as primary carers in the family. At the same time sexism is used to sell almost anything. But the ravages of global capitalism are also pushing greater and greater numbers of women into action against the system, around issues such as the degradation of the environment, exploitation, human rights violations and war. This session looks at how women are fighting back and the way forward from here.
International Socialist Organisation

Refugees and writers: PEN's work with refugees
PEN (poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, and novelists) is a world association of writers that campaigns for freedom of expression and writers in prison around the world. Sydney Pen has recently formed a writers in detention committee to work with writers in detention centres in Australia. In this Nicholas Jose session he will discuss just some of the work that PEN is involved in.
Nicholas Jose, President Sydney PEN
Organised by Bookmarks Bookshop

Poverty: Its Cause and its Remedy
In this workshop 30 minutes will be taken up in presenting the ideas of Henry George regarding the causes of poverty and business cycles, and in putting forward a suggested solution. Topics which will be touched on include housing affordability, privatization of public utilities and natural resources, globalization and rescession. The solution to poverty which George puts forward is consistent with the aims of most social justice organizations.
Association for Good Goverment



Workshop Session 3
14:00 - 15:15

FEATURE SESSION:
Behind the Scenes at the WTO

The formation of the World Trade Organisation was hailed by leaders of the developed world as the best chance for developing countries to trade their way out of debt, while ordinary people everywhere would soon see the benefits of a new era of "free trade". Enormous inequality and international resistance and protest, however, has grown. What actually goes on inside these WTO meetings? Is it the level playing field, based on "consensus" that is so often touted? What happened at this year's Cancun round? What can we expect after the collapse of the talks? Is it the death of "multi-lateral" trade agreements?
Nicola Bullard
deputy-director Focus on the Global South

Sweatshop Busting: Market Pressure & Ethical Production
Aim is to generate debate about how to use community outrage to push ethical production as a meaningfull market pressure. Outlining strategies and testing them against the experience of other activists. We will cover an update on existing conditions of work globally, touching on recent case studies out of the Sri Lankan FTZ and conditions for Australian outworkers post changes to NSW and Victorian legislation to protect outworkers.
Dez Karlsson
Fair Wear NSW


Climate Change and Environmental Refugees
The impact of climate change on people has yet to be fully debated. The implications for people in the developing world are far greater than those from the developed world who are better able to buffer themselves against the changes occurring. This workshop will look at who is causing climate change and the effects that it is having on other people. The concept of environmental refugees will also be looked at as they are becoming the fastest growing category of displaced people in the world.
Cam Walker
Friends of the Earth

Corazon Verde: Anti-globalisation video from Chile
46 minute tape of an inspiring and so far successful defeat of Noranda multinational mining company massive US $3 billion hydro smelter scheme in Chile's south made in 2202. In spanish with english subtitles with lots of slagging off (get the pun?) of multinational globalisation agenda with local union, resident, politician quotes etc. Fairly leisurely pace to fit with the rustic region in focus. Was a hit movie in Santiago last summer helping build and strengthen democratic debate.
Ecology Action

After Capitalism
Prout envisages a world where the world’s physical, mental and spiritual resources are utilised for the welfare of the entire planet and every inhabitant (plant, animal and human being). This workshop will outline some key concepts of Prout and invite people to share their views on the topic.
Paunkaj, Proutist Universal

Manifestos for Another World:
George Monbiot and Alex Callinicos

The anti-capitalist movement has generated an enormous ferment of ideas about what is wrong with the world and how to change it. The enormous diversity of the movement is one of its strengths, but key political questions remain about how we can best turn the slogan "Another World is Possible" into reality. Two of the best known writers within the movement, Marxist Alex Callinicos and journalist George Monbiot, have recently produced manifestos setting out strategies for taking the movement forward. Neither claims to be definitive and they put forward quite divergent views about whether institutions such as the WTO can be reformed. In effect, they are returning to the debate about revolution or reform. This session looks at the ideas of both writers and the relevance of a Marxist analysis today.
International Socialist Organistion

Workshop Session 4
15:30-16:45

Pipeline Cowboys - The oil rustlers
The Australasian editor of New Internationalist magazine, Chris Richards, joins the Forum to climb into the world's oil pipelines and explore how profit, power and privilege flows away from oil rich countries in the Majority World and into the board rooms and bank accounts of countries and companies in the Minority World. Join her in a workshop that will start plotting the new world power alliances that are being formed through oil pipelines.
Chris Richards
New Internationalist magazine

The Australia - US Free Trade Agreement
Panel Discussion
On Monday, 27th October, the next round of negotiations begin in Canberra for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. While the AUSFTA is being hailed by the Federal Government as a wonderful thing for Australia, the truth is that while sections of big business may benefit, ordinary people can expect quite the opposite. Speakers will discuss what's in store for us upon a successful negotiation and what we can do about it.
Kerry Nettle, Greens NSW Federal Senator
Jonathan Mill, NSW Secretary Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance
James Arvanitakis, AID/WATCH
Pat Ranald, Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network

Challenges Facing Trade Unions in Burma
The aim of the session is to broaden understanding of the democracy and labour movements in Burma and to increase international solidarity between the Burmese and Australian communities. Saw Min Lwin will be sharing information about the struggles facing trade unions in Burma, a country where child, slave and forced labour are everyday occurrences and the democracy movement is calling for stronger international action.
Saw Min Lwin, Burmese union activist
(Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA)

Cop-watching at protests
An introduction to the Legal Observers Project, what we do, follow-up, and how to better support the right to protest. A very brief talk on cop-watching around the world, in Sydney, follow up legal action, and feedback on how to do better in future. There will be masses of time for talk about the right to protest and your legal rights.
Dale Mills
Legal Observers Project

Teaching & Practising Democracy in Schools
To drawn attention to, and publicise, the fact that we don't teach or practise real democracy in our schools, but the pseudo or phoney version of democracy after its capture and distortion and perversion by corporatism - the doctrine and practice of which has effectively led to our current elective dictatorships in the 'West', best described as 'corpocracy'. Our thesis is based on the forgotten and ignored truth of the prophetic insight and dictum of Alexis de Tocqueville at the time of the Americdan and French revolutions: "Among democratic nations each new generation is a new people". We are losing - have just about lost - democracy to corpocracy (authoritarian capitalist corporatism, controlling a consumerist culture, rank ordering everything and everyone by money).
Rod Land
president, VISTA

Beyond the Factory Walls
'Beyond the Factory Walls' is a digital video production and multimedia theatre collaboration between an Australian community television group (Actively Radical Television) from Sydney, Australia and a Jakarta based Factory Workers theatre company (Teater Buruh Indonesia). This workshop will open with a short documentary on Factory Workers Theatre in Indonesia and continue with an introduction to the project ‘Beyond the Factory Walls’that will take place in Feb 2004. It will facilitate a discussion on the aims of the project and the history of participating groups, alongside broader discussion about the vital and necessary intersection of art + politics in everyday life.
Actively Radical TV
TBI Multimedia theatre project

Socialism: the other world that's possible
The movements against corporate globalisation, war and racism, have united millions in the struggle against capitalism's plunder and exploitation. But what kind of other world is possible? How can this world of war, poverty and destruction be transformed into a humane society? What kind of organisation is needed to change society? Raul Bassi, longtime socialist activist who has struggled in Argentina and now Australia, will argue that socialism is not only possible, but that a socialism that is democratic, involving, and inclusive, is an absolute necessity for humankind.
Raul Bassi
Socialist Alliance National Executive

A responsibility to protect? Current issues in humanitarian intervention
Do states have a right to intervene in the affairs of another state to protect the citizens of that state? If so, how, to what extent, and by whom can this principle be exercised? This workshop will introduce the idea of a "responsibility to protect" as a starting point for discussion. The responsibility to protect reconceptualises the idea of sovereignty from a right to a responsibility. The idea attempts to balance sovereignty with collective security -- it reinforces sovereignty but also acknowledges its limits. The logic is that as long as a state is protecting its citizens, its sovereignty will be respected. Brief input will be followed by group discussion.
Minh Nguyen, Uniya Researcher
Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre




SUNDAY - 26 OCTOBER

Workshop Session 5
10:00 - 11:15

FEATURE SESSION:
Weapons of Mass Deception: The media and the war on Iraq
What role does the corporate media play in times of war? How can independent media offer an alternative?
David Barsamian will look at the role and function of the mainstream media, propaganda, corporate power and US foreign policy. David is the winner of the American Civil Liberties Union's 2003 Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism and the Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes.
David Barsamian
Alternative Radio US

Native Title: Who Benefits?
Native Title has been controversial since its inception. Ten years later, and after substantial amendments and influential case law, this discussion will look at what shape the Native Title Act is in and who is actually benefiting from the legislation. This session will involve discussion and dissemination of information about the state of Indigenous rights to land in Australia.
Binnie O'Dwyer
Paralegal, Indigenous Justice Advocacy Network
Miranda Nagy, Solicitor

Affordable Housing? How slow can you go?
Housing affordability has emerged as the major problem in both the home ownership and private rental property markets. Paradoxically, this has arisen during an extended period of sustained economic growth and historically low mortgage interest rates. After a decade of focussing on innovation and pilot projects how close are we to developing a sustainable system for generating and managing affordable social housing using the planning system? If the current system has failed to deliver, what might a sustainable system look like and what can we do to get affordable housing on the agenda?
David Borger, Former Lord Mayor at Parramatta City Council
Dr Michael Darcy, Associate Dean, College of Social & Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney
Hazel Blunden, Policy Liaison Officer, Shelter NSW

An Activist's Guide to Global Econonics Pt 2: What's 'free' about Free Markets or Free Trade, and why do they fail?
Take a look at the theory behind 'free trade', its weaknesses on paper, and its catastrophes in practice. Brush-up on your economic jargon, and sharpen-up your arguments, as the fight against our own Free Trade Agreement nears its climax.

Steve Keen, author of "Debunking Economics"
ATTAC Australia

Labor’s Crisis and the Socialist Alternative
Simon Crean has turned the Labor party into... well no-one really knows what he’s turned it into... except a party that doesn’t seem to stand for anything and agrees with the government... sort of. This session looks at the serious problem facing those who want an alternative to Howard but can’t see one on the horizon. What sort of alternative do we need? Do we need a workers party anymore, and how can a new party that is credible be built?
Socialist Alliance

South Pacific: Empire-building, the Australian way
Howard calls it Australia's "patch". The vast oceanic area spanning the nations of the Pacific Islands Forum has been the traditional turf of Australia's own bonsai imperialists. Colonial exploits such as Fiji's Emperor Gold Mine helped found the Packer media empire. This workshop will give a historical perspective and contemporary analysis of Australia's empire-building in the South Pacific.
Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific

Challenges to Neoliberalism in Latin America
The session will concentrate on some of the government polices that have challenged the implementation of the Free Trade Area of the America's particulalrly those implemented by Venezuela and Cuba.
Raul Bassi
Series presented by
Committee in Solidarity with Latin America & the Carribbean and
Latin America Action Group

Universal Values in Action
Explore the values needed for effective social activism to create a fair-go for everyone. How can I reduce the gap between the values I profess and those I live? Share your wisdom and learn from others on becoming values-oriented in thought, word and deed. Walk the talk.
Dada Giridevananda
meditation teacher and social activist


Workshop Session 6
11:30 - 12:45

Globalising Peace and Social Justice:
The future of the anti-capitalist movement
Since bursting into mainstream Western consciousness following the famous "Battle of Seattle" in 1999, the movement against corporate globalisation has developed and grown, albeit to varying degrees in different parts of the world. Along the way it has had to face a variety of questions regarding organisation, violence, the state and war. What are the key challenges that the movement now faces internationally? How should we respond here in Australia? Are we any closer to "another world" and threatening the might of the corporations?
Dr Brett Neilson, University of Western Sydney
Brian Webb, International Socialist Organisation
Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth

Privatisation and the neo-liberal agenda in education
Shrinking the public sector is profoundly affecting education and its impact on equity in our society will be far reaching. Our workshop brings three views of what is happening together and will try to sketch out a strategic response. The panel consists of: John Kaye, spokesperson on education for the NSW Greens; Bev Baker who was president of the NSW Parents & Citizens Association and is now president of the non-party political group focused on education called Priority Public; offical of the National Tertiary Education Union, presently in a major dispute with the Federal government over the Nelson "reforms" and Tony Abbott's intervnetion in tertiary sector industrial relations. The speakers will each talk for 10-12 minutes and then the workshop will open for discussion and brain-storming what do about it.
John Kaye, NSW Greens
Bev Baker, President, Priority Public
National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) speaker

Philippines and the 'War on Terror'
For over a century, the Philippines has been Uncle Sam's longest foothold in Asia. But this has been equally matched by a long history of courageous resistance by the Philippines peoples. In the era of the 'war on terror', there is a renewed offensive by US imperialism. This is also being aided by the Howard government -- Australia is now the second largest provider of military assistance to the Philippines. Ariel Guides, a veteran of this anti-imperialist resistance will look at both the history and current rise of a new people's power movement for justice and peace in the Philippines.
Ariel Guides
Solidarity of Philippines Workers

The Iraq War:
The Untold Story from a Human Shield Perspective
A story of solidarity and the power of non-violent action. Hear a personal account of the war in Iraq from Donna Mulhearn, an Australian Human Shield who spent two months in Iraq before and during the war. Donna will present stories and photos that went unreported in the media; about life in Iraq, effects of the sanctions, the impact of the human shield movement and the suffering of war. She will also talk about “Our house - Iraq” a children’s project that will provide shelter and care in a home environment to the orphans and street children of Baghdad. Donna will return to Baghdad next month to set up and work on this project with other human shields.
Donna Mulhearn
Human Shield in Iraq War

How Does Urban Development Really Happen?
Join in this role-playing session where you get hands-on in the dirty world of urban development. An international funds manager is funding a development proposal that would see a surburban recreation and sports park converted to luxury units. Participants will draw roles as residents, developers, councillors, and construction workers for a rowdy public meeting and rally.
John Morris
Socialist Alliance

Exporting Destruction:
Australian mining companies and the resource curse

The Australian mining industry, with support from our export promoting government agency EFIC, has been responsible for some of the most serious social and environmental disasters in the Asia Pacific Region- think
ecological genocide at Ok Tedi, Bouganeville's civil war,- but has anything changed? Australian mining companies are currently doing deals with the Chinese government to mine Tibetan gold, pressuring the Indonesian government to overturn laws keeping mining out of its protected forests, and undermining efforts to protect indigenous rights in the UN system. A forum
with the Mineral Policy Institute and The Australia Tibet Council examines the ongoing role of the Australian companies, with our government's support, in environmental destruction, human rights abuses, and the
destruction of sustainable livelihoods in the Asia Pacific Region.
Australia Tibet Council
Mineral Policy Institute

Edward Said - Palestine, Imperialism and Resistance
Edward said was one of the great Palestinian writers and activists. He committed his life to challenging the racist assumptions promoted in the West about Arab culture. He was a relentless critic of Western imperialism, Zionism and corrupt Arab rulers as well as a passionate advocate for a Palestinian homeland. This session will discuss his enormous contribution to the Palestinian cause and to our understanding of imperialism.
Mike Granger
International Socialist Organisation

Computer Activism and You!
This session will inform people about the history and role of non-hierarchical, voluntary computer collectives, and discuss how people can become 'computer activists' regardless of their computer skill level! Q and A session and open discussion about current actions and issues, and how to get their issue/group on the web. "Create the news by voicing your views!" Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the internet and computers, we can use these tools to collectively create great social change. Non-hierarchical collectives such as Cat@lyst, Active Sydney, and the global Indymedia network provide the space for us to voice our opinions to the world, whilst developing a local community where we can support and share our skills with each other.
hugh, safari, andy
Community Active Technology (cat@lyst)
Active Sydney
Sydney Indymedia

Natural Monopoly, Participatory Economics and Socialism
Dr Margaret Moussa (University of Western Sydney)



Workshop Session 7
14:00 - 15:15

FEATURE SESSION:
Bitter-sweet: The story of Philippines sugar workers resisting the Empire

Negros was once called the 'Sugar Bowl' of the Philippines, supplying a large share of the sugar market both domestically and worldwide. But since the 1980s, tens of thousands of Negros sugar workers have been battling the effects of US agribusiness pushing weeteners derived from genetically-modified corn, dumping by the EU and Australia, and stepped-up exploitation at the hands of big cane growers.Theirs is a heroic story that interconnects the daily struggle against hunger with the global struggle against the US corporate empire, the ages-long labour of workers on the land with the Brave New World of GM crops, the hard reality of trade liberalisation with the utopian fantasies of neoliberalism.
Ariel Guides
Negros BMP (Solidarity of Philippines Workers) and the Freedom from Hunger Coalition

Media Monopoly, Concentration and Power
In the shadow of recent attempts by the US and Australian governments to loosen cross-media ownership law, David Barsamian and Chris Nash look at the effect that increasing concentration of media ownership and power is having on reportage and debate independent of "the powers that be", whether the government of the day or the boardrooms of major corporations - and highlight the need for independent, "alternative" media in any healthy society.
David Barsamian, director Alternative Radio (US)
Chris Nash, Australian Centre for Independent Journalism

From "troops out" to "Howard out":
Strategies for the next federal election

The anti-war movement in Australia was one of the biggest in the world with more than a million demonstrating in February. Yet Howard is still leading in the polls as preferred prime-minister. Howard’s 2001 election was won by playing the race card. Can he win again, or can he be beaten? This session looks at the tasks facing the anti-war, anti-capitalist and pro-refugee movements in the coming federal election.
Brian Webb
Socialist Alliance

Jews Against the Occupation
Are all Jews Zionists?Do all Jews support the actions of the Sharon government? Are there Jewish dissidents? Why don’t we hear from them? “Jews Against the Occupation” presents this workshop to provide an understanding of how and why this group came about. We will provide some insight into the work of dissidents within the organised Jewish Community and beyond. If you’re concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and want to know how Jewish lefties are becoming active this workshop is a must!
Angela Budai
Vivienne Porzsolt

Beyond the icon: the revolutionary ideas and life of Che Guevara
What were the revolutionary ideas of Che Guevara? While his image is used today to sell everything from lip gloss to ice creams and T-shirts, this workshop will discuss why Che has been held held up by revolutionaries for decades as an incredibly inspirational revolutionary. It will discuss Che's love for humanity, his ideas on how to transform human consciousness, and his life commitment to revolutionary politics. His ideas are not only inspirational, but are an important study for all those who believe another world is possible.
Katelyn Mountford
Resistance socialist youth organisation

Throw a computer together, yourself!
The aim of this session is to decondition people of their fear of computer gutz, give 'em basic 'poota parts identification and assembly skills, so people can go tweak their own machines, and know what to look for when they spot an abandoned computer on the roadside. Here's a pile of computer parts, and a pile of tools. We'll identify and assemble them together, and end up with a working machine.
<predator>
Community Activist Technology

Film Screening: "La Luciernaga"
Filmed around the time of Argentina's popular uprising of December 2001, La Luciernaga gives insight into the young lives found working the streets of Cordoba. Through the eyes of the disadvantaged youth we see how they perceive their situation and the world that seemingly passes them by. Amidst this hurried world
the film also explores the revolutionary organisation that commits itself to giving them the chance of a life with dignity.
Mark, Actively Radical TV

Terror in the Mind of God:
The Fundamentalist Phenomenon

This session will involve an exploration of the nature and impact of world-wide militant fundamentalist movements that by their exacerbation of violence at national and international levels cause terror in the mind of God. At a time of geopolitical religious violence this session will explore and identify delineating patterns of fundamentalist attitudes towards those judged to be outsiders and enemies. John Hirt has had wide religious and political experience working for human rights and justice issues in both the First and Two Thirds World. For more than 20 years in Australia, in North and Central America, Dr Hirt has been heavily involved in peace and justice activities together with being a University educator in the areas of Religious Studies, civil disobedience and non-violence.
Dr John Hirt

Workshop Session 8
15:30 - 16:45

Bringing Environment Issues Back to Centre Stage
In an era of conservative government, environmental issues have been sidelined from the mainstream agenda. How do we bring them back to centre stage? As defence budgets rise and privatisation agendas are played out, are conservative governments convinced that environmental protection is a luxury good? Has the general public bought their line? How do we refocus attention on the pivotal importance of environment?
Danny Kennedy, Campaigns Manager Greenpeace Australia Pacific
Ian Cohen, NSW Greens MLC
John Newton, Journalist Sydney Morning Herald
facilitated by Kathy Ridge, Former Executive Officer Nature Conservation Council

The Anti-war movement: Experiences and Prospects
In February some 30 million people around the world marched against the pending war on Iraq. In Australia, 1 million people took to the streets. But we failed to stop the Anglo-US-Australian invasion. Does that mean the movement failed? What is the likelihood that the anti-war movement will manage to force the occupying troops out of Iraq, stop the US from waging war on Iran and Syria and pressure Israel to get out of the Palestinian territories? Presented by Stop the War Coalition.
Rihab Charida, Sawiyan: Coalition for Palestine
Anna Samson, Chippendale-Dalington Peace Group
Pip Hinman, Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific

Positively addressing worldwide poverty and debt with "Geonomics"
Geonomics ('law of the Earth') represents a completely different way of looking at The Earth. Starting from the self-evident (but ignored!) principle that The Earth (land and natural resources) should be the equal and common birthright of all humanity, a radically different set of economic and social principles emerge. However, the means to implement these principles is relatively simple - essentially, taxing land values rather than production.
Karl Fitzgerald
Prosper Australia

Film Screening: Chavez - Inside the Coup
On April 12th 2002 the world awoke to the news that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had been removed from office and had been replaced by a new interim government. What had in fact taken place was the first Latin American coup of the 21st century, and the world's first media coup. An amazing "fly on the wall" doco of the defeat of the CIA-backed coup by people power which put Chavez back in power within 48hrs.
Introduced by David Golan

Uprising and Revolution in Bolivia
The recent removal of the President of Bolivia due to mass popular uprising among Bolivian peasants and workers has once again put revolution on the agenda. Find out about the recent developments and the history behind the uprising.
Jorge Jorquera
CISLAC & LAAG Series

Creative Change: Art and Politics
The aim of this session is to provide space for a discussion of the role of expressive arts in the change movement. To discuss and share experiences, ideas and strategies for creative actions.Can art be a driver of social, political or economic change? What works and what doesn't? What are you up to? This session will be an open discussion on the connections between art and activism and a space to share experiences and strategies. The discussion will be facilitated by a musician, a poet, a clown and a sculptor.
Chris, Tom, Heidi, Nik

 

Closing Session of the 2003 SSF
17:00

Onwards to Mumbai and the 2004 World Social Forum
In an increasingly "globalised" world, it's important that local activists and concerned citizens here in Australia learn from - and contribute to - the process and debates which are part of the Social Forum Process. After three years being held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the World Social Forum moves to Mumbai, India. Why not push for your trade union or community organisation to send a delegate to Mumbai for the 2004 WSF? Why not attend yourself? What can we expect from WSF IV?
Vince Caughley, SSF Organising Group
Nicola Bullard, Focus on the Global South