Thursday, January 29, 2009

AVSN Brigade to Venezuela

Join the April 15th-25th Australian solidarity brigade to Venezuela!

Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution led by President Hugo Chavez is shaking up global politics and inspiring millions of ordinary people with the evidence that a better – a peaceful, democratic and socially just – world is possible.

* Whereas in Australia, health, education and public infrastructure is being privatised, in Venezuela, major industries are being nationalised and put under workers' control, and universal access to health, education and social welfare is now guaranteed.

* Whereas in Australia, workers are being sacked, wages and conditions are being eroded and trade unions are under attack, in Venezuela, wages are increasing, and union membership and organisation is growing.

* Whereas in Australia, the government sends troops into Indigenous communities, and Aboriginal people continue to live in Third World conditions and are killed in custody, in Venezuela, indigenous people have Constitutionally guaranteed land rights and representation in parliament, and are exercising self-determination.

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network's brigades to Venezuela are a unique opportunity to see first-hand an unfolding revolution. Participants in the next brigade, to be held from April 15-25, 2009, brigade will visit worker-controlled factories and cooperatives, free public education and health programs, and community media outlets. They will observe popular power at work in the communal councils and communes, and speak to a wide range of grassroots and government organisations about the radical changes being implemented by the Venezuelan people.

In the last five years, the AVSN has organised eight solidarity brigades from Australia to Venezuela, involving more than 150 participants. These study/solidarity tours are inspiring experiences, providing an opportunity to observe and understand why Venezuela's goal of creating "socialism of the 21st century'' is transforming the world.

And after the Venezuela brigade, while you're in the neighbourhood, why not visit Cuba and join the millions of people who will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution at the huge May Day rally in Havana on May 1, 2009?


The deadline for registering for the Venezuela solidarity brigade is March 1, 2009.

Participants will need to book their own international airfares, but the brigade organisers are able to help with advice. Airfares should be booked as soon as possible, as they often become more expensive closer to the departure date.

Accommodation, transport and English translation in Venezuela will be organised for brigade participants.

You will need to budget for a total cost of approximately $5000. This includes: international airfare and taxes; accommodation (twin-share basis); transport and food in Venezuela; and the registration fee (for details see the brigade registration form).


For more information or to indicate your interest in joining in the brigade, contact your local AVSN committee, or email, or phone Lara Pullin 0433 449 024, Roberto Jorquera 0425 289 394 or Lisa Macdonald 0413 031 108.

For reports and photos of previous AVSN brigades, and registration forms for the next brigade, visit

Alex Bainbridge

Friends of Palestine Rally - 31 Jan 09

Friends of Palestine Rally
12 noon - Sat 31 January
Forrest Place, Perth

Organised by Friends of Palestine

See also: "Protest works!" (From Friends of Palestine website)

Dear friends of Palestine

If any of you are feeling dispirited or demoralised about the fact we haven't yet shifted the Australian government's position vis-a-vis the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, never forget history teaches us again and again popular protest action does work. Below are some contemporary examples.

After facing pressure from the very large and fiercely determined local Palestinian solidarity movement, the management of the Grand Intercontinental Hotel in Paris decided to cancel the Israeli Tourism Fair that was due to be held at the hotel on January 15th. All 50 Israeli exhibitors were accordingly disinvited and told the Fair would not be going ahead! Click on the link below for more information:-

Some of you may already have heard about the 3000-ton arms shipment to Israel the Pentagon was trying to route through Greece. What you may not have heard is the Greek government, again under extreme pressure from a very strong, large and determined local Palestinian solidarity movement, was forced to deny the Pentagon use of its ports to facilitate the shipment, meaning the US department of war now has to go through the humiliating process of looking for alternative means to get the deadly arsenal to their favourite ally! Click on the link below from the Reuters news service for a bundle of articles about this magnificent victory for the international Palestinian solidarity movement:-

The third example comes from another country with a very strong and well-established Palestinian solidarity movement, Britain. Currently there are 17 university occupations taking place throughout the country in solidarity with Gaza. A number of the student occupations have already claimed victory. For example, the Oxford students who occupied the Clarendon building declared victory after seven hours, having forced the University administration to accede to a number of their demands! For more on the student occupations in Britain, go to the following link:-

These are just three examples of many. The lesson: protest action really does work. Hence the need for us to congregate in large numbers at our next demonstration this Saturday at midday in Forrest Place. See you all there more determined and confident than ever.

Alex Whisson
Friends of Palestine WA

Zionism: What it is and What to do about it

What it is and what to do about it
A Resistance educational discussion

Israel’s war crimes in Gaza shine the spotlight once again on the long and bloody record of dispossession of the Palestinian people.

More than 60 years after the formation of the state of Israel, people are asking will Zionist war crimes ever end? Will Obama make any difference? And is a “two state solution” possible today or is it even a solution?

This meeting will examine the record of Zionist Israel and its relationship with US and Australian imperialism. It will discuss the question of whether justice and peace can be achieved in the Middle East and what activists in Australia can do about it.

2pm Sat 31 January
(or just after the Rally for Gaza finishes)
Resistance Centre (15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth - just near McIver Station)
Ph Alex 9218 9608 or 0447 272 606