Thursday, January 28, 2016

PALESTINE & THE MIDDLE EAST @ MARXISM 2016 - featuring Ali Abunimah & Ramzy Baroud

Dear friends,
in case you had not heard Marxism 2016, which is being held over the Easter Weekend (24-27 March), has a fantastic line up of international and local speakers speaking on Palestine and the Middle East.  Please see details below, as well as some of the other featured international and local speakers.

In solidarity, Kim

International Palestine & Middle East speakers include:


Ali Abunimah is the author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli Palestinian Impasse, and co-founder and director of the widely acclaimed publication The Electronic Intifada. Based in the United States, he has written hundreds of articles and been an active part of the movement for justice in Palestine for 20 years. He is the recipient of a 2013 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship.

Ali will be speaking on the panel: The ongoing struggle for a free Palestine, which will discuss the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, the current state of the movement and strategies of liberation. He will be joined by Ramzy Baroud.


Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a US-Arab journalist, media consultant, an author, internationally-syndicated columnist, Editor of Palestine Chronicle (1999-present), former Managing Editor of London-based Middle East Eye (2014-15), former Editor-in-Chief of The Brunei Times, former Deputy Managing Editor of Al Jazeera online. He taught mass communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, Malaysia Campus. Baroud also served as head of English’s Research and Studies department. He is the author of three books and a contributor to many others; his latest volume is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story(Pluto Press, London, 2010). His books were translated to several languages including French, Turkish, Arabic, Malayalam, and Korean, among others. Baroud has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Palestine Studies from the European Centre for Palestinian Studies at the University of Exeter (2015).
He is the author of three books: Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion (Cune Press, Seattle, 2003); The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London, 2006); and My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London). His books are available in French, Turkish, Arabic, Korean and other languages

Ramzy will be joining Ali Abunimah on the panel: The ongoing struggle for a free Palestine, which will discuss the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, the current state of the movement and the strategies for liberation.


Farah KobaissyFarah Kobaissy, is an activist and a researcher in gender, labor and migration. She is also a member of the Socialist Forum in Lebanon. 

Farah will be presenting on the panel:
From garbage disposal to rebellion: Lebanon today, which looks at the privatisation of state assets, cuts to social services, the attacks on the conditions of workers and the poor and the emergence of the "You Reek" movement.

To check out the full list of international and local speakers, please CLICK HERE

To check out the interactive conference program CLICK HERE.

To buy your tickets for Marxism 2016, please CLICK HERE


The Palestine and the Middle East stream at Marxism 2016 also includes presentations on the following issues:

Marxist analysis of the Islamic State - Nick Everett
ISIS is perhaps the most commonly discussed topic of foreign affairs today, and yet remarkably few people have seriously attempted to explain its origins. How did a little-known Syrian militia become a multi-million dollar mafia-state, why would anyone join it, and how can it be defeated? All welcome for a discussion on the horrors of ISIS and its origins in the brutal policies of the West and the Syrian regime.

The politics of the Kurdish independence struggle - Kosta Rologas
With the counter-revolution in the Middle-East ascendant, the resistance of the Kurdish population in Kobani was a glimmer of hope for many on the left. This, coupled with success of the HDP, has renewed interest on the Kurdish independence movement and its politics. This talk will look at the politics of the Kurdish independence movement historically and its prospects today.

The left + the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under Sisi - Simone White
Debates have raged for decades over the question of how the left should relate to political Islam. These discussions have acquired an added urgency and dynamism in the context of the Arab spring. This session will explore these issues in the aftermath of the military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood.

From opposition to collaboration: Stalinism in the Arab World

In the 1950s and 60s the Middle East exploded in a wave of radical movements for national independence. Communists played a key role in many places, such as in Iraq, where the CP could organise a rally of 1 million people in the streets of Baghdad for May Day in 1959. Yet as a result of the stalinist theory and practices of these parties, they abandoned the working class and ended up collaborating with brutal, counter-revolutionary regimes, an approach which continues to find echoes in the attitude of many Arab leftists to the rise and fall of the Arab Spring.


There are also a range of other international and local speakers speaking on other social justice campaigns and struggles from around the world, including:

  • South African activist Mandla Nkosi, an eyewitness and participant to the Soweto Uprising, who will be speaking on the Struggle for Justice in post-Apartheid South Africa;
  • Khury Petersen-Smith will be speaking on the Ferguson/Black Lives Matter campaign;
  • Greek socialist, Panous Petrou who will be speaking on the Greek Revolutionary Left and Popular Unity;Mexican student-teacher activist;
  • Omar Garcia, who is a survivor of the September 26 massacre and the forced disappearance of 43 students in Iguala He will be speaking about on the military attack and disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students;
  • Will Ilolahia, a co-founder of the civil rights New Zealand organisation the Polynesian Panthers;
  • Mauritius socialist,Shabeela Kalla, who will be speaking on the campaign against biometric ID cards in that country
  • Irish socialist, Sean Mitchell, speaking on the 1916 Easter Rebellion
Some featured Local speakers (for full list see conference program):
  • Aboriginal historian and activist, Gary Foley speaking Aboriginal activism
  • Aboriginal novelist Tony Birch and Aboriginal feminist Celeste Liddle speaking on racism in the Australia media
  • Lydia Shelley, Vice President of Islamophobia Register, speaking on Islamophobia in Australia;
  • Refugee rights activist, Christine Craik on refugees, racism and resistance.
  • former editor of Overland and left-wing writer, Jeff Sparrow speaking on the radical life and music of Paul Robeson;
  • Film lecturer, Liam Ward will be speaking on the union busting, the Academy Awards and the Reds who build the Silver Screen