World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party Public Conference

Political lessons of the war on Iraq: the way forward for the international working class

24 May 2003

The World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party are holding a public conference on the weekend of July 5-6, 2003 in Sydney, Australia. The subject of the conference will be: “Political lessons of the war on Iraq: the way forward for the international working class.”

Keynote speakers will be Nick Beams, a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and national secretary of the SEP in Australia and Barry Grey, also a member of the WSWS international editorial board and a leader of the SEP in the United States.

The conference is being convened to draw the lessons of the US-led assault on Iraq and to elaborate the strategy and program on which the struggle against imperialism and war must be waged.

The Bush administration’s aggressive war was carried out in defiance of international law and conventions and on the basis of the conscious deception of the world’s people. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been slaughtered, the impoverished country’s infrastructure laid to waste and its priceless cultural heritage destroyed.

It is becoming patently clear that a new era in world politics has opened up, with far-reaching implications for the peoples of the entire globe. The agenda of the US is not only the colonisation of Iraq, but the reorganisation of the globe to meet the geo-political and financial interests of corporate America.

The Iraq war has shattered all the mechanisms established in the aftermath of World War II aimed at preventing the types of wars of aggression that erupted between 1914 and 1945. The United Nations, which millions hoped would block the war, has proven itself to be nothing but an accomplice of Washington’s war crimes. Having recently voted to sanction the US and Britain as “occupying powers”, France, Germany and Russia have ditched their former objections and legitimised ex post facto the rape of Iraq and the theft of its resources.

The UN vote must become the starting point for a thoroughgoing and critical examination of the belief that mass demonstrations and protests aimed at pressuring the powers that be can put an end to war.

The struggle of masses of people throughout the world for peace, social equality, international solidarity and a better world and against war and oppression has not ended with the occupation of Iraq. Rather, that struggle is becoming increasingly complex. It must be based on a carefully worked out political strategy and oriented to the building of a mass socialist movement, rooted in the international working class.

In organising this conference, the WSWS and SEP advance the following fundamental political principles as the basis of the discussion:

1) The only genuine mass base for the struggle against imperialism and war is the international working class.

2) The working class must be mobilised independently of all those parties and organisations that accept and defend the framework of the capitalist profit system. In Australia, this means working people making a definitive political break with the entire official political apparatus, including Labor, the Greens and the trade unions, and building a revolutionary party that fights for power.

3) The struggle against war can be waged systematically and effectively only to the extent that it is directed against the socio-economic system that produces war—that is, against capitalism and for socialism.

4) The struggle against war requires the international unity of the working class.

On this basis we warmly invite readers of the World Socialist Web Site in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region to register for the conference and come to Sydney on July 5-6.

Conference Registration:

Registration fee: $25.00
Click here to register

Conference Times and Venue
Saturday July 5, 10am-6pm & Sunday July 6, 10am-4pm
University of New South Wales
Matthews Theatre B (behind the Clancy Auditorium)
Free parking available
Enter via Gate 11, Botany Street, Randwick
Detailed maps and transport information are available at:

Conference Accommodation:

On-campus budget accommodation is available at the student residential colleges. For bookings at a special discount rate for conference delegates please contact:

The New College
Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW 2052
Phone: 02 9381 1999
Fax: 02 9381 1909

For detailed information about other student residential colleges and off campus accommodation go to:

More information:

For more information about the conference, accommodation in Sydney or transport:
Write to: Socialist Equality Party, PO Box 367, Bankstown, NSW 1885
Phone: (02) 9790 3511

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