The Guardian • Issue #2027

Canberra branch celebrates formal launch

On Saturday, members and friends met to celebrate the official launch of the Canberra branch of the CPA. Having formed earlier this year, its first few months have seen steady, sustained growth, and branch actions have already drawn positive attention from the public.

Canberra doubtlessly presents a unique challenge for radical left organisation. It is, after all, a city that owes its very existence to the continuity of our present political system. Past and current socialist movements within the territory have nucleated within the universities but struggled to grow beyond. Branch members are eager to meet these challenges and exceed all past endeavours.

Despite its challenges, the capital also presents unique opportunities not found in other Australian cities. For instance, its concentration of diplomatic postings. The Canberra branch has already formed connections with dignitaries from friendly countries. These include representatives from China, Cuba, Palestine, and Venezuela, many of whom were in attendance at Saturday’s launch. All extended their warm greetings and shared a positive outlook towards future cooperation.

But it mustn’t be forgotten that Canberra is a city just like any other. A city of workers. The same struggles faced in every part of this country are found here too. The Canberra branch has, through its short existence, and with its limited resources, made sure to centre the most critical issues faced by all in our community. In recent months, branch members have been hard at work forming the Canberra Housing Coalition. Many community organisations exist that work on aspects of the housing issue, but their work has as yet remained disconnected. The Canberra Housing Coalition seeks to remedy this. A public launch event was held in late August, attracting positive press from mainstream outlets. Numerous community groups are already involved, and it is hoped that this presence will continue to grow. The coalition is on its way to becoming self-sustained and autonomous, but the branch will continue to help guide it along its way and offer support where needed.

Alongside housing, labour organisation is a top priority of the branch. The trade union movement is always in focus. Comrades work in various fields and hold various positions within their respective trade unions. A number of tertiary students are also within branch ranks, but it is generally agreed that student politics is best left to the experts. We must work for the entire working class. As a branch, we naturally wish to stand in solidarity with all those whose praxis aligns with ours. Most recently, members of the branch were in attendance at an anti-monarchy rally held by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

Our branch recognises the importance of routinely coming together as a unit and also of regular education. Branch meetings are held fortnightly as are education sessions, each in alternating weeks. Members have been in attendance at the national party schools and look forward to attending these again in the future.

In attendance also on Saturday were members of the party’s central committee. Both General Secretary Andrew Irving and President Vinnie Molina spoke to the significance of this occasion. The formation of any new branch is a sign of the party’s rejuvenation, and the Canberra branch is not an isolated case. The party is seeing growth throughout the entire country after years of stagnation. A genuine transformation is taking place. New members bring new perspectives and fresh energy to the party. The communist movement of Australia is young again.

To those outside of the party who are interested in joining, whether in Canberra or elsewhere, this author encourages you not to hesitate. We have a world to win.

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