Asia-Pacific Anti-Militarism Forum

Nic (genccso@LUSTA.LATROBE.EDU.AU)
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 19:34:00 +1000


Asia-Pacific Anti-Militarism Forum

A conference for activists in struggle against militarism in the
Asia-Pacific Region

28 March to 1 April 1997
Melbourne Australia

Invitation and information.

Militarism is an extreme form of the power structures used to oppress
people. It is important to acknowledge the relationships between militarism
and capitalism, industrialism, colonialism, violence against women, racism,
exploitation of workers, and environmental destruction.
By recognising the connections between these various forms of oppression we
can come together from our different campaigns to support each other's
struggles. Sharing our different strategies and analysis can enrich our
activism, making it more effective and powerful.

This conference for left activists in South East Asia and the
South Pacific will take place in Melbourne over the Easter holidays 1997,
from Friday March 28 to Tuesday April 1. We encourage you to join the
organising collective in your area; or contact us with your ideas or other
contributions to make this conference as inclusive, vibrant and politically
challenging as possible.

This conference is not just talking heads, there will be:
* sharing of activist skills like media work, making effective leaflets,
public speaking and street theatre;
* an arts component including videos and films, an activist poster
exhibition and other visual arts; music and dancing; and
* a demonstration to put activism into practice.

We welcome all expressions of interest in these areas of the conference.

Structure.

We will start the conference with an orientation afternoon for activists to
get to know each other and to find out background information. We hope this
orientation session will enable participants to get more out of the conference.

There will then be four days of presentations and workshops sharing
information, skills and ideas.

Themes identified for discussion include:
* A survey of militarism in the region;
* The role of the US military in the Asia-Pacific region (bases, aid and
troop training);
* The arms trade;
* Policing and internal repression;
* The relations between industrialism, capitalism and militarism;
* The repression of workers movements;
* Colonialism;
* Indigenous peoples struggles;
* Militarism and environmental destruction;
* Australia's military role in the region (foreign troop training, joint
military exercises, military aid);
* Women and militarism;
* Higher education and the military;
* The relationship between constructions of gender, race and militarism;
* Alternatives including industrial conversions from military to civilian
uses, conflict resolution strategies and grassroots community empowerment;
* Improving coordination of anti-militarist campaigns.

Participation.

We actively encourage the participation of marginalised groups. We will
endeavour to provide appropriate language services where possible.
Encouraging gender balance is a priority for the forum organisers.

We are also working towards paying for some overseas activists to travel to
Australia - all donations will be greatly appreciated!

*Are you interested in being involved in this conference?*

This conference will take a lot of organisation and the involvement of lots
of people.Please send us your name, address, telephone, fax and email
details if you want to stay in touch.

Let us know if you:
* want to join the organising collective
* are interested in taking on specific tasks
* are enclosing a list of contacts
* are sending a donation
* want more information
* have any comments.

Resource kit.

The organising collective is compiling a resource kit to accompany the
conference, gathering information from activists around the region. If you
can provide us with any of the following information please indicate this
below and send us the details by December 1996.

* 1-2 page overview of issues affecting your part of the region.

* Information about your group for a regional contact list. Include your
groups name, contact details, what you do and the strategies you use to do it!

* Even if you can't come to the conference your ideas can. Send us an
article.

Conference papers & other contributions.

We are in the process of organising the program. Would you be interested in
speaking at the conference? Would you be interested in speaking on a topic
related to militarism, such as internal repression, militarism and
capitalism, militarism and the construction of gender, discussion of
regional situations, activist strategy, directions etc.Would you be
interested in organising an activist skills workshop? We are wanting people
to run the following workshops and welcome suggestions for others that have
not been covered yet: media skills (press releases, doing interviews etc);
street theatre; making leflets etc; activist resources on the internet;
meeting facilitation; researching the military; and international
networking.

Are you interested in contributing visual, performance or other art
forms,or helping to organise the arts festival?
Please provide us with details.

Register now for the conference.

Melbourne:
PO Box 1351, Collingwood, Vic 3066, Australia
tel + 61 3 9419 8700
fax + 61 3 9416 2081
email genccso@lusta.latrobe.edu.au

Perth:
PO Box 186, Northbridge, WA 6865, Australia
tel + 61 9 227 7880
fax + 61 9 227 7882
email ecwa@iinet.net.au
(temporary email address - current for 1996)