Australian Anarchist History – Anarchist Libertarian Conference

Uploaded as part of the Anarchism in Australia project.

Author: Joe Toscano
Originally Published: 3 April 2000
Retrieved from: Anarchist Age Weekly Review, No. 394, as published on A-Infos


Fifty people attended the Anarchist – Libertarian Conference in Sydney in 1974. Groups represented at the conference included The Anarchist Black Cross based in Melbourne. The C.N.T. in exile (National Confederation of Trade Unions) based in Melbourne, The La Trobe Anarchist Group (Melbourne), The Self Management Groups based in Sydney and Brisbane and a group from Canberra and the Australian National University in Canberra. Participants in the conference saw a need for “unity in strategy”. The Brisbane S.M.G. group stated “lack of unity and coherence within regional groups would be unfavourable to the realisation of a national strategy.” The comrades present wanted to organise a National Conference. It was suggested that the theme be “Organisation”. A comrade representing the C.N.T. in exile criticised “the fragmentation of the Anarchist attitude in Australia. He felt there was a need for more action, as meetings divorced from action were useless.”

It was decided to hold a one-week National Anarchist conference in Sydney beginning at 10 am on Sunday the 5th of January 1975. The conference also decided to produce a Federation of Australian Anarchists Bulletin (FAAB) to “act as a liaison between groups and individuals. That the bulletin be internal and include theoretical and analytical articles. That it be produced in Melbourne until after the January 1975 conference.

After exhaustive discussions, a draft agenda was formulated for the January 1975 conference.
DAY 3, 4, 5
1. Industry and technology. Syndicalism
2. Community Actions. Psychiatric Liberation
3. Feminism, Sex and the Family, Children’s Literature
4. Organisation
5. Education
6. Laws and Prisons
7. City Living
8. Violence and non-violence as strategies
9. Culture and Language
DAY 6 Establishment of a National Anarchist organisation in Australia
DAY 7 Workshop on the various themes.

The La Trobe group intended to produce another issue of the Federation of Australian Anarchists Bulletin for the January 1975 conference “incorporating all papers received in time on the subject of organisation, strategy and policies.”

Thanks to Edgar Crook for providing a copy of the minutes of the Anarchist ­Libertarian Conference held in Sydney on the 22nd of September 1974.

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