How about that for a title? :)))
Last night I went to a meeting of Socialist Alternative - a group of young australian socialists, some of whom are affiliated with the University of Sydney. I am proud to say that I have finally been to a political student meeting (a shame this did not happen while I was actually at university, but you can't have it all) and enjoyed it in a lot of ways.
It began like this (flashback to last Thursday night in 'Wayne's world' stylee'): I was coming home after an exciting day at work. I plowed up the stairs at Newtown station and at the top was the "Socialist Alternative" people, collecting money, selling their magazine and canvassing for people to come to their meetings. I got talking to one of them and because my knowledge of socialism is zero, 0, nil etc I asked her what it was all about and she proceded to give me some of her views: for example there are two classes - the ruling class and the working class; the currency between these classes is labour (I can't go on really, my knowledge is limited). To cut a long story short, even with my extremely limited knowledge of all things political, I disagreed with such a simplistic model (which about doctors, university lecturers, nuns for Pete's sake?) and told her so. She she told me to come up with a better one which I couldn't, so rather than walk away and be ignorant I said that I would go to their meeting (which was yesterday), and even if I didn't agree with (or even understand) the things they were talking about (with some serious fervour) at least I would try another view point.
So, I went, and was (fairly) warmly received. I had done a little bit of reading, and when I walked in the door, people started to grill me, on the account of my accent, my smart shirt (fresh out of work), my glasses (I must do IT...):
"What are things like in the UK?" "What do you know about the IR laws?" (Not a lot but I am learning"), "Why are you here?" etc... TIRING!
Next week, Cindy Sheheen will be giving a talk, and I have said I'll be going along to that...
We rounded the evening off with a beer and a discussion of the state of Sydney US. I was impressed - they were all so young and so angry. They don't want to be mucked about, and they want to be able to rely on their university allies. I was impressed - they were so positive and pro active....