Revolutionary Action timeline: 1999 – 2004

1999

July 25 – A small reading group begins at Wollongong University – discussing the Communist Manifesto.

August 1 – The reading group talks about the need for a new local revolutionary organisation and on what basis it could be formed. Agreement is reached to form Revolutionary Action (RA).

August 9 – First Revolutionary Action meeting. Discussion includes RA constitution and rules, the Shorter Work Week Action Committee (SWWAC), Broad Left Newsletter Collective and the newly formed Broad Left university group.

September 14 – RA collective accepts the Revolutionary Action platform and rules as amended.

October 12 – First public RA meeting held at Wollongong Library.

November 28 – What is to be done? Broad Left Forum held at Migrant Resource Centre – RA speaker Dave Eden.

November 30 – ‘Battle of Seattle’ WTO protests.

December 18 – RA Xmas Party BBQ.

2000

January – Collective begins to gather books, pamphlets, leaflets etc. for stalls and RA library.

Collective decides to intervene in the South Coast May Day Committee and to help organise a SWWAC public meeting at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) National Congress. Contact made with Love & Rage in Sydney to discuss cooperation.

January 4 – RA discussion list established, revolutionary-action@yahoogroups.com

February 6 – ‘What is Revolutionary Action’ forum attended by 22 people.

February – First RA stall held at Wollongong University for Orientation week.

March – RA comrades help to establish an ‘m1 sub-committee’ of the South Coast May Day Committee.

March 21 – RA meeting at ACON agrees to begin production of RA publication.

April 4 – RA leaflet on ‘work for the dole’ produced.

April 16 – RA social function and showing of film ‘Greetings from Wollongong’.

April 18 – First RA publication meeting held at ACON offices.

Last week of April – First issue of enRAged the ‘journal of Revolutionary Action’ produced. Articles on ‘Know your enemy’, ‘Origins of m1’, ‘Reformist Politics’, and ‘What is Revolutionary Action?’

Last week of April – RA comrades join Stellar call centre picket.

RA comrades join Joy Mining picket line in Moss Vale – which is broken by police.

May 1 – m1 picket of Port Kembla Copper. A number of people arrested, including some RA comrades.

May 6 – Wollongong May Day march. RA holds a stall in McCabe Park at the conclusion of the march.

May 8 – m1 debrief meeting decides to call an ‘s11 meeting’, to organise support for the September 11 protests against the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting being held in Melbourne.

May 29 – Wollongong s11 collective established.

June – s11 meetings.

June 1 –RA comrades join Joy Mining picket line at Coniston – which is broken by police.

June 2 – RA comrades join mass occupation of Unanderra industrial site being used by scabs to break the Joy Mining picket.

June 28 – RA comrades facilitate SWWAC public meeting at the ACTU Congress.

SWWAC booklet on the forum held to coincide with ACTU Congress in Wollongong.

July – s11 meetings held at Ironworkers building.

s11 collective article in Illawarra Mercury.

July 21 – s11 film night held at the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC).

July 30 – s11 forum: ‘Mobilising for Global Justice – strategies and tactics for change’ held at MRC.

August 4 – s11 punk gig held at MRC.

August 11 – Broad Left Forum in support of s11: ‘Globalisation and the Multinationals’ held at MRC.

August 15 – RA s11 affinity group meeting.

August 16 – s11 benefit gig held at Uni Bar.

August – Second issue of enRAged produced. Articles – ‘Democracy and RA’, ‘Defying Corporate Tyranny’, ‘Alienation from politics’, and ‘Global ruling class’.

September 3 – s11 training day held at Wollongong University.

September 6 – s11 benefit gig held at Oxford Hotel.

September 7 – First s11 bus leaves Wollongong for Melbourne.

September 9 – Second s11 bus leaves Wollongong for Melbourne.

September 11 – 13 – s11.

September 14 – s11 buses return to Wollongong.

September 18 – s11 debrief meeting.

October 1 – s11 celebration BBQ.

October 22 – RA discussion day on lessons of 2000, the present situation, and what to do in the year ahead.

November – Organisation of RA library and call sent out for proposed RA Conference to be held in 2001.

December 3 – Discussion day on RA platform and rules, including suggested amendments.

2001

January 13 – RA new year’s party.

January 28 – Discussion day on final changes to the RA platform and rules.

February – New RA platform & rules document produced.

February 17 – Sandon Point demonstration against Wollongong City Council.

February 17/18 – RA comrades participate in Love and Rage Conference.

March/April – Rebel uni. launched.

March 1 – m1 collective convened.

March 28 – m1 ‘stories of rebellion’ film night held at MRC.

April 8 – m1 forum.

April 13 – m1 benefit gig held at MRC.

May 1 – Sandon Point solidarity action.

May 5 – May Day march. RA stall in park after march.

May 20 – RA discussion day.

May 27 – ‘Tea talks’ begin.

June – Tea talks continue, RA conference organisation meetings begin.

June 25 – RA meeting on upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) protests.

July – CHOGM and RA conference meetings, tea talks and Rebel Uni.

August  – Third issue of enRAged produced. Articles – s11, power of the people, in defence of science, corporate control, and World Social Forum.

August 25/26 – RA organised Liberty, Autonomy, Solidarity Conference held at Wollongong University – includes forums, meetings, workshops and dinner.

September – Wollongong Refugee Action Collective (RAC) established.

September 11 – 9/11 attacks.

September 21 – Peace speak out in Wollongong Mall.

October 14 – RA convenes first Illawarra NO WAR meeting – attended by around 60 people.

November 3 – First NO WAR march through Wollongong – against war on Afghanistan.

November – Tea talks and NO WAR meetings.

December 13 – Peace vigil in Mall.

2002

January 12 – RA New Year’s Party.

January 20 – RA discussion day on review of 2001 and what to do in 2002.

February – RA stall held at Wollongong university for Orientation week, RA web page launched, NO WAR, Refugee Action Committee, and pages for prisoners meetings.

February 13 – RA comrades join Sandon Point picket, blockading the site and halting contractors attempting to start work.

February 14 – Sandon Point picket broken by police, over 60 arrested, including a number of RA comrades.

Illawarra Mercury front page February 15, 2002.

March – NO WAR meetings.

March 23 – Refugee Action Collective March.

March 29 – ‘Woomera 2002’ – On the first night of the action, RA comrades help to fight off police trying to shut-down the protest camp.

March 30 – RA comrades assist the Woomera breakout.

WOOMERA 2002 BREAKOUT (PART TWO) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWKJ0Tk7NPo

April – RA ‘Woomera breakout support’ donation drive raises thousands of dollars.

Fourth issue of enRAged produced. Articles – on Woomera breakout, Sandon Point actions, Total War, Pages to Prisoners, Women’s Prison conference, and the Welfare State.

May 1 – RA comrades join m1 Sydney picket of Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) offices, the company running Australia’s immigration detention centres, helping to blockade the entrance and car park, and are attacked by mounted police.

May 4 – May Day March, RA banner displayed for first time.

May 21 – RA comrades among protestors who storm Sandon Point and pull down the construction site fence and inner compound. Seven arrested.

Illawarra Mercury front page May 21, 2002.

May 23 – Sandon Point direct action. 16 arrested. RA comrades charged with trespass, assault police, resist arrest and hinder police.

Daily Telegraph, May 24, 2002.

June – Tea talks, Rebel uni., NO WAR meetings.

June 19 – Court cases of RA comrades arrested at Sandon Point begin.

August – Fifth issue of enRAged produced. Articles – Sandon Point actions, Green Parties or Green Revolution, Our May Day 2002, and Time. 

August 24 – Sandon Point rally.

September 24 – NOWTO meeting at Greenspace begins local preparations for Sydney protests against meeting hosted by the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

October – NOWTO and NO WAR meetings.

October 31 – NOWTO Forum at Greenspace.

November 2 – NO WAR march through Wollongong against impending attack on Iraq.

November 3 – NOWTO training day at uni.

November 14 – NOWTO march through Sydney, attacked by police, RA comrade beaten by police and arrested.

November 15 – NOWTO march and demo at WTO meeting.

November 26 – NOWTO debrief meeting.

December – Illawarra Direct Action Support Collective (IDASC) formed, Sandon Point court cases continue.

2003

January – RA women’s reading group begins, NO WAR meetings, IDASC meeting.

Issue six of enRAged produced. Articles – War and terror, September 11, ASIO powers, Secret Sailor books, How RA organises, direct democracy, health and revolution, and making love.

February 8 – NO WAR march through Wollongong, thousands take part in the city’s largest ever peace march.

February 16 – Peace march in Sydney. Two hundred and fifty thousand take part – shutting down the city for hours.

March – NO WAR march, various peace actions, Zero War conference in Canberra.

March 19 – Invasion of Iraq begins.

Issue seven of enRAged produced. Articles –  No War, WTO, Bike Project, and Towards a New Cold War.

May 1 – m1 ‘Fuck work lets party’ in McCabe Park.

May 3 – May Day march.

August 9 – NO WAR Hiroshima Day demo. Winter Grimace Party’ in McCabe Park.

November – Issue eight of enRAged produced. Articles – Revolt against war, Sick Puppy Syndrome, Time of Your Life, Watching s11 on TV, and Anarchy/Anarchism.

The Praxis of Revolutionary Action: Class, Autonomy & Democracy

Mark Gawne’s honours thesis on Revolutionary Action (RA). Mark engages with the problem of radical democratic practice, class and autonomy through an analysis of the praxis of RA.  This analysis provides a foundation for his argument that small autonomous collectives can be effective and influential within class struggle. However, Mark’s examination of RA’s praxis also seeks to identify and critique weaknesses within the collective by analysing internal difficulties, points that hindered the effectiveness of the collective’s organising, and contradictions between theory and practice.