Western Australian MUSAA Conference
The socialist countries have imposed a check on capitalism but since the break-up of the Soviet Union the capitalist system had "grown new legs". There were now no borders for international capitalism, said Mick Doleman, from the Sydney Branch of the Maritime Unions Socialist Activities Association (MUSAA).
Mick was giving the opening address to the Western Australian State Conference of the MUSAA.
The conference was held in Perth over the weekend of February 27-28 1999. It brought together a wide range of speakers who, among other things, were united by the fact that all (except Gerry Adams) had participated on the picket lines during the MUA dispute.
For two days a long agenda of visiting speakers addressed members.
The conference was also addressed by Tony Cooke Secretary WA Trades and Labour Council (T&LC); Keith Peckham President of the WA T&LC; Christina Gillgren, a State Executive member of the WA ALP; Ramona Mitussis, a trade union activist; Dr Rob Lambert, the convenor of the WA T&LC International Committee; Vinicio Molina from the Cuba Friendship Society; John Gandini Convenor Trade Union Support Group for East Timor; Terry Buck, Secretary MUA WA Branch; Dr Carmen Lawrence, MHR; Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of MUSAA; Vic Williams, Secretary, Perth Branch of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA); and Peter Symon, CPA General Secretary.
It was opened by the WA President of MUSAA, Dean Sommers, who recalled the many activities of MUSAA members in WA.
Two international visitors also spoke to the Conference: Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein, who was in Perth on the last stage of his visit and Mike Williams representing the Seamen's Union of New Zealand.
The conference adopted resolutions of solidarity with East Timor, Sinn Fein, Cuba and East Timor.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton found himself in a political bind over Northern Ireland, caught between powerful Irish-Americans in Congress and the British government over whether to grant a visa to an Irish Republican Army wing leader. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and 38 other members of Congress are strenuously urging the president to grant a visa to Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA political wing. The British wanted the visa denied. Adams and others from Northern Ireland had been invited to speak at a foreign policy conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. In the past, the United States had repeatedly denied Adams' visa requests, concluding that he is tied to terrorists.