Last Friday, 8 March 2013, the Sydney Traditionalist Forum held its third documentary broadcast in its series of conservative educational films. This was the first function for this year organised by the Sydney Traditionalists for its members and associates; it marked the commencement of the 2013 calendar of Traditionalist activity in the Sydney region.
As many of our active members are university enrolled students and young professionals, the documentary series has thus far had a ‘campus flavour’. The first, which was held on Friday 8 June 2012, involved the screening of Indoctrinate U. It focused on the environment of student radicalism on American campuses and the difficulties faced by conservative students in the face of leftist harassment and discrimination. The second documentary, held on Friday 19 October 2012, was Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed. The theme remained on campus, however this time the focus was on academics working within the sciences who profess a belief in ‘intelligent design’, and the vilification they suffer as a result.
The subject of last evenings function was Sam Green and Bill Siegel’s The Weather Underground, which documented the growth of the U.S. terrorist organisation, “the Weathermen” as it evolved from a hard-line faction within the far left campus organisation Students for a Democratic Society. The film illustrated how the far left campus milieu, combined with the social and political crises of confidence among that generation provided a fertile environment for the rise of a domestic, violent reaction to the status quo. The film also provided a smooth transition into subject material which will be the topic of future presentations. These will be announced in due course, however the Sydney Traditionalist Forum can say that we will be discussing the manner in which the radical left of the turbulent 1960 created the bedrock for the so-called ‘mainstream’ left politics of today. Although many of these documentaries are produced in the United States, and are intended clearly for an American audience, the themes and issues are equally relevant to Australian conservatives.
The next screening will be organised soon and we intend to have functions on a more regular and frequent basis this year. That however depends on available resources: as a voluntary organisation with no formal patronage or sponsorship, we rely on the support of our members, to whom we are grateful. No organisation exists in the abstract, and it is only its members who make that organisation what it is, or the movement that it could be. Be that as it may, Sydney Traditionalists have also been active in other events in the conservative calendar. More recently, some of our members attended the Sydney speech of Geert Wilders, the Dutch MP, Islam critic, immigration restrictionist and author of Marked For Death (Regnery, 2012) and also partook in the second face-to-face meeting of the “Conservative Cave”, the online FaceBook group for traditional conservative and paleoconservatives in Australia and abroad.
Aside from that, we are also happy to encourage Victorian readers to contact our Melbourne and Eltham counterparts. The work done by Mark Richardson of OzConservative and the people around the Eltham Traditionalists website is contributing to the growth of a vibrant traditionalist community there. Naturally, we wish them all the best and hope one day be able to create a serious conservative opposition to the liberal mainstream of both major parties. As the hard left radicals of the 60s have shown, such culture-shifts require large scale grassroots agitation by consistently building pressure from the bottom. Only an honest conservatism, one that does not take its cues from the faux-right mainstream, can achieve this.
The Sydney Traditionalist Forum would like to acknowledge the University of Sydney Catholic Chaplaincy for their assistance in providing a venue for the screening of The Weather Underground. We would also like to thank Mr. Sam Green for providing us with the formal permission to screen the documentary. We would also like to acknowledge the presence of executive members of the University of Sydney Conservative Club, and the producers and hosts of Carpe Diem Radio, who also attended this event. We look forward to working with these associations in the future.
– SydneyTrads Editors