Thursday, August 16, 2007

Socialist Alliance WA State Conference Draws Activists

Socialist campaigners, gathered at the Maritime Union of Australia WA office, nominated senate candidates for the coming elections and endorsed activist movements at the WA Socialist Alliance state conference on August 11.

Close to 50 people attended, representing a range of activists, campaigns and branches.

A plenary session on strategies for combating WorkChoices heard CFMEU State Assistant Secretary Joe McDonald, AMWU State President Steve McCartney, MUA State Secretary Chris Cain and SA National Industrial Co-ordinator, Sue Bolton.

The Indigenous Rights workshop, attended by 15 people and addressed by Noongar academic Professor Ted Wilkes, discussed the need for an Indigenous-led campaign to stop the attacks by the Howard government. Members of West Australians for Racial Equality, WA Deaths in Custody Watch Committee and Women in Black also contributed.

Justice for migrant workers was the topic of the 457 Visa workshop, addressed by AMWU organiser, Joel Asphar, and Migrante activist Annibeth Desierto.

In the Climate Change workshop, Tim Hemsley from the Australian StudentsÆ Environmental Network accused the capitalist system of causing the current crisis. Australia û Cuba Friendship Society and SA member, Nancy Herrera, outlined some of the achievements of socialist and sustainable Cuba. Annolies Truman, SAÆs candidate for Pearce, showcased the Socialist Alliance's new Climate Change Charter.

The final session highlighted the need for a mass socialist party in Australia for upholding workersÆ rights. This session pre-selected Trent Hawkins and Julie Gray as Senate candidates in the up-coming federal election.