Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Annolies Truman for Pearce

Annolies Truman is a community activist who advocates environmental sustainability and human rights. Annolies taught English to migrants for 12 years and knows about the plight of refugees from personal experience. As a community project officer, she worked for the closure of the Waterloo Incinerator, a major polluter in Syndey. She has been a trainer for Earthworks, a community waste reduction program, and has taught Permaculture.

Annolies is a convenor of the Perth Hills branch of the Socialist Alliance. She co-founded the Hills No War Alliance in early 2003, which will continue to meet and organise anti-war activity in the Hills until Australian troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has been involved in the Aboriginal Rights movement since the 1980's and participated in the Sydney-based Deaths in Custody Watch Committee. She currently tutors Indigenous students. She is outraged at the Howard government's treatment of Indigenous people and is proudly part of the Alliance's defence of Aboriginal Rights.

Annolies said, "In my view, the rights and living standards of Indigenous Australians is the most serious human rights issue facing us in Australia today. Aboriginal people have a life expectancy 17-18years lower than non-Indigenous Australians, and the average infant mortality rate is three times higher than that of the rest of the Australian population."

"Since its election in 1996, the Howard government has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in services to Indigenous communities. While the government ended the 2005 financial year with its federal budget $13.6 billion in surplus, basic primary health-care services for Aboriginal communities are under-funded by at least $450 million each year."

Annolies continued: "Instead of taking action to empower Indigenous people through a Treaty and bill of rights, to end the Third World living conditions in Indigenous communities, and to pay compensation for the horrific abuses of the past, the Howard government is instead sending in the army to police Indigenous communities under the cynical pretext of stopping child abuse. This measure will fail to solve social problems resulting from extreme poverty and marginalisation,
and shifts control away from Aboriginal land councils to the federal government, something that willtake native title backwards 40 years."

"The Socialist Alliance has played a central role in standing side by side with Aboriginal Australians in campaigns for justice; we are part of the ongoing struggle against deaths in custody, and for justice for the victims of police brutality, such as Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee and Redfern teenager TJ Hickey. Mass protest movements can change not only government policy, but also the attitudes of large numbers of people."

"The Socialist Alliance is committed to working with others to build people-power movements that don't just win a small gain here and there, but make real change. We don't just stand against racism: we recognise that it is an essential tool of the ruling minority to divide us from each other under this system, and we stand for an alternative. We're about trying to work together towards another type of society — one that is based on equality, democracy and sustainability, in which we can truly make racism history."