Monday, December 24, 2012

Vale Gavin Mooney and Del Weston: Gentle, tireless advocates for human freedom and dignity

The members and supporters of Socialist Alliance join progressive minded people across Australia and around the world in mourning the heart wrenching and tragically unexpected loss of Gavin Mooney and Del Weston.

Del and Gavin were as kind and loving in their personal dealings with everyone they met as they were committed to the liberation and freedom of all humanity. They were strong supporters of Green Left Weekly; making regular donations, hosting fund-raisers and recently making a significant contribution to the new Green Left TV project.

Gavin and Del were also keen to share their areas of professional academic expertise with activists. We remember the presentations at our 2010 Socialist Ideas seminar; Gavin on the campaign for properly funded and managed public health care, and Del on the impact of global warming on the poor in Africa.

They are well known to and will be sorely missed by campaigners for Aboriginal health, against privatisation, for refugee rights and against global warming just to name a few. We convey our deepest love and condolences to their families and many, many friends.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why the MUA is right to strike at Fremantle

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) began an eight-day strike at the Fremantle Port Authority on December 17. The strike was forced on the union as a result of intransigence by the Port Authority and the state government. Over 14 months of negotiations only one issue remains unresolved: that the workers deserve a guarantee that jobs and conditions will be maintained in the event that the Port Authority is privatised.

The state government says they don't intend to privatise the port but refuse to sign off on that final condition. This is therefore a dispute about job security and an early warning to the state government that the MUA is prepared to stand strong against privatisation.

This is the latest video by Green Left TV.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sam Wainwright: How to change a destructive system

Sam Wainwright
It's pretty obvious for anyone that cares to look that capitalism is a socially destructive and ecologically unsustainable system.

Based on the unequal distribution of wealth, it condemns billions to living in poverty worldwide.

In more wealthy places like Australia, where workers have much higher incomes, capitalism invents products for us to spend money on just as quickly as we win a wage increase. That we have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world is but one proof that it doesn't provide people with a meaningful existence.

Now the worsening climate crisis -- caused by capitalism’s endless accumulation of profit and wealth -- threatens the very basis of life on earth.

Paradoxically the solutions lie around unused. The Beyond Zero Emissions team have estimated that Australia could shift to 100% renewable energy for all its electricity production by 2020 for less than the cost of one cup of coffee per day per Australian.

It's not a lack of technology or knowledge that blocks meaningful action on climate change, but the very system of capitalist ownership which profits from misery and destruction. Socialists are often painted as naïve day-dreamers. But the mirage of green capitalism is our living nightmare.

If we had democratic control over strategic economic decision making - a socialist society - we could already be on the road to a clean energy. But how to wrest control of our society out of the hands of big business? In abstract it's easy, “One solution. Revolution”.

The workers and farmers of the world produce its wealth. If one day they could seize control of the land, factories, banks, mines, transportation and telecommunications systems. If they could brush aside the governments and state machines that rule on behalf of the super-rich, and replace them with new democratic systems that represented the majority, then we could really begin the task of creating a society based on human need and sustainability.

While this simplified “instant coffee” vision of revolution makes it easy to describe, it makes it harder to imagine it ever happening, especially in Australia.

So many working people are influenced by pro-capitalist ideas. Others agree that the system sucks, but can't imagine it being any different. The democratic and revolutionary transformation of society is a nice but unlikely fantasy.

Capitalism doesn't require enthusiastic consent - pessimistic resignation is fine. So how do we convince people to get involved in the struggle for a better world?

It's the very economic, social and political crises of capitalism itself that will draw large numbers of people into action against it. Because of this we try to encourage and develop any and every struggle against the injustices of capitalism, whether it’s a campaign to stop coal seam gas or win equal pay for women.

It's only through such struggles that most people will come to see capitalism for what it is and get a taste of their potential power for change. The majority of people will not be won to socialism in the abstract, it must become a practical question.

But it's not enough just to be involved in immediate struggles. Armed with the experience of history and tested political ideas, socialists seek to respond to capitalism's crises with solutions that point to the need for a different kind of society and economy.

A struggle for socialism is a struggle for more democracy. This includes democratic control over the economy.

Marx and Lenin were spot on when they described the political regime we live under as a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.” However they were writing at a time when most working men, let alone women, had not even won the right to vote. So the language socialists use needs to acknowledge this and champion the democratic rights we do enjoy, no matter how incomplete and fragile they are. After all they were won through hard and bitter struggle.

We need more representation, citizen participation, participatory budgeting, elected but recallable officials, freedom of information, proportional representation, referenda and democracy in the workplace. It's the extension of democracy, most especially in the workplace and economic decision making that is incompatible with capitalism.

Society cannot be transformed through purely legal parliamentary means without a decisive and revolutionary rupture with capitalism. The capitalists will never peacefully surrender their power and privilege no matter the legalities. The long blood-stained list of democratically elected governments overthrown with the help of the CIA is proof of that.

But the struggle for more democratic reforms, serious wealth redistribution and to defend a popular pro-worker government against sabotage and coup plotting by the capitalists may very well be the terrain where such a decisive struggle over political and economic power comes to a head. This has been the experience of Venezuela. The coup plotters have been stopped, repeatedly, by the massive mobilisation of the country's poor in the streets and in the workplaces.

In the 2013 federal election Socialist Alliance will be campaigning for policies to nationalise the banks and mining companies, to bring them under democratic community ownership and control. We want to get people thinking about the need to break the power of big business over our political, economic and social life. There is just no possibility of enduring social justice or environmental sustainability without it. It's something we' all have to fight for.

[This talk was presented by Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright to a Socialist Ideas Conference in Melbourne. It was published in Green Left Weekly on December 9, 2012. Wainwright is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Willagee.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Refugee Rights action for human rights day

The photos above are from the December 9 Refugee Rights Action Network action for human rights day (December 10).

Socialist Allliance announces candidates for March state election

Farida Iqbal, candidate for Perth
Socialist Alliance will run three candidates in the March 9 elections in Western Australia. The main message of the campaign is that the state government should take steps to bring the big mining companies operating in the state into public ownership. This will make it possible to fund urgent social justice and environmental projects in WA.

“The mining boom has brought tremendous wealth to the Gina Rineharts of the world,'' Socialist Alliance candidate for Perth, Farida Iqbal, told Green Left Weekly. “But while the 1% are counting their profits, a lot of people in WA are doing it tough.'

“Perth faces a rising homelessness problem and all over the state people are suffering from high rents or mortgage stress. We need more public housing and the money should come from the mining billionaires.''

Fremantle Councillor and candidate for Willagee Sam Wainwright said: “It is not just housing. “We need a big expansion of public transport, the beginnings of serious work to build renewable energy infrastructure and to reverse the petty cost-cutting of the Barnett government, which is imposing cuts on social services across the board.'

“Labor and Liberal governments have written the rules for the big mining companies, which means their activities are not genuinely accountable to the community and they get away with paying woefully inadequate royalties and minimal tax.”

Iqbal also points to the fact that the mining industry is already the target of several campaigns. “WA farmers, environmentalists and Aboriginal communities are already forced to fight the mining industry tooth and nail to protect the state's farmland, water supply and indigenous heritage,'' she said.

“This is notable in the case of gas 'fracking', which is just starting up in WA despite growing concern. Previously, the Margaret River community had to fight a major campaign against coalmining. The ultimate success of the Margaret River campaign proves that the mining industry is not invincible when people mobilise against them.''

Sam Wainwright, candidate for Willagee
Wainwright says there is a critical issue of democracy involved in the campaign to bring the mines under public ownership. “You can't control what you don't own,” said Wainwright. “Since the people need control of the mining industry, the people should own it.'

“Our first plan would be to immediately close down the Toro uranium mine and any other uranium mines that get approved by the current government.

“Second, we'd develop a plan for a rapid phasing out of coal, oil and gas extraction in favour of renewable alternative.

“Third, we'd use the wealth from the rest of the mining industry to boost social services like public housing, education, health and public transport.''

All the Socialist Alliance candidates have long records as social justice campaigners. Iqbal is a long -term campaigner for equal marriage rights and also plays a big role in the campaign against gas “fracking''. She has been working as an anthropology tutor at the University of Western Australia.

Wainwright is a long time unionist who is now working as a disability support worker. Previously he was the editor of the Maritime Union's Rank and File newspaper. He is also the first Socialist Alliance member to have been elected to the Fremantle Council.

Sanna Andrew is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fremantle. She is a social worker and an activist in the Australian Services Union. She played an active role in the successful ASU campaign for Equal Pay and has also been a long time supporter of Aboriginal rights.

Gas Free Kimberley protest

Protest actions took place in Perth, Broome and around the country on December 8 to stop the James Price Point gas development.

Video above by Green Left TV's Zeb Parkes in Broome. Photo to the left from Hands Off Country blogsite.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Free Speech 'tongue-lashing'

The Perth Voice has reported the court case involving Kamala Emanuel and the right to protest on the front cover of its December 8 issue (after the advertising wrap-around).

"On Wednesday [November 28] medical doctor Kamala Emanuel fronted court charged with failing to obey a move-on notice," the paper reported.

"It had been issued during an April protest by the Socialist Alliance [actually No Fracking Way], at which 160 protesters turned up to oppose hydraulic fracturing in the Perth basin."

"During the protest Perth City Council rangers cracked down on 'unauthorised signs'."

"They called in the police who confiscated signs. Video shows one officer taking a petition from protestors and standing on it to prevent them retrieving it."

"Dr Emanuel refused to hand over her banner and was charged with failing to comply with a move-on notice," the paper said.

The paper quoted local activist Victoria Martin-Iverson as saying that it was "disgusting for the PCC to pass laws to say people cannot stand in the streets of this city and communicate with the public".

Solidarity protest, 28 November.
Socialist Alliance co-convenor Alex Bainbridge was also quoted saying that Emanuel "had the temerity to hold a banner which police tried to seize, a banner that incidentally opposed the social and environmental damage of the gas industry."

After one day of evidence, Emanuel's trial was adjourned until January 24. Another solidarity protest will be held outside the Perth Magistrate's Court at 9am on the day.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Socialist Alliance end of year BBQ

Relax and toast another year of campaigning for social justice at this end-of-year event for Socialist Alliance and Green Left Weekly.

$15/$8 for all-you-can-eat BBQ and salad spread

3pm Sunday 16 December

21a Jarvis Street, O'Connor

Attend on Facebook:

Ph 0412 751 508

Friday, November 30, 2012

Protest against uranium for Toro AGM

Anti-uranium activists staged an action at the Perth headquarters of mining company Toro to coincide with its November 28 annual general meeting in Adelaide.

The company is trying to build WA's first uranium mine (Wiluna) against the wishes of the majority of West Australians.

Activists gave the company a practical demonstration about how hard it is to clean up after a nuclear accident by attempting to clean up yellow cake in the company office.

The company said that the action was an act of intimidation whereas the reality is that it is the company and the state and federal governments that are trying to foist their agenda onto the people of WA.

[Photos and video supplied by Footprints for Peace.]

Trial adjourned for protester

Solidarity protest outside court, November 28, 2012
An important trial dealing with the right to protest was adjourned on November 28 after it went longer than the one day scheduled for the hearing.

Perth activist Kamala Emanuel was charged with refusing to obey a police direction to leave a legal and peaceful protest against gas "fracking" in April.

The police direction (in the form of a "move-on notice") was issued as council rangers tried to seize banners, placards and stall tables which they claimed were violating by-laws. This attempted repression sparked a free speech campaign in Perth which was victorious when council rangers stopped harassing protest actions.

Emanuel's move-on notice was issued using the false pretext that she was being disorderly. The defence is arguing that the move-on notice was invalid.

Kamala Emanuel
A victory for Emanuel in this current case would confirm the earlier success of the free speech campaign and would also be a blow to the rampant use of move-on notices by police.

Twenty people joined a protest outside the court on the morning of the trial. Most participants were members of one or more of No Fracking Way, Refugee Rights Action Network, Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative.

During the hearing, representatives of the Nyoongar Tent Embassy attended to show solidarity with Emanuel.

The trial has been adjourned until January 24. A solidarity protest will take place on the morning of that court appearance as well.

[Photos and article by Alex Bainbridge for Green Left Weekly.]

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Louise Pratt: Blood on your hands

Perth action in solidarity with Iranian hunger striker Omid who is facing death due to the Australian government's refusal to grant his modest demands to be treated like a human being and to have his asylum application processed in Australia.

This light pole is largely responsible for what little media coverage the action got (except Green Left of course). The light pole fell over during a storm that happened the same day outside Louise Pratt's office. Media turned up for the light pole but not a hunger striker nearing death for no reason other than he is a refugee unfairly sent to the Nauru detention centre.

The action was organised by Refugee Rights Action Network and took place outside ALP senator Louise Pratt's office. Pratt used to be a member of Labor for Refugees but hasn't spoken up very loudly against the current incarnation of the Pacific "Solution".

Monday, November 26, 2012

Video from Equal Marriage rally

More photos and brief story here.

Perth rallies for Gaza

Up to 200 people rallied for Gaza in Perth city on November 25. The demonstration was organised by Friends of Palestine WA.

The rally adopted the following demands:

As a matter of urgency, we call upon the Australian government to:

  • unreservedly condemn Israel's attacks on targets across Gaza, including schools, homes, government buildings, media centres, electricity transformers, and other infrastructure
  • use any and all diplomatic means required to ensure Israel cannot renew its assault on Gaza
  • propose that Israel be forced to pay war reparations
  • demand the immediate and unconditional lifting of the siege of Gaza
  • suspend all economic, diplomatic and military ties with the state of Israel until it complies with international law and accedes to a just settlement with the people of Palestine

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Perth Equal Marriage Rally - 24 Nov 2012

Between three and four hundred people marched through the streets of Perth on November 24 in the latest rally for marriage equality.

Speakers noted that recent votes in federal parliament had not resulted in equal marriage rights in Australia yet, however, internationally and locally the momentum is building.

Local politicians Lynn MacLaren (Greens) and John Hyde (ALP) both congratulated protesters but advocated votes for their own parties as the way to ensure marriage equality is won. By contrast, Equal Love WA representatives put the emphasis on continued mobilisations to pressure the government for change. also has a range of photos and reports from the rally.

Socialist Alliance supports equal marriage and has members actively involved in the Equal Marriage campaign.

Forum after the Gaza rally

Post-Gaza rally forum

Understanding the "Palestine-Israel conflict":
How freedom for Palestine can be won!

Why does Israel attack again and again? What is Zionism? Can this conflict ever end?

These questions and more will be taken up at this forum after the Gaza rally.

3pm, Sunday 25 Nov

Perth Activist Centre
15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth (next to McIver station)

Attend on Facebook:

Hosted by Socialist Alliance and Resistance

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Defend the Right to Protest: Drop the charges against Kamala Emanuel

Perth activist and women’s health doctor, Kamala Emanuel, faces court on November 28 for her role in a protest against gas “fracking” in April. (Video here.)

Council rangers tried to shut down the protest claiming that holding a banner was against their by-laws. Emanuel received a move-on notice by police and has been charged with not obeying a police direction to stop taking part in a legal, peaceful protest.

Join the solidarity protest:

9am, Wed 28 Nov

Perth Magistrate's Court (501 Hay Street, Perth)

Attend on Facebook:

Ph 0413 976 638 for more info.

More info: Defend the right to protest: drop the charges on Kamala Emanuel

DOWNLOAD: A4 poster (PDF)

DOWNLOAD: A6x4 flyers (PDF)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rally for Gaza: Stop Israel's military assault

Friends of Palestine WA has called an emergency rally to stop Israel's military assault on Gaza

Sun 25 Nov

1pm, Murray Street Mall, Perth City (outside Perth Underground Station)

Attend on Facebook:

FOPWA will also be holding an emergency planning meeting for this rally on: 6:30pm, Tuesday 20 November, CitiPlace Community Centre (Perth train station concourse level). Please come along to have input into planning this event.

Israel has once again attacked the population of Gaza. Bombs have been dropped on Gaza killing more than 80 people, including children.

The Israeli military is now determined to engage in a large scale offensive against the Palestinians. If Israel is not stopped, these most recent Israeli attacks could escalate to the same scale as the Gaza massacre of 2008/9.

Supporters of Palestinian rights cannot just stand by and watch this happen! We saw what Israel is capable of in the last Gaza massacre. Over 1400 Palestinians were killed as Israel used weapons – including illegal chemical weapons – against civilians. This must not happen again!

Come to the protest in solidarity with Gaza next Sunday. Take a public stand against Israel, and condemn the Australian government for unconditionally supporting them during this latest atrocity!

This rally was called by FOPWA at the emergency speakout in solidarity with Gaza onthe evening of Friday, November 16th.


DOWNLOAD: A5x2 PDF leaflets

Solidarity for Gaza in Perth

Seventy five people took part in an emergency solidarity action for Gaza called at 24 hours notice on November 16.

Speakers highlighted that this was an aggressive action by Israel - which is the occupying power - and the excuses given for the attack don't stack up to scrutiny.

Children - including 11 month old baby Omar - were among the first victims of Israel's "surgical strikes" against "militants".

At the end of the demonstration, people voted to organise a solidarity rally on Sunday 25 November, 1pm in the Murray Street Mall, Perth City.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Emergency solidarity action for Gaza

Friends of Palestine has called an emergency action in solidarity with the people of Gaza and in opposition to the military assault on that besieged strip of land:

Friday 16 November

5:30pm, Murray Street Mall
(outside Perth Underground Station), Perth City

Attend on Facebook:

GLW: Gaza activist: 'Israel has declared war, act now'

Israel has launched a fresh full-scale war on the besieged people of Gaza. As well as assassinating a Hamas spokesperson (and publicly threatening all Hamas representatives), more than 10 people had been killed by November 15. The dead reportedly includes Omar, an 11-month-old baby whose father works for BBC Arabic.

Disturbingly, the Israeli Defense Force is "live tweeting" its murderous assault.

Green Left Weekly's Patrick Harrison and Peter Boyle spoke to Shamikh Badra, a Gaza-based activist with the left-wing Palestine People's Party who recently toured Australia, about Israel's latest killing spree. The interview took place on the morning of November 15, Sydney time.

* * *

What is the situation like in Gaza Strip? Are the attacks taking place across the whole area?

Over the past 48 hours, the Israeli army has escalated their aerial and ground attacks against the Gaza Strip. More than 10 people have been killed so far in the Israeli operation named “Pillar of Defence” within the last seven hours, including countless children such as seven-year-old child Ranan Arafat and an 11-month old baby. More than 50 others, including six women and 12 children, have been wounded.

Four of these deaths and 38 of the injuries, some of them serious, resulted from an Israeli attack in the al-Shoja’iya neighbourhood east of Gaza City which occurred on Sunday.

We’ve seen charred bodies of dead and injured children pouring in to Al Shifa hospital of Gaza City and the other depleted hospitals around the Gaza Strip. There have been at least 50 air strikes all over the Gaza Strip so far. Deafening explosions shook us all as bombs landed close to us in the streets near the Universities -- the windows of my house were broken as a result of Israeli bombing.

Huge explosions are landing all around us in Gaza City now as I write, some entire families have been injured. All the infrastructure of Gaza is coming under attack at this point -- power, water, roads, houses, farms and civilians. We can also hear the shelling of Israeli Gunships. There has been announcements of possible Israeli land invasion very soon. READ MORE

Friday, November 9, 2012

Perth solidarity with Nauru refugees

Video from the Refugee Rights Action Network protest in solidarity with Nauru refugees.

Features speeches by Victoria Martin-Iverson and Phil Chilton.

After protesting outside the Perth office of the Department of Immigration (DIAC), protesters proceeded to the nearby bridge over the freeway where numerous trucks and cars below honked horns in support.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some recent updates from Freo Councillor Sam Wainwright

Sam Wainwright: Fremantle Councillor and
Socialist Alliance member
Reclaim the Night boosts campaign against domestic and family violence:

Cappucino Strip: Remove the buses or the cars?

Port Authority scare campaign over wind farms

Speaking at Occupy: Where's the money going to come from?

Mr Buswell: Show some respect - fund Warrawee

Banning begging: unfair and unworkable

Free speech not so free at NDU

Friends of Palestine boycotts Veolia

The article on the left is the report from the Perth Voice about the Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) action on Saturday October 27.

FOPWA is calling on the WA government to cancel contracts with Veolia because of its relationship with Apartheid Israel.

Veolia runs CAT buses and other parts of the Perth bus service through a  subsidiary called "Southern Coast Transit".

Veolia also runs transport services to illegal settlements in occupied Palestine. These services reinforce the process of building and maintaining these settlements which violate Palestinian rights (as well as international law). These Veolia run services have also discriminated against Palestinians in terms of access and employment.

[See below a letter by Friends of Palestine WA member Alex Bainbridge to the Perth Voice in response to the article.]
Thanks for reporting the Friends of Palestine campaign calling on the state government to cancel contracts with Veolia. It is Veolia which runs parts of the bus system in Perth (via a subsidiary) and which is complicit in human rights abuses in occupied Palestine.
Public Transport Authority spokesperson David Hynes responded by saying the PTA has a good relationship with Veolia which generates "high level[s] of satisfaction".
This is reminiscent of the supporters of Italian Fascism who praised Mussolini for having the trains run on time.
Perth people care about human rights and we should not be using taxpayers money to prop up the profits of a company that benefits from Israeli Apartheid and the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that John Hyde is incorrect to accuse the BDS movement of "anti-Semitism".
The BDS movement is entirely devoted to pressuring Israel to comply with international law and to stop discriminating against Palestinians.
There is nothing anti-Jewish about supporting human rights.

Support the Nauru Hunger Strikers: Thurs 8 Nov

Latest message from Asyulm Seekers on Nauru (9pm, Mon 5 November 2012):

Today dated 5/11/2012, we all asylum seekers in Nauru Hell are on hunger strikes, today is our 5th day of hunger strike, and this is very clear from our hunger strike that in which conditions we are.

We want the attention of the people of Australia to know about our bad conditions and to make a voice against this inhumanity. The conditions here we have, we are living here in crowded tents in a hot and humid temperature of 42 Celsius without having any fans and A/C for unknown time. In this modern period nobody wana keep domestic animals in such worst environment.

We come to peaceful Australia because, we were not safe and we were confined to a limited area in our home land but again we are facing the same problem.

Till now no body is asking about our hunger strike, day by day number of collapsing asylum seeker is increasing. Today 15 more asylum seekers collapsed on the 5th day of hunger strike, till now 70 asylum seekers have been collapsed.

We are requesting to lower and the people of Australia to make voice for the humanity and us to save our lives and future because in this wild environment asylum seekers are attempting suicides, hurting themselves and now we have started hunger strike.

Show your support for justice for refugees by joining the protest on:

Thursday 8 November
12:30pm, Department of Immigration and Citizenship
836 Wellington Street, West Perth

In particular, show your support for the demands of the hunger strikers on Nauru:

1) The most important appeal is that if Australian Government should have attention to our cases and take us back to Australia.

2) We request the Australia Government to visits us and see us in bad condition of our lives.

3) Close the Nauru detention center.

4) We accept Australia as a democratic country, where people are being treated equally and as a human being, we expect the same treatment.

For more details and more ways to help, contact Refugee Rights Action Network

See also: VIDEO: Nauru hunger striker speaks out for freedom

and: Despairing refugees protest, self-harm on Nauru

and: Refugees say Salvos wrong about Nauru

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Refugees in Nauru call for freedom

[Statement released by refugees on Nauru 3 November 2012]

Asylum seekers Nauru

To whom it may concern

The government of Australia and human rights

There is a big difference between criminal and asylum seekers, but the Australian does not take care of the difference between asylums seekers of Nauru camp, Darwin and curtain camp, are treated differently.

As a human being in this critical condition, we are not being given the fair treatment , which affect us physically and mentally. This bitter reality torture us 24 hours means all days. In our home land we were in a danger of being tortured physically, but here we are facing mental tortured which are effecting us mentally.

All these sorrowful information have been provided to world through telephone, mails and email but haven’t been given any response.

Today we all got together to declare that we will continue our gathering until getting our rights. The following are our demands.

1) The most important appeal is that if Australian Government should have attention to our cases and take us back to Australia.

2) We request the Australia Government to visits us and see us in bad condition of our lives.

3) Close the Nauru detention center.

4) We accept Australia as a democratic country, where people are being treated equally and as a human being, we expect the same treatment.

At last we want to thanks people who help us …

Green Left TV video interview with a Nauru refugee 1 November 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Education for Socialists

Preparation for Socialist Alliance meeting 21 Nov 2012

The article below is a suggested reading in preparation for this meeting. It is still worth attending the meeting, even if you don't have time to read the article. A video presentation (18 minutes) of similar content is available below.

A 'workers government' as a step towards socialism By John Riddell

Supplementary reading
This is reading if you're extra keen

The Comintern's unknown decision on workers' governments

Workers governments and socialist strategy - a discussion

Latin Fiesta for Cuba

A hot Latin Fiesta to celebrate the night away part of the Fremantle Festival.

Join us and dance to the rhythms of SON LATINO.

Learn your dance steps with Dance Instructor Liliana Sputore.

Cheap drinks and food on sale.

Tickets on sale now. $25 pre sale, $30 at the door if available.
ACFS/Workers club members $20.

7:30pm Sat 3 November
Fremantle Workers Club, 9 Henry Street, Freo

Buy on-line:

Book by Email: or call 0419812872

For more information visit:

Everyone is welcome. Organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society

Rally for Marriage Equality: Sat Nov 24

The next rally for marriage equality will be on:

Saturday 24 Nov

1pm, Stirling Gardens
(also known as Supreme Court Gardens)
corner Barrack St & St Georges Terrace

Organised by Equal Love

Attend on Facebook:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reclaim the Night Fremantle

Reclaim the Night, Fremantle
In what one longstanding Perth feminist activist described as the biggest Reclaim the Night march in Perth in 20 years, 3-500 people - women, children and men - rallied and marched in Fremantle on October 26, for an end to violence against women.

Gathering at Pioneer Park, participants heard incoming Murdoch University women's officer Amy Hoogenboom argue the need for consent education. “You need consent every time,” she said. “Consent is not “no” or “not now” or “maybe.””

Zoe Bush, an activist with the Feminist Action Network at the University of Western Australia, described rape culture and the fight against it at the UWA. She explained that while rape is the purest expression of rape culture, it is a more pervasive phenomenon that includes blaming and doubting the victim, trivialising its seriousness and even condoning, if not actively endorsing rape.

A speaker from Warrawee - Australia's first purpose-built women's refuge - described the crucial front-line services it provides to women leaving domestic violence and reclaiming the lives they deserve. She called for an expansion of services, explaining that in the past year alone, they hadn't been resourced enough to meet the need for accommodation for more than a small fraction of the many women and their children referred to them.

As rally participants marched through the bar and café strip of Fremantle, they attracted a lot of attention, chanting “Women have the right - to walk the streets at night - without the fear of rape!” “Break the silence! Stop the violence!” and “Wherever we go and however we dress, No means no and yes means yes!” Many participants carried placards with anti-violence messages. Union banners, flags and t-shirts were particularly visible, with the National Tertiary Education Union, Australian Services Union, Community and Public Sector Union and Maritime Union standing out.

After the rally, there were further speakers in Kings Square.

Sarah Ross from the Refugee Rights Action Network spoke powerfully of the plight of refugee women - detained indefinitely behind barbed wire under Australia's mandatory detention policy.

Fremantle councillor and Greens member Rachel Pemberton spoke of the importance of measures to bring people out into public spaces to ensure women's safety - rather than a reliance on CCTV to help find the perpetrator after an attack, saying “that's just not good enough!”

Sex worker advocate Beck spoke out against the Barnett government's proposed law to license sex workers. The proposed licensing system would force sex workers into industrial zones, where they would be less safe. It would give greater power to parlour owners, and for sex workers who illegally work unlicensed, it would expose them to the hazards of legal harassment and act as a disincentive to report sexual assault or other violence if it - as is more likely - did occur. She criticised Adele Carles for offering her support for the bill in exchange for the establishment of a “rescue centre.” While acknowledging that some women leaving the sex industry need extra support, the majority “don't need to be rescued - if they want to get out of the sex industry, they stop doing sex work and do something else.”

This year's Reclaim the Night was organised by a new collective, comprising many campus feminist activists and some community activists. It allowed the establishment of new networks between activists involved in different campaigns and organisers are hoping it will be the beginning of stronger collaboration between feminists across Perth. At the end of the rally, participants were invited to leave their contact details with the organising group, which will use them to establish an ongoing Perth metro feminist activist network.

[This article is by Socialist Alliance member Kamala Emanuel, who was one of the organisers of the rally. It was written for Green Left Weekly #943. Photos by Alex Bainbridge.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Free Palestine Freedom Ride

Friends of Palestine is organising this action to call on the WA state government to cancel bus contracts to French multi-national Veolia and its subsidiaries.

Veolia provides transport services to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Palestinians aren't even able to use the bus services in the West Bank which is one expression of the Apartheid system in place in Israel.

Veolia discriminates against Palestinians in other ways too.

The WA government should not be boosting the profits of a company that supports Apartheid in this way.

Meet outside the Perth Train Station (over the road from the "Green Cactus")

1pm Sat 27 Oct

Contact Friends of Palestine for more info

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fighting misogyny: A Socialist Alliance forum - Wed 31 Oct

At a time when Tony Abbott is being called out on his misogyny and when Alan Jones is feeling the heat from a grassroots campaign against his offensive style of broadcasting, there is a new mood to resist the sexism rampant in Australian capitalism.

On the same day that Julia Gillard gave her inspiring speech against Tony Abbott, the ALP government moved 100,000 sole parents - mostly women - over to Newstart with a consequent cut in pay.

This forum will discuss the struggle for women's liberation today.

Kamala Emanuel
(long time feminist activist and Socialist Alliance member)

6:30pm Wed 31 October

Perth Activist Centre, 15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth (next to McIver station).

Attend on Facebook:

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638

Socialist Alliance member Margarita Windisch speaking at Reclaim the Night in Melbourne

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Aboriginal people march for sovereignty

Elders and activists from the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in Perth took to the streets on October 18 in a march to state parliament in defiance of Premier Colin Barnett's attempts to do away with native title.

Traffic was stopped as the crowd of 50 people took over St George's Terrace in Perth's CBD and made its way to parliament.

The protest delivered a petition putting the Barnett government and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) “on notice” because they are illegitimate bodies to make policy decisions affecting local Aboriginal people.

SWALSC has been in negotiations with the state government about receiving a $1 billion land and cash settlement in return for extinguishing Nyoongar native title rights.

Outrage over this proposed deal, and the marginalisation and lack of consultation with the broader Nyoongar community, led to the establishment of the Nyoongar Tent Embassy at Matagarup (Heirisson Island) in February this year, which faced severe police intimidation and repression.

This latest demonstration by local Aboriginal activists marks the continuation of the campaign for recognition of sovereignty, and the fightback against ongoing efforts to undermine those same rights.

[This article by Chris Jenkins was first published in Green Left Weekly #941. Photos by Zeb Parkes.]

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Uranium mine: 'more than the issues we'll lock on to'

Protest at Toro Energy 11 October 2012
Photos by Shane Guthrie
Twenty four hours after telling the world that "people need to start showing some respect for the environment they live in", environment minister Bill Marmion showed what he meant by that statement by approving Western Australia's first uranium mine.

The October 9 decision gives state environmental approval to Toro Energy for their Wiluna uranium mine. The mine still requires approval from the pro-uranium federal ALP government but the state approval is considered to be one of the major hurdles passed.

The state Labor opposition tries to walk both sides of the street - claiming that they are opposed to uranium mining but promising not to close down any mines approved by the current government. This current stance contrasts with the policy WA Labor had under their previous leader and is a marker of the shift to the right under Mark McGowan.

This is a mistaken policy according to Socialist Alliance candidate for Willagee Sam Wainwright. "Labor should be threatening to reverse approval for the mine and promising to utilise every democratic means possible - including the power of the people - to avoid paying a cent in compensation."

"At the moment, Labor is just giving comfort to the uranium industry and promising to give them a toe-hold to maintain their existence - just as the Bob Hawke government did in 1983 with their 'Three mines policy'."

"Socialist Alliance will be taking a policy to the next state and federal elections that the whole mining sector should be brought under public ownership," Wainwright said.

"This will mean we can immediately stop uranium mining, plan a rapid phase out of fossil fuel extraction and manage other mining projects in a way that protects the environment and allows the wealth generated to be used for the benefit of the community."

Forty people protested outside the offices of Toro Energy on October 11 in response to Marmion's decision.

Steve McCartney
Anti-Nuclear Alliance of WA spokesperson, Marcus Atkinson told Green Left Weekly that after protesting at Toro, the group moved to state parliament where they were joined by Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary Steve McCartney who gave a good speech against the approval.

Other speakers included former Greens senator Jo Vallentine and anti-nuclear campaigner Mia Pepper.

ANAWA is planning to contest the mines development in every possible way, including a possible legal challenge.

Toro managing director Greg Hall dismissed the threats, saying there would always be groups opposed to uranium mining that would "lock onto anything they can do to stop it".

Atkinson told Green Left that Hall should be prepared "because we're going to 'lock-on' to more than just the issue" of uranium mining.

[This article was written by Alex Bainbridge for Green Left Weekly #942.]