Sunday, March 30, 2014

Alex Bainbridge speaking at GetUp candidates forum

Introduction by Alex Bainbridge at GetUp "Party On - 2014 WA senate by-election smaller party candidates forum".

The forum was attended by around 100 people in the Perth Town Hall.

"You'd be hard pressed to find anybody that doesn't have some problem or another with contemporary capitalist society," said Bainbridge. These problems are not accidental he explained but are caused by the corruption of the electoral process by corporate money.

The Socialist Alliance believes that the power of the big corporations has to be broken and that the first step is to bring the monopolised mines and banks into democratic public ownership.

Progressive parties in the WA senate election

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam at anti-fracking forum
After 1370 votes went missing during the Western Australian senate election last year, the vote was declared void. Another election has been called for April 5.

The difference between this election and the last one is that the agenda of prime minister Tony Abbott is clearer. Anti-Abbott sentiment was particularly dramatic at the March in March rally, which drew 3000 people in Perth.

Commenting on the March in March, Greens senate candidate Scott Ludlam told Green Left Weekly: “This government is unifying people across a very broad base of Australian society, such that you can have land rights activists, trade unionists, people campaigning on marriage equality, forest protection or refugee rights right across the board.”

Rural Western Australia has also been galvanised. March in March rallies were held in Geraldton, Margaret River, Denmark and Broome. The rural rallies reflect profound changes in the political landscape. Rural WA has become increasingly politicised in the past few years, particularly over the James Price Point gas hub, the coalmine proposal for Margaret River, gas fracking, genetically modified food, and education cuts.

Many people disaffected with the Abbott government are helping the Greens campaign for Ludlam to win a senate seat. According to Ludlam, over a thousand people will volunteer for the Greens on election day.

“I've never seen a volunteer mobilisation like this before,” Ludlam told GLW.

“I think in part what we are seeing is a positive reaction to our agenda, and a very strong counter-reaction to the aggressive tactics being pursued by the Abbott government. These are hard times for people with progressive values in Australia. People are being murdered in our care in prison islands. It's hard to keep our focus when we're being attacked from so many different fronts. But people aren't taking it lying down.

“Just to speak for Western Australia, I am really encouraged by the strength of the movement we're building.”

Socialist Alliance senate candidate Alex Bainbridge also emphasised the importance of mass movements, looking toward Latin America as inspiration. “Even if we had a socialist government in Australia, we would still need the support of active grassroots campaigns to genuinely break the power of the big corporations,” Bainbridge told GLW.

“There is the current process of social change unfolding in Latin America where countries like Venezuela and Bolivia are beginning to take mines and other industries into public ownership or cooperatives to be used for the common good. The Latin American revolutions are beacons of hope to the world and we want to bring that hope to this country as well.”

Progressive parties are campaigning around a wide range of issues during the election campaign. The Greens are campaigning around energy, climate change, transport, affordable housing, refugee rights and the renewable energy target. As well as the usual animal rights issues, the Animal Justice Party is also campaigning around the hugely unpopular shark cull.

The Socialist Alliance and the WikiLeaks Party have both emphasised the need to break the back of corporate power, as well as campaigning around a wide range of progressive causes

Alex Bainbridge
Speaking about the Socialist Alliance campaign to bring the mining, banking and energy sectors under public ownership, candidate Alex Bainbridge told GLW: “The mines and banks are some of the most profitable industries in this country. We need to take this wealth out of the hands of billionaires who are destroying the planet and ruining people's lives, and put it into the hands of people and communities.

“This is the only way to ensure a fair and effective transition to an economy with zero carbon pollution and to begin a process of democratisation of investment decisions in the economy.

“The mines and banks belong in the hands of the community to be used for social good, not the greed of billionaires. These are highly monopolised industries that were not created by the likes of Gina Rinehart but were built by the hard work of the people who are employed by these corporations.”

In contrast to the dishonesty of the Abbott government, the Greens, HEMP and the WikiLeaks Party have all emphasised honesty and accountability in their campaigns.

WikiLeaks Party campaign coordinator Gerry Georgatos said: “WikiLeaks has stared down lying governments and transnational agencies for eight years, we will do likewise in the Australian Senate.”

A total of 77 candidates are running. There are many progressive parties running, but not all of them are preferencing other left-wing parties, choosing to enter into unprincipled deals with right-wing parties in the hope it will get them elected.

HEMP is preferencing Labor and the Palmer United Party ahead of the Greens, and Katter’s Australia Party ahead of Labor. This is despite the Greens having a much better policy on drugs and harm minimisation, compared with Labor, Katter’s Australia Party and the Palmer United Party, which do not support marijuana decriminalisation.
Independents Russell Woolf and Verity James and The Sex Party are all preferencing Labor ahead of the Greens.

A “small parties coalition” is also confusing the preferences. Some small parties have cut deals with each other simply because they are small, regardless of policy. HEMP has cut a preference deal with the right-wing Shooters and Fishers Party, preferencing them ahead of Labor and the Greens.

WikiLeaks is preferencing Labor’s Louise Pratt ahead of the Socialist Alliance, the Pirate Party, and every Greens candidate except Scott Ludlam.

Expecting a preference deal, HEMP and the Sex Party preferenced the WikiLeaks Party highly. WikiLeaks partially backed out of the deal and preferenced Ludlam ahead of them because he has been an outspoken supporter of many of the issues WikiLeaks stands for.

On the whole, the Greens and Pirate Party preferencing is principled this time around. The Greens are also pushing for an end to group voting tickets, to make it possible to vote for preferences above the line. The Socialist Alliance proudly renounces any deals, strictly preferencing according to policy.

[This article by Farida Iqbal and Kym Rowe was written for Green Left Weekly #1003.]

Friday, March 28, 2014

Socialist Alliance versus Abbott: We need your help on polling day!

The Abbott government's agenda is clear to see: attacks on workers, women, Aboriginal people, lining up the ABC and SBS for privatisation, undermining Medicare, underfunding public education, raising the pension age, cutting even the pretense of taking climate change seriously, opening up world heritage areas like the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania's forests for devastation, approving Barnett's shark cull policy, preparing to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (a bill of rights for corporations that will take away rights for people) - the list goes on. And all the while, efforts to distract attention from their attacks on people and planet, their subsidies for corporate welfare and war, with the shameful vilification and abuse of asylum seekers and refugees.

The Socialist Alliance is committed to building the strongest possible opposition to these attacks - grassroots struggles and a political force that unites them in a challenge for the better world we're sure is possible.

The WA senate election offers us a valuable opportunity to build this opposition, and we're asking for your help.

We are running two candidates, Alex Bainbridge and Chris Jenkins, to argue that it doesn't have to be like this. The corporations don't have to rule: we could take the biggest ones (like mines, banks, power sector) into public hands, share the wealth, and make a transition to an economy, society and political life in sync with the needs of people and our environment.

There are three things we're asking you to do to help our campaign.

1. Please vote number 1 for the Socialist Alliance. 

This is the way to register the strongest opposition to corporate greed and the economic rationalists in Canberra who want to keep shifting the balance in favour of the corporations. We don't do grubby preference deals: our preference flow will be on the basis of principles: to the Greens and other progressives before Labor, then the Liberals and the further right-wing parties. A vote for Socialist Alliance is a vote against the Liberals gaining control of the senate and ramming their policies through in record time.

2. Can you hand out how-to-vote cards for the Socialist Alliance on polling day (Sat April 5th)?

There are some areas we particularly want to cover, but even doing a stint at your local polling place will help get the word out that there is an alternative to dog-eat-dog capitalism. Phone Kamala 0417 319 662 or Alex 0413 976 638 to offer your support!

3. Can you make a donation to our campaign? 

Just the deposit to nominate to stand has cost $4000, and other campaign expenses come to around $4000 on top of that. We're almost there, but your donation could be critical to tip us into the black! Donations up to $1500 are tax deductible and, whether large or small, altogether will help us reach out to a broader audience.

Donations to the WA campaign team can be paid by:
* Deposit or Transfer to: Socialist Alliance State Committee [CBA, BSB: 066 003  Account: 1014 0921]
* Post cheque or money order made out to "Socialist Alliance" to PO Box 204, Northbridge 6865
* Come into the Activist Centre (15/5 Aberdeen St, East Perth - next to McIver station) (we're there most of the time but may be best to phone first to check 9218 9608 or 0413 976 638.)
* Make a credit card payment over the phone (ph 9218 9608 or 0413 976 638)

Please get in touch with us if you can help out in any of these ways, or if you have ideas about other ways to promote our campaign.


Kamala Emanuel
Socialist Alliance Perth

Monday, March 24, 2014

Join the Refugee Rights Action Network contingent to the Palm Sunday Rally

Walk for Justice for Refugees: Palm Sunday Rally

1pm April 13

St George's Cathedral
38 St George's Terrace, Perth City

Join the RRAN contingent
For info: Ph 0417 904 329 or visit:

Attend on Facebook:

DOWNLOAD: A4 poster

DOWNLOAD: 4 x A6 flyers

DOWNLOAD: 4 x A6 flyers (B&W)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Public forum: Resisting Abbott's agenda - Tues 1 April

The Socialist Alliance will be holding a forum about building resistance to Abbott's agenda of cutbacks, environmental destruction, racism and attacks on workers.

This is an important issue to address as the successful March in March protests demonstrated that there is major community opposition to the current government.

The forum will include a panel of speakers representing some of the key issues of community objection to Abbott.

Resisting Abbott's Agenda: "People-power" and politics

6pm Tues 1 April

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

Organised by Socialist Alliance. Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Attend on Facebook:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Socialist Alliance preferences

Where have Socialist Alliance preferences gone on our group voting ticket?

(The group voting ticket demonstrates where preferences will flow for those who vote 1 Socialist Alliance above the line.)

1 Socialist Alliance

2 The Greens

3 Pirate Party
4 Independent Group C (Save the ABC)
5 Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
6 Voluntary Euthanasia Party
7 The WikiLeaks Party
8 Animal Justice Party
9 Sex Party

10 Australian Labor Party

11 Australian Democrats
12 #Sustainable Population Party
13 Australian Sports Party
14 Secular Party of Australia
15 Mutual Party
16 Democratic Labour Party
17 The Nationals

18 Liberal

19 Ungrouped independent (Mubarak Kim)
20 Republican Party of Australia
21 Katter's Australian Party

22 Palmer United Party

23 Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
24 Australian Voice Party
25 Liberal Democrats
26 Building Australia Party
27 Smokers Rights
28 Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
29 Shooters and Fishers
30 Australian Christians
31 Family First Party
32 Rise Up Australia Party
33 Freedom and Prosperity Party
34 Ungrouped independent (Theresa van Lieshout)
35 Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March in March in Perth

Thousands of people marched in Perth on March 16 against the policies of the Abbott Liberal government. Around the country over 100,000 people took part in events all around the country.

The video above is from the Perth march and the video below is of the talk by Alex Bainbridge at the Perth rally.

See below for a national summary report by Green Left Weekly and a link the GLW live blog of the event.

March in March launches mass resistance to Abbott's attacks

March in March drew a big crowd in Sydney despite rain.

The March in March protests across Australia over March 15-17 were a resounding success – not just because of their size, focus and breadth.

Just as significant is the fact that March in March tore apart the idea – seeded by the cynical rhetoric of John Howard's spin doctors in the wake of the invasion of Iraq – that protests don't work.

This protest worked precisely because it brought between 80,000 and 110,000 people out of their homes and into the streets in a disparate yet united way against the Tony Abbott government's attacks. READ MORE HERE

March in March liveblog

Green Left Weekly is liveblogging March in March rallies happening this weekend. There are 31 events being held across the country. READ MORE HERE

Monday, March 17, 2014

Successful Green Left Weekly dinner

The 1000th issue of Green Left Weekly was marked in Perth with a successful dinner.

Speakers included founding supporter of Green Left Weekly Janet Parker, media researcher Thor Kerr and Socialist Alliance senate candidate Alex Bainbridge.

The night was concluded with a beautiful performance by Waveney Yasso.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vote for a real opposition

Today's West Australian reported that:

Mr Bullock, an Anglican and former Sydney University ally of Tony Abbott [and Labor's lead senate candidate], brushed off a suggestion he had more in common with the Prime Minister on abortion and gay marriage than most of his party colleagues.

But asked what Mr Abbott's weaknesses were, Mr Bullock initially refused, before it was pointed out that Mr Shorten had declared the April 5 poll a "by-election on Tony Abbott" and hadn't he better think of one.

"He speaks without thinking a bit," Mr Bullock eventually offered.

Wouldn't it be better if the ALP preselected candidates that actually opposed Abbott's policies?

If you want a real opposition, vote for the Socialist Alliance. Socialist Alliance opposes Abbott not just with words but with policies that actually challenge his agenda (which is largely shared by Labor it must be said), and with the perspective of building a grassroots people's power movement that can truly bring about change.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Green Left Weekly story

Green Left Weekly began in 1991 as a way to bring together the developing environment movement and the Left and progressive movement. GL tries to reflect the movement in action and in discussion, reflecting the controversies and the concerns as well as the achievements and celebrations.

We thank everyone who has participated in the GL story and we hope to be around for another 1000 issues and more.

You can subscribe to the paper or get it online. You can write for the paper, read the paper and help distribute it. Call us on 1800 634 206.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

GLW turns 1000: Help make history

Come along to the Green Left Weekly dinner this Saturday night - it will be a great night with:

Greetings from:
Marianne Mackay (Nyoongar Tent Embassy)
Alex Bainbridge (Socialist Alliance candidate for senate)
Thor Kerr (Curtin Uni media researcher)
Janet Parker (founding supporter of Green Left Weekly)

Menu includes:

Chilli and lime hummus dip (Vegan and gluten free)
Roasted sweet potato, cashew and coriander dip (Vegan and gluten free)
All served with Turkish bread

Thai green curry (Vegan, gluten free and served with basmati rice)
Cauliflower stir-fry (Vegan and gluten free)
Thai green salad with peanut dressing (Vegan and gluten free)
Thai cabbage slaw (Vegan and gluten free)
BBQ Thai marinated Rump steaks (Gluten free)

Mango cheesecake (Vegan and gluten free)

7pm Sat 15 March

MUA Hall, 2-4 Kwong Alley, North Fremantle

$60 solidarity/$30 waged/$15 unwaged

Book via phone (below) or online at:

Ph 9218 9608 or Alex 0413 976 638, Chris 0415 922 740, Sam 0412 751 508.

We'd love you to join us for what should be an excellent celebration.


This week, Green Left Weekly publishes our 1000th issue.

Since 2001, Green Left has reported on and been (often an influential) part the major campaigns in Australia (and a lot of minor ones too).

These have included the campaign against the first "Gulf War" in 1991, freedom for East Timor and against French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Green Left campaigned against Pauline Hanson's racism and for refugee rights. We supported the Your Rights At Work campaign and the protests against Howard's invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. When Labor has been in government we didn't give up the fight for justice. We've supported environmental causes such as the campaign to protect old-growth forests, to stop Jabiluka uranium mine, and heaps more. When women's reproductive rights were under attack, we fought back just as we supported the campaigns for equal pay and against attacks on the sole parents' pension. We helped spark the movement for equal marriage rights and for 23 years we've supported genuine action to reduce carbon emissions. The list goes on.

Reaching 1000 issues is a major achievement for any publication - let alone a progressive newspaper run on a shoestring budget and distributed by volunteers.

You can help celebrate this historic event, and give us invaluable support at the same time, by coming to the Green Left Weekly dinner this Saturday night.

[We would like to acknowledge and thank Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (FERN) and Karen Bartz for assistance with the Vegan menu and cooking facilities.]

Monday, March 10, 2014

Vote 1 Socialist Alliance for public ownership of mines banks and energy

Ordinary people are under attack
Nobody doubts that Abbott’s upcoming budget will feature major attacks on ordinary people. Medicare, pensions, ABC & SBS, education funding, women’s rights, Tasmanian world heritage forests, unions and workers’ rights, the Great Barrier Reef, anybody who cares about climate change, refugees, Aboriginal people and sole parents are all under attack. And the list goes on.

Attacking refugees won’t create jobs
It won’t create more houses, public transport or shorter hospital queues either. Abbott campaigned to “Stop the boats” because he wants you to blame refugees for society’s problems, not the politicians and billionaires who are responsible. Locking up refugees in offshore detention centres is a human rights abuse designed to distract attention from Abbott’s real agenda: cutting social services and the public sector and attacking trade unions. To defend our own interests we have to say “no” to Abbott’s human rights abuses against refugees.

Our solutions
We advocate bringing the mines, banks and power companies under public ownership so they can be run democratically for the public good. This would be the only way to ensure we move as fast as possible to 100% renewable energy. It is also the best way to ensure that the wealth produced by the community can be used for the benefit of the community. The detailed policies on our website can be summarised as standing for the billions, not the billionaires.

Preference progressives
Socialist Alliance preferences go first to the Greens and other progressive candidates and then to Labor before Liberal. Socialist Alliance never engages in dirty preference deals. We support candidates with policies closest to our own. We need your number one vote in order for your support to register.

Our pledge
We promise, if elected, to reject the high parliamentary salaries and perks and to live instead on the average wage of a skilled worker. All excess will be donated to social justice and environmental campaigns.

Alex Bainbridge is a trained teacher and coordinator of the Perth Activist Centre. He is an active campaigner for refugee rights who joined the socialist movement in 1990. Chris Jenkins is a nursing student at Notre Dame university who campaigns against the federal government’s attacks on education.

A voice from Manus Island

This video by Rez Nez is a powerful presentation of the issues surrounding the murder of a refugee on Manus Island. It includes footage from the candlelight vigil on February 23 and other refugee rights activism in Perth.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

International Women's Day toast and film screening: Made in Dagenham

Toast the radical traditions of International Women's Day and the ongoing struggles against sexism and misogyny at this film screening of "Made in Dagenham".

3pm Sat 8 March

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

Ph 9218 9608, 0417 319 662.

Organised by Socialist Alliance

Attend on Facebook:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Habanastation - a film at the Activist Centre

Organised by Australia-Cuba Friendship Society
A film for all ages 8 to 80 and an inspiration to put aside differences and come together as one.

3pm, Sunday 30 March

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

$10 / $5 conc (children free)

Two boys. Two worlds. One Cuba.

Raised in a wealthy neighborhood of Havana, 12-year-old Mayito has everything at his fingertips: loving and affectionate parents, delectable home-cooked meals, and, most recently, the latest PlayStation 3 video game console. His classmate Carlos, on the other hand, comes from a low-class residential district where he cleans and sells empty beer bottles just so he can save enough money to buy the kite of his dreams. When Mayito steps into the impoverished community for the first time, he discovers a strange new world. Carlos’ humble lifestyle both shatters Mayito’s notion of “normal” and entices him to experience it himself. Set against the backdrop of socialist labor marches, Habanastation inspires people from all social strata to put aside their differences and come together as one.

This film can't help but touch you!

More info:
Phone 0421 113 343 or 9218 9608