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Socialist Alliance Candidates 2004 federal elections
Sam Watson is the lead senate candidate for Socialist Alliance in Queensland.
Sam Watson is a well known Aboriginal leader and community activist based in Brisbane. Sam first became politically active as a high school student during the late 1960s, when radical students from across Brisbane used to gather outside the post office to hear speakers denouncing injustice. "It was there that I heard Communist Party [of Australia] speakers talk about the White Australia policy from a workers
perspective." Sam helped gather signatures to demand a referendum on including Aboriginal people in the census. When Sam enrolled at the University of Queensland he was the only Aboriginal student on campus.
His student activism spanned all of the burning issues of the day, from support for the landmark Gurindji strike of Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory to the famous "freedom bus rides" and the campaign to establish a network of Aboriginal legal aid and housing organisations in Queensland during the early 1970s. Influenced by the radical leadership of the movement to end Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war, Sam became a socialist. "I realised that the struggle of my people was not a race struggle, but one facet of a broader class struggle".
As the deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Study Centre at UQ, Sam lectures in indigneous Australian literature.
His loving partner of many years, their two adult children and eight grandchildren are part of an extended family with blood ties to two Aboriginal nations and the Torres Strait Islander people. Sam was the lead senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in Queensland in the 2001 federal election and will front the Alliance's senate team in the 2004 election.
Nicole Clevens is the number 2 Socialist Alliance candidate for the senate in Queensland.
Nicole Clevens is a 29 year old Aboriginal mother of four who has worked as a youth educator. Nicole is outraged at the appalling living conditions her people are forced to endure. Her mother, the Reverend Alex Gaitor, inspired her thirst for justice. "It can’t be simply an idea, it has to be something we all live and struggle for".
Coral Wynter is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Brisbane.
Coral Wynter is 59 years old, a mother of two daughters, and has lived in the suburb of New Farm for the past 18 years. She has been a biochemist for the past 30 years, recently in the field of cancer research.
Coral has been an active socialist for some 30 years also, and involved in campaigns for women’s rights and international solidarity over those years. She has also been heavily involved in community, social justice and environmental issues for more than three decades.
She has been interested and active in international solidarity work, especially with Latin America, where she has visited and lived for some years, speaking fluent Spanish. Coral has just returned from 3 months in Venezuela, where she was a keen observer of the revolutionary, people’s power process taking place in that country.
Coral has also been a veteran socialist candidate over two decades, running in the Brisbane area regularly for federal, state and council elections – most recently for the Socialist Alliance in the Queensland and Brisbane City Council elections earlier this year, gaining 3.5% for the SA in the council seat of Central in March 2004.
"The lies about refugee children overboard, imaginary Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the GST, Medicare and education funding are only the tip of the iceberg in this election," Wynter states. "Socialist Alliance stands for the immediate withdrawal of all Australian troops from Iraq; cuts in spending on the military; an end to detention of refugees and closure of all detention centres; and land rights and compensation for Aboriginal and Islander peoples."
Lynda Hansen is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Griffith.
Lynda Hansen is a call centre worker in Brisbane and an active member of the Finance Sector Union. She lives in Annerley and has a long-term involvement in both women’s liberation and international solidarity with the people of Latin America. She is a national executive member of Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean (CISLAC) and has recently returned from Central and South America where she attended the El Salvadorian presidential elections as an official international observer, before travelling on a fact finding tour to Venezuela and Chile.
Lynda was a founding member of the Socialist Alliance South Branch in Brisbane and is active in local social justice campaigns.
"The campaign for the seat of Griffith will encompass a strong message to demand troops out of Iraq now!; to demand the extension of Medicare and the immediate implementation of full rights for refugees. We are facing not just a war in the Middle East, but also a war on our environment. Socialist Alliance stands for a sustainable environmental recovery plan to save what is left of our forests and waterways."
Lynda ran as the Socialist Alliance endorsed candidate for the seat of South Brisbane in the recent Qld state elections, where she doubled the socialist vote!
Kylie Moon is the number 1 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in NSW.
Kylie Moon is 26 years old and is the Socialist Alliance’s number one Senate candidate in NSW. She was the national coordinator of the “Books not bombs” student strikes in 2003 and is an activist in Sydney’s Community Action Against Homophobia.
Moon recently helped organise and addressed a 500-strong rally against the Coalition and ALP passing of legislation to ban same-sex marriage, effectively institutionalising discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Moon is running as a young activist keen to mobilise the level of youth anger at the injustices in the world we live in.
Moon believes the Howard government is "moving in the exact opposite direction to our beliefs. But also, the Labor “opposition” completely fails to provide any semblance of an alternative."
Moon led protests of thousands of students against the invasion of Iraq. "Last year, Howard defied the express wishes of the Australian people , demonstrated by the largest mobilisations ever, to take us to war. Young people are right to question whether we live in a democracy."
Moon and Socialist Alliance believes young people will play a key role in changing the society we live in. "Books not Bombs were the biggest student strikes in Australia’s history, involving over 25,000 students. So much for any hopes the ruling class has that this generation does not care about injustice!"
"Young people are looking for an alternative, and that is what Socialist Alliance is trying to help build. We welcome the increasing support for the Greens, including amongst young people. But the alliance believes the solution to the problems so many young people see in the world lies in socialism — that is, a system where wealth is controlled by ordinary people and put at the service of society as a whole.
Ray Jackson is the number 2 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in NSW.
"I am running as a Socialist Alliance candidate because I firmly believe that the mainstream parties have had over 200 years to fix the so-called 'Aboriginal problem'. They've shown they cannot - at the very least I am sure that Social Alliance will do more".
"The most two critical justice issues for Australia are, firstly, to come to terms with Aborginal sovereignty, treaty and social justice; the second is to free the refugees and treat them humanely".
Of Aboriginal descent, Ray was stolen from his Aboriginal Mother at the age of two, and placed with a white family when aged about three. This history has instilled in Ray a firm commitment to justice for Aboriginal people, and opposition to all forms of oppression.
As a teenager Ray became active in trade unions, and currently he is representing Disability Pensioners.
In 1987 Ray became active in Deaths in Custody issues, and was a coordinator of the Aboriginal Deaths In Custody Watch Committee from 1991 to 1997. In 1997 Ray became a founding member of the Indigenous Social Justice Association Inc, an unfunded organisation working within gaols, Juvenile Justice, police, Courts, Coronial matters, Family issues, Education, Health, and more.
"The ISJA works in all areas where Aborigines do not have a voice", Jackson says. The most recent campaign of Ray and the ISJA has been supporting Gail Hickey and her family during the tragic times of the death of her 17 year old son.
"We cannot allow this death – another death in custody – to be whitewashed", says Jackson.
Ray's passion for justice extends to many other issues. "The criminal treatment of asylum seekers, especially their children, is a national and international disgrace". Ray has spoken at numerous protests organised by refugee action groups. Ray says he wants to be part of an urgent "healing process", with voices of the oppressed and downtrodden being heard in the parliament and on the streets.
Ray is a member of the Freedom Socialist Party, an affiliate of the Socialist Alliance.
Susan Price is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney.
Susan Price is an activist with the National Tertiary Education Industry Union (NTEU) and, at the time of writing, is the Branch Vice President (General Staff) at the University of NSW.
Susan has been active in the socialist movement for 14 years, her activism starting with campaigns for women's rights, Latin American solidarity and against the first Gulf War, while she lived in Brisbane, during the early 1990s.
Susan was involved in the Green Alliance campaign for the Brisbane City Council election in 1991, and Susan ran as a socialist candidate in the Qld State Election in 1992 against the now State Premier, Peter Beattie, gaining over 9% of the vote. Susan also stood in the 1993 Federal Election, in Brisbane ward against Federal MP Arch Bevis.
Susan is a founding member of the Socialist Alliance, and currently convenes the Sydney Central branch.
Susan is 37 years of age, and a resident of Erskineville in Sydney.
Sue Johnson is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Grayndler.
She is a union delegate with the Public Service Association and has led strike action against the Carr Labor government's cuts to the NSW public service.
Sue lives in Marrickville and was the Socialist Alliance candidate for Grayndler in the 2001 federal election.
"My campaign will focus on ending two wars," says Sue. "One war is on the people of Iraq. Millions of people have opposed the war. We can do something about it by pulling Australian troops from the US-led military occupation."
"The other war is on workers here. Howard has been a disaster for working people. $43 million is spent on the military every day. This money should be spent on health, education and social services."
"We need solidarity, not attacks on Muslims, refugees and our civil liberties."
Raul Bassi is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Blaxland.
Raul Bassi was born in Argentina and migrated to Australia in 1983. His first political demonstration was against the American invasion of Santo Domingo in 1965. He embraced socialism, anti-imperialism and joined the struggle for working class and human rights. He was a student leader during the 1966-69 Argentinean dictatorship. After "El Cordobazo" en 1969 he became a union organizer in Cordoba, organising in the movement that ended the military government in 1973.
Raul became a member of the Socialist Workers Party and a candidate for the Worker Front in Argentina, in the first elections after the military regime. After 1994, Raul fought against the reactionary peronist government and its fascist gangs. From 1976 to 1982 Raul was an activist for the trade union front fighting for democracy, in an Argentina with "desaparecidos" (disappeared) killed daily.
When he migrated to Australia, he became involved with left Labor Party campaigns. Raul fought against the GST and supporting union rights against Howard's industrial relations changes.
As a member of the Transport Workers Union, he participated against Carr's workers compensation changes. He has also been involved with organisations in solidarity with Latin America, particularly Cuba and Argentina.
Raul has been active in the movement against the Iraq war. He is a founder of the Canterbury Bankstown Peace Group and the Stop the War Coalition. Raul is a local campaigner against racist attacks and is firmly opposed to the Carr government's targeting of so called "Middle East Crime".
Raul is a National Convenor of the Socialist Alliance and a member of the Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lisa Macdonald is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Reid.
Lisa has been an active socialist for 20 years. She began life as a left activist in the women's liberation movement, helping to establish the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and Women's Shelter, where she worked for a number of years in the early 1980s. Over the last two decades she has been involved in many campaigns for women's rights and services, and has been a member of International Women's Day committees in Canberra, Adelaide and Sydney. In the 1990s, Lisa worked for a number of local councils to establish community child-care and women's services in Sydney's western suburbs.
After visiting Nicaragua in 1984, Lisa became active in solidarity with the people's struggles in Central America. She is a currently a member of Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lisa lives in Auburn where she was a founding member of the Sydney West branch of Socialist Alliance. She works closely with the large Afghan and Iraqi refugee communities in the area, and is a member of the Free the Refugees Campaign.
Lisa is a national co-convener of Socialist Alliance.
Tom Flanagan is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Page.
Tom Flanagan is a spokesperson for Lismore's No War on Iraq group and a member of the North Lismore Progress Association. A campaigner on environment and social justice issues since the Franklin River campaign, Tom was arrested in 1981 for obstructing bulldozers on Mount Nardi in what is now Nightcap National Park. Since then Tom has participated in blockading shipments of uranium in the ports of Adelaide and Darwin and was arrested at a mass walk-on at the US spy base at Nurrungar. He was a part of the national student campaign against the introduction of HECS, and is a former General Secretary of the Flinders University Students Association. In the early 90s Tom campaigned for gay law reform with the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group.
An active trade unionist, Tom was a workplace delegate for four years with the Community and Public Sector Union. He believes that any strategy to protect the environment must also protect jobs and living standards and find ways to impose democratic community control on the big corporations. "For society to be managed in the interests of the majority, ordinary people must be able to play an active part in the political process", Tom argues. He currently works as a freelance proofreader and part-time recruiter for the National Tertiary Education Union.
Chris Williams is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Cunningham.
Chris is a 26 year old part-time worker and social justice activist. He is a founding member of the Illawarra Refugee Action Collective, which has had a significant impact on Wollongong. The collective has packed out the Town Hall and filled the streets of Wollongong on a number of occasions during its campaigns against government scapegoating of asylum seekers.
For the past three years, Chris has been the assistant secretary of the South Coast May Day Committee, which in the face of Liberal attacks on working people and trade unions, has organised growing May Day rallies and toasts.
He has also played a leading role in a range of other campaigns for social justice including the Free Palestine Committee and Illawarra NoWar. NoWar was responsible for Wollongong's largest demonstration in history when it mobilised 6000 people against the impending attack on Iraq in February of last year.
Chris ran for the SocialistAlliance in the 2002 Cunningham by-election and again in the seat of Illawarra in the 2003 NSW elections. Most recently he was the Socialist candidate for Wollongong Lord Mayor in the March 2004 local NSW elections.
Peter Robson is the Socialist Alliance Candidate for Newcastle.
Peter became involved in activism against racism during protests against Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in 1998 and in 1999 helped organise a highschool walkout against racism in his home town of Gympie in Queensland.
Since then, Peter has been involved in activism mainly on university. In 2002 he helped organise a referendum of a thousand students on Newcastle University on the question of refugee rights and university contingent to the Books Not Bombs protests in 2003.
A longterm activist in the campaign to improve university funding and access, Peter is a studnet at Newcastle University and Currently Vice-president of Newcastle Uni Students' Association.
"Every day we can see examples where ordinary people can make better decisions than elites and politicians. We, as studnets and workers and the majority, have the capacity to run society in our own interests rather than the interests of big business or their mates in parliament."
Ron Bailey is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Lyne.
Ron grew up in a working class family with a union official father, and has worked at an iron industry foundry and a meatworks.
James Vassilopoulos is the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fraser.
James is the Convener of the ACT Network Opposing War. ACTNOW organised one of the largest protests in the history of Canberra on March 23, 2003 where up to 20,000 people attended to stop the war on Iraq. He passionately believes that foreign troops should get out of Iraq now to stop the killing, torture and rape of the people of Iraq. He has also been active in the Refugee Action Committee and has been on a 24-hour hunger strike as an act of solidarity with the refugees. James is a high school teacher in Canberra and a fervent believer in free public education.
James has been an active socialist for 17 years and has been involved in a range of campaigns. He participated in the 300,000-strong anti-globalisation protest in Genoa, Italy. He was a union organizer with the Communication Workers Union in 1996. He organized thousands of people to stop the murder of East Timorese and to establish an independent country. In the early 1990s James participated in the campaigns to save the south-east forests and in the AIDEX anti-militarism protests. James first got active in socialist politics during the mass campaigns for free education against the ALP.
Lalitha Chellieh is the number 1 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in VIC.
I originally come from what is now a developing nation. Malaysia introduced me to racism in school where 3 races were pitched against each other as race was used to politically organize the races into voting blocks. Traveling to Britain to do a course in nursing further opened my eyes to racism. I was born into an Indian family, within which boys are preferred to girls. Naturally I grew up a feminist. I had worked in Malaysia for about 5 years and experienced further humiliation as an Indian with dark skin. It is this spirit of fighting for rights that eventually resulted in my joining a left political group in Australia.
I worked in India on a HIV prevention project and conducted a survey of child prostitution in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. This report was later presented at the National Indian Women’s Conference.
I was one of the industrial organisers who lead one of the biggest nurse’s strike in the history of Victoria in 1986 against the Accord which was signed by the peak Employer bodies, the ACTU and the Hawke Labor government. Currently I work as a nurse, dealing with vulnerable families in the postnatal period, in the city of Moreland in Victoria. I am also a mother of 2 children and have firm views on free child care and services to support families including free education and free health care.
Sue Bolton is the number 2 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in VIC.
Born in western Queensland, Sue Bolton became active in the late 1970s in the anti-uranium movement in Toowoomba. This led to involvement in the civil liberties campaign when Joh Bjelke-Petersen banned street marches.
In 1982 Sue joined thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activists who descended on Brisbane to protest at the Commonwealth Games of that year. She helped organise the Women and Labour conference in 1984, and was involved in the organization of Palm Sunday peace marches throughout the late 1980s.
Sue Bolton has been an active trade unionist all her working life. She campaigned in solidarity with the SEQEB power workers in Queensland in 1985, and with the MUA in 1998. She has been a bus driver, a metal worker, a cleaner, a public servant and a political organiser. Sue is a co-convener of the Socialist Alliance national trade union committee.
"The only way that working class people can defend themselves is if their mass organisations, the trade unions, are prepared to fight hard around immediate industrial issues," says Bolton. "But they also must fight around the broader interests of the working class, issues such as the GST, health care, education, and not rely on governments to fix these problems."
"Socialist Alliance can help develop a militant current in the unions," Bolton continued, "through involving a wide range of unionists in common discussions, to exchange experiences between progressive unionists, and have discussions over strategy."
Sue is adamant that the re-election of the Howard government would be a blow for working people, but that the election of a Labor government alone won't solve the problem. "We certainly can't give a blank cheque to an ALP government. The experience of state ALP governments has been that many of these governments have been just as anti-union as their Liberal Party predecessors," she argues.
"However, even if the Howard government is re-elected, it isn't inevitable that it would get away with its racist, union-bashing agenda. If we are able to build a sufficiently strong popular protest movement we can block this Howard agenda from being implemented. In order to do this, the trade unions would need to play a major role."
Graham Mathews is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Batman.
The Australian government has a long and bloody history of support for wars of aggression. It's support for the occupation of Iraq is just the latest. It is also a bad neighbour in the Asia Pacific, failing to stand-up for the rights of oppressed peoples in Aceh and West Papua, backing dictators like General Suharto, and threatening a recolonisation of so-called "failed states", like the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Australia is a wealthy, resource rich country. Australia can afford to give real aid and assistance to its smaller neighbours. The Pacific does not need another bully. Yet it's treatment of the nations of this region is typified by its so-called Pacific Solution, where it has dumped refugees fleeing from regimes that it admits were brutal, onto Nauru and Manus Island.
The priorities of the Liberals (and Labor for that matter) are wrong. Spending on expensive weapons of war, and on the occupation of Iraq and the intimidation of our near neighbours, should be spent on genuine development aid under the control of the people of the region themselves. The millions wasted on detaining refugees should be spent on resettling them. Socialist Alliance stands for a better Australia. An Australia for the millions, not the millionaires.
Zoe Kenny is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Melbourne.
Zoe has been fighting for social and global justice since 1998 when she helped blockade the Jabiluka Uranium Mine in Kakadu national park. "The world is only going to get better if we organise for it to do so", she said.
One of her inspirations are the youth of Palestine, who she describes as "incredibly courageous". Since the beginning of the second intifada (uprising) in 2001, Zoe has helped to build solidarity with the Palestinian activists.
In 2003, like tens of thousands of other young people, she was horrified by the prospect of a brutal war on Iraq. One of the leaders of Books Not Bombs, she helped organised hugely successful student strikes that mobilised thousands of students against the invasion.
This year, the Coalition government's attacks on higher education have been the major focus of student protests, and Zoe has been highly involved in these, which she sees as connected to fighting war.
"Young people are angry about the neoliberal policies of the Coalition government - on the one hand thousands of school-leavers can't get into university because of the cuts to higher education, but on the other hand there seems to be plenty of money for military 'adventures' into Iraq and new military equipment. Young people need to take action on their universities, TAFES's, high schools and on the streets to demand 'Money for Education not Warfare'."
David Glanz is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Wills.
David Glanz is a founder of the Moreland Peace Group and active in the anti-war movement. He is a union delegate with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and recently led a successful strike.
David played a key role in the S11 protests against the World Economic Forum at Crown casino in September 2000. He helped organise to try to save the Chef factory in Brunswick and was part of a successful residents¹ campaign against over-development in Lygon St, Brunswick. David has lived in Brunswick for 14 years and was the Socialist Alliance candidate for Wills in 2001.
If elected, he will not grab the perks he will accept only the wage of an average skilled worker. "My campaign will focus on ending two wars," he said. "One war is on the people of Iraq. I am for getting the troops out now and paying reparations to the Iraqis. There can be no peace through imperialist domination.
"The other war is on workers here. We need money for childcare and aged care, not more tanks. We need unity, not racist scapegoating of refugees and Muslims. We need full-time jobs so workers can plan their lives. In other words, we need priorities that suit the millions, not the millionaires.
"Socialist Alliance stands for workers' rights and a vision of a different society. That's why we say Troops out, Howard out, vote Socialist."
Chris Johnson is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Corangamite.
I have been an activist since my teens, having marched in Vietnam moratorium and anti-nuclear rallies. I am a tree planter and protector. I believe in being connected to our community and building that connection. This process should include as many people as possible. In the community I live in I have been planting trees and removing exotics for more than 20 years. I?m a member of the local environment group and the secretary of the local community association. I was part of the group that started the process to establish the current marine parks. I have made presentations to both VCAT and panel hearings in relation to local planning issues. More recently I was a founding member of the Geelong Anti-War Coalition.
I have worked with East Timor independence campaigns in my community. I have been inspired to stand as a candidate by the issue of East Timor's oil and gas rights, or lack of them. Other issues that are of great concern to me include the treatment of indigenous people, sovereignty, mandatory detention of refugees, the need to defend and extend Medicare for all including dental cover and pharmaceutical benefits, free, quality public education and transport, coastal planning for coastal communities and money for development and research into alternative energy sources that place sustainable practices before short term profit. We must ensure the protection of our environment for our community and future generations.
In my campaign I want to highlight the importance of creating a "Greater Otways National Park" and an immediate end to logging. Woodchipping of the Otway forest must cease and water catchments fully protected. A transition should occur from logging of native forests to plantation timber. This would maintain jobs in forestry with the potential for further job growth in areas such as eco-tourism. The focus of all these issues is to direct more money into services and infrastructure that will benefit the millions and not the millionaires.
Linda Waldron is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Gellibrand.
The Liberal government have given us the brutal war on the people of Iraq, the war at home against workers and trade unions, increased university fees, and have destroyed Medicare - while they are giving tax cuts to the richest and scapegoating vulnerable refugees.
Socialist Alliance is campaigning for a government by working people, for working people. We want policies that put people before profits, workers before shareholders, medicare not warfare, childcare centres not detention centres. Linda was an organiser of last year's Footscray rally against police racism, with the local Somali community. She has supported union picket lines and campaigns in the West for better pay and conditions and against casualisation of work, and has organised local protests against the war on Iraq. Linda has been politically active since 1998 in many campaigns to support society's most marginalised: to free East Timor, for refugee rights, and for women's liberation. Linda lives in Ascot Vale and is a worker at Melbourne Zoo.
Tim Gooden is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Corio.
A carpenter by trade, Tim is a shop steward for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and also the assistant secretary of the Geelong Trades Hall.
Tim has a long experience of union struggle. He worked in the public service during outsourcing by both Labor and Liberal governments, and was the ACT Government section secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union when workers won a no-forced-redundancy agreement after a protracted fight in 1998-1999.
Tim says, "Workers are continually under threat from factory closures and casualisation. Some unions have forgotten how to fight. They roll over too easily for political harmony, while workers' living standards continue to go backwards. Rebuilding unions from the ground up will be critical to the future security of worker's rights and conditions.
"The waiting list for health services has become unbearable for many. Some schools are in the red, and all are constantly cutting back. Workers have lost trust in the political system. Something new and different is needed. Something that workers are involved in and can control, so that the wealth of the country can be genuinely shared around.
After several years in the ALP, witnessing sellouts and back flips, Tim reckons, "I now stand with the Socialist Alliance, a principled party that puts the majority interest, that of the workers, before that of big business and the rich."
Josephine Cox is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Hotham.
I'm a 28 year old post-graduate student in history at LaTrobe University. I've been involved in refugee and anti-war campaigns. In 2001 I ran in the Aston by-election. As candidate for Hotham my two major concerns are the Free Trade Agreement with America and the building of the Scoresby Freeway in the eastern suburbs. Simon Crean, the member for Hotham, recently voted with the Liberals on the FTA, helping its passage through parliament. The FTA, will impact on the most disadvantaged sections of society first. People deserve a real choice - not someone who votes with the Liberals.
The construction of the $1 billion plus Scoresby Freeway will put further pressure on the enviroment. Australia is the worst greenhouse gas polluter per capita in the world. Building more freeways will make the problem worse. Public transport is abysmal in the eastern suburbs. Buses often stop running at 6.00pm and not at all on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. It's poor and disabled people who are most affected by this. The $1 billion should be spent on improving public transport.
Kamala Emanuel is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Denison.
"Before I was introduced to socialist activism, I liked the idea of socialism, but didn't think real change could ever happen," said Kamala. "When the first Gulf War began in 1991, I cried, but I didn't see that I could make a difference.
"By contrast, last year I was in the thick of organising protests against the invasion of Iraq. The difference was that in between I had met socialists who were organising against all capitalism's injustices, and found that working together with others, you can make a difference."
Kamala has now been a socialist activist for ten years. She has been involved in the campaign for a free East Timor, for decriminalisation of abortion, protection of old growth forests and against nuclear testing in the Pacific. She has helped organise demonstrations against Howard?s and Hanson's racism and to welcome refugees.
"Throughout the 1990s, when we were building support for the East Timorese independence struggle, people in the streets would sometimes say it was hopeless, Indonesia would never leave," Kamala said. "But now East Timor is independent of Indonesia.
"It's the same with a whole lot of struggles. People's grassroots action is a powerful force for change. Our challenge in the Socialist Alliance is to link up with people in struggle and build alliances between all the social campaigns: the greater our unity, the greater our strength."
Kamala moved from Newcastle to Hobart in 1998 to be an organiser for the socialist youth organisation Resistance. In 2002-3 she pioneered a Socialist Alliance branch in Launceston. In that time, she played a leading role in Launceston in the campaign against the war on Iraq, initiating and helping organise some of the biggest demonstrations Launceston has seen in years. Since returning to Hobart, she has continued her involvement through the Hobart Peace Coalition.
Kamala was the Socialist Alliance candidate in the May 1 Tasmanian upper house election for the seat of Elwick, receiving 5.2% of the vote. She is a medical practitioner with a keen interest in reproductive rights, a working class candidate who stands for the interests of women, workers, students and pensioners.
Glenn Shields is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Franklin.
As a long time campaigner for a healthier environment and for the preservation of Tasmania's forests, Glenn has played a leading role in challenging the introduction of wood-fired power stations in Tasmania such as the Southwood Woodchip Mill.
"Environmental rescue plans and funding are woefully inadequate and too often linked to sale of pubic assets such as Telstra," says Glenn. "Our environment needs to be taken more seriously and funded appropriately."
"Australia under John Howard is being led down a dark Neo-Conservative path where company profits are more important than the public health and education of all Australians. This has to be turned around.
As an ex-serviceman (RAAF) he is totally opposed to Australia's involvement in the illegal war in Iraq and calls for the immediate return of all Australian Military personnel from Iraq.
Meredith de Landells is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Bass.
Meredith has previously run in the 2001 Northern Territory elections under the Socialist Alliance banner. From her experiences in the Northern Territory she is a strong advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples and is committed to redressing the injustices committed by our governments (at all levels) towards our indigenous population.
Meredith is 33, and moved to Tasmania in 2002 with her partner and 11 year old daughter and is now pregnant with her 2nd child. She has worked within the community for many years in areas such as homelessness, problematic alcohol and drug use, and health education and promotion, and is currently employed as a counsellor, community development worker, and gender and sexuality educator for a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex support organisation.
A strong campaigner for human rights and social justice issues, Meredith has been involved in the refugee movement, anti war movement - bring our troops home NOW, GLBTI equality issues - including opposing the Howard government's legislation on same sex marraige, anti drug prohibition campaigning, and environmental campaigning. After moving to Tasmania the issue of clear felling and the use of pesticides and herbicides in forestry practices - and the resultant health effects within the community as these poisons leech into our water supplies - has become a significant concern.
Health care and education are very important to Meredith and her growing family. Medical care (including alternative medical treatments) should be free to all - and this includes dental care, as should an excellent and appropriately staffed and funded public education system which recognises the diversity and individual needs of all students from the many varied backgrounds within our society.
Meredith believes that another world is possible and would like to see a future for Australia, and the world, that is free from poverty, hunger, persecution, discrimination and war.
Tom Bertuleit is the number 1 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in SA.
I am a 47 yo engineer in the research industry but have come from a working class trade background.
I got interested in environmental issues over twenty five years ago - when I became aware of the seal slaughter in Canada. That led to me joining environmental groups and when I moved to Adelaide from the country I gradually started going to rallies and started questioning the system. I was angry that people were committing suicide in the Third World because of poverty and despair while others were living in obscene luxury and angry about a thousand other issues, although I didn't know what to do about it at the time.
When I discovered Green Left Weekly in 1992 it was like a new world had opened before me. I then started on Chompsky, Pilger, Carey, Fisk etc and there was no turning back. I pulled the wool from my eyes - the wool placed there by a lifetime of conditioning and media lies. I started to realize the interconnectedness of all the issues facing society and how they were all caused or exacerbated by capitalism and that by joining a charity or NGO I would only be cleaning up the mess caused by rampant capitalism. The only real solution was to get rid of the system but I resisted becoming politically involved because of the factionalism and fragmentation of the left - until the Socialist Alliance was formed. I thought that here at last was something that might work and jumped in headfirst.
Our resources against the might of the Establishment are miniscule but meaningful social change has only come from the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors. The odds against us are enormous, the power of the ruling classes and their govts, militaries, courts and police have never seemed so great and all powerful over every facet of our lives, yet grass roots resistance to this onslaught on every continent about every issue is growing and growing rapidly.
The Socialist Alliance is one example among thousands. Whatever we are campaigning about we all essentially have a common aim - to create a fair and just society for all.
Amy McDonell is the number 2 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in SA.
"While I was growing up in rural New South Wales, I spent a lot of time yelling at the television. I was angry at the way billions of people had to suffer because of the greed of corporations and governments, and frustrated – especially as a young woman - because I felt I could do nothing to change the system.
When I saw the protests against the Melbourne World Economic Forum in 2000, I felt incredibly inspired by the example of ordinary people standing up to the rich and powerful.
When I moved to Sydney in 2001 I immediately got involved in political activism through the Socialist Alliance."
Amy has now been a political activist for four years. She has been involved in numerous social justice campaigns, including justice for Palestine, freedom for refugees and against corporate exploitation.
Amy moved to Adelaide in 2003 and has since been active in the anti-war movement, as a convenor of the Adelaide Books Not Bombs student network which mobilised thousands of young people against the Iraq war. She has also been involved in the campaign against increases to university fees, and in the women’s liberation movement as part of the Reclaim the Night and International Women’s Day organising collectives.
"I still yell at the TV sometimes, but because of my involvement in the Socialist Alliance, I no longer feel helpless."
"The spread of the Socialist Alliance into regional areas is very exciting. It’s so important that people in regional Australia, especially young people, are able to see that there’s an alternative to the politics of war, racism and fear. The Socialist Alliance is makes it possible for all of us to participate in creating that alternative."
Ian Jamieson is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle
"I have been involved in the socialist movement for 35 years. Currently I’m working as a wharfie down in Fremantle. Since the early seventies, I have been an active unionist, working in the steel and mining industries. I previously represented all Tasmanian miners as president of the Tasmanian Mining Industry Union Council and the people of Tasmania’s West Coast as a local councillor."
"As father of a six year old girl, I am only too aware of the difficulties working people and their families suffer under neo-liberal economic policies."
"If you don’t fight, you lose- that old saying has never been so true. Workers in Australia urgently need to build fighting, democratic unionism to reclaim what we have lost."
"The socialist Alliance is an alternative to war poverty and insecurity. A better future is not a privilege of the rich; it is the right all working people should expect."
Nikki Ulasowski is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Perth
"Last year millions of people around the world took to the streets against the impending war on Iraq. In Australia over a million people protested and opinion poles repeatedly confirmed this widespread opposition – BUT Howard still sent us to war! To many of us this exposed the undemocratic nature of our society – with majority opinion counting for little and decisions made by an unaccountable elite. And whilst millions of us want the Howard regime to go, many working class Australian’s see Labor as not much of an alternative. Labor has embraced many of the Liberal’s policies and on a state level is attacking workers’ rights.
I have been active in the socialist movement for over a decade being involved in a range of campaigns such as East Timor solidarity, anti-racism, opposing the privatization of education, the anti-corporate globalization movement and was one of the organizers of last year’s Perth anti-war rallies. I am currently a state co-convenor for the Socialist Alliance.
The Labor/Liberal bind makes an alternative for working people a pressing priority. Socialist Alliance is part of the process of building such an alternative and we encourage people to get involved in political life – because Another World is Possible!
Annolies Truman is the Socialist Alliance candidate for Pearce
I never imagined that I would stand in an election, but with the Iraq war of lies, torture and massacres committed in our name I feel that we all must take a stand. I was a co-founder of the Hills No War Alliance at the beginning of 2003 and I am encouraged by the positive response by so many people in this area to the peace message.
I am an experienced teacher of English to migrants and refugees; I worked in migrant centres when they were "Reception Centres" not "Detention Centres".
Like many women I have decided to spend time raising my three children but I am appalled at the way that women who make that choice are shunted out of the workforce. It's as if motherhood is a sentence to second-class status. I know many single mothers in particular who suffer terribly. I feel that women workers are not respected in Australia and we have to rebuild a movement to improve women's lives.
Ray Hayes is the number 1 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in NT.
Ray Hayes has worked in the Northern Territory for over 20 years, including as a union organiser. He is presently engaged in the marine aquaculture industry. He has been a long time supporter of the
struggle for East Timorese independence and was a founding member of Australians for a Free East Timor. He is also a member of the Asia-Pacific Support Collective.
Hayes is disgusted by the federal Coalition government's flagrant disregard for international law in relation to the sea-bed boundary between East Timor and Australia: "This is part of a continuing genocide against the East Timorese people who are still living in absolute poverty and suffering from diseases that don't even exist in the west anymore."
Hayes believes that the theft of East Timor's oil is being used by the Coalition government to pay for an illegal war of occupation in Iraq.
Hayes has been an anti-war activist since his high school days, when he was active in the anti-Vietnam war movement.
He believes strongly that another US "training facility" in the Northern Territory or anywhere in Australia is a proposition that ought to be strongly opposed by all clear thinking Australians.
Hayes has had a long-term commitment to Aboriginal land rights and self-determination, workers rights and defence of the environment. He is currently on the National Executive of the Socialist Alliance. He is also a keen gardener and owns a dingo-kelpie cross named, Namaliya.
Kathy Newnam is the number 2 candidate for the Socialist Alliance Senate team in NT.
Kathy Newnam is currently involved in the campaign against the planned joint U.S.-Australia "training centres" which she believes are going to be a foot in the door to a permanent U.S. presence in the country. "Australia should have no dealings whatsoever with the war criminals in the U.S. administration. There should be no training centres and all existing U.S. facilities in Australia should be closed".
Over the past ten years, Kathy has been involved in campaigns against mandatory detention of refugees; for free education; for environmental justice - against woodchipping of old growth forests and nuclear testing in the Pacific; for independence for East Timor; against racism; for women's rights and has been actively involved in building solidarity with the democracy movement in Indonesia.
"I am angered by what is the apparent normality of the injustices that are perpetuated by capitalism."
"When something has gone on long enough, it begins to appear normal. It appears normal that politicians lie and deceive. It appears normal when wars are waged in the name of money and power. It seems normal when billions of dollars are spent on the military while social services are run into the ground".
Kathy's involvement in the socialist movement is inspired by the belief that "things don't have to be this way. History shows that when enough people join together and take a stand - then there is no stopping us! It's all about people power." Kathy recently moved to the Darwin to help organise Socialist Alliance activities in the Northern Territory.
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