Volume 11

Over the last couple of years, the two most consistent areas of campaign work that Socialist Alliance has been involved in have been climate work and refugee rights.

Amend clause 56 to read:

We need a system of popular democracy that empowers the majority of people - the workers and other people currently exploited and oppressed by capitalism .

Amend clause 66 to read:

I think Adam Baker's political approach in his two contributions to Alliance Voices (Who are we? and Socialism or Ecosocialism) is totally mistaken. It is mistaken in political method and presents a distorted view of what we are doing in the Socialist Alliance.

The following contribution is adapted from a report by the same name that I presented to Brisbane branch of Socialist Alliance on December 13.

International situation: 2011, a year of democratic revolt:

The world context for this year has been set, on the one hand by the international capitalist recession, and on the other by the international, popular upsurge for democratic rights and against corporate power.

This is based on a report to the Sydney Socialist Alliance branch. It is being submitted to the pre-conference discussion of the Socialist Alliance and the Resistance Conference.

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In late October/early November, Socialist Alliance members started discussing what our approach should be to the campaign by the Australian Nursing Federation and the Community Public Sector Union Victoria.

If one happens to look up the Socialist Alliance on Wikipedia, one will find several entries under the tag of ideology. According to Wikipedia, the ideology of the Socialist Alliance includes "socialism", "anti-captialism", "far left", "ecosocialism" and "environmentalism". I certainly have no objection to the the first three, and the last one. But ecosocialism? How did ecosocialism come to form a part of our ideology?

Something has been bugging me ever since I saw Gina Rinehart on the back of a ute speaking to a rally of struggling mining executives against Kevin Rudd’s ill-fated Resource Super-Profits Tax.

These are my own views on the two documents that have been put forward by the National Executive for discussion in the lead up to the 8th national conference of the Socialist Alliance.

I am puzzled by Adam Baker's statement in Alliance Voices no. 6 that: “The torture and murder of Muammar Gaddafi by pro-imperialist and monarchist cutthroats was the point where the penny dropped. The SA as broad party strategy was not only leading to the party sliding into liberal and opportunist errors - it was also leading us to support Western triumphalism.”

The second Climate Change Social Change conference, despite numerous obstacles, was a huge success. This is because of the numbers of people who attended and the fact we managed to pull on a broad, open, inclusive conference that addressed both the Marxist/socialist educational content and also reached out to an extremely wide range of campaigns and groups.

It was a boost — educationally and politically — for everyone who attended. Given where Socialist Alliance is at nationally, the second Climate Change Social Change conference was a massive achievement.

Our policy document is called “The Charter of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights” and our email group “sa ATSIrightswg”, both quite deliberately.

Consultations by SA members on the ATSI Rights Working Group concluded that the Aboriginal groups we are working with around the country either don't mind whichever term, prefer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or strongly object to “Indigenous”.