Number 1

Bernie Rosen joined the Communist Party in 1943, and among other activities, was full-time electoral campaign manager for Brian Crispan in 1968. He left the Party in 1970 because there was too much time wasted in internal disputes. Bernie has been placing back issues of Green Left Weekly in letterboxes since 1991 and joined the Socialist Alliance in 2001.

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It is much easier to assess progress in Venezuela than in Australia because the conditions are much more suited to radical change.

What drives a person to join a socialist party or socialist organisation? In the context in which we operate — a first world country — there would be many factors that lead to people seeking out socialist organisations. It could be their personal background, it could be a sense that they need to take part in activism, concern about inequality, being moved by a particularly gross case of injustice, or other factors. I think one common driver though, would be a search for answers — which is also in a sense a search for an identity.

Amend clause 9 to read:

"The reality of climate change is manifesting itself in an increasing number of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, hurricanes and tornados. Melting ice sheets are resulting in rising sea levels and increased flooding of low-lying areas. Some islands will be totally submerged, turning their inhabitants into climate refugees. "These problems disproportionately affect the world's poorest people, who contribute the least to the crisis".

Amend clause 14 to read:

Since white colonisation began in 1788 the Indigenous population has suffered the trauma of invasion, enslavement, assimilation, genocide, racist exclusion, land theft, the destruction of life, language and culture, and the denial of basic human rights.

The Rudd government’s official apology was an important symbolic step forward but remains a hollow gesture. The scandal of black deaths in custody continues and racism is endemic.

I've become more and more bewildered as I've read each of Adam Baker's articles in Alliance Voices. Adam says the Socialist Alliance is too broad and a narrow “Marxist vanguard” party would be better. But I think it's great SA is nothing like the narrow party Adam wants.

Despite setbacks and continuing police repression, Occupy Melbourne (OM) is continuing.

Since being evicted from City Square, the camp has moved to Treasury Gardens and then to Flagstaff Gardens.

OM has been in a daily cat-&-mouse battle with council authorities and police trying to steal their tents and evict them.

Initially, the move to Treasury Gardens (with the council imposing bans on tents & even signs and banners) led to an initial decline in the politics at the camp.

The equal marriage rights campaign looks on the cusp of victory. After seven and a half years, the ALP has passed support motions in every state branch, bar one, and it passed a motion in favour at its 2011 National Conference.

Many prominent MPs have come out “personally” in favour of marriage equality. Openly lesbian front-bencher Penny Wong, resisted for six long years, then got the tactical nod from her atheist, defacto living boss PM Julia Gillard, and came out with “personal” support.

Disclaimer — signed articles represent the views of their authors, not necessarily the views of the Socialist Alliance unless otherwise stated. Responsibility for all electoral comment is taken by P. Benedek, 22 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007. Alliance Voices submission protocols.