Number 2

Thirty five people packed into the Brisbane Activist Centre here on February 13th to hear Dr Bian Seneviratne (pictured) speak on the present situation in the Tamil regions of Sri Lanka. Seneviratne who was born into the majority Sinhala population of the island is a world renowned activist for Tamil rights. He told the overwhelmingly Tamil audience that the situation is dire in Sri Lanka and that it was urgent to build on the recent wave of international protests organised by Tamil exile communities around the world.

The organisation of our Seventh National Conference is well under way. After two National Executive discussions and quite a few Conference Organising Committee meetings, the draft agenda for the conference has been finalised, and is published in this Alliance Voices. Like all conference documents it is also available on our conference wiki site here.

While bush fires were raging in Victoria, Foster’s Carlton and United Brewery told their maintenance crew (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trades Union members) that their jobs would be outsourced to contractor ABB, who offered lower pay and worse conditions.

The March 11 issue of the Geelong Times also contained this comment piece from Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary and Socialist Alliance member Tim Gooden (pictured right)

* * *

It's a corporate crisis: let the corporations pay

By Tim Gooden, Secretary Geelong and Regional Trades and Labour Council

All Socialist Alliance branches will soon receive their bundles of our new, four-colour, recruitment leaflet (see here), as well as our blazingly obvious "Join Here" corflutes (see here). Let's get out there and start enrolling new people in the best cause on earth!

The Sydney West Socialist Alliance branch entertained a discussion of "crime and punishment" at its Annual General Meeting on March 17.

The crime, according to Green Left Weekly environment writer Simon Butler, is populationism in the environment movement. Butler gave an excellent exposition of the 10 points where he believes populationists go wrong in attributing population as the cause of global warming.

On March 14, twenty-five turned up for Perth Hills public forum featuring a report back from Venezuela and Cuba by Annolies Truman (pictured) and myself.

Some people travelled a long way to attend, such as Communist Party of Australia state secretary Vic Williams who drove from near Fremantle. He and other participants were interested in the Permaculture and genetically modified organism research aspects touched on in the presentation.

It’s Watson v Bligh in Qld poll battle

The Socialist Alliance Indigenous rights working group met via telephone conference on Thursday, March 19, 2009. The meeting took reports from around the country and then discussed a national strategy or focus for the work of the Socialist Alliance in this area.

On Tuesday March 10, over 300 people turned out to the community rally in support of sacked Pacific Brands workers today in Wollongong. The rally was held outside the Bonds factory in Unanderra and was timed to meet the workers as they walked out of work. They marched out waving placards while everyone clapped and chanted. King Gee workers from the Bellambi factory were bused in to join the rally. Most people there were workers but maybe 50-80 people were from other unions and the community (including six Socialist Alliance comrades). There were heaps of different union flags flying.

While bush fires were raging in Victoria, Foster’s Carlton and United Brewery told their maintenance crew (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trades Union members) that their jobs would be outsourced to contractor ABB, who offered lower pay and worse conditions. This was done in the context of a company (Foster’s) having made a whopping profit of more than $700 million in 2008.

We've had a bit of coverage over the last couple weeks of climate action stuff in Wollongong. Check out the articles from the Wollongong Advertiser.

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.

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