Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Take back the wealth - Sam for Fremantle election leaflet

Why we need public ownership of mines, banks and power companies

1 Wealth redistribution
The richest 20% in Australia own more than the rest combined. Mining company profits increased 540% between 2000 and 2009, while the share they paid as tax or royalties dropped from 40% to 14%. Yet Gina Rinehart wants to pay workers $2 per day! We need to take wealth from this greedy minority and use it for the benefit of society as a whole.

2 Essential to reduce carbon emissions
While the mining and energy industries are privately owned we can’t take serious action on climate. Labor’s carbon trading scheme will see billions in hand-outs to big polluters without reducing emissions. The Liberals’ do nothing plan is worse. Both are servants of mining companies. Public ownership will enable a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy.

3 Genuine democracy
We need a say in the major investment decisions that affect us. Without public ownership of such monopolised and strategic sectors of the economy, we can’t have a meaningful say in our society.

Blame the fat cats not refugees
"Cruel refugee bashing must stop. Billions are wasted locking up innocent people fleeing for their lives. This racist poison is spread by politicians to hide their own culpability in supporting big money over people.

"Abbott would be worse but whoever wins we need to campaign for justice in the streets and communities.

"Support for Socialist Alliance helps those campaigns."

Sam Wainwright is a City of Fremantle councillor, disability support worker, human rights activist and unionist. He helped relaunch the Bicycle Users Group, is active with Freo Road to Rail and is a founder of Action for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam & Sri Lanka. See more at


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brazilian Awakening: Australian solidarity with #ChangeBrazil

Hundreds of people turned out in Perth on June 23 to support the mass protests in Brazil.

"It is not about 20 cents" read some of the placards and comments made on the day. This refers to the fact that the protests in Brazil began with a demand to stop a 20 cent increase in bus fares. Today it has become about much more - a desire for fundamental change in Brazil.

An end to corruption was one of the common demands put forward at the Perth 'manifestation' alongside the demand for increased funding and decent quality education, transport and housing.

"We are not against the World Cup" one organiser told me, "but we want to change Brazil. And if you have to stop the World Cup [to make a change], we will."

"Away [from Brazil] but Aware" was one of the messages on placards.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Refugee Welcome Fiesta in Fremantle

Refugee Welcome Fiesta and Walk Together

Sat 22 June

11am - 3pm, Fremantle Esplanade
1pm, Walk Together through the streets of Fremantle

A free fun community event: entertainment, global food and fair trade stalls, arts and crafts activities.

Come and celebrate the diversity of our cultures, bring a picnic blanket, enjoy the world music and join in the drumming circle with didgeridoo players at 11am.

Attend on FaceBook:

Junkadelic funks up World Refugee Day rally in Perth

Over 160 people took part in the annual World Refugee Day rally organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network. Speakers included Kali Pahmanathan from the Tamil community who thanked the protesters for helping him survive his time in detention. He pointed out that there is "strong evidence" for Sri Lankan government genocide against the Tamil people and that the Australian government never labels Sri Lankan genocide by its true name.

Hazara refugee Hasad Khurrami also spoke about genocide against Hazara people and the support of the refugee rights movement. He told a moving poem dedicated to refugees who lost their lives at sea.

Other speakers included Amer Saabi from the Palestinian community, Greens senator Scott Ludlam and Rob Callan from Refugee Rights Action Network.

Music by Junkadelic was a particularly positive feature of the march.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

March Against Monsanto announced for October 12

The next March Against Monsanto in Perth has been announced for October 12.

People can join the FaceBook event to get updates. Further details will be reported here when available.

In the meantime, check out some of the recent articles in Green Left Weekly about Monsanto and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). See also the Socialist Alliance agriculture policy.

You can also see the photos and video from the last rally in Perth:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's up with Mental Health in WA?

Public forum - all welcome

What's up with mental health in WA?

6pm Wed 10 July

In its last term, the Barnett government introduced legislation that would curtail the rights of people with mental illness. This forum will discuss these proposals and the conditions facing people with mental illness and the services meant to support them, in WA.

Speakers include:
Sandra Boulter (Mental Health Law Centre WA)
Sinead Flaherty (Perth Inner City Youth Service)
Nicole Stiles (Socialist Alliance, mental health service consumer)
Sanna Andrew (Socialist Alliance, community mental health worker).

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

Organised by Socialist Alliance Perth.

Ph 9218 9608, 0413 976 638.

Attend on FaceBook:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

GetUp candidates forum in Perth

Sam Wainwright from Socialist Alliance: 'You can't fight coke with diet coke'

Greg Barns from the WikiLeaks Party

"Now that's a party"

forum in the State Library Theatre on 14 June 2013 hosted by GetUp. Speakers include Sam Wainwright from the Socialist Alliance, Scott Ludlam from the Greens, Greg Barns from the WikiLeaks Party and representatives from the Pirate Party and the Sex Party.

Friday, June 14, 2013

No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka - Sun 30 June

Perth premiere film screening

6:30pm Sun 30 June

Cinema Paradiso
James Street, Northbridge

Tickets: $25 /$15 concession

Contact Leonie (0439 475 174) or Sam (0412 571 508)

* * *

Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, ‘No Fire Zone’ is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times - told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded.

This footage allows us to document the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug civilian bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals.

Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence.

This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret. The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the Sri Lankan media – literally dozens of media workers were killed, exiled or disappeared. While the world looked away in the first few months of 2009 around 40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes.

The film starts in September 2008. An air of deep foreboding hung over Kilinochchi– the de facto capital of the Tamil homelands of Northern Sri Lanka. The armed forces of the ultra-nationalist Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka were on the move, and the brutal secessionist army of the Tamil Tigers was on the retreat. After a twenty-six year revolt – the scene was set for the final awful endgame.

We have looked at and translated hours of raw footage which captures the day-to-day life of the people who lived and in many cases died – during the 138 days of hell which form the central narrative of our film. This footage is an incredibly intimate account of human suffering.

But the film is also built around compelling personal stories. There is Vany - a young British Tamil who was visiting relatives in Sri Lanka who became trapped along with hundreds of thousands of other men, women and children, desperately fleeing the government onslaught. She had trained as a medical technician in the UK, now she found herself helping in a makeshift hospital while doctors tried to treat hundreds of desperately injured people, in some cases performing major surgery without general anaesthetic.

Other people who tell their stories include two of the last UN workers – Peter McKay and Benjamin Dix – forced to leave on the orders of the UN which, they feel, was betraying its fundamental duty to protect.

Inevitably too, this film is the personal story of some who didn’t make it.

‘No Fire Zone’ also brings the story up to date. The Sri Lankan government still denies this all happened in what thy describe as an “humanitarian rescue”. The repression and ethnic restructuring of the Tamil homelands in the north of Sri Lanka continues – journalists and government critics are still disappearing. The government will tolerate no opposition and have even turned on their own judiciary, impeaching the Chief Justice of the country when she found they had acted unconstitutionally.

Without truth there can be no justice in Sri Lanka. And without justice there can be no peace. We hope our film can be part of that truth-telling.

We offer this film, not just as the definitive film of record, but also in the hope it will jolt the international community and audience to call for action.

Friends of Palestine forum on Palestinian refugees

Since 1948, millions of Palestinians have been living as refugees in areas of the occupied Palestinian territory (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) and in surrounding host countries - mostly in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has described their plight as “by far the most protracted and largest of all refugee problems in the world today”.

Despite the state of Israel's ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing, Palestinians continue to resist the occupation of their homeland. Worldwide, a solidarity movement is aiding their struggle, initiating a Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid.

Public Meeting / Film Showing

Tuesday 25 June 6.30pm
Citiplace Community Centre
(above Perth train station via rear entrance)

For more info, phone 0409 762 081
or visit

DOWNLOAD: 3 x A3 flyers

Attend on FaceBook:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Video from Fremantle protest against Julia Gillard's attacks on education, sole parents and human rights

Julia Gillard was greeted by a vibrant protest by students, unionists and Aboriginal activists when she spoke in Fremantle on June 12.

As Labor party faithful -- who paid up to $250 per head -- waited to hear her talk, protesters took aim at some of the worst policies of the Gillard government.

In particular protesters opposed the multi-billion cuts to education, the mean spirited attacks on sole parents' payments and the Gillard government attacks on democratic rights. People spoke up for equal marriage rights, for refugee rights and Aboriginal rights.

World Refugee Day rally - Sun 16 June

The World Refugee Day rally will be held Sunday 16 June on the Wesley Church corner at 1pm.

Sunday 16 June
1pm, Wesley Church corner (cnr William & Hay Sts, Perth city)

Demands of the rally include:
* Free the refugees
* No Pacific "Solution"
* End mandatory detention

We are encouraging all supporters of refugee rights to endorse and participate in this rally. Please contact RRAN if you organisation can offer support.

Please also print the following PDF files to help spread the word.

DOWNLOAD: A4 poster (can be enlarged to A3)

DOWNLOAD: 4xA6 flyers

Attend on Facebook:

[Information supplied by Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN).]

What is RRAN?

The Refugee Rights Action Network is a community-based campaign group. We have in our ranks people from all walks of life. We have several branches at universities and the Perth based group.

What does RRAN do?

RRAN campaigns on issues around refugees and asylum seekers. We focus on protests, educational forums, visiting refugees in detention and media work. RRAN actively seeks to collaborate with other groups working in different ways on these issues.

Defend the right to seek asylum

Australia is obliged to allow people to seek asylum under the Refugee Convention. For 20 years Australia has been abrogating this obligation with laws and policies like mandatory detention, offshore processing and the excision of the whole of Australia from the migration zone. RRAN campaigns to repeal these laws and policies.

End mandatory detention

RRAN condemns indefinite mandatory detention without charge or trial. If governments can take away the basic right to not be detained without charge or trial from one group then they can do it to any group.

Challenge the lies and racist rhetoric

Successive governments and large sections of the corporate media have fomented fear and racism towards refugees using lies. RRAN challenges this by offering an alternative analysis and evidence.

RRAN meets Mon 6.30 pm, 15/5 Aberdeen St, Perth – 0417 904 329 -

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Take back the wealth: Put the mines, banks and energy companies in the hands of the people!

Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney looks at the greed of the big banks, mining industry and the energy sector and argues the case for the nationalisation of all these sectors under the public/community ownership and control so that they can be run in a way that respects Aboriginal rights, the environment and social justice rather than controlled by a small handful of private owners.

Check out also the Facebook page for Sam Wainwright - Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle:

Refugees, single parents, education cuts, equal marriage: protest Gillard in Fremantle

Julia Gillard is coming to town as a special guest for an upcoming Labor Party fundraiser. Please join us in protesting outside on the night.

Numerous activist groups will be participating in protesting Gillard and her increasingly rightwing agenda.

Her list of crimes include:

  • Cutting payments to single parents
  • Locking up refugees
  • Cutting billions from higher education
  • The continued denial of equal marriage rights

If you support any of these issues please come along and join the protest on the night!

6pm Wed 12 June

John Curtin College of the Arts
90 Ellen Street, Fremantle

Links to the event pages of specific issues are below:
JULIA, WE NEED TO TALK! - Single Parents Action Group
Free the refugees, protest Gillard - Rran Wa
The PM in Perth: Stand Up Against Cuts - NUS West
Equal Marriage Rights Now!- Protest Gillard - Equal Love WA

[P.S. The regular Wednesday night Perth Socialist Alliance meeting will be relocated to the Fremantle Activist Centre - 5 / 195 High St, Fremantle - after the Gillard protest finishes.]

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Documentary about the refugee rights convergence to Northam

This documentary by Zebedee Parkes is about the national refugee rights convergence to the Yongah Hill detention centre near Northam in April 2013.

Features interviews with Jay Fletcher, Liz Walsh, Ben Solah, Mark Goudkamp and others.

See also Green Left's live blog from the convergence with photos, videos and other reports.

Q&A by Dr Mona El Farra solidarity with Palestine

On two-state versus one-state solution for Palestine

On "rockets from Gaza"

"Things are getting worse in Gaza"

Dr Mona El Farra (vice president of the Red Crescent society in Gaza) spoke at a public forum organised by Friends of Palestine WA on 4 June 2013.

These videos from Green Left TV feature some of the comments made during the Q&A at the end of her presentation.

Dr El Farra was asked about the situation in Gaza, the "rockets from Gaza" as an excuse for Israeli aggression, and other questions.