Brisbane's very successful Green Left Weekly Winter Fiesta on June 14 helped take our 2008 Fighting Fund to $101,936. Since the last issue $7921 has been collected in the form of donations and proceeds from events like the Brisbane Winter Fiesta. Proceeds from fundraising events in Newcastle and Melbourne also made a significant contribution.
"Green Left Weekly plays a critical role in supporting and publicising campaigns for Aboriginal rights", Sam Watson, Indigenous activist and Socialist Alliance spokesperson told the 90 people at the Winter Fiesta.
"Aboriginal deaths in custody, stolen wages and the extension of the Northern Territory intervention into Queensland and other states are important issues. We give notice to the Rudd government that we want jobs, proper housing and health care, not government interference", Watson said.
Rafael Pacheco from Australian Solidarity with Latin America praised the tireless work of the GLW production staff and those who brave the streets week in and week out to sell the paper. These things are invaluable because they "help build the left and raise political consciousness", he said.
GLW and the Socialist Alliance are "with us in the El Salvadoran and wider Latin American struggles", he said. He urged people to consider travelling to El Salvador as observers for the March 15, 2009, presidential elections where there's a possibility that a left-wing party, the FMLN, will win.
"New winds are blowing in Latin America, and we are on the verge of a new era in El Salvador. We will repay our debt to you in love and solidarity", Pacheco said.
Coral Wynter, who co-organised the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network May Day brigade to Venezuela, spoke about the revolution's advances and problems, driving home the point that solidarity with Venezuela is critical.
Dr Brian Senewiratne, a health-care activist, spoke passionately against the genocide facing the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. "Democracy is being dismantled in Sri Lanka, and the country is drifting toward dictatorship. Human rights violations are an international issue. We need to put pressure on the Australian government to isolate the Sri Lankan regime." He also condemned the 17-year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Paul Benedek, who described GLW as an "antidote to the spin and lies of the Murdoch-Packer press", urged supporters to help boost subscriptions to the paper. "Getting the paper every week means that we can continue an important political dialogue and build the left."
Music from the Honeyeaters, Juan Zepeda, Georgia Potter and Surreal, combined with delicious food, completed a successful night in which $2000 was raised for the GLW Fighting Fund.
There are other major GLW fundraising events coming up around the country. Just check the Activist Calendar for details of one near you, and then bring along as many of your friends and family as possible. Alternatively, consider organising your own GLW fundraising event: a cake stall, a garage sale, dinner or BBQ with friends and pass the hat around for a very good cause. Every dollar makes a difference.
You can also contribute to the Fighting Fund by making a direct donation at Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, phone in your donation by credit card on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia only), send us a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, or donate online through Secure Pay at http://www.greenleft.org.au/donate.php.