"I want to switch the lights on. I want people to see that there is a chance for a change." This is how Aboriginal rap artist and social justice campaigner Jakalene X-treme describes what she wants to get out of the Socialist Alliance campaign for the March 2007 NSW state election. Jakalene was selected as an upper house candidate at the Socialist Alliance state conference on October 7.
"I think there is a lot of apathy because people have given up — even people on the poverty line", Jakalene told Green Left Weekly. "Society is becoming apathetic because they don't see change."
The Socialist Alliance campaign is about encouraging people to stand up for our rights today and not to give up on the vision of a better world. "Let's put up and go for change", Jakalene said. Faced with her energy and enthusiasm, it is hard to see how even the most cynical could not respond.
"I want to see social justice. I want to see fairness, equality, even just people showing some bloody respect for each other", Jakalene said.
The Socialist Alliance is involved in a range of campaigns, including the touchstone effort to defend trade union rights against the Howard government's attacks. The alliance is also supporting the Walk Against Warming for serious measures to tackle climate change, campaigning for same-sex marriage rights and building a nationwide protest against the Bush-Howard wars against Iraq and Afghanistan when the US president visits Australia next September.
"We have to pry apart every opening, even if it is only a slight opening", Jakalene said. "I want to show people that we can do something. I want people to join and support the Socialist Alliance. That way we'll see change happen sooner."