BY KERRYN WILLIAMS
CANBERRA — "It's the function of groups like the Socialist Alliance ... to remind us of what is needed for courage and intelligence in political life. Not to run with the pack, but to ask the questions about where the world is headed and what we can do to make sure it goes in a direction that is more likely to produce social equality within our society and across the entire world."
Radical historian Humphrey McQueen's fitting words inspired Socialist Alliance members and supporters at the October 18 launch of the Socialist Alliance campaign for the federal seat of Fraser. Doug Kelly from the National Tertiary Education Union, Lionel Bopage from the Sri Lankan community and Socialist Alliance candidate James Vassilopoulos also addressed the launch.
Kelly quoted an email he had written to an ALP candidate who requested that Kelly vote for him: "You're asking me to vote for a party that has gone in for refugee bashing, supported international banditry, given us the hoax of enterprise bargaining and which has forced workers to sacrifice jobs and conditions."
The email concluded with a suggestion that rather than wasting time writing to Kelly again the candidates efforts would be better received by the "corporate parasites" the Labor Party serves.
Vassilopoulos entertained the crowd with stories of his participation in the Genoa anti-globalisation protests in August and his visit earlier that day to a picket line of striking nurses.
More than $1500 was donated or pledged for the campaign during the evening.