Leading anti-war campaigner Pip Hinman, who is currently helping organise protests that will meet the visit of US President Barack Obama, has been preselected as Socialist Alliance’s candidate for the federal seat of Grayndler in Sydney’s inner west.
Leading anti-war campaigner Pip Hinman, who is currently helping organise protests that will meet the visit of US President Barack Obama, has been preselected as Socialist Alliance's candidate for the federal seat of Grayndler in Sydney's inner west.
Hinman told Green Left Weekly she has spent many years working in the international solidarity and anti-war campaigns.
"I was heavily involved in the campaign to stop the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and helped found Sydney Stop the War Coalition in 2004, after the Iraq invasion when the movement was in a quandary over whether or not to continue", she said.
She points to the 15,000-strong Stop Bush protest in 2007 as a campaign highlight. She has also been involved in feminist campaigns, helping to organise International Women's Day rallies in the 1980s and 1990s and is a member of the National Tertiary Education Union, and often writes for GLW.
She says that in the upcoming federal election "there's a lot of issues people are concerned about: the need for serious action on climate change; stopping imperial wars; expanding rights for marginalised communities; expanding workers' rights; and eradicating racism."
The seat of Grayndler covers suburbs including Newtown, Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt — an area which Hinman says is "under threat from the government's pro-car mania. Public transport is a big concern for people living in the inner west. Rents are skyrocketing, buying a house is out of reach for most people and homelessness is also a huge concern."
SA's preferences will flow to the Greens. "This is a question of principle for Socialist Alliance", Hinman explained. "The Greens' policies on workers' rights, the environment and services are to the left of the major parties. A lot of ALP members have left to join the Greens, and it is a step in the right direction.
"Our key difference with the Greens is this: we believe that necessary change can only come when the majority take collective control and ownership of society's main resources. Our society and environment are being held hostage by corporate profiteers. We need to build a new people's power to put social and environmental needs first.
"We urgently need a radical transition to sustainability. The climate scientists tell us we have maybe 10 years, a generation at most. The idea that humans and nature have to be able to, and can, live in harmony is not new — we need to learn from the older Indigenous traditions on this land.
"We cannot afford to live according to the profit-centred value system that's been forced on Australia for the last 222 years. [The need for social] change is even more important today as climate change is already becoming a reality."
[To donate to, or help with, the Socialist Alliance's campaign, call Paul on 0410 629 088.]