Socialists run anti-war election campaign



MELBOURNE — The Gellibrand Socialist Alliance branch decided on February
5 to contest the March 15 Maribyrnong and Brimbank council elections. The
Socialist Alliance promises a “working council for working people”.

The alliance will campaign in the elections to stop Australian participation
in the war on Iraq, to close the Maribyrnong detention centre and the toxic
Coode Island facility, demand the decriminalisation of illicit drugs and
the introduction of safe injecting rooms, end industrial transport through
residential areas, save local pools and to establish housing for disadvantaged

Justine Kamprad is the alliance candidate for the Maribyrnong Saltwater
Ward (which covers Footscray CBD) and Lincoln Hancock is running for Maribyrnong
Sheoak Ward (Yarraville). Maurice Sibelle will contest Brimbank council's
McKay Ward (Sunshine).

The candidates told Green Left Weekly that the anti-war campaign
is not just a “federal issue”. Sibelle, who has two pre-school children,
pointed out that the federal government “has cut hundreds of millions of
dollars from child-care support, while increasing the defence budget by
billions. Local councils need to campaign against the war drive if they
really want to represent the interests of local people.”

Kamprad welcomed the recent vote by the Maribyrnong council to become
an “anti-war zone”, but “to be a real anti-war council, the council must
campaign against the war, not just pass motions”. Kamprad stressed that
“activists rather than career politicians need to be elected to local councils”
to ensure that “resources are devoted to encourage and promote local anti-war
groups and activities”.

If elected, Socialist Alliance councillors would organise community
marches and festivals in opposition to the war, Kamprad said. They would
also oppose anti-democratic “anti-terrorism” laws and the racist profiling
of Islamic communities.

Hancock added that the alliance would work to repeal draconian anti-litter
laws enforced by the Maribyrnong council, which outlaw the pasting up of
political posters and impose big fines on organisations whose details appear
on them.

Socialist Alliance will meet every Thursday night during the election
campaigns. Phone 9687 7609 or 0422 720 216.

From Green Left Weekly, February 12, 2003.

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