Supporters and members launched the Socialist Alliance's (SA) election campaign for Senate candidates Felix Dance and Angela Carr, and Sue Bolton for Wills and Sue Bull for Corio in Geelong and Melbourne over the March 25–27 weekend.
Pat O’Shane, retired barrister, judge and celebrated First Nations activist, and Cairns socialist councillor Rob Pyne each sent video greetings to the Geelong launch, attended by more than 40 supporters.
Carr highlighted the party’s key policies, including the need for a significant to boost in federal funding for public housing. She addressed the need to raise the minimum wage as well as welfare payments.
Bull, talked up SA’s pro-people policies and said the billionaires need to be made to pay taxes. “That’s the way to boost public health and raise aged care workers’ wages by 25%”, she said.
The Melbourne launch, attended by about 70 people, was an opportunity for community activists to publicly endorse Bolton.
Mariella Teiura, a key activist in the campaign to save the Aboriginal Ballerrt Mooroop site, spoke highly of Bolton.
“We cannot ask for a better candidate than Sue”, she said, crediting Bolton for her “tireless work” since 2011. “She is the only councillor that is willing to listen to the community,” Teiura said.
Cigdem Aslan, Co-chair of the Federation of Kurdish Democratic Society, commended Bolton and SA for their work in supporting the Kurdish people’s struggle for self-determination.
Sarah Hussein, a community activist in Fawkner who was involved in the 2011 uprising in Egypt, credited Bolton’s commitment to working with migrant communities. Having recently become an Australian citizen, Hussein said she is “so glad” her first vote will go to Bolton.
Newly-elected Moreland socialist councilor Monica Harte credited Bolton’s “socialist approach” as the reason why she knows how to campaign with communities.
Bolton spoke about the cost-of-living pressures and said getting socialists elected is about “empowering” people. “Communities have more than enough ideas to run society”, she said, adding that the changes we need require the decision-making to be taken out of the hands of politicians and unelected bureaucrats.