Sue Bolton

Moreland City councillor Sue Bolton gave this speech to a rally in solidarity with Kobani in Melbourne on October 25.

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There are two reasons to support the Kurds of Kobane. One reason is humanitarian: to prevent a massacre. The other reason is to protect and defend the building of an alternative society which should be a beacon for all left and progressive people in the world.

The Ron Tandberg cartoon in the Age on September 24 sums up what a rort the East West Link is. In it, one person asks someone from the East West Connect consortium: “Are you concerned that Labor might stop the project?” They answer: “Either way we'll make a killing.”

The cartoon is referring to the announcement by Labor opposition leader Daniel Andrews on September 11 that Labor would not build the East West Link if the Moreland and Yarra councils win legal action against the project in December.

The Victorian Coalition government faces an uphill battle to win a second term in the November state elections. Its commitment to building the controversial East West Link toll road and the impact of the federal budget cuts has made the Coalition very unpopular.

Socialist Alliance candidate for Pascoe Vale Sean Brocklehurst said the East West Link is “a huge handout to big corporations.

One petition I saw circulating recently called for both Israel and Hamas to put down their weapons. I dispute this approach that blames both sides equally. Israel is the aggressor. Not only is Israel bombing indiscriminately with a view to maximising civilian casualties, it continues to maintain its inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza.

The kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teenagers was simply a pretext. There is no evidence that it was a Palestinian or a Hamas member who killed the teenagers.

Israel has set itself as judge, jury and executioner. 

Moreland City Councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sue Bolton delivered the following speech at the Trains Not Tolls rally in Melbourne on June 28. The rally was organised to protest against the new East West Link motorway.

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It’s great seeing people here from all over Melbourne, because this issue affects not just people from the inner city where the East West Link is designed to go, but it affects people from all over Melbourne and all over Victoria.

Many local residents in Victorian regional city Bendigo were shocked when right-wing groups from outside of Bendigo began mobilising residents against the proposal for the city’s first mosque.

The mosque is planned to be built on underdeveloped industrial land in East Bendigo. It is to include a prayer centre, a cafe and a sports centre which would be available for the general community to use.

A heated council meeting on June 18 approved the mosque plans by a vote of 7 to 2. However, opponents say they will appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

An opinion poll showing that only 24% of Victorians support the government's flagship road project, the East West Link, has sent shockwaves through the Victorian government.

The East West Link is not the vote-winner that Victorian Premier Denis Napthine had hoped it would be.

A recent opinion poll shows most Victorians are opposed to the state government’s plan to build the new toll road and want the money spent on public transport infrastructure instead.

The Labor opposition says it opposes the project and would not continue the project if it wins the next state election, due to take place in November. That is, unless contracts have already been signed, in which case an incoming Labor government would allow the project to go ahead.

Public housing tenants and nearby residents gathered at Debney's Park in Melbourne's inner-west to protest the impact of the East West Link on public housing flats, Debney's Park and the Flemington Community Centre.

The protest was organised by local Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Yasseen Musa, a leader of the local African community living in the flats, told the protesters: “It took 15 years to get a sports ground, then another 10 years to get two soccer pitches and a pavilion. Now we have a soccer team for the African community.

Protesters were more imaginative than usual with slogans for the Children's March for the Animals to Melbourne Zoo on May 4.

They were protesting against the $8 billion road project known as the East West Link because of the impact it would have on animals that live at the zoo.

Placards read: “Tollway noise — I can't BEAR it”, “East-West Tunnel? Don't be GALAH!” and “The toll road is enough to make a ZEBRA cross!”. Children dressed in animal costumes or carried a stuffed toy of their favourite animal.

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