Draft International Perspectives Resolution for the Socialist Alliance 10th national conference

The following draft international perspectives resolution is submitted by the Socialist Alliance national executive for discussion in the lead-up to the 10th national conference on June 7-9, 2014. Comrades can propose amendments or additions by sending them to: national_office@socialist-alliance.org

Recent experiences and lessons in building Brisbane branch

By Liam Flenady, Brisbane Branch

Over the last 18 months Brisbane branch has made a very real turn around. At the start of 2012 the branch was in disarray, was largely demoralised, and was in the middle of a financial crisis that almost lost us our activist centre. Yet we must have done something right, because less than 18 months later, we now have a whole new layer of youth around the branch who are doing incredible work and are excited about the building the party. Our recruitment, contacting and integration are beginning to function very well. Our finances are improving and our Green Left sales are not where they should be but are slowly progressing. We are now playing a leading role in one of the most important campaigns in QLD (civil liberties) and have a strong implantation on UQ campus for the first time in years. Our branch meetings have grown from 5 people to 12-16 and their level of engagement and political content has increased immensely.

Stepping Stones

By Dave Riley, Brisbane Branch 

Our constitution describes the branch as the basic unit of the Socialist Alliance.” We grow both by making  our branches bigger  and by forming new branches in suburban and regional centres. 

Whatever success we may have had is predicated on the presumption that these 
‘basic units’ are our primary means of expansion. The method is straightforward: enlarge the branches we’ve got now and make new ones.

In this contribution I want to explore that assumption and try to reset it.

For a campaign to nationalise the car industry

By Chris Slee, Melbourne District

GMH, Ford and Toyota all plan to close their vehicle manufacturing operations in Australia over the next two or three years.  Tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs in car factories, and in factories making car components.

Meanwhile there is an urgent need for more public transport.

We should call for the nationalisation of the vehicle industry, both to save jobs and to begin the process of converting it to make public transport vehicles (buses, trams and trains).

To popularize the idea, we should leaflet May Day marches and other union rallies and meetings, as well as leafleting the car factories.

We should take the idea of nationalisation into the unions covering the vehicle industry, especially the AMWU.  Socialist Alliance members who are members of these unions should raise motions on the issue in union meetings.  The motions should call on the unions to organise a campaign for nationalisation, including rallies and marches, and (where there is sufficient support amongst the workers) industrial action.

Defending comradely solidarity in Socialist Alliance

By Lisa Macdonald (Sydney West Branch), Karen F (Melbourne District), Pat Brewer (Illawarra Branch) and Peter Boyle (Sydney Central Branch)

[Explanatory note: This contribution was prepared by a working group tasked by the National Executive with reviewing our Constitution and Code of Conduct to clarify and strengthen the organisation’s ability to prevent and deal with abusive and violent behaviour in the organisation. 

The working group also contributed to the section of Susan Price’s contribution, “Thinking about Party Leadership and Functioning in Socialist Alliance” on “Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Ableism, Ageism in the Party”.

The document is a revision of the original Socialist Alliance Code of Conduct (adopted in July 2003, and published in Alliance Voices Vol.3, No.10, September 2003) with new appended guidelines to assist leadership bodies dealing with reports of sexual assault by members. The contribution also proposes some small amendments to the Socialist Alliance Constitution.

Discussion on the draft is welcome and will assist the working group to prepare a revised document and a contextualising report for consideration at the SA National Conference in June.]

Thinking About Party Leadership and Functioning in the Socialist Alliance

By Susan Price, Sydney Central Branch

[Explanatory note: This contribution is based on a discussion paper prepared for the Socialist Alliance National Organisers School in January 2014. It is being circulated in Alliance Voices for members' consideration in the lead up to our forthcoming national conference, around the question of whether the Socialist Alliance should adopt a set of organizational principles at this time, and whether the points below could form the basis of such principles.]

Why we should not change our name at this time

By Chris Slee, Melbourne Branch

Dave Riley has argued that Socialist Alliance should change its name, and suggested adopting the name “GreenLeft”.

I don’t think we should change our name, except in the context of regroupment - i.e. uniting with some other group(s) on the left to create a new organisation.  And I don’t think we should give up on regroupment, as Dave appears to do.  It is not on the agenda today, but things can change unexpectedly.

Recent Contributions