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Showing posts from April, 2008

MAY THE FIRST BE WITH YOU!

If I had a hammer (and a sickle...!)

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Protesters puncture dome at Waihopai spy base



From NZ Herald, 8:28AM Wednesday April 30, 2008


Protest targets spy base
Three protesters this morning invaded the 'spy base' at Waihopai and punctured one of the large white domes that house two satellite dishes.
The base's opponents argue that it is primarily feeding information to the United States in support of wars New Zealanders do not support.
But the secretive Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), which operates the base, near Blenheim, rejects this.
The protesters' spokesman, Manu Caddie, said the group had to cut through a razor wire fence before using sickles to deflate the dome.
He said the protest was against the United States led "war on terror".
Mr Caddie said at 8am that the group had not been arrested but a security guard was on the scene.

From stuff.co.nz

A group called Ploughshares attacked the base this morning, and deflated the dome which protects the radar dish inside.
A witness at the base …

Auckland Atelier

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Foodstuffs Strikes- Day 2

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Food distribution workers strike for $2.50 per hour pay rise

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Ninety Auckland Foodstuffs distribution workers began indefinite lunch-time strikes for a $2.50 partial pay parity pay rise starting today, 12 o’clock at 60 Roma Rd, Mount Roskill Auckland.

Great picket today - we had the NDU bus there and lots of pretty flags. One of the placards said "we put the pak into pak n slave". For me the most encouraging thing was seeing the workers gain the confidence to take the megaphones from the officials and start taking ownership of the picket themselves. The response to the chant of 'whatta we want' was 'union power'!

We held the picket on the Roma Road corner - there is more traffic, and it is right outside the Gilmours distribution centre which is 100% owned by foodstuffs. The Gilmours workers are only on $12.25 for the same job despite working for Foodstuffs - it will be their turn to negotiate next. The Foodstuffs workers will be there again tomorrow - and probably till the end of the week.

If anyone is able to make …

Makin' flags for the May Day

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MAYDAY LETTER TO HELEN KELLY, CTU PRESIDENT

Socialist Aotearoa would like to get your support for a letter extending solidarity with the Junior doctor's strike in the face of attacks from both the Labour Goverment AND the President of the CTU, Helen Kelly. Kelly's statement is reproduced at the following link- http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2008/04/shock-as-ctus-kelly-attacks-junior.html

We will send the letter to the Junior doctor's union, the NZRDA, to the CTU and to the media. It is vital that the principles of solidarity with striking workers are defended, and that if anything, these workers give unions a good name.

MAYDAY LETTER TO HELEN KELLY, CTU PRESIDENT

We would like to extend our solidarity to our hard working junior doctors, whose organisation, the New Zealand Resident Doctors' Association, finds itself attacked by the representative of the Council of Trade Unions for giving "unions a bad name" in the media.

It is our belief that the job of unions is to represent their members, and not t…

Support Mount Roskill Foodstuffs strikers!

Ninety Auckland Foodstuffs distribution workers will begin indefinite lunch-time strikes for a $2.50 partial pay parity pay rise starting today, 12 o’clock at 60 Roma Rd, Mount Roskill Auckland.

Distribution sector secretary Karl Andersen says that while every day New Zealander’s suffer food price rises, food companies are making a killing off the backs of their workers low pay.

“Foodstuffs made its biggest profit in the history of the group in 2007,” he said. “Yet food prices continued to rise by 9% since then and grocery and supermarkets sales show no sign of slowing.”

“Foodstuffs - New Zealand’s 2nd biggest company behind Fonterra - made $7.2 billion revenue off the back of its low paid workers who, like other Kiwis, find it difficult to buy food for their kids.”

Mr Andersen says the Reserve Bank’s call for “wage restraints” in light of record profits and increasing sales is ludicrous.

The workers pick and pack food items at Foodstuffs main Auckland distribution centre for its franchise…

Matt McCarten: Anzac Day - we're comfortable with this historic illusion

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On Friday, New Zealand saluted our Gallipoli war dead who were butchered in their tens of thousands because of the incompetent British upper-class twits who led them.As we know, the cream of our country's youth went off to join the other colonials of the British Empire to the killing fields in feudal Europe. I know it's unpatriotic and bad manners these days to mention, but many of these young volunteer soldiers were the same ones who, two years earlier, had saddled up their horses and rode into our cities to smash a general strike of workers.Our then-conservative Government gave thousands of these young horsemen carte blanche to ride into town using hand-made batons to club workers into submission and smash the strike. After they won, these young farmers proudly nicknamed themselves "Massey's Cossacks" after our Prime Minister at the time...Read the article in full HERE

Shock as CTU's Kelly attacks Junior Doctors

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Many trade unionists in Aotearoa are shocked at Helen Kelly's attack on the Resident Doctor's Association, where she says that she hopes that strikers "don't give unions a bad name". Socialist Aotearoa would like to extend its solidarity to our hard working junior doctors in their fight for justice, and urges unionists everywhere to send their solidarity to the NZRDA by sending them an email here.
It is a sad day when trade unionists working in our hospitals need to strike under a so called Labour government. It is a sadder day when the supposed voice of trade unionism attacks them for striking. With behaviour like this, it is no wonder that the NZRDA does not affiliate to the Labour party controlled CTU, who would do better supporting workers in struggle than their friends in Government.

- Socialist Aotearoa

From Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 27 April 2008CTU wades into junior doctors' union over strike Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has questio…

1968- the Revolution Last Time- Workshop

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Ticket to ride

Blair 'caught riding without a ticket'

Wed Apr 23, 12:21 PM ET
LONDON (AFP) - Former prime minister Tony Blair was left red-faced when he was caught travelling on a train without a ticket and said he had no cash to pay the fare, a report said on Wednesday.

Blair, who has earned around 500,000 pounds on the speaking circuit since leaving office in June, was confronted by a ticket inspector as he travelled to Heathrow airport to catch a flight to the United States on Monday, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.
He said he had no cash for the 24.50 pounds fare because money an aide had given him was no longer in his pocket.
The newspaper, quoting Blair's spokesman, said his bodyguard offered to pay the ticket, but the inspector said he could travel for free.
Blair, 54, has taken up a post as the Middle East envoy for the international Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.
He also has a lucrative part-time post as advisor to Wall Street bank J…

Pepper-sprayed protester sues police for $50,000

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Piripi the chicken and Colonel Simon O (right)

Pepper-sprayed protester sues police for $50,000

A veteran protester is accusing police of assault and wants $50,000 compensation after suffering a week-long headache from being pepper-sprayed, Rotorua District Court was told. Simon Oosterman, of Auckland, was sprayed during a protest at Rotorua's Scion on January 30, 2005, the Daily Post reported. He is seeking costs for assault and breaches of his rights. A three-day hearing into the case began yesterday before Judge Chris McGuire.

Mr Oosterman was charged with resisting and obstructing police following the protest but cleared on both charges. Yesterday, Mr Oosterman's lawyer Graeme Minchin said the issue was whether police actions during the protest were reasonable. Mr Oosterman said he was part of what was intended to be a peaceful but noisy protest organised by the Rotorua GE Free group against genetically modified trees. He said he was pepper-sprayed when he tried to stop polic…

Maoist win creates a storm in Nepal

After ten years of fighting a guerilla war, Nepal’s Maoists have been elected to government. Yuri Prasad asks if their radicalism will survive

The victory of the Maoist communists in Nepal, who won almost half of the seats in last week’s constituent assembly elections and are now set to form a government, has rocked the country.
Reports have given the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (CPN-M)119 of 239 directly elected district seats, with results yet to come from about 20 more. The Maoists were also well positioned for a large share of 335 seats to be awarded proportionally.

For more than ten years the Maoists have fought a guerrilla war against the Royal Nepalese Army, and the monarchy and landlords that it protected.

The scale of the Maoist’s victory is a blow to the US’s policy in the region.
Both the US and Britain helped arm the Royal Nepalese Army and the US state department has described the CPN-M as a “terrorist organisation”.
In 2005 King Gyanendra dismissed the elected Nepale…

Amnesty NZ's China campaign

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Right now in China brave people are putting themselves at risk, simply by asking for human rights. Rights you and I can take for granted.

I'm asking you to support them, and help us campaign to make 'real and lasting' change a reality in China. There will never be a better time to demand that the Chinese government honours the commitments it made.

Because, the reality of life in China is different to the spin:


* Executions: An estimated 8,000 last year, with over 68 “crimes” being punishable by death. “Confessions” extracted under torture and with no presumption of innocence.
* Internet Repression: Internet censorship remains pervasive in China with few signs that the authorities are prepared to relax policies of surveillance and control.
* Re-education through Labour: Critics of the government and members of banned religions can be sent to a labour camp for up to 4 years, without charge or trial.
* Torture: Torture is widespread in the criminal justice system - common methods i…

Paris, May 1968.

a radical Left alternative in London

Food Riots and Capitalism

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More and more countries are now facing food riots, as valuable arable land once used for the production of staple crops gives way to biofuels. Comrades might find the following essay useful, looking at the role laissez faire capitalism played in the Irish Famine of 1847.

Read it HERE

Crisis in Haiti as World Bank issues food price warningby Sadie RobinsonThe global crisis over rising food prices continues to grow. Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, warned last Sunday that the price rises have put 100 million lives under threat.His fears were echoed by Ban Ki-Moon, secretary-general of the United Nations. "The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions," he said on Tuesday of this week.Food riots in Haiti forced the prime minister to step down last Saturday. This followed a week of protests against rises of more than 50 percent for many staple foods in Haiti over the past year.There has been much finger wagging in t…

More Terror Raids in Auckland

Urewera raid police make another arrestNZ Herald breaking news: 2:47PM Monday April 21, 2008
Anti-terror raidsNewspaper editor faces charges over raid leaksRaids 'hurt' is regretted: Broad Another person has been arrested in relation to the Urewera raids by police in October last year.Police spokeswoman Jane Archibald said the 26 year-old woman was facing 10 firearms charges and had name suppression.Another police spokeswoman, Angeline Barlow, said the woman was from Auckland and was likely to be tried along with the others who were originally arrested last October.

New Zealand pensions make Cluster Bombs

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The Shock Doctrine- Naomi Klein

Italian far left devestated after coalition with Ital's centre left

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The experience of Alliance's coalition with Labour here in NZ is repeated in Italy.
This just in from Wikipedia, shows the dangers of going into power with the Social Liberals.


The Left – The Rainbow (La Sinistra – L'Arcobaleno, SA), is a left-wing federation of parties in Italy which was officially launched on 89 December2007.[1][2] The goal of the federation is to unite Italian left parties in a united bloc, somewhat similar as the center-left forces have done with the Democratic Party. The federation is defined by its members as the "Italian radical left"[3].
The federation is composed of four parties:
the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC, communist, leader: Franco Giordano);
the Party of Italian Communists (PdCI, communist, leader: Oliviero Diliberto);
the Federation of the Greens (FV, green, leader: Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, Minister of the Environment);
the Democratic Left (SD, socialist, leader: Fabio Mussi, Minister of University and Research).
Fausto Bertinotti, Pr…

Take Action on Super Fund Investments in Cluster Bombs

Take Action on Super Fund Investments in Cluster Bombs

On Friday, 18 April, the day before the Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Munitions (19 April), there will be protests at the Super Fund offices in Auckland and Wellington to call on the Fund to divest immediately from companies involved in cluster bomb production.

* Auckland: from 5pm to 6pm, outside the AMP Centre, corner Customs Street West and Albert Street, down by the Viaduct. Organised by Investment Watch, for more information contact email omarhamed123@gmail.com

* Wellington: from 5pm to 6pm, at the traffic lights at the intersection of Queen's Wharf, Jervois Quay and Grey Street. Organised by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Peace Movement Aotearoa, for more information contact email wilpf@xtra.co.nz



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What is the Super Fund?
The Super Fund is billions of dollars of YOU…

Labour Yawnfest Disrupted

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For a second time in a row, a Labour party conference looked like a shambolic mess, with Maori, trade unionists and activists OUTSIDE shouting in. The disruption of Helen Clarke's speech was a classic political moment, and she looked like the lame duck she is increasingly becoming when she eventually resumed to deliver a tedious and lacklustre yawn fest. "Just do it!"- Labour NZ, sponsored by Nike.

The increasingly shrill and vitriolic hysteria from pro Labour union officials banging on about working class delegates might fool young Labour students cosseted from the reality of the trade union movement, but it doesn't wash with any of the anti capitalist activists who have been on the ground building the fightback with unions like Unite, the NDU and the SFWU.

Throughout the whole of the SupersizeMyPay campaign, not one Labour MP showed up on the picket lines. Radical activists delivered maximum solidarity during the Progressive lockout, when local Labour MP Taito Field …

On the march....

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A reading list for comrades

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