Showing posts from May, 2008

Letter From Lille: Echoes of '68

May 1968....
As France commemorates the fortieth anniversary with a flurry of debates, books, movies and celebrations, the Old Left looks its age. The Socialist Party is divided, the Communist Party is a shambles and the supporters of both are searching for answers. Enter Olivier Besancenot, the charismatic 34-year-old leader of the Revolutionary Communist League, the successor of the Communist League, known by its French acronym LCR. Surfing on the mounting resentment toward the pro-market policies of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, the tepid opposition of the establishment left and his own newfound popularity, Besancenot is convinced that the time is ripe to upset the existing order. So on a chilly January night, he ventured into France's northern region. With its hulking steel mills and red-brick mining towns from a bygone era, its rich cast of trade-union and political leaders, the north of France has for decades been a bastion of the Old Left. Besancenot had come …

New Caledonia police clash with union demonstrators in Noumea

Police in the French Occupied Pacific territory of New Caledonia have
used tear gas to break up a protest by hundreds of union activists
during a visit by a French government minister.

Members of a union representing New Caledonia's indigenous Kanak
population had called a general strike on the first day of a visit
France's junior minister for overseas territories, Yves Jego.

The clashes in the capital, Noumea, are said to have lasted for about
two hours.

One policeman is reported to have been slightly injured in the
violence, and one protester arrested.

The union says further demonstrations are planned. au/news/stories/ 200805/s2259814. htm?tab=pacific

New Caledonia police clash with union demonstrators in NoumeaPosted at 22:32 on 29 May, 2008 UTCThere have been clashes in the centre of the New Caledonian capital, Noumea, between police and supporters of the mainly Kanak USTKE union who claim to be deprived of their rights.The union had called for a general…

China's growth pains

International Socialism Journal Issue: 118
Charlie Hore This year will see the thirtieth anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s announcement of China’s “Four Modernisations”, the economic reform programme that laid the basis for China’s economic boom. This summer’s Olympic Games, planned to be among the most spectacular ever, will underline the extent to which China has become a major economic and political power. But 2008 may also be the year when the long-predicted recession finally hits world capitalism—and that would have a profound effect on the Chinese economy. One way and another China will be much in the news this year.One constant theme in that news coverage is the “threat” of China overtaking the US to become the world’s dominant economic power. The most obvious aspect of China’s recent economic growth has been its sheer speed, and it is this that largely fuels the idea of the “threat” (with a barely hidden undercurrent of “yellow peril” racism). However, what has less often been …

Manifesto- Workshop on Marx this Thursday, 7pm

MANIFESTO- the Revolutionary Ideas of Karl MarxChristophe Hoffmeier, a German Socialist from Marx21, a revolutionary group within the German Left Party, presents an introduction to the Communist Manifesto and the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx, and how they still inspire resistance and savage capitalism 160 years on.

Also a Screening of the Communist ManifesTOON!

Host:Socialist Aotearoa Type:Education - Workshop Time and PlaceDate:Thursday, May 29, 2008 Time:7:00pm - 9:00pm Location:Room 260-219, Owen G Glen Building, Business School, University of Auckland Street:Symonds Street City/Town:Auckland, New Zealand
View Map Google MapQuest Microsoft Yahoo Contact InfoPhone:0211861450

Mayday, Workers Day

Mayday, Workers Day-
its time to make the bosses pay!
(better late than never)

Solidarity with West Papua

Ongoing Protest at the sale of furniture made from rainforest “kwila” from West PapuaIndonesia Human Rights Committee and supporters conducteda further “Don’t Buy Kwila” demonstration close to the Design Warehouse at 136 Fanshawe St, Auckland City 12 Noon Saturday 24 May.Other demonstrations have taken place in South Auckland at the Four Seasons and Harvey Normans shops. While some retailers are now turning away from kwila to other woods with independent certification of legality, this is not the case for the Design Warehouse.The participants used street theatre to highlight the devastating impact of the rainforest destruction and illegal logging on communities in West Papua . Tribal people are losing the traditional land and the forests that they depend on for their livelihood. Globally deforestation accounts for some 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.This demonstration is timely because:* The Ministries of Forestry and Trade are about to announce a new policy on illega…

Israel - created by terrorism

Sixty years since the Palestinians were expelled, Anne Alexander and John Rose examine the roots of the Israeli state The state of Israel was founded 60 years ago out of a monstrous crime – the expulsion of nearly a million Palestinians from their homes. This violence is known to Palestinians as the Nakba – the Arabic word for “catastrophe”. It was followed by a second humanitarian disaster in 1967 when Israel seized the whole of Jerusalem and the entirety of historic Palestine – leading to over 40 years of military occupation and wave after wave of killings in defence of the Zionist state.The events surrounding the Nakba and the creation of Israel in 1948 are crucial to understanding the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict today.The origins of the Zionist movement lie in Europe. The movement emerged in the late 19th century as a response to the growth of racist nationalism and antisemitism. The tragedy of Zionism is that although it was driven by the desire to found a Jewish sta…

Five Fingers for a Fist: Founding Principles of Socialist Aotearoa

1. One Solution, Revolution!

Socialist Aotearoa is a revolutionary, socialist, anti capitalist group. We fight for socialism from below, system change not climate change, and Rosa Luxemburg's battle cry that "Revolutionaries are those who fight the hardest for reforms in the here and now!".

2. Workers of the World, Unite.

Socialist Aotearoa is an international socialist group. We oppose all imperialist wars and occupations, and support all genuine national liberation struggles for independence. We demand the immediate withdrawal of New Zealand colonial troops from Afghanistan and the Pacific. We support the struggle for Tino Rangatiratanga and self determination for Maori in Aotearoa, fully aware of the bloody history of the New Zealand state's past and the dispossession of Maori today. We welcome refugees and immigrants to Aotearoa, and fight against racism wherever we find it.
3. Equality for all.

We oppose all oppressions based on race, gender, sexuality and …

Tu Kotahi - Freedom Fighting Anthems

"Tu Kotahi - Freedom Fighting Anthems" is a CD Compilation to raise money for those affected by the October 15th 'Terror' Raids.

All the money raised is split between organisations directly supporting those affected by the raids, and also working on consciousness raising around the issue.

The CDs were released, as a double CD, on Waitangi Day.

Cost $25 including a 38-page booklet.
If you have a credit card you can order the CDs at Otherwise please use the Contact form at to find other ways of getting them.

The booklet, called Wahanui, was put together by Conscious Collaborations and can be downloaded from
The CD will be posted to you and should arrive within 10 days.

They are $25 + $2 for postage and packaging.

Workshop- Disaster Capitalism and the Burmese Cyclone

This second workshop by Socialist Aotearoa looks at the Shock Doctrine, the new book by Naomi Klein, and how the ruling class uses the impact of natural disasters, war and economic chaos to pulverise opposition and increase its power.

Omar Hamed will give a short presentation on the book and its main themes, and Tinmama Oo from the Burmese Support Group in AUSA will talk about the impact of the Cyclone on the people of Myanmar, and what the revolutionary democratic forces plan to do next in the run up to the 20th anniversary of the 8.8.88 revolution.

Can the Shock Doctrine be broken? Is it possible that the impact of this horrible disaster on Burma can weaken the hegemony of its brutal military junta? Come to the workshop and discuss.

Thursday 7pm,
Business Campus, Auckland University
for more details phone Tuna at

Auckland Solidarity with the people of Burma

Dear friends
Myanmar ( Burma ) Cyclone: has killed nearly half a million so far, millions missing, thousands at risk of disease, thousands are starving, thousands are displaced, and amid much horrible devastation.

Brutal regime told people to stay out of temples and houses, and that they must look elsewhere on their own. But there is nothing left for these people.

International aid agencies are trying so hard to get into Burma to help the victims, but the regime has repeatedly rejected humanitarian workers to coming into the country.

Please join Burma Support Group of the University of Auckland for a candle light visual night to commemorate the dead, and to pray for the victims of the Cyclone

Date: Wednesday May 14th, 2008
Time: 6-8pm
Place: Auckland University Quad, Princess st, Auckland .
Contact: Tinmama 0211664294, Rufus 02102528886

Palestine 60 years on- Auckland events

Special Forum with Maher Mughrabi for Auckland University Students, on the 60th anniversary of the destruction of Palestine.

When: Wednesday 14th May 2pm - 3pm,
Where: Clubspace, above the quad, Auckland University,

MAHER MUGHRABI is a Scottish-Palestinian journalist and writer with more than 12 years' experience on newsdesks in Britain (including The Independent, The Scotsman and The Daily Mail), the Middle East (Khaleej Times) and Australia who currently works as Foreign Desk News Editor for The Age in Melbourne.

His work as a current affairs writer for The Age has dealt with Western perceptions of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Iraq, including an exclusive interview with the son of one of the two Iraqi men who were kidnapped with Australia's Douglas Wood and later murdered. He has also written on politics in India, Pakistan and Britain.

Mughrabi has also given lectures at Melbourne, Monash and La Trobe universities on the history of the Israeli-Palesti…

"Back-stabbing" CTU

Matt McCarten: Junior doctors deserve support from CTU - not back-stabbing5:00AM Sunday May 04, 2008
By Matt McCartenACTION- Sign the MayDay letter to CTU President Helen Kelly There is a sacred principle among trade unionists: when a group of workers is on strike you support them to the hilt. To side with the boss is the most serious of all crimes.Working-class history is full of epic struggles that led to better wages and conditions. Crossing a picket line banished the offender to lifetime alienation as a "scab" with whom no working person of good character would associate. This was so effective in stopping bosses from breaking strikes a law was passed making it an offence to use the word.So last week I was gobsmacked to see the head of the trade union movement publicly attack the junior doctors' two-day strike and their union leadership. It's not as if CTU president Helen Kelly doesn't know any better - her parents were staunch unionists.According to Kelly the …


A public forum with NICKY HAGER and JANE KELSEY
Part Three of the TALK ABOUT TERROR series
brings together two of New Zealand's prominent experts on issues of surveillance and decolonisation to discuss the implications of this new terrorism legislation.

Whare Wananga, Second Floor,
Auckland Central Library, Lorne Street
Wednesday 7 May, 6pm – 7:30pm

The terrorist attacks on the US of September 11, 2001 have had a profound effect on the way nation states protect their territories. In the United Kingdom and the United States, we have seen the introduction of an increased level of surveillance on everyday citizens, ranging from CCTV to the recording of private conversations. Here in New Zealand, we have seen the introduction of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, which grants the Government additional powers in its ability to surveil, search and detain those suspected of terrorist acts. While designed to protect citizens, the arrest of a number of environmental and Maori activists in the …