Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Left Ideology at the Door

"Eat your pork, drink your wine! Your days are numbered, bourgeois swine!"

"What a load of bankers! What a load of bankers! La-la La La- Oi!"

Getting stuck in blockade wise ;)

"John Key's had his day- It's time to make the Bosses Pay!"
thanks to John D for the pictures. See more at

30 Anti-Capitalists cut through horrendous rush hour traffic to slap up a boisterous and humourous picket of John Key's Job summit today. There were some angry exchanges between the protesters and Rodney Hide, some of NZ's 200 top CEOs and leading bankers, whilst John Key was spirited away without running the red flagged gauntlet.

The crisis has seen the emergence of a new movement in countries such as Ireland, Iceland and France. New Zealand is not immune from the effects of a Global crisis, and as 70,000 jobs are lost this year, Socialist Aotearoa and other anti-capitalists will be urging confrontation, not co-operation with this 200 strong tiny elite that run this society in the interest of profits, not people.

One of the glaring realities this summit exposed was that the country lacks a combative opposition at the moment- one of the reasons why John Key scores high in media popularity polls. Unfortunately, there are those in the Trade Union bureaucracy and on the Cappuccino Left who would rather sneer at those willing to stand up for a radical alternative outside the front door of this Capitalist summit rather than organise a fightback. A boycott of this conference by Union leaders would have sent a clearer signal than what amounted to nothing more than their pacification and incorporation by a hegemonically astute Key. Whilst the now invisible Labour Party leadership licks it wounds and talks of capacity building, workers in Fisher and Paykel, TVNZ and Irwin Industrial Tools face redundancy.

And the redundancies will snowball as the international crisis deepens. Mass unemployment and the drying up of the easy credit safety valve for the working poor who suffer low pay will have a massive polarising effect on class society.

We'll oppose the cutbacks of Public Services. We'll be supporting the workers when they strike. We'll leaflet the factories facing redundancy with information about successful factory occupations in Chicago, Buenos Aires and Waterford. We'll be on the Rat Patrol hunting down Rat bosses who use the 90 Day Fire at Will Law against workers.

Now is the time to prepare and build our networks of struggle.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


On Saturday Unite Union is presenting the "Rat Patrol" to help fight
unfair sackings to the public in Aotea Square at 12 noon. Dozens of
people have volunteered to join an on-call squad to protest against
employers who sack people unfairly. They will be marching

A new law comes into force on Monday which allows workers in small
businesses to be sacked for any reason, or no reason at all, in their
first 90 days of employment. The law has been dubbed the 90-day fire
at will law by unions. Unite National Director Mike Treen says “The
Rat Patrol volunteers are telling employers that if the government
takes away peoples' right to legally challenge an unfair dismissal
then we have to take action outside the framework of the courts.” The
Rat Patrol is named in reference to a 6metre high inflatable rat the
Unite Union uses when picketing employers’ premises with a sign around
its neck saying "Don't be a rat: Give workers a fair deal”.

“We want as many volunteers as possible to join the Rat Patrol by
registering our website “ said Mike Treen. “Our goal
is to have several hundred people registered as willing and able to
respond to appeals for help on short notice. There is loads of anger
in the community about the new law, and people love the idea of
bringing the giant inflatable rat to shame their own rat bosses.”

TO REGISTER AS A RAT PATROL MEMBER to join the emergency solidarity
pickets against unfair sackings GO TO

Monday, February 23, 2009

LETTER FROM IRELAND- Gulliver has woken on the beach

Powerful Pictures and Audio also HERE

This weekend saw 120,000 workers march through the streets of Dublin calling for the withdrawal of the Fianna Fail governments 'pension levy'. The levy means that a public sector worker who earns 35,000 euro a year will lose 50 euro a week from their pay packet, so a couple who both work in the public sector are losing 400 euro a month, which is the cost of a mortgage and is an amount that most just cannot afford to pay.

This levy comes with a string of other vicious cuts against both private and public workers, the young, old and the unemployed. The right wing parties spouting pathetic justifications to, unsuccessfully, convince the irish working class to pay for the crisis. They have cut aid to children from Ireland's 'Traveller' community to assist them in school, they have cut aid to all children once they hit 5 years of age, creches, community drugs schemes, teachers and they want to slash our bus routes.

But people have reacted and reacted with anger. When the cuts were first announced there was a general meeting of the union IMPACT, which is a public services union, at which the leadership of the union called for an 'email campaign' and valentines day protests outside ministers constituency offices. There was fury from the members, the meeting erupted into calls for ballots for immediate strike action. The evening news on ireland's state TV reported the union leaders resolutions but ignored the call for strike action, there is a real fear in the Irish ruling class of a fight back from any sector inspiring others, but they cant hold back the anger that's out there no matter how hard they try.

'Teachers United' a grassroots movement of rank and file teachers picketed Anglo Irish Bank, a bank which has just been nationalised and its estimated that this maneuver has cost each household here 20,000 euro, the director of the bank, parasite Sean Fitzpatrick, it was revealed, gave himself loans of 80 million. Then it emerged that Anglo Irish had loaned 10 people secretly 400 million euro to buy shares in the bank just before nationalisation, if the shares went up they made huge profits, if they went down well the irish taxpayer was paying for the loan anyway.
The teachers protest got a lot of media attention because people are well aware of the connections between the shady dealings of the banks and the right wingers in the parliament buildings.

A meeting of rank and file and various sympathetic officers of all the unions was called in Dublin at which people called for an 'Iceland style situation' and general strike action across all sectors to reverse the cuts and to bring down the government. Various trade union members spoke of the fear and anger they encountered amongst fellow workers and how, despite the sabotage of the union leadership, they had managed, in some cases, to call huge meetings of workers (up to 500 in a lot of cases!) where the call for strike action and ballots to all members for such action was unanimously endorsed. The meeting was addressed by a worker from the Waterford Crystal factory which is still in occupation- he pointed out that we must resist the media onslaught which has been savagely attempting to drive a wedge between the private and the public sector workers. He received a standing ovation from every single person there. Everyone left the meeting determined to go back to there own unions and build for the national stoppage.

Last Wednesday the CPSU, the civil service union, had a walkout attended by thousands of members, at which we did a stall calling for further action and across all sectors, workers were coming up to the table saying 'we completely agree with you but why sign a petition? we need strike action NOW!'.

The bus drivers have been protesting constantly outside both the Department of Transport and out side the headquarters of the Green Party (who are in coalition with the Right, and despite claims to want more public transport have gone along with every cut). The drivers strike this week beginning on Friday and socialists and the People Before Profit movement organised public meetings across the city to defend our bus routes. At the meetings people from the working class communities affected spoke passionately in favour of the bus workers actions. Everywhere you look right now the phrase 'the workers united will never be defeated' is becoming a reality.

On Saturday last, the 21st of February, 120,000 workers marched through Dublin city centre to the seat of Government to show their opposition to, not only these cuts, but the Fianna Fail government and their friends in the banks. People began to gather from early in the morning at the top of Dublin's O'Connell street, we were overwhelmed by the response to our stall calling for united strike action, people cheered and shook our hands, we sold hundreds and hundreds of socialist newspapers. The banners making their way up the street showed the diversity of the opposition to this government but also the unity amongst the workers both public and private.
The Irish Travellers Rights association, Nurses, Firemen,Civil Servants, The Waterford Crystal workers (who were applauded all the way up the street by every single person standing on either side), Taxi drivers,Shell to Sea campaign,Anti War activists, The Socialists, Students, Anarchists, Sinn Fein, Teachers, Doctors, Binmen and even the Soldiers and some sections of the police. The mood in Irish society right now is so strongly turned against the government that the soldiers union have felt the strength to come out and state that not one of their members will break any strike. This has sent the government and the Army Officers into a panic, a high ranking officer this week in the papers was stated as saying that he would force the obedience of the lower ranks. Not sure exactly how they plan to force the men to break a strike, but its a sign of how much this government is losing control.

With the CPSU walking out of work this Thursday and the Buses out on Friday it looks like Fianna Fail are going to fail in their attempt to make the working class of Ireland pay for their criminal friends in the banks and the anarchy of the system they benefit from.
With a National One Day strike coming in the near future it seems the Irish Gulliver has woken on the beach and is starting to realise that he's tied down by nothing but tiny Lilliputians.

The workers are united. And although this movement will have it's peaks and valleys nothing can ever be the same again. Come visit Ireland...we're about to bring down a government!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

WE WON'T PAY FOR THEIR CRISIS! Protest Key's Crisis Summit this Friday Feb 27 from 4-6pm,

New Zealand is heading towards a major slump in employment as the effects of the Global Crisis begin to take hold. 70,000 jobs are expected to be lost this year- workers at TVNZ, Irwin Industrial Tools and Fisher and Paykel are already in the front line. John Key's response is to call a Crisis Summit with the leading players in NZ Capitalism. Union leaders have also been invited.

Anti capitalists will be gathering outside, however.
Socialist Aotearoa blog editor Joe Carolan says-
"We don't believe that unions and the bosses have common interests. We believe it is the bosses, bankers and speculators like John Key who have created this mess, both globally and domestically. As the crisis in capitalism deepens in countries such as Iceland, Ireland and France, we have seen a powerful people's movement take to the streets and push the unions to launch mass strikes to defend workers conditions"

"We're warning the Business Class of New Zealand that if they attempt to attack our working conditions here, they will trigger the same kind of resistance. We're warning the Union bosses to sell out and compromise at their peril. We're raising a red flag of anger outside this talkfest to show that we're sick of low pay, job losses and a morally discredited economic system that puts profits before people. We won't pay for their Crisis!"

this Friday Feb 27 from 4pm till 6pm,
TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre,
770 Great South Road, Manakau.

Summit programme HERE.
Contact Joe at 021 1861450

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recruiting for the RAT PATROL

From March '09 workers in small businesses will be able to be sacked for any reason, or no reason at all, in their first 90 days of employment.

The RAT PATROL has been launched by unions and community groups to make sure no worker get unfairly dismissed under the new law.

Join the RAT Patrol tour of Auckland Malls and Markets:

Meet: Saturday, February 28, 12 noon, Aotea Square, CBD

Register as a RAT PATROL member to join the emergency solidarity pickets against unfair sackings. Our goal is to have several hundred people registered as willing and able to respond to appeals for help on short notice. Register with your email address and send us your mobile number for text messages.

Nicola writes-

We had a fun but wet day out with the RAT PATROL at Mangere Market on
Saturday. This weekend there are a few activities planned, but it's
essential that you let us know which ones you will come to in advance,
so please contact us at

Saturday 21 Feb - Otara market meet 9am at Unite office, or 10am at Otara market

Sat 21st Feb - Rock in the Park, Three Kings Reserve, off Mt Eden Road
(Albert Road end) from 2pm

Sun 22 Feb - Avondale Market - meet 9am at Unite Office or 10 at the market.

Monday 23 Feb, 6pm Unite office 6A Western Springs Road, planning meeting

You MUST reply to this email or text me 0210 358 513 to confirm
meeting places - Otara will definitely go ahead, but the other stalls
are dependent on the number of people who agree to help out.

The leaflet and sign up sheets are attached - you can use them
anywhere, so sign up your friends and workmates, and send the names
back in so we can keep building the RAT PATROL

Remember to sign up for the Rat Patrol on the Unite website - and pass
this link on to everyone you know:

Hope to see you this weekend.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

National/Maori party honeymoon- Smashed on Waitangi Day.


Guest Commentary:
Sina Brown-Davis, Ngati Whatua ki Kaipara

The National/Maori party honeymoon was smashed on Waitangi Day. The brave actions of two young warriors definitely dispelled the pro government propaganda that the National and Maori Party were desperately trying to cement on Waitangi Day. Mrs Harawira’s reaction is complete hypocrisy. Each generation has a right to oppose their oppression. Just because some are sitting at the table with or holding onto the arm of the oppressor that gives them no right to crush dissent when it doesn't suit their own political purposes. Whether our Maori leader’s or Maori elite like to admit it or not there is a groundswell of anger and disappointment that our grassroots have been sold out, again, and wait to get kicked in their teeth by their own.

When you add up the combined impacts of the “90 Day fire law”, the changes to the RMA, changes to bail laws, the privatisation of welfare, prisons, water and the ongoing impacts recession has on our communities. Our flax roots have every right to be angry.

The Maori Party is a right wing party, make no mistake about that. Hiding behind the rhetoric of advancing all Maori, they have shown that they are willing to sacrifice the vast majority of Maori for the enrichment and advancement of a few. Our so-called Maori leaders were unwilling to even discuss huge unemployment amongst our people at Waitangi, yet jump at the chance to be involved in privatisation. These neo tribal capitalists are transparent in their greed and their neoliberal modus operandi. These elements have much to gain from the privatisation of public services and their turning over to Maori business interests in the name of “self determination”.

This is exactly what was intended way back when the treaty settlement process & fiscal envelope were touted and subsequently implemented. Maori have already been kicked in the guts from the recession; disproportionally we have already the highest percentage of recently unemployed. Turia’s prescription for recently unemployed Maori is to study as a way to ride out the recession, which is patronising and out of touch as you can get. Expect to see more of the same as nowadays it seems you are not a real Maori if your a worker, gang member or on a benefit.

The Maori Party has already started to demonise other Maori that don’t “fit with the program”. This is a ploy to soften up and slam into our own disenfranchised & dispossessed and to squash dissent by Maori to the National gubbaments agenda. Our elite will gladly take up the role of the native police to keep the more rebellious and those resentful of these polices in line. At the end of the day, the mokopuna of Roger Douglas will have their say. The mass of our flax roots, our workers, our youth, our gang members and all our whanau at the bottom of the heap struggling to survive. We are the sleeping taniwha that will rise up and take back the future that our Leaders & elite have already sold.

Sina Brown-Davis
Ngati Whatua ki Kaipara

Iwi present Key with wish-list for action HERE
SOE shares part of Maori Party 'budget HERE
Gordon Campbell on the challenges that the RMA changes pose for the Maori Party HERE

Monday, February 02, 2009

A Valentine for Palestine

A Valentine for Palestine

Practical Solidarity with the People of Gaza


Start Time:
14 February 2009 at 20:00
End Time:
15 February 2009 at 02:00
Tom Fordes Irish Bar and Political Museum
122 Anzac Avenue
Auckland, New Zealand
Contact Info


A night of music, poetry, art and dance to raise money for the people of Gaza.

Solidarity with the Tamil People- Demo 5pm this Weds, Aotea Square- interview with NZ activist

Socialist Aotearoa editor Joe Carolan talked to Nirupa George, the Media Liaison officer for the Tamil Youth Organisation New Zealand

Nirupa, when did you first become an activist for the Tamil cause?

I would say I really became involved after I visited Sri Lanka in 2003- my extended family still live there- I never really had a chance to get to know my extended family due to limited contact due to the war, so really my motivation is not because I have family there but because all Tamils are my kith and kin.

Is there a big Tamil community here in NZ?

There is a relatively large community- in total, over 5000 in NZ, and of that 3000 in Auckland.

How do you see yourself politically?

Politically, I do not lean right, I am left wing and I support any oppressed people.

How did the present conflict in Sri Lanka begin?

The conflict began, in essence with the divide and rule policy of the British colonialist that built up a racial divide between the two races, Tamil and Sinhalese.

Like Ireland, India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine?

Yes exactly, and after they left, they left the government in the hands of the Sinhalese who then embarked on an oppressive regime.

Tamils were a minority in the new state- how were they discriminated against?

There was government job discrimination, where Tamils weren't given jobs for being Tamil.

Then legislative discrimination, such as in education- in 1972 there was standardisation against Tamil students for Uni entrance, and they made over 1 million Tamils stateless by revoking their citizenship via statute- they also made Sinhalese the only official language. This was all of course before they got into the genocide of Tamils- this was the so called 'lawful' discrimination- used to fuel hatred.

Sri Lanka was once famous throughout the world for having a large, revolutionary socialist party that united Tamil and Singhalese workers. How did this give way to racism and Singhalese chauvinism?

Those who advocated for the rights of Tamils were killed and murdered

Unions and activists were brutally shut down, and such activities, were done by the government, but were used as propaganda to incite racial hatred.

It seems there was a strategy in Sri Lanka to divert the anger of the working class away from revolutionary socialism and into nationalist chauvinism.

Yes, because they are well aware that socialism will unite the people, so they divide and rule.

Is there much of a Sinhalese community here in Aotearoa? Are they racist towards you?

There is a community here, and they are not openly racist. But we have it on good authority they oppose the self determination of the Tamil on a political level.

Is there a divide within the Sinhalese people, and opposition to their murderous government?

Hardly, none that we have seen. We have never had the Sinhalese community here support us in opposing the Sri Lankan government.

What were the events and oppressions that led to the armed struggle of the Tamil people? Was there a specific event in the 70s, like Bloody Sunday in Ireland?

They shut down peaceful marches and protests. In 1974, the Tamil world conference was disturbed and many Tamil academics where murdered, and in 1977 there was a large riots in which many Tamils were systematically murdered., and on top of that, the killings of Tamil leaders who advocated for Tamil rights.

What is the current situation in Sri Lanka and what is it like for the Tamil people there?

The current situation in SL is that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) have set up 'safety zones', areas which they claim civilians are safe in. But the truth of it is that these safety zones are actually open prisons were Tamils are trapped and then murdered by continued shelling and artillery attacks.

The so called 'safety zones' are just elaborate fronts to give the international community the impression that the SLA is protecting the civilians, but really they are orchestrating a mass murder campaign.

We know that at least over 400 people have died in the last week or so but it is almost impossible to confirm exact numbers as there are no independent Media in the area as the government won't allow them in. There are also no NGO groups in the area so a lot of the government atrocities are going unquestioned.

Is that why civilians are now fleeing with the fighters into the jungles, leaving ghost towns behind them?

Yes, because the SLA has a long and recorded history of killing Tamils so people do not trust them, and they have been proven right by all the killings that have happened recently. They are safer with the LTTE so they would rather go live in the jungle with fighters who look after them.

What is the history of the LTTE?

The LTTE is a people's movement- it was started by the people for the people. After all the oppression they faced and they felt they had no choice but to take up arms as peaceful measures had failed.

The LTTE has always advocated for the rights of the Tamil people- they have protected the Tamil people, especially after events like the tsunami. They provided food, aid, medical help, shelter and so forth when the government abandoned us.

And they are opposed by powerful international forces as well as the SLA?

Yes, all countries have a vested interest, for example India and the USA.

They will gain much from the LTTE being defeated as the north and east of SL has many resources such as deep water harbours that are essential for easy trade in that area

Would an independent Tamil state be a threat to them?

Yes, because the Tamil state will not be a puppet to foreign powers as the interest of the Tamil people will come first. Also they know if the LTTE prevail, it will send a message of hope to other freedom movements, and they don't want that eg- US with Palestine and India with its freedom movement groups

If the LTTE are militarily defeated, the resistance of the Tamil people will continue against an SLA occupation of their land?

Of course, because the LTTE are essentially the people- so until you kill off every single Tamil, the LTTE will never actually be defeated. As long as the Tamil people are oppressed, our resistance will continue

What can we do here in Aotearoa in solidarity with the Tamil people?

Most importantly, raise awareness, because so many people don't know due to lack of media reporting.

Also talk to your local MP and write to the foreign minister. And join us on Feb 4th to show the government that you support us- urge the govt to condemn the Sri Lankan government's genocide.

Urge NZ to help Norway push for peace, and to stop cricket tours of Sri Lanka or the Sri Lankan team visiting.

Do you have much faith in Western governments aiding the Tamil people, really? The same people who support the USA, Israel etc?

I personally have lost a lot of faith, but I remain hopeful.

Where is the demo on Wednesday Feb 4th?

At Aotea Sq, starting at 3PM-7PM a march at 5PM, also there are protests in Welly and Christchurch.

Socialist Aotearoa support the right of the Tamil people for national liberation. We will be there.

Thank you, your support means a lot to the Tamil community at this very distressing time

Our community is crushed because so many people have lost their relatives

people who want more information can get it at or

Pictures at- tos/2009/feb/20090201/NEWZEALAN D/