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Showing posts from March, 2012

Local government reform

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Reigniting the land wars

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Ten years before the 2007 police raids on Ruatoki, a threat to reignite civil war was made to Parliament by a group of disaffected, anti-government individuals. It didn't come from Maori radicals but Taranaki farmers. Were any ever arrested for sedition? Were they investigated for unlawful firearms offences? Were they castigated as anti-democratic traitors?
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Call to arms . . . against who?
THE DOMINION, 12 JUN 1997,BARLOW Hugh

ARMED insurrection by some Taranaki farmers was likely if Parliament did not change its plans to overhaul Maori leasehold land law, MPs were told yesterday.

Morris Hey, chairman of the West Coast Lessees Association, which represents leasehold farmers in Taranaki, delivered the warning to the justice and law reform select committee.

The committee is considering a bill that aims to allow Maoris to regain control over land that was tied up in perpetual leases, against their wishes, last century. The bill proposes phasing out the leases, and in the mean…

ALERT- Wharfies Locked Out- get down the gates for 3pm

Ports of Auckland Management, after failing to sack all their workers, have now issued an indefinite Lock Out notice. This is Class War. All unionists and supporters of workers rights should head down to Auckland's Waterfront from 3pm today- its time for an all out Mass Community Blockade to shut down the Port completely.

There is Blood in the water

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international and local solidarity with the Wharfies has helped to defeat the Bosses at the Port
With the decision by Ports of Auckland management to reverse their plans to subcontract out the jobs of nearly 300 sacked workers, the Wharfies are on the edge of a major victory with historic consequences for the Union movement in New Zealand.
Despite a massive assault on their union by management, right wing media and traitorous politicians, the Wharfies have stood their ground, stayed staunch on their picketlines, and defeated the attempts to replace their jobs with scab labour.
There is blood in the water now, and its time for unions to sharpen our teeth.
The turning point for this dispute was the magnificent rally of support for the Wharfies, that saw over 5,000 unionists from over 40 unions pour onto the streets of Auckland's CBD, and down to the waterfront. Socialists on this rally argued for the tactic of a mass community blockade to shut down the port if the plans for scab labour…

A sad and sorry end to a Tragic Raid- Hone speaks

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Hone Harawira, MANA Leader Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau
Mr Speaker – four years ago armed offenders stormed the homes of innocent families, broke down doors, smashed windows, overturned furniture, forced people to their knees in front of their children, refused them access to water and even the right to go to the toilet, degraded and dehumanised civilians, set up armed barricades and stopped traffic, boarded k√∂hanga reo busses and scared the crap out of little kids … and gave Tuhoe another reason to hate the forces of the state.
That exercise in police terror carried out on October 15 2007, led to people all over the country being charged with terrorism, amidst heightened global concerns of terrorist activity, and created within the wider society of New Zealand an instant and unreal fear of the kinds of images we had been barraged with on mainstream TV.
And although those charges were very quickly thrown out, the state simply had to follow through with new charges because they…

Debate: The Revolt in Syria

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Socialist Aotearoa and it's sister organisation in Britain, Socialist Worker, has supported the revolution in Syria—but not everyone on the left agrees. Here, Sami Ramadani argues that those leading the resistance are acting in the interests of the West.Simon Assaf, who writes regularly for Socialist Worker on the Middle East, responds by explaining why we should back the revolt and oppose Western interventionSami Ramadani: 'Pro-Nato factions have captured the initiative'The situation in Syria is dividing left opinion.But recent reports by Simon Assaf in Socialist Worker are seriously misreading developments in Syria and the Middle East following the magnificent people’s uprisings.Wishful thinking has replaced materialist analysis.We have to recognise that the imperialist-backed Arab counter-revolution has, in the short term, regained the initiative and is on the offensive.A ruthless, corrupt ruling class runs Syria. Left activists have suffered severe repression since Haf…

What's happening to our health system?

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Big business wants to operate on our public health system
The National Government's attacks on public services are beginning to take their toll around the country and nowhere is this more apparent than in healthcare.
The corporate agenda in healthcare in the 1990s was to attack the public health system through closures and underfunding and to open up the public system to increased privatisation bit by bit. The aim of the "more market reforms" of the health system in the 1980s and 1990s driven by the Business Roundtable's Alan Gibbs was to create a fully privatised, US-style healthcare system in New Zealand. The reforms were deeply unpopular, provoked widespread protest, mass strikes and eventually unwound by the Labour-Alliance Government in 1999.
Twenty four years after the Gibbs report Unshackling the Hospitals first recommended introducing commercial imperatives into the health sector, these reforms are being revamped by John Key's Government as the Nats become …

From little things, big things grow

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A hikoi of resistance will leave Te Hiku on 24th of April and pass through Auckland on Saturday the 28th to rally on Queen Street. More information on TangataWhenua.

Free the Urewera 4

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Mass Blockade needed at Ports of Auckland

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mass picketing in the 1970s blockaded and shut down the means of production.
These tactics are needed now on the Ports of Auckland, argues Socialist Aotearoa's Joe Carolan.

The ideological attack of the Elite 1% in New Zealand is stepping up to a new level.

The Wharfies picket line of Monday morning is now branded a sinister, violent action of gangsters and thugs, by a largely uncritical mass media. Willie Jackson's righteous call for wharfies to adopt the winning tactics of militant pickets that actually block and stop production, now sees a campaign by the right wing to vilify him and take him off the air. And on Auckland Uni campus, the loyal labour lackeys of the Princes Street branch choose to defend the scabherder Len Brown, by trespassing the activist who threw a lamington at him. What's richer than the lamington's cream is that many of these hypocrites applauded the same activist when he crowned ACT's John Bascowen with the very same cake 4 years ago.

Union…

State Capitalism from Scab Brown

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Socialist Aotearoa shows solidarity with Local 13

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Socialist Aotearoa - Mana members and union fighters.
Turn Auckland into Oakland!
Hone raises the fist!
Ideas are a weapon - the bookstall!
Our most popular placard!

Sydney stands with Local 13

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Approximately 30 ships have been scheduled to call at the Port of Auckland while the workers have been on strike. All but three diverted their voyages to nearby ports. However, the massive and very profitable shipping company Maersk sent two large container ships into Auckland to be worked by scabs.
One of the ships, the Maersk Brani, arrived in Sydney at 6.30am on Saturday March 10, direct from Auckland. Cranes at the DP World container terminal were silent all day and into the night as workers stayed outside the gate while Unions NSW, teachers, firefighters and students organised a community picket to protest the actions of the Port of Auckland and Maersk. The second ship, the Maersk Aberdeen, is due to arrive at Sydney’s Patricks terminal at 8pm Monday 12 March. It has already been met with pickets and protests in Wellington and Tauranga.
Workers’ rights are under attack all over the world. The brave stand taken by Sydney’s wharfies and community picketers must be supported by the wh…

Anti-Capitalist March 2012

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Hikoi

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Brown gets his just desserts

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At a “Mayor in the Chair” session at the University of Auckland today, six protestors, mostly students, hit Len Brown with lamingtons. Brown came to the University at 12 noon ostensibly to hear what Aucklanders thought about his administration of Auckland. The Port dispute, that has seen 300 watersider workers left redundant, was unsurprisingly the topic of conversation.
Fifty protestors holding signs waited while wharfies spoke to Brown. However, the audacity Brown showed in pretending to care about the workers and their families during this sit-down was unconscionable. With yells of “whose side are you on” ringing out, protestors unleashed their weapons of pink lamingtons to deliver some of the ridicule and shame Brown deserves.
In Greece, the 2011 protests used “yoghurting” tactics, throwing yoghurt at politicians. The significance of using Greek yoghurt, which has become a staple to many across the world, was not lost, and the practice has gained traction and legitimacy. The …

Keep the scabs off our port

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This Saturday at 4pm join the Maritime Union as they march on the wharves of Auckland in defense of their jobs, their job security and against privatisation.
The announcement that the port company has sacked 300 workers and plans to contract out their work must be met with united action from the Auckland community to physically prevent scabs from being able to work the port.
The solidarity action by MUNZ and RMTU members around the country has been marvellous. Blacking the scab cargo is great and it ups the ante for POAL. So too is the support of the international maritime unions and Council of Trade Unions who have made sure that workers around the country and the world stand with these wharfies.
Now the Auckland working class must help Local 13 beat back this attack by joining the rally on Saturday.
An injury to one is an injury to all.
-Socialist Aotearoa

Len Brown Fails Us Yet Again

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Auckland has the worst air quality in New Zealand, with pollution levels close to double that of Sydney according to the World Health Organisation. More than 700 Aucklanders are killed prematurely by air pollution every year. Auckland's air quality is so poor that levels of particulate matter regularly exceed national environmental standards. Every Aucklander breathes in an average 11,000 litres of air per day and within Auckland air pollution is seriously affecting people’s health and well-being.
Auckland has one of the highest asthma rates in the world with 25% of children and 12-23% of adults suffering from asthma. Asthma is the fourth highest cause of hospitalisation. The prevalence of respiratory and heart disease from air pollutants are a major cause for concern with coronary heart disease being the highest cause of death in the region.

25% of children in Auckland suffer with Asthma.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes said in Sept 2011 “that air pollution is a result of Aucklander…

Can the Syrian Revolution succeed?

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Socialist Simon Assaf gives witness to the causes and prospects for the Syrian Revolution.

What parliament does, the streets can undo

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In the next three years the attacks of the National Government are going to come thick and fast. Cuts to social welfare. Evictions of state home tenants. Privatisation. Charter schools. Farm sell offs. Attacks on workers' rights. Fracking and deep sea oil drilling. Opening up ACC to private providers. Understaffing health boards.As the Government attacks on one front, the bosses attack on another. Driving down wages. Demanding casualisation. Crushing unions through lock outs.All of this will have a combined effect of demoralising the working class. A demoralised population who don't fight back is just what the Nats want. Screw them down further, demand their big business backers.
Some people give up the fight. Suicide rates are up, especially amongst children. 37,000 left for Australia last year. Apparently you are more likely to be happy if you support the National Party. Exodus. For those who have not lived through a National Government before, for those who can't remembe…

Solidarity action

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The industrial action at the Port of Auckland is spreading to other cities, as workers at Centreport Wellington are refusing to move containers on the Maersk Aberdeen because non-union staff worked the ship when it was docked in Auckland. Workers also protested early this morning outside Tauranga Port.
“Make the vessel leave the Port of Wellington, send it back to Auckland, get it loaded by union labour and then it can go on its merry way,” says Maritime Union General Secretary, Joe Fleetwood.

International Transport Federation affiliated unions held a protest at the Ports of Tauranga at 2am on Saturday 3 March 2012 in torrential rain. A Maersk ship loaded by non-union workers in Auckland, where the Maritime Union is striking, was seeking to unload at the Port of Tauranga. Seamen, wharfies and retirees joined the protest from the ITF affiliated unions: Maritime Union of New Zealand, the Rail and Maritime Union and First Union (formally the Northern Drivers Union). RMTU crane drivers ref…