GPJA #409: SPECIAL FORUM: HOW CAN WE SUPPORT THE AUCKLAND PORT WORKERS? THURSDAY 19TH JANUARY, 7.30PM AT TRADES HALL, 147 GREAT NORTH ROAD.
January 15, 2012 Leave a comment
GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 409, January 15, 2012
GPJA SPECIAL FORUM: HOW CAN WE SUPPORT THE AUCKLAND PORT WORKERS? THURSDAY 19TH JANUARY, 7.30PM AT TRADES HALL, 147 GREAT NORTH ROAD.
Auckland waterfront workers face an all-out assault on their employment and conditions of work. The port company (owned wholly by Auckland City) says the union must either accept a new roster which removes workers’ rights to decent employment or the company will contract out their jobs. The workers are fighting back and need widespread support. The government and media are on the side of the port company – the progressive movement must get behind the workers. The outcome of this dispute will have big implications for all workers – either positive or negative – depending on who "wins" this dispute. This forum will have speakers from MUNZ (the Maritime Union of New Zealand) which represents the workers and will canvass what we can all do to ensure a win for the workers in this dispute.
PORTS OF AUCKLAND DISPUTE
MUNZ: Ports of Auckland dispute about job security – not wages
Facts on the Ports of Auckland dispute – The Maritime Union and the Council of Trade Unions have released a fact sheet on the Ports of Auckland dispute.
Matt McCarten: It’s time to step up, Mr Mayor
Socialist Aotearoa: On the Waterfront
Chris Trotter: The Auckland Ports Dispute: An Injury To All
CTU: Port and Government support for privatisation of Port of Auckland made clearer
Port Union releases latest offer to Port of Auckland
Why wharfies are striking – in their own words (+ photos)
Expert says council is behind wharf strife
Port is ‘creating a monster’ – striking workers
Matt McCarten: ‘Greedy wharfies’ tale hides ambitions for port
Jobs not wages the issue, claims union
Port bosses sensitive to show of union power
WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST SATURDAY JANUARY 21st – END NZ INVOLVEMENT IN US WARS
People from all around New Zealand will be converging on Blenheim and the super-secret Waihopai satellite interception spybase, in Marlborough, on Saturday January 21st. Waihopai deals New Zealand into America’s wars in countries such as Afghanistan and is an integral part of a global network of such facilities which exist to ensure American military and economic domination of international politics.
The war in Afghanistan, in which the NZ military is directly involved (with the SAS being the most high profile component) has continued to get dramatically worse. Simultaneously, the US is pushing for a Free Trade Agreement, via the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (which the US wants to be concluded this year) as NZ’s “reward” for supplying our troops as cannon fodder and hosting the Waihopai spybase.
The theme of the Anti-Bases Campaign’s activities, both at the spybase and in Blenheim, will be anti-war. The US says that intelligence is the key component of all the wars that it is fighting (such as Afghanistan), or planning to fight (such as Iran), throughout the world. The Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) points out that Waihopai, an important source of intelligence for the Pentagon, is New Zealand’s most important contribution to the American war machine. Much more so than any other token NZ commitments, such as the SAS. Our protest is also in solidarity with the Ploughshares peace activists who deflated one of Waihopai’s domes in 2008. They were acquitted of criminal charges but this year face a civil trial for damages.
Waihopai, of course, is a “NZ” base – or so the Government says. But the fact is that, in everything but name, it is an outpost of American intelligence – paid for by NZ taxpayers. Well over $600 million of public money has been spent on the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau (the agency which runs Waihopai) in the two decades of Waihopai’s operation. The GCSB’s 2012 budget is $56 million, and another $35 million was recently spent on a new GCSB headquarters in Wellington. That money could have been much better spent on eradicating NZ’s shameful child poverty, rather than on spying on behalf of Uncle Sam.
On Saturday 21st we will be in central Blenheim’s The Forum (corner of Market and High Streets) from 11 a.m., with speeches from 12 at the band rotunda in the Forum. This will be followed by a visit to the Waihopai spybase itself at 2 p.m. Information will be provided on the function of the base and there will be a peaceful protest, calling for its closure. Speakers, either in Blenheim and/or at the spybase, will be: Adrian Leason, one of the three acquitted Ploughshares peace activists; Steffan Browning, Blenheim’s own newly elected Green MP; John Minto, of the Mana Party; and Murray Horton of ABC.
Waihopai does not operate in the national interest of New Zealand. In all but name it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil, paid for with hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, and involves us in America’s wars. Waihopai must be closed. (For details on Waihopai and what it does, go to our Website www.converge.org.nz/abc).
WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST JANUARY 20-22, 2012
The Waihopai spybase was subjected to unprecedented public attention by the March 2010 trial and acquittal of the three Ploughshares peace activists who penetrated its high security in 2008 and deflated one of the two domes concealing its satellite dishes from the NZ public. This legal saga has continued into 2011 with the Government changing the law to prevent their grounds of defence being used again and then suing the three activists personally for the $1.2 million damage to the dome. The Anti-Bases Campaign was happy to support this non-violent direct action anti-war activity, from start to finish.
The public face of New Zealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence in Afghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to that, and other American wars, including the one in Iraq, is the Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base, located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. It is controlled by the US, with New Zealand (including Parliament and the Prime Minister) having little or no idea what goes on there, let alone any control.
First announced in 1987, Waihopai is operated by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes intercept a huge volume of civilian telephone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications. It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency (NSA). Its targets are international civilian communications involving New Zealanders, including the interception of international phone calls. Post- 9/11 the GCSB and Waihopai now spy further afield, to those regions where the US is waging wars. The codename for this – Echelon – has become notorious worldwide as the vast scope of its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, not citizens.
Join us for the weekend of anti-war protest at this spybase. Come prepared for roughing it and camping out. We provide the food (we cater for vegetarians but vegans will have to bring their own). Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $40 (or $20 unwaged) to cover costs. No open fires.
How to find our camp at Whites Bay: turn off SH1 at Tuamarina (9km north of Blenheim or 20 km south of Picton) and drive to Rarangi on the coast. Follow the steep Port Underwood Road over the hilltop before descending to the Whites Bay turnoff. There is a DoC public camp at the bay with basic facilities. ABC has to pay a fixed charge per head.
Waihopai does not operate in the interests of New Zealanders or our neighbours. Basically it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil and directly involves us in America’s wars. Waihopai must be closed. Email cafca for more details.
KEEP THE COAL IN THE HOLE SUMMER FESTIVAL – MATAURA, SOUTHLAND, NZ. 20-23 JANUARY 2012
You are warmly invited……to gather for a Summer Festival and camp. We will share ideas, skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and take action now to oppose lignite mining in the Mataura Valley. This event will be fun, friendly and 100% coal-free! We’ve got the Festival Kaupapa, detailed Festival Information and our Programme. For more information or to get involved in Festival organising please Email Us.
Thursday, January 19, 7pm, Sunnyvale Community Hall, Sunnyside Rd, Sunnyvale, Auckland
Sunnyvale Films: better information, better decisions. The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil Category | Organic Agriculture. Cuba gave the fingers to U.S. imperialism in the 60s. So, when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 80s Cuba faced a time of reckoning – its ‘Special Period’ – without oil. It recovered from crippling food shortages by adopting self-sufficient organic agriculture methods on a national scale. Important lessons for the rest of the world can be learned from how it coped beyond its oil-dependency. Organic farmers in Cuba now get 2-3 times more than doctors … primary health care at its best! More details:
About how Cuba coped without its oil shock – and flourished.
Saturday, January 28, 6pm, 8 Mount Eden Road, Auckland.
Contagious Strikes: Talk on workers’ struggles in China. In mid-2010 a strike wave rolled through China’s factories, the most widespread and militant struggle of China’s internal migrant workers so far. The struggle shook the Chinese regime and provoked a world-wide debate: Is this the beginning of the end of the low-wage-model that stands behind China’s rise to the "factory of the world" and provides the rest of the world with cheap consumer products? The workers’ strikes continued in 2011, and together with riots and peasant uprisings they are indicators for the increasing pressure for social change in China. Come along to a talk and discussion evening given by a German-born activist living in China on Saturday 28th January, 6pm at Cityside Hall, 8 Mount Eden Road. The talk will focus on the social conditions behind the strikes, the formation of a new working class movement in China, and the implications for social struggles around the world.
Monday, February 13, 9am – 12noon, Auckland High Court, Cnr Waterloo Quadrant & Parliament Street, Auckland.
Free the Urewera Four Drop All the Charges. Taame, Rangi, Emily and Urs, are the last to still face charges from the state terror raids of 15th October 2007 and their trial will start on 13th February 2012 in the Auckland High Court. This date has been confirmed which means we all have less than ONE MONTH to get ready and do what we can to support. There is plenty of things you can do. Here are a few ideas: 1. Talk to your whanau, friends and workmates about the trial and get them signed up to this email list (email us their address) and ‘like’ our facebook page to stay up to date:
2. If you are in Auckland or planning to come to Auckland for the trial (or some of it – it is expected to last three (!) months), have a think about what you could do in terms of political and practical solidarity. 3. If you are a member of a union or a political group, get a story about this trial printed in your magazine to make the links between this trial and political activism and aspirations for tino rangantiratanga. 4. Write a letter to the editor – a great way to keep this show-trial in the public’s mind. 5. Watch ‘Operation 8′ – you can get it at many Video stores and libraries. Or you can buy a copy here:
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them." — J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King)
"Everybody, my friend, everybody lives for something better to come. That’s why we want to be considerate of every man–Who knows what’s in him, why he was born and what he can do?"– Maxim Gorky (The Lower Depths)
"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood." – — Martin Luther King, Jr
"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." — Albert Einstein
STAT OF THE WEEK
As of noon, January 3, Canada’s top 100 CEOs had already pocketed, on average, $44,366 for 2012, more than average Canadians make in a year. Canada’s top 100 CEOs average $8.38 million. Typical CEOs at the top 500 U.S. firms take home $8.93 million.
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MOM … Show me the money! by David Beatson – John Key’s hottest line from the last election campaign could come back to haunt him as he ploughs ahead with the expansion of the “Mixed Ownership Model” by selling shares in a batch of state-owned assets.
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Bryan Gould: Blind faith in market robs nation of its full potential
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A beautiful banner hangs at 128 Abel Smith Street in Wellington. Have a look here:
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Bureaucrat’s snout in trough (about Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt’s massive pay rise):
UN issues first report on human rights of gay and lesbian people
One hundred years ago today, on January 12, 1912, thousands of workers at a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts, shut down their looms and walked out on the job. Half of the workers were girls between the ages of 14 and 18. They were barely getting by on $8.76 a week, when a new state law that reduced the workweek for women and children from 56 to 54 hours went into effect, resulting in a paycut. This meant that workers could afford even less bread than before. The strike quickly spread to mills across the city. By the end of the week, more than 20,000 textile workers were participating in the historic stike. To learn more about the history of the strike and about the parallels with today’s garment industry, check out our new flier, "Bread and Roses: Garment and Textile Worker Organizing, Then and Now."
Classic doco: ‘With babies & banners’ — 75 years since the Flint sit-down strike Watch at
Guantánamo: Ten Years and Counting
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Do Private Military Contractors Have Impunity to Torture?
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Jesus the revolutionary? Phil Gasper tells the history of a Jewish revolutionary opposed to Roman tyranny
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In 2012 the Arab Spring will blossom into the springtime of nations
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Which tyrant will fall next? The Year of Revolution: As the leaders of Syria and Bahrain cling to power, Patrick Cockburn explains how they have managed to resist the protesters – and wonders whether they can survive another 12 months by Patrick Cockburn
The U.S. Double Standard on Elections in Latin America and the Caribbean
LAND, LABOUR & THE ENVIRONMENT
Food as a Commodity by Fred Magdoff
Durban conference a climate disaster; Cochabamba agreement the antidote
WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS
Deutscher Prize Lecture 2011 David Harvey London — 11 November 2011. History versus Theory: a Commentary on Marx’s Method of Capital
Contracorriente: Discussion with Michael Lebowitz
The economic idiocy of economists – The American Economic Association’s annual meeting is red-letter day for ‘the dismal science’. And dismal it proved
Michael Lebowitz: `The Four Rs’ of global capitalism
The Perils of 2012 By Joseph E. Stiglitz
The Foreclosure-to-Rental Screwjob By Mike Whitney
Girl re-booted: Does the world need a second The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film? Yes, says John Rees.
Dickens: more than Victorian values
Film: The Company Men
More militant defence of good jobs could mean widespread labour unrest in 2012
London Day of Action declared for Saturday, January 21 at 11 am
First nations fiercely opposed to Northern Gateway
Michael Ignatieff: Intellectual hypocrisy – As Canada’s Liberal leader, the intellectual- turned-politician became an uncritical supporter of Israeli aggression.
Rainbow Cuba: the sexual revolution within the revolution
Chilean Students End Protests, Plan for 2012
Wukan: villagers negotiate agreement but unrest continues
China: Misery in Santa’s workshop — inside China’s toy factories
China: Workers’ action and collective awakening — the 2010 auto workers’ strike wave
Reformed revolutionary, or revolutionized reformist?
Marching towards the past in Guatemala
Schuller-Schwartz exchange on aid and reconstruction in Haiti following the earthquake
Where the Relief Money Did and Did Not Go – Haiti After the Quake
Displaced Haitians are actively claiming the right to housing through advocacy and alternative housing models
Two Years Later, Where Is The Outrage?
As Indonesia Grows, Discontent Sets in Among Workers
Iran: The Neocons Are At It Again By Ralph Nader – It is past time for the American citizenry to wake up and declare: Iran will not be an Iraq Redux!.
Mass Poverty and Sectarian Strife – Are We Witnessing the Final Disintegration of Iraq?
Why the Libyans Have Fallen Out of Love with Qatar
End of Cold War? ‘US hate dies with N.Korean leader’
Kim Jong-il Leaves Nuclear Legacy As Military Regime Names Youngest Son "Supreme Leader"
John Pilger: Mexico’s universal struggle against power and forgetting
Military Entrenches Dictatorship with New Laws
Israeli Companies Can Profit from West Bank Resources, Court Rules
Ethnic cleansing of invented people: At age 22, the wife of a young army officer with little means and with two small children, she refused a beautiful spacious home, offered to her completely free because she could not bear the thought of living in the home of a family that was forced out and now lives in a refugee camp. “The coffee was still warm on the tables as the soldiers came in and began the looting,” she told me. “Can you imagine how much those families, those mothers must miss their homes?”
Seven-month old Gaza baby dies awaiting Israeli permission for operation
Portugal: government on the rampage
The struggle emerges in Russia
Fears of oil shutdown as Nigerian strike continues – Threat of shutdown in fifth-largest oil exporter to US could shake oil futures amid concern about worldwide supply
Niger Delta: a quiet resistance
Philippine Airlines is a Scrooge, says international labor rights group
Reclaiming the South African dream www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/584.php
A Poisoned Chalice Liberation, ANC-Style
Bandile Mdlalose talks to Lorna Stephenson about Abahlali baseMjondolo, a radical poor people’s movement in South Africa
East Timor celebrates medical milestone, with Cuba’s assistance
Kurds in Turkey: arrests and violence threaten to radicalise a generation
Turkish Air Strike Kills More Than 30 Civilians – War planes bombarded a group of villagers in the border region with Iraq, claiming that they were PKK rebels.
Talking About Dissent in Turkey? Hush, Hush! By Simten Coşar and Gülden Özcan
Conflict between rich, poor strongest in 24 years: Tensions between the rich and poor are increasing and at their most intense level in nearly a quarter-century, a new survey shows. Americans now see more social conflict over wealth inequality than over the hot-button topics of immigration, race relations and age.
Factory Jobs Gain, but Wages Retreat
Over Fifty Citizens on Ten Day Fast for Justice Carry Guantanamo Cell to President Obama’s Front Door
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What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success
Tax Benefits From Options as Windfall for Businesses
Notes by Noon: Yemen’s ongoing and parallel revolution: Yemeni blogger Noon Arabia writes on the ongoing revolution as demonstrations and strikes against corruption hit governmental and public, academic, commercial and medical sectors.