GPJA #417: Thurs – Lobby Auck Council for Port Workers / Fri – Cuban Ambassador visit

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 417, March 27, 2012

SUPPORT WHARFIES 29TH MARCH COUNCIL MEETING (MANUKAU)

Dear All. Please distribute to your networks, This is a call to arms. We all know the significance of this dispute at the waterfront. Whether you are a teacher, preacher, cleaner , a meat-worker or a fireman, what is occurring here profoundly affects us all in terms of our present and our future. Enough said! The following schedule is your opportunity to participate in history. An injury to one is an injury to all. Auckland City Council are meeting at Manukau Cambers 10AM, Thursday 29th March, 31-33 Wiri Sation Rd. We are urging everyone to be there for a brief Rally at 9:45AM (bring you banners and placards). There will be a motion put by a supportive councillor to discuss the Ports dispute. In the first instance, we all need to be there at this meeting “with bells on”. Between now and then, this is your task. There are six solid votes in favour of this motion. We need another six for it to be carried. The floating councillors are listed below. Phone them because this is the best way, day or night. Do not be afraid to call. It is their council duty to accept calls from the general public. The demand is simple. “I am ringing to urge you as a representative, to support the motion to discuss the dispute. ASK: Can you now have any cofidence in the Port’s management? The management need to go. Spread this far and wide. It has to be done. When the people lead, the politicians will follow. BE THERE at the council meeting. Numbers count.

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE YOU NEED TO RING. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CALL THEM, EMAIL, FAX, TEXT: IMPORTANT NOTE: The first 6 names listed below are the “floating councillors” and are in numbered priority order, however feel free to ring the other councillors listed. Meredydd Barrar, Citizens against Privatisation Ph 836 6389. Mob 021 1605 603
1: Len Brown len.brown Ph 301 0101 Ext 407585.
2: Penny Hulse Ph: (021) 273-4663 or EA on (09) 354-8701; E: penny.hulse
3: Michael Goudie Ph: (021) 281-7817 E: michael.goudie
4: Arthur Anae Ph: (021) 921-941 After hours: (09) 276-1405 F: (09) 276-1408 E: arthur.anae
5: Ann Hartley Ph: (027) 490-6909; After hours: (09) 483-7572; E: ann.hartley
6: Wayne Walker Ph: (021) 882-861; After hours: (09) 424-3121; E: wayne.walker
7: John Walker Ph: (09) 523-2563 or (09) 266-6616; E: john..walker
8: Cathy Casey Ph: (027) 474-4231; After hours: (09) 845-1952. E: cathy.casey
9: Chris Fletcher Ph: (027) 276-0013; After hours: (09) 631-5948; E: chris.fletcher
10: Des Morrison Ph: (021) 2811222; After hours: (09) 238-7883; E: des.morrison
11: Dick Quax Ph: (027) 490-2114; After hours: (09) 577-3340; E: dick.quax
12: Sharon Stewart Ph: (021) 282-1144; After hours: (09) 577-4127; E: sharon.stewart
13: Ali Filipaina Ph: (021) 280-0999; E: alf.filipaina
14; Calum Penrose Ph: (09) 301-0101; After hours: (09) 295-1316; E: calum.penrose
15: Richard Northey: E: richard..northey
16: George Wood Ph: (021) 281-5555; After hours: (09) 410-7134; F: (09) 410-7136 E: george.wood
17: Cameron Brewer Ph: (021) 828-016; E: cameron.brewer
18: Penny Webster Ph: (021) 390-317 or (09) 301-0101; E: penny.webster
19: Sandra Coney Ph: (09) 356-7074; E: sandra.coney
20: Mike Lee Ph: (027) 494-3198; After hours: (09) 372-7727. E: mike.lee
21: Noelene Raffills Ph: (027) 474-4553 or (09) 301-0101 E: noelene.raffills

CUBAN AMBASSADOR INTRODUCES FILM ON CUBAN 5, 6.30PM, FRIDAY MARCH 30, TRADES HALL, 147 GREAT NORTH RD, GREY LYNN
The Red Flag Social Club and Auckland Cuba Friendship Society is also hosting a meeting on Friday evening at the Trades Hall. Drinks are available from 5.30pm. Maria del Carmen will introduce a new film at 6.30pm about the Cuban Five by Saul Landau. The documentary, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, records this history. The film features interviews with Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five, Fidel Castro and also the leaders of the right wing terrorists, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch. Carriles, who lives openly in Miami, is responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner which killed over 70 people.

INVITATION FOR AUCKLAND UNIONISTS TO MEET THE NEW CUBAN AMBASSADOR, 10AM, MARCH 30, FIRST UNION, 120 CHURCH ST, ONEHUNGA: Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro has reecntly been appointed ambassador for Cuba to New Zealand. In that role she has responsibility for the growing solidarity medical aid Cuba is providing to a number of island nations in the Pacific. Maria del Carmen is also promoting solidarity and support for the "Cuban Five" who have spent a decade in US prisons for gathering information on Cuban terrorists based in the US. She went to university with one of the five. FIRST Union is hosting a reception over morning tea at 10am Friday March 30 at our offices in Onehunga. All Auckland unionists are welcome to attend. Maria del Carmen will speak briefly and is happy to answer any questions about Cuba, its trade union movement and work in the Pacific.

GPJA April Forum: Monday 9th April, 7.30pm at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Supporting the Palestinian struggle: Vivienne Porzsolt and Roger Fowler speaking. Vivienne Porzsolt, is a spokesperson for Jews Against the Occupation Sydney. Over the years, Vivienne has been engaged in a range of social justice work: the trade union movement, feminism, anti-racism including anti-apartheid and over the last 20 years, in working for a just peace in Israel-Palestine where Jews and Palestinians can live side by side in mutual respect and equality. Vivienne says: “I cannot abide what Israel is doing in my name and in that of all Jews. As a Jew I feel a special obligation to oppose it in the traditions of Jewish ethics abandoned by Israel and its Zionist supporters". She was with a group of protesters who tried to travel on a flotilla hoping to break the naval blockade in Gaza in July 2011. When the Freedom Flotilla, which included New Zealand activist Harmeet Sooden on the MV Tahrir, was turned back by the Greek coast guard, Porzsolt and NSW Green MP Sylvia Hale flew to Israel instead where they were detained by Israeli authorities for daring to say their intention in coming to Israel was to ‘visit Palestine.’ They were due for deportation but appealed this successfully in an Israeli court. Vivienne took part in the march in Jerusalem for an independent Palestine and the first march of the huge tent protests in Tel Aviv. Roger Fowler is spokesperson for Kia Ora Gaza which is a New Zealand based campaign to support the upcoming Viva Palestina Arabia International aid convoy aiming to break the Israeli siege of Gaza. The convoy, bearing construction aid, departs London on 22 April, and is due to arrive in Gaza on 15 May. Roger is one of four kiwis going with $40,000 raised for aid materials so far. For more information and for people wishing to donate to their Gaza Appeal visit http://kiaoragaza.net/ Israeli war planes and troops have frequently attacked Gaza since their brutal 22-day invasion three years ago, which left 1,400 Palestinians dead. In the last few weeks these attacks have intensified with dozens of Palestinians killed. Most victims are civilians, including women and children. Gaza has also been subjected to a crippling siege since 2007 when democratic elections resulted in a Hamas government.

PORTS OF AUCKLAND DISPUTE

"I am a bishop from the north. When people in the north hurt, I hurt. When their security is put under threat, so is mine. I will stand in solidarity with the workers on the picket line. We need to remember that people are the most important thing: the security of families and especially children.” Bishop Muru Walters, Anglican Social Justice Commission chair, on the Ports of Auckland

PORT DISPUTE MEDIA

Court to rule on port employees’ right to work http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10794771

Mediation frustrating with Ports of Auckland http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1203/S00926/mediation-frustrating-with-ports-of-auckland.htm

Mana Party champions plight of port staff and meatworkers http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/101702/mana-party-champions-plight-of-port-staff-and-meatworkers

Matt McCarten: Those at the top must be under society’s scrutiny http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10794392

Brian Rudman’s view: Feeble city leaders surrender right to a say on port http://www.nzherald.co.nz/brian-rudman/news/article.cfm?a_id=1&objectid=10792426

Cool heads can resolve port dispute http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1203/S00215/cool-heads-can-resolve-port-dispute.htm

PALEA holds solidarity action for Port of Auckland wharfies http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11712335-palea-holds-solidarity-action-for-port-of-auckland-wharfies

Solving the Ports of Auckland dispute by Tim Watkin http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/solving-the-ports-of-auckland-dispute

Keith Rankin: A tax by another name By Keith Rankin http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10792021

Workers ‘violated’ by release of details http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10792171

WHAT’S ON

Thursday, March 29, 5.30pm, Connolly Hall, Guildford Tce, Wellington
Trans-Pacific Partnership: You are invited to hear Dr Bill Rosenberg and Professor Jane Kelsey discuss issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership at a Fabians Wellington presentation on Thursday 29 March. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is currently under negotiation between New Zealand, the US and seven other countries, and has the declared aim of eventually encompassing most of the Asia-Pacific region. Thus it has huge economic and political stakes for the US as well as New Zealand. However, the agreement is becoming increasingly complex and intrusive into countries’ ability to choose domestic policy, particularly progressive alternatives. Examples of its proposed ambit include State-Owned Enterprises, medicine pricing, public health, internet and other digital intellectual property right enforcement, government procurement, and the balance of power between investors and sovereign governments. It also has implications for relationships with China, and raises important democratic questions about the treaty-making process given the secrecy surrounding the text of the proposed agreement and the right of Cabinet to ratify any final agreement. Bill and Jane will outline what is known of the proposals and their wider geopolitical and economic implications.Environmental trends have profound implications for New Zealand’s future. This free Wellington lecture is at 5:30pm on Thursday 29 March at 5.30pm in Connolly Hall, Guildford Tce, and you can register here. Kind regards,

Mike Smith, Chair, NZ Fabian Siociety.

Friday, March 30, 6.30pm, Trades Hall. 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
Meet the new Cuban ambassador – See the new movie about the Cuban Five. We are honoured to have Cuban Ambassador Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro make her first visit to Auckland. Maria del Carmen will introduce Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, a documentary detailing the background to the case of the Cuban Five. For half a century, small groups of right wing Cuban exiles have waged a terrorist campaign against Cuba’s revolutionary government, with the active or tacit support of Washington. They have killed or injured over 5,000 people. In the 1990s, these groups, based in Florida, began bombing tourist sites to try to destroy the backbone of Cub’s economy. An Italian tourist died in one of the bombings. Since the FBI did not arrest the bombers, Havana sent agents to Miami to infiltrate and report on the violent groups in the hope of forestalling another attack on Cuba. Havana offered Washington the intelligence its agents had gathered. But instead of arresting the right wing terrorists, the U.S. Authorities arrested the Cuban agents, tried five of them and handed them down draconian sentences. Sol Landau’s documentary, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, documents this history. The film features interviews with Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five, Fidel Castro and also the leaders of the right wing terrorists, Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch. Carriles, who lives openly in Miami, is responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner which killed over 70 people. Sponsored by the Auckland Cuba Friendship Society and Red Flag Social Club. Drinks from 5.30pm.

Thursday, 6.30pm, April 2, Service & Food Workers Union office, 35 George St, Kingsland.
Auckland Action against Poverty. Kia ora koutou, Following on from our two day workshop a couple of weeks ago, we’d like to invite you to our next meeting 6.30pm Monday 2 April. All members & supporters welcome. The agenda will include: Report back from campaign planning workshop; Getting feedback from everyone on our ideas for political work this year, so far; Making plans for actions including a street theatre activity around the time of the Budget in May and a demonstration in July; General update on where things are at for us. If you’ve got any questions about what’s happening, please feel free to contact one of us – with Karen going overseas for two months, and not sure about what she’s doing after that, Sarah Thompson has joined Chris and I on the AAAP core group. We look forward to seeing you soon – with all best wishes, Sue, Chris & Sarah.

Saturday, April 28, 3pm, britomart, Downtown, Auckland
Aotearoa Is Not For Sale demonstration: Let’s get out in our thousands to march up Queen Street next month and show we’re serious that AOTEAROA IS NOT FOR SALE. For: retaining and developing public assets and services – keeping our schools, prisons, universities, hospitals and ports publicly owned; affordable electricity, education and housing; workers’ right to a good job and a liveable wage. Against: privatisation of public services, sale of public assets to private investors (local AND overseas), casualisation of labour, privatisation and pillage of our country’s resources. Most New Zealanders don’t want our public assets sold to private investors; whether they are American, Chinese, German or Kiwi, it is not in our interests to put our future into the hands of a few billionaires whose primary incentive is to make a profit for themselves. Our public assets, our schools, our jobs and our homes are all under attack. New Zealand is for sale. Come to the demonstration on Saturday April 28th to defend Aotearoa and force the government to put a stop to this madness. Invite everyone you know. 3pm Saturday April 28th, From Britomart, downtown Auckland. http://www.facebook.com/events/334873306563769/

ANNOUNCEMENTS

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING, 17 APRIL 2012
Last year global military expenditure was $1,630 billion (US), on average nearly $4.5 billion a day. By way of contrast, an average of more than 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from mainly preventable causes – lack of access to adequate food, clean water and basic medicines. This is one of the prices paid, the collateral damage that is seldom talked about, for maintaining armed forces in a state of combat readiness around the world. An invitation to take part in the second Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 17 April – there are two sections below: 1) Getting involved in the Global Day of Action, and 2) Background information. This message is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12.htm

WE NEED FURNITURE!
On April 20th the latest group of Quota refugee families will leave Mangere Refugee Reception Centre to go to the first home they have ever had in Auckland….At the moment, though, those homes are unfurnished. Before moving day, we will need to collect the following things in order to make these new houses new homes: Beds: We will need 30 single beds & 8 double or queen beds; 12 coffee tables; 15 chests of drawers; 10 dining table & chairs; 10 couches; 5 car seats; 15 throw rugs (for uncarpeted floors); 15 heaters; Gardening equipment (limited, though, so please call to discuss). Everything should be in really good condition – clean, without holes, without significant marks, etc. Our drivers are not authorised to accept furniture that is broken or unstable or that has missing parts. If you are able to donate any of the furniture or household goods listed above, we would love to hear from you! We may consider other items, as well. Please contact Chandra at Refugee Services if you can help. Our drivers can pick up furniture on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Alternatively you are welcome to deliver to us at a mutually convenient time. Chandra is happy to arrange a pickup from your premises or a drop-off at our warehouse. Please contact her on: T: (09) 621 0014 M: (021) 228 2371 or chandra.yogeswaran

MESSAGE TO FRIENDS ABOUT STATE ASSET SALES AND CAMPAIGN IN OHARIU ELECTORATE
Dear friends, Are you concerned about the sale/partial sale of state assets? If you haven’t had an opportunity to actively express your opposition to partial asset sales – here’s your chance – and it will only take a few minutets. We are encouraging people to write some brief comments or a brief submisssion – up to 200 words – much like a letter to the editor. and emailing it to the Ohariu Citizens’ Select Committee. You can see some brief introductory video clips of the campaign at: tosave.our.soes.

SAVE THE MAUI DOLPHIN
Dear friends across New Zealand, PM John Key is poised to push the world’s rarest and smallest dolphin into extinction. Only 55 Maui dolphins exist in the world — and they’re all here in New Zealand where, without government protection, fishing and mining will wipe them off the face of the planet. If we act now, we can save them. Despite the Maui dolphin’s precarious status, the government continues to allow dolphin-killing net fishing and is considering granting seabed mining licenses in their only habitat. Responding to public pressure, the government opened a public inquiry into the dolphin — but while they talk, dolphins die. Our outcry can force PM Key to immediately ban net fishing and seabed mining in the Maui’s dolphin’s home. If we get 10,000 signatures, we’ll personally deliver the message to the PM: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_The_Maui_Dolphin/?vl The Maui’s dolphin is one of New Zealand’s treasures — it is the smallest dolphin in the world, and the only with a rounded dorsal fin. Visitors to its habitat are often greeted by the playful dolphin, who spend most of their time feeding in the shallow waters of the North Island’s west coast. But fishing and mining lobbies are critically endangering the Maui dolphin. Without protection, they’ll be gone within the next decade. Mining giant TTR is pitching an “ultra-low cost” seabed mining operation in the dolphin’s home, and have already drilled 500 seabed cores looking for minerals to mine. If they go ahead, the Maui’s dolphin is as good as gone. Locals are in the street protesting this plan — and pressure has been slowly building. The government’s public inquiry is great news, but unless action is taken now it might be too late. Sign the petition to ensure PM John Key uses his powers to institute an immediate ban on net fishing and mining while the inquiry investigates further: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Save_The_Maui_Dolphin/?vl Together, our community is winning the struggle to protect our oceans around the world. In 2010, 1.2 million Avaaz members played a crucial role in stopping Japan’s push to legalise commercial whaling, and last month nearly 600,000 of us supported the Australian government’s plan to establish the world’s largest marine reserve. Saving the Maui’s dolphin is about so much more than a unique animal — it’s about our power to protect our planet and save what matters most. With hope, Emma, David, Paul, Emily and the whole Avaaz team
SOURCES
Dolphin’s death reignites calls for set net ban (New Zealand Herald): http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10782725
Govt criticised over Maui dolphin response (TVNZ): http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/govt-criticised-over-maui-dolphin-response-4776719
Dolphin’s extinction could cause ripple effect (Independent Online): http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/dolphin-s-extinction-could-cause-ripple-effect-1.1256412
Protect Last 55 Adult Maui’s Dolphins Now (Scoop): http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00155/protect-last-55-adult-mauis-dolphins-now.htm

"IT’S TIME TO RETURN TO PALESTINE" – MESSAGE FROM KIA ORA GAZA
This weekend of escalating violence in Gaza, the worst since Israel’s deadly ‘Cast Lead’ attacks 3 years ago, has resulted in 16 Gazan deaths and at least 30 injured. Many of those killed by Israeli fighter jets or drones, had their heads blasted off. Some groups of Gazan militants retaliated with a barrage of largely ineffective mortars over the border fences. Israel claims their victims were ‘planning to attack Israel’. Three were killed near the Palestinian Legislative Council buildings, which suffered severe damage during the Cast Lead bombardments. The Kia Ora Gaza team saw that destruction during the Viva Palestina convoy visit in 2010. "Many world leaders who talk about ‘defending democracy’, failed to condemn Israel’s attacks on the parliament buildings of the democratically elected government in Gaza" observed Kia Ora Gaza team leader, Roger Fowler. Responding to the latest attacks, Kevin Ovenden, who will lead the next Viva Palestina 6 aid convoy from London next month, declared "It’s time to return to Palestine – physically and in our actions". People wishing to support the Kiwi team on this siege-busting convoy, can visit office

ROGER AWARD FINALIST TRANSGRESSES ON A GLOBAL SCALE
The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) declares its solidarity with the Canadian members of the United Steelworkers Union who are currently visiting New Zealand (Invercargill today; Wellington tomorrow) to gain support for their struggle against contracting out by their employer, Rio Tinto Alcan. Their struggle bears an uncanny resemblance to that being waged by the Maritime Union against Ports of Auckland Ltd contracting out their jobs. And Rio Tinto Alcan has used the same tactic – namely, the indefinite lockout –as Affco has against its’ meat workers in the North Island. Our Canadian visitors need to know that Rio Tinto Alcan is also a recidivist corporate offender in this country, being one of the eight finalists in the annual Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2011. New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Ltd/Rio Tinto Alcan NZ Ltd (notorious for decades under its previous name of Comalco) has been a regular finalist and was runner up in both the 2009 and 08 Roger Awards (you will find the Judges’ Reports for those years at http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Roger/index.html . In 2011 the nominator put in a detailed (even footnoted) nomination of the owners of the Bluff aluminium smelter for a new reason – for lobbying two Governments “over several years to secure to secure excessive allocations of free emissions units under the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)… NZAS/Rio Tinto has interfered in a democratic process via political lobbying through its industry advocate the Greenhouse Policy Coalition in order to dodge a tax (greenhouse gas pricing under the NZETS), and to profit from the ETS through excessive free allocation of emissions units….there is very little doubt that the NZETS unit allocation rules are so distorted that the smelter would face a higher carbon price if it were exempted from obligations under the NZETS and just paid its electricity bills”. This is the same transnational which, only a few years ago, threatened to quit NZ if the ETS went ahead. If you can’t beat them, you might as well make money out of them, eh. A whole book could be written about this company’s misdeeds in New Zealand and a good place to refresh your memory about its outrageous early history here is our 30 year old classic comic booklet “The Amazing Adventures Of NZ’s No.1 Power Junky: The True Story Of Comalco In NZ” (online at http://www.historicalwatchdog.blogspot.co.nz/2009/01/comalco-comic.html . It’s an oldie but a goody. The winner/s of the 2011 Roger Award will be announced at an event in Christchurch on the night of Friday April 20th. The full list of finalists and other details are at http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Roger/2011finalists.html
Murray Horton, Secretary/Organiser

JOIN THE BDS GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON 30 MARCH 2012!
Palestinian BDS National Committee info http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/bds-global-day-action-201-8667
Commemorating Land Day, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) invites people of conscience around the world to unite for a BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March 2012 in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law. Let’s showcase our BDS successes through creative actions and media efforts and mobilize for the World Social Forum Free Palestine in November 2012. First launched at the World Social Forum in 2009, the BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March coincides with Palestinian Land Day, initiated in 1976, when Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel and injured many in an attempt to crush popular protest against ongoing theft of Palestinian-owned land. Thirty-six years on, Israel continues to entrench its regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid and intensify its grave violations of the basic rights of Palestinians everywhere, whether those living under occupation, citizens of Israel, or the majority of the Palestinians, the refugees. In the past year we have continued to witness a historic outburst of people power motivated by the desire for justice and freedom from tyranny and corporate greed. There is renewed belief in popular struggles as a means to achieve human emancipation and empowerment. Ordinary people have bravely stood up to the decades-old regimes of the Arab region, overcoming their fears and challenging their longstanding subjugation. Largely inspired by the Arab popular upheavals and earlier, similar uprisings across Latin America, people across the world have vocally “occupied” the centers of corporate exploitation or otherwise mobilized to demand social justice and an end to devastating wars. The ‘Arab Spring’ has given new impetus to the ongoing struggle against imperial hegemony in the global south and a new reach for the alternatives to neoliberalism. The global 99% are further uniting and connecting their struggles for justice, rights and dignity. In this spirit of shared struggle, we invite Palestine solidarity activists and all those active in social justice and human rights causes worldwide to use this day of action to launch a far reaching mobilization effort towards the upcoming World Social Forum Free Palestine to be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in November 2012 and to take action to highlight and develop the key campaigns of our global movement.
Read the action call in full and ideas for action: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/bds-global-day-action-201-8667

GLOBAL MARCH TO JERUSALEM MARCH 30, 2012
Join the world to demand real change! In two short weeks the world will join in solidarity with Palestinians to demand real change in their struggle for human rights. Land convoys will arrive from India and South Africa. Marches will commence from several locations toward Jerusalem in the West Bank and historical Palestine (Israel). Creative actions and large rallies will occur in Gaza. Palestinian refugees and their supporters will march towards Jerusalem and then hold mass rallies near the borders in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. While solidarity demonstrations will take place around the world on Land Day March 30, 2012. In the United States the Occupy movements in Washington DC and San Francisco are planning to participate. And other actions in the US and Canada are sure to happen. http://www.gmj-na.org/home.html

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Where once we had foundries and factories on Manhattan island, men now make muffins. New York has arguably become the quintessential 1 percent city, a city that has been so given over to the rich that you now have to be rich to live here.”

Graydon Carter, Editor’s Letter, When Money Is Everything, Vanity Fair, April 2012

"General, your tank is a powerful vehicle. It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men. But it has one defect: it needs a driver."-Bertolt Brecht

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” Oscar Wilde

“’Big government’ isn’t the problem. The problem is the Big Money that’s taking over government. Government is doing fewer of the things most of us want it to do — providing good public schools and affordable access to college, improving infrastructure, maintaining safety nets and protecting the public from dangers — and more of the things big corporations, Wall Street and wealthy plutocrats want it to do.”

Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor, The Nation, March 21, 2012

STATS OF THE WEEK

Top 1 percent incomes in US dropped in 2009. But top 1 percenters still managed, notes a new Center for Budget and Policy Studies analysis, to take in over a quarter trillion dollars more in 2009 income than America’s entire bottom 50 percent combined.

To earn as much as much as America’s top-earning hedge fund manager made for one hour’s labor in 2011, calculates economic analyst Les Leopold, the typical America family would have to work 29.2 years.

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Kiwis Answer the Call – Kia Ora Gaza http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00219/kiwis-answer-the-call.htm

Global Day of Action on Military Spending http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00267/global-day-of-action-on-military-spending.htm

Brian Rudman: Twisted economic logic for jails http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10793393

Referendum will rock asset sales plan http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/referendum-will-rock-asset-sales-plan

Infectious disease admissions leap http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/6448872/Infectious-disease-admissions-leap

Editorial: Enough talk, more action on child poverty http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/editorial/editorial-enough-talk-more-action-on-child-poverty/

NZ health policy questioned By Amelia Romanos and Kurt Bayer – The widening health gap between New Zealand’s rich and poor has been highlighted in leading international medical journal The Lancet – and has been labelled by health professionals as a "sad indictment of the powerful". http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10794083

Unacceptable inequalities http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/unacceptable-inequalities.html

UREWERA VERDICTS

Urewera Trial: No Verdict on ‘Criminal Group’ Charge http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1203/S00187/urewera-trial-no-verdict-on-criminal-group-charge.htm

Urewera 4 Trial Day 24 – The Verdicts In http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1203/S00188/urewera-4-trial-day-24-the-verdicts-in.htm

Urewera charges don’t stack up http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00264/urewera-charges-dont-stack-up.htm

Urewera Four: Hone Harawira – Justice Denied http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1203/S00265/urewera-four-hone-harawira-justice-denied.htm

Green Party comment on Urewera verdict http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1203/S00262/green-party-comment-on-urewera-verdict.htm

Tame Iti’s place in the Maori revolution http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6608607/Tame-Itis-place-in-the-Maori-revolution

Tuhoe struggle timeline http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6607970/Tuhoe-struggle-timeline

Time to move on http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/time-to-move-on/

A nation divided: Inside the Urewera Four trial http://www.nzherald.co.nz/otago/news/article.cfm?l_id=141&objectid=10794146

Ureweras affair shows us the two New Zealands By Tapu Misa http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10794585

Editorial: Police owe us some answers http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10794397

WORKRIGHTS NZ

Send a message: Solidarity with locked-out port workers in Auckland, New Zealand https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/1364e67f260c3866

CTU welcomes iwi support for locked out workers http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00251/ctu-welcomes-iwi-support-for-locked-out-workers.htm

Talley’s Tactics Developed In South Island http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1203/S00242/talleys-tactics-developed-in-south-island.htm

Newsletter for Talley’s AFFCO workers, their families and supporters. Day 21, Week 3. http://www.mwu.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/HTAW-update-Day21.pdf

NZ ECONOMY

Briefing notes for NZ Parl Cttee on TPPA & Tobacco http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18076151/Notes%20for%20MAC.docx

Time for action, not more words, on child poverty http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1203/S00250/time-for-action-not-more-words-on-child-poverty.htm

When we sold off Wellington’s power by Sue Kedgley http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/6596585/When-we-sold-off-Wellingtons-power

FEATURES

The Purpose of Occupy Wall Street Is to Occupy Wall Street BY Michael Moore http://www.thenation.com/article/166827/purpose-occupy-wall-street-occupy-wall-street?rel=emailNation

The Politics of the Impossible http://occupiedmedia.us/2012/03/the-politics-of-the-impossible/

Quick: What country jails the most journalists? http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html

Another Bad Apple: Apple’s Supplier Makes Workers’ Lives Living Hell http://action.laborrights.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4027

LAND, LABOUR & THE ENVIRONMENT

Green energy won’t save the earth without social change by Ian Angus http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/21/green-energy-alone-wont-save-the-earth/

Carbon Blood Money in Honduras http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/13/carbon-blood-money-in-honduras/

Ocean damage from climate change will cost $2 trillion a year http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/21/ocean-damage-2-trillion/

Robert Biel: Imperialism and ecocide http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/20/robert-biel-imperialism-and-ecocide/

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

What Happened to Goldman Sachs? http://blogs.hbr.org/fox/2012/03/greg-smiths-resignation-op-ed.html

How the ‘plutonomists’ bought governments http://www.aworldtowin.net/blog/how-plutonomists-bought-governments.html

A reality check on the US economy – More volatile even than the markets, media reporting veers from double-dip recession to strong recovery. So, some sobriety … by Dean Baker http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/mar/12/reality-check-us-economy

Reports from the Economic Front by Martin Hart-Landsberg – Capitalist Globalization http://tinyurl.com/6r486up

The Consequences of the EU Bank Rescue by Hugo Radice http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/608.php#continue

CULTURAL DISSENT

The Hunger Games: Reality TV and Revolution – Just as students and young people have contradicted patronising ideas about the apathetic and apolitical younger generation in taking the lead against ConDem fees and cuts, so fiction for young people can sometimes go where adult fiction conservatively fears to tread. http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/53-reviews/9089-reality-tv-and-revolution

Book Review: Diary of a miner’s year on strike – The great miners’ strike for jobs of 1984-5 continues to inspire books, analysis, comment and debate almost three decades later. Just published is the diary of one of the Nottinghamshire strikers, John Lowe, edited by his grandson. Peter Arkell reports. http://www.aworldtowin.net/reviews/JohnLowe.html

Radical classics by women writers http://tinyurl.com/6pwpvyq

Hope and the Hunger Games — youth fiction for the 99% http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/50407

Truthout review: Too Many People? is ‘sane, clear, and forthright’ http://climateandcapitalism.com/2012/03/19/truthout-review-too-many-people/

AFGHANISTAN

Retired general: Afghan killings fallout could mean troops return within weeks http://tinyurl.com/6p5as26

Afghans say the occupation has failed and NATO must go http://tinyurl.com/86mftv3

Afghanistan and American imperialism – Afghans have been excluded from the judicial process after the shooting that left 16 dead. No wonder anti-US feeling is growing http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/19/afghanistan-american-imperialism-glenn-greenwald

BAHRAIN

Bahrain resumes its long march to freedom http://tinyurl.com/7l5hwbd

CANADA

The NDP: New wine in an old jar? http://lifeonleft.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/ndp-new-leader-but-in-old-jar.html

Massive demonstrations support Quebec students striking against fee hikes http://lifeonleft.blogspot.ca/2012/03/massive-demonstrations-support-quebec.html

COLOMBIA

Colombia’s political prisoners – growing pressure for freedom and justice http://www.cpa.org.au/guardian/2012/1539/18-colombias-political-prisoners.html

FRANCE

French Leftist’s Surge Forces Hollande Further Left http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577291802099898774.html

LIBYA

The International Commission of Inquiry on Libya http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2012/03/11/the-international-commission-of-inquiry-on-libya/

MEXICO

Mexico: Why López Obrador? By Dan La Botz http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/605.php#continue

PAKISTAN

The Persisting U.S.-Pakistan Alliance: Dysfunction and Co-Dependency http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/3524

PALESTINE

Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy http://tinyurl.com/6qtt682

UN Committee “appalled” by Israel’s racial discrimination http://electronicintifada.net/content/un-body-appalled-israels-racial-segregation-policies/11065

Commemorating Palestinian Land Day: Join the BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March 2012! http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/bds-global-day-action-201-8667#.T2USSBGJSVE

Twenty-four Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/3524-twenty-four-palestinian-are-on-hunger-strike

Transforming Finkelstein BDS attack into opportunity http://electronicintifada.net/content/transforming-finkelstein-bds-attack-opportunity/11008

Shalit: I’d kidnap Israeli soldiers if I was Palestinian http://www.smh.com.au/world/id-kidnap-israeli-soldiers-if-i-were-palestinian–shalit-20120316-1vaf2.html#ixzz1pKbzkuiY

SOMALIA

Somalia is not for sale http://tinyurl.com/6r4dcjy

SPAIN

Right wing on warpath http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/50313

SYRIA

Diary by Jonathan Steele http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n06/jonathan-steele/diary

USA

The richest get richer http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/15/column-dcjohnston-rich-idUSL2E8EF0A920120315

What is socialism discussed in USA

The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin http://www.thenation.com/blog/166872/power-recalls-wisconsin?rel=emailNation

Why I Changed My Mind About School Reform – Federal testing has narrowed education and charter schools have failed to live up to their promise. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704869304575109443305343962.html

Healtcare USA: A Drumbeat on Profit Takers http://tinyurl.com/73ef3am

Lobbyists, Guns and Money http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/opinion/krugman-lobbyists-guns-and-money.html?_r=1&hp By PAUL KRUGMAN

VENEZUELA

Finding fault with Hugo Chavez http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/finding-fault-with-hugo-chavez/#comment

OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS

NICKY HAGER’S OTHER PEOPLE’S WARS HITS THE STAGE WELLINGTON APRIL 17-28
Other People’s Wars The stage play. Bats Theatre, Wellington, April 17-28. How do we get into Afghanistan? Why are we there? What happened the night Willie Apiata won his VC? Are NZ intelligence officers there on humanitarian purpose? And did we really keep out of Iraq? And can you believe ANYTHING Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces say? In fact— are Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces riddled with traitors working for a foreign power? Aided by Wikileaks and local Deep Throats, and some extraordinarily indiscreet material posted on Facebook, Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars drew alarming conclusions about the general nature of New Zealand defence policy—how it’s decided, and by whom. And now it’s on stage. As it should be. Besides the documenting of shifty departmental manoeuvres and cover-ups, there’s love, death, courage, pathos, raillery, bombast and—of course—farce; all the Shakespearean elements. The play ends with an Anzac Day ceremony and its premiere season in Wellington (April 17-28) is nicely timed to coincide with Anzac Day, April 25, the day we remember those who have given their lives for their government’s foreign policy. “Anyone familiar with Other People’s Wars will know more about New Zealand military and what it did in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf than any politician in parliament.” – Nicky Hager.

VII "MAY DAY" INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE FROM APRIL 22ND, TO MAY 6TH, 2012
Dear friend: Receive a cordial and warm greeting on behalf of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples that affectionately summons you to participate in the sixth edition of the International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba on the occasion of the International May Day. As in previous editions, it will be integrated by friends from all continents. Brigade’s aim is to provide a wider understanding of Cuban reality as well as carrying out some voluntary work sessions, as a support to agricultural development and productive sphere in our country. Program includes visits to historical, economical, cultural and social places, not only in Havana but also in other provinces, lectures about national issues as well as meetings with representatives of Cuban organizations. Staying includes 10 nights in the International Camp Julio Antonio Mella (CIJAM) located in the municipality of Caimito, 45 km from Havana City and 4 nights in tourist facilities in Pinar del Rio province. It will cost 295.00 CUC which includes accommodation in shared rooms for up to 6 people in CIJAM, three meals daily, transfer in-out and transportation to all program activities. Agricultural work sessions will be carried out in areas near CIJAM. The camp, founded in 1972, has appropriate conditions for community life and for satisfying needs of friends who visit us from around the world. Registrations are open for those interested until March 30th, 2012. Confirmations of participation as well as information about date, flight number and airline to which you are scheduled to arrive and departure from Cuba, should be sent to asia.norte and director.dao Looking forward your enthusiastic participation with our people in this proletarian celebration of the May Day. See you then! Asia and Pacific Division, Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.

KMU INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FAIR, PHILIPPINES, APRIL 24-MAY 5, 2012
We are inviting you and your organization to participate in the 28thInternational Solidarity Affair (ISA) hosted by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) from April 24 to May 5, 2012 in Manila, Philippines. http://www.labournetaustria.at/aktion223.htm

CALL FOR THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM FREE PALESTINE, NOV. 2012 IN BRAZIL
http://www.bdsmovement.net/2012/call-for-the-world-social-forum-free-palestine-nov-2012-in-brazil-8603
Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe. The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples. The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to: 1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region. 2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillment of human rights and international law, by: a) Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; b) Ensuring the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and c) Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. 3. Be a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity. Exactly sixty-five years after Brazil presided over the UN General Assembly session that agreed upon the partition of Palestine, Brazil will host a different type of global forum: an historic opportunity for people from all over the world to stand up where governments have failed. The world’s people will come together to discuss new visions and effective actions to contribute to justice and peace in the region. We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre. We ask you to join the International Committee for the WSF Free Palestine, we will establish as soon as possible. Participation in this forum will structurally strengthen solidarity with Palestine, promote action to implement Palestinian’s legitimate rights, and hold Israel and its allies accountable to international law. Together we can raise global solidarity with Palestine to a new level. Palestinian Preparatory Committee for the WSF Free Palestine 2012. Secretariat members: • PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network; • Stop the Wall – Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign; • OPGAI – Occupied Palestinian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative; • Alternatives represented by: Alternative Information Center, Teacher Creativity Center; • Ittijah; • General Union of Palestinian women. Coordination office: PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network, Tel: +970 2 2975320/1, Fax: +970 2 2950704, E mail: samahd

FREE SOMYOT CAMPAIGN
Dear friends, Please find an update from the international campaign to free labour and political activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk from detention in Thailand. Somyot has been charged with the crime of “Lese Majeste” which means criticising the King. This “crime” has a maximum sentence of 30 years! I have known Somyot as a labour activist for over 20 years and he is a personal friend. I have stayed with him and his family on many of my visits to Thailand. I was able to visit Somyot in pre trial detention earlier this year and it was heart wrenching to see him in custody. As you can see below, Somyot’s son Tai has begun a hunger strike this week to bring attention to the plight of his father. I ask you to take a few minutes to go to the website below and sign up to the letter that you see printed below seeking at least the right of Somyot to be released on bail while he faces the charges. There is more information on this website and also on the other sites listed below. http://www.cleanclothes.org/urgent-actions/somyot-trial Thanks, Robert Reid, General Secretary, First Union.

PARIHAKA DOCUMENTARY – FUNDING NEEDED
A documentary has been made about Parihaka by film makers Paora Joseph, Gaylene Preston, Janine Martin, Tracey Egerton, and people of Parihaka called ‘Tatarakihi. Children of the Prophets’. There is a need for support to complete the project. For more info go to www.pozible.com and search under ‘Parihaka’ to find the trailer and story behind it. Please circulate among your networks.

8/9TH JUNE AUCKLAND PEACE CITY PUBLIC LAUNCH & NUCLEAR FREE NZ EVENT AOTEA SQUARE
Calling all people who support the ideals of peace, justice and a nuclear free world. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION –put into your diaries NOW, circulate among group networks to include in your calendar of major events, newsletters etc. Auckland Peace City Public Launch ~ Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone and Disarmament Legislation of 1987. Auckland Aotea Square & Centre – Friday 8th June 12:00-1:00pm. Mayor’s official Peace City launch and Opening of Peace Exhibitions celebrating New Zealand’s Nuclear Free Zone. (on show inside Aotea Centre for 3 weeks). Aotea Square – Saturday 9th June 1:00-6:00pm – multicultural PEACE celebration and performance event –music, dance, poetry, art, food stalls, children’s activities. ‘Pohutukawa for Peace Tree Planting Ceremony’ with plaque.

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