#320: Forum Monday National Standards / Tues – supercity protest

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND
NEWSLETTER No. 320, February 26, 2010

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This Monday: GPJA Forum Whats wrong with National Standards? Monday March 1, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. The debate about national standards in education is heating up. Education Minister Anne Tolley is determined to drive them through against fierce opposition from teachers, principals and education academics. What are parents to make of the standoff? The GPJA forum will have speakers from the teacher union NZEI and John Minto to shed light on the darkness which underlines the policy.

GPJA is also calling for a protest outside the US Consulate on March 20, the 7th anniversary of the invasion on Iraq. See What’s On in Auckland below for details.

This Tuesday: Protest the AucklandSuperCity on Tuesday, March 2 at 12:00pm. Quality Hotel Barrycourt, 20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland. A parliamentary committee is currently hearing public submissions on the National-ACT Government’s third super city bill. Come and join a public protest against this assault on our democracy, outside the hotel where the committee is meeting. If you care about:

– the corporatisation of our local democracy
– the loss of local voice
– moves to make it easier to sell the Ports of Auckland and other assets
– unfair boundaries and inadequate representation
– undermining protections for the WaitakereRanges
– tokenistic representation for Maori
– the rushed and undemocratic process the Government is using to push the super city through
– then join this lunchtime rally and show the Government Aucklanders won’t take the super city lying down.

All political parties, groups, individuals welcome to attend. The rally will be peaceful and orderly. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=328219312889.

WHAT’S ON IN AUCKLAND

Monday, March 1, 12.30pm, Radio NZ House, 171 Hobson Street, Auckland
"Save Radio New Zealand Protest @ Radio New Zealand House Auckland" on Monday, March 1 at 12:30pm. Event: Save Radio New Zealand Protest @ Radio New Zealand House Auckland "Bring your portable radio": http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=324551586434&mid=1eeb949G227fb72bG4238ed7G7

Monday March 1, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Whats wrong with National Standards? The debate about national standards in education is heating up. Education Minister Anne Tolley is determined to drive them through against fierce opposition from teachers, principals and education academics. What are parents to make of the standoff? The GPJA forum will have speakers from the teacher union NZEI to shed light on the darkness which underlines the policy. (More details of speakers etc before Monday).

Tuesday, March 2 at 12:00pm, Quality Hotel Barrycourt, 20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland
Protest the AucklandSuperCity". A parliamentary committee is currently hearing public submissions on the National-ACT Government’s third super city bill. Come and join a public protest against this assault on our democracy, outside the hotel where the committee is meeting..

Wednesday, March 3, 7pm, OtahuhuTown Hall
HAND’S UP FOR LEARNING: PUBLIC MEETINGS ON THE GOVERNMENTS NATIONAL STANDARDS. Why should parents be concerned? With leading educationalistProfessor Martin Thrupp.
– Wed March 3-Otahuhu Town Hall-7pm
– WedMarch10-BalmoralSchool auditorium -7pm
These meetings are open to teachers, principals, Board of Trustees, parents and other interested members of the community. For additional info call Tony Dunn on 09 3606213 or email: tony.dunn

Sunday, March 7, 10am, 505 B Pt Chevalier Road, Pt Chevalier.
WORKING WOMENS RESOURCE CENTRE CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST. You are invited to join with the WWRC in celebrating International Womens Day with a hearty two course breakfast. Cost $25.00 per person includes your first glass of bubbly. Enjoy good company, good food and a great place to meet. To pre book tickets contact Ros Hiini, WWRC Organiser, 09 379 7906 or 021 299 2921, or wwrc

Saturday, March 20, 12 noon, US Consulate, Citbank Building, Customs St, City
Protest the continuing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark the anniversary of the Iraq invasion 7 years ago. Demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops, including and especially the NZ SAS and other military in Afghanistan. (Bring and old pair of shoes!)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STUDENTS ARE WORKERS- WORKERS ARE STUDENTS!
Unite on Campus spreads its wings. Poverty and debt force many students into working their way through college, mostly in low paid jobs on or just above the minimum wage. In response, Unite Clubs are being set up on campus in the University of Auckland, AUT, MIT, UNITEC, Massey Albany and in Polys and Unis throughout the country, to organize students who are pro worker and pro union. The biggest task over the next two months will be to gather tens of thousands of names in the lecture halls and on campaign stalls for the Campaign for a Living Wage referendum. We need students, campus workers and academic staff to help us build these clubs and harvest the support that is out there. Are you on one of the campuses above? Would you be free to help on the stalls during O week and after? Can you organize for a speaker to come to your class or lecture theatre? Please contact Living Wage Campaign Organiser Joe Carolan at 029 44 55 702, email joseph@unite.org.nz

The final phase – The Campaign for a Living Wage is now entering its final phase, and is stepping up a gear or three! There’s been a huge growth of supporters on the campuses- 120 joining the Unite Club in Otago, 95 in WINTEC in Hamilton, 80 so far in UNITEC and 40 in Massey Albany. http://www.unite-news.org.nz/palpatine.html

LIVING WAGE PETITION – Stalls in your area:
AUCKLAND: Contact Joseph – 029 4455702 joseph
WHANGAREI: Contact Vaughan- 021 041 5082, email: svpl@xtra.co.nz
HAMILTON: Contact Jared- 029 494 9863 email: jared@unite.org.nz
COROMANDEL and THAMES: Contact Levi- 027 7746 278, email: whukoro@yahoo.co.nz
ROTORUA: Contact Bernie- email: bernieh 07 345 9853
PALMERSTON NORTH: Contact Gerard- email: gerard 06 3297 737
WELLINGTON: Contact Omar on 029 455 5789, email: omar
CHRISTCHURCH: Contact Matt – 029 201 3837 email: matthew
DUNEDIN: Contact Chris- 027 781 0371, email: mr_matahaere

BLACKBALL MAYDAY AND OPENING OF ’08 MEMORIAL AND RESOURCE CENTRE
May 1st. Registration form and further information, http://www.blackballmuseum.org.nz

WAIHOPAI DOMEBUSTERS IN COURT
Monday March 8th is the court appearance of Adi Leason, Peter Murnane and SamLand for busting the dome at the Waihopai spybase. A week of activity isplanned from a picket at court on the Monday, a public meeting on the newproposed spy legislation and the annual Roger award presentation also in thesame week. Is anyone from Auckland planning to go down. If so we shouldco-ordinate travel/accommodation. Please call John Minto if you are interested- contact details at start of newsletter. Regards, John M

CLOSE WAIHOPAI SPYBASE NOW! SUPPORT THE DOMEBUSTERS!
Update: Support for the Waihopai Ploughshares trial, 16 February 2010.The trial of the Waihopai Ploughshares team is set to begin in Wellington on 8March 2010, and the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group now has a range ofactivities planned to take place before and during the trial. This message isto provide information about the planned activities, as well as to invite youand your organisation to become involved – wherever you are based, you do notneed to be in Wellington to support Waihopai Ploughshares before and during thetrial. There are eight sections below: some background information; ways youcan support Waihopai Ploughshares wherever you are; the ‘Let’s shut downWaihopai’ CD; a reminder about media spokespersons and statements; details ofthe weekly planning meetings in Wellington; the Waihopai spy base display atWellington central library; an outline of events in Wellington around thetrial; and the Waihopai Ploughshares’ statement. This message is availableonline at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/plsupport.htm

A WEEK OF ACTIVITIES IN SUPPORT OF THE DOMEBUSTERS

Below are the details of the Waihopai Ploughshares support events takingplace in Wellington from Saturday, 6th to Friday, 12th March. The WaihopaiPloughshares publicity poster, which includes an outline of the support events,is available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pltrial.pdf- please distribute it as widely as possible both electronically and in printform. There are also specific flyers or posters available for some of theevents below (see the link/s beside the event) – your help in distributingthose, electronically and in print form, would also be appreciated. TheWaihopai Ploughshares trial begins on International Women’s Day, and women’sgroups may be particularly interested in helping to circulate the flyer for theInternational Women’s Day event. Thank you. This message is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pltrial.htm – any updates or changes to the schedule will be added to that page as soon asthey are available. Information about other ways you can support WaihopaiPloughshares is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/plsupport.htm

What’s on now
Waihopai Ploughshares support planning meetings: Waihopai Ploughshares supportplanning meetings, for everyone interested in organising around the trial, areheld every Thursday, at the US Embassy, corner Fitzherbert Terrace and MurphyStreet, Thorndon, Wellington (in the bus or under the gazebo in the park ifraining) – shared meal and planning meeting from 6pm to 7.30pm, followed byrevolutionary Bible studies. If you are unable to attend the meetings, but areinterested in becoming involved, please contact the Wellington PloughsharesSupport Group c/o email pma

Waihopai spy base display at the Wellington central library: the Anti-BasesCampaign’s Waihopai spy base display is currently set up in the Wellingtoncentral library entrance foyer (until Sunday, 28 February), and it will bethere again from Monday, 8 March, until Sunday, 14 March. The Anti-BasesCampaign flyer is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/abc2010fl.pdf

Schedule of events from 6 to 12 March
Unless stated otherwise, events are in KatherineMansfieldPark, organised byWaihopai Ploughshares, contact email ploughshares08 and theWellington Ploughshares Support Group, contact c/o pma

Saturday, 6 March
Invitation: From 5pm, all friends of Waihopai Ploughshares are invited to be inKatherine Mansfield Park (corner Fitzherbert Terrace and Hobson Terrace, nextto US Embassy) for the following six nights, to pray and remember the victimsof war and reflect on NZs complicity in US-led wars. Please bringbedroll, sleeping bag, musical instruments and food to share. Powhiri at 5pm,shared meal at 6pm, then speakers and discussion until Taiz prayer at 9pm.Organised by Waihopai Ploughshares. The A4 poster with this invitation, andevents outline, is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pltrial.pdf

Sunday, 7 March
~ 10am – Mass.
~ 1.30pm – The Way of Peace with the Wellington Catholic Peacemakers: We inviteyou to join our pilgrimage for peace, we will gather at the Suzanne AubertCompassion Centre, 132 Tory Street, at 1.30pm.The Way of Peace will linkpeace-related memorials and historic sites from the Suzanne Aubert soup kitchento eventually meeting with the supporters and members of the WaihopaiPloughshares at Katherine Mansfield Park. In the tradition of the Stations ofthe Cross processions and religious pilgrimages, during the Way of Peace, theCatholic Peacemakers will pause for reflection at several Wellington locations.Following a brief introduction at each memorial, participants will observe ashort moment of silence, song and prayer. As we walk and stop to pause at eachmemorial of Peace, we may reflect on "What steps am I willing to take forPeacemaking and Justice?" "Not everyone is called to do a Ploughshares action.Not everyone is called to commit civil disobedience. But everyone is called todo something for the disarmament of the world. Everyone is called to work forthe liberation of the oppressed, justice for the poor, non-violence in place inthis disastrous world of violence." (Fr John Dear SJ, On the Road to Peace,November 2009). Organised by Wellington Catholic Peacemakers, contactlinks@actrix.co.nz An A4 flyer with the full route of the Way of Peace, detailsof how to get there, what to bring, and background information is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/wcpmwalk.pdf a map of the route is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/wcpmmap.jpg and an A5 flyer plus map is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/wcpmwalka5.pdf
~ 5pm – Ploughshares liturgy service
~ 9pm – Taiz prayer

Monday, 8 March
~ 8.30am – Ploughshares supporters rally: gather at the Cenotaph,corner Bowen Street and Lambton Quay; silent procession to District Court, 43 -49 Ballance Street, at 9 am; then vigil outside the court, the trial starts at10am. Jointly organised by Anti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca WellingtonPloughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contact pma
~ 1 to 2pm – Picket and vigil, with space for those who wish to pray or standin silence, at the GCSB Headquarters, Freyberg House, entrance via StPauls Square next to National Library, 58 Molesworth Street. Jointlyorganised by Anti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca z WellingtonPloughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contactpma
~ 5.30pm – Women Say NO to War and Spy Bases: Come along to the peacefulprotest on International Women’s Day to add your voice to the call of womenaround the world who are saying NO to war and YES to peace, and to mark thefirst day of the Waihopai Ploughshares trial. Join us at 5.30pm at the GCSB /Defence Force Headquarters, corner Aitken and Mulgrave Streets, then proceedingalong Mulgrave Street to the US embassy at 6pm. Wear something pink if you can,and bring pink streamers or ribbons, photos, messages, cardboard or paper peacedoves, or wool to decorate the GCSB / Defence Force HQ and US embassy fence;something to make a noise with – pot and spoon, drum, your voice – during thetime of anger; flowers or candles to leave at each location during the time ofmourning; and a poem or reading to share during the time of reflection …. andyour own banner or placard if you wish. All women and children welcome.Organised by Peace Movement Aotearoa and Women Support Waihopai Ploughshares,contact pma An A4 poster for this event is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iwd2010.pdf
~ 9pm – Taiz prayer

Tuesday, 9 March
~ 1 to 2pm – Picket and vigil, with space for those who wish to pray or standin silence, at the US Embassy, Fitzherbert Terrace. Jointly organised byAnti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca@chch.planet.org.nz Wellington PloughsharesSupport Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contact pma@xtra.co.nz
~ 5.30pm – Stations of the Cross: the Stations of the Cross is an old Christianpractice of remembering how Christ died. It involves stopping at differentplaces (usually inside a church) to remember the different moments of Christ’strial and crucifixion. The practice is also a remembrance of the political,economic, religious, judicial and imperial powers that condemned Christ todeath. A group of Christians committed to social justice will lead a Stationsof the Cross through the streets of Wellington to reflect on how suchinstitutions still operate to condemn whole nations and peoples to death. Thewalk will stop at sites and institutions that can be used to justify war andoppression. The group will be carrying a cross and will start at 5.30pm at theDistrict Court, then will walk via Treasury and the Reserve Bank, the Cenotaph,parliament, cathedrals, Defence / GCSB Building, to the US Embassy. At eachStation there will be a short Bible reading, a reflection on the role of eachinstitution and a song. Organised by the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group.Full deatils of this event, including the route, will be available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pltrial.htm soon.
~ 9pm – Taiz prayer

Wednesday, 10 March
~ 1 to 2pm – Picket and vigil, with space for those who wish to pray or standin silence, at the British High Commission, 44 Hill Street. Jointly organisedby Anti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca WellingtonPloughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contactpma
~ 7pm – ‘Waihopai: The Spybase, The Wars, The Trial’, public meeting at StJohn’s conference centre, corner Willis and Dixon Streets. Speakers are: MurrayHorton, Anti-Bases Campaign; Moana Cole, Ploughshares; Bryan Law, ChristiansAgainst All Terrorism (Australia); and Keith Locke, Green MP; facilitated byEdwina Hughes, Peace Movement Aotearoa. Organised by Anti-Bases Campaign,contact cafca An A4 poster for this event is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/abc2010.pdf
~ 9pm – Taiz prayer

Thursday, 11 March
~ 1 to 2pm – Picket and vigil, with space for those who wish to pray or standin silence, at the Australian High Commission, 72 – 76 Hobson Street. Jointlyorganised by Anti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca WellingtonPloughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contactpma
~ 7 to 10pm – Celebration concert

Friday, 12 March
~ 1 to 2pm – Picket and vigil, with space for those who wish to pray or standin silence, at the Canadian High Commission, 125 The Terrace. Jointly organisedby Anti-Bases Campaign, contact cafca WellingtonPloughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa, contact pma

ROGER AWARD WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED IN WELLINGTON ON THURSDAY, MARCH11
The Roger Award Ceremony – Drinking Liberally presents the annualCAFCA/Gatt Watchdog Roger Award ceremony. The Roger Award is presented eachyear to the worst transnational corporation operating in New Zealand, and thewinner of the 2009 Roger Award will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington onThursday March 11 2010, at the Southern Cross Bar, 39 Abel Smith Street.Speakers include Christine Dann (for the judges) and Murray Horton (CAFCA).Doors open 5.30pm, with some food provided, and presentations will get underwayfrom 6pm. This year’s Roger Award finalists are: ANZ, BNZ, Infratil, Newmont,Rio Tinto Aluminium NZ, Rymans, Telecom, Transpacific and Westpac. For moreinfo: kane.oconnell .

THE WESTERN SAHARA SINGER MARIEM HASSAN WILL BE COMING TO NZ TOPARTICIPATE IN WOMAD 12-14 MARCH 2010
Mariem Hassan (Western Sahara): After more than 30 years of performing, MariemHassan is hailed as the true voice of the Western Sahara. Her people areSaharawis, living in exile within Algeria since Spain abandoned the WesternSahara in 1975 and their desert lands were claimed by Morocco. Within theAlgerian refugee camps, women singers are recognised as pillars of strength,humanising the harsh living conditions through their powerful songs of hope.Mariem sings in hassania, the language of her dessert homeland and deemedclosest to classical Arabic. During the 1970s, Mariem joined forces with Matirel Uali Mustafa Sayed (more popularly known as El Uali), touringinternationally with his band until she recorded her first solo album, Deseos,during 2005. In concert, her intense voice sits atop two electric guitars(substituting for the rustic tidinit) and two tebals (ground-drums played bywomen), melding ancient spiritual sounds with whispers of blues, reggae andother current music, driving her music into the 21st century. Different dances,performed by the percussionists, enrich a repertoire based on traditional andspiritual songs. Her solo fame has been further enhanced by a documentary film,Mariem Hassan, The Voice of the Sahara, released in 2008 at the FisaharaFestival. Websites: www.myspace.com/saharafree
http://womad.co.nz/womad_index.html

EYEWITNESS TO A REVOLUTION IN NEPAL – NZ SPEAKING TOUR BY BENPETERSON, 21-26 MARCH 2010
Ben Peterson is a young Australian socialist who spent one year in Nepal inclose association with the revolutionary forces who recently overthrewfeudalism and are today confronting capitalism and imperialism. Ben is crossingthe Tasman for a speaking tour of New Zealand from 21-26 March. To find outmore about Ben’s experiences and the Nepal Revolution go to Ben’s blog: http://maobadiwatch.blogspot.com/Activists from the Workers Party and Socialist Worker are organising the tour,with meetings planned in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurchand Dunedin. We’re inviting other interested groups and individuals to supportand promote Ben’s tour. If you would like to help out, contact these regionaland national coordinators: Auckland – Daphna Whitmore, wpnz(at)clear.net.nz.Hamilton – Jared Philips, jared(at)unite.org.nz, 029-4949 863. Rotorua – BernieHornfeck, bernieh(at)clear.net.nz, (07)345 9853. Wellington – Alastair Reith,alastair.reith(at)gmail.com, 027-711 9591. Christchurch – Phil Ferguson,philp.ferguson(at)canterbury.ac.nz, 021-443 948. Dunedin – Andrew Tait,andrewmtait(at)hotmail.com, 027-606 9549. National coordination/publicity -Vaughan Gunson, svpl(at)xtra.co.nz, 021-0415 082. As meeting details arefinalised a full tour itinerary will be circulated. You can join the Facebookgroup: BenPeterson NZ Speaking Tour. More information and links will be posted there.A PDF publicity flyer can be downloaded here.LINKS ON THE NEPAL REVOLUTION: Mike Ely, Eyes on the Maobadi: FourReasons Nepals Revolution Matters. Introductory PDF pamphlet – ARevolution at the Brink: Stand with Nepal. http://kasamaproject.org/2009/10/18/a-revolution-at-the-brink-stand-with-nepal/ More in depth PDF pamphlet – KasamaArticles: On the Maobadi and the Crisis in Nepal. http://kasamaproject.org/2009/05/06/new-kasama-pamphlet-on-the-maobadi-and-the-crisis-in-nepal/

2010 NATIONAL PEACE WORKSHOPS: ‘EXPOSING AND OPPOSING MILITARISM ANDMILITARISATION’ – FRIDAY, 16 APRIL TO SUNDAY, 18 APRIL 2010
This is the initial notice to let you know that the 2010 National PeaceWorkshops (NPW) – the national gathering for people interested in peace, socialjustice, and human rights – will be at the Quaker Settlement in Whanganui fromFriday, 16 April to Sunday, 18 April. The theme of the 2010 NPW is ‘Exposingand opposing militarism and militarisation’ and the focus is on sharing storiesand experiences, workshops and participatory discussion with contributors whohave experience of community and individual non-violent resistance tomilitarism and militarisation in Aotearoa and overseas. The programme willinclude campaign updates from peace and related groups, follow up to theWaihopai Ploughshares trial, and the Peace Movement Aotearoa Annual GeneralMeeting.
Information about the programme, venue, accommodation, registration and traveloptions will be circulated in the last week of February and will be availableon the NPW web page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/npw10.htm If you, or your group, is interested in contributing a campaign update,leaflets or other resources, a donation, or being a co-sponsor of the 2010 NPW,please read the sections below. Campaign updates and resources from peacegroups: if you would like to update NPW participants on what your group iscurrently working on, space is set aside in the programme for campaign updates,but it is helpful if we can know as soon as possible what topic/s you wouldlike to cover. You are welcome to bring leaflets or other resources to the NPW,or if no-one from your group is able to attend, we can take them for you(details of when any material for the NPW needs to be in the Peace MovementAotearoa office will be included in the NPW update at the end of February).
Donations and co-sponsorship: whether or not you are planningon attending the NPW, if you are able to send a donation to assist with thecosts that would be gratefully received. Because these NPW are residential, weare providing substantially subsidised rates for low income participants toensure that anyone who wishes to attend is not prevented from doing so becauseof the cost. Donations will be used to help with the subsidised rates; and, aswith previous NPW, if there are any surplus funds they will be held in trust byPeace Movement Aotearoa for the next NPW. There is also the opportunity forpeace groups to co-sponsor the NPW: co-sponsorship comprises a minimum donationof $100, and in return co-sponsoring organisations are listed on publicitymaterial, on the 2010 NPW web page, and in any published report. If you areinterested in being a NPW co-sponsor, please let us know as soon as possible.Donation and / or co-sponsorship cheques should be made payable to ‘PeaceMovement Aotearoa: Special Projects’ and sent to the address below. Pleaseremember to include your name, address, and organisation (where applicable) ifyou would like a receipt.
Contact details: Peace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314,Wellington 6141. Tel (04) 382 8129, email pma The National Peace Workshopsweb page is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/npw10.htm

JUSTICE AND LIBERATION: THE ROAD TO PEACE – FILIPINO PROGRESSIVELEADER TO TOUR NZ LATE 2010 – APPEAL FOR FUNDS
Luis Jalandoni is the International Representative of the National DemocraticFront of the Philippines (NDF), a post that he has held since 1977, and since1994 he has been the Chairperson of the NDFs Negotiating Panel for peacetalks with the Government of the Philippines. The NDF is the coalition ofseveral underground groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippinesand its New Peoples Army, which has been waging a war of liberationthroughout the Philippines for more than 40 years, making it one of the longestrunning armed struggles in the world. The country desperately needs peace withjustice and security, so resolving this peoples war is central to that.Luis will be accompanied by his wife Coni Ledesma, who will also be speaking.She is a member of the NDF Negotiating Panel for peace talks; and is theInternational Spokesperson of MAKIBAKA, a revolutionary womens groupwhich belongs to the NDF. This is the first time weve had two speakerstogether, let alone such high powered ones. We are appealing for funds. PSNAwill underwrite the tour, but we definitely need financial help because we arehosting two people. The amount needed is at least $10,000. Two internationalfares from Europe will be the biggest cost. We will keep their domestic travelcosts as cheap as possible (all accommodation will be in private homes). Pleasemake cheques to PSNA, Box 2450, Christchurch, with a note saying that it is forthe Jalandoni tour. Or, we will supply our bank account details upon request.cafca

JOIN THE 2010 NATIONAL ELECTIONS BRIGADE TO VENEZUELA SEPTEMBER 17 -28, 2010
The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Networks brigades to Venezuela are aonce-in-a-lifetime experience – the opportunity to see first-hand an unfoldingrevolution that is not only radically transforming the lives of Venezuelans,but challenging the greed, exploitation and destructiveness of globalcapitalism by showing that a better world is possible. A special feature of theSeptember 2010 brigade will be observing Venezuelas vigorous democracyin action. The brigade will coincide with Venezuelas next NationalAssembly elections, on September 26th, enabling brigadistas to observe the lastweek of campaigning including the traditionally huge election ralliesheld on the weekend before and polling day itself. As well as observingthe national elections, brigade participants will experience Venezuelasparticipatory democracy at work, with visits to communal councils and communes.They will also visit worker-run factories and cooperatives; free, high-qualitypublic health and education services; Indigenous-run sustainable developmentprograms; and community controlled media stations. During the 10 days,brigadistas will have the opportunity to speak to a wide range of grassrootsorganisations, community activists, trade unions and government representativesabout the radical changes being implemented by the Venezuelan people. The 2010national elections brigade is the 11th solidarity tour to Venezuela organisedby the AVSN. Reports and photos from previous AVSN brigades are posted at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org . We are also happy to put you in touch withpeople who have participated in AVSN brigades, if you would like to find outmore.
Brigade registration and costs
The deadline for registering for the 2010 National Elections brigadeis July 1, 2010. To express interest in participating and obtain a registrationform, please contact brigades Participants will need to book their own international airfares, but the AVSNcan help with advice. Accommodation, transport and English-Spanish translationwithin Venezuela will be organised for all brigade participants. You will needto budget for a total cost of approximately $4000. This will cover:international return airfares and taxes (approximately $2500 from Sydney);accommodation (twin-share basis); transport and basic food while you are inVenezuela; and the brigade registration fee ($500 for workers, $300 forstudents or pensioners). For more information, email brigades or phone Lisa Macdonald +61 413 031 108, Jim McIlroy +61 423 741 734 or RobertoJorquera +61 425 182 994.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.Bobby Sands, Leader of 1981 Hunger strikes in the north ofIreland

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocentpeople." : U.S. historian Howard Zinn, 1993

BEST ONTHE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Drop GST – we need a financial transactions tax http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/blogs/frontline/3335038/Drop-GST-we-need-a-financial-transactions-tax

On the governments environmental credibility problems in Canterbury,and attacks on Police http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/02/23/the-govt%E2%80%99s-environmental-credibility-in-canterbury/

Roger Douglas has had his bill to reintroduce youth rates drawn fordiscussion in Parliament. National voted against the effective abolition ofyouth rates when in opposition. Both claim the abolition of youth rates haslead to higher unemployment for young people. The assertions are not based onfact http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1002/S00278.htm

Mori and Pacific youth unemployment rates need action http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1002/S00178.htm

REVIEWS

Censored by Soviets, lionised by Radio 4 – Station controller commissionseight-hour dramatisation of his beloved ‘Life and Fate’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/censored-by-soviets-lionised-by-radio-4-1905152.html

Frederic Raphael on The Invention of the Jewish People http://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/frederic_raphael_on_the_invention_of_the_jewish_people_20100219/

Two ‘Iraq War’ Movies Compete For Awards By Mamoon Alabbasi – JamesCameron’s "Avatar" and Kathryn Bigelow’s "The Hurt Locker", in their own ways,’touch on’ the Iraq war, a theme that still haunts the world of politics,almost seven years on since the US-led invasion http://www.countercurrents.org/alabbasi230210.htm

"Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception andDishonor in Iraq." is more than a simple memoir about a difficult experience.It is an insider’s scathing testimony of an ongoing illegal and unethicalmilitary action in a distant, once-sovereign state, by the US. Perhaps, thisfresh account will raise some outcry over an issue that has all but dropped outof the American public’s radar http://www.countercurrents.org/jamail190210.htm

FEATURES

The Legacy Of Che Guevara: Internationalism Today By Peter Custers -Ches legacy, as even the briefest summary of his life brings out, is thelegacy of internationalism. Quite independent from other successes he achievedin a short and intense life of barely 39 years, Che embodied the spirit ofinternationalism as it existed in his own age. More than anybody else of hisepoch, Che Guevara embodied the ideal of solidarity with oppressed peoplestruggling to achieve their own emancipation worldwide, writes Dr Peter Custersin an essay serialised in two parts http://www.countercurrents.org/custers230210.htm

Latin America’s path to independence – With the creation of a new regionalorganisation, Latin America is emerging as a power bloc with its own interestsand agenda http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/25/latin-america-independence

FOOD, FARMING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Seeds of Discontent: The "miracle" crop that has failed to deliver – Fiveyears ago scientists reported that they had found a "miracle" biofuel (namedjatropha) that was resistant to drought and pests and could grow on landunsuitable for food production. However, a new report shows that the developingcountries that farm jatropha have suffered increased poverty. http://www.globalpolicy.org/social-and-economic-policy/poverty-and-development/general-analysis-on-poverty-and-development/48743-seeds-of-discontent-the-qmiracleq-crop-that-has-failed-to-deliver-.html

Climate change causes more severe weather http://www.repoweramerica.org/climate-change-causes-severe-weather/?source=cause

Marx’s Ecology and The Ecological Revolution – John Bellamy FosterInterviewed by Aleix Bombila http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/foster240210.html

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

Our Plutocracy: A Sobering New Portrait – Never before, suggests a new lookat Americas highest 400 incomes from the IRS, have so few made so muchat the expense of so many. http://toomuchonline.org/our-plutocracy-a-compelling-new-portrait/

Joseph Stiglitz: Bankers Made Reckless Bets on the Economy, KnowingTaxpayers Were Going to Pick up the Tab http://www.alternet.org/story/145773/joseph_stiglitz%3A_bankers_made_reckless_bets_on_the_economy%2C_knowing_taxpayers_were_going_to_pick_up_the_tab

AFGHANISTAN

Five Questions For The Afghan Surge By Juan Cole – Gen. David Petraeus, astraight shooter, admitted on Meet the Press Sunday that the Afghanistan Warwill take years and incur high casualties..The Marjah Campaign, the centerpieceof the new counter-insurgency strategy, is over a week old, and some assessmentof this new, visible push by the US military in violent Helmand Province is inorder http://www.countercurrents.org/cole230210.htm

AUSTRALIA

Abbotts green fraud: a gift to polluters http://www.greenleft.org.au/2010/826/42503

CUBA

Cuba: Strides Towards Sustainability by Helen Yaffe. http://ratbnews.blogspot.com/2010/02/cuba-strides-towards-sustainability.html

Cuban killer Luis Posada Carriles goes on trial http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-02-25/news/cuban-killer-luis-posada-carriles-goes-on-trial/

HAITI

Thousands protest visit of French president Sarkozy to Haiti – Supporters ofJean-Bertrand Aristide call for his return to help in relief and recoveryefforts http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/2_18_10/2_18_10.html

More Pain for Devastated Haiti: Under the Pretense of Disaster Relief, U.S.Running a Military Occupation – The rapid mobilization of U.S troops in Haitiwas not primarily done for humanitarian reasons; we’re likely to see aneoliberal economic plan imposed, at gunpoint if necessary. http://www.alternet.org/story/145647/more_pain_for_devastated_haiti%3A_under_the_pretense_of_disaster_relief%2C_u.s._running_a_military_occupation_

"These Guys Are Like Vultures": Profit-Driven Private Contractors Flockingto Haiti – Private military contractors have quickly positioned themselves atthe center of an emerging "shock doctrine" for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. http://www.alternet.org/story/145741/%22these_guys_are_like_vultures%22%3A_profit-driven_private_contractors_flocking_to_haiti

INDIA

India Tribes To Fight On After Vedanta Suffers Setback By Nita Bhalla -Indian tribals campaigning to stop Vedanta Resources (VED.L) from mining theirancestral homeland vowed on Thursday to persist with their fight as anotherinvestor sold its stake in the company over ethical concerns. Britain’s JosephRowntree Charitable Trust sold its 1.9 million pound share in the London-listedcorporate, citing concerns about Vedanta, which it said was "pushingindustrialisation to the detriment of the lives of local people." http://www.countercurrents.org/bhalla190210.htm

IRAN

Behind Clinton’s Tough Talk on Iran By Mark Weisbrot – The goal of HillaryClinton’s rhetoric Seems to be to promote conflict and convince Americans Iranis a threat to their security. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24803.htm

PACIFIC

Pacific Scoop:Autonomy, and What Lies Ahead for West Papua When Indonesianpresident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits Australia and Papua New Guinea in twoweeks time, apart from the very many matters of mutual bilateralconcerns, will PNG dare raise the matter of autonomy… http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2010/02/autonomy-and-what-lies-ahead-for-west-papua/

PALESTINE

Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in Court http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/rachel-corrie-gets-her-da_b_476553.html

Talk to Hamas – As Israeli soldiers we hang our heads in shame over lastyear’s attack on Gaza’s civilian population. Dialogue, not war, is needed http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/15/hamas-gaza-israel-palestinians

UK

MI5 facing five more torture investigations: The attorney general, has beenstudying the cases of five British men alleged to have been unlawfully detainedand tortured in Pakistan with the complicity of MI5. http://snipurl.com/uhfxv

This tide of anti-Muslim hatred is a threat to us all – The attempt to driveIslamists and young Asian activists out of the political mainstream is adangerous folly http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/feb/25/anti-muslim-hatred-threat-to-all


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