#363: Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia- protest Saturday 3pm US Consulate, Customs St, Auckland

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 363, JANUARY 28, 2010

GPJA is supporting this call from an Egyptian living in Auckland for a protest in solidarity with the people of Egypt, Tunisia and the rest of the Arab world in their fight for freedom and democracy. The rally is being held outside the US Consulate because Egypt is the second largest recipient of US military aid in the entire world. The Mubarak regime, like the rest of the dictators in the region would not survive a minute without that support. The Wikileaks papers have revealed to the entire world that the client regimes of the region have prostituted themselves to the Western powers and the big business interests they serve, while looting the countries they rule for their own grotesque personal enrichment.

Solidarity with Egypt and Tunisia- protest Sat 3pm US Consulate, Customs St, Auckland

Hello Everyone, As of this afternoon, the Egyptian government has shut down all internet services across the entire country in a desperate attempt at stopping people from protesting. This is a MASSIVE breach of civil liberties and freedom of expression. The police have also begun using LIVE ammunition against the people in the streets, and extra security measures have been put in place to crack down on any and all activism.

Tonight will be the beginning of a fresh batch of protests across the country, and the message is clear: "we want change!". We too can do something to help, and so tomorrow at 3pm we will meet up outside the US consulate in town to call for the US government to speak up, and to pressure their "ally" Hosny Mubarak to step down. Protesting has already begun in countries all over the world, from the USA to Australia.

THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT NEED YOUR HELP!

please spread the word and invite as many people as you can, and see you tomorrow!

Mohamed Hassan From Heliopolis, Al Qahirah, Egypt 02102217607

EGYPT

Egypt protests: Eyewitness accounts http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12282978

Three dead in Egypt protests: Tear gas used to disperse thousands of demonstrators in central Cairo after a day of protests http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/20111251711053608.html

Sleeping Giant Wakes Up By Yvonne Ridley – The pharaoh’s police state is now teetering after a second day of protests. Continue

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27358.htm

Hypocrisy – Democracy? US Urges Reform in Egypt Must Watch Al Jazeera Video Interview – PJ Crowley, the spokesman for the US state department, describes Egypt as "an ally and friend of the United States, an anchor of stability in the Middle East which is helping us pursue a comprehensive peace in the Middle East". http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27361.htm

Protests Spread In Egypt By Aljazeera http://www.countercurrents.org/aljazeera270111.htm

Mass Street Protests In Egypt By Stephen Lendman http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman270111A.htm

A New Truth Dawns On The Arab World By Robert Fisk http://www.countercurrents.org/fisk270111.htm

Egypt protest leaflets distributed in Cairo give blueprint for mass action http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/27/egypt-protest-leaflets-mass-action?intcmp=239

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

RELEASE THE TEXT” CAMPAIGN DEMANDS END TO SECRECY IN TRADE TALKS

TPPWatch, a coalition of New Zealand unions, groups and individuals who oppose the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement has launched a “release the text” sign-on letter to Prime Minister John Key, via its webpage TPPWatch.org .

The trade talks are currently taking place in secret, despite many commentators across the political spectrum condemning the secrecy surrounding to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) negotiations in Auckland last month.

“We are calling on the government to tell Kiwis what it is proposing to do in our name in these negotiations, and permit an open public debate on the proposed deal,” said TPPWatch spokesperson Andrew Campbell, the campaigns director for the finance workers union Finsec.

“This trade agreement could increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, limit government controls over tobacco sales and give new rights to foreign owners over land and strategic assets. We deserve to know what is going on,” said Campbell.

“The idea that binding and enforceable restrictions on future governments can be signed, sealed and delivered behind our backs is what happens in a dictatorship, not a democracy. If the government is so confident the deal is a good one then it should let us know what it is negotiating” said Campbell.

Campaigns are being launched across the TPPA countries to cast daylight on this deal, starting with release of the draft texts and country papers.

The sign on letter echoes broader demands from the peak union bodies http://union.org.nz/tpp in almost all the TPPA countries that all working texts are published after each round of negotiations, along with government position papers, on a neutral electronic forum that allows for a frank exchange of information and views.

“Three decades of free markets and free trade deals show that while big business tends to be the winner, workers and poor communities, who have no say in the process, pay the price. These secret deals have to stop.”

“We call on the government to secure agreement to basic rules for transparency during the next TPPA talks in Chile in mid-February,” said Campbell.

For further comment: Andrew Campbell 027-548-7006

UNION SPONSORED AUSTRALASIAN SEMINAR ON FREE TRADE AND INVESTMENT – SYDNEY MARCH 3; MELBOURNE MARCH 16

The ACTU and NZCTU in conjunction with AFTINET (the union-supported Australian Free Trade and Investment Network http://aftinet.org.au/cms/ ) have scheduled seminars in Sydney and Melbourne in March to inform union and community groups about the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and to begin to organise campaigns. There will be speakers from both countries. Jane Kelsey is one of them, and I will be speaking at least at the Sydney event. The seminars are also open to community groups, and those with fewer than 6 paid staff are eligible for a “no fee” concession. Eligible community groups should note this on the form in the “billing address” section. Groups with concerns about the agreement or a wish to be better informed are encouraged to consider sending a representative to one of these seminars. Details are in the notice below, and a registration form is attached. Those wishing to attend do need to register.

WELLINGTON PUBLIC MEETINGS:

CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE ‘ANTI-TERROR’ LEGISLATION

2pm, Sunday, January 30, Workers Educational Association Hall, 59 Gloucester St. Wellington

Since 9/11 a number of pieces of ‘anti-terror’ legislation have been adopted by the New Zealand government. This legislation represents an important attack on civil liberties, and has already resulted in raids, arrests and charges against a number of political activists. A number of groups involved in civil war and national liberation struggles have been added to the list of so-called terrorist groups, making it illegal for people in this country to support them in any meaningful way. This is a significant step further down the line from the 1980s when liberation movements like the ANC, which was then leading the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, were being officially denounced as ‘terrorist’. Come along to this public meeting and hear a number of speakers talk about the impact on civil liberties and civil rights of this legislation and some of the wider ramifications of the use of ‘terrorist’ designations.

Speakers: Michael Knowles (lawyer for the Waihopai Three ‘domebusters’); Val Morse (one of those arrested and charged in the October 2007 ‘anti-terror’ raids); Murray Horton (Philippines solidarity activist); Warren Brewer (Cuba Five campaign); John Edmundson (PFLP Solidarity)

"WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING" WITH THE NEW SIS BILL

Tuesday 1 February 7pm Where: St Joseph’s Church, Basin Reserve, Wellington

Speakers: Nicky Hager, Journalist & Keith Locke, Green MP. In the name of ‘National Security’, and in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup, the government is pushing through a Bill to enhance the powers of the SIS. And John Key says, “We do not need to know what’s happening.” In rushing through this Bill, the government is specifically ignoring the advice of the Privacy Commissioner. She stated that review of the security laws should take up to three years. However, Key isn’t prepared to wait that long and is using the Rugby World Cup and ‘National Security’ as a pre-text to strengthen the powers of the SIS. The purpose of the SIS is to gather ‘intelligence’ on anything that threatens the ‘national security’ and to assess the risk posed. This means spying on anyone they consider a potential danger – from individuals (both NZ citizens and visitors, e.g Ahmed Zaoui, Keith Locke), to groups of people (HART, Greenpeace). There is very little parliamentary oversight of the SIS, and there is no complaints process for the public. The director of the SIS is directly responsible to the Prime Minister. This Bill needs to be stopped. It is yet another example of the type of legislation that the NZ Law Commissioner warned us against in 1991 (ten years before 9/11) when he said that, “The danger is that States will over-react… [I]t is possible to imagine government officials doing more to destroy democracy in the name of counter-terrorism than is presently likely to be achieved by terrorists themselves.” [NZLC R22 Wellington 1991]. Let’s not allow the SIS bill to be added to the already long list of repressive laws such as the Terrorism Suppression Act (2002), Government Communications Security Bureau Act (2003) and the Search and Surveillance Bill.

SOCIAL JUSTICE HUI

Friday, February 25 (6pm) to Saturday February 26 (8.30pm) at Bishop Viard College, 20 Kenepuru Drive, Porirua

“Working for the Common Good: Being Salt and Light”. To Register: Ann Williams, Catholic Centre, Wellington. a.williams or 04 4961777

MURRAY HORTON SPEAKING TOUR APRIL 2011

CAFCA is sending Murray Horton on an election year national speaking tour (something he last did in the 2002 election year). The title is New Zealand Not For Sale, providing an overview of foreign control (a hot topic at present, specifically the perennial issue of land sales); free trade deals, specifically the one with the US being negotiated now via the Trans Pacific Partnership; and what people can do about it. The aim is to raise grassroots awareness of these issues and CAFCA’s work in election year. The plan is for it to take place over two to three weeks in April, starting at the Roger Award event in Auckland at the beginning of that month, then heading south, getting home to Christchurch in Easter week.

Thus far, he has confirmed invitations for: Auckland, Whangarei, Hamilton, Thames, Whakatane, Napier, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Blenheim, Nelson, Golden Bay and Dunedin. There are one or two other possibilities still being explored. Some venues may have to be done as separate one-off trips; just because they can’t be fitted into that time frame and they involve a long journey to get there (this is what Murray did during his 02 tour). It looks like a busy itinerary, so it may need to be done in more than one bite. If you would like to organise a meeting for Murray in your city or town or be otherwise involved with the tour, please contact CAFCA ASAP, by e-mail to cafca The itinerary will be worked out early in 2011 and publicity started shortly thereafter.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity" – Andre Gide

"He is a hypocrite who professes what he does not believe; not he who does not practice all he wishes or approves" – William Hazlitt

"HYPOCRITE, n. One who, profession virtues that he does not respect secures the advantage of seeming to be what he depises." – Ambrose Bierce

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Wealth gap divides nation http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/4571307/Wealth-gap-divides-nation

Don’t silence Hone, hui warns Maori leaders http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10702509

Harawira says party must handle the truth http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/4571176/Harawira-says-party-must-handle-the-truth

Calls to improve NZ’s paid parental leave system http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/calls-improve-nz-s-paid-parental-leave-system-4000884

‘Sack Auckland Grammar board’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4554929/Sack-Auckland-Grammarboard

Brian Edwards: A Definition of Stupidity: Repeatedly trying the same ineffective solution to a problem. And why that makes a majority of Kiwis stupid. http://tinyurl.com/462upvu

Open letter to Hone Harawira – NZ needs you http://tumeke.blogspot.com/

Greens: Locke To Retire At Election http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/greens-locke-retire-election/5/79552

Hate crime shatters couple’s lives http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/4571308/Hate-crime-shatters-couples-lives

Chris Trotter: What that attack on NCEA really means

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/christrotter/4576218/What-that-attack-on-NCEA-really-means

Video of the Socialist Aotearoa forum on the Revolution in Tunisia with SA’s Paul Brown and Muslim Anti Capitalist activist Gerald Perreira

http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/01/auckland-forum-on-revolution-in-tunisia.html

What is The Search & Surveillance Bill

Media Coverage Of Waihopai Spybase Protest

http://www.3news.co.nz/Waihopai-protestors-use-WikiLeaks-info/tabid/370/articleID/195418/Default.aspx

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4574016/Less-support-for-annual-anti-base-protest

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4561346/Dome-slasher-to-speak-at-spy-base-protest

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/community-papers/4564697/SOAPBOX-Blood-on-our-hands

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4561377/Man-to-oppose-spy-base-protesters

http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/4574038/Dome-slasher-handed-1-1m-bill

NZ WORK RIGHTS

Annual adjustment to the minimum wage (4:41) – Helen Kelly from the Council of Trade Unions and Phil O’Reilly from Business NZ discuss http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/annual-adjustment-minimum-wage-4-41-video-3999795

Fairness at Work Facebook page: The Fairness at Work Facebook page is proving very popular with well over 2000 followers so far. To make it easier to introduce new followers other than through Facebook itself we have created a simplified web link address which you may like to include in electronic signatures on emails, or use in other situations (e.g. in print) where the automatic Facebook address is too long and complicated to be practical. The link is www.facebook.com/fairness.at.work

Minister rules out union offerings on ‘wood crisis’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4580428/Minister-rules-out-unionofferings-on-wood-crisis

Minimum wage crunch time http://thestandard.org.nz/minimum-wage-crunch-time/

Early Childhood Day of Action and Petition Launch http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1101/S00044/early-childhood-day-of-action-and-petition-launch.htm

NZ ECONOMY

CAFCA On Asset Sales On Newstalk ZB http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=189693

CAFCA’s "Watchblog" & Facebook Group: Our blog is Watchblog. http://www.watchblogaotearoa.blogspot.com/ And our Facebook group is New Zealand Not For Sale. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=117427631610589&ref=ts

Nat voting Bernard Hickey says selling SOE ‘crown jewels’ and GST hike are wrong (Radio Live) http://www.radiolive.co.nz/SOE-sell-off-could-actually-cost-money—Hickey/tabid/506/articleID/18284/Default.aspx

SOE sell-off ‘could actually cost money’ http://www.3news.co.nz/SOE-sell-off-could-actually-cost-money/tabid/419/articleID/196045/Default.aspx

Financial Transactions Tax to stop asset sales http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1101/S00680/financial-transactions-tax-to-stop-asset-sales.htm

What is TPPA? http://tppwatch.org/what-is-tppa/

CULTURAL DISSENT

Exclusive excerpt from `The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould’, by Richard York and Brett Clark http://links.org.au/node/2120

FEATURES

Patrick Cockburn: Troubles like these are brewing all over the Middle East http://tinyurl.com/4gmrjjl

Patrice Lumumba – 50th anniversay of his assassination http://www.pambazuka.org/en/

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

The myth of ‘American exceptionalism’ implodes: Until the 1970s, US capitalism shared its spoils with American workers. But since 2008, it has made them pay for its failures http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/17/economics-globalrecession/print

Wall Street: A blunder or a crime? http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/201112515638111296.html

A European Strategy for the Left http://www.spectrezine.org/european-strategy-left

All out of love for the super rich http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10702313

AUSTRALIA

Cuba: Australian Workers Union tips its hat to Washington http://links.org.au/node/2122

CHINA

Martin Hart-Landsberg: China and the jobs issue http://links.org.au/node/2112

IRELAND

The United Left Alliance in Ireland: Is this the left unity we were hoping for? http://links.org.au/node/2053#comment-97094

JORDAN

Jordan protesters inspired by Tunisian ripple http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/01/19/jordan.ripple/

PALESTINE

Tariq Ali on `The Palestine Papers’: Total capitulation http://links.org.au/node/2118

Electronic Intifada: Documents reveal PA offered Israel ‘biggest Yerushalayim’ in history http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11745.shtml

The front line of ethnic cleansing http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/2011122115026642898.html

TUNISIA

Tunisia: Statement of the National Administrative Commission of the Tunisian General Union of Labor http://revitalisinglabour.blogspot.com/2011/01/tunisia-statement-of-national.html

Hijacking the Tunisian revolution – It was driven by disenfranchised young people, but are professional politicians now trying to take over?http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insidestory/2011/01/2011121165938708665.html

Bid to defuse Tunisia tensions – Protesters vow to continue sit-in outside government offices for as long as it takes to topple the ministry. http://english.aljazeera.net/video/africa/2011/01/201112594019594401.html

UK
Private Finance Initiative: hospitals will bring taxpayers 60 years of pain http://tinyurl.com/4mbhpgh

YEMEN

Thousands Of Yemenis Urge President To Quit By Agence France Presse http://www.countercurrents.org/afp270111.htm

OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS

JOIN THE MAY DAY 2011 SOLIDARITY BRIGADE TO VENEZUELA! APRIL 25TH – MAY 4TH, 2011

The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network invites you to observe first-hand the inspiring Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela. The sweeping social changes being carried out by Venezuela’s “people’s power” movements are radically transforming life for the majority in that country – workers, women, Indigenous people, young people and all those who have suffered the injustices of poverty, exploitation and exclusion that accompany corporate globalisation. Along the way, this remarkable revolution is showing the rest of the world that a more rational, socially just and sustainable future is possible.

A special feature of the 2011 May Day brigade will be the opportunity it offers to observe the developing workers’ participation and workers’ control that is a vital part of the Venezuelan revolution, with visits to worker-run factories and cooperatives, and meetings with trade union and community management representatives in a variety of sectors and regions. The brigadistas will also observe Venezuela’s grassroots democracy in action, with visits to the social missions, communal councils and communes. They will meet and speak with grassroots activists in the free, high-quality public health and education services; sustainable development projects; community controlled media; and women’s and Indigenous organisations. Joining the huge May Day rally in Caracas on May 1st will be a another highlight.

This brigade is the 12th solidarity and study tour organised by the AVSN. Participants’ reports and photos from previous brigades are available at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org

Registration and costs: The deadline for registering for the 2011 May Day solidarity brigade is February 28, 2011. Participants will need to book their own international airfares, but the AVSN can help with advice (please do not book without contacting us to confirm the dates). The AVSN will organise all accommodation, transport and English-Spanish translation for the brigade. People joining from Australia will need to budget for a total cost of $3500-4000, which will cover international return airfares (between $2200-2600 from Australia); all food, transport and accommodation (on a shared basis) during the brigade; and the brigade registration fee ($500 for workers or $300 for full-time students, unemployed and pensioners).

For more information about this or future brigades, please email brigades or phone Lisa Macdonald +61 413 031 108, Roberto Jorquera +61 425 182 994 or John Cleary +61 407 500 839.

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