GPJA: #369 – 2pm Sat March 26: Protest US-Nato bombing – Say no to dictators AND all foreign intervention from Bahrain to Libya

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 369, March 24, 2010

SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2PM, US CONSULATE, CUSTOMS ST

PROTEST US-NATO BOMBING – SAY NO TO DICTATORS – NO FOREIGN TROOPS OR BOMBS FROM BAHRAIN TO LIBYA

Video and Statement from MP Keith Locke of the NZ Green party opposing Western intervention in Libya- http://links.org.au/node/2225 TARIQ ALI on Western intervention http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/video-tariq-ali-events-in-middle-east-09-48-4073141

British

Mark Steel: It’s Blair I feel really sorry for http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-its-blair-i-feel-really-sorry-for-2249936.html

Libya intervention threatens the Arab spring – Despite its official UN-granted legality, the credibility of Western military action in Libya is rapidly dwindling. BY Phyllis Bennis http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/03/20113227357222118.html

Stop the NATO Bombing of Libya- Victory to the Arab Revolution. http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/03/stop-nato-bombing-of-libya-victory-to.html

Case against bombing Libya http://stopwar.org.uk/content/view/2309/1/

IRAQ. AFGHANISTAN. LIBYA. http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.com/2011/03/iraq-afghanistan-libya.html

Hypocrisy reigns over Libya by Keith Locke http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/03/24/hypocrisy-reigns-over-libya/

100 Years of Air Strikes http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/03/21/ian-patterson/100-years-of-air-strikes/

The manipulative pro-war argument in Libya http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/03/22/libya/index.html

Strikes will ‘antagonise’ many in Arab world, says Chomsky http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/20110321.htm

10 Reasons to say no to western intervention in Libya http://stopwar.org.uk/content/view/2299/27/

It’s the American way: Bringing democracy to Muslim countries – Grinning at the camera, US soldiers, who call themselves the "kill team", take trophy pictures of Afghans they have killed in acts of pre-meditated murder http://stopwar.org.uk/content/view/2312/27/

Arab spring: an interactive timeline of Middle East protests http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/mar/22/middle-east-protest-interactive-timeline

WHAT’S ON

Thursday, March 24, 7.30pm, St Benedicts Crypt (Enter from lane below front of church,on west side)

Films on Justice …exploring justice within US imperialism in Latin America. Romero (1989). This is an extra film in our series, to recall the 31st anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, on March 24th 1981. We apologize for the short notice. Director: John Duigan. Starring Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Eddie Velez. There will be brief prayer before the film, and time for discussion afterwards. (Please pass this notice to your friends, Parish, Mail List, Notice Board etc).

The life and work of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who opposed the tyrannical repression in El Salvador by the USA-backed dictatorship. At great personal risk he spoke up in defence of the poor, especially in his weekly radio homilies. Eventually, the government sent an assassin to murder him as he celebrated Mass.

Friday, March 25, Aotea Square, City

VIGIL IN SOLIDARITY WITH PEOPLE OF BAHRAIN

Sunday, March 27, 12.20pm, princes Wharf

HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP DEEP SEA OIL IN NZ

Take to the water this coming Sunday, March 27. If it floats, and it’s safe, launch it – kayak, tinny, yacht, whatever – and help give the

flotilla crew the send off they deserve, and show your support for stopping deep sea oil. The send off ceremony will start at 12:30 pm,

and the flotilla will cast off lines from the western side of Princes Wharf at 2pm. If you can’t get access to a boat, or you’re a landlubber, then go down on foot to see off the Flotilla, and send the Government a message (in petition form!) about what you think about deep sea oil. The ceremony will be happening on the left-hand side of the wharf. It’s just a three minute walk from Britomart, in downtown Auckland. Join the campaign to Stop Deep Sea Oil by going to: www.stopdeepseaoil.org.nz

Tuesday, March 29, 6pm, Clock Tower 039, The University of Auckland

NEW ZEALAND CENTRE FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES SEMINAR SERIES 2011- CONSTRUCTING A POST-IMPERIAL WORLD: CHÁVEZ, LATIN AMERICA AND ALBA (THE BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE FOR THE PEOPLES OF OUR AMERICA)

In view of the successes achieved by social movements in the Middle East, transnational media have asked who the leaders of "the people" are, which organisations represent them, and what goals they wish to achieve. In returning to the people as a social subject for political processes across the world, this seminar asks how ALBA, the Boliviarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America has contributed to a rethinking of global alignments, popular movements and the discourse about "the people" from three different perspectives and disciplines: International Law, Globalisation Studies and Latin American Studies.

Third Worldism and ALBA as Anti-Colonial Projects in International Law: For decades, Third World legal scholars have challenged the power asymmetries that permeate the international legal regime. The aim has been to redress the historical biases that pervade the global order and that undermine Third World wellbeing. Yet, despite decades of struggle, historical power imbalances persist, as does material deprivation. In this talk, I argue that ALBA – with its participatory model of democratic engagement and its progressive model of social relations – presents the most developed opportunity for Third World peoples to achieve a better life. Mohsen Al Attar, Law School, The University of Auckland.

Ten Dimensions of Counter-hegemonic Integration: ALBA and Third Generation Regionalism – Within an historical approach, I discuss the institutionalisation and organisational structure of the ALBA-TCP as a mulit-dimensional integral development and counter-hegemonic regionalism and globalisation project. Dr Thomas Muhr, Centre for Globalisation, Education & Societies, University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

Strengthening The People at the Flaxroots: Countering Transnational Media through Participatory Democracy – This talk describes the multiple levels in which the Bolivarian Revolution has reoriented the social subjectivity of Venezuelans as a pluricultural people with rights within the nation-state, across Latin America, and within global structures, and suggests areas in which this new social subject has entered into conflict with previous subjectivities. Dr Kathryn Lehman, New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies, The University of Auckland.

For further information visit: http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/about/ourresearch-1/research-centres-and-archives/newzealandcentreforlatinamericanstudies/events-4

Email: w.pino-ojeda

Tuesday, March 29, 7pm, Pitt Street Methodist Church (near the corner of Pitt Street and Karangahape Rd.)

TIME TO STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK FOR A DECENT STANDARD OF LIVING AND FUTURE FOR ALL – COME AND HELP THIS ACTION

Under the current government coalition ordinary people are asked to make sacrifices to bail out the greed of speculators and bankers. Free Market polices are being implemented by the National /Act / Maori Party government which are detrimental to ordinary New Zealanders. Citizen’s Against Privatisation has, after discussion with a number of groups, initiated a meeting to explore the possibility of planning an awareness-raising event around issues including those below.

· Reinstatement of interest on student loans.

· Lack of recognition of the need for pay increases for low paid workers, such as school support staff.

· PPP’s (Private – Public – Partnership) to profit from public necessities.

· Changes to workplace law, such as the 90-day Act.

· Reduced welfare provision causing greater child poverty.

· Increased tax cuts for the very wealthy.

· Reduced constitutional rights.

· Privatisation of electricity.

· Increasing food prices.

· Raised GST.

· Cuts to early childhood education

You are cordially invited to attend the initial meeting. Also please invite representatives from any organisation you belong to who are concerned about such issues. Bring your suggestions to the initial meeting to help plan further action. For further information contact capwaitakere

Thursday, March 31, 6.30pm, Clocktower T25 Seminar Room, Auckland University

CAPITALISM AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS – DISCUSSION SPONSORED BY SOCIALIST AOTEAROA

Thursday, March 31, 5.30pm, Connolly Hall, Wellington

FABIAN SEMINAR – DR GEOFF BERTRAM – ‘Bank regulation, exchange rate policy, overseas debt, and asset sales: how to untangle them?’

The high level of New Zealand’s overseas debt that figures prominently in much policy discourse is largely an increase in foreign-currency liabilities voluntarily taken on by mainly Australian-owned banks in pursuit of private profit. Only to a relatively small degree is it a rise in the net liabilities collectively owed by New Zealand entities (households, firms, Government) to offshore creditors. Yet the overseas debt is repeatedly portrayed like a black cloud hanging over public discussion of the fiscal deficit, the case for and against sales of state-owned assets, the conduct of monetary policy, and the way the financial sector is regulated or not regulated. The paper dissects the overseas debt to understand (i) its anatomy (who exactly owes what exactly to whom, with what implications for the solvency of the national economy); (ii) the forces driving its increase in the past two decades, focusing especially on the funding mechanisms adopted by the banking sector; and (iii) some proposals for changes in policy to refocus the national economy in ways that might make it more robustly structured. Geoff Bertram is an economist and author. His most recent work on this topic was written for the Institute of Policy Studies

‘The banks, the current account, the financial crisis, and the outlook’, Policy Quarterly Vol.5 No 1 (February 2009) pp.9-16.

Saturday, April 2, 1pm, Linwood Park, Woolston (opposite EastGate Mall) Christchurch

RALLY FOR CHRISTCHURCH! This event, created by Action for Christchurch East, is for residents who want to get involved in the Christchurch recovery and want to help build local community networks. Were tired of being talked to by politicians who leave us feeling that our concerns and opinions do not count. Action for Christchurch East aims to present an opportunity for residents to have their say and to hear what many are thinking – when the chips are down it’s our neighbours and the people around us that get us through. Whilst the dust settles decisions that affect us all are being made behind closed doors. Concerns about heating, water, employment, the city rebuild, accountability and Government Policy are being swept under the carpet. The Rally will help build upon the links and forums that are rapidly emerging throughout our communities. “This is Our City – Lets take it back!”

(Action for Christchurch East is a network of concerned Christchurch residents, community activists and union organisers). More info: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=158750784180975

Monday, April 4, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

2010 ROGER AWARD WINNER/S TO BE ANNOUNCED: The winner/s will be announced by the Roger Award’s Chief Judge, Christine Dann. The other speaker will be Murray Horton, from the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA), speaking on behalf of the organisers of the annual Roger Award. The event is organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland. All inquiries about the event to: Lynda Boyd 0274 797789; lyndab All inquiries about the Roger Award to Murray Horton, cafca

The six finalists for the 2010 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand are (in alphabetical order): BUPA, Imperial Tobacco, Telecom, Vodafone, Warner Brothers and Westpac. There is one finalist for the Accomplice Award (accompanying Warner Brothers) – the Government. The quantity of finalists is down from the nine in 2009 but the “quality” of the six in 2010 certainly isn’t. BUPA is a British-owned operator of a chain of retirement homes, one of the very largest in this sector which has become dominated by for profit corporations, with many of them foreign-owned. It was nominated for its shabby treatment of both its residents and workers (one piece of evidence supporting its nomination was a lengthy New Zealand Herald article about a 100 year old BUPA home resident who died of scabies, to the outrage of her family).

Imperial Tobacco was nominated for all the reasons one would expect a major tobacco transnational corporation (TNC) to make the cut, starting with the fact that several thousand New Zealanders die every year from the effects of smoking. This entirely preventable killer by a legally and lethally addictive drug was put under the spotlight in 2010 by the Select Committee hearings on its disproportionate impact on Maori. This is the first time that Imperial has been a finalist, with the tobacco industry usually having been represented among the finalists by its bigger rival British American Tobacco (the 2008 Roger winner). BAT was nominated again in 2010 but the case against Imperial was felt to be stronger this time by the Award organisers, who select the finalists.

Telecom remains the only TNC to have been a finalist every year since the Roger Award started, in 1997 (although it has only actually won it twice). It was nominated for a number of reasons but the reason it went through to the finalists yet again was because of something unique to it in 2010, namely the fiasco involving the repeated collapses of its much hyped XT mobile network. Not only did these collapses (occurring over several months) inconvenience several hundred thousand customers; they also knocked out the 111 emergency service on occasion and thus endangered both life and property. That fact alone led to major criticism of Telecom by the public, media and Government.

Vodafone makes its first appearance as a finalist (also marking the first time that both major phone TNCs have been Roger finalists). It is there for different reasons than Telecom, namely its shabby treatment of its workers. Westpac (which was also a finalist in 2009 and was the joint winner of the 2005 Roger) was nominated for a number of reasons, such as profiteering, and shabby treatment of both its workers and customers. It wasn’t the only bank nominated but it was felt that the case against it was stronger than that against the other nominee (ANZ, which won the 2009 Roger). Finally, Warner Brothers makes its first appearance in the Roger Award, going straight through to the finalists, because of it providing a textbook example of a big TNC bullying a small country’s film industry and extorting further corporate welfare from a craven Government only too eager to increase the taxpayer subsidy being paid to this corporate bludger for it to deign to continue filming “The Hobbit” in NZ. As past of that nomination, the Government is the sole finalist for the Accomplice Award for its forelock tugging and grovelling to Warners and its local mouthpiece, Sir Peter Jackson; specifically, by changing the employment laws to change all film workers into contractors (with far fewer legal rights) and giving Warners our money to add insult to injury.

The organisers agonised long and hard before choosing these six TNCs as finalists, as there were plenty of other worthy contenders, including two previous winners (BAT and ANZ) and some major corporate villains such as McDonalds. There are always ineligible nominations, for New Zealand corporations (Fonterra); for the activities of TNCs outside NZ (BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico); and for institutions that aren’t corporations at all (the Government, the National Party).

The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: Economic Dominance – Monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism; People – Unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, impact on children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public; Environment – Environmental damage, abuse of animals: Political Interference – Interference in democratic processes, running an ideological crusade.

There is also an Accomplice Award for an organisation (not an individual) which was the worst Accomplice during the year in aiding and abetting transnational corporations in New Zealand to behave as described in the criteria. The Accomplice’s award is in addition to the Worst Transnational Corporation award and will not necessarily be awarded every year. The judges are: Paul Corliss, from Christchurch, an organiser with the Tertiary Education Union and a life member of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union; Christine Dann, from Banks Peninsula, a writer and researcher; Sue Bradford, from Auckland, a community activist and former Green MP; Joce Jesson, a Senior Lecturer in Critical Studies in Education, University of Auckland, and a community activist; and Wayne Hope, Associate Professor, Communications Studies, Auckland University of Technology. They are given a shortlist of finalists. The Roger Award is jointly organised by CAFCA and GATT Watchdog. Full details, including previous winners and annual Judges’ Reports, can be read online at http://canterbury.cyberplace.co.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Roger/index.html . Bad luck to all the finalists and may the worst man win! Murray Horton, Secretary/Organiser, CAFCA

Tuesday, April 5, 7pm, AUT WT1004, AUT Tower Building, Rutland Street entrance. Room is next door to Pacific Media Centre; take lift to 10th floor

NEW ZEALAND IS NOT FOR SALE – MURRAY HORTON SPEAKING TOUR

The November 26 election is one of the most important in decades. Both major parties are committed to policies by which the New Zealand economy is even more dominated by transnational corporations; more and more of our farmland is owned by foreigners; publicly-owned assets are privatised; and the country is locked ever more tightly into disadvantageous “free” trade and foreign investment agreements, of which the biggest one being negotiated, in secret, is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – this is the means to effect a free trade agreement with the US. There are some differences between National and Labour on these issues, but they are only ones of degree, not principle. A change in government will not, in itself, be enough to change the disastrous course on which this country is set, one of domination by global Big Business and the US. This country needs People Power to let the world know that New Zealand is not for sale!

Murray Horton, spokesperson of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA), will speak on: • The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the dangers it poses to the NZ economy and to our very democracy. • Privatisation of our public assets.

• The relentless takeover of NZ businesses and land by transnational corporations. • The re-absorption of NZ into the US Empire.

•And, most, importantly, how the New Zealand people can fight back; it’s too important to be left up to the politicians.

Local Contact Lynda Boyd 0274 797789; lyndab

APRIL 12: GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION ON MILITARY SPENDING, AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

Last year global military expenditure was more than $1,531 billion (US), on average more than $4 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. That 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. This message is to invite you to take part in the new Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 12 April – there are two sections below: 1) Getting involved in the Global Day of Action, and 2) Background information. http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams11.htm

APRIL 28: WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY COMMEMORATION BLACKBALL

Comrades, We have confirmed to-day that we will hold a Workers Memorial Day (Thursday April 28th) commemoration service this year in Blackball on the West Coast. Obviously it gives us the opportunity to honour the Pike River Miners on this International Workers Day. The service of approx 30/45 minutes will be held at the Blackball Working Class Museum at 1.45pm. In the Working Men’s Club if wet. Speakers will likely include representatives from the EPMU. NZCTU, NDU and the ICEM . Local dignitaries and Representatives of the families will be invited to attend and to speak if they wish. The local CTU may also pay tribute to the Pike River Miners in song. The purpose of this email is the get the service in your diaries and ensure that our members and the speakers etc have time time to organise attendance etc. Please distribute this to your contacts who may be interested in attending.

Regards, Ged O’Connell, Assistant National Secretary, NZEPMU, 03-3530286, 0275328152

UNTIL MAY 2: KOTARE TRUST WORKSHOP SERIES – MOBILISING SUPPORT FOR UNION CAMPAIGNS

This workshop series is a space for union organisers to strategise on building support for union-wide campaigns with other progressive social justice movements and networks. We want people to come away from the workshops feeling energised and committed about being a unionist, feeling a strong sense of place in a wider social justice movement, and having a range of tools for building support among allies.

The workshops run over four Mondays in March, April and May. It’s okay if you miss some of the workshops, but for those that can come to them all, they will build on each other.

Monday April 4, 4.30pm-7.30pm. What are our goals?

Discussion on what the critical issues facing workers and their unions are right now. What are the root causes, and what are our responses? This session will use situational analysis tools to go deeper into the context of current union struggles.

Monday April 18, 4.30pm-7.30pm. What techniques do we have to achieve the big goals?

Building on the earlier discussion on strategy and tactics, this session will look at what tools unions have to achieve campaign goals.

Monday May 2, 4.30pm-7.30pm. Who’s affected and how: coalition building

Using tools such as power mapping, this session will look at practical strategies for unions in coalition building with other progressive justice movements and community organisations, such as welfare and beneficiary rights activists.

Venue: All sessions will be run at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. Parking is available on nearby side streets.

Cost: $0-$50 sliding scale for each workshop. Please self-assess your payment and consider your means when deciding what to pay. Donations towards Kotare’s running costs are very welcome. If you are on a low income, please feel welcome to attend at a subsidised rate.

Registration: Please register as soon as possible and no later than one week before each session. Spaces are limited and we want to ensure a good representation from different unions. We will be providing snacks/a light meal and need to know dietary needs in advance.

Facilitation team: Tanya Newman, Rachel Mackintosh and Sam Huggard

Registration. Registration is required. For more information and to register, please contact Tanya Newman at education or phone (09) 551 7765 or mobile (021) 0276-9112.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

LAW INTO ACTION: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND

NEW: ‘Law into Action: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand’, edited by Margaret Bedggood and Kris Gledhill, and published by the Human Rights Foundation. There are four sections below: ‘Law into Action’ details, the contents of the book, where you can get a copy, and where you can get more information. This message is available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hrfbook.htm

TRIBUTE SHOWINGS OF THE WORKS OF MERATA MITA

Hello Wonderful People, I thought you may be interested that Maori TV will be showing these documentaries as a tribute to my aunty. The first, "Saving Grace" showing this Saturday at 8.30 is her work regarding child abuse which she was in the stages of editing when she passed.

Sat 26 March 8.30pm BASTION POINT DAY 507 + KETE ARONUI

Sun 29 May 8.30pm PATU!

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