GPJA #370: Sunday – Protest Israeli leader; Monday – Roger Awards

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 370, April 1, 2010

WHAT’S ON

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

Saturday, April 2, 2pm, QEII Square, Downtown, Auckland
RALLY FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE IN PALESTINE
– On the First Saturday of Every Month next one – this Saturday April 2nd 2011, Cnr Customs Street and Queen St intersection, Outside Downtown Shopping Centre. Come support JUSTICE and PEACE based on: 1. Ending nearly 44 years of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip (including East Jerusalem); 2.Ensuring the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees; 3. Sharing Jerusalem; 4.. Vacating all settlement colonies in Israeli occupied Palestine; 5.Dismantling Israel’s annexation / apartheid wall in occupied Palestine www.palestine.org.nz

Sunday, April 3, 6.30pm, AA Hall, Greys Ave, Auckland Central
PROTEST SPEAKER OF ISRAELI KNESSET WHO ADMITS TO ETHNIC CLEANING OF PALESTINE On Sunday Palestinian Human Rights activists will demonstrate in Auckland against the presence of the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset (parliament). The protest will be outside the Greys Avenue synagogue from 6.30pm. The Auckland Jewish Council and the Zionist Federation of NZ are hosting an evening with Reuven“Rubi” Rivlin, Speaker of the Israeli Knesset. He is one of the most powerful politicians in Israel and a friend of even the most fanatical members of the illegal settlement enterprise. When visiting Paris in October last year he spoke about the Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land and told his French counterpart that the Palestinians thought they did not have to make an effort in peace talks. He said, “Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in the settlements, and they are not an obstacle to peace” adding “when the Palestinians realise that it is in their interest, there will be peace . . . the people of Israel want peace and not fantasies.”
Yet a month earlier, when objecting to a refusal by artists to perform in the settlement colony of Ariel, Rivlin let it slip (as reported in the Israeli publication Maariv) that what he called “the founders of Israel” had carried out a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing in Palestine. PHRC spokesperson, Janfrie Wakim, says "such statements reveal the duplicity and contradictions used to justify the goals of Israeli state Zionism. Palestinians are denied the most basic human rights, including the right of self-determination in their own land, in flagrant violation of international law and scores of UN Security Council Resolutions".
Demolition of Palestinian houses and evictions that enable Jewish settlers to take over Palestinian homes along with destruction of Palestinian olive trees and crops bring great suffering to Palestinians add nothing to Israel’s security. Israel’s annexation Wall, declared illegal by the World Court, and the blockade of Gaza effectively deny the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinians to return to their homes and property in the land from which they were driven. Discrimination and a growing number of apartheid-style laws in Israel underline the philosophy behind Israel’s assertion of a global Jewish ‘right of return’ to both the land under belligerent Israeli occupation and Israel’s recognised 1967 borders.
"Rivlin is a representative of the Israeli government that enforces the deacdes of occupation of the West Bank and the inhumane blockade of Gaza" says Ms Wakim "so we encourage all supporters of Palestinian rights to support the demonstration outside the synagogue in Greys Avenue where Rivlin is speaking on Sunday evening at 7.30pm." Assemble at 6.30pm.
CONTACT Janfrie Wakim – Palestine Human Rights Campaign, 027 629 1004; John Minto, Global Peace and Justice, Auckland (09) 8463173

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

Monday, April 4, 7.30pm, Papakura Senior Citizens Hall, 8 East St, Papakura.
Left Here forum: Campaign for MMP – It’s fairer and more democratic. MMP Campaign spokesperson Sandra Grey will inform, enlighten and answer your questions about the MMP campaign and the referendum questions that will be included in this year’s election. For further information contact Caroline Conroy 2985945 or Dale Granich 2983021

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

Thursday, April 7, 7pm, 8a Mt Eden Road, Cityside Church, Auckland CBD
PUBLIC TALK: Demand the impossible! Free talk on The importance of the radical imagination (Koha is welcome!). Hear Ron Sakolsky and Sheila Nopper talk about the importance of the radical imagination, the struggle against capitalism and a lot more! Ron Sakolsky: anarchist, unionist, anti coal activist, pirate radio broadcaster, author and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at University of Illinois. Ron founded his faculty union and was arrested, beaten up and thrown in jail for his activism around the busting of his union and the corporate restricting of his university. For more info see: simon.oosterman Spread the word:You can download an A3 poster to advertise the event here: http://aucklandanarchists.net/sites/default/files/DemandTheImpossible.pdf

Facebook group RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161873487201568

Thursday, April 7, 7.30pm, Peace Place 22 F Emily Place Central City (Close to Britomart)
Your chance to hear a leading figure in the Women’s Rights Movement in Indonesia: Beauty Erawati ,MLLB, Human Rights Lawyer and Gender Justice Specialist, Director of APIK NTB Women’s legal aid, rights and development. (Beauty is also actively involved as a member and consultant for several national gender rights networks). Tea and coffee available. APIK NTB , based in Mataram has over eight years experience working with Oxfam New Zealand. It has grown to become the pre-eminent women’s rights NGO in NTB Province and the leading organisation providing support for all other Gender Justice NGOs in Indonesia. APIK is based on the involvement and empowerment of women, with community networks of women groups throughout the Province (representing over 7500 women) comprised of poor women, victims of migrant worker abuse, trafficking and discriminatory religious practices. A particular concern of APIK NTB in recent years has been the growth of religious fundamentalism and its influence on women’s rights and economic marginalisation. Beauty’s illustrated address will update us on the recent disturbing events that signal increasing religious intolerance and persecution in Indonesia. Religious fundamentalism poses serious problems for women, and members of minority religious groupings including Christians and members of the Ahmadiyah faith. Hosted by Indonesia Human Rights Committee and Pax Christi. All Welcome.

With thanks to Oxfam who are hosting Beauty’s visit to New Zealand. Contact: maire

Sunday, April 10, 5pm, 1st floor, 7 The Strand, Takapuna.
PUBLIC LECTURE – New Zealand’s Ancient Peace Tradition – The Moriori people of Rekohu (Chatham Islands) were pacifists long before Gandhi. For hundreds of years they practised non-violence but in 1835 Taranaki iwi invaded the islands and the Moriori faced genocide and enslavement. Today there is a Moriori renaissance. Moriori leader Maui Solomon will deliver this year’s Capt Jack Lyon Memorial lecture. He will talk about the ancient Moriori peace tradition, how it influenced both Te Whiti and Gandhi, and its relevance in the 21st century as the Moriori rebuild their place in the world. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets $20 from Frances Bell, frabil 09-445 6178.
Each year around Anzac Day the North Shore Labour Electorate Committee hosts the Capt Jack Lyon Memorial Lecture in memory of Jack Lyon who was the MP for Waitemata part of which later became the North Shore electorate. Jack Lyon served in the first Labour Government and volunteered to fight in World War Two. He died fighting in Crete. The annual lecture is a forum to discuss issues of war and peace, and national identity.

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

Thursday, April 14, 6pm, Clubspace, Auckland University Quad
Socialist Aotearoa presents a forum on the ongoing uprising in Bahrain featuring a talk by Bahraini student Zahera Alanfooz.

As the regional uprising in the Middle East continues to push despotic regimes to the edge Zahera will present a personal insight into the Bahraini uprising as well as addressing some of the key issues the revolutions are throwing up including, The history of Bahrain; The organisation of the uprising; The role of the media; Orientalism, sectarianism and the West; Islam and democracy; US empire in the Middle East. Organised by Socialist Aotearoa on Campus | www.socialistaotearoa.org

Thursday, April 21, 6pm, Clubspace, Auckland University Quad
What would a socialist Auckland look like? A presentation by socialist activist Martin Graham on what Auckland would look like if it had a socialist economy. Economics has typically been the domain of the political right in recent years and is seen by many people as either a boring topic or a complicated one. Yet this presentation using video and music will engage both the imagination and the intellect to show that a radical economics can and should be based on everyday life. Taking us through a day in the life of an Aucklander in a post-capitalist economy, Martin’s presentation will give participants an imaginative look at how a socialist economy might function and why capitalism and state capitalism are failing us in the 21st century. Organised by Socialist Aotearoa on Campus. www.socialistaotearoa.org

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.

Friday, May 20, 7.30am, School of Population Health, Tamaki Campus, Auckland University
CPAG’s 11th Annual Post Budget Breakfast

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

OPERATION 8 RELEASED
CutCutCut Films is pleased to announce the release of Operation 8, a feature length documentary about the 2007 ‘anti-terror’ raids. Operation 8 is screening in the 2011 World Cinema Showcase, in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin – with the world premiere on Sunday 17 April, 2.45pm at the Paramount Cinema in Wellington. Screening times are as follows:

Wellington – Paramount Theatre
Sun 17 April, 2.45 pm
Mon 25 April, 2.45 pm
Wed 27 April, 3.15 pm
Auckland – Skycity Theatre
Mon 18 April, 3.00 pm
Mon 18 April, 8.15 pm
Dunedin – Rialto Cinemas
Mon 9 May, 8.30 pm
Tue 10 May, 11.15 am
Tickets for the film are available at the respective cinemas. You can read about the film and watch the trailer here:
http://www.cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html http://worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/titles11/operation8.html Please forward this email on to any interested groups or individuals. We hope to see you there!
Errol Wright & Abi King-Jones, CutCutCut Films www.cutcutcut.com
Facebook (for updates click the ‘LIKE’ button on the facebook page) Twitter

WORLD CINEMA SHOWCASE
Thought you guys maybe interested in some of these films which will be shown as apart of world cinema showcase (http://www.worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/films.html) next month. Armadillo (http://www.worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/titles11/armadillo.html) and Restrepo (http://www.worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/titles11/restrepo.html) are two films about western forces in Afghanistan and would be worth seeing. When We Leave (http://www.worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/titles11/whenweleave.html) may also be worth a look considering the attacks against Turkish people in Germany.

TARIQ ALI LECTURES AT AUCKLAND UNIVERSITY (video)
2011 Robb Lecture 1: Ali – Islam and its discontents (VIDEO).
2011 Robb Lecture 2: Ali – US power today: The global hegemon (VIDEO).
2011 Rob Lecture 3: Ali – The rise of China (VIDEO).

QUOTES OF THE WEEK
"Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular? But, conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right." Martin Luther King, Jr.

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND
Film trailer: OPERATION 8: Deep in the forest http://www.cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html
Dame Kiri’s Israel plans attacked http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/4821979/Dame-Kiris-Israel-plans-attacked

Kiri Te Kanawa asked to support BDS campaign against Israeli apartheid http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00266/kiri-te-kanawa-asked-to-campaign-against-israeli-apartheid.htm

Global Peace and Justice Auckland has called for a protest at the US Consulate at 2pm on Saturday against foreign military interventions in the Middle East. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1103/S00907/global-peace-and-justice-auckland-has-called-for-a-protest.htm
Keith Locke’s speech during the debate on the Financial Reviews for Foreign Affairs on Tuesday: http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/intervention-libya-keith-lockes-speech-during-financial-review-debate-foreign-affairs
Keith Locke’s speech in the General Debate on Wednesday: http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/supporting-democracy-libya-keith-lockes-general-debate-speech
Keith Locke’s blogreflecting on the week’s events in Libya: http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/03/24/hypocrisy-reigns-over-libya/
Gordon Campbell: On the intervention in Libya http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2011/03/25/gordon-campbell-on-the-intervention-in-libya/ Government Clutches at National Standards Straws http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1103/S00102/government-clutches-at-national-standards-straws.htm
Migrante Aotearoa Calls on Ph, NZ Authorities to Probe English Language Scheme Luring Filipino Nurses to New Zealand http://topressdown.blogspot.com/2011/03/migrante-aotearoa-calls-on-ph-nz.html
New Zealand public is ultimate victim of public sector cuts http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00279/new-zealand-public-is-ultimate-victim-of-public-sector-cuts.htm
KiwiRail: stop shunting rail passengers on to buses http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1103/S00918/kiwirail-stop-shunting-rail-passengers-on-to-buses.htm

A raft of new ACC regulations come into force today, Kevin Hague Green Party Spokesperson for ACC has written a blog post on the problems with the experience rating regulations. If you are interested it is available at http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/04/01/back-to-the-future-with-acc-experience-rating/
Liberty Watch – Round-up of civil liberty news for March 2011. http://nzccl.org.nz/content/current-issues/liberty-watch-march-2011

Pacific Media Centre Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/PacificMediaCentre

EARTHQUAKE
Huge Risks in Scaled Back Canterbury Package http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00264/huge-risks-in-scaled-back-canterbury-package.htm
Cold-hearted Response to Christchurch Schools over National Standards http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1104/S00005/cold-hearted-response-to-chch-schools-over-national-standard.htm

WELFARE “REFORM”
Meet Courteney – 19-year-old mum of 8-month-old Summer, and first-year law student at Victoria University. Courteney talks about her experience managing study and parenting while on the Domestic Purposes Benefit, and shares her opinion of the Welfare Working Group’s report. We also hear from Green Party Work and Income Spokesperson Catherine Delahunty. http://www.greens.org.nz/audio/courteney-catherine-and-welfare-working-group
Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei has been blogging on the Welfare Working Group’s final report, highlighting problems with its research, methodology, and conclusions. Today, she points out that the Welfare Working Group’s targets for reducing beneficiary numbers are distinctly unambitious and could likely be achieved by good economic management without the need for the punitive measures the Group proposes. http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/03/25/the-welfare-working-group-and-its-distinctly-unambitious-target

NZ WORK RIGHTS
Tougher from April 1

1951 Waterfront Lockout – 60th Anniversary http://www.marxist.com/1951-waterfront-lockout-60th-anniversary.htm
Meat inspectors’ union meeting denied at Affco Imlay meat plant http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1103/S00793/meat-inspectors-union-meeting-denied-at-affco-plant.htm
How to tell a contractor from an employee http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-supreme-court/news/article.cfm?o_id=403&objectid=10333990
Unfair changes come at bad time for many workers http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/4816693/Unfair-changes-come-at-bad-time-for-many-workers

Bank must talk to customers, community and staff now about National Bank future http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00289/bank-must-talk-about-national-bank-future.htm
Manufacturing survey confirms more jobs at risk in wood industry http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1104/S00025/manufacturing-survey-more-jobs-at-risk-in-wood-industry.htm
Things just got worse: new laws discriminate against LGBTI workers http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/things-just-got-worse-new-laws-discriminate-against-lgbti-workers/5/86867

Bad for all, worse for Māori http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1104/S00022/bad-for-all-worse-for-maori.htm
Coalition Backs Paying School Support Staff Fairly http://payequity.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/coalition-backs-paying-school-support-staff-fairly/
Pay talks for school support staff as they battle pay inequity http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1103/S01015/pay-talks-for-school-support-staff-as-they-battle-inequity.htm
Government disingenuous on public service frontline claims http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00301/government-disingenuous-on-public-service-frontline-claims.htm

NZ ECONOMY
Prof. Jane Kelsey: Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiators Circle the Wagons
Reverse tax cuts for millionaires and leave our public services alone http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00284/reverse-tax-cuts-for-millionaires-and-leave-public-servicr.htm
Govt accused of ‘slash and burn’ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10715989
Discussion on capital gains tax would make housing affordability inquiry more productive http://business.scoop.co.nz/2011/03/31/capital-gains-tax-and-housing-affordability/
Appeal to UN Rapporteur on Health to Intervene in Trans-Pacific Trade Negotiations http://tppwatch.org/2011/03/31/appeal-to-un-rapporteur-on-health-to-intervene-in-trans-pacific-trade-negotiations/
Fewer jobs in core administration means fewer services for New Zealanders http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1103/S00299/fewer-jobs-in-core-administration-means-fewer-services.htm

CULTURAL DISSENT
Stieg Larsson in the Struggle BY Håkan Blomqvist http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2052

It Cuts Both Ways … the Alternatives – video – Bill Nighy, Zac Goldsmith and Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien describe how a range of organisations propose alternatives to the government’s austerity measures http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/video/2011/mar/24/cuts-both-ways-alternatives
Indomitable by Terry Eagleton: Review of “How to Change the World: Marx and Marxism 1840-2011 by Eric Hobsbawm” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n05/terry-eagleton/indomitable
A Niche for a Prophet by Eric Hobsbawm: Review of “Jews of San Nicandro” by John Davis http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n03/eric-hobsbawm/a-niche-for-a-prophet
How Much Is Too Much? By Benjamin Kunkel: Review of “The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism” by David Harvey and “A Companion to Marx’s ‘Capital’” by David Harvey http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n03/benjamin-kunkel/how-much-is-too-much/print
Billy Bragg – There is Power in The Union.mp4 http://tinyurl.com/46e67bc
Sean Penn: The Accidental Activist http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/the-accidental-activist/?partn

FEATURES

John Pilger: ‘Silencing WikiLeaks is the aim, smear the method’ http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47153
Tariq Ali: Libya is another case of selective vigilantism by the west – Bombing Tripoli while shoring up other despots in the Arab world shows the UN-backed strikes to oust Gaddafi are purely cynical http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/29/libya-west-tripoli-arab-world-gaddafi

The Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism BY John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney http://monthlyreview.org/110301foster-mcchesney.php
Commemorate the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which took place in New York City 100 years ago on March 25, 1911. We mourn the 147 victims, women and children, mainly Italian and European Jewish immigrants. We celebrate labor movement victories that were sparked by the fire http://www.sweatfree.org/docs/triangleflier.pdf
Libya, imperialism and ALBA http://links.org.au/node/2231
The Arab revolution must stay in Arab hands – a response to Gilbert Achcar http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=7914

US, West complicit in Arab repression http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47159
On Libya: A Response to Juan Cole http://www.zcommunications.org/on-libya-a-response-to-juan-cole-by-phyllis-bennis

LAND, LABOUR AND THE ENVIROMENT

George Monbiot is wrong. Nuclear power is not the way to fight climate change – Renewable energy is a safe, clean source which will become cheaper as we invest in it http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/24/renewables-nuclear-fukushima-japan-environment
Wasserman: Nuclear cannot be made safe http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=3995

George Monbiot’s nuclear mistakes http://links.org.au/node/2236
Alternatives to the Dominant Agricultural Model http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=3997

AFGHANISTAN
The truth revealed by the "kill teams" in Afghanistan by Malalai Joya http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/mar/30/kill-team-photos-afghanistan-us

AUSTRALIA
Jailed Burmese refugees: ‘We came here for freedom’ http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47139

AZERBAIJAN
Protests in Azerbaijan http://crowdvoice.org/protests-in-azerbaijan#

BOLIVIA
Bolivia After the Storm – Raúl Zibechi, Americas Program – At the end of December, the first popular uprising in the region against a government of the left took place in Bolivia. It was caused by an excessive increase in the price of fuels. The event demonstrates the difficulties of entering into a truly alternative mode of development, but it also reveals the limits of the Bolivian government’s stated effort to re-establish and decolonize the state. http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2011/03/bolivia-after-storm.html
Cochabamba Still Thirsty http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2011/03/bolivia-cochabamba-still-thirsty.html

BRAZIL
Lula’s Brazil BY Perry Anderson http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n07/perry-anderson/lulas-brazil/print

CANADA
Canada’s role in Libya no-fly zone draws criticism http://www.straight.com/article-382932/vancouver/canadas-role-libya-draws-criticism

CUBA
The Latin American School of Medicine Today: ELAM http://www.monthlyreview.org/110301fitz.php
Sexual self-determination in socialist Cuba: An interview with CENESEX director Mariela Castro Espín http://links.org.au/node/2233
Reflections by Comrade Fidel: BETWEEN EMIGRATION AND CRIME http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/reflexiones/2011/ing/f250311i.html

GUATEMALA
PARADISE LOST – April 2010 (40 minutes. English): Canadian television station CTV aired a W5 documentary "Paradise Lost", looking at Goldcorp Inc’s gold mining operation and HudBay Mineral’s nickel mining operation in Guatemala.
Part 1 (11:10 minutes) http://watch.ctv.ca/news/w5/paradise-lost/#clip290436
Part 2 (9:38 minutes) http://watch.ctv.ca/news/w5/paradise-lost/#clip290437
Part 3 (9:20 minutes) http://watch.ctv.ca/news/w5/paradise-lost/#clip290443
Part 4 (9:20 minutes) http://watch.ctv.ca/news/w5/paradise-lost/#clip290444
GOLD MINING IN GUATEMALA: COMPREHESIVE HARMS & DAMAGES January 2010 (3:48 minutes. Spanish, with English subtitles)
EGYPT
Egypt’s Uprising: Not Just a Question of ‘Transition’ http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/462.php
A state of counter-emergency http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/377169
Hundreds march onto Cabinet, protesting Egypt’s anti-strike law http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/8738/Egypt/Politics-/Hundreds-march-onto-Cabinet,-protesting-Egypts-ant.aspx
HAITI
Two articles in Haiti Liberte examine low voter turnout http://canadahaitiaction.ca/content/two-articles-haiti-liberte-examine-low-voter-turnout

JAPAN
Japan: a natural, nuclear, human and social disaster http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2050

KOREA
South Korea: Irregular and migrant workers continue their daily struggles http://links.org.au/node/2230

LIBYA
Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs http://www.truth-out.org/instead-bombing-dictators-stop-selling-them-bombs68680
Libya’s economic war rages in southern Europe – Even as the Libyan war just gets underway, the economic war over Libya’s treasures has already begun. http://tinyurl.com/4fdm77o
Seumas Milne There’s nothing moral about Nato’s intervention in Libya – The attacks on Libya risk a bloody stalemate and are a threat to the region. The alternative has to be a negotiated settlement http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/23/nothing-moral-nato-intervention-libya
How Western powers blackmailed the Libyan revolution http://yansoon.net/2011/03/24/how-western-powers-blackmailed-the-libyan-revolution/
Libya’s biggest tribe joins march of reconciliation to Benghazi http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/23/libya-biggest-tribe-march-benghazi/print
Robert Fisk: First it was Saddam. Then Gaddafi. Now there’s a vacancy for the West’s favourite crackpot tyrant http://tinyurl.com/4pvutky
Vilifying Gaddafi externalises evil – The demonology used by the media to describe dictators is just part of a bid to monopolise the moral ground http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/22/gaddafi-demonology-media
Why Nothing Good Will Come of This – Intervening in Libya By VIJAY PRASHAD http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad03232011.html
Tariq Ali on Libya and Arab revolution http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/199018/3/TariqAliMarch21.mp3

Mark Steel: Hypocritical West can’t claim to be Libya’s friend http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/47157

PALESTINE
Boycotting Israel … from within – Israelis explain why they joined the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement. http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/03/2011318171822514245.html

Israel’s Military Escalation in Gaza http://alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/11-aic-projects/3441-israels-military-escalation-in-gaza
Israel Campaigns against Gaza-Bound Freedom Flotilla II Planned for May http://alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/3436-israel-campaigns-against-gaza-bound-freedom-flotilla-ii-planned-for-may
BDS Action: Tell Wikimedia Not to Hold 2011 Annual Conference in Israel! http://alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/economy-of-the-occupation/3439-bds-action-tell-wikimedia-not-to-hold-2011-annual-conference-in-israel
Palestinian Stabbed by Settler in Tuwani, South Hebron Hills http://alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/hebron/3443-palestinian-stabbed-by-settler-in-tuwani-south-hebron-hills
Rachel Corrie Family Requests Observers Attend Upcoming Hearings in Suit against Israel http://alternativenews.org/english/index.php/topics/news/3448-rachel-corrie-family-requests-observers-attend-upcoming-hearings-in-suit-against-israel
AICVideo: Palestinian Leaders Targeted
Ali Abunimah & David Cronin: Israeli Apartheid and Beyond – video – Two of the foremost analysts on the Middle East Conflict speak about the struggle against Israeli Apartheid in a talk chaired by Oxford academic Dr Karma Nabulsi and hosted by Palestine Solidarity Campaign and KCL Action Palestine. http://tinyurl.com/42xvgsb

PHILIPPINES
NDFP opening statement on resumption of formal peace talks http://www.philippinerevolution.net/cgi-bin/statements/stmts.pl?author=lj;date=110215;lang=eng
What Has Been Achieved in 25 Years of Peace Negotiations? http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/30/what-has-been-achieved-in-25-years-of-peace-negotiations/
Rights group urges Aquino to free political detainees http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=657673&publicationSubCategoryId=200

Morong 43 Recall the Nightmare and the Struggle http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/06/morong-43-recall-the-nightmare-and-the-struggle/
Dole Philippines Workers in Tough Fight as US Company Uses Military Force Vs Union

http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/02/22/dole-philippines-workers-in-tough-fight-as-us-company-uses-military-force-vs-union/
Fighting back: The Pinaglabanaqn residents last stand sideshow.

http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/01/26/fighting-back-the-pinaglabanan-residents-last-stand-slideshow/
PORTUGAL
Against the marriage of convenience http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2055http://www.internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article2055

SAUDI ARABIA
STC work disrupted by striking workers http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article317217.ece

SYRIA

Desperate Assad tries to blunt uprising with new promises of reform http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/desperate-assad-tries-to-blunt-uprising-with-new-promises-of-reform-2254771.html

TUNISIA
Tunisia’s ongoing revolution: Matt Swagler describes the attempts of Tunisia’s elite to impose order–and the inspiring examples of direct democracy and workers’ struggle since the fall of Ben Ali. http://socialistworker.org/2011/03/22/tunisias-ongoing-revolution

UK

MARCH 26: AN HISTORIC DEMONSTRATION – This amazing video captures the true scale of the March 26 protest. Filmed by Paul Hanes over four hours and compressed into 23 minutes it shows the whole demonstration.

UK Uncut arrests threaten future protests, lawyer warns http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/30/uk-uncut-arrests-protests?INTCMP=SRCH
March 26: An account of police violence against peaceful Trafalgar Square protest – video http://tinyurl.com/48cxonl

USA
Leonard Weinglass (1933-2011) http://links.org.au/node/2232
Losing Our Way By BOB HERBERT So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/opinion/26herbert.html?_r=3

VENEZUELA

Video: Panel discussion at Left Forum in US – “Venezuela and the Chavez Government: Advances and Shortcomings” http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/left-forum-2011-part-two/

WESTERN SAHARA
`We want to go back to our country. Nothing will stop us wanting our rights’ http://links.org.au/node/2228

YEMEN

Yémen: Another Middle East tyrant at the brink http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article20875

OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN BOLIVIA SOLIDARITY TOUR 2011
Greetings, The Latin American Forums of Melbourne and Sydney invite you and /or your organisation to participate in the first solidarity tour to Bolivia organised from Australia. Under the leadership of President Evo Morales, Bolivia is one of the countries in Latin America that is undertaking a radical progressive change. Bolivia is moving from the unjust and exploitative neo liberal capitalist state to a new form of participative community democracy, where the needs of the people are put before the drive for profits for the minority.
We invite you to participate in this solidarity tour to meet activists from community, environmental, indigenous groups and unions and see for yourself how this transformation is taking place. See attached leaflet for more detail. Please note the deadline for expressions of interest. Please pass on this information to your contacts. Please direct all inquiries to John or Fred (details below)
In Solidarity, John Cleary +61 407500839 or email johncleary271 Fred Fuentes +61 412 556 527 or fred.fuentes

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.

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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