GPJA #464 (Part 1 of 3): What’s On – Picket tomorrow Auck @ 5.15pm outside Israeli Ambassador meeting

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 464, May 26, 2013

WHAT’S ON IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

Monday 25th May, 5.15pm outside the Clock Tower Building, 22 Princes Street, Auckland University.

Protest in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and human rights. The New Zealand Institute for International Affairs is hosting a public meeting where the Acting Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand, Shalom Cohen, will be speaking on the topic “Behind the Arab Spring – The Origin and Causes and the Current Situation in the Middle East”.

Palestinian Children inspect the damage to their homes

This is outrageous! Anyone less appropriate to talk about the Arab Spring would be difficult to find. The Israeli embassy in New Zealand is the mouthpiece for the brutal military occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank and supports the medieval siege of Palestinians living in the Gaza strip.

Close the apartheid-Israel embassy!

Support the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign!

Freedom for Palestine!

Global Peace and Justice Auckland is helping organise this important protest.

Please make a big effort to be there!

Monday, May 27, 6pm, Mezzanine Meeting room of the Wellington Central Library
Public meeting on the illegal surveillance by the GCSB. You are warmly invited to a public meeting to discuss the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), the illegal surveillance it conducted, the law change being made to legalise its unlawful activities and the role of the GCSB in the US global surveillance network. Speakers: Nicky Hager, Keith Locke & Michael Bott (NZ Council for Civil Liberties). Organised by OASIS http://oasisfromsurveillance.blogspot.co.nz/

Tuesday, May 28, 7pm, Room OGGB4, lowest level of the Owen Glen building, University of Auckland
FREE CLIMATE DOUBLE FEATURE: Thin Ice: Inside the Story of Climate Science (running time 73 mins). Do The Math: a fast-paced inspiring film about the rising movement to solve the climate crisis (running time 42 mins). Free entry, but koha appreciated. Event hosted by Auckland Coal Action http://aucklandcoalaction.org/2013/05/16/climate-double-feature/

Saturday, June 8, 2pm, SGINZ Buddhist Community Centre, 40 Eaglehurst Rd, Ellerslie.
Auckland Peace City – Nuclear Free New Zealand Annual event. Featuring our Mayor for Peace – Len Brown. We are celebrating the DVD launch of the ‘Auckland Peace City & Nuclear Free New Zealand’ produced by Nikki Wood and Laurie Ross. Very suitable for high school students and everyone who cares about protecting our world. It will be interesting, entertaining and provides a positive focus of wholesome national and civic pride in our collective achievement. (It is a fabulous historic record of the people who participated in our Aotea Square event last year.) PLUS, the Peace Foundation will introduce the ‘Auckland Peace City Toolkit’ of projects suitable for community groups and Local Boards to implement for the on going process of nurturing the Peace City culture. EVERYONE WELCOME. Warm regards Laurie Ross

Saturday, June 15, 7pm, Maritime Club, 25 Anzac Ave, Auckland City
Celebrate the release of René Gonzalez! One home; four to go!!!! Musicians, poets, writers and a dancer share their work to support the worldwide effort to free the Cuban Five.
TAKING THE STAGE FOR THE CUBAN 5
Musicians: Cuban Accent with Marcello, Lynn and Hershal with Trudi Lyall
Cuban ambassador: Maria del Carmen Herrera
Poets: Janet Charman Bob Orr Vivienne Plumb Riemke Ensing
Dancer: Tupua Tigafua, of the NZ Dance Company
Writers and readers: Dean Parker David Lyndon Brown
Koha Cash bar Cuban supper $8.
Cuba Friendship Society ~ e-mail inashina Phone Ina ~ 303-1755 or Malcolm 021-151-7887

Sunday, June 16, 7.30pm, Thirsty Dog Pub, Karangahape Rd, Auckland
BLOOMSDAY
(Enter Bella Cohen, great heaving transvestite dominatrix with snappy glasses.)
BELLA COHEN: Do you know who I am? No, I’m not Aaron! I am Jenny Shipley!
Love me like a Chinese corporation! Climb into bed with my fellow Hong Kong shysters! Roll in the lucre of my fraudulent, money-laundering associates! I’m Jenny the Dosh, former Prime Minister, powerful face of free trade, quick profits and the modern National Party. I am Crafar Farms, I am Genesis Power, I am Mainzeal Properties, I am the successful Tory politician, multiple directorships coming out my bum each worth 80 grand a year, my little piggy trotters greasy with travel perks and all I have to do is turn up and shove my slobbery snout in the swilling trough! Snorrrk, snorrrk, snorrrk! I am Bill Birch at Dorchester, I am Doug Graham at Lombard, I am John Luxton at Blue Chip. . . I am 21st century New Zealand! (SINGS) “E Ihoa Atua…” So, down, down! I’m Shanghai L’il and I’m in for the kill!
Bloomsday! With James Joyce, Noelle McCarthy, Joe Carolan, Michael Hurst, Liesha Ward-Knox, Rick Bryant, Yuko Takahashi, Brian Keegan, Linn Lorkin, Chris Trotter, the Jews Brothers Band, Farrell Cleary…
Great story, great music, great jokes, great characters! … including Joe Carolan as The Sinn Feiner Citizen!
The best show in town! The only Hiberno-Hebrew Bloomsday in the known world!

June 22-23, (Day 1 venue TBA), Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall.
National Conference on Palestine: See Announcements section for details

JOIN THE 2013 SOLIDARITY BRIGADE TO VENEZUELA – DECEMBER 4-13, 2013
Witness a people’s revolution in action. The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 14th international solidarity brigade to Venezuela this December is a very special opportunity to observe, learn about and be inspired by the Bolivarian revolution that is transforming Latin America and challenging the greed and exploitation of global capitalism by showing that a better world is possible.
Since 1998, when the late Hugo Chavez was first elected president, the Bolivarian revolution has achieved remarkable things by putting control of Venezuela’s politics and economy back into the hands of the poor majority. Despite the challenges created by Chavez’s death last March and the right-wing’s campaign to undermine new President Nicolas Maduro, this people-power driven revolution continues to flourish and defy all attempts by the imperialism-backed opposition to destroy it.
The brigade itinerary is being planned in consultation with our partners in Venezuela, but during the 10-day visit, participants will:

  • visit social missions, communal councils and communes, as well as production cooperatives, public health and education services, sustainable development projects, community controlled media stations, and women’s and Indigenous organisations and projects; and
  • meet with a wide range of grassroots organisations, community activists, trade unions and government representatives to learn more about the “socialism of the 21st century” being created by the Venezuelan people; and
  • spend time in the capital, Caracas, and travel to a regional area of Venezuela.

Brigade registration and costs
The registration deadline for the 2013 brigade is September 1, 2013. Accommodation, transport within Venezuela and English-Spanish translation throughout the brigade will be organised for all participants by the AVSN.
Participants will need to book their own international airfares. Please do not purchase your tickets before the registration deadline of September 1.
In addition to your international airfare, you will need to budget for approximately $1200. This will cover your brigade registration fee ($500 for waged workers or $350 for students/pensioners), and your food, transport and (shared) accommodation in Venezuela.
To register or for more information: EMAIL: brigades www.venezuelasolidarity.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

CWS LAUNCHES APPEAL FOR BANGLADESH FACTORY COLLAPSE SURVIVORS

The Bangladesh union that supports workers involved in the factory that collapsed killing 1100 and making many more jobless has asked New Zealanders for help.

They have made their request through Christian World Service, reflecting the long connection between the union and CWS.

The plea for help has come from Amirul Haque Amin of the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF).

Mr Amin wrote to CWS international programmes head, Trish Murray thanking her for her messages of support and sympathy after the factory collapse tragedy.

“I know you are very busy but please consider that NGWF have to do a lot of things,’’ said Mr Amin.

These actions included: “supporting our members-dead and injured, trying to reach the other dead and injured but the numbers are very big, ensuring that the injured get proper treatment, and making sure that the dead, injured and suffering workers get proper compensation.”

As well they were trying to get support for the workers affected by the abrupt closure of other dangerous factories by the Government in the wake of international outrage after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Savar on April 24.

There had been at least 22 other factories closed and workers from these places were also in need of compensation and support.

Mr Amin also said that the factory collapse had underlined the urgency of keeping up their campaign for safer working conditions for Bangladeshi garment workers.

“If we can get direct support to the victims then it will be also easier for us to do other things as well,’’ said Mr Amin.

Donations to the Bangladesh Workers Appeal can be made: on line at www.cws.org.nz/donate, sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8140 or by calling 0800 74 73 72.

For further information contact: CWS National Director, Pauline McKay. Phones: 03 366 9274 or 021 289 1225

UPDATE: KILLER ROBOTS CAMPAIGN AND THE UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has today sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will consider the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions on lethal autonomous robotics, Professor Christof Heyns, next week.

The letter – calling on the government to consider and publicly elaborate on its policy on fully autonomous weapons, particularly with respect to ethical, legal, policy, technical, and other concerns that have been raised in the UN Special Rapporteur’s Report and to endorse its four recommendations – is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/robots.htm together with the link to the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=520858074628233&l=e1b4fd4d97

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is an international coalition of civil society groups is working pre-emptively to ban lethal autonomous robot weapons (‘killer robots’) that would have the ability to select and attack targets without any human intervention.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is supported by: the Human Rights Foundation, Pax Christi, Peace Movement Aotearoa, Quaker Peace and Service, The Peace Place, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Aotearoa section. If your organisation would like to be added to the list of supporters, please contact Peace Movement Aotearoa pma with ‘Killer Robot Campaign support’ in the subject line of your message, thank you.

CALL FOR 2013 JESSON JOURNALISM PRIZE ENTRIES

The Bruce Jesson Foundation journalism prize competition is now open for entries, offering funding for high-quality critical journalism. The 2013 competition opens as recent winner Max Rashbrooke unveils a new book supported by his Jesson award: Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis – and what we can do about it (Bridget Williams Books, 2013).

The Bruce Jesson Foundation was established in 1999 to commemorate one of New Zealand’s greatest political journalists, the late Bruce Jesson, by promoting “vigorous political, social and economic investigation, debate, analysis and reporting in New Zealand”. The Foundation holds an Annual Lecture and awards two journalism prizes, presented at the lecture in October:

The Senior Journalism Prize is self-nominated and invites applications for an award of up to NZ$4,000 to assist a project aiming to produce the kind of critical and analytical journalism exemplified by Jesson’s work.

The Emerging Journalism Prize has a fixed emolument of $1,000 and recognises “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for published work by student journalists.

Entries for the 2013 Bruce Jesson Journalism Prizes are now invited both from self-nominating senior journalists and the Heads of New Zealand journalism schools. Entries will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson, Simon Collins, and Jon Stephenson.

Details are available on the Foundation g.kemp). The DEADLINE for receipt of entries is 5pm, Monday, September 30, 2013.

FOREIGN CONTROL WATCHDOG 132 MAY 2013

Fix Your Own House, Don’t Sell It by Murray Horton
The TPPA And New Zealand’s Experience by Bill Rosenberg
Patently Absurd: Intellectual Property And The TPPA by Mary Ellen O’Connor
Attack On, & Undermining Of, Schedule Four Continues: Update On
Coromandel Watchdog Campaign by Renee Annan

The State Of Politics In NZ Today: Right, Left & Confused by Nicky Hager
The Media Fails Media 101: Peter Jackson, Warner Brothers, Employees And Contractors by John Minto
Fairfax In Trouble by Wayne Hope & Merja Myllylahti
Redesigning America’s Schools In The Corporate Image by Liz Gordon
Organiser’s Report by Murray Horton
Reviews by Jeremy Agar
Mad On Radium by Rebecca Priestley
Workers In The Margins by Cybele Locke
The Christchurch Fiasco by Sarah Miles
Barging In by Martin Doyle
Obituary by Murray Horton
Lynn Burke
Taejin Fisheries Wins 2012 Roger Award: Rio Tinto & King Salmon Equal Runners Up; Government & United Fisheries Share Accomplice Award by Murray Horton

Non-Members: It takes a lot of work to compile and write the material presented on these pages – if you value the information, please send a donation to the above address to help us continue the work.

The material on this site may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged. Published by Foreign Control Watchdog Inc, Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand. ISSN 1175-7760.

email cafca

Note that the regular analysis of the decisions of the Overseas Investment Office, which are published in every Foreign Control Watchdog are not republished here because they are available on the web site of the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA).

Back to Foreign Control Watchdog home page

HELP FIGHT THE INJUSTICE OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST 230,000 CHILDREN

Please support CPAG’s legal challenge in the Court of Appeal: Why are so few older people materially deprived? The answer, very simply, is that governments have implemented policies to minimise deprivation among the elderly. By contrast, New Zealand society has chosen to tolerate significant child deprivation. We could choose otherwise.

Professor Jonathon Boston, Co-Chair, Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Child Poverty.

On the 28th and 29th CPAG will be at the Court of Appeal aiming to ensure the government takes accountability for policies that are discriminating against our most vulnerable children.

We have seen negligible political progress on reducing child poverty since the introduction of Working for Families. We argue that the design of that programme has got a lot to answer for in the perpetuation of child poverty in many families. When so many low income families are systemically left out of provisions designed to reduce poverty it is no wonder that we see the distress in our communities.

At CPAG we believe private charity alone cannot solve this problem and that major changes to government policy are needed.

The Working for Families package has been widely criticised for the speed at which it was passed into law and the lack of transparency around its development – there was no public consultation – no green paper, no white paper, no select committee process and it was passed into law in one day. No account was taken of the 230,000 children who would miss out, despite New Zealand’s human rights commitments to protect all children.

Under the UN declaration on Human Rights -everyone has the right to social security measures such as family assistance payments to the caregiver aimed at reducing poverty. Maori and Pacific Island children miss out disproportionately so the policy is also racially discriminating in outcome.

In particular, a specific component of Working for Families – the In Work Tax Credit, a child-related family assistance payment, unfairly discriminates against 230,000 of our poorest children. This adversely affects the children of those not in paid work meaning that these children – through no fault of their own – do not receive the same financial support as others. Children of beneficiaries have the right to be treated like all other low-income children. But it is not only beneficiaries’ children. As low income families lose hours of work through the troubling redundancies we are seeing or by losing work in the earthquake, their children become un-entitled to this very significant payment, even when no benefit is being accessed.

Worse the caregiver in these families can get bills from IRD for any overpayment made during this time. Some families may eke out an existence for weeks before going on a benefit and they may then find they are charged for overpayment as they were not meeting the hours of work rule for the IWTC.

In the UK, the- per child per week tax credit is now separated from work incentives. In Australia, all low income children are treated the same, making their system much more effective than ours in reducing child poverty. We did that too until this element of the undeserving poor crept in, first in 1996 and then intensified in 2006 under working for families.

A child’s needs don’t change just because the work status of their parent does. As you know, the extra $60+ per week the family misses out on currently could make a huge difference to their well-being. Since 2006 around $3 billion dollars has been denied to the poorest families- it is no wonder we are seeing such distress.

We are committed to this cause and have been pursuing the issue in the courts since 2008. We argue that this policy discriminates against children on the basis of their parents’ work status, which is prohibited under the Human Rights Act. Our case has reached the Court of and will be heard 28th and 29th of May in Wellington.

The ability to challenge the government has set a precedent because it affirms the right of non-government organizations to challenge policy on human rights grounds, on behalf of others, without the organizations having to be directly affected by discrimination.

CPAG hopes that by informing people of the need for this action we will see an increase in the calls for change. The government needs to feel the pressure. We are determined to work towards giving ALL children a chance at a healthy and bright future and hope that we can have your support.

Yours faithfully

Susan St John, QSO

Economics Spokesperson for CPAG

027 5364 536

Further information about the case and our appeal is also available at http://www.cpag.org.nz/infocus/

Join us on Facebook

Our guiding principle is the right of every child in New Zealand to

Security, food, shelter, education and healthcare

HIDDEN AGENDAS: WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TPPA, THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BY JANE KELSEY

In this short e-book, Professor Jane Kelsey says ‘despite the dearth of official documentation that has been released, we have pieced together information from diverse sources, to reveal a disturbing picture of what the TPPA could mean for our nations and communities. It remains enormously frustrating that our governments continue to hide behind a self-imposed veil of secrecy and refuse to conduct a comprehensive analysis that weighs their expected benefits against the predicted downsides, or even publicly debate the agreement’s implications. This e-book aims to help fill that void, as did No Ordinary Deal:Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, also published by Bridget Williams Books, in 2010.’

Available direct from www.bwb.co.nz and from major retailers including Amazon, Kobo and eBooks.com

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PALESTINE

Auckland 22 & 23 June 2013 – in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

New Zealand’s national Conference on Palestine will held in Auckland on 22 & 23 June and we are looking for endorsements and support from as wide a range of organisations as possible.

Conference Programme

Saturday 22 June: from 10am to 5pm at Leys Institute Hall, 20 St Marys Road, Ponsonby. A day of workshops and discussion for activists on all aspects of the boycott, divestment, sanctions & solidarity strategies and action to support the international campaign for free Palestine.

Sunday 23 June: Free admission – koha welcome. All sessions are open to the public. Venue: the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber in Queen Street. This programme will include:
1.00pm: Workshops and discussion;
3.30pm: Panel discussion;
4.00pm: Film Screening “Five Broken Cameras” – award winning documentary on non-violent Palestinian protests against Israel’s apartheid wall.
5.30pm: meal break.

6.30pm: International speakers: Israeli author Miko Peled (‘The General’s Son’), and Palestinian activist from Gaza, Yousef Aljamal. 8.30pm: Finish.

Miko Peled’s book, ‘The General’s Son,’ will be available at the conference for $25 (normal retail about $30). [ALSO: the book can be purchased now for $25 + postage of $4 in NZ. Email orders to: conferenceonpalestine

HOW TO DONATE: The ‘Conference on Palestine’ bank account number:

03-0211-0447718-000 Westpac Bank, Onehunga. Donors should email: conferenceonpalestine with the deposit details so we can send an e-receipt. Or write a cheque to ‘Conference on Palestine’ and post to P.O. Box 86022, Mangere East, Auckland 2158.

This conference aims to bring together human rights activists, faith groups, trade unions, community groups and political parties to raise awareness, and form a strong and active solidarity network in support of the Palestinian struggle.

Palestinian protest to support prisoners on hunger strike

To make this a success we would like your organisation to:

1. Indicate your support and provide a speaker to give a brief solidarity message as part of a panel (3.30pm Sunday 23 June)
2. Offer a donation towards the conference costs which are likely to be over

$10,000 (see bank account details above)
3. Promote the conference and encourage members to attend

We will follow up with you within the next week but in the meantime please consider what support – both personal and organisational you will be able to provide.

Yours in solidarity,

Roger Fowler (Kia Ora Gaza)

Tali Williams (Kia Ora Gaza)

John Minto (Global Peace and Justice Auckland)

Mike Treen (National Director, Unite Union)

Janfrie Wakim and Billy Hania (Palestine Human Rights Campaign)

Hela Rahman (Students for Justice in Palestine)

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP- Auckland, Wellington, Waikato)

Don Carson (Wellington Palestine Group)

INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS: A SHORT COURSE FOR JOBS AND WELFARE ACTIVISTS – April 10 – July 17

Auckland Action Against Poverty invites members and supporters to join us:

Introduction to economics: a short course for jobs and welfare activists.

This series of eight workshops will be held from 6.00pm – 8.00pm at our AAAP office, 86 Princes St, Onehunga.

Snacks and drinks will be available from 5.40pm before each session begins.

This course is not academic. It is aimed at people who are taking part in advocacy and action on jobs and welfare, and would like to understand a little more about economics, and about the kinds of solutions that AAAP supports, as opposed to those inflicted on us by neoliberal governments.

You are welcome to come to one, some or all of the workshops – but we ask you to register with us at contact by Tuesday 2 April for the first four sessions.

There is no charge for the workshops, but a small donation from those who feel in a position to contribute would be appreciated.

Part (a) Economics for beginners

1. The Economy and Me – looking at our own lives through the lens of ‘economics’. Starting to identify and understand some key concepts. Wednesday 10 April.

2. The Economy and Economics – introducing more key terms, with an update on recent critical developments in the global and local scene. Tuesday 23 April.

3. The Government’s Budget May 16 – what are budgets? – how do they work? What do we need to look out for on Budget Day from the point of view of beneficiaries, unemployed people and low wage workers? Wednesday 8 May.

4. Unemployment – an overview. Historical context, why it exists, how capitalism uses it to maximise profit at the expense of us all, paid workers, unemployed workers and beneficiaries alike. Wednesday 22 May.

(b) Economics – Current issues. This second part of the programme is aimed at those who attended the first sessions, as well as others who may already have a grasp of basic economics, but who would like to take part in learning and discussion around these particular issues.

5. Welfare policies, paid work and unemployment – how these interact with each other from an economic perspective. Wednesday 5 June.

6. Universal Basic Income – what is it? What might a progressive version of UBI look like in 2013? Introduction and discussion. Wednesday 19 June.

7. Decent Job Creation – in our current situation and beyond – key concepts, ideas, challenges. Wednesday 3 July.

8. Challenging capitalism – beyond reforms within the system, looking forward to an economics as if ordinary people and the environment mattered.

Wednesday 17 July.

For more information, contact AAAP contact Ph 634 0591

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