NEWSLETTER No. 332, June 1, 2010

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Forums –
John Minto, Work: (09) 845 2132, Home 09 846 3173 jbminto
Newsletter Editor & Website
– Mike Treen 0295254744 mike
can be sent to GPJA, P O Box 7175, Wellesley St, Auckland.

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Kia ora folks, Israel has killed 16 activists and aid workers on board ships sailing with aid supplies to break the siege of Gaza. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201053133047995359.html

We can’t stand by and let this happen. Worldwide protests are being planned and activists are already mobilising in New Zealand. We’re convening an emergency meeting in Auckland to plan a protest response this Tuesday night (1 June) at 7pm at the Unite Office, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland. The more people we have there the bigger the protest will be. Spread the word amongst your networks.


Israel Kills 20 : Attacks Gaza Aid Fleet Must Watch Video Reports – Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip early Monday. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25580.htm

International Activists Cause Their Own Deaths By Attacking Non-confrontational Israeli Commandos? By Beln Fernndez – At a press briefing this morning following the massacre by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos of passengers on board the Mavi Marmara, one of the boats pertaining to the Freedom Flotilla attempting to break the siege of Gaza, IDF spokeswoman Avital Liebovitch claimed that the passengers had engaged in "severe violence against our soldiers." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25583.htm

Israeli Butchery at Sea – An institutional failure of a morbid society By Gilad Atzmon – Considering the fact that Israel stormed naval vessels sailing under Irish, Turkish and Greek flags. Both NATO members and EU countries must immediately cease their relationships with Israel and close their airspace to Israeli airplanes. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25584.htm

Gaza Aid Convoy Attack: A Horrendous Moment of Truth for US Policy By Finian Cunningham – What the world has witnessed is an outrageous act of sea piracy bordering on an act of war that transgresses the diplomatic rights of 50 countries and the premeditated, cold-blooded murder of civilians. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25581.htm

Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Not Just another Middle East Crisis http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15985

Propaganda on the Tennis Channel during rain delay at the French Open http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/propaganda-on-the-tennis-channel-during-rain-delay-at-the-french-open.html

From one apartheid state to another: Israel’s secret military alliance with apartheid South Africa http://tinyurl.com/248zjkh

The Arms Circus – Israel Keeping The World In Turmoil http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25561.htm

Exposing right wing lies – a Q & A on the crisis by Mike Treen


National Day Of Action Against Water Privatisation (Saturday 12 June)
The vision is to have some form of protest action/ rallies at Town Halls /Council Chambers all over NZ. The reason for Town Halls /Council Chambers being the immediate focus is because it is the ‘local authorities’ / ‘local government organisations’ under the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, who will be given this increased ability to privatise water services. (This way Mayors and Councillors who are opposed to water privatisation can join the public at these rallies all over NZ. Be good for the voting public to see where their elected representatives stand on this VITAL issue and if they are literally going to ‘stand up to be counted’! IT HASN’T BEEN THE COUNCILS OR PUBLIC WHO HAVE BEEN PUSHING FOR THIS LEGISLATIVE CHANGE! It is those representing the big private contractors/ multinationals who would financially benefit who want these legislative changes. Imagine photos of people from all over NZ rallying outside THEIR Town Halls/ Council Chambers saying: “WE CITIZENS AND RATEPAYERS OF (AUCKLAND CITY/ WHEREVER) DON’T WANT OUR WATER SERVICES PRIVATISED!” That will help to point the finger at those who DO want water privatisation made easier – THOSE WHO WOULD FINANCIALLY BENEFIT FROM THE CONTRACTING OUT OF WATER SERVICES! http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Auckland: Town Hall on Saturday 12 June, 12-2PM Next Auckland planning meeting is Monday 24 May, 7pm at Unite offices, 6a Western Springs Rd, Kingsland.

Hammer the Pokies
GPJA is still on the quest for 200 people willing to take part in a civil disobedience exercise whereby they register their hammers for a “hammer the pokies” protest. We have around 40 people registered so far but to be successful we need a lot more. There are over 20,000 pokie machines in local communities (non-casino pokies) which are sucking the lifeblood from low-income areas (over half the machines are in the poorest third of communities). Families coping with pokie addicts in the recession just adds to the misery of whole communities left behind by growing inequality. We’d like GPJA members to help spread the word. You can get a copy of the campaign flyer, register your hammer or for more information email johnminto or phone John at 8463173.

Wanted For Corporate Greed! Every Saturday, 1pm, JbHifi, Queen St, Auckland
Richard Euchtritz, CEO of JB Hi Fi, gets paid $4 million per year. His company, JB HiFi, is set to make $150 million profit this year alone. Profits up 29% New store opening in Palmerston North. But he hasn’t given his workers a pay rise in three years, and has dismissed their demand for a pay rise as "Absurd". This Saturday, saddle up and join the Posse for a how down outside JB Hi Fi store. Yer all Deputies of the Unite Union now, neighbours. Expose this CorporateCowboy! YouTube video Link


Wednesday, June 9, 7.30pm, Mt Albert Senior Citizens Hall, Corner ofWairere Avenue and New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland
Public Meeting – Don’t Sell Our Water – Rodney Hide has introduced a GovernmentBill to open up council water supply to privatisation. It will allow privatecompanies to own our water infrastructure for up to 35 years. All over theworld, water privatisation has been a disaster. Labour and the Greens arefighting this move. We believe New Zealanders want water to remain under publicownership and public control. Come to this public meeting and show youropposition. It is your chance to find out more about the water privatisationbill (Local Government 2002 Amendment Bill) so you can make a submission to theSelect Committee (deadline is June 18). The meeting is hosted by MPs PhilTwyford (Labour spokesperson on Auckland Issues), David Clendon (Greenspokesperson on Auckland Issues) and Sue Kedgley (Green spokesperson on LocalGovernment), Jacinda Ardern (Labour candidate for Auckland Central), CarolBeaumont (Labour candidate for Maungakiekie).

Monday, June 14, 7pm, Religious Society of Friends Meeting House,115 Mt. Eden Road, Mount Eden, Auckland
Prison Reform: Best practice or blind belief? Tony Taylor Emeritus Professor:School of Psychology, Victoria University. Warren Brookbanks Professor of Law:University of Auckland. Tony and Warren will be addressing prison reform andthe Government’s Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (Three Strikes). ContactJennie Searle Ph: 09 828 4577

Tuesday, June 15, 5.30-7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Economics for Everyone: An Introduction To How The Economy Really Works (AndDoesn’t Work) by Jim Stanford, Economist and Author. Jim Stanford iseconomist for the Canadian Auto Workers union, and an economics columnist forthe Globe and Mail newspaper. He is also the author of Economics for Everyone(Pluto Books, 2008), a critical-thinking primer on economics for union members,social activists, and others concerned with challenging the phony mystique andunderlying biases of conventional economics. Join Jim for a special two-nightintroduction to the economics of everyday life. You’ll equip yourselfwith the knowledge and the confidence to reject the belt-tightening prescriptions of our current government. After all, as Jim says,“economics is too important to be left to the economists!” All welcome.

Part I: Understanding the Logic of Capitalism.

Tuesday, June 22, 5.30-7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road,Grey LynnEconomics for Everyone: An Introduction To How The EconomyReally Works (And Doesn’t Work) by Jim Stanford, Economist and Author.Jim Stanford is economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union, and an economicscolumnist for the Globe and Mail newspaper. He is also the author of Economicsfor Everyone (Pluto Books, 2008), a critical-thinking primer on economics forunion members, social activists, and others concerned with challenging thephony mystique and underlying biases of conventional economics. Join Jim for aspecial two-night introduction to the economics of everyday life. You’llequip yourself with the knowledge and the confidence to reject thebelt-tightening prescriptions of our current government. After all, as Jimsays, “economics is too important to be left to the economists!”All welcome.

Part II: What Went Wrong? The Failure of Neoliberalism, and theAlternatives

Thursday, June 24, 4pm, Case Room 2, 260-057, University of AucklandBusiness School
Beware the “Insurance” Model for Unemployment Benefits: CautionaryEvidence from the Canadian Experience. Dr Jim Stanford will review thestructure and recent experience of Canada’s Employment Insurance program,considering the advantages and weaknesses of its conception as an“insurance” scheme. This experience is relevant in light ofproposals to restructure New Zealand’s unemployment benefit system.Stanford will also answer questions regarding recent developments in Canadianpension and social policy. Dr Stanford is economist for Canada’s largestprivate-sector union (sister union to the EPMU here), the Canadian Auto Workersunion in Toronto, Canada. He received his PhD in economics in 1995 from the NewSchool for Social Research in New York, specializing in international trade,macroeconomics, and the economic impact of labour and social institutions.Stanford’s research on a wide range of economic topics has been published innumerous academic and popular outlets. He is the author of Paper Boom, 1999,published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives & James Lorimer &Company. Stanford also writes regular columns for CBC News Magazine, and is aregular economics columnist for the Globe and Mail newspaper. See: Bottomline: Canadian banks should pay their fair share , April 2010; Areason to celebrate, March 2010: thelowest paid in Ontario just got a raise, March 2010; CorporateCanada’s enemy lurks within, October 2009. More recently, he authoredEconomics for Everyone, a primer in critical economics for trade union membersand other activists. (See: http://www.economicsforeveryone.com)Followed by: 5.30-6.30pm (pay for your own) Drinks at Spicers (level 3 OGGB).RSVP: Space is limited. Please book your seat with Tressy Menezes t.menezes@auckland.ac.nz

Wednesday, September 1, 8pm, St Kevins Arcade, K road
David Rovics returns to Auckland on Sept 1st 2010. Come check him out, alongwith special guests, at the Wine Cellar. Tickets on the door for $20. DavidRovics grew up in a family of classical musicians in Wilton, Connecticut, andbecame a fan of populist regimes early on. By the early 90’s he was a full-timebusker in the Boston subways and by the mid-90’s he was traveling the world asa professional flat-picking rabble-rouser. These days David lives with hisfamily in Portland, Oregon and tours regularly on four continents, playing foraudiences large and small at cafes, pubs, universities, churches, union hallsand protest rallies. He has shared the stage with a veritable of who’s who ofthe left in two dozen countries, and has had his music featured on DemocracyNow!, BBC, Al-Jazeera and other networks. His essays are published regularly onCounterPunch, and the 200+ songs he makes available for free on the web havebeen downloaded more than a million times. Most importantly, he’s really good.He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, he will make the revolutionirresistible. http://www.davidrovics.com/

September 29-30, Telstra Clear Pacific Events Centre, ManukauCity
JUST ACTION CONFERENCE: Just Action is for all those with a heart for TheSalvation Army’s mission to fight suffering in all its forms, to speakout and act against injustice, and to be a force for justice, faith and mercyin the world. Here’s some information to bring you up-to-date on plansfor next year’s Just Action Conference, ‘The Power toChange’, which is being held as part of Mission 2010, a combined congressof The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory. Full Conferencedetails and registration information will be available next year. For moreinformation, contact Major Ian Kilgour, The Salvation Army Social Policy andParliamentary Unit. p: (09) 261 0883 or e: ian_kilgour@nzf.salvationarmy.orgPlan to join us and explore how the Gospel can bring international, national,community and neighbourhood change. Plan to join us and explore how the Gospelcan bring international, national, community and neighbourhood change.SPEAKERS: Jim Wallis is a best-selling author, publictheologian, speaker, preacher and international commentator on religion andpublic life, faith and politics. He is President and Chief Executive Officer ofSojourners, where he is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine. DaveAndrews, Coordinator for training with the Community InitiativesResource Association, and educator-atlarge for TEAR Australia. Dave, his wifeAnge, and their family, have lived and worked in intentional communities withmarginalised groups of people in Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India andNepal for more than 30 years.


Dear supporter, It’s been a tragic year for Sri Lankans inside and outside thecountry, and one year after the end of the conflict, tens of thousands ofinnocent civilians are still suffering. – 82,000 people – children, women, theelderly – are languishing in squalid camps; – many of those who have ‘returnedhome’ came back to rubble and poverty; – while the shelling has stopped,attacks on lawyers, journalists and aid workers haven’t; – more than 10,000alleged insurgents, including former child soldiers are held in camps wheretorture has been documented; – and despite its claims and commissions, theruling regime has done nothing to bring about justice for victims or promotereconciliation; Act now! Sign our new urgent action petition to UNSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon. http://www.srilankacampaign.org/takeaction.htm
We are asking all Campaign supporters to help us push for a credible,independent and effective war crimes investigation. The Government of Sri Lankais keen to pacify the international community by setting up its own ‘Commissioninto Lessons Learnt’. Let’s remind Mr Ban that no Sri Lankan inquiry has everyielded results and that gross human rights abuses still occur every day. Onceyou’ve signed, please forward the link to others by email or share through yourFacebook page. There can be no lasting peace without justice.
The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace & Justice is a global non-partisanmovement calling for justice, rights and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. While thesituation remains desperate, the Campaign has made progress on specific goals,such as giving a voice to human rights defenders in Sri Lanka and lobbying forsuspension of the EU’s preferential trade agreement with the country. We arenow gearing up to re-launch the Campaign as a long-term initiative. For this,we need your ongoing support! To find out more, visit http://www.srilankacampaign.org

Dear friend, We are extremely concerned for the health of leading democracyactivist Ko Mya Aye, who is being denied access to proper medical treatment heurgently needs for a heart condition. Ko Mya Aye is one of the leaders of 88Generation Students Group, which led protests in 1988 and again in 2007. He iscurrently detained Taungyi Prison in Shan State, many miles from emergencymedical care, and too far away for family to make regular visits. Take actionnow to demand the dictatorship allow medical treatment for Ko Mya Aye! http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/campaigns/actions/free-political-prisoners/political-prisoners-action

The National Council of Women Auckland Branch is launching its petition toretain the Auckland Suffrage Memorial at Lower Khartoum Place. We invite allconcerned organisations, individuals, community board members, councillors,Members of Parliament, and media to join us at the petition launch on Mondaythe 17th of May, 5.30pm at the Auckland Suffrage Memorial at at Lower KhartoumPlace. This site was given by the Auckland City Council for the AucklandSuffrage Memorial in 1993 when all of New Zealand was celebrating thecentennial of the Votes for Women Legislation passed by the New ZealandParliament in 1893. The memorial is of national significance to New Zealandwomen. NCW Auckland branch is seeking a total commitment from our electedofficials that the memorial will be retained. Like Kate Sheppard, who foundedthe New Zealand National Council of Women, our will to do the right thing byNew Zealand Women is strong. With local body elections in sight, the NCWAuckland branch will be raising this issue with candidates. Elected officialsmay come and go, but the Memorial will remain forever! If you would like toassist us in this campaign or obtain more information please contact – MargaretWilson, ph. 09-521-1229, E: maggies.mill@xtra.co.nz representingthe National Council of Women of New Zealand, Auckland Branch Social IssuesSecretary. Find out what you can do here : http://www.ncwnz.org.nz/save-the-auckland-suffrage-memorial/

"Kei muri i te awe kapara he tangata ke – behind the tattoed face astranger stands: Recognising, engaging, understanding difference" http://www.traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nzTena Koutou Katoa (Greetings), There is just over a week to go before theclosing date for abstracts on Friday, 30 April, 2010. • Find all thedetails about Abstracts here: http://www.traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz/submissionsand information about the conference theme here: http://www.traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz/explanation-key-questions
• Scholarship recipients please submit outlines or title talks toproceedings@traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz by Friday, 30 April, 2010
• Visit our conference website http://www.traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz toRegister for the Conference online (early bird rates end on May 14th 2010)
Contact details: enquiries@traditionalknowledge2010.ac.nz / Telephone+64-9-3737599 ext 82376 or 84220

329BC, Alexander the Great conquers Bagram, crossroads of Asia.
1839, the British army takes Kabul.
1970, a kiwi hippie gets stoned on quality hash beneath the Hindu Kush.
1980, the Socialist Action League organises a meeting in the Wellington TradesHall to explain Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
2010, a New Zealand army unit sets out on a mission to the Chagai hills,southern Afghanistan….
All of this in “The Perfumed Garden,” a New Zealand play aboutAfghanistan, opening at The Forge / The Court in Christchurch, July16—Aug 14. http://www.courttheatre.org.nz/index.cfm/0,26,231,html?previewid=241

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


“Where are our real priorities? We have a record 8,200 peopleimprisoned, and only about 3% of those will be savaged by a third strike. Ofthe other 97% who are languishing in prison, eighty percent are illiterate, 40%have diagnosable mental illness, and 80% have drug and alcohol dependencyissues" Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime andPunishment.

“What we are seeing is not just a climate, energy, food or financialcrisis but the systemic crisis of capitalism itself, which is bringing aboutthe destruction of humanity and nature. If the cause is systemic, then thesolution must be systemic as well.”

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