3 February, 2011 16:41

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND

NEWSLETTER No. 364, February 3, 2010

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – RALLY AND MARCH IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT

AUCKLAND: 2pm, Aotea Square, Central city (Organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Egyptians living in Auckland)

WELLINGTON: 12 noon, Midlands Park, Lambton Quay, Central city

Monday 7th February, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

GPJA Forum: The rise of democracy and freedom in Egypt The uprising in Egypt against the tyranny of Hosni Mubarak has huge implications for the Middle East and the world. It brings renewed hope to others living under dictatorships around the Arab world and to Palestinians whose oppression depends on suppression of democracy in Egypt and elsewhere. A range of speakers will discuss the implication of a democratic Egypt.

Monday, February 14, 6.30pm, Trades hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

Public Spending: The Driver of Economic Growth: As New Zealand’s economy struggles to achieve anything like the output required to ‘catch Australia’, the sale of state assets is on the agenda yet again. The failed experiment of the 80s and 90s looks to be recycled in a one off attempt to lessen the deficit. The Fabian Society welcomes this timely visit by David Hall of the PSIRU, an expert in public service provision, particularly in the water, energy, waste management and healthcare sectors. David’s thesis is that, far from being a burden on society, public spending is an essential driving force, providing universal services for human development – healthcare, education, social security – and also the essential infrastructure making other economic activity possible, such as water, electricity, roads. David’s visit to New Zealand is sponsored by the Public Service Association. This free seminar. You can register here. If you know of others who may be interested, please use the ‘Tell a Friend’ feature on the registration page,

NEW 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

2011 WHITE POPPY PEACE SCHOLARSHIPS DEADLINE REMINDER

The deadline for applications for White Poppy Peace Scholarships for research during the 2011 academic is Friday, 11 February. The Peace Scholarships comprise at least two grants that are awarded each year to assist students at any tertiary education institution in Aotearoa New Zealand with research into: the impacts of militarism, militarisation and warfare; alternatives to militarism, militarisation and warfare; or collective non-violent responses to state violence. Each grant is a minimum of $1,000 – one is for a Maori or Moriori student, with the other/s open to any student with New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency. The Peace Scholarships are funded entirely by donations, including those collected during the White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal (17 to 24 April). The number and amount of grants awarded annually is determined by the amount raised during each year.

* How to apply for a White Poppy Peace Scholarship: Guidelines for applicants are available at peacescholarship The deadline for applications for Peace Scholarships to assist with research in the 2011 academic year is Friday, 11 February 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further comment: Andrew Campbell 027-548-7006

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

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

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"Not a single great revolution has ever taken place, or ever will take place, without the ‘disorganisation’ of the army" – Lenin

"There is no doubt that the fate of every revolution at a certain point is decided by a break in the disposition of the army. Against a numerous, disciplined, well-armed and ably led military force, unarmed or almost unarmed masses of the people cannot possibly gain a victory." Leon Trotsky

"The instant this [class] consciousness arises and goes beyond what is immediately given we find in a concentrated form the basic issue of

the class struggle: the problem of force. For this is the point where the ‘eternal laws’ of capitalist economics fail and become dialectical and are thus compelled to yield up decisions regarding the fate of history to the conscious actions of men." Lukács

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Gordon Campbell (Scoop): On John Key’s feeble response to events in Egypt http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2011/02/01/gordon-campbell-on-john-key%E2%80%99s-feeble-response-to-egypt/

SAS Afghanistan extension is criminal http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00021/sas-afghanistan-extension-is-criminal.htm

Christchurch Egyptians protest http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4598438/Christchurch-Egyptians-protest

Revolution in Egypt- Solidarity in Aotearoa- Video HERE http://socialistaotearoa.blogspot.com/2011/01/revolution-in-egypt-solidarity-from.html

kiaoragaza.net covers momentous week of news in the Middle East http://kiaoragaza.net/

Susan St John (NZH): Punitive policies hurting families http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10703235

Speculation in food prices is a crime against humanity http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/speculation-food-prices-crime-against-humanity/5/79489

NZ pretends recognition of the Rights of the Child http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00086/nz-pretends-recognition-of-the-rights-of-the-child.htm

Kiwi convoyers gear up in wake of Israel’s ‘whitewash’ report http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00081/kiwi-convoyers-gear-up-in-wake-of-israels-whitewash.htm

Petition launched against early childhood education cuts http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1102/S00005/petition-launched-against-early-childhood-education-cuts.htm

ECE vs motorways which is the better investment? http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/02/01/ece-vs-motorways/

Government serves families another kick with ECE cuts http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1102/S00006/government-serves-families-another-kick-with-ece-cuts.htm

Schools will fail first national standards challenge http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1102/S00004/schools-will-fail-first-national-standards-challenge.htm

Schools Turn to Charity While Millions Wasted http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00031/schools-turn-to-charity-while-millions-wasted.htm

Risks Outweigh Benefits Of PPPs In Education http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/risks-outweigh-benefits-ppps-education/5/80434

Brian Rudman (NZH): Don’t turn the clock back on prostitution http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10703212

Free state education ‘a myth’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/news/4571109/Free-state-education-a-myth

liberation: Understanding the latest Maori Party schism http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2011/01/understanding-the-latest-maori-party-schism.html

NZ WORK RIGHTS

90 day survey a poor endorsement for unfairness http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00027/90-day-survey-a-poor-endorsement-for-unfairness.htm

Government’s plan to cut public services will harm New Zealand http://www.psa.org.nz/Home/NewsFeed/11-01-26/Government%E2%80%99s_plan_to_cut_public_services_will_harm_New_Zealand.aspx

Employers finding way around job law http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10703074

Minimum wage: twenty five cents won’t do it http://ndu.org.nz/minimum_wage_twenty_five_cents_won_t_do_it

Wood industry meeting constructive, but differences on solutions remain http://ndu.org.nz/wood_industry_meeting_constructive_differences_solutions_remain

Solutions needed for Māori wood processing workers http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00090/solutions-needed-for-maori-wood-processing-workers.htm

Inflation figures are further evidence of need for minimum wage rise http://ndu.org.nz/inflation_figures_are_further_evidence_need_minimum_wage_rise

KiwiRail must honour commitment for local content http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00059/kiwirail-must-honour-commitment-for-local-content.htm

CTU welcomes Greens’ commitment to unions and good employment law http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00136/ctu-welcomes-greens-commitment-to-unions.htm

CTU backs early childhood Day of Action http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00003/ctu-backs-early-childhood-day-of-action.htm

Minimum wage: Twenty five cents won’t pay the rent http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00009/minimum-wage-twenty-five-cents-wont-pay-the-rent.htm

Labour move to save public holidays gains wide support http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10703110

Wage increases do not match price rises http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00007/wage-increases-do-not-match-price-rises.htm

NZ ECONOMY

Mind the income gap http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4594815/Mind-the-income-gap

Brian Fallow (NZH): Ideology and tribalism behind questionable policy http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10702279

Wealth gap divides nation http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4571384/Wealth-gap-divides-nation

Gordon Campbell (Scoop): On the plans for privatization http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2011/01/27/gordon-campbell-on-the-plans-for-privatization/

New Zealand housing ‘unaffordable’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4575208/New-Zealand-housing-unaffordable

Unemployment still far too high http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00032/unemployment-still-far-too-high.htm

Latest unemployment stats show risk of a jobless recovery http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00033/latest-unemployment-stats-show-risk-of-a-jobless-recovery.htm

Where are the jobs in Prime Minister’s ‘bright future’? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00109/where-are-the-jobs-in-prime-ministers-bright-future.htm

Steps to privatisation will cause more problems than they solve http://union.org.nz/news/2011/steps-privatisation-will-cause-more-problems-they-solve

CTU endorses Labour tax and jobs proposals http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00089/ctu-endorses-labour-tax-and-jobs-proposals.htm

Inflation impacting hardest on low income workers http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1101/S00056/inflation-impacting-hardest-on-low-income-workers.htm

250 economists condemn restriction of capital controls in Trans Pacific Partnership http://www.nznotforsale.org/2011/01/31/250-economists-condemn-restriction-of-capital-controls-in-trans-pacific-partnership/

Savings group aims at wrong target http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00016/savings-group-aims-at-wrong-target.htm

Threat of 17.5% GST sickening http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1102/S00020/threat-of-175-gst-sickening.htm

Simon Collins (NZH): Your guide to asset sales http://www.nzherald.co.nz/simon-collins/news/article.cfm?a_id=135&objectid=10702826

CULTURAL DISSENT

Book casts new light on Palestine’s ethnic cleansing http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10799.shtml

FEATURES

How can we defend communities in struggle? By John Riddell – The debates following the G20 protests in Toronto last June have raised important questions about how activists can defend and expand arenas of resistance to capitalism, at a time when the system’s power seems overwhelming. Several articles in the latest issue of Upping the Anti, a leading journal of anti-capitalist thought offer an opportunity to discuss this question on a broader basis http://www.socialistvoice.ca/?p=1418

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

The Potential Benefits of a Financial Speculation Tax http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/the-deficit-reducing-potential-of-a-financial-speculation-tax

LAND, LABOUR AND THE ENVIROMENT

Food Speculation: ‘People Die from Hunger while Banks Make a Killing on Food’ http://tinyurl.com/4nx2hcm

Indigenous Bolivians Oppose Continuing Criminalization of their Culture http://afgj.org/?p=868

AUSTRALIA

A snip at $22m to get rid of PM http://www.smh.com.au/business/a-snip-at-22m-to-get-rid-of-pm-20110201-1acgj.html

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Dangerous Little Stones: Diamonds in the Central African Republic http://www.globalpolicy.org/security-council/dark-side-of-natural-resources/diamonds-in-conflict/49727.html?itemid=1382

CUBA

Fidel Castro: The Serious Food Crisis http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1102/S00085/fidel-castro-the-serious-food-crisis.htm

Truth will Prevail in Favor of Gerardo Hernandez by Miguel Maury http://www.ain.cubaweb.cu/idioma/ingles/2011/0102truth-will-prevail-favor-gerardo-hernandez.htm

EGYPT

The Torture Career of Egypt’s New Vice President: Omar Suleiman and the Rendition to Torture Program http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/01/30-2

Labour news from Egypt http://www.labourstart.org/egypt/

The Most AMAZING video on the internet #Egypt #jan25

Robert Fisk – Egypt’s Day of Reckoning: Mubarak Regime Could Collapse in the Face of Massive Protests http://www.alternet.org/story/149715/egypt%27s_day_of_reckoning3A_mubarak_regime_could_collapse_in_the_face_of_massive_protests?page=entire

The military and the media: Holding the cards in Egypt? http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/28/egypt.protest.dissent/index.html?hpt=T2

Egypt’s Long Labor History http://www.solidarity-us.org/current/node/2385

What Hillary Rodham Clinton Really Meant to Say on Egypt http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/hrc300111.html

The Battle of the Bridge http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=aaf_1296315210

US reported ‘routine’ police brutality in Egypt, WikiLeaks cables show http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/28/egypt-police-brutality-torture-wikileaks

Egyptian activists on the rise of the Egyptian Working Class movement http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/46-video/9649-egyptian-activists-on-the-rise-of-the-egyptian-working-class-movement

Eyewitness Egypt: two interviews with Hossam el-Hamalawy http://links.org.au/node/2130

HAITI

NGOs Have Failed Haiti http://www.globalpolicy.org/ngos/ngos-in-the-field/49729.html?ItemID=49729

Haiti opens door for return of ex-president Aristide http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/01/haiti-aristide-idUKN3121030620110201

Haiti’s growing momentum towards democracy – the possible return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and a pushback against the electoral fix give hope http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/02/haiti-usforeignpolicy

Haiti aftermath: Self-government still a great fear http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/fl-haiti-oped0123-20110123,0,6161454.story

INDONESIA

World Report 2011: Indonesia http://www.hrw.org/en/world-report-2011/indonesia

PALESTINE

Egypt’s uprising and its implications for Palestine http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11762.shtml

Israel dreading a democratic Arab world http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/3926/World/Region/Israel-dreading-a-democratic-Arab-world.aspx

Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – The illegal Israeli settlement are the focus of many debates on the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but less attention is paid to the human rights situation of the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. This Human Rights Watch report analyzes the separate and unequal conditions of Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents in the West Bank. Most of the Israeli settlement policies discriminate against Palestinian in violation of frameworks laid out by the UN and other international organizations, like the OECD. (Human Rights Watch)

http://www.globalpolicy.org/images/pdfs/separate_and_unequal.pdf

PHILIPPINES

Still crying out for answers and justice http://tinyurl.com/5v8xqzg

SPAIN

Spain, hostage to the eurozone – While Europe’s authorities force Spain to undergo the ‘internal devaluation’ of austerity, its economic recovery will stay stalled http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/29/spain-economy-euro-eurozone

SUDAN

Why the people of the south voted for independence http://links.org.au/node/2123

UK
At the sharp end of austerity unions are still our best hope http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/19/austerity-unions-hope-tory-caricature?CMP=twt_gu

Blacklisted

OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS

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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