Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 7:00am until Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 7:00pm, Teal Park, Tamaki Drive, Auckland
Join striking Wharfies, their families and supporters to protect job security and to keep the Ports of Auckland in public hands. The event is family friendly and there will be music! Spread the word. We’d rather be working, but Ports of Auckland management have left us little choice. They’ve given us an ultimatum: either we accept full casualisation, poor job security and disruption to our families lives or they’ll make us redundant. We’re showing the company we’re serious about protecting our families lives. Our demand is simple – we want the company to properly negotiate and not dictate. We’ve already give the company enough flexibility and we’ve agreed to some of their key demands, its time they came to the table too. Bring your family to Teal Park, Mechanics Bay on Tamaki Drive near downtown Auckland on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of February, between 7am and 7pm. Of course you’re welcome to join us any time during the strike. In fact, we’d appreciate it! For more information go to: SPREAD THE WORD: Don’t just invite your friends, share this event on your wall and your pages and groups. When sharing, use a quick and snappy message like: "Join striking Wharfies, their families and supporters to protect job security and to keep the Ports of Auckland in public hands. The event is family friendly and there will be music! Spread the word." See you there!

Maritime Union welcomes new port stakeholder group

Second week of full strike action at Ports of Auckland

CTU president backs support campaign

Auckland Council’s demand for a "monopoly rent" from Ports of Auckland is facing a backlash from business as well as from the unions.

Next Auckland wharf strike could last 14 days

Union Offers Port Settlement

Thanks for your support so far and especially the efforts over the weekend, this week sees the start from Friday of a two week strike at the Port. Your support is going to be increasingly important in supporting the MUNZ workers who are fighting over issues that are significant for us all. We continue to be pursuing all avenues – legal, industrial, and political to successfully resolve this dispute.
Support at the picket line 7am 24th February to 7am 9th March: From 7am Friday 24th February MUNZ members employed by the Ports of Auckland will be on strike for 2 weeks. From mid-morning on Friday (following a union meeting) there will be a 24/7 picket at Teal Park – outside the Fergusson Wharf gate (in front of the Westpac Rescue Centre) corner Tamaki Drive and Solent Street. The MUNZ members will welcome any visits during this period. In particular on both weekends – 25 & 26 February and 3 & 4 March from 11am to 3pm we will be inviting the community (including your members) to come and join us to show support and to find out from the workers directly affected what the issues are. During these times we are working to assure you of food, children’s’ activities and entertainment for all.
You can help us to make our picket visible and welcoming by: Encouraging your members to come and join us; Helping us find people who can donate their time to entertain us or to do children’s’ activities like face painting, balloon sculptures etc for the two weekends; Helping us find people who are willing to donate food for the picket line; Sponsoring us to provide food for a day on the picket line; Coming down and giving us messages of support from your union; Sending organisers and activists to join us on the picket line and to help with activities on the picket line – sign waving, cooking etc. All of the above are very important. Please let me know what you can do.
Financial Support: We have set up 2 ways for individuals to provide financial support for our members. By calling our information line 0900ourport / 09006877678 to make a $5 automatic contribution. Note this is active from 4pm tomorrow (Wednesday 22 February) or by depositing money into our bank account: Account name: MUNZ National Fighting Fund Account number: 02-0560-0450165-004 Branch: BNZ Manners Street, Wellington. Please pass this information on to your members. Deliveries: We are just organising groups to deliver postcards in their local area. If you have people willing to deliver a block taking approximately one hour please let us know. Last weekend: Thanks to all those who assisted. We had a very visible and successful presence in 14 suburban areas, 4 fleamarkets, 1 concert and 1 music festival. As a consequence we handed out many postcards and got many more signatures on our petition. If you have any of our bags, placards and signed petitions we would love to get them back. It would be helpful if you are able to get them back to us at 29 Anzac Avenue but if you can’t please let us know and we will arrange to pick them up. Petitions and Website: Please continue circulating the hard copy petitions (and returning them to us) and encouraging people onto our website to sign our online petition. (note: these are the same petition). Going onto the website and the Facebook site is a way your members can keep up to date with what is going on with the dispute. Meetings/Events: We are still happy to speak to groups so keep letting us know about any opportunities to inform people about the dispute. Especially during the strike it is important that our messages continue to be heard. Ideas and feedback are always welcome. Thanks for everything you are doing. Carol Beaumont, MUNZ Campaign Adviser, ph 0272757374.


Supporters and fellow freedom fighters welcome to come to court to support Urs, Emily, Rangi and Taame defending charges of participation in an ‘organised criminal group’ and Arms Act charges stemming from the 15 October 2007 police raids around the country (court generally sits 10am-5pm). We are also seeking short, medium and long-term accommodation for supporters wishing to travel up to Auckland in order to support the defendants.For more information check out info

CPAG needs your help to get to the Court of Appeal and beyond. The courts agree that the In Work Tax Credit which is a child-related family assistance payment discriminates against some of our poorest children but is justified. So, the discrimination continues. CPAG believes this is unacceptable – we want a fair go for all kiwi kids. Where we stand. Since 2004 CPAG has challenged the Government over its discriminatory In Work Tax Credit (IWTC) which is a government payment to help with the costs of children. CPAG argues that the IWTC is unlawfully discriminatory as it is denied to the families of beneficiaries and this denial keeps many children in poverty while aiming to incentivise their parents to work. Beneficiary families are ineligible for the IWTC even when work is not available, or when parents cannot meet the IWTC work requirements because of their child-caring responsibilities, disability or sickness. Families lose their right to the IWTC even when they lose work because of events beyond their control like recession, illness or an earthquake. In November 2011, the High Court ruled that the IWTC is discriminatory in part. But the High Court said that this discrimination could be justified because the purpose of the IWTC is to incentivise parents into work. CPAG disagrees. Discrimination cannot be justified when so many beneficiary families are in poverty for reasons outside their control. This is especially true for children who have no capacity to act in this matter. Now we are preparing to appeal on this point to the Court of Appeal and if we fail there, to the Supreme Court.
Why we need you. Until now, the Office of Human Rights Proceedings at the Human Rights Commission has paid for CPAG’s top legal team. The Office is pledging to continue providing our junior counsel, but can no longer offer any funding for our senior counsel, court fees or expenses. Our counsel has committed to do some of the work pro bono. The case has its first hearing at the end of March 2012 to determine if and what parts of the decision can be appealed.
To take our case to the Appeal Court and beyond we need to raise $50,000. You can make your donation in these ways. 1. Direct Deposit, Kiwibank 38-9003-0066858-00 please use your name and 2012 Appeal as a reference. 2. Via Credit card through PayPal. Click here to donate now. 3. Send cheques to Child Poverty Action Group Inc, PO Box 5611, Wellesley St Auckland. If you need more information to be convinced ours is a worthy cause here are more facts…
The IWTC is part of the Working for Families package that was set up to address issues of child poverty and incentivise people into work. It is worth $60 per week for families with 1-3 children, and more for larger families. However those children whose parents cannot work a certain number of hours or are on an income-tested benefits are ineligible for IWTC, and so they don’t get this money. It’s a large amount to lose for families already struggling to make ends meet. CPAG is arguing that this is discrimination against children on the basis of their parents’ work status, which is prohibited under the Human Rights Act. CPAG agrees that there should be a gap between work and beneficiary income and incentives to work, but strongly disagrees with linking adults’ incentives to work to the financial support necessary to raise their children. The harm to beneficiary children is disproportionate to the gain to society by having a work incentive. The Government’s own estimates are that only 2 – 5 % of beneficiary families are able to leave the benefit and obtain the IWTC (by getting a job or starting a relationship with somebody who is in paid work). Yet the IWTC excludes the entire group of beneficiary parents and their children. More than 200,000 children are affected by this discrimination. They are the poorest children in New Zealand.
Thank you for supporting CPAG and sharing our vision of a New Zealand where no child has to live in poverty. Marianna Munting, CHiLD POVERTY ACTION GROUP Coordinator, T: 09 303 9260 | M: 021 150 2414 | E: admin | P: PO Box 5611, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141. Ka Whangaia ka tupu, ka puawai -That which is nurtured, blossoms and grows

2011 saw Ugandan LGBT rights activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesea pick up the Martin Ennals Award for her work defending the rights of the LGBT community in her home country. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work". And the Joint Mobile Group of the Russian Federation were awarded the Frontline Defenders Award for their work investigating torture, killing and disappearances in Chechnya. All of these winners are courageous human rights defenders and on 12th May 2012, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand will close its 50th Birthday Year by presenting its third Human Rights Defender Award to someone from NZ or the Pacific region who we believe is a brave defender of human rights. The Award is presented in recognition of one person’s remarkable contribution to the protection, promotion and defence of human rights and nominations are open now. Nominees must be from or working in NZ or the Pacific region and could have made their contribution to human rights through work carried out in their community or region; work for a law firm with a proven track record in human rights cases; work in the media – either in print or broadcast media and with a proven record in promoting human rights; or it could be someone ‘working in the field’ as a researcher, photographer, advisor, educator etc. Previous winners of the award are Shamima Ali of the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and Naing Ko Ko a Burmese Human Rights Activist and former Amnesty International Prisoner of Conscience. If you know someone who deserves to be recognised for their human rights work please nominate them. The closing date for receipt of nominations is Wednesday 11th April 2012 @ 5pm. Nomination forms are available to download from

Thursday, 8 March 2012. Below are the details of two events in Wellington marking International Women’s Day – if you are planning a Women Say NO to War event this year, please email the details to pma so they can be added to the Women Say NO to War page at
International Women’s Day: Women Say NO to War, at 5.30pm, Thursday, 8 March 2012: Come along to add your voice to the call of women around the world who are saying NO to war and YES to peace – our theme this year is alternatives to military spending, eg ~ welfare not warfare ~ education not militarisation ~ Join us at 5.30pm at the NZ Defence Force Headquarters, corner Aitken and Mulgrave Streets, Wellington. Please wear black if you can, and bring black streamers / ribbons / wool, photos, messages, cardboard or paper peace doves to decorate the Defence Force HQ, something to make a noise with – pot and spoon, drum, your voice – during the time of anger, flowers or candles to leave there during the time of mourning, and a poem or reading to share during the time of reflection … and your own banner or placard if you wish. All women and children welcome. Organised by Peace Movement Aotearoa and Wellington Women in Black, for more information contact email pma or go to Please help distribute the poster at and publicise the Facebook event page at
Wellington Women Walk For Peace, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm, Thursday, 8 March 2012: Women Say NO to War will be part of the Wellington Women Walk For Peace "to raise awareness of our interconnectedness and interdependence in our hope and work towards the attainment of peace. We invite all women from all walks of life, from different religions and diverse beliefs, from different ethnicities and cultures to join the Walk ~ walk to support the protest against violence on women and children ~ walk to support protest against wars ~ walk to support empowerment of women". Gather at parliament at 12.30pm, then walk to Civic Square – more information is available on the Wellington Women Walk for Peace site at and the WWW4Peace Facebook page at If you would like to join Women Say NO to War on the walk, please wear black if you can and look out for the Women Say NO to war banner. Peace Movement Aotearoa supports Wellington Women Walk For Peace.

Palestinian BDS National Committee info
Commemorating Land Day, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) invites people of conscience around the world to unite for a BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March 2012 in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, justice and equality and for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law. Let’s showcase our BDS successes through creative actions and media efforts and mobilize for the World Social Forum Free Palestine in November 2012. First launched at the World Social Forum in 2009, the BDS Global Day of Action on 30 March coincides with Palestinian Land Day, initiated in 1976, when Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel and injured many in an attempt to crush popular protest against ongoing theft of Palestinian-owned land. Thirty-six years on, Israel continues to entrench its regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid and intensify its grave violations of the basic rights of Palestinians everywhere, whether those living under occupation, citizens of Israel, or the majority of the Palestinians, the refugees.
In the past year we have continued to witness a historic outburst of people power motivated by the desire for justice and freedom from tyranny and corporate greed. There is renewed belief in popular struggles as a means to achieve human emancipation and empowerment. Ordinary people have bravely stood up to the decades-old regimes of the Arab region, overcoming their fears and challenging their longstanding subjugation. Largely inspired by the Arab popular upheavals and earlier, similar uprisings across Latin America, people across the world have vocally “occupied” the centers of corporate exploitation or otherwise mobilized to demand social justice and an end to devastating wars. The ‘Arab Spring’ has given new impetus to the ongoing struggle against imperial hegemony in the global south and a new reach for the alternatives to neoliberalism. The global 99% are further uniting and connecting their struggles for justice, rights and dignity.
In this spirit of shared struggle, we invite Palestine solidarity activists and all those active in social justice and human rights causes worldwide to use this day of action to launch a far reaching mobilization effort towards the upcoming World Social Forum Free Palestine to be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in November 2012 and to take action to highlight and develop the key campaigns of our global movement. Read the action call in full and ideas for action:

A reminder that the deadline for applications for 2012 White Poppy Peace Scholarships is Friday, 9 March 2012 – information about the Peace Scholarships and how to apply is provided below. About the White Poppy Peace Scholarships – The Peace Scholarships comprise at least two grants that are awarded each year to assist with research into: the impacts of militarism, militarisation and warfare; alternatives to militarism, militarisation and warfare; or collective non-violent responses to state violence. The Peace Scholarships are for students at any tertiary education institution in Aotearoa New Zealand. 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 White Poppy Peace Scholarships were launched by Professor Cynthia Enloe at her public lecture in Wellington on 30 October 2009. The first two Peace Scholarships were awarded in April 2010, and two more in April 2011. How to apply for a Peace Scholarship – Guidelines for applicants are available at peacescholarship The deadline for applications for a Peace Scholarship to assist with research costs during the 2012 academic year is Friday, 9 March 2012. How you can support the Peace Scholarships – The White Poppy Peace Scholarships are entirely funded by donations, including those collected during the White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal, 17 to 24 April. The amount and number of grants awarded annually is determined by the amount raised each year. Information about how you can support the Peace Scholarships is available at pma with ‘Take off e-list’ in the subject line. If this message has been forwarded to you, and you would like to be added to our national e-list, please send a message to email pma with ‘Join national e-list’ in the subject line.Thank you. White Poppy Peace Scholarships, PO Box 39-059, Te Puni Mail Centre, Lower Hutt 5045. peacescholarship


Monday, February 27, 5.30pm, Lecture Theate 018, level 0, Clock Tower, 22 Princes St, Auckland University
The Vandals at the Gate”: david Robinson, Senior Advisor to Education International.

Tuesday, February 28, 6pm, Owen Glenn Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland
Global environmental trends and New Zealand’s future. I am writing to invite you to a Fabian lecture on Tuesday 28th February at 6pm at the Owen Glenn Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland. Rick Boven, Director of the New Zealand Institute will discuss how global environmental trends will affect New Zealand’s future. Rick will summarise the high-level trends, identify implications for New Zealand, explain obstacles to an effective response and propose strategic priorities to reduce risks and take advantage of opportunities. Responsibilities and how to act will be presented for businesses, individuals, Government and NGOs. The lecture will be held at the Owen Glenn Business School at Auckland University, OGGB 5, Level 0,12 Grafton Road Auckland. Parking is available under the building – take lift to ground floor and walk down the stairs to the sign-posted room. You can register on our web site for the lecture here. If you know of others who would be interested, please take advantage of the ‘Tell a Friend’ feature on the registration page. Kind regards, Mike Smith,

Tuesday, February 28, 12.20-1.30pm, Function Hall 730-220, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Tāmaki Innovation Campus, 261 Morrin Road, Glen Innes, Auckland.
The Treaty and Us – Speaker: Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid, Tumuaki for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Head, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori, The University of Auckland. Free visitor car parking is available via the main entrance at gate 1. Abstract: Paul Holmes is over Waitangi Day, he wants ANZAC day to become the National Day. Is he the barometer of the Nation? Using personal reflections about politics, politeness, posturing and protest in respect of the Treaty of Waitangi, this seminar seeks to promote discussion about the various roles, rights, relationships and responsibilities that people like us have in the life and meaning of the Treaty in health, education and society. Speaker: Associate Professor Papaarangi Reid (Te Rarawa) is a graduate of the University of Auckland in science and medicine and is a specialist in Public Health Medicine. She is Tumuaki (Deputy Dean Māori) for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Head of Department for Te Kupenga Hauora Māori. Papaarangi is passionate about equity for indigenous peoples. There is no charge and all are welcome to attend. Tea and coffee will be provided, feel free to bring your own lunch. Organiser: Evie Kinane Telephone +64 (0) 9 923 9130 Web:

Friday 2 March – Sat 3 March 9.00am – 5.00pm both days, PSA training room, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Auckland.

Auckland Action Against Poverty Workshop – getting organised for 2012: Goals: Doing more work together on clarifying our plans for political action and campaigning this year, and on developing our ability to design and convey messages which accurately reflect our kaupapa, as well as helping us win over peoples’ hearts and minds. Who is invited? Anyone who supports our kaupapa (see attached), and is committed to being an active member of AAAP this year. The workshop is being provided by our friends Kotare Trust (education if you are able to make it – by 24 February, if possible. For those of you were at the earlier meeting, please note the slightly changed dates, due to Holly’s availability – we hope you are still able to take part. Cost for the workshop will be $0-$100 sliding scale. Payment is self-assessed based on what you can afford – if you can’t pay anything, that’s OK. However, any contribution you can make will be much appreciated, as it will help cover Kotare’s costs in offering the workshop. Holly Hammond is the director of Plan to Win, which helps individuals, groups and campaigns to develop the skills and clarity required to win change in the world. Holly brings twenty years of experience in social movements to her work as an educator, facilitator and mentor. For more information about Holly, see She recently completed SmartMeme’s Advanced Story-based Practitioner’s Training in Oakland, California. This training will inform the second day of the workshop. See and if you want to find out more. Morning teas and lunches provided.

Sunday, March 4, 7pm, Academy Cinema, Central Library, Lorne St, Auckland City
Child Poverty Action Group presents the Bryan Bruce TV doco ‘Inside Child Poverty’. Did you miss the controversial showing of ‘Inside Child Poverty’, the Bryan Bruce TV documentary that sparked a national conversation before the 2011 election? Now is your chance to see it, appropriately, on National Children’s Day. If you have already seen it, then it is certainly worth another viewing – particularly as it will be followed by a discussion with Bryan Bruce himself. He is a multi-award winning documentary maker and writer. Cost: $20 per ticket to CPAG 38 9003 0066858 00 (code is your name and number of tickets) or by cheque to CPAG, PO Box 5611, Wellesley St, Auckland 1141. Send an email to admin to have an electronic ticket sent to you, or pick it up on the night. The evening marks the launch of Child Poverty Action Group’s 2012 Appeal Campaign: A fair go for all kiwi kids – stop discrimination against New Zealand’s poorest children. The aim is to raise $50,000 to allow CPAG to take its long standing human rights case to the Court of Appeal and beyond if necessary. Find out more at

Wednesday 7 March, 6.30-9pm, Rm 018, Clocktower bldg, 22 Princes St, Auckland
The Arab Spring , a seminar presented by Continuing Education at The University of Auckland. This seminar will explore the issues and impact of the Arab Spring and the challenges ahead for Egypt and other Arabic countries. Speakers: Mohsen al Attar, Deborah Manning, Treasa Dunworth. Full details: or ph: 0800 864 266


‘We have two clear choices here: one is to continue the path we have been on … for the past three decades, concentrating wealth and influence, and driving the marginalised further into the shadows with yet restrictive welfare entitlements and a yet more punitive criminal justice system. The other is to act more inclusively and to work consciously and deliberately at ways of ensuring … the most marginalised New Zealanders, and in particular, many poor families and unemployed young people, feel as though they are valued and valuable members of our society.’ The Salvation Army: The Growing Divide

"The major western democracies are moving towards corporatism. Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies – socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor – and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war. This is not democracy. It is to politics what McDonalds is to food." – John Pilger

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." — Buddha

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." – Albert Einstein

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security." – Albert Einstein


– In every U.S. state, new Corporation for Enterprise Development data show, the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay a smaller share of their incomes in state taxes than the poorest 20 percent. The median difference? In the most typical states, the poor pay state taxes at twice the rate of the rich.

– Making Wall Street look almost reasonable: Top execs at Facebook took home $83 million last year. Wall Street’s highest-paying bank, JPMorgan Chase, shelled out $79 million to its top execs. Facebook top execs, notes Fortune, managed 3,200 staffers. JPMorgan top execs managed 239,831.

– Inconvenient stat department: Between 2000 to 2010, share value at S&P 500 companies dropped 14 percent. “Is any CEO worth $189,000 an hour?”



Free the Urewera four

Kiwi Team to join another siege-busting Gaza convoy

Fishing as Slaves on the High Seas – For some Indonesian workers, commercial fishing in the seas off New Zealand became a nightmare of abuse aboard foreign-chartered vessels

NZ fish investigated after report into labour on boats in Kiwi waters

Editorial: Tackling seafaring slavery

Second Korean Fishing Vessel arrested in New Zealand

The overpaid executive

Alan France and David Craig: Tough times for the young

Treasury gives incoherent advice to Education Minister

Ongoing activism on asset sales targets Ohariu electorate

Education union voices TPPA concerns to Education Minister

Parliament should lead by example on disability provision

The latest Policy Watch is now online

People’s Power in Ohariu

Jan Logie, Green Party spokesperson on Work & Income issues, has published a new blog

Scoring C- for child poverty and D for children at risk

Study highlights need for greater investment in children

Increasing incidence of serious infectious diseases and inequalities in New Zealand: a national epidemiological study

Rawiri Taonui: Paul Holmes, a cheeky Pakeha?

Anger at Holmes’ Waitangi remarks

Sent hard left by Holmes’ racist rant

There’s no perfect day to celebrate NZ’s nationhood

Disease figures a national ’embarrassment’

Findings on disease rate ‘a disgrace’

Wealth gap linked to rise in infections

Iwi protesters occupy for-sale Crafar farm

Concerns over secret deal to cut NZ radio content

State house tenants vow to fight eviction

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s inertia on housing needs

Housing NZ axes home rental help

Urgent call for submissions: Auckland prostitution bill


Stand Up cautions simplistic solutions to youth unemployment

Best farmland ‘already sold off’

Crafar Court Decision a Welcome Outbreak of Sanity

CPAG calls for urgent rethink of fiscal policy

Not-so public process backfires in Crafar case

Budget Policy Statement Preview

Chris Nobbs: A promise that failed – the privatisation of publicly held assets continues to be a contentious subject in New Zealand.

Gordon Campbell: On comparing the Crafar Farms court ruling with the China/NZ Free Trade Agreement

Bernard Hickey: A big hairy cat among the City pigeons

Tackling the wage gap a tricky exercise


Tariq Ali on Syria: ‘Western intervention would be disastrous; Assad must go’

Another March to War? By Matt Taibbi: You can just feel it: many of the same newspapers and TV stations we saw leading the charge in the Bush years have gone back to the attic and are dusting off their war pom-poms.

The Class War in Europe – Ed Lewis speaks to Steve McGiffen about the class politics driving both the euro and the ever-deepening austerity in Europe, Neo-Nazism in Greece, and how to frame a left response to the EU.

The extreme politics of fashion – The fashion world presents itself as a bastion of Western progress and women’s liberation. Rena Niamh Smith discusses fashion’s treatment of Muslim women and questions its legitimacy.

An ‘Excess of Democracy’?: What Two Generations of Radicals Can Learn From Each Other by Hilary Wainwright

Economic democracy – the left’s big new idea

How to change the world? By Esther Vivas

Adam Hanieh: ‘The Arab revolutions are not over’


Where the Colorado Runs Dry

Anthropocentrism versus biocentrism – Murray Bookchin discusses a false dichotomy


Debt, Toll Roads and Patents

The Facebook Follies By Dean Baker


Unions in Common Cause edited by Peter Franks and Melanie Nolan review

Film Review: 3 Idiots – I am not even sure how I discovered the 2009 Bollywood film “3 Idiots” on Netflix that was buried under a trash heap of the typical Cineplex offerings, but can recommend it as one of the best feature films I?ve seen this year. Indian audiences would

agree with me since it is now the highest-grossing film in Indian history.

Paul Mason: Rare Earth – Paul Mason’s first novel is pitched as an exciting entertainment set in the complex world of capitalist China, but has some serious things to say about both China and the nature of capitalism.

Ronald Fraser, People’s Historian, Dies at 81

HONOR IN THE DUST: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream By Gregg Jones Illustrated. 430 pp. New American Library. $26.95.


‘Quran burning’ triggers Afghan protests – Top NATO commander apologises and orders investigation into reported incident as protesters besiege Bagram airbase


Challenges along path of ‘governing by obeying the people’


Bulgaria and the global resistance – Bulgaria has been shaken by two great waves of protest in the last couple of weeks


Working-class struggles on the rise

Elite rule faces rising social struggle


Fidel And 540 minutes :Fight, Don’t Let Pessimism Win, It’s Our Duty


Germany: A False Model BY Martin Hart-Landsberg reports from the economic front


Greek Crisis: The Apocalypse Now of Capitalism

Latest Agreement Won’t Resolve Greek Crisis, Likely to Make it Worse, CEPR Co-Director Says

Greece in a straitjacket by Michael Roberts


Will Israel Attack Iran? Not Before the U.S. Presidential Election


A victory, but at what price? After Moammar Gadhafi’s death, NATO saw its victory as complete. But as David Pugliese writes in the last of a three-part series, Libya’s new leaders are struggling to gain control and al-Qaeda has benefitted from the power vacuum

Libyan leader acknowledges government is powerless to control militias: Abdul-Jalil said the governing National Transitional Council has made mistakes, but he also criticized former rebels who have formed powerful militias and local governments that have emerged as rivals to the Tripoli-based central government that assumed power after Gadhafi was ousted.

Elections in Libya’s Misrata show a splintered nation: Libya is splintering into largely autonomous city-states, with powerful local militias and emerging local governments that at best have loose ties to the Tripoli-based central government known as the National Transitional Council.

Libya: Displaced People Barred from Homes: Authorities in and around Misrata are preventing thousands of people from returning to the villages of Tomina and Kararim and have failed to stop local militias from looting and burning homes there, Human Rights Watch said today.


Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Ms. Raquel Rolnik

Palestinian’s Trial Shines Light on Military Justice

Israel to Release Khader Adnan – Palestinian Prisoner Ends 66-day Hunger Strike By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem: The agreement was reached less than an hour before the supreme court hearing was scheduled to begin. It had been brought forward by 48 hours amid fears that Adnan might die before the case could be heard.


‘We’re not leaving until the government does!’ – Romanian protests force PM to resign


The Russia of the indignant


Nir Rosen on Syrian sectarianism

“The Real Opposition in Syria is Not the Syrian National Council or Free Syrian Army,”

Q&A: Nir Rosen on Syria’s armed opposition – Journalist who recently spent time with fighters says there is no central leadership to the armed resistance.

Syria And The Media: “Activists say…”


It’s Time We Recognised the Blair Government’s Criminality By John Pilger: In the kabuki theatre of British parliamentary politics, great crimes do not happen and criminals go free.


GLW writer Ryan Mallett-Outtrim visited Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara in January.


Strike wave continues, workers on the offensive


Other People’s Wars The stage play. Bats Theatre, Wellington, April 17-28. How do we get into Afghanistan? Why are we there? What happened the night Willie Apiata won his VC? Are NZ intelligence officers there on humanitarian purpose? And did we really keep out of Iraq? And can you believe ANYTHING Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces say? In fact— are Foreign Affairs and the Defence Forces riddled with traitors working for a foreign power? Aided by Wikileaks and local Deep Throats, and some extraordinarily indiscreet material posted on Facebook, Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars drew alarming conclusions about the general nature of New Zealand defence policy—how it’s decided, and by whom. And now it’s on stage. As it should be. Besides the documenting of shifty departmental manoeuvres and cover-ups, there’s love, death, courage, pathos, raillery, bombast and—of course—farce; all the Shakespearean elements. The play ends with an Anzac Day ceremony and its premiere season in Wellington (April 17-28) is nicely timed to coincide with Anzac Day, April 25, the day we remember those who have given their lives for their government’s foreign policy. “Anyone familiar with Other People’s Wars will know more about New Zealand military and what it did in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf than any politician in parliament.” – Nicky Hager.

Right to Health Workshops: The Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand (HPF), University of Otago Wellington Public Health Summer School, and the Centre for Development Studies of the University of Auckland are working together to have Professor Paul Hunt, world expert on the right to health, teach two workshops in New Zealand in February 2012. Professor Hunt, a New Zealander based at Essex University, UK, is one of the world’s leading experts on the right to health. He spent six years as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur (expert) on the Right to Health. Wellington workshop: 14-15 February 2012, Wellington Public Health Summer School Auckland workshop: 22-23 February 2012, University of Auckland, or For more details about the Auckland workshop, please contact: Dr Ieti Lima and Dr Alison Blaiklock, Health Promotion Forum – 09 531 5500 or Dr Carmel Williams – 021 708 396 Registrations can be made on the HPF website

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is pleased to host the Secretary General of Caritas Jerusalem Claudette Habesch for a visit to New Zealand 24 February – 13 March 2012. Ms Habesch is available for media interviews. Caritas Jerusalem is the humanitarian and development organisation for the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, based in Jerusalem. It was founded in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967, and Ms Habesch has led it since 1987. She has played a leading role in the Caritas Internationalis confederation of 168 Catholic agencies working for justice, peace and development. From 1999 to 2007 she was President of Caritas Middle-East and Northern Africa region (Caritas MONA) and Vice-President of Caritas Internationalis. A passionate defender of Palestinians’ rights and peace in the region, Ms Habesch is a member of the Committee for Christian Affairs of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and of the Islamic-Christian Commission funded by the PA to support Jerusalem and the Holy Sites. She has been active since 1992 in the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and in the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees. She also participates in the inter-religious activities of Rabbis for Human Rights Ms Habesch was born in Jerusalem. At the age of 7, during the war of independence for Israel in 1948 (called the ‘nakba’ or catastrophe by Palestinians), her family was expelled from their home in Jerusalem. They could never enter the house again and never received compensation. Palestinian families continue to be evicted from their houses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. In a recent Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Ms Habesch retells her story and how it has influenced her work defending Palestinian rights today. ‘I am prepared to forgive them, but I will never forget the years of suffering by the little girl of 7, in whose bed another child was sleeping and whose bicycle another child was riding… I recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist in 78 percent of the territories of Mandatory Palestine, but I do not recognise its right to expel Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem and put in Jews.’ Ms Habesch has three children, two sons and one daughter, and several grandchildren. She lives with her extended family in East Jerusalem. Claudette Habesch will be a guest of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand for its Annual Lent Appeal (22 Feb – 6 April). She will be talking to parishes, church groups, social justice groups and schools. While her schedule is still being confirmed, recommended times for media interviews are below. Pre-visit interviews by phone may also be possible to arrange. For more information and to arrange an interview, contact: Martin de Jong, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, 04 496 1782 or 021 909 688. Additional Info:Watch our recently released video The Holy Land: Hearts of Hope (15 mins) on Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand health care partnership with Caritas Jerusalem in the context of the Holy Land today. More about our work with Caritas Jerusalem here.

The ‘People’s Tribunal on for Minimum Living Wages and Decent Working Conditions for Garment Workers as a Fundamental Right’ has been organised by the International Asia Floor Wage Alliance and the Asia Floor Wage-Cambodia (AFW-C), both coalitions of garment workers’ trade unions and workers’ rights groups. The tribunal will examine evidence from workers, multinational companies and other stakeholder groups in front of a panel of independent judges, in an effort to make public the relevant concerns of those employed in the garment sector in Cambodia. The proceedings will take place on the 5-6 February 2012 in Phnom Penh and will be overseen by a panel of five expert judges. On February 8, their finding will be presented to the press. The tribunal has been established as a response to the critically poor working conditions experienced by garment workers, particularly in regard to salaries. “Despite experiencing sustained growth in the sector Cambodia’s minimum wage allowance is $66 USD a month and is currently the lowest of all its neighbouring states. It is currently estimated that this wage amounts to around half that required to adequately meet the average worker’s basic needs.” said Tola Moeun head of Labour Programs for the Community Legal Education Centre (CLEC). Low paid workers in Cambodia are taking action against the pervasive low wages, union repression and poor working conditions. Low wages also creates malnutrition and weakness among workers affecting their long-term health and productivity. “Both Better Factories Cambodia and government representatives have attributed the phenomenon of mass fainting directly to inadequate salaries”, said Ath Thorn, President of Cambodian Labor Confederation. In recognition of the global nature of the garment sector, which accounts for 90% of Cambodia’s exports, representatives from international brand and retailers have been invited to attend the proceedings. The Clean Clothes Campaign will participate in the tribunal and will urge global buyers sourcing from Cambodia to take the findings of the People Tribunal very serious. Frequent updates on the tribunal can be found at:

Dear friend: Receive a cordial and warm greeting on behalf of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples that affectionately summons you to participate in the sixth edition of the International Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba on the occasion of the International May Day. As in previous editions, it will be integrated by friends from all continents. Brigade’s aim is to provide a wider understanding of Cuban reality as well as carrying out some voluntary work sessions, as a support to agricultural development and productive sphere in our country. Program includes visits to historical, economical, cultural and social places, not only in Havana but also in other provinces, lectures about national issues as well as meetings with representatives of Cuban organizations. Staying includes 10 nights in the International Camp Julio Antonio Mella (CIJAM) located in the municipality of Caimito, 45 km from Havana City and 4 nights in tourist facilities in Pinar del Rio province. It will cost 295.00 CUC which includes accommodation in shared rooms for up to 6 people in CIJAM, three meals daily, transfer in-out and transportation to all program activities. Agricultural work sessions will be carried out in areas near CIJAM. The camp, founded in 1972, has appropriate conditions for community life and for satisfying needs of friends who visit us from around the world. Registrations are open for those interested until March 30th, 2012. Confirmations of participation as well as information about date, flight number and airline to which you are scheduled to arrive and departure from Cuba, should be sent to asia.norte and director.dao Looking forward your enthusiastic participation with our people in this proletarian celebration of the May Day. See you then! Asia and Pacific Division, Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples.

We are inviting you and your organization to participate in the 28thInternational Solidarity Affair (ISA) hosted by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) from April 24 to May 5, 2012 in Manila, Philippines.

Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe. The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples. The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to: 1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region. 2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillment of human rights and international law, by: a) Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; b) Ensuring the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and c) Implementing, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194. 3. Be a space for discussion, exchange of ideas, strategizing, and planning in order to improve the structure of solidarity. Exactly sixty-five years after Brazil presided over the UN General Assembly session that agreed upon the partition of Palestine, Brazil will host a different type of global forum: an historic opportunity for people from all over the world to stand up where governments have failed. The world’s people will come together to discuss new visions and effective actions to contribute to justice and peace in the region. We call on all organizations, movements, networks, and unions across the globe to join the WSF Free Palestine in November 2012 in Porto Alegre. We ask you to join the International Committee for the WSF Free Palestine, we will establish as soon as possible. Participation in this forum will structurally strengthen solidarity with Palestine, promote action to implement Palestinian’s legitimate rights, and hold Israel and its allies accountable to international law. Together we can raise global solidarity with Palestine to a new level. Palestinian Preparatory Committee for the WSF Free Palestine 2012. Secretariat members: • PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network; • Stop the Wall – Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign; • OPGAI – Occupied Palestinian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative; • Alternatives represented by: Alternative Information Center, Teacher Creativity Center; • Ittijah; • General Union of Palestinian women. Coordination office: PNGO – Palestinian NGO Network, Tel: +970 2 2975320/1, Fax: +970 2 2950704, E mail: samahd

Dear friends, Please find an update from the international campaign to free labour and political activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk from detention in Thailand. Somyot has been charged with the crime of “Lese Majeste” which means criticising the King. This “crime” has a maximum sentence of 30 years! I have known Somyot as a labour activist for over 20 years and he is a personal friend. I have stayed with him and his family on many of my visits to Thailand. I was able to visit Somyot in pre trial detention earlier this year and it was heart wrenching to see him in custody. As you can see below, Somyot’s son Tai has begun a hunger strike this week to bring attention to the plight of his father. I ask you to take a few minutes to go to the website below and sign up to the letter that you see printed below seeking at least the right of Somyot to be released on bail while he faces the charges. There is more information on this website and also on the other sites listed below. Thanks, Robert Reid, General Secretary, First Union.

A documentary has been made about Parihaka by film makers Paora Joseph, Gaylene Preston, Janine Martin, Tracey Egerton, and people of Parihaka called ‘Tatarakihi. Children of the Prophets’. There is a need for support to complete the project. For more info go to and search under ‘Parihaka’ to find the trailer and story behind it. Please circulate among your networks.

Calling all people who support the ideals of peace, justice and a nuclear free world. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION –put into your diaries NOW, circulate among group networks to include in your calendar of major events, newsletters etc. Auckland Peace City Public Launch ~ Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone and Disarmament Legislation of 1987. Auckland Aotea Square & Centre – Friday 8th June 12:00-1:00pm. Mayor’s official Peace City launch and Opening of Peace Exhibitions celebrating New Zealand’s Nuclear Free Zone. (on show inside Aotea Centre for 3 weeks). Aotea Square – Saturday 9th June 1:00-6:00pm – multicultural PEACE celebration and performance event –music, dance, poetry, art, food stalls, children’s activities. ‘Pohutukawa for Peace Tree Planting Ceremony’ with plaque.

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