Upcoming Workers Party events in Christchurch

Iraq and Afghanistan

It is now five years since the US-led invasion of Iraq and over seven years since the invasion of Afghanistan, which included NZ troops. Iraq has been virtually destroyed thanks to the invasion and occupation, while Western forces in Afghanistan are under increasing pressure.

Come along to this month’s Workers Forum, hosted by the Workers Party, and hear what’s really happening in both these countries and why workers in NZ should oppose Western intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

7pm, Monday, March 31, WEA, 59 Gloucester St


Documentary Screening; Chávez, Venezuela and the New Latin America

This documentary by Aleida Guevara (daughter of the revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara) explores Venezuela’s explosive revolutionary terrain post-April 2002 – when Hugo Chávez survived a coup attempt instigated by the United States.

Featuring interviews with Hugo Chávez, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Jorge García Carneiro, newly appointed head of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, along with many others, this film affords a rare opportunity to glimpse through the blockade of information imposed by the United States and into a country rich with hope, dreams – and oil.

(2004, in Spanish with English subtitles)

5pm, Wednesday April 2 in the International Room, 1st floor UCSA Building, University of Canterbury

Workers Party announces its candidate for Wellington Central

The Workers Party candidate for the seat of Wellington Central in the 2008 parliamentary election is 59 year-old Rongotai factory hand Don Franks.

“I’m standing in this election because none of the established parties give a stuff about low paid workers” says Franks.

“In a land of plenty, basics like milk and cheese are becoming luxury items. If Labour wanted to implement tax cuts favouring workers, they’d whip the GST off food.

“They’re not likely to do that because they’re a capitalist party who inflicted GST on us in the first place.”

More WP candidates will be announced in the coming weeks. In addition to contesting electorate seats in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch at this election the Workers Party will also be contesting the nationwide party list vote for the first time ever.

For more information or to find out how you can help with our election campaign get in touch with the WP branch in your local area here.

Report on Venezuela forum at Canterbury University

Byron Clark

On March 17 Nelson Davila, Venezuela’s charge d’Affaires for Australia and the Pacific, spoke at a student forum at the University of Canterbury. Organised at short notice the meeting was attended by a small but highly interested group of people.

A day earlier Davila had also spoken at a public meeting in the inner city which some 20-25 socialist and trade union activists attended. Following on from that meeting a decision was made to establish a Venezuela solidarity group in Christchurch.

[Read more...]

Workers Party public forums in Auckland

Fortnightly Tuesdays 6pm @ Auckland Trades Hall 147 Great
North Road:



April 1 The global economy – how deep is the slump?

April 15: US elections: choosing the best face for
imperialism



1968 + 40 series


April 29 1968 – the year that rocked the world

May 13 The French general strike

May 27 What is Situationism?


Download leaflet in pdf format here

Venezuelan diplomat to speak in Christchurch

Nelson Davila, Venezuelan charge d’affaires for Australasia, will be speaking at two public forums in Christchurch next week:

Sunday March 16
2pm, Workers Educational Association,
59 Gloucester St

Monday March 17
12 noon, University of Canterbury Students Association,
International Room

Organised by Venezuela Aotearoa Solidarity Team (VAST) and Socialist Worker

Supported by the Workers Party


For more info contact David: colyer(at)pl.net | 021 0462011

What future for Palestine?


UC Workers Party on Campus Public Forum

Wednesday 12 March 5pm

International Room, 1st floor UCSA building

University of Canterbury


Israel and Palestine are never far from the news and 2008 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinian people. With the recent visit of George W. Bush to the region, a renewal of peace talks at Annapolis, the lock-down of the Gaza Strip and, most recently, the dramatic breaching of the border between Gaza and Egypt, what does the future hold for the people of the region and what approach is most likely to bring a lasting peace?

Workers Party leaflet against proposed Arts Cuts at Canterbury University

Once again, whole departments and their staff (academic and general) and students are under attack at Canterbury – and other universities. The attempt by Canterbury management to abolish American Studies and Film and Theatre Studies, while also wielding the axe against Classics and Art History is an attack on jobs, knowledge and students.

Universities in New Zealand are being turned increasingly into businesses. Just like a sausage factory produces and sells commodities called sausages, universities are being transformed into businesses which sell commodities called ‘degrees’.

The university as a business means charging students more in fees, crowding more students into classes, dumbing down courses for sale as commodities, increasing and intensifying the working hours of staff, holding down wages and eroding work conditions in general and cutting courses and departments which may be socially useful but don’t generate large amounts of money – all this in order to maximise profits.

The education system in universities is coming to more and more resemble factory-line production.

Why is this happening?

Click here to download leaflet

Australian Labor Government looks to preserve most of Howard’s industrial reforms

In November last year the Australian Labor Party was elected to office on a tidal wave of opposition to the previous Howard government’s industrial reforms, which had threatened to scrap award conditions as well as undermine collective bargaining rights.

However, just like the New Zealand Labour Government’s introduction of the Employment Relations Act shortly after their election in 1999, the ALP’s proposed new industrial legislation actually promises to change very little for workers, as the following report from the Socialist Party of Australia makes clear.

[Read more...]

World and NZ economy: as good as it gets under capitalism

John Edmundson and Philip Ferguson

In late 2006. IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan declared, “The global economic expansion has been stronger in this period than at any time since the early 1970s.” Yet barely a year later, media reports are regularly speculating about upcoming economic disasters.

Recent economic woes in the United States have impacted on the global economy, as the US remains by far the largest economy in the world. However, problems in the United States – of which the state of subprime mortgages is a classic case (see below) – indicate deeper problems in the world economy.

[Read more...]

Afghanistan, East Timor and the failure of “humanitarian” military intervention

Tim Bowron

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

-Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (1852)

Since Labour took office in 1999, New Zealand military forces have been deployed overseas on a scale not seen since the time of the Vietnam War. Unusually, though, this renewed outburst of militarism has been greeted by many sections of the New Zealand left not with protest and bitter denunciation but instead with widespread approval.

Unlike the conflicts in Vietnam or Korea, we are told that the current Western military interventions in countries such as Afghanistan and East Timor are not missions of imperial aggrandisement and aggression, but instead are all about “humanitarian reconstruction” and multilateral action in accordance with international law.

[Read more...]

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