Condoleezza says thank you

- Daphna Whitmore

Condoleezza Rice just called in to say thank you.

Thanks for the “long history of partnership”. Thanks for New Zealand’s military participation in wars in Korea, the Pacific and more recently in Afghanistan.

Hang on a minute, isn’t Helen Clark supposed to be a  peacenik camouflaged in a power suit?

[Read more...]

Christchurch WP election campaign launch

7pm, Monday, July 28

WEA, 59 Gloucester St

Meet local WP candidates Byron Clark (Christchurch Central) and Paul Hopkinson (Christchurch East).

Food, drinks and revolutionary politics.

Jobs should come before profits

- Workers Party Press Release

As the recession bites, workers are again carrying the heaviest burden.

The layoffs just announced at Silver Fern Farms’ Belfast plant are another sign that the current parties have nothing left to offer workers. The Workers Party thinks jobs for all should come before profits for private companies and supports action by workers to keep their jobs, including occupations of workplaces threatened with closure.

As a first step, the Workers Party of New Zealand will abolish GST because it is a regressive tax that hits workers particularly hard.

We are launching our Christchurch Electoral campaign at 7pm on Monday July 28th. The campaign launch will be held in the WEA at 59 Gloucester St.

The Workers Party is standing two candidates in Christchurch electorates: secondary school teacher and former meat worker Paul Hopkinson in Christchurch East and retail worker and student Byron Clark in Christchurch Central. We also have candidates standing in Auckland and Wellington.

[Read more...]

Protest against Condoleezza Rice

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is visiting Auckland from Friday 25 July to Sunday 27 July.

She is the public face of US imperialism.

She is meeting Helen Clark and Winston Peters at Government House on Saturday 26th July.

Protest March to government house

Meet at the corner of Carlton Gore Road and Park Road

1.30pm

Saturday 26th July

This will be followed by a protest from 3.15pm outside the Langham Hotel in Symonds Street where she is scheduled to meet National Party Leader John Key.

Protest co-ordinated by Global Peace and Justice Auckland.

How revolutionaries choose their political priorities

Click here to view the text of a study pamphlet produced by the Workers Party of New Zealand, dealing with a wide range of questions ranging from how we choose our political priorities to intervention in bourgeois elections, voting for Labour, free buses and more.

The Kind Governor

- Don Franks

(wsws.org commentary on the economy: “spokesmen for the ruling elite have been quick to demand workers tighten their belts and lower their wage demands, despite the steep increase in the cost of living. Reserve Bank Governor Bollard first issued the call in early June, bluntly saying that any “over-exuberance” when it came to wage negotiations this year would meet with a response from the central bank, probably in the form of interest rate rises.”)

Prices are going up,
You know the drill
We’re going to be hungry and feel the chill
So
How do our societies experts
Advise those with blue collars on our opshop shirts?

Reserve Bank Governor Bollard says wage claims should not show “over exuberance”
Or they’d invite a swift kick in the pants
A bit of exuberance then, must be alright
A dose first thing each morning
And one more again at night

Myself, I’ve never had an exuberant wage claim
All the ones that I remember were pretty much the same
Small, infrequent and a lot less than I needed
Each time I struck, negotiated, asked or pleaded

Exuberant means “prolific”, “overflowing”, “luxuriant”,
“Abundant.”
The opposite to falling back or being made redundant
Ordinarily exuberant will do me very well, so thanks, I”ll take it
“Over exuberance” would make me sick, without the need to fake it.
So let us raise a cheer for Governor Bollard of the Bank!
And perish all suspicion that he isn’t being frank.

Immigration and citizenship: Labour versus workers

The article below originally appeared in revolution magazine, #21, August-October 2003:

Samoan protests for the return of their NZ citizenship point up the need for a campaign for open borders and workers’ solidarity as against Labour’s denial of Samoan (and other migrants’) rights, argues Philip Ferguson.

In late March, thousands of Samoans protested in Wellington, Christchurch and in Samoa itself, calling for the repeal of the NZ Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act of 1982.  This legislation, introduced by Muldoon’s National Party government, had stripped 100,000 Samoans of NZ citizenship rights.  The abolition of these citizenship rights was part of a miserable 70-year record of NZ dealings with the Samoan people.

NZ had invaded Samoa in 1914 and was the colonial power there for the next five decades.  Just after WW1, the NZ administration bore responsibility for an influenza epidemic that wiped out a quarter of the population.  The NZ government then viciously suppressed the mass movement for Samoan independence, including gunning down unarmed independence protesters in 1929.

After independence, NZ continued to act as lord and master of Samoa and other former NZ-ruled countries in the Pacific.  For instance, in the 1970s NZ governments masqueraded as generous aid donors to the Pacific.  Yet, at that very same time, for every dollar of aid the Pacific countries of the Commonwealth received from New Zealand, they lost $3.74 in trade with this country.  Most of the NZ aid was actually spent on NZ commodities, services and personnel.  Moreover, it had little impact on expanding Pacific island exports to NZ.  The 1970s also saw mass raids on Pacific Island ‘overstayers’ in NZ and large-scale deportations.

[Read more...]

Workers Party Wellington events

Tonight we are having a social event to talk about Don Franks’ Wellington Central campaign as well as the Workers’ Party’s nationwide campaign.

It should be pretty laid back, and if you’re interested in coming (there is free beer and pizza), we’ll be in the Collins Room 5:30-7ish, Student Union Building, Vic Uni, Kelburn. All welcome.

Our weekly study sessions will be on hold, starting again next week, ploughing through Rosa Luxembourg:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1900/reform-revolution/index.htm

Starting next Tuesday we’ll be holding weekly communist manifesto studies. The communist manifesto is widely seen as the calling point for socialists in Europe and wider. It has been translated into many languages and still has a remarkable resonance in the 21st Century. We’ve got a wide range of people coming along for this study, so don’t feel afraid if you haven’t read it before, a lot of people haven’t either. It’s a good chance to talk about the ideas and how they work in practice.
Every Tuesday from next week on, 5pm, Collins Room, Student Union Building, Vic Uni, Kelburn.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Immigration Amendment Bill: limiting workers’ freedom

- John Edmundson

In the years following the September 11 2001 attacks, the world has seen a massive tightening of immigration controls. In this country, many New Zealanders’ first experience of this trend was the overnight quadrupling of the cost of maintaining a passport. In one fell swoop, the life of a passport was halved, from ten years to five, while the cost doubled as new “anti-terrorism” identification security features were added. In the US, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has gained, and proceeded to use, sweeping new powers to raid and subsequently deport “illegals”, mostly from Latin America.

The latest round of policy change comes with the Immigration Amendment Bill currently being debated in select committee. While this Bill was introduced by Labour, it appears to have support from National, ACT, New Zealand First and United Future. The Bill, if passed in anything remotely approaching its current form, will represent a massive attack on basic civil rights in New Zealand, not only for would-be immigrants or refugees but also for New Zealand citizens.

[Read more...]

No justice for victims of police brutality

- Alastair Reith

On June 25th, a white jury in Tauranga found Police Sergeant Keith Parsons, Senior Constable Bruce Laing, Constable John Mills and Sergeant Erle Busby not guilty of brutally assaulting Rawiri Falwasser, a young Maori, in October 2006.

With police like these, who needs criminals?

Rewi Falwasser suffered a mental breakdown on Labour Day 2006, and was not in control of his own actions. This is accepted by the police. He was arrested after stealing a neighbours car and driving erratically, endangering both himself and other people on the road.

The police took him to Whakatane police station, and put him in a holding cell. When they later came to remove him from the cell and take him to be photographed, he refused to leave the cell. According to Crown Prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch, Mr Falwasser was “stressed, confused and agitated”.

Following Falwasser’s refusal to leave the cell, Sergeant Parsons repeatedly sprayed him in the face with pepper-spray, and when he put up his hands to protect himself from this attack Parsons lashed out at his head with a baton, striking him on the hand and the wrist and leaving him with a 6½-centimetre cut to his arm.

[Read more...]

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