POVERTY WAGES – THE CHALLENGE OF HISTORY

Don Franks

The 25 cent government increase in the minimum wage from 1st April was denounced by union leaders as “a cheap shot’ and “mean.”

The increase to $12.75 from April 1st, 2010 is an annual increase of only two per cent. The NZ Institute of Economic Research inflation forecast is 2.3 per cent for the year to March 2010 and the average wage rose 2.8 per cent in the six months to September 2009 alone. That suggests the lowest paid workers are going to be relatively worse off than they are already. [Read more...]

Free the Tamil asylum seekers

People protested outside the Australian consulate in Auckland, on 18 January, as part of an international day of action to support the Tamil Asylum Seekers who have spent 100 days on a boat in Indonesia in appalling conditions.

A protest organiser  spoke of how 254 Tamil Asylum Seekers refused to leave the boat for fear of being locked up in an Indonesian detention centre or being deported back to Sri Lanka.

Returning to Sri Lanka is not an option, as one man who had returned to see his ill mother had been thrown in prison, without charges being laid, and is still locked up.

“The refugees are rightly demanding that they be given basic human rights and that Australia, as a signatory of the UN Refugee Convention, adhere to its international responsibilities” Priyaksha said. [Read more...]

Sport and politics mix

John Edmundson

The arrests of activists attempting to disrupt the appearance of Israeli Tennis player Shahar Peer has brought the issue of politics and sport back into the public eye.

At the time of the anti-apartheid struggle, the issue was of great importance in New Zealand because here, it was sporting contact with racist South Africa that became the focus of protest action. New Zealand and South Africa had longstanding sporting rivalries, particularly in rugby, so attempting to end sporting contact between the Springboks and the All Blacks became a major part of the New Zealand anti-apartheid movement’s work throughout its history.

During the 1981 Springbok tour, a major thrust of the pro-tour lobby was that sport and politics should not mix, that the purity of sport should not be sullied by its being immersed in the murky business of politics, and that sports people should be left to get on with the serious business of playing their sport and entertaining the spectators. Often, such arguments were simply a disingenuous attempt by apologists for the racist South African regime to weaken the campaign against the white South African state. [Read more...]

Protest against the appalling conditions the Sri Lankan Tamil Asylum Seekers are facing in Indonesia

A vigil will start outside Waterhouse Coopers Tower, 186-194 Quay St, Auckland, 4pm on Monday the 18th.  

Then march at 5pm from Quay Street  up Queen Street towards Aoeta Square.

Background: [Read more...]

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Reviewed by Mike Kay

 The Help is an ambitious novel set in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. It encapsulates a city that was a bastion of Jim Crow racism – a phalanx of state and local laws that were designed to keep black and white people separate from cradle to grave. [Read more...]

Save the Earth – Close the Pentagon

Reposted from Climate and Capitalism. How is it possible that the worst polluter of carbon dioxide and other toxic emissions on the planet is not a focus of any conference discussion or proposed restrictions?

By Sara Flounders

In evaluating the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen — with more than 15,000 participants from 192 countries, including more than 100 heads of state, as well as 100,000 demonstrators in the streets —it is important to ask: How is it possible that the worst polluter of carbon dioxide and other toxic emissions on the planet is not a focus of any conference discussion or proposed restrictions?

By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.

[Read more...]

Review: Mo & Jess Kill Susie

by Ian Anderson
Mo & Jess Kill Susie is a play about differences that can’t be resolved. The slogan announces it’s about “Three women, two guns, one room, no way out,” and the title tells us what will happen onstage. The question then becomes; who are Mo, Jess and Susie?

Gary Henderson wrote Mo & Jess Kill Susie in 1996, a hostage drama in which two Maori nationalists kidnap a white police officer. As the play begins, Mo & Jess await orders from their comrades. Unfortunately, the play sets up a false dichotomy, reflecting paranoia rather than objective conditions. The original play was set in the year 2000. In the intervening years we’ve seen a sharp ramp-up in police repression, while Maori nationalist tactics hardly warrant the title of “terrorism.” This production is set in 2014, and its vision of the future has not changed since 1996.

Fortunately, Henderson’s characters are well drawn and the production is uniformly excellent. A special shout-out goes to Thomas Press for his moody lighting & sound design, at once naturalistic and expressive. The performances are also top-notch. Cian Elyse White consistently holds attention as Mo, a Maori nationalist student. While White is a commanding presence, churning out fiery rhetoric in jumpers and jeans, Juanita Hepi and Antonia Bale give excellent slow burn performances. In particular, Antonia Bale’s Susie spends much of the play asleep in a blindfold – when the police officer beneath the blindfold emerges, things really start to heat up.

[Read more...]

Wgtn: solidarity picket against targeting of Auckland activists

Over the past week, 8 people have been arrested for protesting outside a tennis match involving Israeli Shahar Peer. This protest was in keeping with the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) campaign which seeks to cut off international support for the racist state of Israel.

Come along and show solidarity!

11am, Tuesday the 12th of Jan

Willis St, opposite BNZ centre

8 Arrested at tennis match protesting Israeli occupation

More photographs here.

8 people have been arrested over the past week, two of them today, for protesting outside the ASB Tennis Centre due to the presence of Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer. The protests are part of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, initiated in 2005 after an appeal from 170 Palestinian civil society organisations including trade unions, political and social organizations, and women’s and youth groups. The campaign calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.

According to Global Peace and Justice Auckland, the organisation behind this weeks protests, “A campaign around BDS of Israel has a power in NZ precisely because of its association with similar, successful campaigns against South African apartheid.” In the 1970s and 80’s New Zealand had a large anti-apartheid movement that targeted New Zealand’s sporting contacts with South Africa. John Minto, founder of Halt All Racist Tours (HART) one of the main organisations in that movement, was among those arrested at yesterdays protests.

[Read more...]

Australian activist speaking on his year in revolutionary Nepal

When a peoples’ movement overthrew Nepal’s
hated King Gyanendra and the oppressive
monarchical structure in 2006, not much was heard
about it in NZ.
Yet exciting things are happening in Nepal today
that deserve our attention. The Nepalese people
are striving to build a new and better society.
We now have a chance to find out more. Ben
Peterson is a young Australian activist who spent a
year in Nepal witnessing first hand the revolutionary
struggle. He will be in NZ from 21-26 March 2010. Check out the flyer on Ben’s tour of New Zealand: Ben Peterson flyer

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