Report from Take the power back! , national conference of Resistance

The national conference of Resistance was held May 6th – 8th at Redfern Community Centre, Sydney. Heleyni Pratley, a member of the Wellington Branch of the Workers Party, attended on behalf of Unite Union. Her following report will be published in the June issue of The Spark.

Resistance is the youth wing of the Socialist Alliance (Australia). Topics covered during the conference included Palestine, uprisings in the Middle East, refugee detention in Australia, and the environment. The conference began with an acknowledgment that we were on stolen Aboriginal land. Around 100 people attended this conference from all over Australia. Guests included Matthew Cassel from Chicago, former assistant editor of Electronic Intifada; Antony Loewenstein, a Sydney-based independent freelance journalist and author of the book My Israel Question; and Ravindran, a youth leader from the Socialist Party of Malaysia. Overall there was a positive welcoming environment, which is important for young people to be able to debate and ask questions freely. The workshops over the weekend echoed this sentiment. [Read more…]

PFLP campaign update

Mike Walker and Paul Hopkinson

The Workers Party’s ongoing solidarity campaign with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a concrete campaign through which progressive New Zealanders can support the people of Palestine and participate in the struggle against imperialism. Imperialist countries continue to seek to dominate resources in the developing world, extracting super profits at the expense of people. [Read more…]

Conference report: Workers Resistance 2009

Workers Resistance conference was held over Queens Birthday Weekend in Wellington. Over 65 people attended the public conference which, for the most part, was held at the Wellington City Library. Themes included both local and international workers’ struggles.

The three-day conference started off on the Friday evening with debate between Workers Party National Secretary Daphna Whitmore and Council of Trade Unions secretary Peter Conway.

Saturday’s schedule started off with Don Franks presenting on the Unite-led campaign for a $15 minimum wage. The Workers Party then launched its campaign of solidarity with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Workers Party member Paul Hopkinson presented the background to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and Mike Walker, also from the Christchurch branch, spoke of more recent developments before outlining the political and stategic position of the PFLP . [Read more…]

The flag is symbolic, imperialism is real

Victoria university members of the Workers Party are facing charges of serious misconduct after burning the New Zealand flag. This leaflet explains the political background to the act.

Why burn the New Zealand flag?

The New Zealand flag is a symbol of imperialism. This is most obvious in its design, a tribute to the British Empire. This design was adopted after the Second Boer War, which devastated South Africa but resulted in a surge of Kiwi patriotism.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

A simple re-design, while reflecting our emergence from the shadow of the British Empire, would not change the imperialist nature of the flag. It’s a tool of the ruling class, inseparably linked with militarism. From the Boer War through WWI and II, right through to armed involvement in Vietnam and Afghanistan, the flag has marked New Zealand’s presence. Flags mark military conquest, the subjugation of nations.

Flags and borders divide the working majority. ANZAC soldiers had more in common with their Turkish counterparts than with the bureaucrats who sent them to Gallipoli. The working majority has interests in common worldwide, including an end to imperial war. Ruling class nationalism is a barrier to recognising this.

What purpose does ANZAC day serve? [Read more…]

Workers Resistance ’09: Queens Birthday Weekend

Click to enlarge.

Note that Friday’s debate, Which Way Forward For Workers Today, has moved to the VUW Student Union Building.

Communist Party of the Philippines’ 40th anniversary

The Workers Party of New Zealand sends warm greetings to the Communist Party of the Philippines, on its 40th anniversary.

The CPP has led the struggle against feudalism, capitalism and imperialism in the Philippines for four decades. Having withstood the Marcos dictatorship through to the current brutal regime of Arroyo, the CPP has been sustained through its deep roots among the masses. When many other communist parties around the world collapsed in the 1990s, the CPP carried on the struggle, constantly reassessing itself and further developing its strengths.

 The CPP’s commitment to internationalism has given confidence to many organisations and individuals in the struggle for world revolution.

 We hope that 2009 will bring much success to the comrades in the Philippines.

 In solidarity
Workers Party of New Zealand

Standing up for socialist ideas

The Spark November 2008

The Workers Party is primarily an organisation of activists who fight for workers’ interests on jobs and in the streets. We recognise that the struggle for workers’ rights and workers’ power mostly takes place outside of parliament. Taking mass actions against an employer offers workers more chance of controlling their destiny than voting. However, parliamentary elections provide a chance to raise alternative ideas, and socialists should make use of the opportunity. The reports below show some of the initiatives taken by the Workers Party in the 2008 general election. You can see that we got stuck in and stood up for socialist ideas without mincing our words. If you like the look of our approach, why not join us and help make the socialist voice even louder in 2011!

[Read more…]

NZ Election: the morning after

– Daphna Whitmore

For the Workers Party – this was the first time a socialist party was on the party list. A red flag on the ballot paper was an achievement – and one that took a bit of work to get the numbers to satisfy the electoral commission that we qualified. We were the last party to get registered, making it just a few days out from writ day.

It was a last minute campaign for the party vote but the campaigning was good for our organisation. Members got active, our website has been constantly updated and a lot of new contacts have been made. We got our name out across the country so there are now thousands of people who know there is a far left option. We got votes in every electorate of the country. capitalism-not-our-future-don1

In New Zealand as far as I’m aware the far left has not yet ever got more than 200 votes in an electorate and this was reflected again in our vote. With 824 on the first count it is possible we’ll get over 900 once the special votes are counted.

MMP is a funny system. It engenders a lot of the first past the post mentality. Not just in the electorate seats where it is FPP, but in general people still tend to see things in terms of National and Labour. That was reflected in the 80 per cent of votes cast for those two parties.

A really proportional system would be better. It’s hardly democratic that NZ First gets 4.2 per cent of the vote and no seats, while Progressives and United Future each have a seat but a tiny overall vote. And Act gets five seats on 3.72 per cent of the vote.

Low turnout and 10,700 votes for the Bill and Ben Party indicate a lack of public confidence in the options on offer.

[Read more…]

GST off beer: on the economic downturn

Don Franks, candidate for Wellington central, at the debate amongst alternatives to the Labour Party.

Workers should be running the country – to end poverty

Speech given by Workers Party member John Moore at the recent
Rally Against Low Pay held on Queen Street in Auckland


We all know we are heading into tough times. There’s a global economic crisis on our hands, and it’s going to be working people like you and me that face the brunt of this. While governments of the bosses’ class bail out the rich elite with billions of dollars, our class is facing massive job losses, skyrocketing prices and increasing poverty. Not a dollar or a cent should be given to the finance parasites. The entire financial system needs to be nationalized under workers’ control.

[Read more…]