PLEDGE CAMPAIGN: Two-thirds there! But we need your help!

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Dear comrades and friends!

We continue to be humbled and pleased by your commitment to Fightback‘s project. We are now only $NZ 390 away from guaranteeing that Fightback will be around for one more year, at least, to push radical left activist thinking forward in Australasia.

We are particularly happy that so many of you have actually pledged, not only the $50 “Card Carrying Communist” reward, but actually DOUBLE that, with a pledge of $100! Since I don’t imagine we have that many millionaires following our work, to have followers who support our mission to that extent is simply breathtaking.

However, we can’t assume that anyone else is still out there who is that generous or well-resourced. So I would like to particularly beg every single person reading this who values Fightback in any way – please pledge what you can, even a measly $5! Recent figures suggest that our Facebook page reached 881 people over the last month. If even 10% of those people pledged a measly $5, we would reach our goal!

I know that it’s not intuitive in the second decade of the 21st century to pay for online content. But, once again, the financial question is a political question. This is the modern equivalent of Bolsheviks, Wobblies and other socialists and social democrats going down to the factories or mines to collect for the Party paper.

Fightback is not worth anything if it is a small group of slightly odd individuals talking to themselves. We don’t do this for the good of our health. We are trying to build a new type of socialist movement, based around socialist ideals for the 21st century. It would be nice if some kindly donor gave us the full $1200 or $3000 in a lump sum. But that would not solve the political issue. Only lots of little donations from working people who can’t spare much, but see something of value in our work, will do that. We want all of you who want a new kind of socialist movement to see Fightback as your website, your mag, your voice.

Anyway, to whet your appetite: if we do reach our goal, you have the following magazine issues to look forward to in 2018:

  • Fascism and Anti-Fascism
  • What is Capitalism?
  • Accessibility
  • Migrant work in Australia and New Zealand

Until next update.

In solidarity,

Daphne Lawless

Fightback coordinating editor (Aotearoa-based)

[Click here to pledge]

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Crowdfund: Trans-Tasman socialist (e-)publication

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WILL FIGHTBACK CONTINUE? YOU DECIDE!

Dear comrades and friends:

Since 2012, Fightback has produced media for the socialist and radical Left in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Our work has alsoreached outside this country; some of our material has been translated into other languages, and republished as far afield as Austria and Ukraine.

We’ve aimed to provide analysis and information which bridges the gap between the world of academic journals and the world of activists on the street. We’ve attempted to apply cutting-edge social justice theory to the everyday movements against capitalism and the capitalist, colonial, patriarchal state in this country.

We don’t uphold any particular ideological “dogma”. Instead, we have tried to synthesize the best that the Marxist tradition has to offer with the insights of the queer/trans, feminist, and tino rangatira literature.

In the past few years in particular, we’ve produced “special issues” (on WomenYouth activism and Pasefika activism in particular) which have not only solicited writing from outside the “usual suspects” of the Marxist left, but successfully fundraised so that contributors could be reimbursed for their work, something which is disturbingly rare even on the radical left.

But if you want all this to continue, it’s time to contribute. Fightback needs your financial support or we will cease to exist. It’s that simple.

Our most recent conference decided to make the push for Fightback to become a trans-Tasman journal of the radical and activist Left. In the modern era of free movement across the Tasman, “Australasia” is becoming a reality in a way it has not been since the 19th century. So many New Zealanders (tauiwi as well as tangata whenua) now live and work in Australia – and decisions made in one country increasingly impact the other, as the inter-governmental controversy surrounding the Manus Island detention camp shows.

We wish to crucially engage socialists from both sides of the Tasman – in particular, socialists from Aotearoa living and working in Australia – to continue the lines of analysis and directions of organisation which we have being pursuing. Beyond the dogmas of “sect Marxism”; beyond national boundaries; towards a genuinely decolonized, democratic, feminist and queer-friendly anti-capitalism.

This will cost money. In New Zealand terms, we will need at least $3,000 to continue our schedule of producing 4 print magazines a year, including paying writers for a Special Issue on Accessibility. Our minimum goal – $1,100 – would cover an online-only media project including an e-publication, also paying writers for the Accessibility issue.

The financial question is a political question. If what Fightback has been doing since 2012 is of value to socialists in Aotearoa/New Zealand – and if our vision for the future inspires people on both sides of the Tasman – then our friends and comrades simply have to put their money where their sympathies lie. Otherwise, the project will come to an end this year. It really is as simple as that.

If you like what we do, please support our crowdfunding appeal, to the extent you possibly can. And if you can’t support financially – please, raise your hand to help us with writing, web design, proof reading or the thousand and one other little jobs that unpaid volunteers have been doing over the last six years. We really look forward to hearing from you.

 

In solidarity,

Daphne Lawless

co-ordinating editor (NZ-based), Fightback

[Click here to pledge]

Migrant and Refugee Rights Issue Editorial + Contents

MARRC Header (TWO LINES) (TERMINAL DOSIS)

This is excerpted from the latest issue of Fightback magazine. To subscribe, click here.

Ani White is a Pākehā postgraduate student/tutor in Media Studies, a member of Fightback, and the coordinating editor of this issue.

In the lead-up to Aotearoa/New Zealand’s 2017 General Election, Fightback and others have co- launched the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign. In the context of rising international xenophobic populism, and the failure of NZ parliamentary ‘Left’ parties to take a consistent stand for migrants, we considered this an important political focus.

The following articles were initially solicited as a part of the campaign. However, as they came together, it became clear that this discussion must be broader and more multifaceted than the theme ‘Migrant and Refugee Rights’ captures; the struggle must be rooted in an understanding of colonisation.

Arama Rata’s excellent article which opens the issue, on the problem of euphemistic discussion of racism, frames the fight against racism against the backdrop of Aotearoa’s colonisation. Relatedly, The Guardian’s David Wearing argues that British xenophobia is inseparable from the country’s colonial past.

This broader post-colonial perspective must frame and inform the street movement for migrant/refugee rights, which the remaining pages focus on – with articles on Brexit, the German far-right, the meaning of the monarch butterfly symbol, and finally the fight against xenophobia in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The issue concludes with the kaupapa statement of the Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign. Contrary to dominant discourse which pits migrants/refugees against the ‘white working class’, we argue that what’s best for migrant workers is best for everyone; universal cheap high-quality housing, Living Wages, the right to join unions alongside other workers.

You can find out more about this campaign at marrc.org.nz, or Facebook.com/marrc.nz.

Contents

  1. Watered-down biculturalism: How avoiding the ‘r-word’ undermines our liberation movement, by Arama Rata
  2. Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past, by David Wearing
  3. Brexit, Democracy and Oppression, by Neil Faulkner
  4. The “Alternative for Germany”: A chronicle of the rise of a far-right party, by JoJo
  5. What do butterflies have to do with open borders? Migration is beautiful, by John Lee
  6. Migrants are welcome – leftist xenophobia is not, by Daphne Lawless
  7. Interview: Why Gayaal is standing for Wellington Central
  8. Myths about Migrants and Refugees
  9. Migrant and Refugee Rights Campaign Kaupapa and Demands

Right To The City issue Editorial

Right To The City

This is excerpted from Fightback’s latest magazine issue. To subscribe, click here.

Editorial by Daphne Lawless, a Fightback/MARRC member living in Auckland with her wife and daughter.

The growth of cities as the dominant social and economic form of human life on the planet is a distinguishing feature of the capitalist era. Before capitalism, cities were trading posts and places where the rich spent their wealth; but most wealth was produced in the fields, forests and mines of rural areas. This all changed with the Industrial Revolution, when the new factory cities began to be where wealth was produced as well as spent. Later, as industrial production shifted globally to the rising Asian economies since World War II, so the older developed countries shifted to “post-industrial” (information and knowledge-based) forms of production. Importantly, despite predictions that this would lead to a new de-centralisation, it’s been shown that information and technology workers produce more (and are happier) living, working and playing together in dense cities, rather than the isolated suburbs which sprang up during the cheap-oil eras.

All this just goes to show that cities aren’t going anywhere, despite some of the fond dreams of “back to the land”-ers, or the dreamers of suburban utopia. As long as big cities are where society’s wealth is produced, so (following Karl Marx’s political economy) that’s where the possibility of social revolution is to be found. Additionally, in the globalised era, the big cities are where the migrant workers and the refugees from war, poverty and climate change gather, interact with local workers, and thereby create a new global culture. Contrary to the reactionary musings of the “conservative left”, this cross-cultural intersection brings power and strength to the workers’ movement – if only that movement knows how to organise itself.

As Daphne Lawless pointed out in her 2015 article for Fightback – reprinted first up in this issue – big cities may (perhaps counter-intuitively) be our only feasible solution to the global climate crisis, as urban living (planned properly for need rather than greed) offers the cleanest and most efficient use of resources for both housing and transportation. Tāne Feary develops this idea further with his discussion of eco-cities and Transition Towns.

Aotearoa / New Zealand has no equivalent to the sprawling megacities to be found overseas. But we do have Tāmaki Makarau / Auckland, population 1.5 million and rising. So this edition of Fightback on Urban Revolution and the Right to the City makes no apology for concentrating on the “City of Sails”. We are privileged to run an extended piece from TransportBlog’s PeterNunns, in which he uses facts and figures to explain in detail precisely what kind of urban development a sustainable and liveable Auckland would need. Of course, the housing and public transport issues run together. We feature a piece from veteran South Auckland campaigner Roger Fowler arguing that zero fares (free public transport) is the revolutionary step that Auckland needs – with a few counter-arguments from TransportBlog’s Patrick Reynolds, to set us thinking.

Of course, development can never be thought of in the abstract. The current leadership of our city – with Phil Goff carrying on the general approach of his predecessor as Mayor, Len Brown – pays lip-service to bringing all Aucklanders along with the development of our new global city. But this has not been the history of what has happened in Auckland, where time and again the working classes (in particular the tangata whenua, as well as Pasefika and other migrant groups) have been made to pay for the dreams of their social betters. Daphne Lawless explains the intertwined history of Auckland’s “motorway madness” and the gentrification of the inner suburbs, which created an asset-rich Pākehā layer at the expense (in more ways than one) of Pasefika lives, and actually created today’s permanent gridlock. Two other writers expand on how this process is still going on, with Vanessa Day talking about the fight against dispossession by gentrification in Glen Innes, and Bronwen Beechey adding updates from Avondale, which could well become the Grey Lynn of the 21st century.

Turning to the rest of the country, Byron Clark lets us know about the wasted opportunities in Ōtautahi / Christchurch, where the post-earthquake rebuild has led to the same old suburban sprawl and petrol-driven traffic chaos. Patricia Hall contributes an eloquent plea for the cities of the future to be truly accessible – just as fighting racial and gender inequality benefits all working people, she argues, so fighting for accessibility is not just for the benefit of the physically or mentally impaired. Finally, Ani White looks back on a documentary from the 1975 Māori Land March, concentrating on the alliances between urban and rural tangata whenua that made it happen. With “back to the land” mythology still strong in the tino rangatiratanga movement, this is a timely reminder that the power of indigenous people in the globalised era lies in the cities as well.

Pasefika Issue Editorial + Contents

Editorial by Leilani Viseisio, coordinating editor.

Tena koutou, Talofa lava

O lo’u ingoa o Leilani Angela Visesio.

O lo’u tina o Antonina Sasafala Visesio.

O le tina o lo’u tina o Vitolia Tomaniko Fa’atili, e sau mai le nu’u o Matatufu, Upolu.

Afio mai le ali’i o aiga

Afio mai le uso ali’i

Afio mai le matua ia Tapu

Afio mai alala maota

Mamalu ile falefa o Salepaga ma le Ituala

O le tama o lo’u tina o Visesio Ioane I’iga, e sau mai le nu’u o Lano, Savai’i.

Afio mai le Falefa o Alo o Sa Vui,

Vui Umumalu, Vui Tafilipepe, Vui Seigafolava, Vui Alafouina.

Susu mai lau susuga I’iga o le Maopu

Afio maia lau afioga Falenaoti

Afio alo o Va’afusuaga- Lutu ma Ape ma lau susuga Su’ a.

Maliu mai lau fetalaiga Malaeulu le Matua Fetalai

Maliu mai Salemuliaga, o le faleupolu o

Muamua lava ou te fia fa’afetai Fightback mo le fausaga opea, aemaise Ian Anderson.

O lona lua, ou te fia fa’afetai i latou uma oe na fesoasoani i le lomiga o le Pasefika mo latou loto, mafaufau,

upu lototele ma galuega.

Lona tolu, Kassie Hartendorp mo lou lagolago le maluelue ma fautuaga.

Mulimuli ma mautinoa lava, e fa’avavau itiiti – Fa’afetai i le Pasefika Epiphany Trust

mo Aganuʻu Samoa ma i loʻu tuafafine Samoa Liz Ah-Hi, Savali Andrews, Emma Josephine Koko,

Tina Setefano ma Sia Toʻomaga.

Fa’afetai lava mo le avanoa.

Contents:

  1. The Unbearable Lightness, Faith Wilson
  2. Decolonisation Unplugged: My meeting with West Papuans in Indonesia, Shasha Ali
  3. Untitled, Anon
  4. In/Visible, Luisa Tora
  5. Two Poems by Tusiata Avia
  6. Half Cast Away, Anonymous
  7. Pacific Panthers and International Solidarity, interview with Teanau Tuiono