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(Updated Oct. 19) Occupy Wall Street inspires global protests against the '1%' (activist reports, videos, pics)


Occupy Sydney, October 15, 2011. Photos by Kate Ausburn.

October 16 , 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- According to http://15october.net, protests and actions -- inspired by the Occupy Wall Street mass movement across the United States -- were to take place in more than 950 cities in more than 80 countries on October 15. Actions had already begun in some parts of the world before that.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: Building an eco-socialist network in New Zealand

Statement by Socialist Worker central committee

August 11, 2011 -- Unityblog -- The crises of global capitalism, coupled with catastrophic climate change and peak resources, is going to bring about profound social, ecological and political upheavals.

There is evidence of this happening globally already. We can point to the Arab revolts that have toppled US-backed regimes and the emergence of anti-neoliberal movements of workers and young people in a number of European countries. Part of the context for these revolts is the global financial crisis, which is ongoing and will unravel further, impacting severely on the lives of grassroots people around the world.

While the current political situation in New Zealand is a big step away from mass revolt, the forces at work in this country are similar. Masses of ordinary people are hurting, there’s simmering anger towards politicians and other corporate elites, and there’s growing concern at the ecological catastrophe that humanity faces. The political quietism will not last indefinitely.

What can eco-socialists do today to prepare our forces for the historic challenges in front of us?

Aotearoa/New Zealand: 'Patu!' -- 30th anniversary of the 1981 mass protests against the Springbok tour

July 17, 2011 -- Information taken from from Film Archive (NZ) and Wikipedia; video from NZonScreen -- From July to September 1981, South Africa's all-white national rugby team, the Springboks, toured New Zealand. South Africa was still under apartheid rule at that time, and a Commonwealth ban on all sporting contact, known as the Gleneagles Agreement, had been in place since July 1977. The ban was won by an international mass solidarity movement calling for the boycott of South Africa's racist system.

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union, however, was determined to proceed with the long-planned tour, and New Zealand’s right-wing National Party government (led by Prime Minister Robert "Piggy" Muldoon), whose constituency was largely pro-tour, was not going to stop them.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: Greed is good, as long as it's green

Greens Party co-leader Russel Norman sees the big business Pure Advantage group as "being an important ally for the Green Party’s vision of smart green prosperity".

[Sue Bradford will be a speaker at the World at a Crossroads II: Climate change: social change conference, in Melbourne, Australia, September 30-October 3, 2011.]

By Sue Bradford

Aotearoa/New Zealand: 'The Mana revolution has begun'

By Joe Carolan

June 27, 2011 -- Socialist Aotearoa, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Hone Harawira’s victory in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election means that the Mana Party is now the newest party with parliamentary representation in Aotearoa [New Zealand]. This achievement is impressive, given the range of forces ranged against us -- the Maori Party, the Labour Party machine, supported by the National Party, and most of the mainstream media and political commentators.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: A new working-class, pro-Maori political voice

Hone Harawira speaks at the Mana Party launch.
MANA- 1. (noun) prestige, authority, control, power, influence, status, spiritual power, charisma.

May 11, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Mike Treen is national director of the Unite Union in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a member of the newly formed Mana Party. Socialist Aotearoa’s Joe Carolan interviewed him on the significance of the foundation of this new left-wing party.

* * *

Joe Carolan:  Mike, can you tell us a little about the formation and programme of the new Mana Party?

Tariq Ali's 2011 Robb Lectures: Empire and its futures -- Islam, US hegemony and China

Lecture 1: Islam and its discontents, March 17, 2011. Lectures 2 & 3, below.

A series of three lectures by Tariq Ali.

Renowned Marxist and anti-war campaigner Tariq Ali presented these three lectures as part of the University of Auckland's annual Sir Douglas Robb Lectures, delivered March 17-23, 2011. The videos have been made available to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal courtesy of the University of Auckland library.

* * *

Libya: New Zealand Greens criticise Western intervention

By Keith Locke MP

March 23, 2011 -- The situation in the Middle East is now central to the considerations of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, and was among the topics addressed in the financial review we are debating today. We have been inspired by the success of the Egyptian and Tunisian people in toppling their dictators, and we were hoping that the Libyan people would soon prevail over the Gaddafi regime. However, as we know, the regime has fought back and was making advances, prompting calls for an internationally imposed no-fly zone to neutralise Gaddafi's air force, which was bombing rebel forces. The proposal for a no-fly zone is only one element in the resolution recently passed by the UN Security Council. The motion had a very loose wording, allowing member states to "take all necessary measures... to protect civilians" in Libya. So far the coalition powers have bombed not only anti-aircraft batteries but also Gaddafi's tanks, troops, and even his compound in Tripoli. British Secretary of Defence Liam Fox has not ruled out Gaddafi himself being a target.

New Zealand: Matt McCarten on Unite and the prospects for a new left party

Matt McCarten (right) campaigning for better pay.

December 7, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Matt McCarten is secretary of the New Zealand's fastest growing union, Unite. The union organises fast-food workers, cleaners, hotel and casino workers, security and part-time staff. It has a financial membership of 8000 members. The transient nature of the industries the union organises means it has an annual membership turnover of 66 per cent and recruits about 600 new members every month. The union operates on an income of just over 1 million dollars per annum.

McCarten is a veteran of many left campaigns, including playing a key role in the foundation of the New Labour Party following the split from the New Zealand Labour Party in 1989. It was his leadership in the historic 1985 occupation of the Sheraton Hotel with the Hotel and Hospital Workers Union that put McCarten in the national spotlight. He writes a weekly column for the Herald on Sunday.

New Zealand: The battle for Mana -- a new left votes


November 11, 2010 -- Matt McCarten’s Mana by-election campaign has taken up the issue of housing, identifying many empty state houses in the electorate, while families are homeless. Four campaigners were arrested after they took over an empty house.

By Joe Carolan

New Zealand: Matt McCarten for Mana! It's time for a new left

In a wide-ranging Radio New Zealand interview on October 17, 2010, Matt McCarten discusses atheism, socialism, neoliberalism, the IWW, working class history and the need for a new left party.

Listen here | Download here (45 mins)

For the latest on Matt's campaign, visit http://www.matt4mana

By Joe Carolan

Disaster management: New Zealand, Haiti and the ‘Cuban way’

Earthquake damage in Christchurch. Although similar in magnitude to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed 250,000, nobody died in the September 5, 2010, New Zealand quake.

By Reihana Mohideen, Manila

September 8, 2010 -- Comparisons must be made between the impact of the September 5 earthquake on Christchurch, New Zealand, and the quake that hit Haiti in January. The nature of a global system that maintains these inequalities should be exposed over and over again. In Haiti – with a population of around 9 million – some 250,000 people died in the earthquake and (according to government figures) 200,000 were injured and 1 million were made homeless. Some eight months later disaster still grips peoples lives. Fortunately, but in a staggering contrast, no lives were lost in New Zealand, although the earthquake was of a similar -- but slightly more powerful --- magnitude (7 on the Richter scale).

May Day 2010: For workers' rights and the environment, oppose racism, defend revolutions


Havana, May 1, 2010.

May 1, 2010 -- May Day -- saw millions of people mobilising around globe to oppose attacks on workers' rights, reverse the degradation of the environment, defend the rights of oppressed peoples and migrants and -- as in Nepal, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia -- to make, extend or defend unfolding revolutions.

In Nepal, Jed Brandt reports that between 500,000 and 1 million people flooded the streets on Kathmandu to demand the resignation of the government. The massive mobilisation -- called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Young Communist League -- is the prelude to a general strike that begins May 2.

NZ socialists endorse Bolivia's call for a world referendum on climate change

Socialist Worker-New Zealand statement to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, in Bolivia April 19-22, 2010

April 19, 2010 -- Socialist Worker-New Zealand agrees with the statement made by Bolivia's President Evo Morales in his invitation to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth that “climate change is a product of the capitalist system”.

The pursuit of growth and profit is hard-wired into capitalism. Corporations and politicians wedded to capitalism cannot bring about the urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions we need to avert catastrophic climate change.

Therefore the transition to societies living in harmony with nature requires fundamental system change. The way we use resources, the way we produce things, the way we live has to change. This is the challenge that climate change, peak oil and other looming global crises place on the shoulders of all of us living today. Yet too many of our leaders are shirking their responsibilities, not only to those they claim to represent, but to future generations.

Nepal: Ben Peterson, eyewitness to Nepal’s revolution, tours New Zealand

March 21, 2010 -- UNITYblog -- Ben Peterson is a young Australian socialist who spent four and half months in Nepal last year. Ben is crossing the Tasman for a speaking tour of New Zealand from March 21-26. Ben was kind enough to answer some questions for UNITYblog about his experiences in Nepal.

* * *

When did you go to Nepal? How long were you there for?

I was in Nepal last year from the beginning of March to July, about four and half months in total.

Why did you go to Nepal?

New Zealand socialists target bad banks and low wages

Representatives of New Zealand left organisations attended the Australian Socialist Alliance's recent national conference. In the following interviews, conducted by the Australian socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly, they explain the political situation in New Zealand and talk about the key campaigns they are involved in.

* * *

By Paola Harvey

January 30, 2010 -- Although New Zealand, like Australia, has not been as badly affected by the global economic crisis as the US or Europe, workers are facing hardship. Bronwen Beechey, an activist from Socialist Worker New Zealand (SWNZ), told Green Left Weekly: “There have been a lot of redundancies, places have been closed down.”

Beechey and SWNZ activist Peter Hughes were in Sydney to attend the January 3-6 Socialist Alliance national conference. They spoke to GLW about the SWNZ’s “bad banks” campaign, which takes aim at the cause of the global financial crisis — neoliberal capitalism.

New Zealand: What has happened to real wages since1982?

By Mike Treen

Official data on wage movements in New Zealand point to a real wage decline of around 25% between 1982 and the mid-1990s that has never been recovered.

There have been two series measuring wages in the period – the Prevailing Weekly Wage Index (discontinued in June 1993) and its replacement the Labour Cost Index. I have created a continuous series based on the LCI series back to 1982 (by adjusting the PWWI numbers before December 1992 when PWWI at 1000 was equivalent to the LCI at 868). These numbers are in turn deflated by the CPI index covering the whole period.

What is revealed is that by the mid-1990s real wages had declined at least 25%. There has been no recovery since then and real wages remain 25% below their 1982 peak. This result can be directly attributed to the combination of the massive deunionisation as a result of the anti-union employment laws and the recession that accompanied it in the early 1990s.

New Zealand: Socialists cooperate in defence of refugees

Auckland protest in support of Tamil refugees, January 18, 2010.

By Grant Morgan, Socialist Worker-New Zealand

January 19, 2010 -- The refugee issue is almost certain to rise from near invisibility in New Zealand politics to become a strategic battleground. Waves of refugees will be thrown up by the poverty, strife and ecotastrophes of global capitalism's end times.

The right, centre and much of the left in New Zealand politics will seek to portray these waves of refugees as threats to "our way of life". This could open the way towards authoritarian nationalism which jackboots the New Zealand working class as well as offshore refugees.

New Zealand socialists and our allies must show that offshore refugees are a resource, not a threat, to the majority of Kiwis under the thumb of corporate bosses and politicians.

Refugees are a resource for our side because they are fleeing the poverty, wars and other calamities caused by the same world system which kicks most Kiwis around. They are our natural allies against the unnatural forces of global capitalism.

Australian and New Zealand socialists support Chavez's call for a new international organisation of the left

Socialist Alliance members in Caracas.

Dear comrades,

December 3, 2009 -- On behalf of the Socialist Alliance of Australia, we would like to send warm, socialist greetings to the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), thanking you once again for the invitation to participate in the International Meeting of Left Parties held in Caracas, November 19-21, 2009.

The outcomes of this event are already having an important impact on the world, particularly among left and progressive forces, and we are grateful that we could be part of it and contribute to its success in our own modest way.

Similarly, we believe that the PSUV’s Extraordinary Congress, which began on November 21, is of great significance, not just for revolutionary forces in Venezuela, but for the left internationally. We hope to follow the proceedings of the congress, particularly through the reports and articles that our members Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes will be sending us from Venezuela, where they are currently based.

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