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Socialist Worker (NZ)

Introducing the Robin Hood tax

Notes from a talk at Occupy Wellington on October 29, 2011, to coincide with the #RobinHood global march 

By Grant Brookes, Tax Justice Campaign (New Zealand)

The campaign for a Robin Hood tax began a little over 18 months ago with a little-noticed launch in London. Supporters from a handful of British charities, faith groups and trade unions projected images onto the Bank of England, in an effort to lobby the British government to introduce a new tax on banks to tackle poverty and climate change. Today, it has become a global movement.

It's easy to see why it has been taken up by large parts of the Occupy movement, which also began as a small gathering on Wall Street opposing US corporate greed and the role of the top 1% in dictating priorities in Washington. That too has now become a global awakening.

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?

(Updated March 4) Zimbabwe: Socialists and Egypt solidarity activists charged with treason! Protest urgently needed!

46 arrested activists charged with treason, tortured

February 25, 2011 -- It has now been confirmed that detained labour movement activist and leading member of the International Socialist Organization Zimbabwe Munyaradzi Gwisai (pictured) and 45 other activists detained by the Zimbabwe state on February 19 have been charged with treason. If found guilty of treason, the activists risk a sentence of death or life imprisonment. They are being tortured to extract bogus confessions. The arrests followed a raid on a closed meeting that was discussing the implications of the revolutions in the Arab world. Gwisai is director of the Labor Law Centre and former Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) MP.

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

Asian left parties: `In solidarity with the Greek people's resistance against austerity'

The following joint statement of solidarity -- initiated by Socialist Alliance, Australia -- has been signed by a number of left and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. If your organisation would like to sign on, please email international@socialist-alliance.org.

* * *

Joint statement from Asia-Pacific left and progressive organisations

May 13, 2010

We, left and progressive organisations from the Asia-Pacific region, express our solidarity with the resistance of the Greek people against the harsh austerity being imposed upon them by the governments of the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The proposed “rescue package” for the Greek economy by the IMF-EU has triggered a huge struggle that will have worldwide ramifications for working people.

Asian left parties: `Support the struggle for democracy and social justice in Nepal'

The following joint statement of solidarity -- initiated by Socialist Alliance, Australia -- has been signed by a number of left and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. If your organisation would like to sign on, please email international@socialist-alliance.org.

* * *

May 6, 2010

On May Day, international workers’ day, a huge demonstration of between 500,000-1 million people took place in Kathmandu. Called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), people came from all over Nepal to make their voices heard.

It was the largest demonstration since the fall of the centuries-old monarchy and was the culmination of a growing series of mass demonstrations and strikes aimed at restoring civilian supremacy and democracy. Despite right-wing rumours and slanders, the marchers were unarmed and there was no violence.

Statement Bersama untuk Hari Buruh Internasional

Di seluruh dunia kelas buruh mengorganisasikan dirinya. Kami berorganisasi untuk menuntut upah yang layak untuk hidup. Untuk kesehatan dan keselamatan di tempat kerja. Untuk kompensasi dan rehabilitasi. Untuk hak buruh migran dan pengungsi, Untuk hak kewarganegaraan bagi buruh migran dan keluarganya. Untuk hak bekerja berdasarkan prinsip kesetaraan. Kelas buruh berorganisasi melawan deportasi, menentang rasisme, menolak diskriminasi. Kelas buruh berorganisasi menentang perang yang membawa bencana bagi jutaan kelas buruh.

May Day 2010: `Workers will win!'

Graphic by Ashley Cecil.
 

Statements from left organisations around the world to mark international workers' day.

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Joint May Day 2010 statement from Asia

Click here to endorse the joint May Day statement 

All over the world workers are organising ...

We are organising to demand a living wage. For health and safety at work. For compensation and  rehabilitation. For the  rights of migrant workers and refugees, for citizenship rights for migrant workers and their families. For the right to employment on equal terms. Workers are organising against deportations, against racism, against discrimination. Workers are organising against wars that are a disaster to millions of workers.

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?

Why global capitalism is tipping towards collapse, and how we can act for a decent future

"Random events, those happenings that nobody could foresee, always have a huge impact on historical outcomes."

March 15, 2010 -- This is an excerpt from an essay that forms the entire contents of the March 2010 edition of UNITY, Socialist Worker New Zealand's quarterly Marxist journal for grassroots activists. Following editions of the journal will expand on the crises which are converging to tip global capitalism towards collapse. To subscribe to UNITY journal, email Len Parker at office@sworker.pl.net. UNITY is posted to your letterbox four times a year. Price: $25 for NZ subscribers, NZ$40 offshore fastpost. This excerpt has been posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

* * *

By Grant Morgan

Part 1: History lessons

The fable behind the stereotype

Asia-Pacific calls for protests during Obama's visits to Guam, Indonesia and Australia

Statement by the Working Peoples Association (Indonesia), People's Democratic Party (Indonesia), Socialist Alliance (Australia), Socialist Worker (New Zealand), Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines), Solidarity (Australia), Labour Party Pakistan, Socialist Alternative (Australia), Socialist Party of Malaysia and the Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance. Supported by James Petras

[If your organisation would like to add their names to the statement, please email international@prp-indonesia.org.]

March 8, 2010 -- We, the undersigned progressive, anti-war, anti-neoliberalism and anti-imperialist organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, call for a wave protests to meet US President Barack Obama's planned visits to Guam, Indonesia and Australia in March 2010.

Burma: Regional left support for workers’ struggle

February 13, 2010 -- The statement below has been signed by the Working People’s Association (Indonesia); Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance; the Singapore Democratic Party; the Socialist Party of Malaysia; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Socialist Alliance (Australia); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Young Democrats (Singapore); Partido ng Manggangawa (Philippines); Congress of South African Trade Unions; Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippines); World Federation of Trade Unions (Asia Pacific Region); Movement for the Advancement of Student Power (Philippines); Canadian HART; Free Burma Campaign (South Africa).

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, email international@prp-indonesia.org.

* * *

Workers at Burma’s Taiyi shoe factory and Opal 2 garment factory began a strike on February 8, 2010. They are demanding a salary increase, a reduction of working hours and the provision of a clean space for meals.

The strike started in the Mya Fashion garment factory in the No. 3 Factory Zone of Yangon’s Hlaing Thrayar Township.

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: 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.

Statement Bersama: Hormati Hak Asasi Manusia – Bebaskan Para Pengungsi! Tolak “Solusi Indonesia” Buatan Australia!

[Klik di sini untuk artikel-artikel Links dalam Bahasa Indonesia]

Statement Bersama oleh Australian Socialist Alliance; Socialist Party (Australia); Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM); Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Malaysia; CWI Malaysia; Konfederasi Kongres Aliansi Serikat Buruh Indonesia (KASBI); Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja (PRP); Partai Persatuan Pembebasan Nasional (PAPERNAS); Front Nasional Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia (FNPBI); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philipina; Transform Asia, Philipina; Labour Party Pakistan; Resistance (Australia); Militan-Indonesia; Socialist Appeal New Zealand; Partido ng Manggagawa, Philippines; Asia-Pacific Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

5 November 2009 – Penghormatan terhadap Hak Asasi Manusia telah dibuang ke laut oleh pemerintah Australia, Indonesia dan Malaysia ketika mereka menolak gelombang baru pencari suaka Tamil yang melarikan diri menghindari perang dan penindasan di Sri Lanka dan malahan mengancam mereka seperti kriminal.

Joint statement: Respect human rights -- free the refugees! Reject Australia's 'Indonesian solution'! Welcome the asylum seekers

Australian Customs commandos with Oceanic Viking in the background. Photo: ABC.

Joint statement by the Australian Socialist Alliance; Socialist Party (Australia); Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); Network of the Oppressed People (JERIT), Malaysia; CWI Malaysia; Confederation Congress of Indonesian Union Alliance (KASBI); Working Peoples Association (PRP), Indonesia; National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS), Indonesia; Indonesian National Front for Labor Struggle (FNPBI); Socialist Worker New Zealand; Socialist Alternative (Australia); Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines; Transform Asia; Labour Party Pakistan; Resistance (Australia); Militan-Indonesia; Asia-Pacific Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU); Socialist Appeal New Zealand; Partido ng Manggagawa, Philippines; Solidarity (Australia)

System's defenders warn of 'collapse' of global capitalism

By Grant Morgan

October 22, 2009 -- Something molecular is changing in the DNA of capitalism. Look at these three recent quotes:

  • "The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system as we know it today."
  • "Capitalism is near the tipping point, unprepared for a catastrophe, set up for collapse and rapid decline."
  • "There is a high probability of a crisis and collapse by 2012. The 'Great Depression 2' is dead ahead. Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing you can do to hide from this unfolding reality or prevent the rush of the historical imperative."

What's particularly important about these quotes is who made them. Not socialists. No, they were made by ardent, intelligent and reputable defenders of capitalism. For more information, read the MarketWatch essay "America's soul is lost and collapse is inevitable".

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