The new (somewhat delayed) issue of 'revolution' will be out at the end of this week. It is packed full of antiwar articles, analysing what the US is up to, inter-imperialist rivalry that explains the position taken by Germany and France, the effects of sanctions on Iraq and much more.
There is also an analysis of how and why NZ is a junior imperialist and not, as some on the left claim, a 'neo-colony'. This issue also features a major article on how social/political disengagement has been a major feature of NZ society over the last decade. There is a centrespread on the first year of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance, pieces on Joe Strummer, the end of Rage Against the Machine, a review of a new book on the IRA, and a bit of humour on the back page.
The mag is available in the usual outlets, but the best way to ensure you get copy is to take out a subscription - this also helps us as a subscription base is crucial for the magazine's financial viability. Subs are only $22 and this means you get six issues (18 months) mailed directly to you. Within NZ, subs are only $22. For overseas rates, check out the website at http://www.revolution.org.nz
Campus club This year, we have started up an Anti-Capitalist Alliance club on campus. So far, we've signed up about 25 people to the campus club and/or the ACA nationally from tables at Canterbury University. To join the campus club costs $5, and includes membership of the ACA nationally. Anyone can join the club, but anyone on our e-list who is a student at Canterbury is especially encouraged to join.
We intend to substantially increase our activities and impact on campus this year. Speaking of which. . . Campus anti-war forum The first meeting of the campus ACA club is an antiwar forum. It is on at 12noon, this coming Friday (March 14), in the International Room of the students association building (upstairs, at end of corridor on the right of the Shelly Common Room). There will be speakers from the Mosque, the Middle east Information and Solidarity Collective and the ACA. We are hoping for a big turnout, so come along and join us. Also please pass on information about this meeting to anyone/everyone you think might be interested.
March 14 antiwar demo We plan to have an ACA contingent on this march, with our own banners, placards and flags. We are asking all ACA members and supporters to march in this contingent. We'll be selling 'revolution' and the 'Spark' as the march is assembling and then forming up the ACA contingent. People will be advised in the next couple of days where the ACA contingent will be forming up as the march gets ready.
Taking the message to the working class The ACA nationally now has a number of workplace bulletins, mainly directed at manual/blue-collar workers, but also a teacher's bulletin. Each issue of each workplace bulletin has antiwar articles. In Wellington, we have also succeeded in getting an antiwar motion through a teachers' union branch and discussed at the regional PPTA. Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing joint ACA-Middle East Collective meetings directed at the working class in various parts of Christchurch. Come and get involved in helping organise these meetings.
International Women's Day In Auckland the ACA has been especially active in resuscitating International Women's Day and making it a day, as it was originally, of celebrating working class struggles for women's rights. The March 8 IWD demo in Auckland at the weekend focussed on an antiwar message and the march drew 700 people. It was the biggest and most militant IWD march in NZ in many years and participants were actually inspired by the event.
Daphna Whitmore of the ACA, and one of the leading IWD organisers, addressed the march with a strong anti-imperialist and working class message. Daphna was also interviewed on national radio.
Elsewhere in the country, there were no IWD activities, or none of any significance. The feminists have largely killed off IWD, certainly as any kind of day for working class women. In recent years, feminist 'celebrations' of this working class women's day have been increasingly banal and insulting to working class women and the original meaning of the day.
Around the country, the ACA wants to begin to re-establish this day, and do so in the spirit it was founded. IWD originated out of the struggles by working class women, led by Marxists and class-struggle anarchists, and had nothing at all to do with middle class feminism. In fact, it was originally called International Working Women's day. In the 1970s, feminists in the First World more or less took possession of the day and carefully erased its class content, making it a day for middle and upper class women to demand more of the pie their male counterparts had stolen off working class women and men.
Rather than celebrate the achievements of women in business and the professions, or sit around in playgroups discussing how to make things out of placenta material (one of the activities during one of the final attempts of Christchurch feminists to keep IWD going several years ago), we want to make IWD a day of recognition of the struggles of the working class (including working class men) for working class women's rights and for the class struggle overall.
In Christchurch the ACA will be looking at organising to ensure there is an IWD activity in this city next year - an activity that welcomes working class women and men to celebrate working class struggles, especially working class women's struggles. Anyone, female or male, who wants to help organise along these lines should get in touch.
Easter Conference Lastly, everyone should make note of Christchurch ACA's educational conference at Easter. We'll be looking at NZ and global politics, plus have a whole day devoted to imperialism (and how to fight against it).
Philip Ferguson for Christchurch ACA and *revolution*