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Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #26


Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #26, March 12, 2003

Website http://www.gpja.pl.net/ Contact details: Forums John Minto, (09) 8463173 mailto:jbminto@xtra.co.nz; Newsletter Editor Mike Treen 0212547440 / 3763780 mailto:miket@pl.net Web page Geraldine Peters (09) 3570655 mailto:bern@ihug.co.nz Donations can be sent to GPJA, 84 Paice Ave, Sandringham, Auckland. All communication regarding the GPJA mailing list (email or snail) should be addressed to mailto:gpjamailinglist@xtra.co.nz

MASS MOBILISATION PLANNED FOR SATURDAY, MARCH 22 Next weekend may be the last opportunity for the world to say NO to war. In Auckland we will be marching from downtown (corner of Queen and Customs St) besides QE2 Square from 12 noon to go to Myers Park off upper Queen St for a rally with speakers and music.

HOW YOU CAN HELP Pick up posters and leaflets from 84 Paice Sandringham (front porch) to deliver to workmates, neighbours, schools, universities. Ph John 8463173 or email mailto:jbminto@xtra.co.nz

Volunteer to help on the march as a marshal, money collector etc. Contact Brian Ph 3737599 x85745, mailto:vandam@math.auckland.ac.nz

Buy some "Stop the War" badges $2 each, phone Mike Treen 3763780 or email mailto:miket@pl.net

Make a donation: Send to GPJA, 84 Paice Ave, Sandringham, Auckland

Poster available from GPJA website http://gpja.pl.net/sub/Education/Iraq%20Publicity/war%20poster%20gpja%2022-0 3%20dont.pdf

GPJA WEBSITE - HELP NEEDED Urgent Request. People needed to help with the updating of the GPJA website. Please contact Geraldine Peters. Tel 357 0655. mailto:bern@ihug.co.nz

EMERGENCY ANTIWAR RALLY ON THE DAY WAR BREAKS OUT FROM 5PM OUTSIDE THE US CONSULATE, CITIBANK BLDG, 23 CUSTOMS ST If war breaks out before March 22 there will be an emergency protest the same day in addition to the March 22 action.

TRADE UNIONS OPPOSE WAR The Council of Trade Unions, representing 300,000 union members, has resolved to actively oppose war on Iraq. The CTU has called on unions to support and participate in any rallies and community activities against the war. We need our union members to actively oppose this immoral war. If you would like to be kept informed about union antiwar activities contact Luke on 027 2487005 / (09) 3585566 xtn 1 or email mailto:luke.coxon@finsec.org.nz Special leaflets produced by the Auckland CTU available from your union.

NZ GOVERNMENT POSITION

A Labour Party member recently wrote to John Minto to say that GPJA was wrong to make any criticism of the NZ government's position on the US war plans. John responded as follows:

We accept the government does not support the war and that its attitude is materially different to that of Bush, Blair and Howard. However if the New Zealand government is to play a significant role in turning back the war then surely it behoves the Prime Minister to speak out against the war and express these views directly to our "very, very, very, very good friends". But Helen Clark has specifically ruled out any government criticism of the US, UK or Australia even if they go to war unilaterally. She has said she will simply express disappointment that the diplomatic process has failed.

When one looks at the looming catastrophe in Iraq (e.g. 500,000 Iraqi people predicted to be killed or injured according to the UN) this is simply not good enough. Does this amount to any real pressure from our government against this war? The great mass of humanity is strongly opposed to this war and yet our Prime Minister refuses to criticise the warmongers. I hope you would agree that this is not giving "maximised support" for the people of Iraq" as you put it?

At the same time we have a New Zealand frigate escorting American warships and military supply vessels through the straits of Hormuz and thus helping keep the path to war clear for the US. Not only this of course but the presence of this warship frees up another American warship to take a direct role in the US war plans. Is this the action of a government that is opposed to this war? How can this be seen as other than direct strategic support for US invasion plans? It seems the Orion aircraft shortly to be deployed to the war zone is in the same category.

In an allied vein we have just written to Helen Clark concerning the torture and murder of 2 prisoners of war at Bagram airforce base in Afghanistan where New Zealand defence force personnel are stationed. I'll append a copy of the letter for your information and hope you may be able to follow up this issue through Labour Party channels. (See "NZ Antiwar" below)

If people will not join a peace movement against the war in Iraq because they are happy for New Zealand warships to be escorting US warships and munitions into the war zone then that is their view and they are entitled to it. It would be a morally weak movement which turned a blind eye to that. For our part Global Peace and Justice Auckland will continue to speak out for specific government actions such as withdrawing NZ military support for US war plans.

I don't think it's good enough to say that because the US is big and powerful we can't afford to get offside with them. An earlier Labour government passed anti-nuclear legislation, which was anathema to the US, and yet NZ survived and the issue developed into a consensus through the community. In heaven's name why must we now walk on eggshells re the US at a time when the vast majority of people and governments around the world are strongly opposed to war?

I hope you can join the mobilisation on the 22nd March and that Labour Party members will consider more carefully what the government can do to give "maximised support" to the Iraqi people.

Regards, John Minto for the GPJA Committee

Greenpeace who have called on the NZ government to support a "Uniting for Peace" initiative through the United Nations general assembly outlines one step the NZ government could take in the following statement. "If the permanent members of the Security Council cannot agree on measures for the maintenance of international peace and security, the "Uniting for Peace"’ resolution enables the General Assembly to consider the matter immediately. The General Assembly can be convened within 24 hours to consider and recommend, measures to UN members. The resolution has been invoked ten times in the past 50 years." http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0303/S00104.htm

NZ Statement on Iraq to the Security Council "We do not support military action against Iraq without a mandate from the Security Council, and we do not believe that the Council would be justified in giving that mandate at this time. As Dr Blix has stated, the inspection process needs months rather than days." http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0303/S00194.htm

Iraq crisis, the NZ position - Speech by Phil Goff http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0303/S00213.htm

WHAT'S ON IN AUCKLAND

Every Sunday - Silent Peace Vigil, from 9-15am to 9-45am, outside the Quaker Meeting House, 115 Mt Eden Rd. All welcome, for more information telephone the Friends Centre (09) 630 6834.

Saturday, March 15, 7.30pm, Ponsonby Community Centre, 20 Ponsonby Tce. PACIFIC FILM NIGHT - POLLYWOOD SHORTS FUNDRAISER Pacific art and politics will come together in a showcase of Pacific Island film talent and the determined fight for freedom for Pacific journalists. Some of New Zealand's finest young Pacific filmmakers will screen their work at a fundraising venture between the Pacific Island Media Association (PIMA) and the Moving Image Centre. Called POLLYWOOD SHORTS, the night will also provide an opportunity for debate on freedom of the press, an issue which has been brought to the public attention again with the Tongan government's banning of the Tongan newspaper Taimi 'o Tonga.

Kalafi Moala, the South Auckland editor and publisher of the New Zealand-based Taimi 'o Tonga newspaper, will also talk about his experiences over the past 20 years producing an independent newspaper in the Kingdom of Tonga. Moala now produces the weekly paper from his Penrose base and is seeking a judicial review of the recent banning of his newspaper in Tonga by the Tongan government through the Tongan Supreme Court.

Moala, the chairman of the Pacific Island Media Association (PIMA), was last year awarded a Freedom of the Press Award. Stories alleging corruption by Tongan officials and the monarchy led to him being jailed for 26 days in 1996, alongside two other journalists. The jailing forms the basis of his recent book ISLAND KINGDOM STRIKES BACK, which will be available for sale on the night.

The entry fee is $5 and money made from the night will help fund projects for PIMA. For information about POLLYWOOD SHORTS contact: Lito Vilisoni on 373 6570 ext 8937 mailto:lito_vilisoni@wilsonandhorton.co.nz or 025 753 087. Craig Fasi on 360 2502 or 021 217 0878 mailto:craig@MIC.org.nz For information about PIMA contact: Iulia Leilua, PIMA Vice Chairman on (09) 578 1366 or 021 378 639 Angelina Weir, PIMA Secretary on (09) 579 2397

Monday, March 17, 10 am. Meet outside the Mobil on Sandringham Rd, Kingsland. Urgent! Action to support the noho at Ngawha. The picket is to support the ongoing occupation at Ngawha. The occupiers are taking non-violent direct action to stop a prison being built on wahi-tapu, sacred, Nga Puhi land. The prison development is environmentally, spiritually, economically, and socially unsound! Help to stop the prison at Ngawha and come to the picket.

Friday, March 14, 7pm, St Patrick's Cathedral, Wyndham St, City "Peace for Iraq", organised by people in Auckland

Tuesday & Wednesday, March 18/19, Crown Plaza, Auckland GE Free Coalition to picket a "Commercialising Biotechnology" conference. Contact Karyn 3584105 or 025417209 or Steve Abel at Greenpeace 6306317 ext 308

Wednesday, March 19, 9am to 4-30pm, OMAC Centre, Bairds Rd, Otara Shopping Centre, Manukau City. 'Gambling Away Our Future?' The Community Gambling Issues Conference - a one-day conference on gambling issues, targeting people and groups active in communities around NZ on gambling issues. Free entry, includes lunch, organised by Gambling Watch (NZ Coalition for Gambling Reform, Inc) with support from the Problem Gambling Foundation and the JR McKenzie Trust. For more info contact Dave Macpherson tel 021 477 388 or email mailto:gamblingwatch@xtra.co.nz

Saturday, March 22, 12 noon, QE2 Square, downtown Auckland Mass mobilisation against the war

Sunday, March 23, 7pm, St Columba's Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby 'Celebrating the life of Oscar Romero', the Archbishop of El Salvador assassinated on 24 March 1980 because of his work against military repression and for the oppressed poor, with Father Bernard Dennehy speaking on 'The Liberation Church of Latin America' at 7pm, and screening of 'Romero' (101 minutes) at 7-30pm, followed by supper. All welcome. Organised by Pax Christi Aotearoa-NZ, for more info contact tel (09) 360 3035 or email mailto:paxnz@xtra.co.nz

Monday, March 24, 7.00pm, Friends Meeting House, 113 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden Forum with Sue Rhodes who has spent the last six months in Hebron, Palestine, as part of the Christian Peacemakers Team.

Saturday, March 29, 9.30am-4.30pm, Auckland Women's Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn. Women Organising to Action. Got an issue? Wondering how to get others active in your community group or on your worksite? This course will share some trade union strategies for analysing issues, developing your networks, keeping people involved in your group and building towards group action. If you are currently active in a community group, wanting to start one, or want to know how to identify people who will join your struggle and keep them involved, this course is for you! Suitable for community activists and union members and delegates. Bookings essential. Contact Leonie Morris, Community Projects Coordinator, Auckland Women's Centre, ph (09) 376 3227, fax (09) 376 1817, direct line (09) 378 6183, mailto:projects@womenz.org.nz website: http://www.womenz.org.nz

Sunday, April 6, 7pm, St Benedicts Church, Newton. "40 minutes for Peace", organised by Women's Resource Centre

Monday, April 7, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn GPJA forum with special guest Sue Rhodes who has spent the last six months in Hebron, Palestine, as part of the Christian Peacemakers Team.

Friday, May 2, Freyberg Square, High St, Central City 2002 ROGER AWARD PRESENTATION Two Christchurch-based groups (CAFCA and GATT Watchdog), which organise the annual Roger Award, say that TNCs are the real "government" of New Zealand; the public were invited to nominate the worst of 2002. The six finalists are: Tranz Rail; Novartis; Carter Holt Harvey; Shell; Telecom and Sky City. The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational that has the most negative impact in New Zealand in each or all of the following fields: unemployment, monopoly, profiteering, abuse of workers/conditions, political interference/running an ideological crusade, environmental damage, cultural imperialism, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, health and safety of workers and the public. The judges: Sukhi Turner, Mayor of Dunedin; Dr Ranginui Walker, Emeritus Professor at Auckland University, Prue Hyman, academic and feminist, of Victoria University; and John Minto, National Chairperson of QPEC (Quality Public Education Coalition) and community activist. For more information on the awards ceremony contact the Roger Award organisers: mailto:g.baxter@auckland.ac.nz Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand mailto:cafca@chch.planet.org.nz http://www.cafca.org.nz

Friday May 16, Venue to be announced. "I'm currently organising in conjunction with Performing Artists For Peace Association a Full Moon Dance For Peace event celebrating life, unity and peace on the 16th of May at a venue yet to be confirmed. It will be a chance for people to make a stand for peace while experiencing other forms of dance and acknowledging our creator and Mother Earth." Helpers, leaders, performers or supporters inspired by a stand for peace please contact Clancy at mailto:clancycroft@hotmail.com or 021 452177.

NZ ANTIWAR Medical supplies for Iraq - Quaker Peace and Service Aotearoa/NZ are once more raising money to buy medical supplies for Iraq. These will be used to support the US-based NGO, LIFE for Relief and Development, mainly in their cancer relief projects, and the Rome-based NGO, Bridge to Baghdad's Sinbad Primary Health Care Clinic in Basra. Cheques can be made out to Quaker Peace and Service and sent to QPS, 7 Moncrieff St., Wellington; credit card donations can be made by email - for more info about that, or about 'Medical supplies for Iraq', please contact Tony Maturin or Sandra Jones tel (04) 389-4715 or email mailto:hoggard@top.net.nz

Letter from GPJA to Helen Clark "Did NZ troops participate in torture" http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0303/S00073.htm America admits suspects died in interrogations http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=384604 Afghan prisoners beaten to death at US military interrogation base http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,909164,00.html

Howard visit: Grandmother weeps as PM's tuck in http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2321248a10,00.html Images from Wellington protest http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0303/S00058.htm Howard a puppet of the US – Greenpeace http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0303/S00066.htm Howard criticised by Bali victim families for war link http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/10/1047144923204.html

NZ Church leaders pray for peace initiative http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0303/S00085.htm

Photos taken by Christiaan Briggs until recently a "human shield" in Iraq. Christian hopes to return to Iraq soon as a relief worker http://www.tntmagazine.com/humanshield/

INTERNATIONAL ANTIWAR

Beastie Boys release antiwar song "Now how many people must get killed?" begins the latest antiwar refrain from the pop world. "For oil families' pockets to get filled?" The song is "In a World Gone Mad," which was released yesterday with no advance fanfare by the Beastie Boys. Though not commercially available as a single, the song is available free at the Beastie Boys Web site (www.beastieboys.com) and is being distributed to disc jockeys, who were unaware of it until they began receiving copies yesterday." http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/12/arts/music/12POPL.html http://www.beastieboys.com/stream.m3u

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) re-releases "Peace Train" http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/articlepeacetrain.htm

Say No to War, New York Times editorial NYT has been one of Bush's cheerleaders. This represents a shift in editorial policy reflecting nervousness among some sectors of elite opinion in the US http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/09/opinion/09SUN1.html?th

Not In Our name Mr Blair, Independent editorial http://argument.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/story.jsp?story=385308

A coalition of the willing? Make that war criminals A pre-emptive strike on Iraq would constitute a crime against humanity, write 43 experts on international law and human rights. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/25/1046064028608.html A series of links to stories concerning the progress of a US First Circuit Court of Appeals case seeking to restrain the US Administration from going to war in Iraq. In the latest development the court has surprisingly moved to hear the case. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0303/S00084.htm

Resisting pre-emptive strike – Fidel Castro http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0303/S00082.htm

Only in America, Norman Mailer http://www.nybooks.com/articles/16166

US War plans are not helped by Blix, by Robert Fisk http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=384956

A UN resolution for Peace from the General assembly? http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15325

A wilful blindness: Why can't liberal interventionists see that Iraq is part of a bid to cement US global power? George Monbiot http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4622463,00.html

30 years of US vetoes at the UN – recognise the pattern? http://www.melbourne.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=43361&group=webcast

US WAR ON FREEDOM

5 Cuban prisoners placed in solitary confinement in US for opposing terrorism http://www.antiterroristas.cu/

Guantanamo detainees in legal black hole http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0303/S00181.htm

Right takes centre stage: Brian Whitaker looks at the influence of rightwing theorists on US policy in the Middle East http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,907312,00.html

Negroponte (US ambassador to UN) knows a lie when he hears one http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal-pe.column02mar02,0,4600392.stor y?coll=bal%2Doped%2Dheadlines

The vultures gather: US firms bid for work in Iraq http://quicksitebuilder.cnet.com/supfacts/id158.html

IRAQ WAR

Iraqis "smoking gun" made from duct tape http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/03/12/drone/index.html

"Liberating" the Mideast, why do we never learn? Robert Fisk http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=23504

West's failure to donate humanitarian aid threatens catastrophe http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,910816,00.html

Allied bombs threaten a new generation of children with trauma, disease and death. "Pentagon plans which have appeared in the Western media are now the subject of anxious discussion among Iraqis – 3,000 Tomahawk missiles in 48 hours for Baghdad alone; Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace and power base, to be razed; six kilos of ordnance for every Iraqi ... There will be very little by way of return fire." http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=385533

Brits built Iraq plant cited by Powell http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,908426,00.html

Independent Iraqi's oppose Bush's war http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,907781,00.html

Plan for war against Iraq developed in 1998 by rightwing think tank http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/DailyNews/pnac_030310.html

KOREA NEXT TARGET?

Bush says military force against North Korea an option http://www.sunspot.net/bal-te.diplomacy04mar04,0,7132889.story?coll=bal-home -headlines

PALESTINE

In Palestine, the failure of the peace process, and Israel's destruction of the economy have had the effect of a terrible natural disaster http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,907727,00.html

US media ignores Sharon's embrace of ethnic cleanses in Israeli cabinet http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1209.shtml

AUSTRALIA AND PACIFIC

Australia so close yet so far from pacific island neighbours http://www.thepaper.org.au/issues/043/043australia_close_yet_far_from_pacifi c_island_neighbours.html

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