Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #33
Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #33, April 29, 2003
Website http://www.gpja.pl.net/ Contact details: Forums - John Minto, (09) 8463173 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org; Newsletter Editor - Mike Treen 0212547440 / 3616989 mailto:email@example.com Web page - Geraldine Peters (09) 3570655 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Donations can be sent to GPJA, Private Bag 68905, Newton, Auckland. All communication regarding the GPJA mailing list (email or snail) should be addressed to mailto:email@example.com
This week we have several important events including the May Day march on Thursday and Roger Awards on Friday to participate in. I have included a special commentary by Auckland writer Dean Parker at the end of the newsletter. It deals with the discovery that the British occupation forces in Northern Ireland were operating a death squad targeting republican opponents. This extraordinary official confirmation by a senior British police officer has received little media coverage and deserves wider attention. Check the films on from May 3 at the Academy re Kissinger, Chomsky, and 9-11, and Scott Ritter. Note change of venue for Mayfest on May 3.
NB NEXT GPJA FORUM THIS MONDAY MAY 5 WITH GUEST SPEAKER MURRAY HORTON.
GPJA PRESS STATEMENTS
New Zealanders Duped in Propaganda Coup - Apology Due http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0304/S00127.htm
NZ military shouldn't be involved in Iraq during occupation http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0304/S00135.htm
WHAT'S ON IN AUCKLAND
Until May 17, North Art Community Arts Centre, Northcote Shopping Centre, Northcote 'A Portrait of East Timor' - photographic exhibition by Gerald Lopez. It portrays, first hand, stories of the lifestyle of the East Timorese and the ways in which the people are rebuilding their lives following the devastation of the Indonesian occupation of their country. . Thursday, May 1, 5.00pm, QE2 Square, Customs St, Downtown MAY DAY march to Aotea Square. International Workers' Day Auckland Rally - Oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq - Oppose job casualisation - Support higher benefits; 5pm at Downtown Queen St for open mike session, 5-30pm march to Aotea Square for official speakers. For more info contact Daphna tel 021 037 4544 or Garry 021 326 261.
Friday, May 2, 5.30pm, Freyberg Square, High St, Auckland City 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 criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational that has the most negative impact in New Zealand. Music and revelry preceding the awards begin at 5.30pm. For more information on the awards ceremony contact the Roger Award organisers: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org CAFCA-Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand mailto:email@example.com www.cafca.org.nz
Saturday, May 3, 12noon-6pm, Hayman Park, Manukau City. MAYFEST 2003. Workers and Youth united against war. Free concert, song, dance theatre, Hip Hop, Rap, Reggae and more. Hot food stalls, information stalls. Contact Jean at 2684364 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 3, 7.30pm, Titirangi War Memorial Hall, Sth Titirangi Rd (beside Library). WAITAKERE PEACE CONCERT. Featuring Kurdish musicians from Iraq and the very best of West Auckland's songwriters and musicians. Live music, dance, food and drinks, peace in the community. $15 waged, $10 unwaged and family concessions. For tickets and more details contact Laurie Ross 8118696 or David Lynman 8178338. Tickets also from Titirangi Pharmacy. Presented by Free Spirit Peace Productions.
Saturday, May 3, 1-4pm, Old Government House Lecture Theatre, Auckland University The Invasion of Iraq: 'Justified War'? A seminar looking at the many issues and questions raised by this war: the history leading to this invasion: why now? Is this a 'legal' war? The role of the UN in the lead-up to the war; half-truths and media spin: whom do you believe? The role of the USA in Iraq: now and in the future; what is Washington's agenda for the Middle East in the years to come? With presenters: Steve Hoadley, Associate Professor in Political Studies at The University of Auckland; Heval Hylan, former Iraqi citizen, military conscript and lawyer; and David Robie, Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the Auckland University of Technology and co-convenor of Pacific Media Watch. There will be an opportunity at the conclusion of the seminar for open and vigorous debate chaired by Joe Atkinson, Deputy Head of Department, Political Studies, The University of Auckland. Corner Waterloo Quadrant and Princes Street; entry fee $15 ($10 unwaged, UOA staff). Pre-enrolment is essential, for more information, including how to enrol for this Course G1.920, please contact Continuing Education, tel (09) 373 7599 x87831 or x87832 or email mailto:email@example.com
May 3 to 19, The Academy Theatre, The upcoming World Cinema Showcase has some films that might be of interest to you THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER The Academy - Sat 3 May at 12:45pm, Sat 3 May at 4:40pm, Sun 4 May at 12pm, Tues 6 May at 6:30pm POWER AND TERROR: NOAM CHOMSKY IN OUR TIMES The Academy - Thurs 8 May at 10am, Sat 10 May at 1:15pm, Sat 10 May at 4:45pm, Sun 11 May at 1pm 11/09/01 - 11 SHORT FILMS BY 11 DIRECTORS ON THE IMPACT OF SEPTEMBER 11 The Academy - Thurs 15 May at 8:15pm, Fri 16 May at 1:30pm, Sun 18 May at 8:15pm, Mon 19 May at 11:15am IN SHIFTING SANDS - DOCUMENTARY BY SCOTT RITTER ON IRAQ The Academy, Thursday May 15 10am, Saturday May 17 4.15pm, Sunday May 18 12.15pm, Monday May 19 8.15pm
Monday, May 5, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn GPJA Forum with Murray Horton, Anti-bases Campaign and CAFCA.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 452177.
Sunday, May 18, 1.30pm, St Mathew-in-the-City Anglican Church A team of top-billing Kiwi and international performing artists are joining forces with AINZ to stage the first Artists for Amnesty International Human rights benefit concert. The concert will promote the message that 'no peace is possible without human rights' and raise urgently needed funds for Amnesty International's worldwide human rights campaigning. Featuring Jackie Clarke, Miranda Adams, Jonathan Besser With Ensemble Philharmonia, Vivo, Bravura, Tango Tiempo Dancers & more! Tickets: $30 adult; $20 student/concessions; Children under 12 FREE. Available at Ticketek (from 20 April) or at the church door from 12.30pm. All proceeds to Amnesty International. An Artists for Amnesty International event. For more information contact: mailto:email@example.com
Thursday, May 22, 7.30pm, St Columbus Church, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby Public meeting with Fatima Mahfoud, a representative of the Polisario Front, which leads the struggle for independence of the people of the Western Sahara from Moroccan occupation. She is also a representative of the National Union of Sahrawi Women, and has recently been working representing the Sahrawi independence struggle and National Union of Sahrawi Women in Europe. Before that she worked in the refugee camps where many Sahrawi people live in western Algeria. She in fluent in English. Contact Felicity Coggan, Ph 5795707, email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, May 22nd, 6.30pm, Romford's, Tamaki Drive The Peace Foundation's Bid for Peace Celebrity dinner and auction. MCs Craig Parker and Elizabeth McRae. Tickets $58 includes pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, dinner, wine, door prizes etc.
Tuesday, May 27, 7.30pm, St Columbus Church, 44 Vermont St, Ponsonby Human Rights Network Public Forum: World Trade Organisation and General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO and GATS). Who needs them? And why? A chance to explore GATS' ramifications for all NZers. Contacts for HRN: Nola Harvey mailto:email@example.com Ph: 623 8899 Xt: 8455 or Joan Hardiman mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 377 5541 A koha would be welcome to defray expenses.
Every Saturday - picket at 12 noon, outside the US Consulate, Citibank Building, Customs St East. Because the US is still occupying Iraq and killing Iraqis. Organised by Direct Anti War Action, for more info contact email mailto:email@example.com
NATIONAL PEACE WORKSHOPS 2003 - MAY 9-11 The National Peace Workshops 2003 are being hosted by Peace Action Network Otautahi, in association with Peace Movement Aotearoa, from Friday 9 May to Sunday 11 May 2003 in Christchurch. The programme general information and registration form are available on-line at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/npw03.htm Since the last National Peace Workshops, a number of new peace and anti-war groups, coalitions and local networks have formed. This will be the first national meeting to bring together people from established peace and social justice groups with those from the groups which formed after 11 September 2001. These National Peace Workshops are non-residential, but there are some billets available. If you wish to be billeted, please register as soon as possible. If you have any general enquiries, please contact Peace Movement Aotearoa email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN THE SECOND GULF WAR An Address By Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson At St Andrew's On The Terrace - Tuesday, 29 April 2003 http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00223.htm
Revealed: How the road to war was paved with lies http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=400805
The war has not ended: in the aftermath of the Iraq conflict, the world's media have focused on the plight of Ali Ismail Abbas, who lost his arms to American bombs; but he is by no means the only victim http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=399791
UN heads for new rift over Iraq: The Bush administration is preparing a draft security council resolution that would reduce the United Nations to a marginal role advising the US on running Iraq http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,943955,00.html
American to oversee Iraq oil industry http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,11319,943952,00.html
Scientists urge shell clear up to protect civilians. Royal Society spells out dangers of depleted uranium. Hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium used by Britain and the United States in Iraq should be removed to protect the civilian population, the Royal Society said yesterday, contradicting Pentagon claims it was not necessary. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,938336,00.html
This occupation is a disaster. The US must leave - and fast. Any gratitude for the removal of Saddam is now virtually exhausted http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/voices/story/0,12820,940520,00.html
John Pilger: Something deeply corrupt is consuming journalism. A war so one-sided it was hardly a war was reported like a Formula One race, as the teams sped to the chequered flag in Baghdad http://www.johnpilger.com/print/132939
John Pilger: The unthinkable is becoming normal http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=398722
US wants permanent access to military bases in Iraq http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=399021
Embedded photographer: I saw marines kill civilians http://www.counterpunch.org/guerrin04162003.html
Many Iraqi's turn anger towards US http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030417/ap_on_re_mi_ea/war_anti_americanism&cid=540&ncid=1480
In bombed neighbourhoods "everyone wants to kill Americans" http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/5640621.htm
Robert Fisk: For the people on the streets, this is not liberation but a new colonial oppression America's war of 'liberation' may be over. But Iraq's war of liberation from the Americans is just about to begin http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=397925
US said to "care more for Iraqi oil than its people" http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=397930
UNICEF staff in Baghdad warn that humanitarian situation is "horrible" http://www.unicef.org/noteworthy/iraq/today/17april2003.html
'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...' Transcript of the speech given by actor Tim Robbins to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0304/S00179.htm
Road map to nowhere Ariel Sharon is promising a new peace initiative, but it won't succeed without regime change in Israel http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/comment/0,10551,936320,00.html
Israel mounts biggest incursion into Gaza since Intifada http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=399032
Israel's secret weapons programme http://www.msnbc.com/news/wld/graphics/strategic_israel_dw.htm
Children held at Gauntanamo http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4653978,00.html
George Galloway: I'm a victim of the war against the Iraqi people - I've never personally benefited from my work on Iraq; I have given my political life's blood to this fight http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=399799
COMMENTARY: STATE TERRORISM IN NORTHERN IRELAND
Article 17 of the United Nations (who?) Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers states, "Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities." Seems a fair enough sentiment, especially if you're a lawyer.
As a principle, it was quoted in a letter from the New Zealand Law Society to Tony Blair, British Prime Minister, in April 1999. The Law Society, prompted by the group Information On Ireland and some concerned lawyers, was calling for an independent and impartial inquiry into the death of a civil rights solicitor in Northern Ireland. Rosemary Nelson had been murdered the previous month in a car bomb attack at her home in Lurgan, Co Armagh. The killing had been preceded by threats against her by members of the Northern Ireland police, the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
There was an enquiry, though conducted largely by the RUC. No one was charged. The following year, the Law Society wrote again. Some time later two men were arrested. And then promptly released.
Nothing ever came of that campaign over Rosemary Nelson, the murdered civil rights solicitor from Lurgan. But now we can guess what happened. Now we have an official report on the way the security forces of Northern Ireland treated those who questioned the nature of Britain's sectarian colony.
According to this report, by Britain's most senior policeman, Sir John Stevens, British army intelligence operatives, together with Northern Ireland police officers, deliberately helped pro-British loyalist paramilitary groups murder Irish republicans. Among those murdered was Pat Finucane, a lawyer who had represented republicans detained by the army and the police and who was shot dead by loyalist paramilitaries in front of his family in his north Belfast home in 1989.
The British Army had its own men inside the loyalist paramilitaries, the Ulster Defence Association.
One of them was Brian Nelson, an enthusiastic gunrunner for the loyalists, who could draw on his sources in British intelligence and pass on the names and addresses of known republican activists to the UDA. He scouted Pat Finucane's house before the killing and passed on a photograph of the lawyer to his loyalist accomplices.
Another British agent was William Stobie, a UDA quartermaster, who told his British handlers that Finucane was going to be murdered. No attempt was made to halt the killing.
In fact, there are those in Belfast who say the latest confirmations help explain how Pat Finucane's killers moved so easily through British patrol units on the night of the murder.
Stevens said his investigations - which he said were blatantly hampered to the extent of an arson attack which burnt down his office in Belfast – had pursued allegations that senior Belfast police officers had briefed British Home Office minister Douglas Hogg that some solicitors were "unduly sympathetic" to the IRA cause. Hogg extraordinarily repeated this view in the British House of Commons, weeks before the killing of Pat Finucane. As well, in an interview in the London Daily Telegraph, May 1999, the former Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary claimed Finucane was known by police "to associate with members of the IRA". Presumably, this is why he was killed. And why Rosemary Nelson was.
The only people ever charged over the Finucane murder have been potential witnesses for the prosecution: a former member of the security apparatus charged with breaking state secrets and an investigative journalist for refusing to disclose sources.
According to an editorial in the London Guardian, April 18, "The Stevens Report is one of the most shocking commentaries on British institutions ever published. (It) tells a shameful story of state sanctioned murder, collusion and obstruction more commonly associated with South American dictatorships than with western parliamentary democracies."
A columnist in the same paper went further. Deborah Orr wrote, "The depravity, evil and corruption outlined by Sir John Stevens is unbearably shocking, chilling and vile."
"It is sobering to look at this emerging story of something uncomfortably close to British state-sponsored terrorism, and see confirmation that some of the most awful allegations made against Ulster and Britain by the republicans [and, one could add, by those who patiently and stubbornly stood outside the British Consulate in Queen St at lunchtimes, handing out leaflets] had very much more than a slender basis in truth."
"Now, as the West is being is being asked by its various governments to surrender its civil liberties as part of the war against terrorism, it is timely to remind those who believe this to be a small price to pay, that the price is not always small. When the state itself cannot be trusted to uphold civil liberties, then the population cannot afford to surrender a single one of them."
Stevens' report, which in its fuller, unpublished version deals with many more killings, has been sent to the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions. It is said that something like 20 key people have been named as culpable.
However the DPP is notorious for not pursuing cases against Britain's security forces. And the truth is that the whole British war machine and its colonial police force in Northern Ireland should be standing in the dock.
A final note. The head of the British army intelligence unit that sanctioned the murder of Pat Finucane was one Colonel, now Brigadier, Gordon Kerr. Where is he now? He was sent to the Middle East in February of this year to head the military intelligence wing of yet another British occupation army.