Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #34
Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #34, May 13, 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
EMERGENCY PICKET OF ROYAL NAVY FRIGATE HMS MARLBOROUGH SUNDAY, 9.30 AM, PRINCES WHARF.
The HMS Marlborough is a British warship that took part in the invasion of Iraq. According to a press statement by the NZ Defence Force the Marlborough 'led a force of four ships, including HMAS ANZAC' that 'provided Naval Gunfire support to UK Commandos securing oil installations on the Al Faw peninsula.' The NZ Defence Force press statement repeats the lying propaganda that this action was 'to liberate Iraq and secure Weapons of mass destruction.' It further quotes the lies of Commanding Officer, Mark Anderson, who claims that the naval operation was 'clearing the way for vital humanitarian aid to enter the country bringing much needed relief to the people of Iraq'! The frigate is on its way to join ships from the NZ, Australian, Singaporean and Malaysian navies in a Five Power Defence Agreement exercise in Malaysia. The Marlborough is being opened to the public from 10am to 3pm.
The true nature of the disaster inflicted on the Iraqi people continues to be revealed. Opposition to the occupation has led to massive protests and rallies across the country. Attempts to put Ba'athist officials and corrupt businessmen in charge of Iraq have also led to protests. The US has done virtually nothing to restore basic services and disease is spreading due to the lack of clean water. Relief supplies have been disrupted. Starvation threatens. The hunt for the mythical weapons of mass destruction’ is being abandoned. We also learn that stockpiles of nuclear material under UN safeguards before the war was left without protection for weeks and the premises have been looted. This endangers local people as well a putting deadly material into the open market.
The US/UK are seeking some form of UN cover for their occupation so they can get their hands on the money in the oil-for-food programme run by the UN. This has produced another Cabinet resignation in the UK and resistance from France, Germany and Russia who fear being frozen out of the lucrative oil and reconstruction contracts. The NZ government has offered minesweepers and possibly other forces if there 'is some kind of international cover.' The cynical willingness to provide post facto support to an illegal and immoral occupation must be opposed. A statement is being circulated by Focus on the Global South (an NGO based in the Philippines) in response to these events and is copied below. The government has also sent an Orion aircraft to support US-led operations in the Gulf but is keeping its base of operations secret. See: http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0305/S00046.htm and http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR6283.html
GPJA participated in a National Peace Workshop in Christchurch last weekend and plans being implemented to improve national coordination. The first suggestion is a national day of action on July 4 (US Independence Day) on the theme of 'Occupation is not liberation -Independence for Iraq - US troops Out Now'.
A student or researcher interested in analysing news media coverage of the war is needed. We would like to prepare a critique to submit to the various media for their reaction. We have video footage of TV coverage that needs analysing as part of this work. Contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
GPJA encourages helpers to come to its open committee meetings. The next one is this Sunday, 12.30pm (after the picket), ground floor, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn.
Our next forum on Monday, June 2, will be on the media with special guests including David Robie, senior lecturer in journalism at AUT.
REQUESTS FOR SUPPORT
HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY IN IRAQ - Christian World Service, together with its partners in Iraq and the Middle East, has launched an appeal for the millions of Iraqi people suffering in the wake of the US led invasion - "this appeal is for the distribution of food, medicines, water and water purification equipment, first aid kits, stoves/heaters, blankets, tents, sanitation packs, and school kits for children ... The first priority is to help those most immediately affected by the war to sustain life, reduce suffering and prevent disease and where they have to leave their homes, make sure the communities they go to are not overburdened. We also need to offer long term development support as the people and country try to recover and rebuild from the devastation of this war". CWS works with partner groups in Iraq, and funds raised go directly to the people who need it quickly and effectively. Donations can be made by ringing 0800 74 73 72 or on-line at https://secure.godzone.net.nz/CWS/donations/ProcessDonation.cgi
Hi All, I've had a request from CONOR TWYFORD who has done sterling work for the Small Arms network. She is currently in Vanuatu and working to assist the local people there. One of the major needs is for computers and this is an appeal to see if there is anybody out there who is able to gather together some older computers with the necessary keyboards, hard drives etc. If you are able to assist please contact Conor directly at mailto:email@example.com Marion Hancock, Peace Foundation Phone/fax +64 9 473 5025 (home) Phone +64 9 373 2379 (wk) +64 9 379 2668 fax Address: Peace Foundation, Box 4110, Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand http://www.peace.net.nz
Support OPTION 2 Fully rates funded water for Waitakere City Waitakere City Council are for the first time reviewing the system for water funding through the Long Term Council Community Plan 2003. CAP urges you to write a submission in support of Option 2: Fully Rates Funded. Email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org before the 23rd May 2003. For further information contact Citizens Against Privatisation Unit 3-14 Roberts Rd, Te Atatu Sth, Waitakere City. Ph 09 8366 389 email mailto:email@example.com
BOYCOTT CAMPAIGN grows, and goes global. We are now 2 websites here in Aotearoa/New Zealand http://www.spendforpeace.co.nz has been joined by a Wellington site developed by Sharyn Clarkson, http://www.stopusa.org The new site is an excellent source of boycott news, brands information, links, etc. And the boycott is now global. Many countries have developed their own campaigns, tailored to their unique situations, and we are in a coalition together, Global Boycott for Peace, website http://www.globalboycottforpeace.org Leaflets, sample letters to corporations and retailers, posters are also available. What happens now? That depends on all of us. We can work together, in groups or as individuals, to curb U.S. aggression. The boycott campaigns need people. Many, many of you good people are boycotting already, marching, writing letters-please join up with us. No meetings, no dues. Just contact us, from the websites or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org tell us who and where you are, and we can put you in touch with each other.
It's a three-peat! Tranz Rail winner of the ROGER AWARD for the worst transnational corporation in New Zealand in 2002. Novartis: special spin award. Carter Holt Harvey: continuity award. The government: collaboration award. The full Judges’ Report is available at http://www.cafca.org.nz
It is now three years since the death of STEVEN WALLACE, shot and killed by a police officer in Waitara on 30 April 2000. The summary of the story of the continuing search for justice by his family and friends, and the official response to it, is now available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/waitara24.htm
AMNINA LAWAL SET TO BE STONED ON 3RD JUNE. The Nigerian Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for Amina Lawal, condemned for the crime of adultery on August 19th 2002, to be buried up to her neck and stoned to death. Her death was postponed so that she could continue to nurse her baby. Execution is now set for June 3rd. If you haven't been following this case, you might like to know that Amina's baby is regarded as the 'evidence' of her adultery. The father denied everything when he realised the trouble he was in. To find out more about sharia law, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/theissues/article/0,6512,777972,00.html Amina's case is being handled by the Spanish branch of Amnesty International, which is attempting to put together enough signatures to make the Nigerian government rescind the death sentence. A similar campaign saved another Nigerian woman, Safiya, condemned in similar circumstances. By March 4th the petition had amassed over 2,600,000 signatures. It will only take you a few seconds to sign Amnesty's online petition. Go to the web page http://www.amnistiaporsafiya.org/
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.
May 3 to 19, The Academy Theatre, "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
Thursday, May 15, 7.30pm, Supper Room, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn. John Minto speaking on the General Agreement on Trade and Services (the latest attempt at a MAI-type agreement) followed by questions and discussion. Accompanied by tea, coffee and biscuits. Donations to cover costs accepted. Organised by Epsom-Tamaki Alliance branch, contact Julie for more info mailto:email@example.com phone 09 620 9256
Thursday, May 15, 1pm, Auckland University Clubspace A and 7.30pm, Auditorium, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn Journey through Nepal's Red Zone. Jared Phillips has just returned from a month in Nepal's liberated Red Zone. Only a handful of Westerners have entered the liberated areas. Much of the countryside is in the hands of a revolutionary movement that has transformed the old feudal society. Hear about the remarkable communist-led women's movement, the new agriculture, the literacy campaigns and much more. Don't miss this fascinating first-hand account
Friday, May 16, 7-30am to 8-45am, Old Government House, Waterloo Quadrant. 'Crumbs or Commitment: what's on the menu for children?' a post-budget breakfast - carve up your breakfast while sharp-witted speakers dissect the 2003 government budget; incisive commentary with Maori perspectives on child health, education, family support and housing. Presented by the Child Poverty Action Group, in association with the University of Auckland Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care and the Institute of Public Policy. Tickets $20, please RSVP to email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. Send cheques to CPAG, PO Box 56-150, Mt Eden, Auckland - tickets and receipts will be available at the breakfast.
Saturday, May 17, 11am-12pm, Regatta Room A, Hyatt Regency Agitating or Reporting: Presenting Dilemma. Controversial journalist and writer Nicky Hager has tackled subjects such as genetic engineering, most famously with the release of his book Seeds of Distrust just before the last election. Novelist and political activist Mike Johnson's Lethal Dose portrays the disastrous effects of a popular herbicide. Australian David Leser (Somebody Save Me) has explored his country's treatment of boat people, the politics of heroin, and hot spots Bali and Tibet. In a pervasively right-wing media environment, Hager, Johnson and Leser talk about the difficulties of telling it how it is. Chaired by Denis Welch. TICKETEK: $12 / DOOR: $15 http://www.writersfestival.co.nz/programme/2003even/
Sunday May 18, 12.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn GPJA Committee meeting
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
Monday May 19, 5-45pm to 7pm, Staff room, Centre for Language and Languages, 2nd floor, A block, Auckland College of Education, Epsom Human Rights Network (Auckland) meeting. For more info or to add items to the agenda, contact email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org (entrance via Gate 3 at 74 Epsom Avenue - car parks are readily available as staff leave around 5-30pm).
Monday, May 19, 7:30 pm, Lounge Room, St Austells Church, corner Seabrook Road and Margan Avenue, New Lynn. 'IRAQ. What next?' with speakers including Keith Locke MP; Dr Umara, Iraqi member of the Mandaean Religion; and Susie Blowers, Chair of Amnesty New Zealand. Organised by Amnesty International West Auckland.
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:email@example.com
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:firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 623 8899 Xt: 8455 or Joan Hardiman mailto:email@example.com Ph: 377 5541 A koha would be welcome to defray expenses.
Monday, June 2, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn GPJA FORUM: The war, social justice and the media with David Robie, senior lecturer in journalism, AUT, and others
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM FOCUS ON THE GLOBAL SOUTH
"Dear friends Given the speed at which events are unfolding in Iraq, we felt the urgent need to set out some basic demands that we, as peace and social justice activists, should be putting to the US, the UK, the UN and the international community. We have consulted widely, including with Iraqi friends and activists from various social movements and campaigns, and we hope that the demands reflect a clear and common position that many will support. If you agree with the demands and would like to add your name or your organisation to the list, go to: http://www.focusweb.org/demands/demands.html
"The statement will be presented to the "Iraq and the Global Peace Movement: What next?" conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, 19-21 May (see http://focusweb.org or email mailto:email@example.com) and at the peace and anti-war movements events during the G8 in late May. We also hope that everyone endorsing the demands will use them in their own work against the war and for peace building.
INTERNATIONAL DEMANDS REGARDING THE INVASION, OCCUPATION AND "RECONSTRUCTION" OF IRA
q"The US-lead invasion and occupation of Iraq is illegal. In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal judged that "To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
Consequently, we demand
An immediate end to the illegal occupation of Iraq by the United States and the United Kingdom and the immediate withdrawal and removal of all foreign troops, military advisers and representatives, military equipment and armaments.
We insist that
The Iraqi people have absolute and sovereign right to determine their own future and any decision about the need for international assistance rests solely with the Iraqis.
The United States' and United Kingdom's occupation of Iraq is illegal, as is any administrative authority or interim government established by the occupying forces. Therefore, any decisions made by the occupying forces or their representatives are not binding on the Iraqi people.
The UN-held escrow Iraqi oil account must not be used to foot the bill for reconstruction of the damage caused by the illegal war and UN sanctions. The funds must be held in trust for the Iraqi people until there is a legitimate and genuinely representative government elected by the people.
While we strongly support independent civil society assistance to and solidarity with the Iraqi people, the United Nations and its agencies, other governments and non-governmental organisations should not serve as a cover to legitimise, or profit from, the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Humanitarian aid must not be used to support or promote the military, political and economic objectives of the occupying forces.
The UN, other governments and NGOs should not use their own resources or public money to replace humanitarian assistance, aid, reconstruction or other development activities which are the legal and moral responsibility of the invading and occupying forces, nor should they characterise as "aid" that which is the entitlement of the Iraqi people.
The Iraqi people have sovereignty over all natural resources and utilities. The invading and occupying forces or their private sector proxies have no right to make any decisions about who controls or benefits from the exploitation of natural resources or the construction and delivery of basic services and utilities.
The full costs of all reconstruction, compensation and reparations for the physical, social, economic, psychological, ecological, cultural and heritage destruction caused by the US-lead invasion of Iraq must be borne by the aggressors.
Reparations for the physical, social, economic, psychological, ecological, cultural and heritage loss, damage and suffering caused by the UN Security Council mandated sanctions must be borne by the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council.
In addition, reparations must be paid to all persons who have suffered physical, economic and psychological loss and trauma resulting from twelve years of sanctions and the 2003 invasion based on individual and collective claims and dispensed by an independent compensation tribunal.
We call for
A Peoples War Tribunal based on the Geneva Conventions and Nuremberg Tribunal principles and precedents to investigate and prosecute the war crimes of, amongst others, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Tommy Franks, Tony Blair, Jack Straw, and John Howard.
International sanctions on the aggressor nations for their illegal, pre-emptive attack on a sovereign nation.
The United States Government to desist from threats of force and use of force against all sovereign nations.
Focus on the Global South, 8 May 2003
To Endorse the Demands email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
IRAQ ON THE WEB
Iraq in danger of starvation says UN http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,953524,00.html
US weapons team ends search with no discovery http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=405395
American empire not if’ but what kind?’ http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/10/arts/10EMPI.html?ex=1053578563&ei=1&en=afeb4475e3bcbeef
Lies about Iraq's weapons are past expiry date http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15854
Znet collection of articles on "The Occupation" http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/Iraq/occupation.htm
NZ Media critics blast Iraq war coverage http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0305/S00051.htm http://www.asiapac.org.fj/cafepacific/resources/aspac/iraqwarmedia.pdf
Liberation, one month on: Chaos on the streets, cholera, and killings in broad daylight http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=404493
A US company recently awarded a contract to supply police officers to Iraq yesterday abandoned an appeal against a decision that it unfairly dismissed a woman who blew the whistle on colleagues involved in the Bosnian sex trade. Kathryn Bolkovac was sacked by Dyncorp after revealing that UN peacekeepers employed by the firm had gone to nightclubs where girls aged 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers. UN personnel and international aid workers were also revealed to have links to prostitution rings in the Balkans. See Firm in Iraq deal drops sex case appeal, Jamie Wilson, 3 May 2003 at http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,948741,00.html
US Colonel admits 500 tons of DU used in Iraq http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0305/S00050.htm
Nuclear looting in Iraq http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15846
At least 10 dead as US troops fire on school protest http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=401718
Eyewitness: A child threw a shoe and troops opened fire http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/adi/mirror.com/news_allnews;sec=mirror.com;ssec=allnews;sssec=allnews;size=1x1;pos=top;kw=;sz=1x1;tile=5;ord=692139?
Pictures of Fallujah massacre http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2003/05/1606113.php
"We were tied up" claim Afghan refugees deported from Britain http://www.guardian.co.uk/Refugees_in_Britain/Story/0,2763,945958,00.html
Afghan reconstruction is a slow road http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030510-34656224.htm
WASHINGTON -- Senator Edward Kennedy yesterday warned that the Bush administration was preparing to restart the testing of nuclear weapons so it could develop a new generation of bunker-busting bombs and tactical "mini-nukes", potentially triggering a new arms race. http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=030502~to.asp