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Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #35

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #35

Website http://www.gpja.pl.net/ Contact details: Forums - John Minto, (09) 8463173 mailto:jbminto@xtra.co.nz; Newsletter Editor - Mike Treen 0212547440 / 3616989 mailto:miket@pl.net Web page - Geraldine Peters (09) 3570655 mailto:bern@ihug.co.nz 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:gpjamailinglist@xtra.co.nz

Dear friends,

The decision by the UN Security Council to capitulate before the US demands that they be given total control of Iraq and its oil resources makes the job of the international antiwar movement to defend the right of the Iraqi people to self-determination even more important. There is an increasing likelihood that the New Zealand government will use the political cover provided by the decision to send troops to assist the occupation forces (and even returning the SAS to Afghanistan). This must be opposed, as they will inevitably be drawn into a colonial war of occupation against the people of Iraq who are demanding their independence. Big business desire for a so-called "free trade" agreement with the US will be bought with the blood of the Iraqi people, and possibly that of NZ soldiers. Sucking up to the US has also extended to supporting a US challenge in the WTO to an EU ban on importing GE agricultural products. And Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton has questioned New Zealand's nuclear free policy.

This Monday's GPJA forum (June 2) will kick off "News Media Month" with guest speaker: David Robie, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Auckland University of Technology, talking on "THE INVASION OF IRAQ - AND HOW THE MEDIA WAR WAS WON AND LOST". Check out David's material at http://www.asiapac.org.fj/cafepacific/resources/aspac/global4042.html His main website is at: http://www.asiapac.org.fj This will be followed up with a special GPJA forum on Tuesday, June 17, with special guest Bill Rosenberg speaking on "WHO OWNS NEW ZEALAND'S NEWS MEDIA. CAN WE AFFORD TO LET THEM OWN OUR NEWS?" Most of our news media are owned by three - shortly to be four - transnational media empires. Most of the owners have their own public, right-wing, political agendas. Who owns our news media and does it matter? Bill will also be speaking the next day at lunchtime at AUT. Bill Rosenberg researches and writes on foreign investment, trade and New Zealand's economic relationship with the world for CAFCA and other organisations. His articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and books in New Zealand and overseas. He has a broad knowledge of overseas investment in New Zealand, writing a monthly commentary on the decisions of the Overseas Investment Commission. In the last weekend of June Indymedia will be organising some special screenings. Both forums are at 7.30pm at the Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn.

The next GPJA ORGANISING COMMITTEE will be at 6.30pm, Tuesday June 17 (before the Bill Rosenberg forum), at the Unite Office, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn. Anyone willing to help is welcome.

GPJA now has a special that is studying and critiquing current media coverage of the Iraq war and occupation and broader peace and justice issues. If you want to help contact mailto:bern@ihug.co.nz

SOCIAL FORUM AOTEAROA

A special meeting will be held next Thursday, June 5, 7.30pm, at the Unite office, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd to build support for a New Zealand conference as part of the World Social Forum movement internationally. The Social Forum Aotearoa will be held from November 21-23 at the Te Wananga o Aotearoa, Porirua campus. The WSF aims are summarised on their website as follows: "The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where groups and movements of civil society opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism, but engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action." Come along if you want to help. Contact mailto:miket@pl.net for more information.

THE ACEH CRISIS The Indonesian military offensive in Aceh is producing a humanitarian disaster. The offensive is getting the strong support of the Australian government. Some material to understand what is happening follows: NZ must not repeat Timor mistake says Locke http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR6334.html Australia supports Aceh offensive http://www.laksamana.net/vnews.cfm?ncat=35&news_id=5405 Freedom for Aceh - end all military ties http://www.asia-pacific-action.org/statements/aceh_may2003.htm A political history of Aceh http://www.refugees.org/news/crisis/indonesia/aceh.htm

MESSAGES TO GPJA

ANTI WAR T-SHIRTS Free to a good home - where they will be worn.... Phone Barbara at 3615571.

July 11-13th - "RECLAIMING PUBLIC EDUCATION" - a national conference organised by QPEC - the Quality Public Education Coalition. To be held in Palmerston North. Key presenters include - Professor Michael Apple - from the US, renowned international authority on the politics of education. Professor Jane Kelsey - on GATS and other threats to public education. Laila Harre - former MP and Leader of the Alliance on the role of politics in bringing about change in education Professor Helen May - on how new policies can foster quality early childhood education for all children. For all those interested in the future of public education this could be the most important educational conference of the decade. More details and registration forms are available at http://www.qpec.org.nz

EDUCATION ON SELLING THE IRAQ WAR I have put together an informational power point presentation on the current crisis in Iraq and its implications. Originally designed as a pre war primer for secondary school audiences (I am an ex secondary school teacher), the presentation now deals with not only how the 'war on Iraq' was sold to the public, but also looks at issues of international law, the role of the media and on direct action by the public. This presentation is very general in nature and targets those not very aware of or familiar with the way mainstream media is manipulated, distorts and omits information potentially damaging to a corporate, US dominated agenda. I have given the presentation to high school students as well as a local 'friends of the library' group. The presentation is about 45 minutes long. I do not ask to be paid but do appreciate transport costs to be offered (I live in Thames). Basically, it is yet one more way to reach a wider portion of the public to inform and educate about the dangerous imperial desires of the US govt and corporate globalisation. I would be happy to send you attachments of the presentation and some of the material used as handouts. Contact Jeff Memler, mailto:jpld@paradise.net.nz

FOREIGN CONTROL WATCHDOG - SPECIAL OFFER Dear Anti-War Activists, The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) grew out of the anti-war, anti-bases, anti-imperialist struggles of the 1960s and 70s. We, and Foreign Control Watchdog, have been in existence since the mid 70s. For our first couple of decades, we were heavily involved in peace and Intelligence issues. Upon the 1980s birth of our sister organisation, the Anti-Bases Campaign, we left that material to the ABC's Peace Researcher and concentrated on the economic manifestations of foreign control, with emphasis on areas such as free trade agreements, and the massive inroads of the transnational corporations (TNCs) which now dominate New Zealand. No more. The global crisis created by aggressive, borderless US imperialism and warmongering means that we have returned to our roots in the anti-war and anti-imperialist movement. We wish to actively build links between the anti-globalisation and anti-war movements. We're not abandoning our economic specialities. Far from it - we're simply adding military imperialism to our agenda.

We'd like to draw your attention to the latest Foreign Control Watchdog (May 2003). It contains an 11-page analysis of what is behind the US colonisation of Iraq (no surprise if you guessed the answer to be oil). There is a detailed book review of America's leading role in the arms trade, with the tragic situation of the Kurds as the main example. Plus there is the more standard material - the cover story is the Judges' Report for the 2002 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand (won by Tranz Rail, for the third time); articles and books reviews about the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); the devastating effects of an American mining TNC on Waihi; TNCs as the recipients of NZ corporate welfare; book reviews on a whole raft of TNC-related topics and our never ending serial - a month by month report and analysis of who owns New Zealand (namely the rubber stamp approvals by the Government's Overseas Investment Commission).

Check out the online version at http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog We are happy to send you a free hard copy of this issue. Simply reply to this message, with your name and postal address. Murray Horton, Secretary/Organiser, CAFCA, Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand mailto:cafca@chch.planet.org.nz http://www.cafca.org.nz

PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY NETWORK NOW ONLINE http://www.converge.org.nz/psna/

HOT OFF THE PRESS: SMALL ARMS IN THE PACIFIC The Small Arms Survey http://www.smallarmssurvey.org in Geneva, Switzerland, is pleased to announce its latest publication, packed with relevant maps, figures, tables and data findings: Occasional Paper 8, Small Arms in the Pacific http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/OPapers/OPaper8Pacifics.pdf reveals surprising new information about the scale and origins of small arm proliferation across the world's widest region. This 20-nation study provides the first count of firearms in the Pacific, and tracks imports and exports from one nation to another. Weapons used in crime, conflict and coups are traced to their source, revealing a single prominent pattern of origin. It compares each country's gun laws, provides an up-to-date analysis of gunrunning in the Pacific and discusses regional initiatives and disarmament processes. Detailed case histories document the impact of small arm-related violence on the region's worst-affected communities, and show how one initiative was more successful than another. The 14-month, 150-page study, Small Arms in the Pacific, by Philip Alpers and Conor Twyford was commissioned by the Small Arms Survey and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, and funded by the governments of Australia and New Zealand. To download this study as a PDF file, please visit: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/OccasionalPapers.html To request a complimentary bound, hard copy for your library or resource centre, please email the Small Arms Survey at: mailto:smallarm@hei.unige.ch To find out more about the Small Arms Survey, its other publications and activities, please visit: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/

POSITION AVAILABLE Part-time Administrator Needed in Auckland Out-of-Parliament Office. Part-time administrative support is needed in the Auckland Green MPs' office for reception, accounting and general office duties as required for a minimum of 12 hours/week (2 days), starting mid-June. The applicant must be pro-active with a good phone manner and people skills. Proficiency in Word and Excel is necessary. Political or activist experience preferred. Send cover letter and CV attention Kim by mail to P.O. Box 1553, Auckland OR fax 09-361-5926 OR e-mail mailto:auckland-mps@greens.org.nz with your application or to receive a job description. Due to the volume of potential applicants, please no phone calls. Applications close Friday 6th June.

AUCKLAND WOMEN'S CENTRE WORKSHOP Organising to Action with the Service and Food Workers Union. 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! Sat 7 June 9.30-4pm $10-20. Bookings essential ph 376 3227. Contact Leonie Morris, Community Projects Co-ordinator, Auckland Women's Centre ph (09) 376 3227, fax (09) 376 1817, direct line (09) 378 6183, mailto:projects@womenz.org.nz

THE BEST ON THE WEB

THE UN AND IRAQ The United Nations backs down - http://www.alternet.org/print.html?StoryID=15978 A coalition of over 150 peace groups and global non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is lashing out at the U.N. Security Council for adopting a resolution that virtually legitimises the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and endorses the foreign occupation of a U.N. member state. http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=18355

INDYYMEDIA COMES TO IRAQ This new site has been provided by volunteers in Bristol to help get things moving and provide a publishing forum for grass roots media activity in Iraq, in Baghdad and other cities, for anyone who wants to participate. We are particularly excited about the expected publication of the Al MuaJaha newspaper - the Iraqi Witness - being produced on the ground in Baghdad, outside of the mainstream and US controlled media. We hope to publish content from the paper on this site in the next few days. This site is the first step in creating an official [or unofficial] Iraq Indymedia - application to new-imc pending. http://www.almuajaha.com/

ARUNDHATI ROY, HOWARD ZINN AND JOHN PILGER Instant-Mix Imperial Democracy (Buy One, Get One Free) An evening with Arundhati Roy and Howard Zinn http://www.cesr.org/Roy/royspeech.htm In his latest New Statesman column, John Pilger reviews a "brilliant, exciting and deeply disturbing" book by the historian Mark Curtis. This is Web of Deceit, which draws back the screen in front of British foreign policy and imperial power http://pilger.carlton.com/print/132978

LIFE IN IRAQ UNDER MILITARY OCCUPATION Concerns about looting and lack of public services abound. Here are several reports to give a sense of the conditions in Iraq since the end of the war. An Australian report from Umm Qasr, the first city conquered by coalition troops, describes how rejoicing has turned to misery and resentment. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/05/04/1051987604147.html Gangs rule street as US loses control http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4676629,00.html Anger, fear, as anarchy continues http://www.supportingfacts.com/ Red Cross denied access to PoWs. Up to 3,000 Iraqis - some of them civilians - believed to be gagged, bound, hooded and beaten at US camps close to Baghdad airport http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,963108,00.html A report from the Christian Science Monitor on the environmental hazard posed by American depleted-uranium bullets now scattered throughout Baghdad. http://www. commondreams.org/headlines03/0515-01.htm A Reuters report on the outbreak of cholera in Basra due to unclean drinking water. http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID= 2741433 Surveys pointing to high civilian death toll http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0522/p01s02-woiq.html US weapons will be taking their toll long after war http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/122988_toxic22.html Earlier this month, L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer III replaced General Jay Garner as top administrator of Iraq. Bremer, who retired from the State Department in 1989, urged confrontation with Syria, Iran, and Sudan during the Clinton administration. Bremer has strong ties to neo-conservatives and helped run Henry Kissinger's consulting firm in the 1990s. He will report directly to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. http:/ /www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=14966 Regime Change: As British as afternoon tea. By imposing regime change in Iraq, Blair is not so much following the US as continuing a national tradition http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,960161,00.html Kick their ass and take their gas – Democracy comes to Iraq http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0513-10.htm More troops deployed as new Iraqi government postponed http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4348-2003May17?language=printer Thousands protest US occupation in Baghdad http://www.nandotimes.com/world/story/892065p-6214527c.html

BEHIND THE WAR, NEOCONSERVATIVES, OIL, CORPORATE CONTROL Bechtel drums up war business http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EE22Ak02.html In bed with Bechtel - the inside story http://207.44.245.159/article3397.htm Oil wars Pentagon's policy since 1999 http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/19/1053196528488.html The War Party - transcript of a BBC Panorama programme on the neoconservative ideologues and their influence over US foreign policy http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/programmes/panorama/transcripts/thew arparty.txt

WMD'S - STILL LOOKING, DEPLETED URANIUM, WAR FICTION Odyssey of Frustration - In Search for Weapons, Army Team Finds Vacuum Cleaners http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4450-2003May17?language=printer Political foes unite on depleted uranium munitions http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0305/S00134.htm Saving Private Lynch take two http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-scheer20may20,0,4093805.column

ARMS TRADE SUPPORTS RIGHTS ABUSERS Richest nations arming rights abusers, Amnesty http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/05/19/1053196529293.html Full report http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3443.htm

WEST PAPUA West Papua: Dutch past, Indonesian present...independent future? JOHN RUMBIAK, campaigner for human rights against Indonesian rule and corporate power in West Papua, tells Paul Kingsnorth about his meetings with a US ambassador, a leading oil company, and his hopes for freedom. http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-6-91-1239.jsp

NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND MILITARY SPENDING SPREE Pentagon revamps nuclear doctrine http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-56/iss-5/p27.html Congress approves war budget and new nuclear weapons study http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0305/S00238.htm So much for the peace dividend: Pentagon is winning the battle for a $400bn budget http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,960876,00.html

AFGHANISTAN Afghans' uranium levels spark alert. A small sample of Afghan civilians has shown "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine, an independent scientist says. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3050317.stm Doco - USA's Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0305/S00151.htm On the roads of ruin - Tony Blair vowed that the West would not walk away from Afghanistan. But in a remarkable journey, meeting militia leaders and the heavily guarded President, Peter Oborne found a nation left to fend for itself - and Taliban thugs undeterred http://www.observer.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,962905,00.html

PALESTINE Since the eve of the US/British led war on Iraq, 3 ISM activists have been injured or killed by IDF forces. While the world focused intently on the unfolding events in Iraq, US citizens Rachel Corrie and Brian Avery and UK citizen Tom Hurdell have been killed or seriously injured in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. http://www.palsolidarity.org/ The Apartheid Wall http://www.antiwar.com/hacohen/h052103.html

FREE TRADE / PRIVATISATION I was wrong - Free Trade policies hurt the poor, by Steven Byers, former British Minister of Trade and Industry http://www.doublestandards.org/byers1.html

The EU Water Fund, to be presented at the G8 summit in Evian, seems more about corporate welfare than helping the world's poorest. The EU plan builds on controversial proposals by former IMF director Michel Camdessus, to use aid money to subsidise the expansion of private water corporations. Confidential documents obtained by CEO show how the European Commission has worked in tandem with Suez and other giant water corporations in developing its international water initiatives. Read more in our latest water info brief: "Evian: Corporate Welfare or Water for All?" http://www.corporateeurope.org/water/infobrief6.htm

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