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GPJA Newsletter #82, March 2, 2005

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #82, March 2, 2005

Website http://www.gpja.pl.net/

Dear friends,

GPJA FORUM MONDAY The GPJA forum this Monday is on the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY themes of poverty and its affect on women and children. A Naomi Klein video will also be shown. The next day March 8 there is an IWD MARCH starting at 5.30. March 19 is a INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST WAR AND OCCUPATION to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Posters and leaflets will be available at the GPJA forum Monday. Action is also being organised against the Destiny Church march this Saturday. (See "What's On in Auckland" below for details)

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK "The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.": Samuel P. Huntington


Saturday, March 5, 10am, outside Burger King Lower Queen St *URGENT* CALL FOR PRESENCE AT DESTINY CHURCH ANTI-GAY/LESBIAN MARCH THIS SATURDAY. Destiny church will be leading an anti-gay march up Queen St to Myers Park in central Auckland this coming Saturday (5th March). A group has organised a peaceful demo called 'Don't Hate, Celebrate' at the Auckland University away from the march. We recognise that previous Destiny marches have not been safe and we support the 'Don't Hate, Celebrate' message and the safe option it provides for families & children. Some activists feel that it also absolutely necessary that there is also a physical presence *AT* the march.

We have the right to counter-demonstrate and we do not feel that we should be kept away from this right because of the fear and hate that groups like Destiny preach. This is exactly what we are opposed to. Join us and stand up for what you believe in: come and discuss possible actions/strategy that could be taken for this Saturday. We apologise for the short notice - if you can not make it but want to be involved, please send us an email at antibigotaction@enzyme.org.nz We feel that there is a need to build a broad, strong movement against all forms of discrimination and oppression and that taking such actions will help build towards this goal.

Saturday, March 5, 11am-2pm, University Quad, Princes St DON'T HATE -CELEBRATE: On Saturday March 5th Destiny Church under the banner of 'Defend the Legacy' is marching in Auckland. They are walking up Queen Street into Myers Park for a rally. Because of the hatred that the Destiny flock is spreading, and the experiences of many Civil Union celebrators during the Wellington Enough is Enough march we feel it will not be a safe place either physically or emotionally for those with a differing view.

Don't hate, celebrate! is a peaceful response the Defend the Legacy Destiny Church rally. Join in the fun, family festival; Don't hate, celebrate! March 5th at the University Quad, Princess St, Auckland Central 11am - 2pm. Bring your family, a picnic and enjoy entertainment including Chris Knox, Christine White, inspiring speakers, a kid's corner, stalls and face painting for the young and old. See the website for more information www.notmydestiny.org.nz . Any support would be appreciated, we look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, March 7, 7.30, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY FORUM: "The Poverty of Women and Children": Speakers include Susan St John from the Child Poverty Action Group, and Jill Ovens, from the Campaign for Affordable Housing. Plus NAOMI KLEIN's movie on factory occupations in Argentina.

Tuesday, March 8, 7.30am, UNIFEM BREAKFAST TO CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2005. Guest speaker is Sandra Alofivae- a senior family law practitioner of Samoan descent who specializes in children and youth issues. She has wide-ranging experience working in the community and voluntary sector with a particular focus on education for families and communities and has an extensive knowledge of family structures and the critical issues for Pacific families. Sandra is a Youth Advocate who in October 2003 was appointed as one of two Manukau Advocates for Children and Youth ( this is different - a collaborative venture between Manukau City Council, Child Youth & Family and Work & Income New Zealand ).

In 2004, Sandra was appointed a Family Commissioner which brings with it responsibilities for in-depth consideration of issues that impact on families at a national level. She has a most interesting story to tell as she speaks to: "Facing Challenges, Celebrating Achievements" For more information contact: Diana Asdollah-zadeh, President, UNIFEM Auckland Regional Committee. If you need more information, or would like a hard copy of the invitation, please contact either of us - my email is: dianazadeh@paradise.net.nz Beverley's e-mail is beverleyturner@nznet.gen.nz.

Tuesday, March 8, 5.30pm, Aotea Square, Queen St INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY RALLY. The central theme this year is "Stand up for our rights", with an emphasis on: Pay equity - focusing on low paid women; Benefits and social needs - highlighting how the cuts of 1991 are still hurting and calling for more spending on social needs; The housing problem - specifically how it is affecting women and children; Opposition to the war on terror and repressive legislation being introduced in New Zealand; Stop violence against women and children.

The band "The Coolies " will be playing. The event is supported by the EPMU (Engineers Union) , the Service and Food Workers Union, and the Waitakere branch of UNITE! Organising meetings are being held Sundays 5pm at 2 Conway Rd, Mt Eden. If you want more details please contact me on (09) 846 6494. If you could contribute financially that would be greatly welcomed e.g. $50, $100 or even $20. Cheques should be made payable to "International Women's Day Committee" and posted to: International Women's Day Committee, c/- 50 Aroha Ave Sandringham, Auckland

Thursday, March 10, entrance to Princes Wharf, Quay St, 8am-5.30pm VIGIL TO OPPOSE NZ-CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT discussions attended by Prime Minister and Chine ambassador. Call Sam Murphy, Concerned NZ citizen, (09) 576 4178 / 021 180 3319 sammurphy999@xtra.co.nz

Friday, March 11, 9-10am, Immigration Office, 450 Queen St FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE AND FREEDOM - PROTEST DEPORTATION OF IRANIAN REFUGEE. GPJA LETTER TO IMMIGRATION MINISTER PAL SWAIN Dear Mr Swain, Re Thomas Hossein Yadegary. We are calling on you to exercise your authority and order the release of Thomas Yadegary who is being held in Mt Eden Remand Prison awaiting deportation following his failure to be accepted as a political refugee. Thomas has been living in New Zealand for the past 12 years and has contributed to our society over that time as a respected chef as well as in a variety of roles in the wider community.

He is supported by his friends, colleagues, associates and members of the Christian community to which he belongs. We have seen nothing to suggest that Thomas is not the honest, honourable, truthful and hard working person asserted by those who know him personally. It is utterly deplorable that after 12 years living and contributing to New Zealand he has now been arrested and it is your intention to deport him.

You are effectively keeping him hostage in prison - to be released only if he agrees to being deported to Iran! This is the type of human rights tragedy the government has condemned in many countries around the world in a variety of contexts. It is unconscionable that this should occur in New Zealand. Now behind bars Thomas is becoming stressed and depressed, getting constant headaches.

He is under an enormous amount of pressure both psychologically and emotionally. Natural justice demands you release him from prison and allow him to integrate as a New Zealand citizen. We are aware that there are other people in a similar plight in Mt Eden Prison - such as A Mahebbi whose young children joined a protest outside the prison yesterday to appeal for his release.

One cannot ignore the simple fact that if Thomas Yadegary and others in similar circumstances were white Zimbabweans they would not be treated as they are now. We seek an urgent response to this letter. Yours sincerely, John Minto, GPJA Committee Your support is vital If you have any questions or would like any more information please contact one of these numbers: 1.Edrian King 09-8176398 or 0211598157; 2.Homeira/Shahin 09-8324531 or 021 533899; 3.Vahid 021 447544; 4.Sohail: 021 1835468 5. Fax Number: 09 - 5781018. Also you can get more information in Farsi on this website: www.bimarz.net

Saturday, March 19, 11am, US Consulate, Customs St, Downtown INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST WAR AND OCCUPATION.

Wednesday, March 30, 7pm, Mangere East Community Learning Centre (behind the new Mangere East Library) at 372 Massey Road, Mangere. GPJA is organising a meeting for people interested in developing a COMMUNITY BASED CAMPAIGN TO COUNTER LOAN SHARKING AND CASINOS - particularly as they affect low income communities where their essentially parasitic behaviour causes horrific social distress. (If you would like a copy of the GPJA media release we put out in December on this topic please let me know). Regards, John Minto, Phone 0064 9 8463173; Fax: 0064 9 8463 176


PROTEST AGAINST SPIES AND SPY BASES WELLINGTON AT EASTER Saturday March 26, Sunday 27 The Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) is doing something a little different after many years of protests at the Waihopai spybase, in Marlborough. We have decided to focus attention instead on Wellington. Why? http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0502/S00285.htm

AUCKLAND PARTY ORGANISER / CAMPAIGN MANAGER If you also have proven abilities in environmental political or social activism, fundraising, events organising, team building and volunteer management, you may be just the person that the Auckland Green Party is looking for in our new position of organiser/campaign manager. If you wish to apply for the position, please supply us with a full curriculum vitae, the names of two referees, including at least one referee who can comment on your campaigning experience.

Please also include a covering letter explaining why you believe you are the person for this position. Applications should be mailed to Auckland Green Party Office, PO Box 1553, Shortland St, Auckland, or emailed to auckland@greens.org.nz, to arrive by 5pm on Wednesday 9 March 2005. We will contact you shortly after that date to let you know whether you will be interviewed for the position. In your application, please include daytime and evening telephone numbers so that we are able to contact you to arrange interview at a suitable time.

DEFEND WARD CHURCHILL AND PROTECT ACADEMIC FREEDOM Ward Churchill is a radical anti-authoritarian academic and writer and long time American Indian freedom struggle supporter. He is the author of the seminal works: Struggle for the Land - Native American Resistance to Genocide; Pacifism as Pathology; On the Justice of Roosting Chickens - Consequences of American Conquest and Carnage; and Speaking Truth in the Teeth of Power.

There are major efforts in the US to fire, or otherwise remove, Professor Ward Churchill from the faculty of the University of Colorado for his writings. I'm writing to ask that you to sign the petition for Ward Churchill, and to ask that you forward it as broadly as possible. You can sign the petition at http://www.coloradoaim.org/wardpetition.htm The Leadership Council of the Colorado American Indian Movement has endorsed this petition, which was drafted by several of us in the Pacifica Radio network with input from the Leadership Council. Tierra y Vida, Rafael Renteria. >

GLOBALISE JUSTICE - NOT WAR AND POVERTY! 3rd ASIA PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE - WHEN? March 24-28 - WHERE? Sydney, Australia, Ashfield Boys High School. REGISTER NOW!! To register or to find out more visit our website at http://www.apsc.net.au Or contact Kiraz on 02 9690 1230 email: PISC2005_kirazj@greenleft.org.au SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING: Troops Out Now! Iraq, War & Peace. Guest speaker: Stan Goff, USA. Former special operations soldier, now campaigner & writer against the occupation of Iraq. A compelling and inspiring speaker DON'T MISS THIS SPECIAL EVENT. Bookings recommended Ph 61 2 9690 1977 or 9690 1230. *Globalise Justice - Not War and Poverty* is the theme of the 3rd Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference (APISC 2005).

APISC 2005 is shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting yet, bringing together activists from the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, giving us the opportunity to discuss and debate strategy and theory and organise real solidarity and action with their struggles and connecting it with our struggles here as part of building a global opposition to imperialism and war. Feature sessions of APISC 2005 include: Rebuilding the anti-war movement; Struggles in the Asia Pacific; Solidarity with the Venezuela's Unfolding Revolution; Director of International Relations for the Venezuelan National Assembly, member of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) and firm supporter of President Hugo Chavez's government, *Carolus Wimmer, *will also be addressing the conference. Wimmer is in no doubt that a revolution is underway in Venezuela.

"Really it's a process of social and economic transformation, which I defend as, definitely, a revolutionary process". DIRECT ACTION - APISC is not only about discussing and debating ideas for a better world, but about putting those ideas into action, so we can create real social change. As part of the conference there will be a rally against racism in solidarity with the indigenous community and the Baxter refugee convergence. INTERNATIONALISM - With over 40 international guests from 20 different countries, 100 workshops, 10 major sessions and 10 plenary sessions APISC is an incredible chance to meet and exchange ideas with activists from around the world, so come along and get involved! DON'T MISS THIS CONFERENCE- REGISTER NOW! http://www.apsc.net.au

ACTION ALERT - STOP THE GATS!! Right now, New Zealand trade negotiators are at a 3-week cluster of negotiating meetings in Geneva on the WTO's trade in services agreement (GATS). This is a pivotal gathering, where trade negotiators from around the world are negotiating to increase the number of service sectors that countries open to trade liberalisation under GATS. Second round offers of service commitments in the GATS negotiations are due in May and countries are under increasing pressure to expose more services, including essential services such as water, energy, postal, public transport, health and education. New Zealand has been identified as one of.. http://www.arena.org.nz/gatsalt4.htm

APPEAL TO ALLOW IMPRISONED PEACE ACTIVIST MS. TALI FAHIMA OUT OF SOLITARY We appeal to women and men of conscience worldwide, especially members of the medical, psychiatric and legal professions, on behalf of Ms. Tali Fahima, an Israeli peace activist whose conditions of imprisonment in prolonged isolation (since August 2004) threaten her long-term wellbeing. Having closely followed her case, we strongly believe that the legal grounds for her detention and prosecution are insubstantial and verge on the ridiculous. We believe it is used to deter Israeli and international peace activists who seek direct contacts with Palestinians in grassroots activities.

See a website with relevant information at http://www.freetalifahima.org/eng.php?lang=en On January 24, 2005, the Tel Aviv District Court ordered that Ms Fahima be released into house-arrest. This ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court, a move which was sharply denounced by many commentators, including an editorial article in the elite daily Haaretz, which said: "Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein's decision to place Tali Fahima under arrest until the completion of proceedings against her is unreasonable and disproportional." (Feb. 6, 2005). Ms. Fahima is being held in Neveh Tirza Women's Prison in complete isolation by the decision of the prison authorities. Her next court hearing was scheduled for July 17, 2005! These conditions constitute vindictive harassment.

Concerned about the effects of imprisonment under conditions of total isolation on Ms Fahima, we appeal for your intervention so that her conditions in prison are normalized in accordance with accepted Israeli and international standards. To join this appeal, please send a message to NoToSolitaryConfinement@hotmail.com Any statement you would wish to add to your signature would be greatly appreciated.


GPJA SUPPORTS ASYLUM SEEKER Photo Essay: Protesters Highlight Asylum Seeker's Plea: Global Peace and Justice Auckland have held a protest against the imprisonment of Thomas Yadegary in front of Auckland Central Remand Prison, Mt Eden. For more information and a character reference by a Scoop reader and former work colleague of Thomas' http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00260.htm JOIN THE PROTEST FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 9AM, 450 QUEEN ST

CUBA, WANANGA AND PRISON - ROBSON IN CUBA Scoop Report: Does Matt Robson Really Think NZ Can Learn From Castro? Was it just the February sun in Cuba or does Matt Robson really think NZ could learn from Castro's education, medical and penal policies? Scoop's Kevin List get's down and detailed with Matt Robson and writes [2] Hide says Clark must distance NZ from anti-American tirade [1] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00252.htm [2] - http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0502/S00562.htm

NZ AND PALESTINE NZ military technology export to Israel http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?ObjectID=10112576 http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nw170205.htm Palestine: Leading the Way in the Middle East, By Yasmine Ryan - Last week, New Zealand was visited by two staff members of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen Rights, which our own Human Right Commission has been working closely with. Scoop's Yasmine Ryan took the opportunity to speak with Dr Mamdouh Aker, Commissioner General, and Ms Lamis Alami, Director General, about their work on human rights in Palestine. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00249.htm

EXPANDING CENSORSHIP Most daily newspaper readers or radio listeners following the Films Videos and Publications Classification Amendment Bill over the past few weeks would have thought this extension of the censorship law was a measure against child porn. http://publicaddress.net/default,1889.sm

ENVIRONMENT 500 Protest on 'Stop Marsden B-each Day Out' http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PO0502/S00188.htm A win for consumers - Inghams back off GE soy http://www.giantexperiment.co.nz//news/item.aspx?id=6a1efbba-e583-4ab4-8291- ab60448edeb9

CHILD POVERTY UNICEF Report Finds Child Poverty On The Rise - The proportion of children living in poverty, or on less than $1 per day, has risen in most of the world's developed countries since the early 1990's, according to UNICEF's latest report from the Innocenti Research http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0503/S00015.htm Save The Children - NZ's Child Poverty Levels Unacceptable http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0503/S00015.htm CPAG - Child Poverty Figures Remain Needlessly High http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0503/S00015.htm

HOUSING - Cathy Casey: Facts On Affordable Housing Cr Casey writes: Cr Scott Milne issued a press statement today entitled "Council does U-turn on Pensioner Housing". This release contains a number of misleading statements. You published it on SCOOP. I have taken the liberty of providing you with the facts ... http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0503/S00013.htm

SOUTH PACIFIC Scoop's Yasmine Ryan reviews NZ academic David Robie's new book Mekim Nius. One of the biggest problems faced by journalists working in the South Pacific is that questioning authority doesn't sit well with traditional values. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0502/S00253.htm

ANTIWAR Thousands of Germans March to Protest Bush Visit: Demonstrators pulled a float portraying a prisoner being beaten at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison through the German city of Mainz on Wednesday. The float featured a woman in military fatigues whipping a "prisoner" in an orange jumpsuit -- a replication of abuse by US troops at the Baghdad prison. http://tinyurl.com/6wemp UK: The blame for the Iraq war lies with our supine cabinet: Why did our ministers not question the attorney general's legal advice? > http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,1427023,00.html

DEPLETED URANIUM Heads roll at Veterans Administration - Mushrooming depleted uranium (DU) scandal blamed "Out of the 580,400 soldiers who served in the first Gulf War, 11,000 are now dead! By the year 2000, there were 325,000 on Permanent Medical Disability. This astounding number of 'Disabled Vets' means that a decade later, 56% of those soldiers who served have some form of permanent medical problems!" The disability rate for the wars of the last century was 5 percent; it was higher, 10 percent, in Viet Nam.

CORPORATE CRIMINALS Greg Palast Considers America's Corporate Eichmanns It's a great day for the Eichmanns of corporate America. President Bush minutes ago signed the ill-named 'tort reform' bill into law, limiting class action suits. Doubtless, Ken Lay, former Enron CEO, is grinning as are the corporate suite killers at drug maker Merck who are now safer from the widows and orphans of Vioxx victims. Closing the doors of justice to the ruined and wrecked families of boardroom bad guys is nothing less than executive clemency for executive executioners http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0502/S00221.htm Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions: We speak with John Perkins, a former respected member of the international banking community. In his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man he describes how as a highly paid professional, he helped the U.S. cheat poor countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars by lending them more money than they could possibly repay and then take over their economies. Watch it now! Real video and transcript.

PRISONER ABUSE 'Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib': Defense attorneys call it Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib. On the ninth floor of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, terrorism suspects swept off the streets after the Sept. 11 attacks were repeatedly stripped naked and frequently were physically abused, the Justice Department's inspector general has found. http://nydailynews.com/front/story/282716p-242172c.html U.S.-Held Prisoners Transferred Abroad Subjected to Torture: Despite repeated denials from President Bush and others in his administration that the U.S. government does not engage in torture or hand over prisoners to nations that do, a number of eyewitness accounts and press reports contradict those White House assertions.

WORLD ECONOMY A warning from the markets: "If George W. Bush were half the capitalist he claims he is, he would listen to what the markets are telling him. http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2005/02/24/opinion/eddollar.html US deficits risk crash: Australian Treasury: PETER Costello's closest adviser fears the US is heading for a devastating financial crash that could ravage Australia's economic growth. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12364202^601,0 0.html US bankruptcies 'to surge' amid junk bond deluge: THE US is heading for a surge in bankruptcies and a dramatic increase in corporate debt default as the number of companies with bonds rated at the lowest end of the junk bond scale reaches record levels. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,16849-1497723,00.html

FOOD AND "FREE TRADE" 'Free trade leaves world food in grip of global giants' http://www.guardian.co.uk/globalisation/story/0,7369,1399480,00.html The full 72 pp report can be found at http://www.actionaid.org/documents/power_hungry.pdf

VENEZUELA "We have to invent the socialism of the 21st century," says Venezuelan President Chavez http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/02/25/venezuela.chavez.reut/ Venezuelan blasts U.S. in speech: In a speech to the OAS, Venezuela's foreign minister repeated charges that the White House is trying to undermine Hugo Chavez's government, including a plot to kill him. http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/nation/10980861.htm Venezuela shows: Che's spirit lives!: Venezuela is a resource-rich nation. It is the fifth largest supplier of oil in the world and, according to the February 1 Wall Street Journal, the US depends on Venezuela for 11% of its oil imports. Despite this, by the time Chavez came to power in 1998, 80% of Venezuelans lived in poverty. http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2005/616/616p28.htm

IRAQ 'The Iraqi resistance is a popular resistance' An interview with of the Iraqi National Foundation Conference http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=7297 The Handover That Wasn't: Before his departure, CPA chief Paul Bremer issued 100 Orders to dramatically restructure Iraq's economy to fit free-market ideals. And no Iraqi, including future elected officials, can undo them. http://www.alternet.org/story/19293/

ISRAEL/PALESTINE World Council of Churches Asks Members to Consider Bringing Economic Pressure on Israel http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0223-06.htm


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