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SNAP! #27 is out NOW!


SNAP! #27 is out NOW!

Download your copy at snap.enzyme.org.nz

In this week's issue:

- Glasbeek is no geek! - Iraq's untold horror's - NUPE picket success.

SNAP! is a production of the Wildcat Anarchist Collective

Glasbeek is no geek!

ON TUESDAY in my lunch hour between scarfi ng down some food and shifting a bit of propaganda around, I called in to Professor Harry Glasbeek's lecture called "Corporate Manslaughter: holding corporations criminally liable for workplace homicide." After seeing Council of Trade Union's president Ross Wilson's endorsement on an email forwarded

I was not sure what to expect. I certainly did not expect to hear the explosively charming professor declaim "workplace partnerships and mediation, I hate this language, it is terrible, it is all lies – lies, lies, lies I tell you." He added "the ERA (Employment Relations Act) is in denial. There is no way that you can build trust and partnership with your employer."

He showed how the health and safety standards are not just lax, but criminally lax. "It is a system of neglect and a system of maiming people by design. There is nothing politically neutral about the workplace." Driving his rage was the fact that each year approximately 270 million are injured, 160 million suffer occupational diseases and 2 million die, worldwide.

"The participation of workers in workplace safety standards only ever occurs when they're already dead. We get standards by maiming people."

He argued that employers have no place in workplace safety stating that "Employers say that they can do what they like because it's "my" company. However, why can't workers say it's my body, and I'll do what I like with it?"

"If we want change, we have to protest, picket, strike, sign petitions, vote, (and that seldom works) however, if a capitalist wants something they just organise a lunch." He went on to say "as a lawyer and academic I have had a relatively fortunate life, however, I live in a society that absolutely appalls me." Glasbeek critiqued the capitalist system as "Those working for wages are constantly being coerced. If you have no wealth, you must work".

"They (capitalists) need to be told loud and clear that they are criminals and that they are a leper in our society."

Harry Glasbeek was an inspiring speaker who spoke the truth about our system. I look forward to more challenging speakers of this calibre courtesy of the Council of Trade Unions. Glasbeek is the Australian-born Emeritus Professor of Law at Osgood Hall Law School Toronto and Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne. His most recent book is Wealth by Stealth: Corporate Crime, Corporate Law and the Perversion of Democracy.

Iraq's untold horrors

The news media are self-censoring reports by purposefully cuttting graphic images and details about death and torture, according to a survey of 210 U.S. and international journalists. One-third of those surveyed said they often resorted to personally publishing their own material on the internet, as it was routinely cut by the news organizations they worked for.

One respondent said: "our audience is notoriously squeamish and vocal about it to boot, so, we usually avoid dead bodies if we can." Another said the media wanted to show what was happening in Iraq without shocking and distressing viewers unnecessarily. They miss the point that all thinking feeling people should be shocked and distressed about war even if they think it's worthwhile.

There is an unspoken rule against publishing horrifying images, such as a "bloody stump on an amputee or a mangled corpse," a journalist said. Another said publishing or broadcasting the dead, dying or injured went too far.

Some of the journalists said outright that their reporting was distorted. Out of 73 journalists working in Iraq, 11 said they thought that on one or more occasions editing in the newsroom had distorted the final version of their story. A print journalist embedded with the U.S. military said that the reports he sent were subtly edited to make them less negative and more in line with official views. Another said: "The real damage of war on the civilian population was uniformly omitted."

Of course the omission of this information from mainstream reporting allows "viewers" to continue deluding themselves about the human cost of war. Democracy, even the limited form we supposedly have, cannot function if people are kept from the information they need to form opinions. As long as war and occupation are reported as a clean and tidy board game with "surgical" strikes, "smart" bombs, and "insurgent suppression" then people won't be as averse to it as they should be, something which proves quite convenient for George Bush and Co.

C is for Class

SCHOOL children are often taught about the pyramid-like structure of feudal society. There was the small ruling class at the top and further down the multitude of people who actually produced the goods and services that society needed.

Those at the top made the rules, owned the property, those underneath were serfs and slaves.

Since feudal times the ruling class may have changed from lords and ladies to business owners and politicians, and there may be more movement between classes and the possibility of a scrap of property, but the rules are largely the same.

Business owners and those who possess capital suck the life outof workers to produce more capital through profit, which they can then use to increase their business, or to further feather their lifestyle. Workers are forced to sell their labour and the best years of their life in order to survive and a permanent pool of unemployed are maintained to keep labour costs down and maximise profit margins for the business owners.

The class system is a major source of injustice, exploitation, and violence and must be removed to achieve a freer society. It is a long time since the ruling class of this country have felt the pinch of popular dissent against them – the start is to begin to remember they are few and we are many.

Boycott Canada!

last week ac- tivists around Aotearoa joined the international outcry against Canada's continued seal extermination policy. In Christchurch SAFE had 20 people doing street theatre at travel agents encouraging people to boycott Canada.Auckland Animal Action held a demo at the Canadian consulate.

The Wellington Animal Rights crew protested outside the Canadian embassy on Molesworth Street, where the drumming, chants and general noise could be heard from parliament!

So the embassy staff must have been having a wonderful time!

The Canadian government blames the harp seal for the dwindling supply of cod in a once plentiful sea. There is no recognition of over fishing or pollution as possible causes. The cull of seals has been met with outrage and protest since 1960.

Recently the Sea Sheperd crew went to the ice to bear witness to the slaughter. Eleven people were beaten by sealers and arrested by the Canadian Cost Guard. After being left on the deck of an ice breaker for up to nine hours they were then imprisoned for being physically attacked and seeing animals tortured!

So what is the Government giving as it reasons for the hunt?

Nothing more than the dwindling fish excuse. The fur industry has not revived enough to justify 320 000 dead seals. Pelts from previous hunts have sat rotting in storage in Norway and Canada. The meat is hardly ever used, except occasionally for fur farm animals or as pet food but most is left on the ice. Pups only a few weeks old are clubbed to death for their pelt while conscious.

While pups have been the main targets, adults are now being clubbed as the male seal's penis is becoming a popular "aphrodisiac" in parts of Asia.

This barbaric act of pure cruelty must stop! There is now an international effort to boycott Canada.

All across the world we need to look at the fishing industry and make some fundamental changes – we risk entire ecosystemsin the name of fishing.

Seals, Whales, Dolphins, birds, you name it we blame it!

We have plundered the sea with no understanding and we will inevitably pay the price.

SNAP! Psychologists can't even afford a couch!

OVER FORTY Capital Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Board clinical psychologists and their supporters struck a cheery image on a glum winter's day in Wellington. They were demanding a 30% catch up from Labour to keep level with pay increases received by nurses and doctors. Bearing placards reading 'Feeling down, so are we!' and 'I can't afford a couch,' and shouts for 'More funding' they marched to a short rally at parliament.

"Negotiations have broken down because the government has given Boards less than 2% to fund salary rises in 2005, when catch-up for groups like Clinical Psychologists require 30%," said union secretary Nadine Marshall. "This places Health Boards in an impossible position as the government tries to wash its hand of the problem."

"Clinical psychologists, among other tasks, provide reports for the courts that assess risk of future offending and contribute to judicial decisions about mentally ill offenders," said Marshall.

"Currently they are working to rule, for example, not attending meetings other than those that relate to their own patients. This will escalate to full strike action if the Government does not deal with the funding issue."

Clark says sorry to Bambang!

HELEN CLARK apologized to the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for two protests in Wellington last Wednesday. One by Green MPs, and one by the NZ Aceh Support Group at Parliament prior to a State Banquet in honor of the Indonesian President.

Echoing Labour's support for the dictator Suharto while genocide was being committed in East Timor, Clark got cosier with current President Bambang while he commits war crimes in Aceh.

A recent report showed that people are being tortured, disappeared, and murdered daily throughout Aceh. The Indonesian government is still refusing to honour the ceasefi re agreement proposed by the rebels hours after the Boxing Day tsunami hit. Protests in Aceh and West Papua by civilians demanding self-determination are brutally suppressed by the Indonesian military and police.

Helen Clark seems to have accepted the Indonesian line that the wars of liberation in Aceh and West Papua are separatist struggles. Nothing could be further from the truth; Aceh was recognized as an independent sovereign state from the 15th century onwards.

The illegal transfer of Aceh in 1949 by the Dutch to the newly created Indonesian state robbed the Acehnese of their right to determine their own future.

The West Papuan News reported that Clark reiterated her government's support for Indonesia's territorial integrity and said special autonomy granted to Aceh and West Papua was the best solution to address the separatist problem. Clark claimed President Yudhoyono was making big efforts to offer autonomy within Indonesia to rebels in the two resource rich regions.

New Zealand and Australia have begun talks for a free trade agreement with the 10 nation Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) which includes Indonesia. Is this free Clark says sorry to Bambang! Clark says sorry to Bambang! trade agreement the pay off for Helen Clark's silence over the continued human rights abuses in Aceh and West Papua by the Indonesian armed forces? What economic price do you put on the lives of innocent civilians, raped, beaten, tortured and illegally detained?

Helen knows, but she's not telling us just yet!

-- __________________________________________

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