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Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #105, September 5, 2005

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

Dear friends,

On Monday evening the monthly GPJA forum is on “Resisting the Empire” with speakers who have recently visited Venezuela and the Philippines.

Check out the articles under “Hurricane Katrina” below for reports on how it is much more than a “natural” disaster.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”: George Orwell

“There are no boundaries in this struggle to the death. We cannot be indifferent to what happens anywhere in the world, for a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory”: Ernesto Che Guevara

ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE WAR (See “What’s On” for Auckland action)
Dear Friends, on Saturday, Sept. 24th, hundreds of thousands of people from around the United States will gather in Washington, DC, to call for an end to the war in Iraq. United for Peace and Justice, the country¹s largest antiwar coalition, is mobilizing this massive national demonstration and related action against the war over the course of three days, September 24, 25 and 26th. In London, Europe's largest anti war coalition, Stop the War, is also organizing a massive solidarity demonstration on that same day. United for Peace and Justice and Stop the War Coalition are contacting you now to encourage your organization to join this effort by planning a solidarity demonstration sometime that same weekend, preferably on September 24.
The Bush Administration is currently in a state of severe crisis. Opinion polls show the majority of the U.S. public no longer supports the Iraq war, military recruitment is at an all-time low, funding for the war is draining our economy and social services domestically are in terrible disrepair, and crucially, the United States is losing militarily in Iraq and has no legitimate alternatives but to bring the troops home immediately. A previously reticent U.S. Congress is showing signs of anger and distrust at the Bush Administration. Activities generated by members of Congress in the recent months include hearings regarding the disclosure of the Downing Street Memos and Bush's intentional misleading of Congress, the formation of the Out of Iraq caucus with more than 60 members of the House already a part of it, and the introduction of legislation calling for early withdrawal. Tapping into this enormously broad mass sentiment against the war, United
for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) is organizing a national rally and march on Saturday, September 24 in Washington, DC. This will be followed by an anti-war fair where progressive groups will educate and interact with demonstrators, as well as a large peace concert that same evening on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The following day there will be an interfaith religious service, as well as trainings on non-violent civil disobedience and grassroots lobbying. On Monday, September 26, UFPJ is organizing a day of grassroots lobbying at the offices of members of Congress, and a mass action of nonviolent civil disobedience at the White House. On September 24, please consider joining the global anti-war movement
in demanding an end to the Iraq War, and bringing U.S. troops home now. For more information, see www.unitedforpeace.org www.stopwar.org.uk or contact Virginia Rodino, co-convenor of the UFPJ International committee at rodino@riseup.net or 443-996-5915. Yours, in solidarity, Leslie Cagan, National Coordinator, UFPJ; Virginia Rodino, Co-convenor, International Committee, UFPJ.

RAM SPEAKS TO TRANSPORT COMMITTEE - Next week, the Regional Land Transport Committee begins important hearings on the future of the Auckland region's transport network. The committee will decide on a transport plan for the next three years. RAM will be presenting our free buses petition to the committee chair, and RAM members will be making verbal submissions. The RAM submissions are likely to be more persuasive if committee members see they are backed up by a turnout of RAM supporters. Main RAM submission day, Tuesday 6th September, ARC Chamber, Vodafone House, cnr Pitt & Hopetoun Sts, central Auckland. Elaine West will present at 11.35am. Grant Morgan will give RAM's main submission at 12.45pm.

After Grant's submission, the RAM petition will be presented to the committee chair by RAM councillor Robyn Hughes. Second RAM submission day, Thursday 8th September, Same venue as above. Roger Fowler will present at 9.45am. The public are free to attend all submissions. We appeal to RAM supporters to come along, particularly on the 6th, RAM's main submission day. Contact: Robyn Hughes, RAM councillor on the ARC, 021-2739421, robynhughes@paradise.net.nz or Grant Morgan, RAM organizer, 021-2544 515
gcm@actrix.gen.nz

WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST JANUARY 20-22, 2006: The public face of New Zealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence in Afghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to that, and other American wars, including the one in Iraq, is the Waihopai spybase. Waihopai is controlled by the US, with New Zealand (including Parliament and the Prime Minister) having little or no idea what goes on there (let alone any control). The Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base is located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. First announced in 1987, it is operated by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes (shielded from public view by giant domes) intercept a huge volume of telephone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications. It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency (NSA). Its targets are international communications involving New Zealanders, including the interception of international phone calls. The codename for this – Echelon – has become notorious worldwide as the vast scope of its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, and certainly not to citizens.

Waihopai does not operate in the national interests of New Zealand or our neigh­bours. Basically it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil and directly involves us in America’s wars. Waihopai must be closed. We invite people from around the country to join us for the weekend of anti-war protest at this spybase. Come prepared for roughing it and camping out. We’ve hired portaloos and a marquee. We provide the food (note: we cater for vegetarians but vegans will have to bring their own). Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $40 (or $20 unwaged) to cover costs. Absolutely no open fires. How to find our camp. Take Highway 6 out of Blenheim (the Nelson road); cross the Wairau River bridge, take the first turn left, and then the first turn right, follow the signs to the Department of Conservation’s Onamalutu camp. It is a public campsite and has some basic facilities. As there is a fixed charge per person per night to camp there, ABC has had to increase the registration cost. we need people, money, and publicity. If you want to take part in the weekend of protest contact the Anti-Bases Campaign, Box 2258, Christchurch. E-mail cafca@chch.planet.org.nz www.converge.org.nz/abc Make all cheques to ABC.

WHAT’S ON IN AUCKLAND

Monday, September 5, 1.30pm, 15th Fl, Auckland Civic Building, Greys Ave, City
Meeting of the Finance and Corporate Business Committee (Metrowater’s monitoring body). Support the Water Pressure Group’s call for an immediate stay of all disputed Metrowater debt enforcement proceedings.
Five households have been threatened with bankruptcy despite Metrowater failing to follow step one of its own dispute procedure.

Monday, September 5, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
GPJA FORUM: EYEWITNESS REPORTS – RESISITNG THE EMPIRE: FROM VENEZUELA TO THE PHILIPPINES. Hear two speakers recently returned from participating in solidarity activities with the peoples
group from Australia that went to witness the unfolding Bolivarian Revolution. Tim Howard from Whangarei participated in a Human Rights delegation to the Philippines where human rights lawyers and labour leaders have struggles in Venezuela and the Philippines. Andrew Martin, and Australian unionist was part of a 60 strong been assassinated in increasing numbers while the regime has entered a crisis from recent fraudulent elections.

Wednesday, September 7, 7.30pm, Glendowie Community Hall,(corner of Mount Taylor Drive &
Crossfield Rd),at Glendowie,East Auckland.
'FUTURE OF FOOD' a US precautionary film on genetic engineering in food and our environment;a dvd 89mins. http://www.thefutureoffood.com/ An MP will introduce the film and lead the discussion later. Tickets $10 including supper.Raffle as well.

Friday, September 9, 7.30pm, Somervell Church, Auditorium,497 Remuera Rd,
'FUTURE OF FOOD' a US precautionary film on genetic engineering in food and our environment;a dvd 89mins. Jon Carapiet, national spokespersonfor GE Free New Zealand, will introduce the film, answer questions and facilitate discussion at the end of the screening.Suggested minimum koha $10 per person. Refreshments provided at the end of the meeting. Enquiries:Margarita 520 5067 .

Saturday, September 10, 11am-2pm, Broadway, Newmarket and Ponsonby Road areas
MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY STREETOUTREACH. Dedicated MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY volunteers will hit the streets to hand out free information, sell white bands, and give people the opportunity to sign an action letter to politicians. 10th September is international Day of Action for the MakePovertyHistory campaign – this is calling for governments to take urgent action to support the elimination of poverty at the UN Summit on 13-17th September and for NZ political parties to commit to joining the fight against poverty. Please let others know and get involved.

Sunday, September 11, 3-5pm, Hobson Room, Parnell Conference Centre, Jubilee Building [formerly Foundation for the Blind], 545 Parnell Road, Auckland
KUPU TAEA invite you to the launch of their report MEDIA AND TE TIRITI O WAITANGI 2004 with Judy McGregor and Paul Diamond. Finger food provided. RSVP by Friday September 2 to - Dr Tim McCreanor (timm@pl.net); Dr Raymond Nairn (09 631 5192) or Mandi Gregory (027 295 7010).

Tuesday, September 13, 7.30pm, St Peters Church, 71 Udys Road, Pakuranga
“NEW ZEALAND AS A GOOD GLOBAL CITIZEN”. Your chance to find out about the Pakuranga election candidates views on foreign policy issues such as human rights and poverty. Sponsored by Amnesty International, Oxfam, UN Association. For further information contact: Kirsty@oxfam.org.nz or 09-3559852

Saturday, September 24, 11am, US Consulate, Customs St, Downtown
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST THE WAR

BEST ON THE WEB

TONGA
TONGA: Pacific unions may assist striking civil servants: New Zealand, Australian and Pacific island trade unions are soon to be approached about providing assistance to the striking public servants in Tonga. That's according to New Zealand Council of Trade Unions President Ross Wilson, who has returned home after being in the Kingdom briefly. Speakers: Ross Wilson, president, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Read transcript >>
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/pacbeat/stories/s1449007.htm

NZ
Parasites on Poverty Protest - Sky City Thursday
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0508/S00356.htm

HURRICANE KATRINA
The Perfect Storm: New Orleans and the Death of the Common Good - The destruction of New Orleans represents a confluence of many of the most pernicious trends in American politics and culture: poverty, racism, militarism, elitist greed, environmental abuse, public corruption and the decay of democracy at every level. _
http://www.lefthook.org/Politics/Floyd090105.html
"No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming"- By 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10050.htm
The Devastating Impact of Hurricane George - Welcome to Bush's America; where the uber-rich can expect lavish tax cuts and the huddled masses get a 3 day lock-up at the Superdome; where the government redirects desperately-needed resources to the oil wars in Mesopatamia and entire regions disappear beneath the flood-waters at home.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10065.htm
In case you missed it: Washing Away: It's a matter of when, not if. Eventually a major hurricane will hit New Orleans head on, instead of being just a close call. It's happened before and it'll happen again.
http://www.nola.com/hurricane/?/washingaway/
In case you missed it: New Orleans - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces huge budget cuts: The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved
http://snipurl.com/hdjk
Why the Levee Broke - The president told us that we needed to fight in Iraq to save lives here at home. Yet -- after moving billions of domestic dollars to the Persian Gulf -- there are bodies floating through the streets of Louisiana. What does George W. Bush have to say for himself now? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10057.htm
A calamity compounded by poverty and neglect: As always with a devastating event like Hurricane Katrina, voices are raised claiming that nothing could have been done to prevent the catastrophe. Such declarations are thoroughly false.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10056.htm

CLIMATE CHANGE
Media Alert: Cheerleading The Climate Criminals - Part 1
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/index.php

USA
Voices of the Lost and Forgotten- Pt. 4: Families In Poverty
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0508/S00259.htm
Christians told of Guantanamo Bay hunger strike
http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_050829strike.shtml

GERMANY
US bases undermine sovereignty, says Lafontaine
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d499ef30-1828-11da-a14b-00000e2511c8.html

IRAQ
Finding Closure – “While in Iraq, I never once saw a terrorist with extreme inclinations for senseless bloodshed, but only angry farmers and shop keepers who for one reason or another wish to end our empirical domination over their homeland. What I saw was an honest insurrection fought by average citizens.”
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article10011.htm
US sniper kills Reuters soundman in Iraq: US forces in Baghdad shot dead a Reuters television soundman and wounded a cameraman, Iraqi police said.
http://snipurl.com/habv
Iraq Worse Than Vietnam -- in Number of Journalists Killed : More journalists have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 than during the 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Sunday.
http://snipurl.com/hap7
Deadly game of cat-and-mouse between U.S. troops, insurgents: U.S. forces are failing to make headway, and some commanders fear that much of the military effort is wasted.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article10020.htm

ARMS TRADE
Weapons: A Trillion-Dollar Trade: Military expenditure by the United States makes up 47% of the world total.
http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=75551

CUBA
The Lies Of Reporters Without Borders
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=21&ItemID=8612

SCOTLAND
Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked
http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1855852005

VENEZUELA
Chavez offers fuel at 40% discount to poor US citizens – free eye surgery for millions
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/world/2005/0830/3001431639FR30CHAVEZ.html

ENDS

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