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Peace Movement Aotearoa May 2006 Update

From Peace Movement Aotearoa

Updated 3 May 2006

*************************** PMA what's on where listings **************************

*** INTERNATIONAL ***

~ Wednesday, 3 May - World Press Freedom Day - to celebrate the struggle for press freedom and to remember the journalists who have been killed, persecuted or jailed because of their work; the main theme of World Press Freedom Day 2006 is the correlation between media freedom and the eradication of poverty. For links to United Nations statements about World Press Freedom Day go to http://www.un.org/events/pressday/2006/ and the statement of the International Federation of Journalists is at http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=3875&Language=EN World Press Freedom Day 2006 is being marked in Wellington with the screening of 'On the Spot' - a film which records the life and work of a journalist who died while on assignment in Sierra Leone - at the opening night of this year's Human Rights Film Festival, for details see local listings for Wellington below.

~ Reports from Hebron - Christina Gibb, a Quaker from Aotearoa New Zealand, has returned to Hebron with Christian Peacemaker Teams; updates from Christina are being uploaded to http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hebron.htm as they are received.

~ New resource - 'Iraqi Women Under Siege': "From 1958 to the 1990s, Iraq provided more rights and freedoms for women and girls than most of its neighbors. Though Saddam Hussein's dictatorial government and 12 years of severe sanctions reduced these opportunities, Iraqi women, before the occupation, were still active in many aspects of their society. Now that situation has dramatically changed. While women in Iraqi Kurdistan have made gains since the U.S. invasion, in the rest of the country, women today face violence, hardship and fear daily, and their futures are more uncertain than ever." Read the full report by Codepink: Women for Peace and Global Exchange at http://www.codepinkalert.org/downloads/IraqiWomenReport.pdf

~ Support for Malcolm Kendall-Smith - the RAF doctor who refused to return to Iraq because he considers the invasion of Iraq contravened international law, the Nuremberg principles and the law of armed conflict. As a consequence, he was court-martialed and sentenced to eight months in prison on 13 April 2006. There is a web page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/mks06.htm which includes: a message from Malcolm's family; the link to an Independent article about Malcolm's case; details of where to post a letter of support to him; the online petition calling for his release; a letter you can send online to John Reid, British Secretary of State for Defence; how you can make a donation to assist with Malcolm's legal costs; and where to send an email message of support.

~ International Petition to Ban Uranium Weapons - demanding: an immediate end to the use of uranium weapons; disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used and immediate removal of the remnants and contaminated materials from the sites under strict control; health surveys of the 'depleted' uranium victims and environmental investigations at the affected sites; medical treatment and compensation for the 'depleted' uranium victims; an end to the development, production, stockpiling, testing, trade of uranium weapons; and a Convention for a Total Ban on Uranium Weapons. For more information and to sign-on, go to http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/modules.php?name=ePetitions&op=more_info &ePetitionId=3

*** NATIONAL ***

~ Wednesday, 3 May to Sunday, 21 May - Human Rights Film Festival 2006, screening a range of films covering human rights, armed conflict, peace and reconciliation from different parts of the world; with a panel of speakers at each screening. The theme of the 2006 festival is a celebration of the right to freedom of information. "As Pinter noted in his Nobel Laureate Prize acceptance speech "to maintain [political] power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives." The festival marks how human rights film-makers use the medium of film to bring news stories that others might not want us to hear or see". * Wellington - Wednesday, 3 to Wednesday, 10 May at the Paramount, 25 Courtenay Place * Auckland - Thursday, 11 to Thursday, 18 May at the Academy Cinema, under the Auckland City Library, 44 - 48 Lorne Street * Christchurch - Wednesday, 17 to Sunday, 21 May at the Regent on Worcester, 94 Worcester Street. For details of the films showing this year, screening dates and times, prices and how to book tickets, go to http://www.humanrightsfilmfest.net.nz

~ Ongoing to Sunday, 7 May - screenings of 'Winter Soldier' and 'Disarm' in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. "Winter Soldier is perhaps the most important film about America's involvement in Vietnam and a searing account of how and why ordinary men perform monstrous acts in war, Winter Soldier documents hearings organised by Vietnam Veterans Against the War that allowed combat veterans to report their observations, experiences and, often horrific, war crimes. Having obvious parallels to the Iraq war, this long lost film (American TV networks wouldn't touch it when first released and it never found a distributor) is a sobering insight into the nature of military power." "Disarm, directed by America-based NZer Mary Wareham, is a lively and damning activist documentary that spans a dozen countries to show how, despite a global ban, millions of anti-personnel mines continue to claim victims daily around the world." Part of the New Zealand Film Festival, to check screening times, dates, and venue in your city go to http://www.worldcinemashowcase.co.nz tel (04) 802 2575 or email robyn@nzff.co.nz

~ Friday, 12 May - Concert for Peace with Hollie Smith and Olmecha Supreme, the opening night of the 'Threats to peace and disarmament: the way forward' convention. Starts at 8pm at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington with a Radio Active DJ spinning some true blue kiwi tunes in honour of New Zealand Music Month, followed by Hollie Smith, "hailed as one of New Zealand's finest singers, will take to the stage with her celebrated sensual, melodic and earthy songs filled with depth and power - backed by her full band, her sound is infused with soul, jazz, reggae and R&B; her set will include songs from her recent release EP. Hollie is followed by Olmecha Supreme "with front man Ahmen Mahal aka Imon Star (Rhombus, Nuvonesia, and the Roots Foundation) sparking on stage with an explosion of MC skills, hip hop, spoken word, African percussion and visuals by Aaron Beck. Local legend Deva Mahal adds her rich vocals and startling stage presence to the crew." Tickets are $15 each, available from Ticketek http://www.ticketek.com or from the Ticketek office in the Michael Fowler complex. The Concert for Peace poster is at http://www.nccd.org.nz/CONCERT_FOR_PEACE_POSTER.pdf and more information is available at http://www.nccd.org.nz/peaceconcert.html

~ Saturday, 13 to Sunday, 14 May - 'Threats to peace and disarmament: the way forward', a convention for all those who care about peace and disarmament. 'Threats to peace and disarmament: the way forward' brings together experts and diplomats from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil and French Polynesia to discuss and analyse peace and disarmament issues: the erosion of multilateral agreements; the changing regional and international scene; the perspective of developing and non-aligned states; threats to peace such as the weaponisation of space, US foreign policy and the impact of small arms, as well as regional issues such as Australia's uranium industry and the lasting impact of nuclear testing in the Pacific. The aim is to develop more effective and coordinated strategies for NGOs lobbying government and international organisations. Opening by Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima and President of International Mayors for Peace; also featuring Ambassador Sergio Duarte, President 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Brazil's retired Ambassador-at-Large for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. To be held at Thinktankz, 25-27 Vivian Street (one block from Cambridge Terrace), Wellington; registration is $110 / $70 per person. Organised by the National Consultative Committee on Disarmament, for more information email workshop@nccd.org.nz or check out http://www.nccd.org.nz

~ Friday, 12 to Sunday, 14 May - 'Beyond Retribution: Advancing the Law and Order Debate'- the Prison Fellowship National Conference. "The strongest lineup of judiciary, criminal justice professionals and policy makers and community practitioners to be gathered in one place in a decade. We invite you to take part in a conference which brings criminal justice officials, policy makers, Iwi / Maori and Pacific peoples, church leaders and community representatives together to take part in an informed discussion about criminal justice policy as it relates to the sentencing, rehabilitation, imprisonment and reintegration of prisoners and ex-prisoners, and the impact of offending on victims." There are a range of speakers and presenters including political and social commentators, community policy makers, as well as legal and judiciary, rehabilitation and reintegration, and restorative justice contributors. To be held at the Silverstream Retreat, Upper Hutt; for more information contact the Prison Fellowship of NZ, tel (04) 528 5419, email admin@pfnz.org.nz or go to http://www.pfnz.org.nz/church_community_services/conferences_&_seminars.ht m

~ Ongoing to Sunday, 14 May - Fair Trade Fortnight, for more information, links and resources, and the details of the national speaking tour by Agnes Abrafi, a cocoa grower from the Eastern provinces of Ghana and Erica Kyere who is a research and development officer for the Kuapa Koco Cooperative, go to http://www.cws.org.nz/Campaigns/Fair-Trade-Fortnight.asp

~ Thursday, 1 June - is the deadline for return of the 'Keep Our Port Public' petition forms. "Addressed to the Christchurch City Council, the petition requests that the Christchurch City Council does not allow the sale of any of the shares it owns directly or indirectly in Lyttelton Port Company to Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong or any other overseas or New Zealand company; and that the Christchurch City Council commits to keeping Lyttelton Port Company in 100% public ownership." The petition will be presented to the City Council's June 8 meeting. Signatures from anywhere in the country are welcome, there is a print off petition form available at http://www.keepourportpublic.org/KOPPpetition.pdf and, together with more information, at http://www.keepourportpublic.org

*** LOCAL ***

* AUCKLAND

~ Wednesday, 3 May - UNANZ branch meeting, followed by guest speaker Barry Coates, Oxfam NZ Executive Director, who will outline how the current world trade system only works for some, recent trade talks, and the need to make trade fair and achieve the millennium development goals to make poverty history. Branch meeting starts at 6-30pm, speaker at 7-30pm, followed by supper; St Colomba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby. Organised by UNANZ Northern Region Branch, for more information contact email auckland@unanz.org.nz

~ Saturday, 6 May - Rally for Justice And Peace in Palestine / Israel, come and support peace and justice based on an end to the Israeli Occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the right of return for refugees, sharing Jerusalem, removal of all settlements in occupied Palestine, and stopping construction of Israel's annexation / apartheid wall. The rally is held on the first Saturday of every month, from 2pm in QEII Square, Customs and Queen Streets intersection, outside Downtown Shopping Centre. Organised by the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, for more information contact email wakim.fam@xtra.co.nz or go to http://www.palestine.org.nz

~ Thursday, 11 May - Opening Night Gala for the 2006 Human Rights Film Festival, which runs in Auckland through to Thursday, 18 May. Starts at 6pm with refreshments and a special opening ceremony featuring Cameron Bennett, Ahmed Zaoui, Mahinarangi Tocker and Steve Abel; followed by a screening of the short film 'Winner Every Day' and the feature '1000 Women and a dream' which "traces the collective nomination of 1000 women in 2005, and brings together a rich tapestry of many inspirational lives devoted to the pursuit of peace". Screening followed by a guest Q&A with Marilyn Waring, Patsy Henderson and Marion Hancock; at the Academy Cinema, under the Auckland City Library, 44 - 48 Lorne Street. Tickets for the opening night must be pre-purchased at the Academy Cinema, $18 each, tel (09) 373 2761. For details of the other films showing this year, screening dates and times, prices and how to book tickets, go to http://www.humanrightsfilmfest.net.nz

* WELLINGTON AREA

~ Wednesday, 3 May - Opening night function for the 2006 Human Rights Film Festival which runs in Wellington through to Wednesday, 10 May. Starts 6-30pm with welcome and refreshments; screening starts at 7-15pm with the short film 'Dual Injustice' followed by 'On the Spot' - "A growing number of journalists are killed each year doing the job they love: covering conflict situations and trying to capture details through their cameras to help reveal the whole story. This film records the life and work of one such journalist who died while on assignment in Sierra Leone. This personable documentary traces Miguel Gil's dedication to the job he loved." At the Paramount, 25 Courtenay Place, opening night tickets are $18 each; for details of the films showing this year, screening dates and times, prices and how to book tickets, go to http://www.humanrightsfilmfest.net.nz

~ Wednesday, 3 May 2006 - Public forum: 'Whose Water?' with speakers Dr Geoff Bertram (Senior lecturer in economics at Victoria University) on privatisation and Bryan Pepperell (Wellington City Councillor) on what is going on with water in Wellington. "In response to recent announcements about our water supply, this public forum provides an opportunity to hear and discuss what's going on with water both nationally and in Wellington. Water is a social and cultural good and quality water must be freely available to all, not viewed as an economic commodity! The arrival of the water trading company, Capacity, in Wellington (set up between the Wellington and Lower Hutt City Councils) - which Bryan Pepperell will shed light on - and the potential for the installation of water meters and a more user pays approach to domestic water access is a call to action for all community activists." Starts 7-30pm, Turnbull House (ground floor), Bowen Street; all are welcome to the forum, discussion will follow speakers, followed by tea/coffee and biscuits. Organised by the Wellington Branch of the Alliance, for more information contact email wgtn@alliance.randomstatic.net

~ Thursday, 4 May - End NZ support for the 'war on terrorism', peace vigil from 5pm to 6pm at the Cenotaph (corner Lambton Quay and Bowen Street); the peace vigils are held on the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information contact Peace Movement Aotearoa, tel (04) 382 8129 or email pma@xtra.co.nz

~ Wednesday, 10 May - 'Creating Indigenous Countries: Indigenous Treaties in Canada and New Zealand', a public lecture by Professor John Borrows, University of Victoria, British Columbia Canada. Starts 12-30pm, Lecture Theatre 2, Rear Courtyard, Victoria University Law School, Old Government Buildings. Organised by the New Zealand Centre for Public Law, for more information contact tel (04) 463 6327 or email Anna.Hamilton@vuw.ac.nz

~ Friday, 12 May - Concert for Peace with Hollie Smith and Olmecha Supreme, the opening night of the 'Threats to peace and disarmament: the way forward' convention which runs from Saturday, 13 to Sunday, 14 May. Starts 8pm at the Michael Fowler Centre, tickets are $15 each. For more information about the Concert for Peace check out the listing in the 'national' section above, or go to http://www.nccd.org.nz/peaceconcert.html

~ Saturday, 13 to Sunday, 14 May - 'Threats to peace and disarmament: the way forward', is a convention for all those who care about peace and disarmament. It will bring together experts and diplomats from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil and French Polynesia to discuss and analyse peace and disarmament issues. For more information check out the listing in the 'national' section above, email workshop@nccd.org.nz or go to http://www.nccd.org.nz

~ Ongoing until Saturday, 13 May - Wellington Environment Centre Autumn Workshop Series, "give your garden a boost before winter sets in with these inspirational workshops". Still to come: 6 May - Organic gardening in One day, and 13 May - Native plants for your garden. All workshops at the Wellington Environment Centre, Trash Palace, Broken Hill Rd, Porirua; gold coin koha for all workshops except Adobe ($10 to cover materials). Full programme with more details, and start / finish times for each workshop, is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/wecaut06.pdf or contact tel (04) 238 9980, email office@sustaintrust.org.nz

~ Wednesday, 17 May - 'What is Development?' a workshop introducing participants to a variety of perspectives on development. "Most people have a basic understanding of what development is and it is clear that many development agencies have their own definitions of development and prescriptions for achieving development. However, reaching any sort of consensus on these matters is almost impossible. The workshop will firstly explore the way the participants themselves see development and use this as a basis for identifying possible gaps and debates as well as areas of agreement. We will then explore some alternative notions of development, including non-Western worldviews, to build up a picture of 'development' that spans an enormous range on concepts, values and practices. Ways of measuring and comparing development are then addressed. The afternoon session will move to an examination of the ways different development agencies define and practice development. We will analyse their mission statements and strategies regarding development and use these as a basis for understanding the underlying meanings of development they employ. Finally we return to reflect on our own ideas and practices in the light of the different ideas and structures we have explored." From 9-30am to 4pm, at St John's Presbyterian Church, corner Willis and Dixon Streets; $50 per person, lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Organised by the Council for International Development, for more information contact tel (04) 472 6375 or email eleanor@cid.org.nz

~ Thursday, 18 May - End NZ support for the 'war on terrorism', peace vigil from 5pm to 6pm at the Cenotaph (corner Lambton Quay and Bowen Street); the peace vigils are held on the first and third Thursday of each month. For more information contact Peace Movement Aotearoa, tel (04) 382 8129 or email pma@xtra.co.nz

~ Every Saturday and Wednesday - 'Behind the News' produced by Jim Delahunty, broadcast at 12-30pm on Saturdays, and replayed at 9pm on Wednesdays; Access Radio 783AM. If you would like to contribute to 'Behind the News', please contact email jimddig@clear.net.nz

* CHRISTCHURCH

~ Thursday, 11 May - Benefit Dinner for Save Happy Valley: support the campaign to stop Solid Energy's planned opencast coal mine on the West Coast! The Save Happy Valley Coalition is holding a fundraising three course (vegan) dinner and giving a slideshow presentation, starts 6-30pm at the Media Club, 191 Armagh Street, near Madras St corner. Please come along and show your support for this campaign and the occupation to save this stunning ecosystem. Tickets are $15 / $10, limited to 100 tickets so be early or book your ticket now by emailing savehappyvalley@yahoo.com For more information, see http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz

~ Monday, 15 May - Peace Action Network Otautahi meeting to begin planning for peace week in August, to be followed by a short documentary film on the effects of the military use of depleted uranium (DU) in Iraq. Starts 7-30pm at WEA, 59 Gloucester Street; for more information contact email dwa@netaccess.co.nz

~ Wednesday, 17 May - Opening night function for the 2006 Human Rights Film Festival which runs in Christchurch through to Sunday, 21 May. Starts at 7pm with welcome and refreshments, screening starts at 7-45pm with Lost Children (presented by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand) - "This unsettling documentary follows the rehabilitation of four children from Northern Uganda who were abducted and forced to kill by the rebel movement, the Lord's Resistance Army. Their return home, branded as killers in one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters, prompts the harrowing question; can they ever be children again?" At the Regent on Worcester, 94 Worcester Street, opening night tickets are $18 each; for details of the films showing this year, screening dates and times, prices and how to book tickets, go to http://www.humanrightsfilmfest.net.nz

~ Thursday, 1 June - is the deadline for return of the 'Keep Our Port Public' petition forms. "Addressed to the Christchurch City Council, the petition requests that the Christchurch City Council does not allow the sale of any of the shares it owns directly or indirectly in Lyttelton Port Company to Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong or any other overseas or New Zealand company; and that the Christchurch City Council commits to keeping Lyttelton Port Company in 100% public ownership." The petition will be presented to the City Council's June 8 meeting. Print off form available at http://www.keepourportpublic.org/KOPPpetition.pdf and, together with more information, at http://www.keepourportpublic.org

ENDS

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