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Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter

------------GPJA NEWSLETTER #233, MARCH 29, 2008------------

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #233, March 29, 2008

Kia ora koutou,

FORWARD Kindly forward this newsletter to your friends and encourage them to join this mailing list @ [http://www.gpja.org.nz/]

Support Anti-Free Trade March April 5 Called By Global Peace And Justice Auckland And Unite Union Meet at Aotea Square, Auckland, 12noon, Saturday 5th April

The Prime Minister has left New Zealand on a trip which will include the signing of a free trade agreement with China in the second week of April. Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Unite Union are organising a protest march to take place shortly before the FTA is signed.

The proposed FTA has wide implications for New Zealand. It will cause the further loss of quality jobs here (particularly in the manufacturing sector) following the lost of hundreds of thousands of such jobs when tariffs were first slashed in the 1980s.

The proposed FTA also comes at a time of intense struggle by the people of Tibet against Chinese occupation. Chinese and multinational corporations are active in exploiting minerals in the region while the Tibetan people live under a brutal occupation.

Meanwhile Chinese workers continue to work in slave-like conditions of long hours for pitiful pay while Chinese and international businesses make handsome profits. The only way this exploitation is possible is through violent, repressive state control of Chinese workers such as a ban on workers organising independent trade unions.

The march will call for: “Free Tibet – not free trade” “Save jobs in New Zealand – Support workers rights in China”

For the protest to be as successful as possible we need widespread endorsement of the march. Please let us know if the organisation you belong to will support this march and its objectives. We also need support to spread the word about the march as widely as possible. Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, John Minto, GPJA Spokesperson; jbminto@xtra.co.nz; Mike Treen, National Director of Unite Union, [mike@unite.org.nz]

QUOTES OF THE WEEK "My fellow citizens, at this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger... My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail." - George W. Bush - March 19, 2003

"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it." - Adolf Hitler

"People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to." - Malcolm Muggeridge


OCTOBER 15 SOLIDARITY WELLINGTON is organising a week of events to protest the Labour Party's 2008 Congress. October 15 Solidarity Wellington was formed in the aftermath of the Operation 8 raids last year. The Labour Party 2008 Congress is being held in Wellington, and all those who oppose the government's actions in surveilling, raiding and terrorising Tino Rangatiratanga activists, anarchists and entire Maori communities are invited to join this week of action.

Fundraising Gig: Saturday 5 April, 1pm at the Adelaide (114 Adelaide Road Newtown) An afternoon at the Adelaide, featuring Emma Paki, The Klezmer Rebs and more. The money raised from this gig will go to support those affected by the raids, and to build the politicalresistanceagainst the police's actions.

Public Meeting: Tuesday 8 April, 6pm at Arlington Hall (310 Taranaki St, opposite Wellington High) This public meeting is to discuss the wider context of the police raids, and, in particular, the role of the Labour Party. Speakers will include Valerie Morse, who was arrested on October 15, speaking on anti-terrorism legislation, Don Franks from the Workers Party will talk about the history of the Labour Party and Teanau Tuiono, who was raided as part of Operation 8, speaking on Tino Rangatiratanga. There will be time for questions, discussions, and planning action against the Labour Party Congress.

Protest: Saturday 12 April, midday, meet at Te Aro Park (between DixonSt and Manners St) The protest will start at Te Aro Park (also known as Pigeon Park) and move to the Labour Party Congress (held at the Town Hall). Everyone who opposed the raids is invited to come and bring banners, placards and noise-makers. The government has attacked, October 15 Solidarity Wellington will not allow the government that attacked us to congratulate itself in peace. More information: www.October15thSolidarity.info [http://www.October15thSolidarity.info]

NZ-WIDE SOLIDARITY NETWORK WITH VENEZUELA Hugo Chavez's Venezuela is an inspiration to hundreds of millions around the world. That's because in Venezuela human beings are now at the centre of government policy, not the "almighty dollar". In the wake of a recent NZ tour by Canberra-based Venezuelan diplomat Nelson Davila, moves are underway in many centres to form a NZ-wide Venezuela solidarity network. This will be broad and inclusive, with people in each locality deciding what their regional structure and priorities will be. Our general aims include: • Share and spread information about the ongoing democratic revolution in Venezuela. • Set up a common solidarity website. • Mobilise public opinion against attempts by the US state to destabilise and destroy the popularly elected Chavez government. If you are interested in joining this solidarity network, and didn't put your name on the contact list that circulated during Nelson's meetings, then simply email Nelson's tour manager Grant Morgan at [grantmorgan@paradise.net.nz]

INVITATION TO VENEZUELA EDUCATION STUDY TOUR A Collaborative Exchange and Study Tour for Academics, Teachers & Students February 2009 Dear Friends and Colleagues, We would like to invite you to participate in the first Education Exchange and Study Tour of Venezuela. A number of educators here in Australia and internationally have become increasingly interested in the radical education reform currently taking place in Venezuela. The reconstruction of public education has been positioned as a driving force for the wider process of social change manifest in Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution. It is clear that the changes are providing access to education for many Venezuelans previously excluded from the system, as well as new models of provision and new curricula based on the ideals of a “Bolivarian socialism for the 21st Century.” The early outcomes of this nationwide radical reform of education are certainly inspiring! This educational exchange aims to deepen participants' understanding of these processes in all their complexity, including the successes, the challenges and the relationship between education and the broader process of social change. This exchange provides a unique opportunity to join educators and students from around the globe, in an investigative and collaborative tour aimed at learning more about Venezuela's revolution in education. The issues and themes of access, equity, school and university community partnerships and education for social change are at the core of our own work and experiences with education, providing a strong basis for the sharing of practice and perspectives. It is also hoped that the exchange can lead to the development of collaboration, new links and projects with institutions, community organisations and unions working in the education sector in Venezuela. The study tour will take place in January 2009 and will involve a range of meetings (seminars) and visits with educational groups, institutions, and community organisations. The details of the week are to worked out in conjunction with colleagues from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, and local schools and community organizations in Caracas. Initial details: Preliminary dates: January 6 - 14, 2009 Estimated costs: International Airfare ($3500) Registration fee: $300/$150 concession Estimated internal travel costs: $150 Estimated accommodation costs: $250 Food is cheap and participants will also have to budget for spending money. The Study Tour Organising Committee will assist with advice on airfares and accommodation. The Study Tour is hosted by Dr Tom Griffiths, University of Newcastle, Australia, and Jo Williams, Victoria University, Australia in collaboration with the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. It is supported by Centre for Latin American Solidarity and Studies (CLASS) and the Australian Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), please contact us if you would like to register the support of another organization. For further details, to contribute ideas and/or to register your interest please contact the organising committee: Tom Griffiths Tom.Griffiths [at] newcastle [dot] edu [dot] au Jo Williams Jo.Williams [at] vu [dot] edu [dot] au Roberto Jorquera roberto [at] latinamericasolidarity [dot] org Jorge Jorquera Jorge.Jorquera [at] rmit [dot] edu [dot] au

LOOKING FOR WORK Dylan Tromp [dylantromp@hotmail.com] 021 828 501 With a strong professional and academic background in international development, Dylan is a passionate advocate for social justice and the peaceful advancement of human rights. He has worked with Oxfam Australia, the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and a number of other international development and social justice organisations. He is seeking employment from mid-April 2008 in the Auckland region. Please contact Dylan directly for further details or for a copy of his CV. skype: dylantromp t: +64 9 920 4950; f: +64 9 920 4951; m: +64 21 828 501

ARABIC LANGUAGE COURSE FOR BEGINNERS MEIIC for the second time has opened another class for the community: Daily Arabic Lesson For The Beginner. Open for everybody regardless their background education, ethnicity, religion, race and gender. The teacher is a graduate from Massey Uni and a native speaker. He will teach not only the language but also the culture of the language and the comparison with several other languages. Class starts on Tuesday, 11 March at 7 PM till 8 PM. Bring your own stationery to Middle East Islamic Information Centre: 2 / 25 Horoeka Ave, Mt. Eden (Beside no 57 Bellevue Rd) Cost: $2 Koha. Information: Ghassan – 0212947349. Understanding The People and Their Culture By Understanding the Language! Sony Ambudi, Center Executive Manager, Mt. Eden Islamic Information Center www.islamicinfo.org.nz [http://www.islamicinfo.org.nz] (09) 4424588; 64-21725290

SUPPORT THE DEFENCE OF ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN THE SO-CALLED “ANTI-TERROR RAIDS” A CD of great music…Double CD & Booklet $25 - TU KOTAHI - Freedom Fighting Anthems - 25 excellent tracks of sheer Kiwi music/voice !!!!!!!!! From CD sleeve note: "Tu Kotahi - Freedom Fighting Anthems" is a non-profit, consciousness raising project. All funds will go to organisations in Aotearoa who are working specifically with those affected by the Oct 15th 2007 state raids. The booklet, called Wahanui, was put together by Conscious Collaborations T Shirts "Ka whawhai tonu matou". $25 (orders taken - state size required). To order or to help sell - Contact VANESSA - [spadarkle@hotmail.com] Ph 09 836 9002 [http://www.freedomfighterscd.org.nz/]

CLIMATE CHANGE - SOCIAL CHANGE CONFERENCE, APRIL 11-13, 2008, SYDNEY The world is teetering on the brink of unstoppable climate change. Many now recognise the need for serious change in the way we produce and use energy, our transport systems, food production, urban design and forestry practices. Yet politicians are still mouthing platitudes while allowing corporations to continue to profit from polluting our atmosphere and destroying our ecosystem. The need for social change has become an urgent part of preventing catastrophic climate change. Can the market fix the problem? What is the real record of carbon trading? How can we build a social movement capable of averting this disaster? What models and experiences can offer real solutions? To strengthen the exchange of ideas and contribute towards that urgent action Green Left Weekly is organising the Climate Change - Social Change conference from April 11-13, 2008 in Sydney. We are pleased to have confirmed: - John Bellamy Foster, author of Marx's Ecology: Materialism and Nature, editor of Monthly Review ([http://sociology.uoregon.edu/faculty/foster.php]) - Patrick Bond, Director of the Centre for Civil Society, University of Natal, South Africa; editor of Climate Change, Carbon Trading and Civil Society www.zcommunications.org/zspace/patrickbond [http://www.zcommunications.org/zspace/patrickbond] - Roberto Perez, Cuban permaculturalist (featured in The Power of Community: how Cuba survived peak oil). We invite your participation in making this more than just an exchange of ideas - important as that is - but a part of building up resistance to corporate-led climate change and strengthening the movement for sustainable development. To receive updates about the conference, send an email to [climatechange_socialchangeconf_announce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com] Please forward this conference call to your networks. In solidarity, Kamala Emanuel and Pip Hinman, Climate Change - Social Change conference organisers

ANNOUNCING THE MAY DAY 2008 BRIGADE TO VENEZUELA Registration deadline: March 30th, 2008 (including payment). The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s (AVSN) next solidarity brigade to Venezuela is schedule for May 2008 and will coincide with May Day (May 1st) in Venezuela. The brigade will be a unique opportunity to see first-hand the unfolding revolution in Venezuela. If you are interested in being part of this inspiring and educational experience, please send the completed registration form to [brigades@venezuelasolidarity.org] Form available online [http://venezuelasolidarity.org/?q=node/40]


Thursday, April 3, 6pm-7.30pm, Whare Wananga, Auckland Central Library In Our Own Image With Alexandra Halkin, CHIAPAS MEDIA PROJECT, MEXICO. A public forum as part of the Talk About Terror series at the Whare Wananga, Auckland Central Library and Leonie Pihama MAORI AND INDIGENOUS ANALYSIS LTD., AOTEAROA For many indigenous groups, the issue of who controls representations is critical. With a cultural identity that exists outside of mainstream society, the complex histories and unique perspectives of these groups are often lost in our images of the nation. This idea of competing images of identity in one nation was recently highlighted in the news coverage of the ‘terror raids’ on the Tuhoe communities of Ruatoki and Taneatua on the East Coast. While mainstream media overwhelmingly focused on the legality of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, Maori media saw the raids as a continuation of state oppression against the Tuhoe sovereignty movement. In this second session of the Talk About Terror series, we examine what it means to create representations In Our Own Image through the work of two film makers, Alexandra Halkin and Leonie Pihama. Alexandra Halkin, the International Coordinator of the Chiapas Media Project (Promedios), joins us from Mexico. Promedios gives voice to indigenous peoples from the states of Chiapas and Guerrero in Mexico by providing them with cameras to track their lives in a region torn with infamously poor human rights records and one of the highest international incidences of political murders and disturbances. She is joined by Leonie Pihama, a film maker and renowned scholar on Maori education and broadcasting, who played a crucial role in the formation of the Maori Television Service. What will emerge in this dialogue spanning two distinct nations are the commonalities of indigenous experience – the struggle to create space for indigenous representations, the marginalisation of minority cultures, and the importance of film and television in shaping our perceptions of society. In Our Own Image pays tribute to Barry Barclay (Ngati Apa, 1944 – 2008) who dedicated most of his life to bringing indigenous stories to the screen. Director of the landmark 1974 Tangata Whenua documentary series, he was a pioneer of Maori film and television, forever altering the cultural landscape of New Zealand by becoming the first Maori to direct a feature film in 1987, the visually cerebral Ngati. Barclay sought to shed light on the international struggles shared by indigenous peoples to retain autonomy over their own image by offering alternatives to the largely stereotypical representations of these cultures. THIS LECTURE IS A PART OF THE TALK ABOUT TERROR SERIES ORGANISED BY NOVA PAUL, GERALDENE PETERS AND PHOEBE FLETCHER—AUT UNIVERSITY, THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND. Media contacts: NOVA PAUL [nova.paul@aut.co.nz] 09 921 9999 ext 8063; GERALDENE PETERS [geraldene.peters@aut.ac.nz] 021 1045624. SUPPORTED BY: AUT UNIVERSITY, Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies; New Zealand Centre for Latin American Studies, UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND

Thursday, April 3, from 3:00pm- 5:00pm at the AUT Business School, Level 7, Room 711, 42 Wakefield Street, Auckland Dr Peter Turnbull, Professor of Human Resource Management & Labour Relations at Cardiff University, will be speaking on the topic 'Globalisation, Transportation and Sustainable Development in the EU'.


Monday 7th April: GPJA MONTHLY FORUM – ANTI-TERROR LAWS: Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. 7.30pm Special Forum to update on the campaign to repeal the anti-terror laws. Details of panellists to follow.

Thursday, 10 April 2008 - Saturday, 19 April 8pm. Maidment Theatre, 8 Alfred St, Auckland CBD THE HOLLOW MEN - HIGHLY-ACCLAIMED NEW ZEALAND PLAY The Hollow Men comes to Auckland in April for a strictly limited season. Based on Nicky Hager’s controversial book and adapted by Dean Parker, The Hollow Men is at Maidment Theatre, Auckland for ten performances only. The Hollow Men examines the months of Don Brash’s leadership of the National Party leading up to the 2005 election and is a riveting piece of new documentary theatre, a genre which is currently proving to be a phenomenon overseas. The play had its world premiere in Wellington in September last year and among many nominations won a Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for set design. Featuring iconic New Zealand actor Stephen Papps as Don Brash, together with Michael Keir Morrissey, Lyndee-Jane Rutherford, Adam Gardiner, Sam Snedden and Arthur Meek, The Hollow Men seeks to both challenge and entertain in this relevant and topical play. “Exciting, funny and totally absorbing” – Dominion Post. In The Hollow Men, the cast plays a variety of political movers and shakers; many of whom still walk the corridors of parliament and have influence behind the scenes today. Director Jonathon Hendry says The Hollow Men follows an international trend for stories about real events to be played out on the stage. “Shakespeare had great popular hits examining political events on stage with plays such as Julius Caesar and Richard the Third and in recent years, a new form of documentary theatre is selling out theatres on Broadway, at Britain’s National Theatre and at smaller fringe venues everywhere. “Renowned British playwright David Hare (whose play Stuff Happens dramatised events leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003) says that ‘theatre using real people has become a fabulously rich and varied strand which, for many years, has been pumping red cells into the dramatic bloodstream’, and the hottest piece of theatre on the international circuit at the moment is the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, based on real events in Iraq. “We’ve been performing Dean Parker’s highly entertaining adaptation of Nicky Hager’s book to packed houses. It’s fantastic to be able to bring it to Auckland”. Designed by Brian King, Jen Lal, Judith Crozier and Andrew McMillan, The Hollow Men plays at Maidment Theatre, Auckland for a strictly limited season from 10-19 April. Book by phoning 09 308 2383 or online at www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz [http://www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz] “Fast and funny theatre” - NZ Herald. “The most impressive new work” – Best of 2007, Harry Ricketts, NZ Listener

Monday, April 14, 7pm, University of Auckland Conference Centre, Room ENG 439, 22 Symonds St, Auckland City. CHILD POVERTY: WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE? LESSONS FROM THE U.K. - A special guest presentation by Kate Green Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group UK. Entry by koha. For a map of the University with the location of the Conference Centre, see [http://www.sges.auckland.ac.nz/public/maps/city.pdf] For futher information contact Rachel Somerfield, CPAG NZ Administrator [admin@cpag.org.nz] or (09) 303-9260. www.cpag.org.nz [http://www.cpag.org.nz]

Tuesday, April 15 & Wed, April 16, 3-8pm, MOBILISING FOR CHANGE HUI (WORKSHOP). The interactive Mobilising for Change hui has been developed for people who are actively working on social and environmental justice issues and who seek to mobilise communities to bring about change. It is intended for people who are clear their campaign objectives and who recognise that people power is a necessary step along the way. This workshop will include a range of bright ideas and practical tools to: * Understand community organising, and what makes it different from other approaches to social change * Map their communities and relationships with allies and other constituents * Build and maintain alliances and coalitions * Interact constructively with powerholders and allies * Engage and sustain grassroots activists Facilitators: James Whelan & Pru Gell (tCA). Cost: $250 (unwaged), $300 (low income) or $350 (higher income) including resources & refreshments. Preparation: Participants are asked to prepare a case study about a campaign they are working on. Registration: Places are strictly limited. Download the registration form from [http://www.wea.org.nz/programmes/auckland.html] or [http://www.thechangeagegncy.org/] /01_cms/details.asp?ID=74 Queries: Christine Herzog [coordinator@trc.org.nz] (09) 274 4270 A Change Agency workshop hosted by Auckland Workers Education Association (AWEA) and the Kotare Trust. To find out more about the Change Agency visit [http://www.thechangeagency.org]

10 am, Friday April 18 to 3 pm, Sunday April 20, Whai Ora Marae, Otara, Manukau City Treaty Educators Professional Development Conference to be held in Tâmaki Makaurau, 18 - 20 April 2008. The purposes of this conference are •To support Treaty educators to improve the quality of their practice •To enhance development of a Treaty educator community of practice •To encourage more involvement in ACE Treaty provision. For more information and to register see the attached document or visit www.treatyeducators.org.nz [http://www.treatyeducators.org.nz]

Monday 12th May: GPJA MONTHLY FORUM – THE PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. 7.30pm Maher Mughrabi, Palestinian writer and journalist now working in Melbourne at The Age and a member of the Palestinian Diaspora. This meeting comes just two days before the anniversary of al Nakba – the anniversary of the proclaiming of the state of Israel in Tel Aviv.


NEW ZEALAND An imminent recession? Be prepared [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0803/S00319.htm] Tibetans stand watch at Chinese Embassy in Wellington [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0803/S00204.htm] Doctor crisis of 'frightening proportions' [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4447778a20475.html] Blackball 08 — 100 Years On [http://indymedia.org.nz/newswire/display/75097/index.php] National trying to mislead public on wage gap [http://www.epmu.org.nz/SITE_Default/news/union_news/2008_03_28_wagegap.a]... Syed Akbar Kamal: Row over Metrowater [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0803/S00430.htm] Buchanan dismissal unjustified, says ERA [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED0803/S00065.htm] Greenpeace occupies coal ship [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0803/S00239.htm]

ENVIRONMENT Offsetting democracy - Carbon trading and offsets distract attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Promoting more effective and empowering approaches to climate change involves moving away from the blinkered reductionism of free-market dogma, the false economy of supposed quick fixes and the short-term self-interest of big business. [http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/744/38482] Antarctic Shelf 'Hangs By Thread' - A chunk of ice the size of the Isle of Man has started to break away from Antarctica in what scientists say is further evidence of a warming climate. Satellite images suggest that part of the ice shelf is disintegrating, and will soon crumble away [http://www.countercurrents.org/briggs260308.htm]

FEATURES John Pilger: Truth In War Is Always Subversive. - A tribute to Philip Jones Griffiths, who understood war & peace, & people. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19616.htm]

FILM When the enemy is at the door - Will Atkinson talked to Ken Loach [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1120.html] Letting people speak - Siobhan McGuirk talks to Kim Longinotto about the growing interest in documentaries, their potential power to move and stir people and explores what kind of documentaries give people a sense of agency [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1119.html] The films we miss and why - There are some really interesting Italian films coming out – probably Hungarian, French and Polish ones too – but you’d never know it. We are still suffering the results of post-war agreements that gave the US film industry the power to dominate our culture as if films were like motor cars. The Italian champion of cultural rights, Luciana Castellina, describes what we miss and updates us on the global efforts to defend cultural diversity [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1118.html] '638 Ways to Kill Castro' - When Is a Cigar Not a Cigar? When It Tries to Kill Castro [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/arts/television/03hale.html?adxnnl=1&r]...

CHINA TibetInfoNet [http://www.tibetinfonet.net/content] Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JC26Ad02.html] The truth about Tibet [http://www.newstatesman.com/200803190010] At war with the utopia of modernityTibetans' rage is directed not at communist rule, but the consumerist threat to their traditions and sacred lands [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/22/tibet.china1/print]

CUBA Cuba : Transitions without End by Dr. Frederic Clairmont [http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8408] Broad discussions on culture, politics mark Havana book fair [http://www.themilitant.com/2008/7213/721350.html] Mariela Castro’s Gay Gamble [http://www.queerty.com/mariela-castros-gay-gamble-20080327/]

IRAQ Five Things You Need to Know to Understand the Latest Violence in Iraq [http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/80580/?page=entire] Police refuse to support Iraqi PM's attacks on Mehdi Army [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/police-refuse-to-sup]... Impact of Radioactive Ammunition Fired in Iraq - "We Are Living Through Another Hiroshima," Iraqi Doctor Says [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0803/S00375.htm]

PACIFIC Indonesian Shooting Rampage In West Papua [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0803/S00224.htm]

PALESTINE The mega prison of Palestine - Ilan Pappe sees a deliberately genocidal policy by Israel towards the Palestinians [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1121.html]

PERU Peruvian leaders cry foul as Chávez exports healthcare• 400,000 Latin Americans take up free surgery offer Humanitarian schemes are political front, says Lima [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/24/venezuela]

TIMOR LESTE East Timor forfeits its newest hero - Following the attack on East Timor president Jose Ramos Hortes, Carole Reckinger and Sara Gonzalez Devant report on the complexities surrounding the current crisis [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1115.html]

USA Anti-war campaigners have to change electoral tactics - Neither Clinton nor Obama has a real plan to end the occupation of Iraq, but they could be forced to change position -Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill [http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/26/antiwar.iraq] Gap in Life Expectancy Widens for the Nation [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/us/23health.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slog]... Sarah Churchwell: The big issue in America is not race, it's class [http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/sarah-churchwell-the-b]... Is a Lean Economy Turning Mean? [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/business/02jobs.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&or]...

UK Beyond bread and butter - From postal workers to policemen, public sector workers have been linking their demands for decent working conditions with the quality of the services they provide and begun to create new alliances. They still need more imaginative thinking, says Gregor Gall, but does this approach provide a way forward for trade unions generally, in the private sector as well as the public [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article996.html] Rethinking political parties - The membership and influence of political parties is declining throughout the western world, and most quickly in Britain. Hilary Wainwright examines the role of the party in transformative politics and asks how the left might reimagine this crucial instrument of political change [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1017.html] Agency for change - Mark Perryman argues the need for a plural politics to confront the conservative left [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1018.html]

VENE ZUELA United Socialist Party of Venezuela is an Instrument for Socialism [http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/3295]

VIETNAM The Tet Offensive 40 years on - The end of January 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of an event that astonished the world, changed the course of history, and remains pregnant with lessons for today. In the early hours of 31 January 1968, soldiers of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam and the Army of North Vietnam launched what came to be known as the Tet Offensive (it coincided with Tet Nguyen Dan, the lunar new year) against the US occupiers and their puppet government, writes Mike Marqusee [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article1054.html]

ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe: Political rollercoaster hits another deep dip [http://www.greenleft.org.au/2008/744/38477]


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