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GPJA Newsletter #266 December 29, 2008

Global Peace And Justice Auckland

NEWSLETTER #266 December 29, 2008

Website: http://www.gpja.org.nz/

Protest against slaughter in Gaza - Tuesday 4pm, US Consulate, Citibank, 23 Customs St East

Global Peace and Justice Auckland is organising a protest against Israeli’s latest attacks on the people of Gaza.

The protest will be outside the US Consulate in Customs Street Auckland from 4pm this Tuesday 30th December. The consulate is being targeted because the US has given unconditional backing to the Israeli government in these attacks.

Initial reports indicate at least 200 Palestinians have been killed and close to 800 injured in what has been described as one of the worst indiscriminate killings of Palestinians in the 60 years since they were driven from their homes and their land by Jewish terror squads at the founding of Israel.

Israel says the attacks are in retaliation for rocket attacks against Israel from inside Gaza. However having besieged one and half millions Palestinians in Gaza and refused to allow land, sea or air access Israel is keeping these people in a massive open-air prison.

It is to be expected that Palestinians will fight back with whatever means they have at hand.

We are calling on the New Zealand government to condemn these cowardly Israeli attacks.

Mike Treen – (09) 8452132 or 0295254744
John Minto – (09) 8463173(H) or (09) 8469496(W)
For the GPJA Committee

ANNOUNCEMENTS

GAZA – Death and destruction

Israel has begun an aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip which has killed over 200 Palestinians and left hundreds wounded. Speaking menacingly on Israeli Army radio, military spokesman, Avi Benayahu, said that the massive bombardment was only a beginning.

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign is horrifed that the people of Gaza are in the front line of what amounts to a war against the rule of international law, human rights and the Geneva Conventions. This latest, merciless assault on a defenceless and captive people demonstrates the nature of a state driven by a hateful ideology.

Spokesperson Janfrie Wakim says 'encouraged by largely sycophantic world leaders and corporate news media, Israel is heaping more death and destruction on a people already suffering under an unprecedented blockade. Israel demonstrating yet again its intention to continue defying UN Resolutions and international humanitarian law; appeasement will serve only to feed its ambition'.

Generations of Palestinians have suffered ethnic cleansing, military occupation, brutality and daily cruelties that range from gross excess to petty spite. "Have people become, so blinded by rhetoric and propaganda, that the difference between occupation and resistance cannot be seen" she asks?

The PHRC calls upon the NZ government to condemn Israel's human rights violations against the Palestinian people and to demand a cessation of this military offensive. Israel's persistent unilateral attempts to change by force the situation of some 1.5 million Palestinians blatantly contravene international humanitarian law and all human rights conventions.

The PHRC urges Aucklanders to join a rally outside the US Embassy, Quay St 4pm Tuesday to protest this slaughter of a population which, with the unconditional support of the USA, has been under siege by Israel for 18 months.

Contact Janfrie Wakim 09 5200201 or 027 629 1004

Gaza Crisis - NZ and others Contact list to write to listed below

ISRAEL:

Prime Minister’s Office: Prime.Minister'sOffice@it.pmo.gov.il

Ministry of Defence: pniot@mod.gov.il

Members of the Knesset Presidium

Dalia Itzik: yor@knesset.gov.il

Collete Avital: avitalk@knesset.gov.il

Mohammad Barakeh: mbarakeh@knesset.gov.il

Amnon Cohen: amncohen@knesset.gov.il

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein: yedelstein@knesset.gov.il

Yitzhak Levi: ithakl@knesset.gov.il

David Rotem: drotem@knesset.gov.il

Otniel Schneller: oschneller@knesset.gov.il

Yitzhak Ziv: yziv@knesset.gov.il

Knesset public complaints department: Gila Rothschild gilar@knesset.gov.il

Chairman, Security and Foreign Affairs Committee Tzachi Hanegbi zhanegbi@knesset.gov.il

Israeli Ambassador to Australia HE Yuval Rotem ambassadorsec@canberra.mfa.gov.il

NEW ZEALAND

Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Murray McCully mmccully@ministers.govt.nz

Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key pm@ministers.govt.nz

helen.clark@parliament.govt.nz

phil.twyford@parliament.govt.nz

peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz

pansy.wong@parliament.co.nz

rodney.hide@parliament.govt.nz

keith.locke@parliament.govt.nz

SLAUGHTER IN GAZA- A SPECIAL REPORT

The Dead Were Piled on Top of Each Other Outside' By Sami Abdel-Shafi in Gaza city: I am safe, and yet I feel like a walking dead person. Everything around me shows it. It is hard to write something of any coherence while exposed to cold winter air and to the smell that lingers after the detonation of Israeli bombs.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21549.htm

Christmas In Gaza : No More Room In The Morgue. 'Little Baghdad' in Gaza - Bombs, Fear and Rage By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent - Relatives search among the bodies and the wounded in order to bring the dead quickly to burial. A mother whose three school-age children were killed, and are piled one on top of the other in the morgue, screams and then cries, screams again and then is silent. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21551.htm

More Than 200 Killed As Israel Drops 100 Tons Of Bombs In Gaza City- The BBC Video Repor - Israeli F-16 bombers have pounded targets across the Gaza Strip, killing more than 200 people, according to local medical workers. Click to view http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21546.htm

PALESTINIANS, SOLIDARITY ACTIVISTS CONDEMN ISRAEL'S MASS SLAUGHTER IN GAZA, CALL FOR PROTESTS AND SANCTIONS By the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee Occupied Ramallah, Palestine -- December 27, 2008 -- Today, the Israeli occupation army committed a new massacre in Gaza, causing the death and injury of hundreds of Palestinian civilians [latest reports place the death toll at more than 200], including a yet unknown number of schoolchildren who were headed home from school when the first Israeli military strikes started. This latest bloodbath, although far more ruthless than all its predecessors, is not Israel's first. It culminates months of an Israeli siege of Gaza that should be widely condemned and prosecuted as an act of genocide against the 1.5 million Palestinians in the occupied coastal strip. http://links.org.au/node/823

Gaza Massacre In Pictures By Uruknet - A link to a number of heartrending pictures of Gaza tragedy http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=49933&s2=27

Israeli warplanes have carried out a massive airstrike on the Gaza Strip By Press TV: Video footages showed the bodies of dead people including men, women and children on Gaza streets. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21541.htm

Eyewitness: Chaos in Gaza By BBC: We can see from our office here in Gaza, in the middle of Gaza City, ambulances are still evacuating the injured from buildings and school kids are trying to find secure places. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21543.htm

Hamas Press Conference After Israeli Attacks On Gaza Video - 27 Dec08.Taher al-Noono, a Hamas spokesman, speaks to reporters in Gaza following Israeli attacks which killed more than 195 people and wounded more than 200 others.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21542.htm

Bush Winks at Israel's Slaughter in Gaza, Obama and Clinton Are Silent By Matthew Rothschild.President-elect Barack Obama and Secretary of State-to-be Hillary Clinton were shamefully silent in the first hours after the attack. Bush's reaction, and the non-reaction by Obama and Clinton, underscores the point that Hanan Ashrawi made on Saturday. "Israel has gotten used to not being held accountable and to being a country that is above the law," said the Palestinian legislator and human rights activist. She called the bombings a "massacre". http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21547.htm

Gaza Massacres Must Spur Us To Action By Ali Abunimah: "I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21545.htm

Gaza Massacre: Israel's Cynicism Supported by the West's Complicity By Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Today the Israeli army launched its long awaited strikes against the Gazan people, an unarmed, captive civilian population. The West, including the British government, has supported the last two years' of blockade of the Palestinians in Gaza for the crime of exercising their democratic rights in a manner not to Israel's liking. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21544.htm

One Israeli killed, 4 hurt as Palestinian rockets hit Negev home: Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired at least 54 Qassam and Grad rockets into southern Israel on Saturday after Israeli air strikes killed more than 195 Palestinians in Gaza, according to Palestinian sources. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050399.html

Israel to mount emergency international PR effort in wake of savage attacks on Gaza: Livni instructed senior ministry officials to open an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign, in order to gain greater international support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1050402.html

In Pictures :Israeli Attack On Gaza: http://tinyurl.com/7bf7ow

ANNOUNCEMENTS

2009 NATIONAL PEACE WORKSHOPS

The 2009 National Peace Workshops, the national gathering for people interested in peace, social justice and human rights, will be at the Quaker Settlement in Whanganui in mid or late March - the date is currently being finalised, and will be available soon. The theme of the 2009 NPW is 'Promoting peace through active non-violent resistance' and the main focus will be participatory discussion with Maori, Pacific and Pakeha contributors who have experience of community and individual non-violent resistance, and/or non-violent direct action in Aotearoa and overseas. Preliminary information about the National Peace Workshops, including the programme outline, venue and accommodation options, is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/npw09.htm

UN DECLARATION PETITION: THANKS, PHOTOS AND UPDATE

Thank you to everyone who collected signatures for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples' petition. Thanks also to Claire Charters, Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, the Maori MPs, in particular Te Ururoa Flavell, and Green Party MP Keith Locke, and everyone who came along when the petition was presented to parliament on Human Rights Day, 10 December. It was presented with thirteen hundred and fifteen signatures. Photos and speech notes from the presentation are now available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/declpetph.htm Parliamentary security told Keith Locke's Executive Assistant that the petition would not be allowed into parliament unless it went through the security scanner (because of its dangerous contents?!) - this ridiculous instruction and the response to it was captured on camera, see the second page of photos. Additional signatures on the petition will

UPDATE ON THE UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES PETITION

The Office of the House of the Clerk initially refused to accept the signatures on the UN Declaration petition to parliament (on a technicality, this is not related to it entering the premises without having gone through the security scanner!). Agreement has now been reached whereby another petition, in Peace Movement Aotearoa's name, is being lodged - urging the House of Representatives to take note of the UN Declaration petition - and it will then proceed to a Select Committee. This somewhat bizarre process will actually make it easier to add additional signatures to those presented on Human Rights Day, so please continue collecting signatures through the summer - the summer festivals would be great places to take petition forms and a pen! The form is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/declpet.pdf or from email pma@xtra.co.nz - the final deadline for return of signatures is Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Day, 1 March.

A DOCUMENTARY-STYLE HUMAN RIGHTS EXHIBITION ON MENTAL HEALTH is showing at the TesltraClear Pacific Centre 20-23 Dec 2008.Special free viewing of this educational exhibit has been made available in South Auckland for Pacific and Maori organisations, people working in government agencies, the community, as well as interested public. This is a rare opportunity to look into the big questions surrounding unexplained violence and suicide, depression, behavioural and other mental health issues. Interviews with more than 160 doctors, lawyers, educators, parents and other experts in the 14 documentaries and display panels reveal historical and contemporary information that anyone interested in children and our future, needs to see. We look forward to seeing you there. FREE Admission and Free Parking! (Please note that there is a R18 restriction on the documentaries).

Steve Green, Executive Director,Citizens Commission on Human Rights, PO Box 5257, Wellesley St, Auckland. Ph/Fax: (09) 580 0060. 0800 777 555, www.cchr.org.nz cchr@xtra...co..nz

BACK TO BASICS – CLASSES ON CAPITAL
Classes around reading Marx’s Capital begin Tuesday, January 20, 6pm. There are a couple of useful study guides and video lectures on the web which can be used. In the context of the current economic crisis I think it is important to go back to basics of socialist economic theory. The group that does the course can also share material that is most useful in terms of analysis of the current crisis alongside the main study effort. Check out the following websites for an example. http://www.marxisteconomics.com/index.php?id=160

http://davidharvey.org/

Email mike@unite.org.nz if you are interested in the project.

Xmas Message To Aotearoa NZ From Disabled Liberation Let’s Get It Together…Our Children Will Cheer”

Disabled Liberation Aotearoa has modified the John Lennon / Yoko Ono song “Merry Christmas” and presents these lyrics as a Gift to the World in 2008 and the future….”Arohanui To All” Peace Love & Humor

An’ So This Is Christmas – An’ Look What We’ve Done
Another Year Over – More Barriers To Come

So A Very Merry Christmas – And A Happy New Year
Let’s Hope It’s A Good One – Without Any Fear

An’ So This Is Christmas - For Weak And For Strong
Rebirth Of Our Nation – Nga Hauaa* has Come (Disabled People In Maori)

And A Very Merry Christmas – And A Happy New Year
Let’s Get It Together – Our Children Will Cheer

(Backing Vocals By Children)Repeat Twice
All We’re Asking – Peace As Lasting
Keep On Asking – One And All
Am’ So This Is Christmas – Kiwis In The Sun
Three Nations Together – Waitangi As One

An’ A Very Merry Christmas – And A Happy New Year
Let’s Get It Together – Our Children Will Cheer

Let’s Hope Its A Good One – Without Any Fear
Tena Tatou Katoa – Arohanui o All

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference": Bess Myerson

"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." -- Thomas Jefferson to P. Dupont, 1816

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On the matt: Debate over police spying on protest groups

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Mysteries: Why Did Bill Remove Full Employment As A Policy target - Council of Trade Unions Economist Peter Conway says that the removal of full employment and equitable distribution of income as objectives in the Policy Targets Agreement is a worrying sign, and has called on Finance Minister to explain the move.

FEATURES
Capitalism Short Circuits Our Moral Hard-Wiring


WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

The Coming Capitalist Consensus By Walden Bello: While progressives were engaged in full-scale war against neoliberalism, reformist thinking was percolating in critical establishment circles. This thinking is now about to become policy, and progressives must work double time to engage it http://www.countercurrents.org/bello281208.htm

Two paths in the face of the capitalism’s global fractureBy Luis Bilbao, translated from the December 2008-January 2009 issue of America XXI by Federico Fuentes, for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Luis Bilbao will be a featured international speaker at the World at a Crossroads conference, in Sydney, April 10-13, 2009.Two presidential meetings were held in November in the face of the international financial collapse and the ominous warning signs it represents for the future of humanity. The first, convoked by US President George Bush, brought together the Group of 20, G20, in the National Construction Museum in Washington. The second meeting, initiated by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, united the c

ENVIRONMENT

Has The Arctic Melt Passed The Point Of No Return? By Steve Connor http://www.countercurrents.org/connor181208.htm

20 Ways To Save Mother Earth And Prevent Environmental Disaster By Evo Morales http://www.countercurrents.org/morales181208.htm

Four Truths About Climate Change We Can't Igonore By Gwynn Dyer http://www.countercurrents.org/dyer181208.htm

The Most Important Number On Earth By Bill McKibben http://www.countercurrents.org/mckibben181208.htm

Peak Oil: At Last, A Date By George Monbiot http://www.countercurrents.org/monbiot181208.htm

Counting Sea Gulls By Mickey Z http://www.countercurrents.org/mickeyz181208.htm

America: The Choice Ahead By Mohammed Mesbahi & Adam Parsons http://www.countercurrents.org/parsons181208.htm

AFGHANISTAN

'I Was Still Holding my Grandson's Hand - The Rest Was Gone' - In the second of our series of dispatches from the ravaged country, Afghans explain how mounting civilian casualties are aiding Taliban recruiting http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21484.htm

EL SALVADOR

El Salvador: Video -- Unidos por el cambio (Democracy and the 2009 Salvadorean election)

INDONESIA

Indonesia: Protest napalm bomb attack on farmers' settlement

INDIA

India's New Terror Law Shows Old Genes By Binu Karunakaran

The Monster In The Mirror By Arundhati Roy

JAPAN

Japan's "working poor" at risk as recession hits

MEXICO
Photo essay: Oaxaca, Mexico -- `Living Under the Trees' - A photo essay by David Bacon December 23, 2008 -- About 30 million Mexicans survive on less than 30 pesos per day -- not quite US$3. The minimum wage is 45 pesos per day. The Mexican federal government estimates that 37.7 per cent of its 106 million citizens -- 40 million people -- live in poverty. Some 25 million, or 23.6 per cent, live in extreme poverty. In rural Mexico, more than 10 million people have a daily income of less than 12 pesos -- a little more than $1. It's no accident the state of Oaxaca is one of the main starting points for the current stream of Mexican migrants coming to the United States. Extreme poverty encompasses 75 per cent of its 3.4 million residents, according to EDUCA, a Mexican education and development organisation. http://links.org.au/node/816

USA

Workers' Republic - Scenes from a successful factory occupation

Senate Report Links Bush to Detainee Homicides; Media Yawns By Glenn Greenwald: The bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee reports that "former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior U.S. officials share much of the blame for detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba" and "that Rumsfeld's actions were 'a direct cause of detainee abuse' at Guantanamo and 'influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques ... in Afghanistan and Iraq'" -- raises an obvious and glaring question: how can it possibly be justified that the low-level Army personnel carrying out these policies at Abu Ghraib have been charged, convicted and imprisoned, while the high-level political officials and lawyers who directed and aut

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan elections: Mixed results intensify class struggle

Chávez: Capitalists Have Manipulated the Message of Christ to Exploit the Poor

Then and Now Venezuela and Cuba, 1960-2008 By SAUL LANDAU

ENDS

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