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Procession for GST-off-food starts with a bang

People's Procession for GST-off-food starts with a bang in Northland

Saturday 20 September

RAM - Residents Action Movement

 People's Procession to Parliament to remove GST from food has started with a bang in Kaitaia today.

Organised by Residents Action Movement, better known as RAM, Maori Party MP Hone Harawira also helped kick off the People's Procession to Parliament.

The People's Procession is taking RAM's GST-off-food petition, which already has 20,000 signatures, throughout the towns and cities of the North Island to Wellington, where it will be accepted by the Maori Party MP's on the steps of Parliament.

"We had scores of people sign the petition today," said RAM's national organiser of the People's Procession, Grant Morgan. "Sometimes people were three or four deep, scrambling to sign our GST off food petion at RAM tables".

"There was an amazingly positive response from everyone at the Kaitaia Markets, a warm environment except for one diehard Labour supporter".

"The Maori Party also had a stall at the markets, and they carried the petition on their stall as well".

"The comments that virtually everyone were saying to us about Labour and National were along the lines of 'we don't trust the politicians' and 'we're think theyre just serving the rich'".

"Some people commented on the RAM 10 Commandments leaflet, which contains our top 10 policy priorities for our movement in contesting these upcoming 2008 elections with candidates all over the country. People were pointing to the first paragraph where we say that Labour and National are twins, the LabNats, and they loved it. One couple saw the LabNats comment and dropped five dollars in the bucket straight away!"

"Everyone that we spoke to about the possibility of RAM liaising with a wide range of other organisations next year about a coalition approach to a Citizens Initiated Referendum petition on GST-off-food thought that was an incredibly good idea. The grassroots have clearly spoken on their wish to see different groups working together."
"The People's Procession aims to make GST on food into the big election issue that it should rightfully be, with poll results revealing that 80% of Kiwis oppose the present tax," said Mr Morgan.

RAM Backgrounder

RAM first arose in Greater Auckland as an organiser of the Rates Revolt against the regional council's massive home rate hikes in 2003. In the five years since its birth, RAM has campaigned for free and frequent public transport, for solidarity with low-paid workers and against hate attacks on New Zealand Muslims. RAM won 100,000 votes in Greater Auckland's 2007 council elections.

In March 2008, RAM decided to go nationwide and to stand for Parliament as a registered political party as well as councils. In the six months since then, RAM has gained 3,000 members in the country's fastest political recruitment drive.

RAM has more than 25 candidates for the 2008 General Election. Several of them are also standing for electorate seats in Whangarei, Auckland, Rotorua and Wellington.

People's Procession main stopovers

9am Sat 20 Sept @ Kaitaia Markets, The Warehouse carpark, Mathews Av.

2pm Sat 20 Sept near corner of Kerikeri Rd & Cobham Rd.

11am Sun 21 Sept near New World supermarket, Marion Pl, next to Hau Ora O Kaikohe offices.

12 noon Tues 23 Sept in Cameron St Mall, Whangarei city centre.

12 noon Wed 24 Sept outside Information Centre on Hurstmere Av, Takapuna shopping centre.

12 noon Thurs 25 Sept outside New Lynn library on Memorial Dve, behind Lynn Mall & off Great North Rd.

12 noon Fri 26 Sept in front of Aotea Square, Queen St, central city.

9.30am Sat 27 Sept inside the Mall, Mangere Town Centre, off Bader Dve.

11.30am Sun 28 Sept at Garden Place, Victoria St.

3pm Sun 28 Sept at park alongside shopping centre.

12 noon Sun 28 Sept at Fraser Cove, next to The Warehouse.

12 noon Mon 29 Sept at City Focus, central city.

11am Tues 30 Sept under the canopy at the shopping hub.

12 noon Wed 1 Oct outside ANZ Bank, Main St.

12 noon Thurs 2 Oct outside Westfield Queensgate Mall, Bunny St entrance.

12 noon Thursday 2 Oct , corner of Cuba and Manners Malls.

12 noon Friday 3 Oct on the steps of Parliament.


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