This site is an archived version of Indymedia prior to 5th November 2012. The current site is at www.indymedia.org.nz.

Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisation

in

Between the fourth and the sixth of December the Union of Kanaky and Exploited Workers (USTKE) held their 12th Congress and celebrated their 25th anniversary in a large hall outside Noumea. Over the three days of the Congress around 500 USTKE delegates and militants from across Kanaky/New Caledonia came together to report on the progress of the union and the new directions for the USTKE in 2007.

The four main themes of the congress were; the social struggle, the mining projects, the protection of local employment and the political alternative. On the second night of the congress an international meeting was held where representatives of unions from across the French-speaking world talked about the need for global solidarity and struggle against neo-liberalism and globalisation.

One of the major problems facing Kanaky workers is the mass immigration of French people to New Caledonia, who are monopolizing many of the jobs and marginalizing the opportunities for young Kanaky people and locking them out of many of the professional jobs available in New Caledonia. Another problem for indigenous employment has been the immigration of Wallis Islanders who are used by employers to undermine conditions for Kanaky workers. During the congress, a Wallis Islander member of USTKE made a speech about how he is creating awareness in his community about the struggle of Kanaky and of his pride in being able to join the USTKE in their struggle against colonialism and capitalism. The racism of the state towards Kanaky is compounded by the colonial system, where 80% of the people in jail are Kanaky, although they only make up 40% of the population and 6% of the people working in Customs.

The USTKE also talked about the social issues affecting workers in New Caledonia. The main issues are the housing shortages, healthcare shortfalls and the continuing decline in wages. Most are angry that while nickel corporations drain millions of dollars from the country each year local social provisions are often under funded. Members talked about how they felt ripped off that the New Caledonian government will have to borrow money to fund the cost of a long overdue new hospital but corporations like Goro Nickel make millions of dollars from the country each year. Another problem addressed in the congress by delegates from the North province and the outlying islands was the closing of local medical clinics by the health system which in order to cut the costs of the health system. The results are that the USTKE has to struggle for increased healthcare outside of the cities, where Kanaky face bad healthcare because of the closure of the local clinics.

In the mining debate the USTKE members considered the recent struggle of the USTKE against a new mine by Goro Nickel that was ordered to stop construction by a court but continued I violation of the court order. The issue for the USTKE is to develop a program that will allow it to keep more of the mining revenue in the country and develop decent standards of environmental protection. Although there have been improvements many in the USTKE want the mines nationalized under control of the people of the Kanaky. The current situation is that 70% of the revenues go overseas and 30% stays in New Caledonia. Previously it had been much worse with only 5% of the revenue staying in the country. Only one of the Nickel mines on the island is locally owned, the rest owned by SLN, a French corporation and Goro Nickel, a Canadian owned corporation.

In all of the discussions and debates one of the major conclusions was that the present independence movement had been co-opted by the state and that a new movement must push for increasing decolonisation for Kanaky. The delegates at the conference talked about how the Kanaky independence leaders now run the provinces like businesses without regard to the aspirations of Kanaky people and workers. The feeling at the conference was that the independence movement must be pushed forward and solidarity must be built with workers across the world and also in the Pacific to continue the struggle against the French colonialism and neo-liberal globalisation. The USTKE in response to the now co-opted leadership of the independence movement has decided to contest local elections in the future.

On the second night of the Congress, an international meeting was held. A range of speakers spoke about the continued struggle for socialism and decolonisation across the world. Sophie Arouet, from the CSA, a union that represents the journalists in the RFO, which is the main media operating in the French colonies, spoke of her background as an Algerian growing up in France and the racism that Algerians in France suffer. She spoke about how the union operated in a way in which when there were problems in the overseas territories the union would have to take the disputes to the RFO head office in France. Bernard from the French League of Communist Revolutionaries, talked of how the LCR were the first political organisation in France to organize in support of Kanak independence and related that the USTKE is now the only organisation openly for Kanak independence and because of this he thought it a good idea for the USTKE to engage in a political struggle while not compromising the industrial struggle.

Jean Michael Au Pont from the Guyana Workers Union, a union in the French colony of French Guyana, on the Atlantic coast of South America, described how is union was in the same position as USTKE. Both unions are struggling against a country that dominates it from far away so that it can control its natural resources. Jean Michael talked about how in Guyana, France is trying it’s best to break the independence movement and is allowing greater numbers of immigrants into Guyana to outnumber the local population just the same as it is doing in New Caledonia. He also urged the USTKE to join their fight with the people of Guinea and to take their struggle to an international level where they can put France in an embarrassing situation. “The first thing is to exist, the second thing is the way to exist”, concluded Jean Michael in reference to the struggle of Simon Bolivar against colonisation, the same the struggle the people and workers of Guyana are continuing today.

Patrick Dore of the Union of Martinique Workers described the feeling of isolation that workers in the French possession of Martinique have because they have no strong ties with other anti-colonial movements against France. Patrick also talked of how Martinique workers are also being marginalised in local employment by immigration from France. Patrick told the USTKE militants of how union are weak and unable to defeat colonialism by themselves, but knowing that other unions are fighting the same struggle encouraged him.

Jean Luc Morucci from the STC union from Corsica talked of how he will stand trial soon because he let a ferry drift off into the Mediterranean by cutting it’s connection to the port in protest at the privatisation of Corsica’s ferries. Jean Luc has now been charged under new anti-terror legislation. However the union is continuing its struggle against the sale of Corsica’s infrastructure to US superannuation funds and the increasing invasion of the country by powerful trans-national corporations. Roland Terorotua and Hiro Tefaarere, the representatives of Tahiti’s largest workers union, started their presentation by bowing to the dead of Ouvea island, where many Kanaky were killed during the armed struggle against France, and told the congress of the continuing struggle against colonisation in French Polynesia. They described how the politicians who said they would represent them have sold out workers in Tahiti and tell the unions not to campaign for more than they already have.

Jose Bove, from the Confederation Paysanne, and something of a celebrity in New Caledonia, because of his long involvement in the anti-colonial struggle, spoke about the new tide of rebellion in Latin America and of how the victory of Evo Morales heralds a new turn for the health of Bolivia. Bove, an anti-globalisation activist in France has been involved in the Kanaky struggle since the 1970s when there were many Kanak students involved in the anti-militarism occupation of land in the Larzac plains in protest at the use of the land for a military base. Bove, told the congress that he thought that France will not give away independence to any of its colonies and it was up to them all to continue the struggle for decolonisation.

Pierre Chauvat of the USTKE told me frankly that they want a Kanak Chavez or a Kanak Morales who will be able to take the struggle against colonialism both new and old into the new millennium. The USTKE preparing for a long struggle both industrially and politically even though they are told to keep out of politics by many of the ruling elite. They are also training their young militants for the new struggle so that they can continue the fight against colonisation. Pierre Chauvat is adamant that rebuilding a network of struggle across the Pacific is a high priority and building links with activists and unions in Australia and Aotearoa is important to cement the bonds of solidarity and struggle needed to free Kanaky from the iron grip of colonisation.

Comments

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

An overview of current events. Capitalism is inequality or struggles, but struggles are proven to be endurable in peaceful participation. Normally whether in historic Germany or England, or in modern Iraq and the ME, or Fiji, Tonga and elsewhere; struggles are associated with atrocities and human rights violation. It is carnage in extreme areas. Most victims are innocent civilians; of women, children, elderly and the sick. Violent action is the result of political and personal ambitions. The resort to use force is an egoistic influence of power, which is also written within the Conservative dogma of supremacy! It is not Capitalism that tends to foster dictators; it is their own political and personal ambitions fueled by patriotic mentality and Tribalism.

The use of force in Fiji bears the consequences upon its people, and that struggle is the result of Bainimarama’s decision alone. The responsibility rests on his head.

Hugo Chavez is a living example to the contrary, raising the poor to participate in the activities of their society without bloodshed. The ideal is having fewer extreme rich and fewer under poverty, concentrating the mass in a middle class.

In the absence of Conservative Tribalism, we have various electoral systems to establish a functional Democracy in the best organisation of a nation. When Capitalism upholds a balanced by its struggles, it inheres it Peace and proficiency for all to help themselves.

Instead the greedy conservatives take it upon themselves to enslave everyone else by controlling the means of production below sub-standards quality of living. And when the ruling class is threaten by the rise of the working class, they become insecure and resort to war in order to protect their material interests. The propaganda of this insecurity is covered up by racial tension, cultural and religious conflicts. The generation of wealth or profit for the few may result with the enslavement of the mass at the bottom of the heap. Too much force entails it an uprising, but collective action and legal representatives are not usually violent. Instead we can use our power as consumers to effect instead of burning the factory and loosing our jobs. Lately, Globalisation and Freemarket have multinationals opt for cheaper labour elsewhere, at the expense of local labour.

Sole existence under Capitalism is material or centrally focused in matters of this world. When this is balanced by the social being or matters of the spirit, it sustains it a natural order of organisation. This natural order is not a lineal Tribalism or law of the land (jungle law), but a dynamic objective such that people have a purpose to fulfill in the participation of activities of their society. The shift from material to social being encourages civil debates and intellectual pursue, and can produce peaceful outcomes. This natural balance is often disturbed by either having too many rich people at the top, or too many poor people at the bottom, or both. Their social consequences are usually associated with extreme chaos.

It is difficult to reach this state of equilibrium when all the resources including education, the media, and Indymedia are spent on brainwashing the innocent. And it doesn’t help with politicians who continue to rear our children by feeding them with drugs among other rubbish.

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

Great piece Omar, much love support and solidarity to our Kanak brothers & sisters. Standing with you on your struggle to rid the Pacific of Colonialism. Kia Kaha

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

great report!

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

Omar, it is French Guyana not Guinea and Martinique instead of Mauritania. From STC it is jean-luc not Jean Marie. Can you mention Hiro with Roland from Tahiti and also their full names for everyone. Article is great. Pierre Chauvat.

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+ SMYGRASIST

DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+WEBRUNKARE

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
Rolkes mamma

Re: STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+ SMYGRASIST

DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+ SMYGRASIST

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
erik dahl

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

Nationalize the nickle mines. Get out from under the rule of the French. Otherwise the Tahitian people will never have anything, and will always be treated as second or third class citizen.
The Bobman, USA

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

Great article. On a tangent. When are we going to form a active organisation in NZ. We are a country rich in passionate people with a strong national identity. Because of our size and population and having travelled much of our country it is becoming more and more apparent to me the gaping chasm between the minority wealthy elite and the working class. I truely believe that with the right people spearheading a movment a social revolution (The infrastructure for a revolutionary peoples movement is already there in the small towns all over this country in the dole offices) We can create a true fair and equal state.

DANIEL ROLKE R FAKE'VEGAN+FASCIST+WEBRUNKARE

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+ SMYGRASIST
23 Dec 2006
by Anonymous
DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+WEBRUNKARE

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
USCH-MAESTRO

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE R FAKE'VEGAN+FASCIST+WEBRUNKARE

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE E FAKE'VEGAN'+ SMYGRASIST

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
USCH-MAESTRO

Re: DANIEL ROLKE R FAKE'VEGAN+FASCIST+WEBRUNKARE

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE R FAKE'VEGAN+FASCIST+WEBRUNKARE

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
USCH-MAESTRO

DANIEL ROLKE FUSK VEGAN - PÅ DJURENS SIDA

STOCKHOLMARE DANIEL ROLKE R FAKE'VEGAN+FASCIST+WEBRUNKARE

DANIEL ROLKE !
Aha! Den berömde DANIEL ROLKE !!

Nej, han är knappast känd för varken sansad diskussionston eller god smak. Ni ser ju själva ovan vad HAN är kapabel till.
Vi som har haft med honom att göra tidigare har fått utstå det där under många år nu. Vore en lättnad att bli av med.

usch! Det kan bara finnas en enda person av din kaliber, "Maestro".
DET ÄR DU SOM ÄR DANIEL ROLKE! Erkänn! (Det innebär nämligen med att vi kan avfärda allt du hittills har skrivit med att det är ett psykfall som har skrivit det.)

mvh
USCH + MAESTRO

Re: Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisa

Great article- Fight the exploitation