This site is an archived version of Indymedia prior to 5th November 2012.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

Features

Shut down the war machine! Actions for Gaza this weekend

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Demonstrations against Israel's slaughter in Gaza continue across Aotearoa this weekend.

Auckland:

Rakon Industries in Mt Wellington will be targeted in a protest this Saturday against the massacre of Palestinian civilians.
Rakon provides crystal oscillators for targeted bombs used by the Israeli air force in their attacks on Gaza. The Rakon parts are supplied to the US which provides the bombs directly to the Israeli military. The protest will meet at 3pm on Mt Wellington Highway outside the Sylvia Park shopping centre carpark for a march to the company. [More]

Christchurch

This Saturday at 12pm a diverse range of political, community and religious groups (as well as individuals) will be holding a demonstration against the brutal Israeli assault on the people of Gaza, starting outside the Canterbury Museum before marching to Cathedral Square. [More]

Dunedin

Dunedin rally for peace in Gaza this Saturday, noon in the Octagon, Dunedin, Demonstration and Vigil in Support of the people of Gaza and Palestine. [More]

Links: Worldwide Protests Escalate in Response to Israel's Ground War on Gaza | Palestine News Network | International Middle East Media Center | IMC Israel

The World Stands Up for Gaza

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Over the weekend there were demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza in Aotearoa and across the World.

Auckland: From Socialist Aotearoa

Over one thousand people took over the city centre of Auckland in a mass die in on Queen Street, furious at the Israeli Massacre of the people of Gaza. The biggest march for justice in Palestine in the history of New Zealand, it also saw a powerful unity between Aotearoa's Muslim and Arab community and the radical Left. A barrage of hundreds of shoes rained unto a bannerless American Consulate to the chant of "Hey, Hey, USA- where's your bloody flag today?"

Over 100,000 people marched in London, surrounding the Israeli embassy where riot cops batoned and cavalry charged the crowd. In Ireland, thousands took to the streets of Belfast and Dublin, whilst in Derry the missile factory Raytheon was blockaded. Tens of thousands also marched in Paris, on the streets of Turkey, Lebanon, Greece, Italy, the USA and Egypt. The deeply unpopular Egyptian government hovers on the edge of a mass uprising, its brutality to its own striking workers and poor now compounded by its complicity in the Israeli assault in Gaza. In our thousands and our millions- we are all Palestinians | Photos from Auckland march

Christchurch: A lunchtime rally against the invasion of Gaza (with only 48 hours prior notice) drew a decent crowd of 100 people in Cathedral Square. report and photos. Meanwhile a larger march in Christchurch is planned for Saturday the 17th of January. Christchurch Palestine March This Saturday

Major Mobilisation This Saturday Against Israel's Invasion of Gaza

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Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA) and the Palestine Human Rights Campaign are planning a major mobilisation to protest the latest Israeli outrages against Palestinians living in the Gaza strip.

The protest will gather at 12 noon, Aotea Square, Auckland on Saturday 10th January.

This week Israel launched a vicious ground invasion of Gaza. At least 520 Palestinians have been killed since the start of last week.

A meeting is happening tonight 6pm at the Unite Union offices 6A Western Springs Road, Auckland to plan for the mobilisation and a wider campaign to boycott Israel.

Links: Palestine Human Rights Campaign | GPJA | NZ Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign

2008- Indymedia Highlights

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2008 saw everything from giant rats being inflated to giant domes being deflated and while some were throwing pie others were digging gardens. It sure was a crazy year to be involved in global & local struggles against those who destroy our planet and enslave our brothers and sisters. Here are some of the stories that YOU published on your local Indymedia Centre in 2008. As always, the struggle continues! RIP all fallen comrades. Highlights: [2005 | 2006 | 2007 ]

Anti-capitalism
Noted was Steve Luke, an Otautahi anarchist, involved since the ‘70s who tragically passed away. Two major anarchist conferences were held in Otautahi, firstly a Anarcha-feminist hui and then the third annual conference of the South Pacific Christian Anarchist network. In May no less than five anarchist publications were released including Issue #9 of the irregular anarchist magazine, Imminent Rebellion. The Anarcha-feminist zine, MsFit came out in August 2008 around the theme of “fighting back”; and From the Kitchen, an anarchist men’s zine on gender issues was released.

Auckland Anarchists mixed and mingled at a number of Assemblies, the Workers’ Party conference rolled around again, and womyn united to Take Back the Night. Activists arrested at the G20 in Melbourne in '06 were committed to trial in June '09, there were sweeping "anti-terror" arrests of autonomists in France. In Japan protestors confronted the G8 amid detentions of activists and there was an insurrection in Greece.

Eco-action
As the planets biosphere continued to suffer under the relentless assault of consumer capitalism and as the reality of an ice free summer Arctic by 2012 sunk in ecological resistance movements gathered momentum. Climate camps across the world including Australia, the UK and Hamburg inspired planning for a camp here in 2009. Meanwhile climate campaigners “walked the walk” all the way to Happy Valley, dodging bullets and dropping banners. Other environmentalists got busy protesting global and local "climate criminals" in Auckland, and as Air New Zealand was awarded a Fossil Fools Day award in the North Island a small protest in the Christchurch was attacked by police. The Flat Earth Society reached out to climate sceptics, scary Critical Masses rolled through major cities and a small town in the South Island banned plastic bags.

The more committed eco-activists stalled destruction of the Manawatu River watershed by torching a $750,000 drilling machine, threw pie and coal at Solid Energy’s CEO, and cut down 19 genetically modified pine trees at a research site near Rotorua

Workers’ struggles
2008 marked the 100 year anniversary of the eleven-week Blackball miners strike and saw more determined struggle against poverty and for dignity. Wellington Bus Drivers rejected a bad offer got locked out, fought back and kept struggling till they won! McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food chain, faced the largest industrial campaign its ever seen as hundreds of angry workers took part in at least 60 strikes in September and October building momentum across Auckland, through Hamilton and all the way to Kamo and Wellington before besieging a national conference of managers at a luxury Hotel and threatening to burn Ronald McDonald before settling a new contract with significant improvements.

Airport foodcourt workers carried out strikes and protests against medieval conditions and the countries “worst employment contract”. Indy also brought news of distribution workers, teachers and cleaners, Farmer’s shop assistants, mental health workers and tailors all out on strike during the year as well.
New Zealand transport workers picketed the Iranian embassy in Wellington in solidarity with Iranian Bus Driver Mansour Osanloo, who remains in jail along with three more Iranian unionists arrested at the end of December. Revelations of systematic abuse of temporary migrant workers surfaced in Marlborough; while ruthless attacks on workers’ rights and wages by the corporations ANZ Bank, Fairfax Media and Hamilton Bus all met resistance. SkyCity bosses got the first taste of “the Rat”, who will be around in ’09 to pester bosses who attempt to unjustly sack workers under the new 90-day No Rights law whose passage provoked protests in Parnell and plans for a fightback.

Animal liberation
Animal activists mourned the passing of Suzy Carey but her spirit lives on in the words and deeds of the animal liberation movement who risked arrest and injury this year to rescue animals including Strawberry the Pig, piglets for Mother’s Day, two lambs, two chickens and ten hens to mark World Vegetarian Day and World Farm Animals Day; and in just one week of action over 130 battery hens.

The Vivisectors who experiment each year in this country alone on over 300,000 animals were run out of their conference venue and confronted at their Hotel by 70 activists as they met in Auckland. Activists also initiated self-guided farm tours to witness first-hand the cruelty inflicted on battery hens and pigs.
Anti-vivisection protests at Auckland University marked World Lab Animal Day and two were arrested after they scaled on top of the Medical Science building and held a banner “Torturing animals, It's not science”. Repression continued to dog the effective “Fur Free Auckland” campaign, while in Napier over two hundred gathered peacefully against testing on Beagles.

Community
Canterbury students occupied against the closure of American Studies and Theatre and Film Studies departments, guerrila gardeners invaded a proposed McDonalds site in Motueka, Dunedin students demanded “cops off campus” and the 128 social centre in Poneke celebrated global autonomy with a reclaim the streets party. Around 65 anti-fascists scuffled in Wellington with the Nationalist Alliance, a coalition comprising white-supremacist groups.

Tino rangatiratanga
Tino rangatiratanga struggles continued thirty years on from the occupation of Takaparawha. About a dozen Ngati Aukiwa members occupied a house on a farm in the far north. Te Ata Tino Toa flew the largest known Tino flag above the Auckland Harbour Bridge as part of Waitangi day protests, the New Zealand embassy in Berlin, was spraypainted with Tino Rangatiratanga and an East Coast tribe “sick of government and government-run Maori agencies” announced it was going autonomous.

Papua Merdeka
In Auckland West Papua solidarity activists targeted the ongoing destruction of the Papuan rainforests to fuel demand for Kwila furniture and won victories at Harvey Norman and the Design Warehouse. The campaign is now focused on Four Seasons.

Freeport mine was attacked by the West Papua Liberation Army and demonstrators in Auckland and Wellington demanded the Superfund divest from Freeport and that political prisoners be freed. Paramilitary police fired into the crowd and killed a man after a West Papuan Morning Star flag was raised at the U.N. Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration. Ten years on from the Biak massacre the free Papua movement met and pledged unity in Vanuatu, a lawyer was arrested by for sending a text, a Rainforest defender toured Aotearoa, a tribal chief sued Freeport, and 46 were detained and 6 charged with subversion for raising the Morning Star.

Anti-militarism
At 6am on ANZAC Day morning three Christian activists cut through fences surrounding the Waihopai Spy Base. “Once inside we used sickles to cut one of the two 30-metre white domes, built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the people killed by United States military activity.” After almost a week in jail the Ploughshares 3 got bail, and in September headed to a Depositions Hearing, were they made it clear although they are only two humble gardeners and a friar, they will continue to resist war and violence and to stand on the side of the oppressed. 12 Clowns arrested in 2006 at anti-militarist protests around the 'NZ Defence Industry Association Forum' aka Weapons Trade Conference had their charges withdrawn. In October protests continued to haunt the conference scaring some arms traders into balaclavas . United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a narrow escape from justice with the assistance of the New Zealand Police when she met with Government leaders in Auckland in July chased by 150 protesters spurred on by a bounty of $10,000. They called for her arrest under the Geneva Convention for war crimes and for her role in authorising the use of torture.

Former Auckland anarchist Danny “Vegas” was jailed in the US on charges of rioting against the war in Iraq. Auckland peace activist Harmeet Sooden was arrested, assaulted, placed in solitary confinement before being deported while attempting to enter Israel to work as a human rights defender with the International Solidarity Movement. Irish anti-war activists stood trial and got not-guilty for smashing up Raytheon offices, while Aussies performed an exorcism. After protests against Super Fund investments in Cluster Bombs the fund divested from them and some companies involved in nuclear weapons.

Collaboration with tyranny
2008 saw the New Zealand state cementing its collaboration with murderous and tyrannical regimes across the world. Free trade agreements were signed with China as protests across New Zealand stood in solidarity with the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupation, and with the junta in Burma, who also got cellphone towers from a state-owned teletcommunications company. People in Afghanistan continued to be denied human rights by the NZ-supported Government including an Afghan student journalist who was sentenced to death charged with “blasphemy”. The sentence was commuted to 20 years imprisonment. An interview with Tongan activist E.Zekiel also brought home the effect of NZ’s continued support for the King of Tonga.

Global indigenous struggles
There were Gaza solidarity protests in December 60 years on from Al Nakba. A mural was painted in Wellington remembering an indigenous man who while he lay on the streets sleeping, was murdered by a group of rich children. Sri Lankan Tamils around the world marked Black July when between 1000 and 3000 people were massacred in 1983. There were clashes in Kanaky and the USTKE called a one-day general strike as union leaders went to jail. Zapatista supporters challenged the Mexican Ambassador, highlighting human rights violations as the Mexican Army attempts to invade zapatista territory and promises to return. There were protests in Australia to mark the Northern Territory intervention anniversary and people in Aotearoa stood up for Aboriginal political prisoner Lex Wotton found guilty of rioting An international indigenous solidarity gathering was held in Melbourne, and in Turtle Island indigenous communities continued to be criminalised, and are building resistance against the 2010 Olympics.

Philippines Solidarity
Things got worse in the Philippines with over 1000 extrajudicial killings of civilian dissidents documented under the Arroyo administration. Ka Bel’s death was mourned around the world, NZ students expressed concern for a Filipino student activist, and a daughter wished for her missing father on Father's Day. In February a US spy plane provided intelligence which resulted in an operation in which eight civilians, including a pregnant woman and two children, were killed in Maimbung, Sulu and half a million people were displaced in a Ramadan offensive against Moro people.

Big brother state
It wasn’t a good year for remaining anonymous as bumbling private eyes asked Rob Gilchrist to inform on fellow Save Happy Valley campaigners and animal rights groups. In a bizarre twist Rob Gilchrist turned out to be an informant for a police anti-terror unit that snoops on Iraqi chip store owners. An Auckland socialist was detained and strip searched at Auckland Airport and police continued to overtly harass and watch activists.

Immigration New Zealand applied to deport an Iranian Christian even though her three brothers have been granted refugee status. The Immigration Amendment Act was passed giving the state power to raid homes and work places without the need for a warrant. A US court ruled against a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal and democracy was beaten black and blue in occupied Fiji.

Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe and Operation 8
In the year after the October 15th raids and arrests came further arrests as the police raids swept wider first in the Bay of Plenty provoking protests and then in Auckland. Around 100 protestors gathered at Te Aro Park and marched to the Labour Party conference at the Wellington Town Hall. For approximately an hour, there was a noisy demonstration with a sit-in blockade at one entrance. United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights while Countering Terrorism has agreed that there are grounds to investigate the New Zealand Government over its conduct during the October 15 raids. There was a Global Day of Action to drop the charges and the one year anniversary of October 15 was commemorated in Ruatoki.

Arrestees headed to Auckland District Court in September for the Depositions Hearing which went for over a month. Dispatches came out on days 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 and in week 3 as the trial dragged on in Courtroom 8. One defendant and his partner were arrested during the trial and at the end of the depositions one defendant was free! Five people were then charged with participation in a 'organised criminal group'. Fairfax was judged not guilty of contempt of court by Wellington's High Court for publishing leaked suppressed evidence in the Operation 8 trials late last year, in clear violation of a court order. A Tūhoe freedom fighter appeared in Porirua District Court and Ngāi Tūhoe signed Terms of Negotiation with the Crown.

More Gaza Solidarity Protests in New Zealand

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Yesterday 600 people in Auckland took to the streets to protest the Israeli military's massive bombing of Gaza. Protesters assembled at the US Consulate and then marched up to Aotea Square. [Photos]

A vigil was also held in Nelson yesterday. More protests are planned in Auckland and Wellington over the next week.

Auckland: Saturday 3rd January. 2pm Bottom of Queen Street. (outside Downtown Shopping Centre). Organised by Palestine Human Rights Campaign.

Wellington: Protest march
Tuesday 6 January 2009
12:30pm – 1:30pm
Meet at Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade
195 Lambtom Quay, Wellington (cnr. Panama St). There will also be information stalls held in Central Wellington over the next week. See here for more details

Stop the Massacre in Gaza: Auckland Protest This Tuesday!

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4pm Tomorrow Tuesday 30th December.
Outside US Consulate on Customs Street, Downtown Auckland. Just by bottom of Queen Street
Protest organised by Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA).

Over the past two days Israeli airstrikes have killed nearly 300 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Government has said that a massive ground invasion by Israeli troops, may follow. This will result in even more terrible suffering and death.

Demonstrations calling for an end to Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine are happening all over the World this week. The protest action in Auckland will target the US Consulate, as the US government continously beefs up Israel's occupation of Palestine with both massive amounts of military aid and diplomatic support. President Elect Barack Obama has indicated that his administration will continue to strongly support Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine.

Gaza massacres must spur us to action

Rob Gilchrist - police informant for 'anti-terror' unit

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Rob Gilchrist, a Christchurch-based man has spied on activist groups for more than 10 years. He worked for the NZ Police and was sending information to Detective Peter Gilroy and Detective Sergeant John Sjoberg. They are both members of the Special Investigation Group (SIG). The SIG has groups in Auckland (headed by Aaron Lee Pascoe), Wellington (headed by Brian Woodcock) and Christchurch (where Gilroy and Sjoberg are based). Gilchrist, also know as balaclava, was spying on various groups including the Save Happy Valley Coalition, Peace Action Wellington, Auckland Animal Action and many other groups and individuals.

“This man has not only participated in illegal activity, including breaking and entering buildings, but has incited others to do the same, all the while, being paid by Police to report on them. The Police then use this information to make a case to a court of law in order to obtain search warrants and interception warrants and to make arrests” said Sally Darity from the Justice NOW! Collective. “Gilchrist provided Police with information on at least three of the defendants in Operation 8 – the name for the State Terror raids of October 15th 2007. The police affidavit which was used as evidence to gain interception warrants against these people and many others is filled with ‘informant information’.”

“The ‘informant information’ is not available to the defendants. The identity of the informant is secret. This leaves the defendants in a legal black hole – defending themselves against information they do not have access to, from a person whose credibility cannot be questioned.”

“The exposing of Gilchrist as a police informant is clear evidence of the manufacture of the police case in Operation 8. The Police are desperate to justify their massive ‘anti-terrorism’ budget, so they have branded activists as terrorists. Political protests, including prayer circles outside the US Embassy, are routinely subject to heavy police surveillance. The targeting of political groups should be a wake-up call to everyone who is concerned about the exponential growth of state surveillance and police power at the expense of freedom and justice.”

Articles: How Gilchrist was found out | Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups | Police using spies and lies to make case | Special Intelligence Group targetting political dissidents | Unsubstantiated accusations

Sack the Boss: Protest Outside John Key's Mansion

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A dozen activists from Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party and the Greens protested outside John Key’s house today, against the passing of the 90-day bill. The new law which comes into force in March 2009 gives small employers the right to sack staff in the first 3 months without legal redress.

The noisy protest ruffled the feathers of some of the residents of Key’s leafy neighbourhood. Some parents complained saying “there are children in the area, you know!” But rather than being horrified by the picket a large bunch of 8 to 14 year olds joined in, obviously enjoying the picket theatrics.

The picketers chanting “So it didn’t take you long; workers rights down the John” got some disapproving looks from the Range Rover mums, but lots of support from the younger set.

Declare your job a 90-day free zone!

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National’s sacking bill is going to meet resistance.

The 90 day bill is an overt attack on workers' rights, targeting the most vulnerable in small worksites. Workers in these job sites currently enjoy few rights as they are mostly not unionised and the employers consequently have a great deal of power.

The CTU is responding with a petition and looking at putting adverts in the major newspapers. This falls well short of what is needed.

Direct action by workers is the way to respond to this attack.

Unite union is taking the lead by saying that any worker can join Unite for $2 a week and get phone advice and back up where needed. If workers are wrongly sacked in the 90 day period Unite will organise pickets in defence of these people. Any employer who sacks under this legislation could find themselves confronted by a rowdy picket line and Unite's 20 foot rat.

Employers plainly want to put the pressure on workers; it's time to push back.

Contact: Daphna Whitmore 0294949865

Links: Unite Union | Workers Party

We Won't Pay for Your Crisis - Auckland Public Meeting

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7pm Thursday December 11. Auckland Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn.

New Zealand is heading for recession. Our jobs, wages, homes, pensions, benefits and public services are all under threat. We did not cause this. It was the financial elite of wealthy bankers, investors and speculators who have put us in this situation, yet they expect us to pay for their crisis. Already we have seen job losses, cuts in services and price rises.

Socialist Aotearoa has invited a broad range of speakers; trade unionists, socialists, environmentalists, community groups, and interested individuals, to begin the debate on how to unite the left against the effects of the global financial crisis.

Speakers include: John Minto from Unite Union, Green MP Sue Bradford, Frank Doleman from Socialist Aotearoa and other concerned socialists, environmentalists, community activists and individuals.

Links: National's Suprise Move to Ram Through 90 Day Bill | Socialist Aotearoa