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WE ARE ALL GAZA CALLS FOR STEPPED UP STRIKE ACTION

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The South African WE ARE ALL GAZA campaign is explaining that the so-called Israeli ceasefire is the result of international opposition, but that the Zionists and imperialists are pausing before taking their next step, so we need more resistance, not less, and that based not on individual boycotts but collective strike action challenging the union bureaucracies to call for international strike action.

This is an initiative that we need to support in Aotearoa. Take the 2 minute campaign to your workmates, schools and organisations!

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A so-called unilateral ceasefire has been reportedly been declared by Israel. Is this a ceasefire or an impasse? They have tried several times to breach Gaza city; there has been growing resistance internationally in the working class; in order for the Israeli army to enter Gaza city and deliver a supposed 'final blow' would require massacre of an unheard of scale yet, possibly rivalling the Rwanda genocide of 1994. The world's trade union leaderships, who have thus far been sitting on their hands, would be compelled to act or their members would en masse rise up; either way big capital would be severely impacted and the trade union leadership who currently control the masses would have their leadership threatened; an unprecedented revolutionary period would then be opened worldwide. In essence the resistance of the world working class so far has kept the Israeli state and imperialism temporarily from proceeding. Imperialism is manoevring to regain the momentum for further offensive. Is it a time for halting protests, definitely not. We attach below an open letter to the organized working class in Cosatu, other local unions and indeed the organised working class of the world:

Open letter to the organised working class in the world:

WE ARE ALL GAZA

It is now 3 weeks and counting since the murderous assaults by the Israeli state intensified against the Palestinians in Gaza. It was calculated to start at a time when the world's working class movements and organisations were demobilised and on holiday. The United Nations stood idly by while the Israeli state deliberately targeted civilians to punish them for having dared to elect a regime that is not directly under the control of monopoly capitalism.

The Israeli state admitted that Hamas did not break the ceasefire and they had been planning this attack for at least 6 months. In June 2008, Raytheon, a US arms manufacturer (third biggest in the world) delivered $1,3 Billion of 'bunker buster' bombs and related military hardware to Israel. Raytheon brags on its website that its weapons are pinpoint accurate and designed for urban use. In other words this shipment was in preparation for the current attacks on the largely unarmed population in Gaza.

Raytheon's weapons are not 'pinpoint' accurate. In the first few days of the US invasion of Iraq, 62 civilians were killed by a Raytheon misguided missile. In 2006 before the Israeli occupation of Lebanon ended a shipment of Raytheon bombs were rushed through to Israel for use on civilians. Raytheon has been found guilty on occasions of deliberately raising their prices when selling weapons to the US government. Without the orders from the US government, Raytheon could not exist or be profitable. The US government is well aware of the track record of Raytheon, yet it continues to use them. A Raytheon shipment of 1000 bunker buster bombs was due to be delivered at the end of January this year to Israel before it was blocked by the working class in Greece who revolted against the use of their territory as a shipping post for these weapons.

Who owns Raytheon?

The major shareholders of Raytheon are the major imperialist banks: JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Barclays, State Street. These are the same banks who had to be bailed out with the public's money so that they could be profitable again. These are the same banks who control the world's food production and thus are able to starve us through high prices. In South Africa for example, one of the major food monopolies, Tigerbrands, which has major shareholders from the same US banks, was found guilty of deliberately raising the price of bread. After being fined, they raised the price of bread so that the working class could pay the fine. Now that the wheat and oil price has dropped by well over 40%, they are refusing to reduce the price of bread. JP Morgan Chase has a part shareholding in the South African Reserve Bank. JP Morgan Chase is one of the main shareholders of Anglo American. Anglo American, though Kivu Resources is supporting the war in the Eastern DRC. The war in the DRC flared up again at the same time the world demand for casserite and other minerals (used in laptops, sony playstations and cellphones) increased. The General Nkunda, who is leading the war has been observed overseeing the extraction of casserite. Kivu Resources exports from Rwanda more casserite than is actually mined there. Rwanda borders the eastern DRC where much of the casserite is mined. The extraction of casserite is done though forced child labour in the DRC. Over 300 000 people have died in the DRC as a result of the wars in the DRC since the late 1990's. Umicore, a company which has been listed by the UN as illegally trading in casserite, has on its board of directors, Jonathan Oppenheimer, son of the De Beers and Anglo chief, Nicky Oppenheimer.

In other words the same banks, who are evicting people, who are repossessing vehicles, who own the companies that are mass retrenching workers now, who are responsible for starving us though high food prices, are the ones who benefit directly from the genocide in Gaza.

The response of the trade union leaderships

The imperialist banks together control every sector of the world economy. Despite this, all the trade union leaderships could come up with, are bold statements condemning the mass murder by the Israeli state of unarmed Palestinians. Only the Norwegian transport union embarked on a work stoppage against the genocide in Gaza, and this for only 2 minutes.

In other words, despite knowing who is responsible for the genocide, they deliberately keep the working class off the streets. The uprising of the Greek masses to stop the arms shipment for Israel was not organised by any trade union but by the independent working class leadership of the current uprising in Greece. An important part of this leadership is Fourth Internationalist.

The trade union leaderships around the globe are busy negotiating and agreeing to the mass dismissal of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of workers, by the companies who are all controlled by the same imperialist banks. They have failed to act to defend the masses in the DRC, in the world who suffer greater starvation through high food prices, and now they have failed to defend the Palestinians in Gaza.

The way forward

The first step is to set up WE ARE ALL GAZA committees in every workplace, irrespective of union affiliation and to demand a general strike against the genocide in Gaza. This could already be started by initiating daily workstoppages for 2 minutes as the Norwegian transport union has done. Every day an extra 2 minutes could be added. These committees should also be set up in all communities as well for demonstrations every day.

Any boycott action that is considered should be directed at big capital. The problem with boycott is that it often reduces support to individual effort and promotes abstention from real collective action. The supposed success of the boycott of 'apartheid' is a myth. Capital only changed the form of ownership in South Africa when, through the uprising of the masses here, they felt so threatened that they may lose everything. They created local fronts for them to continue operating and opened up negotiations with the ANC to become their new local managers. Big capital has made such obscene profits since 1994 in South Africa, they must be regretting not having negotiated sooner.

The central demand should be the total end of attacks on Gaza, the immediate withdrawal of all Israeli troops and for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza. Zionism should be declared a crime against humanity and a war crimes tribunal should be immediate be set up to try the Olmert regime. Workers should institute sanctions against Israel in every possible way to block any export to and any import from there. The bailing out of the banks by public funds should be reversed and the call made for the banks to be expropriated under working class control. If the trade union leaderships delay of refuse to take strike action against the genocide, they should be replaced with a working class leadership that is willing to act to defend working class interests, in a real way.

WE ARE ALL GAZA

Issued by Workers International Vanguard League, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River, 7925, South Africa;

ph [27] 214476777 or [27] 822020617

email: workersinternational@gmail.com web www.workersinternational.org.za

17.01.09

we_are_all_gaza.pdf

Comments

Re: WE ARE ALL GAZA CALLS FOR STEPPED UP STRIKE ACTION

Yes, strike action is a most potent weapon against injustice and all power to those who are able to actually bring it about.
Below is some indication of where we are actually at with this issue in New Zealand at the moment.
I don't think the situation in Fiji is remotely comparable, neither do I think that the NZ government is open to have its mind changed on this issue by reason. However, the NZCTU statement is a clear statement of opposition to the aggressor and NZCTU officers will be publicly marching in opposition to Israeli aggression tomorrow. That's a good thing.
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CTU Calls for Government Action on Israel

Submitted by Communications on 15 January, 2009 - 17:21. International News
CTU MEDIA RELEASE
14 January 2009

“The New Zealand Government must do all it can to stop the inhumane bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Government” CTU President Helen Kelly said today.

In response to calls for support from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and the International Trade Union Confederation, the NZCTU is calling on the New Zealand Government to take a number of practical actions including:
• Revoking the credentials of the Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand.
• Cutting contacts with Israeli military and intelligence officials outside of official UN sponsored peacekeeping or observer liaison.
• Ensuring that New Zealand does not import goods manufactured, in whole or in part, in the Occupied Territories.
• Ensuring that the New Zealand government does not make use of Israeli products or services in its procurement provisions.
• Taking steps to ensure that New Zealand sourced goods and services are not used by Israel to further its occupation of Palestinian lands.
• Ending the ‘Working Holiday Scheme’ for young Israelis.
• Attending meetings specific to, and advocate within, international organisations for the rights of the Palestinian people.
“These actions are similar to those taken by the Government in relation to Fiji and are an appropriate and proportionate response to the totally disproportionate actions of Israel against the people of Gaza” Helen Kelly said.
“Families in Gaza are the poorest in the Middle East and have nowhere to hide from these attacks. They are not only losing their lives but also the limited work opportunities that do exist are being destroyed.” She said
“New Zealand is a long way away from this conflict, but we can make a real difference through these actions and in doing so, we make it clear to Israel that they must leave the occupied territories and work for peace in the region if they want international relations with countries like ours” Helen Kelly said.

Re: WE ARE ALL GAZA CALLS FOR STEPPED UP STRIKE ACTION

WE ARE ALL GAZA

* BOYCOTT ALL COKE PRODUCTS

* BOYCOTT ABSA/ BARCLAYS

* FORWARD TO AN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO LIFT THE BLOCKADE

* SET UP A WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

Mass demonstrations by the international working class has stopped (temporarily) the attacks by the genocidal Israeli state. Now we need to press forward to take action to lift the blockade of Gaza. The main culprits behind dividing the working class in the Middle East are the big companies; the companies are also behind the recent mass murder in Gaza.

So what can you do?

BOYCOTT ALL COKE PRODUCTS

* Many Palestinians were killed and driven off the village land of Qiryat Gat. Coke ignored this and built a factory on this land in 2002.

* They have bashed unions in Colombia, Pakistan, Turkey, etc.

* They dumped toxic waste in India and dried up the people's water;

* Some drinks have high level of bromates which cause cancer;

* They use child labour in Pakistan

Coke products include : FANTA, SPARLETTA, TAB, VALPRE,SPRITE, POWERADE

BOYCOTT ABSA / BARCLAYS BANK

* Barclays own Absa. Barclays has shares in the arms company Raytheon, which, during the last days of the war in Lebanon rushed 100 'bunker buster' bombs to the Israeli army to cause maximum damage to civilians; These 'bunker buster' bombs have been used to damage infrastructure and kill people en masse in Gaza recently. Despite the claims that the bombs are 'accurate' in the first days of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, 62 people were killed by these bombs in a market. Raytheon has been found guilty several times of raising their prices when selling arms to the US military, yet they are still used by them.

* Barclays has shares in Exxon Mobil- co-responsible for high fuel price

* Barclays has shares in Monsanto- genetically modifying our food

* Barclays has shares in Pick 'n Pay- refusing to lower basic food prices

WE CALL ON EVERYONE TO CLOSE THEIR ABSA/BARCLAYS ACCOUNTS AND SHIFT THEIR HOME LOANS /OTHER LOANS TO OTHER BANKS (PREFERABLY NOT FIRST NATIONAL BANK AS THEY ALSO HAVE LINKS TO BARCLAYS). [Note: all capitalist banks are bad but the idea is to target one of them]. Other banks who have shares in Raytheon are JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. Citibank had to be bailed out with workers' money. Both banks are shareholders in Tigerbrands which stole the bread from our mouths for many years, though colluding to raise prices.

FORWARD TO AN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION

We call on the working class in South Africa and around the world to start mobilising for an international day of action: the main demands are the lifting of the siege of Gaza and for a war crimes tribunal to be set up immediately on the attacks in Gaza; we are also calling for the dismantling of the wall in the West Bank and of all checkpoints for Palestinians; we are calling for the immediate return of all refugees who have been displaced by zionism since 1947-8. Picket at schools, universities, workplaces, at traffic intersections calling for the siege on Gaza to be lifted. Protest on the day parliament opens against government complicity in the genocidal attacks.

BOYCOTT ALL ISRAELI GOODS (INCLUDING OUT OF SEASON FRUIT); WORKERS SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL- NO COAL, SPARE PARTS OF HELICOPTERS OR JETS, WEAPONS OR DIAMONDS TO BE ALLOWED TO GO TO ISRAEL.

JEWISH AND ARAB WORKERS UNITE AGAINST ISRAELI STATE!

ONE PALESTINE! NO BANTUSTAN! Further information: Jihad ph 0835335001; Jean ph 0837213966; Moeniera ph 0828638004; Shaheed ph 0822020617