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Support Waihopai Ploughshares, 17-18 September 2008


On 30 April, Christian activists Sam, Peter and Adi deflated the protective dome covering a satellite dish at the Waihopai spy base near Blenheim. This Christian non-violent direct action was to protest against NZ's involvement in America's war in Iraq. On the 18th of September, they will be in court for their depositions hearing where they will enter a plea in relation to the two criminal charges they are facing.

This week there will be a number of events to support the Ploughshares activists in Auckland, Wellington and Blenheim. [More]

Links: April 30th Report on Ploughshares Action |Nicky Hager on Waihopai | Download Jeff Simmond's Song: LET'S SHUT DOWN WAIHOPAI!

Philippines: UN says half a million displaced in Ramadan offensive against Moro people


The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on September 5, 2008, that "up to 500,000 people are enduring poor health services and unsanitary conditions after fleeing the fighting between the government and Muslim rebels in the south." Meanwhile, Moro groups fear that renewed government offensives will only displace more people in conflict affected areas during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which has begun.

The UN report published in IRIN News warns:
"Moreover, analysts fear that President Gloria Arroyo's 3 September decision to dissolve a negotiating panel seeking a political solution to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's (MILF) 30-year rebellion will trigger increased violence across the southern island of Mindanao.
"The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said on 4 September that four weeks of fighting between government soldiers and MILF forces had displaced some 423,772 people. These people 'are directly affected and needing assistance of any form. They either lost their houses, are displaced and/or lost their livelihoods.' [More]

Auckland Philippines Solidarity launch and photo exhibition 'Social Realities in the Philippines', September 20


Auckland Philippines Solidarity Network invites you to:


An exhibition of photos taken by Simon Oosterman during a 2008 solidarity visit to the Philippines.

This event will mark the launch of Auckland Philippines Solidarity. APS has been founded to campaign around human rights (Stop the Killings campaign) and trade union rights (with a local focus on Nestle and ANZ) in the Philippines, and also to establish a systematic and wide-reaching solidarity fund in New Zealand. APS will also be working closely with Migrante Aotearoa to build support networks for new migrants who are being forced to work in extra-exploitative conditions in New Zealand.

Short presentations by Luke Coxon (APS spokesperson), Jane Kelsey, and Dennis Maga (Migrante Aotearoa) will be preceded by drinks and food at 4.30pm.

Saturday September 20, 4.30pm, Langtons, Maungawhau Summit, Mt Eden, Auckland.

The APS launch will be preceded by a Migrante Aotearoa ‘Speak Out’ forum for migrant workers. [More]

Dominion Post editor summoned to Auckland to answer contempt of court charge in Operation 8 case.


The Dominion Post editor has been summons to the Auckland District Court to appear before Judge Perkins today for breaching the suppression order relating to the Operation 8 case.

The Dominion Post breached suppression in an article dated 9 September. [More]

Activists Take Self Guided Tour of Pig Factory Farm


"Nothing I had read or seen could have led me to imagine how horrific this pig farm was. The noise and being surrounded by huge animals separated from you by a few bars at times overwhelmed all other senses and I found I had to block out the suffering of individual pigs to be able to move throughout the sheds." - an activist on the farm tour.

In Aotearoa there are over 350,000 pigs on factory farms; most destined to be eaten. They live in filthy crammed conditions, unable to display of their natural behaviours such as foraging, nesting, forming hierarchies and in many cases even turning around. In 2005 over 750,000 pigs were slaughtered for their flesh. This is hard to believe and something we had to see for ourselves. [More]

Dispatches from Day 7 - Operation 8 Depositions Hearing


The police have been harassing defendants since the beginning of the depositiosn hearing. In the previous week the police have followed defendants into the toilets and making comments, and kicking the backs of defendants’ seats. But today the harassment was taken up another notch.

I was sitting in court, trying to keep awake when a supporter came up and whispered something I didn’t catch. But it was clear something had happened.

Before I got outside I heard one of the women who had come to support the defendants on the megaphone, talking about how a pakeha man had twice punched one of the wahine there, but she had been arrested. [More]

Operation 8 defendant and partner arrested outside court


Update: Watene McClutchie was granted bail!

Operation 8 defendant Watene McClutchie was arrested by police outside Auckland Distrcit Court and his partner was assaulted by police. Watene was standing outside the coffee shop immediately across the street from court when a plain clothes officer came up behind him and grabbed him. His partner went over to support Watene. The officer said "You're under arrest for scratching that car (Pascoe's)"* People sitting around were saying "He didn't touch it".

When Watene was in the custody of two officers, a third insisted on arresting him. He pushed Watene's partner out of the way, threatening to arrest her. The police officer pulled her away, punching her in the face. She was then arrested.

*Detective Sergeant Aaron Pascoe is the officer in charge of Operation Eight.

Update: 3pm, Police are seeking to deny bail and a bail hearing is scheduled for 3.30pm | Dispatches from Day 7

Forum- THE START OF A NEW COLD WAR? Russia, NATO and the Conflict in Georgia


Russian activist Sergey Zavyalov joins Socialist Aotearoa's Joe Carolan to explore the aftermath of the conflict in Georgia, and its international ramifications. All welcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2008
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Room 260-219, Owen G Glen Building,
Business School, University of Auckland.

Recommended pre-workshop reading on the Socialist Aotearoa site

Dispatches from Day 6 - Operation 8 Depositions Hearing


As I mentioned in my last dispatch lots of children have been affected by the raids, and some of them are at court. One of those is a thirteen year old girl who was taken into a room away from her mother and strip searched during the raids. She has been doing fantastic drawings of Pascoe and liberation signs. Today, she challenged Pascoe as he went into court “He’s a terrorist, and a bad man.” [More]

Open Letter Writing Session against Clint Rickards in Chch


There will be an open letter writing session in front of the Catheral in Christchurch/Otautahi tomorrow, from 12:30pm - 2:30 pm.

The letters will be sent to the Auckland District Law Society to voice strong disapproval of, former police officer, Clint Rickard's application to become a lawyer.

Before granting admission, the ADLS must be satisfied that a candidate "is of good character" and "a fit and proper person" to be admitted.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Clint Rickards and his history of sexual violation and abuse of power is NOT a person of good character NOR is he a fit and proper person for the job. [More]

Make a submission against Rickards