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EMPLOYMENT ISSUES: Protesters Jolt Hobbs


Although an afternoon of protesting Labour's Jobs Jolt policy started at the Wellington City office of Work & Income, the messages were clearly aimed at Labour.

The protest moved to the office of local MP Marion Hobbs, and when spokespeople went in to talk about the policy, they were threatened with trespass and escorted out by police.

Some protesters describe the policy as cynical posturing, some are concerned over the targetting of older beneficiaries (55 to 59) and unemployed people in rural areas. Others see it another sign of increasingly right-leaning policies, 1, 2.

Labour insist that it's all to help the beneficiaries, and industry. They're spening $104.5million on the programme they descibe as 'social development investment in action'. Photos

[ Discussion Space | Anti-capitalist action article ]

GLOBALISATION: Resisting the WTO & Building Communities



Reports from the alt-WTO conference: [1] [2] [3] [4]

A range of different events are taking place in Wellington to resist and
search for alternatives to the WTO's agenda of free trade. The HREF="">WTO are meeting in
Cancun, Mexico for the 5th Ministerial Conference.
Indymedia are giving thorough alternative coverage of the HREF="">event. The
Zapatista Movement is calling for HREF="">rebellion and

The alt-WTO mini-conference
in Wellington on the 5th and 6th of September will have speakers from HREF="">ARENA and the HREF="">Council of International Development, as
well as many other left and progressive groups.

On the 13th of September Peace Action Wellington will be organising a demo
to confront the Labour Party's 'Troops for Trade' policy at 11:00AM in
Cuba Street. This will be followed by the ' HREF="/front.php3?article_id=10239&group=webcast">Play
in the Streets Party' which encourages people to "Get out of your
vehicle and into your community". This party is promoting "The idea is to
invite the community back into the street and to assert that we are a
strong part of this historic area and affected by the proposed bypass, and
also to have fun in the streets."

[ Aziz

| Rod Donald
| Jim

| Suse
Reynolds - TLN

[ Discussion Space | Biotech IMC | Cancun IMC ]



Tonks Ave. Community Garden

Local residents gathered at the Tonks Ave community
gardens today, the last day of winter, for a working
bee and href="/front.php3?article_id=10008">2nd
birthday celebrations.

Tonks Ave is one of New Zealand's oldest original
streets, and lies in the path of the heavily
controversial proposed href="">Wellington
Inner City Bypass. The garden is part of the href="">'Growing
Community' project, and is a living symbol of the
dedication of the anti-'Bypass' and upper Te Aro
communities of Wellington to keep this area as a
thriving community space - despite Transit New
Zealand's best efforts to do otherwise.

Security guards sat in the sun, soaking up the rays
(and tax-payers dollars), and watched as locals got
their hands messy and had a laugh in the community

Although it remains unclear whether they will get
for the Bypass project, href="">Wellington
City Council have said that they are going to
relocate the heritage buildings - but it's hard to
imagine this sense of community spirit remaining in Te
Aro when it has a motorway on-ramp tearing href="">through
the middle of it.

[ Comments | Campaign for a Better City | Stop the Wellington Bypass campaign ]

CENSORSHIP: Protestors condemn NZ Herald


Malcom Evans replys saying that may of the critics of his work seem to misunderstand the role and responsibility of the political cartoonist.

A href="
cast">short, sharp "flash mob" style protest took place outside the
offices of the NZ HERALD in Auckland on Wednesday.

People came with Placards and speeches were made condemning the NZ
HERALD for the sacking of cartoonist Malcom Evans. Evans was sacked
because because he refused to stop drawing cartoons critical of Israel.

[ Read more | The 'Offending' cartoon ]

WEAPONS INSPECTIONS: Embassy weapons inspectors in court this week


The seventeen people who were arrested in February for attempting to
conduct a citizen's
weapons inspection
of the United States Embassy in Wellington are in
court this week.

The href="
ast">arrests took place as peace activists were making a theatrical
'inspection' of the US embassy, saying they wanted to ensure the US was
not keeping any of its weapons of mass destruction on the premises.

"The USA/UK have yet to find any evidence of WMD in Iraq. The Embassy
Weapons inspectors did not find any weapons either, but they are being
charged in the Wellington District Court for alleged offences related to
the protest. It begs the question, why aren't George W Bush, Tony
Blair, John Howard the other members of the 'Coalition of the Killing'
being held responsible in the International Criminal Court for the very
real crimes of war committed in the course of their supposed search for

The court case is expected to last all week.

[ Read more ]

ANTI VIVISECTION: Anti Vivisection Protests coming to Christchurch


Pic from day one

Animal Right activists will be descending on Christchurch to protest against
the continuing use of cruel and unnecessary manipulation of animals for research or teaching. Over 260,000 animals are used in vivisection each year in New Zealand.

Organisations such as National Anti-Vivisection Campaign (NAVC), Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE), Animal Rights Alliance (ARA), the Green Party and the Animal Rights Legal Advocacy Network (ARLAN) are coming together to organise activities during the week.

The protestors will be targeting the two major Australasian pro-vivisection
to be held in Christchurch next week: the ANZCCART conference 18-19 August

ECONOMIC INJUSTICE: Job Jolt - The new Urban Drift


The Labour Governments new policy of reviving urban drift in the guise of the "Job Jolt" has been called a big shift to the right.

One critic takes aim at the government and accuses it of blank disregard of the international law in the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , another calls it a political sham.

It is said that these reforms will not only affect beneficiaries, but also lower wages
and reduce job security for those in well-paid full time employment.

Wellington activist Don Franks has put the event to rhyme with a piece called The ballad of Steve Maharey.

[ Comment | Universal Income Trust of Aotearoa NZ ]



John Rumbiak

John Rumbiak, 'an outspoken and fearless advocate for the people of West
Papua', is HREF="">touring New
Zealand over the next week. He is the supervisor of ELSHAM, the
Jayapura-based Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy. ELSHAM is
internationally respected for its human rights monitoring work, they have
worked despite continued harrassment and death threats. Vigils will be HREF="">held in
Wellington and Auckland in Solidarity with the people of West Papua.

Background HREF="">information
from Peace Movement Aotearoa states that, 'Since April of this year, the
situation has worsened considerably with the deployment to West Papua of
Indonesian special forces (Kopassus) and other army units. A widespread
military operation in the central highland town of Wamena has resulted in
the arbitrary detention and arrest of many Papuans, rape, mutilation and
torture, civilian deaths, and the destruction of homes, schools and
crops'. In the context of the repression by Indonesian Military forces in
both West Papua and slide towards permanent war in HREF="">Aceh, Bush and
Howard are keen to start HREF="">funding the TNI

No significant mention has been made so far by the Australasian dominated
Pacific Island Forum, despite HREF="">demands from
the Green Party that West Papua is discussed.

[ TAPOL | Discussion Space ]

NUCLEAR FREE AOTEAROA: US Officials pressure NZ Government to repeal Nuclear Free Act


Nuclear Free New Zealand

Top ranking US official Grant Aldonas, who is Under-Secretary of Commerce (International Trade), are placing pressure on the government to repeal New
Zealand's anti-nuclear law, as they say it hampers their efforts on the "War on Terrorism"

Several political parties and Non-Governmental Organisations have released press releases reacting to this latest US pressure to repeal this law. Labour
wouldn't comment about this latest US pressure. The ACT party have released a statement saying "New
Zealand Safer Without Nuclear Ban"
. The National Party are staying on the fence at the moment although they have href="">"noted
the nuclear ship comments". The Green Party has href="">rejected
US arrogance and claims it is a relic of the Cold
War. The Alliance Party has stated that we must remain Nuclear Free and that the US government
is once again using the 'War on Terror' to
further its hegemony
and neo-conservative political agenda. Greenpeace NZ considers
Aldona's statement as another example of the
bullying New Zealand

[ Comment | Scoop readers comments | New Zealand Herald story ]

NEO-COLONIALISM IN THE PACIFIC: The 34th Pacific Islands Forum


PIF Logo

UPDATE: A vigil was held outside the Forum Dinner Party at the Sheraton hotel, drawing attention to the continuing struggle of West Papua. New Zealand officials at the Pacific Islands Forum have pushed to have legal and political steps to protect the region from nuclear shipments dropped.

The leaders of Pacific nations are meeting in Auckland this week to discuss issues of the region. Opponents say the discussion ignores social and environmental issues in favour of trade and investment issues. It has been suggested that proposed changes will impoverish the region by introducing free trade measures such as economic integration into a free trade bloc. Colonial powers have also been criticised for attending, since their potential inclusion into a regional trade agreement would tacitly reaffirm the sovereignty of these colonial powers over their Pacific colonies.

The New Zealand government, which has been critical of media suppression
in the Pacific, has HREF="">denied access
to the Pacific News
because it is owned by a civil society organisation. It's
similar denial of NGO access shows that transparency and democracy is not
Helen Clark's main concern.

The National Business Review is salivating at the prospect of HREF="">"greater
economic and business liberalisation".

Global Peace and Justice Auckland have called for a picket of the forum on at 8:30 on the morning of Saturday 16th of August, the time of the Leaders' meeting.
[ MFAT | Discussion space | Picket Details ]

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