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Indymedia Workshop Teaches DIY Journalism



Yesterday Indymedia Auckland hosted the first in a series of DIY education journalism workshops at Auckland University. 

The workshops aim to give people the tools to actively participate in independent media and make their voices heard.  About 14 people participated in the workshop, which began with the basics of journalist theory, followed by the opportunity to write our own reports based on situations provided by the educators.  Having the opportunity to write and rewrite a report with input from journalist professors was extremely helpful and rare opportunity.

Given the success and level of interest, these community workshop classes will continue in the future.  Possible topics could include;  How to read the mainstream media critically, Video journalism, more on effective writing and methods to get your work to the public.

Workers Set To Face More Attacks


The National Government recently announced a series of new attacks on workers across New Zealand. The raft of proposed changes to the anti-worker Employment Relations Act (ERA, brought in by the previous Labour Government in 2000) and the Holidays Act will serve to further cut job security, wages and conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers in both the public and private sectors.

What are the changes?

Perhaps the biggest change is the expansion of the 90 day fire at will scheme. Under this, any worker can be fired within the first 90 days of employment without any way to legally challenge this. When originally introduced following the 2008 election, this only applied to workers in workplaces with 19 or fewer employees (around 1/3 of the total workforce) however the proposed expansion would see it cover all workplaces. Since it was brought in, approximately 22% of workers hired under the scheme have been fired within 90 days, many given neither a reason nor a warning of what was about to occur, leaving them financially screwed.

Other articles on AIMC: Fairness at Work Rallies - 21st August | Solidarity on the radical left against the fire-at-will and the Labour Party/CTU?

When workers rights are under attack...



Today in Auckland and Christchurch, protests took place in reaction to the National Government accouncement of a series of drastic changes to current employment laws.   These changes include an extension of the controversial 90 day "fire at will" policy which will now be available to all employers rather than just small ones.  Other notable changes inlude the repeal of the right of union access to workplaces, which would now be subject to the preference of the employer.

In Auckland around 300 people gathered beside the Skycity complex for a series of speeches which then migrated over to the convention hall where John Key was delivering his speech outlining National's latest attacks on workers and the poor.  A critical mass quickly overpowered police and security and a few dozen protestors made it into the convention centre making considerable noise, much to the bewilderment of rich hotel guests in the lobby. 

New attacks on workers rights


The government has new attacks on workers in the pipelines: restrictions on union access to workplaces and an extension of the 90-day fire at will bill to more workplaces. Trade unions have come out strongly against this proposal. Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the restrictions on union access to workplaces was a serious attack on the right of New Zealand workers to organize. "National have now dropped any pretense of moderation in their policies – the phoney war is over and National's agenda of tax cuts for the rich, privatization and now tearing up the basic rights of working people is out there for all to see." [ More ]

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson saiys “the Fire at Will law means that an employer doesn’t need to give any reason whatsoever for dismissing a worker. ‘Letting someone go’ can be the offensive euphemism for getting rid of a worker who stands up for their right to a safe workplace or wants to join a union.”

John Key is expected to give details when he speaks at the National Party's mid-term conference in Auckland this weekend. A protest is organised for Sunday, 18th July, 10am at the Sky City Hotel.

A Regional Solidarity Network? Callout for September Hui


Following on from the release of our document: Beyond Representation — tactics for building a culture of resistance in Aotearoa, Beyond Resistance invites you to a two day Regional Hui to establish such a network.

The date for this Hui will be Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th September in Otautahi/ Christchurch.

Loosely the idea would be to establish a single network with those who agree with the principals of direct action, solidarity, self-management/promotion of self-activity, workplace and community assemblies, co-operation and mutual aid. This network could act as a resource base and for agitation, enabling better communication, solidarity and organisation in struggle, whether in the workplace or the community.

If it became successful it may evolve into one broader national network with local/regional branches within it.

Supermarkets make a killing while price of food skyrockets



There has been a bit of noise made recently on the revelations that the two main supermarket chains in Aotearoa have been raising the price of some produce up to 500% from what is purchased from suppliers.  There have been calls from the Green Party that a code of conduct be introduced to ensure these suppliers are treated fairly.

The Greens conducted a survey of suppliers outlining the effects of farmers;

* Fruit and vegetable growers said supermarkets sold produce mostly for 100 per cent-200 per cent more than what they paid for them.
* 18 per cent of growers said prices "often" only just met, or fell short, of production costs.
* 23 per cent said they only "occasionally" made a profit.

Whats is missing from the current discussion in the mainstream press is the impact such profiteering has in a time of recession.  This combined with the raise of the GST on consumer goods creates an unnecessary burden on communities least able to pay.  Although not the only place to buy fresh produce, supermarkets are often the most accessible option.  The supermarket duopoly in this country is acting as an excessively expensive middle man between producers and consumers. 

    No GST on Food!  |  Green Party on code of conduct  |  Farmers Markets in Aotearoa

General Strike in Tahiti


 On 15th June workers in ‘French’ Polynesia ended a general strike, which was sustained for over a week. The strike was organised by a coalition of 11 unions using the name ‘Collective for Peace’. With deteriorating social and economic conditions in the already poor territory affecting a wide range of workers, the strike gained support and achieved some degree of success but fell short of its potential.

The strike was built around bread-and-butter calls for an end to job losses, better wages, secure pensions, unemployment insurance and health cost repayments for locals suffering from the effects of past nuclear weapons tests. When negotiations broke down, the strike was declared and workers moved swiftly to picket the main domestic and international transport links. This included the disruption of international air flights and the harbour operations in Papeete especially key ferry links between Tahiti and Moorea. Workers at Mamao Hospital also joined, with essential emergency services being maintained throughout. The public sector teachers’ union STIP added its support to the strike despite impending examinations. STIP argued that in current circumstances it would be pointless for students to have exams and then no jobs to go to when they graduate.

Mass Arrests at G8/G20 Protests in Toronto




A further 500 people have been arrested on Sunday, for a total of 604 arrests during the Summit.  Many were held in temporary detention centres within the city.

-Video of police attacks here.

-Look here for odd/frightening footage of police charging protestors actually singing the national anthem.

-Link here detailing the dawn raids on activist homes.  Some activists have been charged with conspiracy.


Today at least 150 people have been arrested at G8/G20 protests currrently being held in Toronto, Canada.  Up to 10 000 people, a collection of activists, community groups, NGO's and unions, marched around the security fence that had been erected around the summit.  Many who oppose the G8 are fighting austerity economic measures now being implemented around the world in wake the recent financial crisis.  These policies are said to disproportionally hurt the poor, destroying social safety nets while at the same time benefiting business and the rich who had caused the economic crisis to begin with. 

By looking at the Canadian media, it would seem that protest violence in Toronto has lead the city to be in a state of panic.  Public transport is shut down, the summit area is in lock down along with businesses and some hospitals.  However, this violence is indicative of excessive security measures and police heavy handedness. 

Rabble  |  Toronto Media Coop  |  OCAP  |  No One is Illegal  |  CBC

Rise up against water privatisation


A national Day of Action against water privatisation is planned for Saturday (12 June) with protests from Whangarei to Dunedin. The protests are a response to the Local Government Amendemnt Bill. On Tuesday 4 May 2010 the bill passed its first reading in New Zealand Parliament. One aspect of the Bill deals with water. While the government is denying this, the Bill allows councils to privatise water. They will be able to:

  • enter into contracts with private companies to run water services for up to 35 years (the current limit is 15 years)
  • allow private companies to own and control water infrastructure for the duration of these contracts (the current legislation requires councils to retain ownership and control of water)

The long-term leases the Bill allows for are the dominant model of water privatisation in the world. It is very rare for councils or governments to sell off the water asset entirely. Long term leases work in private companies favour as they can make profit from water while the public sector retains long-term costs and responsibilty. Internationally the model that has been proposed is shown to lead to higher water costs, less accountability and reduced services. The global water industry is dominated by two mega companies Suez and Veolia. A subsidary of Veolia is United Water and already active in New Zealand. Right to Water says "we think no one should profit from water - it is a natural monopoly, a necessity of life, and a human right."

Links: Right to Water | Water Pressure Group | Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill | Online Submission | You can't drink money - you can't drink shit! | Stop Privatisation | Cochabamba Water Wars

Anarchist publishing alive and well in Aotearoa


Here is a summary of recent anarchist publications. Issue 10 of imminent rebellion is available now from Rebel Press. The magazine includes articles on New Zealand history, a first hand account of an anti-Zionist Jew in Israel and the West Bank during the start of the war in Gaza, an article on the vibrant life inside the Purple Thistle Youth Arts and Activism Centre in East Vancouver and an illuminating piece on the insidious operation of the State in constructing criminal cases around ‘conspiracy’ charges.

The zine Juggling the Rainbow is a collection of personal writings about non-monogamous relationships. The first issue of Radicle contains anarchist writing on justice, faith and class. Hard copies are currently available from Blackstar Books in Dunedin and the Freedom Shop in Wellington. The articles look at different ways of keeping our activism sustainable. The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement has just put out issue 9 of their newssheet Solidarity. And finally (and not anarchist), Socialist Aotearoa released a special Palestine issue of their newssheet Anticapitalist.

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