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SAS heading for Afghanistan - organise resistance now!


Prime Minister John Key today announced that the Government will deploy "[a]round 70 SAS personnel will in Afghanistan for up to 18 months, in three rotations" and the "Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan province will be gradually drawn down over the medium term." Key said “In keeping with long-standing practice, I will be making no comment on the operational aspects of the SAS deployment. This deployment follows the decisions by the previous Labour government to deploy the SAS to Afghanistan on three separate occasions." At this stage it is unknown when the troops will be leaving. However, it can be assumed they will be off in the near future.

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) has released a statement in opposition to the SAS redeployment and is asking other groups to sign on. "The redeployment of Special Air Service (SAS) troops to Afghanistan is shameful. We are opposed to New Zealand's political and military intervention in Afghanistan. Along with the spybases at Waihopai and Tangimoana, the soldiers in Afghanistan are the New Zealand government's main contribution to the so-called 'War on Terror'."

PAW is holding a picket outside of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 11 August from 8-9:30 in opposition to the deployment of the SAS. "It is no small irony that the Court of Appeal will be reviewing my conviction for offensive behaviour for burning the flag at an anti-war protest in 2007 as the government considers sending the SAS back to Afghanistan. The exercise of free speech has been deemed a criminal act by the two lower courts, but the involvement of the SAS in possible war crimes will go uninvestigated" said Valerie Morse.

Links: Peace Movement Aotearoa | Global Peace and Justice Auckland | Peace Action Wellington | Anti-Bases Campaign | Ploughshares Aotearoa | Hands off Afghanistan! Say NO to SAS return to Afghanistan

Class War in Korea: Workers occupy Ssangyong Motor


Workers at the Ssangyong Motor factory in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, have been on a sit-in strike since late May and are currently trying to defend their factory against a police assault. Workers at the plant responded with strikes against pending layoffs in April which accelerated into a full strike and plant takeover and occupation by 1700 workers on May 27 when the list of workers to be laid off was announced. The strike focused on three main demands: 1) no layoffs 2) job security for all and 3) no outsourcing. The company wants to force 1700 workers into early retirement and has fired 300 casuals.

Hundreds of cops have been trying to storm the occupied factory in full riot gear using tear gas and other weapons, supported by scabs using slingshots.

Video: 1 | Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Links: Libcom coverage | Indymedia Korea | Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

300 people march on parliament over Night Class cuts - one arrest


300 people marched from Wellington High School to parliament this afternoon in pouring rain to protest against the National Government's cuts to night school funding. Wellington High School staff went on strike for the march and many students from various school came along too. [ More ]

It was a loud and staunch march with chanting all the way to parliament. Dozens of placards were made by students opposed to the cuts. In the May Budget, the National Government announced an 80% cut in the funding provided to schools throughout New Zealand to run night classes or Adult Community Education. In essence, this decision will spell the end to over 100 years of night classes in New Zealand.

One person was arrested at parliament for trespass. "I was arrested at parliament today during the Adult and Community Education protest. I was arrested for trespass. I was issued with a trespass notice in May of 2008. At that time, the then Labour government was hosting 'Vietnam 08' (or something of that name) to celebrate NZ's contribution to the Vietnam war. [...] I subsequently appealed to the speaker of the house to revoke the trespass order, but she decided that the matter was dealt with appropriately by parliamentary security. Thus, today when I entered parliament grounds, I was arrested for standing there with my bicycle listening to a few speeches. Court on Friday at 10am. I will be pleading not guilty." [ More ]

Links: Photos at scoop | Adult Community Education Aotearoa | Stop Night Class Cuts

Hands off Afghanistan! Say NO to SAS return to Afghanistan


Prime Minister John Key has indicated to send the NZSAS back to Afghanistan in the near future. The previous Labour government sent the SAS to Afghanistan and the Provincial Reconstruction Team (based in the Bamian Province since September 2003). In a recent TVNZ poll, 47% of New Zealanders were in favour of sending the SAS back to Afghanistan while 44% were opposed.

Meanwhile, the NZ army has been accused of war crimes in Afghanistan. "International legal experts say New Zealand broke the Geneva Convention and laws against torture when, from 2002, our elite SAS troops transferred 50-70 prisoners to the Americans at the Kandahar detention centre in southern Afghanistan" writes the Sunday Star Times (2nd August 2009).

Articles on Indymedia:

Mangawhau Protest Day One


This morning protesters flew Tino flags off the summit of Mangawhau/Mt Eden in a protest calling for Maori representation on the supercity. Today is the first day of the select committee hearings into the supercity which will consider the issue of Maori seats amongst other issues.

The protest began with a Karakia and Song and protesters watched a beautiful sunrise over Auckland whilst sipping hot tea and eating biscuits.

Protesters will on the summit of Mangawhau every morning for the rest of the week from 7 – 8am starting with a Karakia each morning. Protesters are asked to bring a torch to shine and warm clothes as it is windy. The hope is to have a thousand people on the summit by Friday.

Links: Super City in Place Next Year | Hikoi Against Super City

Update: Photos from Tuesday are here.

Trade Unionists sentenced to jail in Kanaky


Six trade unionists in Kanaky (New Caledonia) have been sentenced to jail and a further 18 union activists recieved suspended sentences! Gerard Jodar, leader of the Union of Kanaky and Exploited Workers (USTKE), was sentenced to one year prison. Mr Safoka, who works closely with Mr Jodar, has also been condemned to one year in jail. Two other union activists were given ten months of jail, another one six months, another one four months.

The convictions stem from a industrial dispute with Air Caledonie in May, when hundreds of people stormed Magenta airport.

Links: USTKE | Kanaky continue the struggle against Capitalism and Colonisation (2006) | Clashes in Kanaky: USTKE calls one-day general strike (2008)

G20 riot trial begins for anarchist in Melbourne


On Tuesday morning the trial of Sina Brown-Davis, an anarchist and mother of two from Aotearoa begins in Melbourne, Australia. Sina was arrested in the crackdown by the Australian state in the wake of vandalism at a stop corporate globalisation protest at the November 2006 G20 summit in Melbourne.

Sina is Ngati Whatua ki Kaipara now living in Melbourne. She faces one count of rioting in relation to the G20 protests. Sina is a long-time campaigner involved in campaigns such as the Black GST, Free Lex Wotton, Paying Respect and against the Northern Territory Intervention and against neo-liberalism in the Pacific. Now she is working to raise awareness of the devastating effects of the extension of the free trade agreement between New Zealand-Australia called the Closer Economic Relationship (CER) to the Pacific Island nations – a treaty call PACER

All the prosecution are saying she did was wave a flag and yell, and she is fighting riot charges, as well as charges of affray and criminal damage. Her trial begins on June 30.

On July 13 two men from Sydney go to trial. They are facing charges of aggravated burglary, which can carry a 25 year jail term, for allegedly walking into offices on ‘Corporate Engagement Day' with nothing more than glitter and water pistols.
[ G20 Trials a Call for Solidarity ]

Solidarity Demonstration Tuesday June 30, 12:30pm at the Australian Embassy, 72 Hobson Street, Wellington. Bring NOISEMAKERS, banners, placards, etc.

Links: After G20 | uriohau blog

June 2009 Indymedia Newsreal Released


The June 2009 Indymedia Newsreal is complete and on its way to airing on Free Speech TV. This month's episode features dispatches from the anti-war movement in Colorado, the immigrant rights movement in Arizona, a performance by the Raging Grannies, and more. The program is downloadable HERE and DVDs are available to subscribers who sign up by emailing newsrealsubs at

Newsreal is a longstanding IMC project, the show has been produced for over eight years. The newsreal team would like to take this opportunity to open up the project to the broader network, most of the material is currently produced in North America but we actively welcome contributions from other parts of the world. All producers, and future producers, should sign up to the imc-satellite at list. This is the main way we all communicate about this project. Get those videos seen!


Aussie unionists block traffic to support Zeal workers


"At the end of the day these workers will get justice. They'll get justice and then they will become part of this wonderful international movement of workers. And then we will go to the next point of injustice. And then the next. And then the next. We won't tire, we'll grow, we'll build." - Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia

Dozens of Australian unionists blocked a major intersection outside an Air New Zealand office in Brisbane on Thursday afternoon, in solidarity with Air New Zealand flight attendants, currently campaigning for fair wages.

More: Media Release | Videos | Photos

Public Lecture on the plight of Sri Lanka's Tamils


Thursday, June 4 at 6:30pm
Owen Glenn Building Lecture Theatre 4
University of Auckland

The recent offensive by the Sri Lankan army against the rebel Tamil Tigers group prompted massive protests by Tamil communities around the world, and allegations that the Sri Lankans were attacking civilian refugees as well as rebel fighters. In recent weeks Western aid agencies and journalists have confirmed that large numbers of civilians died at the hands of the Sri Lankan army. Although the fighting is over in Sri Lanka, hundreds of thousands of Tamils are being herded at gunpoint into poorly-equipped internment camps, where the Sri Lankan government wants to keep them for at least a year. The Red Cross and other aid agencies have been refused access to the camps.

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