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ANTI-WAR: Christchurch activist convicted for anti-war protest


On Friday Christchurch activist Daniel Rae stood href="/front.php3?article_id=11851&group=webcast">trial and was convicted on a charge of trespassing onto a secure area of the Christchurch airport. Mr Rae had scaled the security fence of the US airforce base at Harewood and poured red paint onto the tarmac to symbolise the deaths of thousands of Iraqis, caused by sanctions, and compounded by an illegal war of aggression led by the US.

He also did this in order to highlight New Zealands complacency in
international acts of terrorism by hosting the base, which is known to
service href="">Pine Gap
in Australia, a vital US military installation that provides
intelligence and targeting information for Western wars in the
Middle-East, including the recent war in Iraq.

Around 30 supporters staged a vigil outside the courtrooms before the
trial, dressed in black and holding two banners that read, Criminalise
War Not Peacemaking and End US Militarism in New Zealand.

When sentenced to 100 hours of community service, Mr Rae refused to
accept the charges and stated that the only sentence he would accept
would be jail time. When the judge refused to grant him this he claimed
that he would not do the work. "I refuse to comply with the terms of
conviction," said Mr Rae, "because I still believe that I have done
nothing wrong."

[ Read more | Dan's defense statement ]

NO ONE IS ILLEGAL: Ahmed Zaoui: Political Prisoner in New Zealand


From the newswire:

Refugee Ahmed Zaoui remains imprisoned and threatened
with deportation, despite a comprehensive
investigation clearing him of any link with armed
groups, and establishing that he he would be tortured
if returned to Algeria. Mr Zaoui was granted refugee
status on August 1 2003. He spent 10 months in
solitary confinement before being moved to Auckland
Remand prison in Mt Eden yesterday, however the threat
of deportation remains.

By international standards, New Zealand is country
with a commendable record in terms of treatment of
refugees. This makes it all the more unacceptable that
a legitimate and peaceful Algerian politician has been
held in solitary confinement in the maximum security
wing of Paremoremo prison for almost ten months. As if
this was not enough, he is being held on the grounds
of secret and classified information, after being
denied a fair trial. For 9 months Ahmed Zaoui was
locked up for 23 hours of the day. Yesterday he was
moved to Auckland Central Remand facility at Mt Eden,
however the central issue of this case - that he is
imprisoned and threatened with deportation to certain
torture on the basis of secret information - has not

[ Read More ]

GENETIC ENGINEERING: Royal Commission on GM a 'Sham'


The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification(RCGM) has long been used by the government and pro-GE lobby groups as a means of dismissing concerns that the public has about Genetic Engineering but information released in two recent publications has severely undermined the credibility of the Commission.

The GE $ellout by Jonathon Eisen includes a thorough review of the Royal Commission process by Stephen Druker of and suggests that the Royal Commission was purposely set up to produce a favourable report for the biotech industry. As well as this book a new paper by Peter Wills of New Zealand's Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics and Auckland University says that the new GE legislation is 'corrupted at it's foundations'.

Criticisms include that the RCGM failed to uphold proper norms of conduct at its hearings, that it's members had innappropriately close relationsips with counsel for pro-GM lobby groups and that the Life Sciences Network was not required to properly declare who's interests it was representing to the Commission

To make matters worse it would also appear that the RCGM was the only Royal Commission in New Zealand history not to require those presenting evidence to swear an oath. This information comes at a bad time for the government and will only serve to fuel public anger at a time when protests have reached what some are saying are unprecedented levels in New Zealand history.

[ Discussion Space ]

BOLIVIA: Dozens Killed in Ongoing Insurrection


26 people were killed in El Alto, Bolivia, Sunday, as the army cracked down
massively on protests against the sale of the country's natural gas to multinational corporations. [ href="">Background]

Protesters in El Alto had been href="">maintaining
the most intense road blockades in the country for weeks, cutting off
the main route to La Paz, resulting in severe shortages of gasoline, food and other supplies.
Escalating government repression against weeks of protests and strikes has killed more than 50 people in the last three days. After the massacre on Sunday the main focus of the fights moved to La Paz where the government is situated. Here again at least 20 civilian deaths have so far occured. [Names of the Dead]

With the whole country revolting the government has been forced to order
further troups and tanks to the capital. At the same time ten of thousands of protesters started to march
from Oruro and Achacachi to support the rioters in La Paz, and miners have

announced the occupation of mining companies owned by the president. The President, Gonzalo
Sanchez de Lozada, has postponed a decision on the gas plan but continues to resist calls for his resignation despite the withdrawal of support of three ministers and the condemnation of the Vice-President.

Live Radio Stream from
/ href="">second Server

Human rights groups and social movements are setting up a fund to help the
families of those killed in the protests. You can href="">donate
online to contribute to the fund and express your solidarity with those who
have died in the struggle against neoliberalism and for humanity.

Indymedia Bolivia is struggling to cover the uprising. They have called on the
activist community to also support their work with href="">donations.

For more media see the entire feature and visit Imc Bolivia,
Imc Argentina and Imc Peru.

INDYMEDIA: Manila Indymedia joins the IMC network


"We are goin to kick some ass now!!" -Manila Indymedia

Welcome to the newest Independent Media Centre; Manila Indymedia! After months of work setting up they are now an official member of the IMC network.

Some Manila Indymedia history:

"Manila Independent Media Center Collective was formally organized in July 22, 2003 after the Principles of Unity was consensually agreed by the diverse autonomous individuals of the working group. The collective was organized at the outskirts of Recto, Manila- the place where communities are suffering in urban decay and state violence takes place. Using only analog second hand cameras, pre-paid internet cards, second hand personal computers and a passionate telling of truth of the experiences and struggles of the oppressed people in the community, Manila IMC will fight and pursue helping the Filipino grass roots be heard and be recognized in the whole world through the surface of the World Wide Web."

[ Visit Manila Indymedia!! | Manila Indymedia Mission Statement and History ]

GENETIC ENGINEERING: Thousands march for a 'GE Free NZ'


GE--It Cant Be Undone

Thousands of people have marched this Saturday in the HREF="">big march against GE and the
lapsing of the moratorium at the end of the month. There were strong
marches in Auckland HREF="">[1]
New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington HREF="">[1] [2]
Christchurch [1][2][3], Timaru, and Dunedin HREF="">[1],[2].

The Life Science Network has declared that the marches were HREF="">'well
down on expectations'.

Many new voices of opposition have come to the foreground in the last month
including the HREF="">Porirua
City Council, and HREF="">Leonie
Pihama from Auckland University said that the "lifting of the moratorium on genetic
modification will place native flora and fauna at risk".

Activists in recent weeks have HREF="">culture-jammed
to advertise the march, HREF="">bared
all to illustrate the fragility of our environment, and attempted to
to draw attention to Labour's 'soiling' of our clean, green

People are being asked around the country to join the HREF="">GE-Free
Register, and take part in the Take
5 campaign
which is pushing for an extension of the moratorium for
five years.A call for a pledge to take part in direct action has been put foreward if the government fails to heed the publics outcry at the lifting of the moratorium.

MADGE HREF="">GE-Free Greens

[ Discussion Space ]

ANTI-WAR: US Ambassador abandons speech


Protestors have disrupted a speech due to be given at Victoria University by the US Ambassador to New Zealand Charles Swindells. About 30 protestors from Peace Action Wellington interrupted the event, calling for a minute's silence for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by the US-led force, followed by a minute's rage, stating;

"We are denying you the right to speak today Mr Swindells, not as a personal insult, but as a deliberate protest and insult to the government you represent. Some will say we are preventing freedom of speech, and here in a university I feel the weight of academic politeness pressing down on us.

But when have the people of the world ever had a say in whether we want to be a part in your project for a new american century?" [more]

The ambassador left the building without giving his speech, and media furore and analysis has followed the action and released speech notes. Critics have labelled the speech content as propaganda, threatening New Zealand and interfering with New Zealand sovereignty.

From the Ambassadors speech notes:

"...Yet New Zealand's anti-nuclear legislation does place limits on our relationship. It impedes closer cooperation in some areas. Friends and allies are not the same thing.

Like you, we would like to see the end of this bilateral disagreement. But contrary to the views of some, the United States is not going to just "get over it." Let me be clear - the nuclear issue does not define the US-New Zealand relationship - even such a serious disagreement cannot overwhelm the ties that bind us. But it is not cost-free.

The nuclear issue inevitably colors important policy decisions on both sides, limits the scope for further deepening of cooperation in key areas, and plays an unhelpful role in how we respond to one another. Twenty years on, a re-examination of this issue could benefit us all.

As for events just passed, I tell you frankly that we were saddened by New Zealand's decision not to participate in the liberation of the Iraqi people..."

[ Read entire speech ]

Discussion Space Statement from Peace Action Wellington

EDUCATION: Ten students arrested at fee protest


Up to ten students have been arrested during a protest against fee increases at Massey University.

The arrests came as about sixty students occupied the the administration building to protest an fee increases. Despite a $16 million surplus, Massey University are planning to increase fees by 3.5%. Those arrested include Co-President of the New Zealand University Students

MEDIA RESOURCES: New Oceania Indymedia Syndication Site


is a portal site
syndicating features from Independent Media Centres
(IMCs) in the region. This
network of local Indymedias have just completed a new
syndication site allowing
you to view features from Manilla to Melbourne and
Aotearoa to Perth.

To find out more about Oceania Indymedia read the href="">about
us page or visit the
site. Or even better href="">get
involved in your local indymedia! For Aotearoa
Indymedia news, meeting and
events updates href="">join
announcement list.

HOLMES UNDER FIRE: Is Holmes's career under threat?


Holmes under fire

With this story refusing to go away in a hurry in
spite of Paul Holmes's two apologies it would appear
that his career might
very well be under threat.

In the last couple of days
Mitsubishi Motors has href="">
withdrawn its sponsorship of the Holmes show on
TVNZ, estimated to be worth at least $1 million. Race
Relations Commissioner Joris
de Bres has accuse NewstalkZB of
on its hands"

over Holmes's comments. The Ghanaian Association of
New Zealand plan to lay a href="">
complaint in the next few days. A spokesperson for
the Secretary General of the United Nations, Fahan Haq
that, "when public figures in the United
States have made racist comments they have paid for
them with their careers"
. The New Zealand's
Broadcasting Standards Authority,
Newstalk and the Human Rights Commission have received
nearly href="">
100 complaints over the show. Other journalists
have open
questioned the sincerity of Holmes's apology. Leading academics have also called for his resignation. Scoop readers have voiced their opinions mostly calling for him to be sacked. [1] [2] [3] {4}

Anyone who saw Paul Holmes's href=",2106,2675101a10,00.html">apology
on Monday night's
Holmes show must be questioning wether this was a
desperate attempt from Mr Holmes to stave off further
for his resignation.

[ Indy readers' comments | Scoop ]

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