Showing posts from December, 2008

How much is your life worth?

The reality behind despair and health cutbacks at Christmas- A Hamilton socialist writes. Like everything else under capitalism the mental health system is broken. I'm having to consul my cousin right now because her partner is in intensive care in a coma after trying to commit suicide and he probably won't make it. I know what you're thinking, well who could have known he was going to kill himself, or if he wanted to do it he would have found a way. M wanted help- he didn't want to do this, he didn't want to die, he begged and pleaded to be admitted to the Henry Bennett centre and they turned him away time and time again. I spoke to my mum, a nurse, she said oh yeah this happens all the time, again and again, people ask for help and don't get it and die as a result. It was less than a week since he last asked to be admitted to Henry Bennett centre and was denied, and then attempted suicide, the reality is the system doesn't give a fuck, we all have a dol

New Spirit in the Fighting Left of Auckland

ALL OUT- FEB 28 2009 There's a new spirit in the fighting Left of Auckland. Faced with a barrage of attacks from the new National led government, in particular the 90 Day Fire at Will Law (which now comes into effect on March 1st, thanks to pressure from ACT), socialists, unionists and left Greens have got their act together and began planning the fightback. Socialist Aotearoa organised an inspiring meeting on Thursday 11th December, where Unite union's John Minto and the Green's new MP, Catherine Delahunty, joined SA's Frank Doleman in outlining the need for a united front to resist the effects of the international crisis in capitalism and the new government's attacks on workers and the poor. Leading activists from the Workers Party, Greens on Campus, the National Distribution Union, the Residents Action Movement, the CWG and the CL also spoke from the floor. All agreed that we could work together round the slogan "We won't pay for their Crisis". T

Auckland: no more Kwila protest against 4 seasons

Demonstrate Saturday against the sale of Kwila at the Four Seasons furniture outlet in Wairau Park. After winning at Design Warehouse the campaign group will now focus on Four Seasons, with a demonstration outside their showroom this Saturday 20th December between 1pm and 3pm. Solidarity with indigneous people struggling against murderous logging corporations who want to destroy the forest homes of the West Papuan tribes can only be manifested by making it uneconomic to stock Kwila. If logging at current rates continues, Kwila will be extinct in 35 years... When: 1pm-3pm, 20 December 2008. Where: 4 Seasons, 1/14 Link Drive, Wairau Park, Auckland. Who: Rainforest Action Coalition Contact: . Transport will be going from Auckland city, email the above address to get a ride. For more info or to get involved. This summer a rag-tag bunch of activists will attempt to impose a people's ban on the selling of Kwila in Auckland City, a mostly illegally logged rainfo

Unite Union- Fighting the 90 Days No Work RIghts Law

6pm Thursday, Dec 18, Unite Office, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside Campaign for Workers Rights in 09: Unite Union is calling a meeting for union activists and supporters of workers’ rights to come to an emergency meeting to start planning action for 09. The 90-day No rights Law and need to continue pushing for the minimum wage to go to $15 an hour are signals of the need for a coordinated effort. Many of the workers covered by the 90-day law will have no formal union representation but will need support. Mike Treen National Director, Unite Union Organiser, Postal Workers Union Aotearoa Unite Organising Centre 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland, 1021 Ph: DD - 64 9 846 9485 Mobile - 64 29 525 4744 Ph: Office - 64 9 845 2132 ; Fax - 64 9 846 9509

Greece: The Struggle Continues!

by Greek Socialist Panos Garganas The anger that exploded in Greece following the police killing of 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos is still raging. Workers’ strikes, student occupations, walkouts by school students, mass demonstrations and clashes with the police are intensifying the pressure on the right wing New Democracy government. The shooting of Alexandros on Saturday 6 December has become a focus for all the discontent in Greek society – over job cuts, low wages and lack of opportunities. Instead of dying down, as the government had hoped, the revolt has instead taken on a more organised form. Teachers struck on Tuesday of last week over the killing, as Alexandros’s funeral took place. Thousands of school students also demonstrated. A general strike of workers over the government’s austerity budget plans shook the country the following day. Trade union leaders cancelled a march that was to take place in the centre of Athens and held a rally instead. But the Anti-Capitalist

South Korean Government hunts Socialist leader of Candlelight Movement

International Appeal in Defense of the South Korean Candlelight Movement We would like to express our deep concern for the arrest of leading members of the candlelight movement against the import of US beef and the military-dictator-style repression against left organizations including the illegal military-operation-like search for another leading member of the movement and All Together, Kim Kwang-il. With the arrest of Chairperson Lee Seok-haeng of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions on December 6, 2008, Kim Kwang-il became the last leading members of the candlelight movement on wanted list. Described as the “great people’s power” by International Amnesty researcher Norma Kang Muico sent to investigate police violence against peaceful protestors, the candlelight movement against the import of US beef represents the mass of ordinary working people in South Korea including elementary school students to 80 years old seniors who wanted to express their concern about the

Thailand- the Cockroaches Take Over

Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Turn Left Thailand The appointment of "Democrat" Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva as the new Thai Prime Minister is the final stage of the second coup against an elected government. After the deliberate chaos created by the PAD's seizure of the airports, the courts stepped in to dissolve the hugely popular governing party for the second time. The Army chief then called a meeting of Democrat Party parliamentarians along with some of the most corrupt elements of the governing coalition parties. It is widely believed that the Army chief and others, threatened and bribed MPs to change sides. Chief among them is "Newin Chitchorp", who was named by his father after the infamous Burmese dictator. The Democrat Party is known among the cyber community as the "Cockroach Party". This is because cockroaches live in filthy places and can survive even nuclear holocausts. The party has survived for many years, forming governments after various

USA Factory Occupation- Victory at Republic!

Lee Sustar reports on the workers' big win in a factory occupation that made headlines across the U.S. and inspired union members and activists everywhere. Supporters of workers at Republic Windows & Doors picket the Bank of America building in Chicago (Nicholas Kamm | AFP) WITH A unanimous vote, workers at the Republic Windows & Doors plant in Chicago ended their six-day factory occupation late on December 10 after Bank of America and other lenders agreed to fund about $2 million in severance and vacation pay as well as health insurance. "Everybody feels great," said a tired but beaming Armando Robles, president of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (UE) Local 1110. Melvin Maclin, the local's vice president, agreed. "I feel wonderful," he said. "I feel validated as a human being. Everybody is so overjoyed. This is significant because it shows workers everywhere that we do have a voice in this economy. Because we're the bac

Greek mass movement rises up against the State

Greek socialist Panos Garganas speaks about the demonstrations shaking Greece The furious response to the police killing of a 15 year old boy in Athens last Saturday has seen mass protests, strikes and student walkouts rock Greece's right wing government. Police shot Alexandros Grigoropoulos in the Exarchia area of the capital city on Saturday evening. The killing has provoked rage among workers and students already angry at the government's neoliberal economic policies. Immediate protests broke out as news spread. The police attacked the demonstrators and people smashed up the centre of the city. Movement While much of the international media has focussed on the riots, they have virtually ignored the mass movement sweeping Greece's streets and workplaces. This has successfully targeted anger against the government. Large demonstrations took place across the country on Sunday calling for the resignation of the interior minister and punishment for the police involved. There

France's New Anti-Capitalist Party

Alain Krivine of the Ligue Communiste R√©volutionnaire (LCR) spoke to the British Socialist Worker about the conference in January that will found a new party, now known as the New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA). Alain explained that the new party has emerged out of a period of consultations involving some 400 local committees across France. These meetings have involved tens of thousands of people in a discussion on forming a party that can give expression to growing anger at the neoliberal policies of president Nicolas Sarkozy. The meetings have drawn in activists from the women’s, anti-racist and environmental movements as well as communists, socialists, revolutionaries and libertarians. Alain said that the size and diversity of the meetings has raised the confidence of the revolutionary left in France. He said, “For many people this is a new experience, as they have never been in a political organisation. It is taking time to explain the work we need to do, how parties work, and even th

The Centrist Honeymoon is over- National Government Attacks Begin.

The honeymoon is over. On the first day of parliament, John Key's new National Government announced it would ram through legislation before Christmas enabling employers to Hire and Fire workers at will during their first 90 days of employment. Over 100,000 workers at any time will be affected by the new bill, which will be pushed through parliament under urgency. Those who argue that this government is centrist are providing a saccharin coating for the bitter pills a coming. Supporters of the Maori party within the union movement in particular face a major test of loyalty- to their new NAT-ACT coalition partners or to their fellow workers. The sheep's clothing is coming off the wolf, and workers need to be ready to respond to these attacks on our rights as soon as possible. That's why Socialist Aotearoa has convened the "We won't pay for their Crisis" meeting at 7pm on Thursday night in Auckland's Trades Hall. We'll be joined by John Minto fro

Crisis USA- Workers Occupy Factory in Chicago

Lee Sustar reports from Chicago on an occupation by workers who want what's theirs from management and the Bank of America. December 6, 2008 WORKERS OCCUPYING the Republic Windows & Doors factory slated for closure are vowing to remain in the Chicago plant until they win the $1.5 million in severance and vacation pay owed them by management. In a tactic rarely used in the U.S. since the labor struggles of the 1930s, the workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 1110, refused to leave the plant on December 5, its last scheduled day of operation. "We decided to do it because this is money that belongs to us," said Maria Roman, who's worked at the plant for eight years. "These are our rights." Word of the occupation spread quickly both among labor and immigrant rights activists--the overwhelming majority of the workers are Latinos. Seven local TV news stations showed up to do interviews and live reports,