Showing posts from November, 2009

The Battle of Seattle

Ten years ago, a coalition of environmentalists, trade unionists, student and radical activists faced up to a militarised police force and shut down the World Trade Organisation summit in Seattle. The Anti Capitalist movement was born. To celebrate ten years of resistance, and to discuss where now for the movement against capitalism, join us for a screening of the film BATTLE IN SEATTLE today Tuesday 1st December at 7pm in Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Road, Morningside. “Those who were arguing they were going to shut the WTO down were in fact successful today.” That was the frank admission of Seattle police chief Norm Stamper after the events of November 1999. A huge protest had disrupted the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in the city. US president Bill Clinton, government ministers from across the globe, and the heads of the world’s mightiest corporations were there to plan how they could increase their domination of the planet. Instead, tens of thousands of protesters gav

Brash can't tell Up from Down

Unite, the union that organises thousands of low paid workers in workplaces such as cinemas, fastfoods and call centres, thinks that Don Brash needs a lesson on which way is up and which way is down. Brash has proposed to reduce New Zealand's income gap with Australia by cutting the minimum wage to $10 an hour, re introducing youth rates for workers under 18, and slashing public services and conditions that benefit the working poor. The union's Campaign for a Living Wage spokesperson, Joe Carolan, says- "In order to reach Australia's income levels, we should increase our minimum wage to $15ph this year, and to two third's of the average wage afterwards. The poorest Australian workers benifit from a minimum wage of NZ$17.50 an hour, just over $200 more a week than their Kiwi counterparts. We've been out gathering thousands of names in support of this demand every week on the streets and in the workplaces throughout New Zealand. 4 out of 5 people agree with us-

Celling Out

Commentary: Cameron Walker, Socialist Aotearoa It is sad that National, ACT and the Maori Party have voted to privatise prisons. Overseas experience shows that prisons run for the purpose of profit are incredibly open to abuse of inmates, poor treatment of staff and corruption. Earlier this year it emerged that two judges in Pennsylvania, USA, had been receiving payments from the owners of a youth prison in return for passing harsh sentences. One girl was sentenced to three months simply making a satirical Myspace page about her teacher. The Corrections Minister, Judith Collins, claims that the experience of Auckland Central Remand Prison under the management of GEO Group Australia, earlier this decade, shows that private prisons are a success. However, the prison was brand new and utilised the latest developments in prison design and security system technology. Disruptive prisoners could always be moved to Mt Eden prison next door. As the American prison researcher Christian Parenti n

Drinking Labourly with Phil Goff

COMMENTARY- Omar Hamed, Socialist Aotearoa As the sun went down across a glassy Auckland harbour and inner-city workers scrambled for home, I met up with other Socialist Aotearoa comrades who went to see Labour leader Phil Goff speak at the London Bar. After getting there and buying a pricy bottle of beer, we retreated to the back of the bar as suited party functionaries and smart-casual looking centre-left students and intellectuals swilled around us. The first bitter taste in my mouth came when the organiser of the event, from the group Drinking Liberally, kept using the word “We” to describe the audience at the event but implying that we were all Labour Party members. No wonder people accused the Labour Party of arrogance, when all you have to do is turn up to hear their head honcho to be a member. Anyway, up to the stage went Mr. Goff, pint of beer in hand, to begins his ruminations. Launching into an articulate attack on the Tories first year, Goff covered his three stand-out iss

Living Wage for the Living Dead

an anti capitalist Zombie movie set in a Post Crisis Auckland where Zombie workers rise up against the bloodsucking vampire boss class.