Showing posts from October, 2008

"Criminal Gang" charges ludicrous says GPJA

"Criminal gang" charges ludicrous The police decision to lay charges of participating in a criminal gang against fiveof the Urewera arrestees is ludicrous. Having failed to brand these activists as terrorists the police now want to try to brand them as criminals.Why lay these charges more than a year after the arrests? Rather than being serious about these charges it seems to be an attempt to shift the whole case to the High Court rather than have it heard in the District Court. It seems the police will leave no stone unturned in trying to make the case look more serious than it is and in the process to salvage some credibility from the hopeless mess they have got themselves into. In a bare-faced abuse of the legal process the police also intend to relay charges dismissed at depositions. This is desperate stuff indeed.The police have been on a hiding to nothing since their dramatic "anti-terror" raids on October 15th last year seized of two pig hunting rifles. Their

Solidarity with McDonalds workers needed

Kia Ora, Over 1200 union members employed at McDonald’s have been taking strike action to win a national collective agreement and equal pay with other fast food restaurants. Negotiations between Unite and MCDonald’s broke down after the company failed to meet their own deadline in mid September. McDonald’s pays only 25 cents per hour above the minimum wage to experienced crew and only $1.50 above the minimum managers. McDonald’s General Manager, Mark Hawthorne, claims that $12.00 per hour is an acceptable living wage. Over 50% of McDonald’s 7500 staff are paid the minimum wage and no waged staff have secure hours. Union members have repeatedly faced anti-union tactics from managers and owners. Unite is asking for unionists and activists who support the struggle of these workers to submit a message of support and solidarity, which will be sent out to the members. Yours Truly, Tom Buckley Unite Organiser 6a Western Springs Rd Morningside MOB (029)445-5703

The Workers of the World

The global working class has grown over the past decade, says a new report from the International Labour Organisation Stock markets across the world plunged last week as financial institutions began to face up to the reality of a new global downturn. Revenues, profits and economic growth are all going to plunge as the recession begins to bite. But what does this mean for the people whose work creates those profits in the first place? Many mainstream commentators have simply written off the global working class as a dying force, eclipsed by a rising “middle class” in developed nations and by casualised workers in the Global South. But a new report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) paints a very different picture. It shows in detail that the working class – those people who make their livelihood by working in return for wages – is still a force to be reckoned with. There are around one billion people across the world that are classified as part of the labour force by the I

A Climate Camp for Aotearoa?

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE FAR AND WIDE Hello!This email is being sent to you as someone who has at some point expressedinterest in the idea of a climate camp in Aotearoa/New Zealand.Well, a few folks have written up a proposal document to get the ballrolling - this is intended to be a statement of the current global andnational situation followed by a proposal for holding a camp here in NZ.We have highlighted elements that will need to be discussed in order forthe camp to be a success, both as a functioning camp and also as an agent to bring about a radical grassroots movement to combat climate change.Please read the document (below and attached) and discuss it with otherswho wish to be involved - it is meant to be a starting framework forpeople in their communities to use as a basis for formulating ideas tothen feed in to a national hui to be held in November.It is proposed that a hui/meeting be held in Wellington (to make it asaccessible as possible) on Saturday and Sunday the 22/23 November

Professor Richard Wolff- the Crisis in Capitalism and a Socialist Response

Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics at UMass Amherst talks on the current "financial" crisis and capitalism in general. A form of socialism is presented as a possible alternative. This talk was presented by the Asociation for Economic and Social Analysis and the journal Rethinking Marxism

Recession creates trouble for China

by Charlie Hore Events in the Chinese economy and decisions by the Chinese government will have major consequences for how the global recession develops. As well as having become a major industrial power, China is also a leading investor in those parts of the money markets hit worst by the credit crunch. China’s recent economic boom has left the Chinese government awash with money, much of which has been invested in US institutions. For example, China is the largest foreign investor in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies recently bailed out by the US government. In fact the bailout was largely necessary to prevent the Chinese government withdrawing even more of its money, which would have led other foreign investors to pull out. China’s wealth gives it great clout in the US market – and this scares some rightwingers who fear the US is losing power to China. But the reality is more complex. China needs to prop up the US economy because its collapse would threaten

Solidarity with Socialists attacked in Malaysia

Socialist Aotearoa (NZ) ingin menunjukkan semangat solidariti bersama perjuangan saudara-saudari sosialis di PSM dalam menentangi pihak pemerintah yang fasis dan berserta dengan golongan pekerja di Malaysia dalam pangillan untuk keadilan, kebebasan dan suara demokrasi. Saudara-saudari, kia kaha. Socialist Aotearoa (NZ) stand in solidarity with the Socialist Party of Malaysia in the working class struggle against the ruling elite and the fight for justice, freedom and democracy. Comrades, kia kaha (stand strong). Sungai Siput parliamentarian Dr D Jeyakumar’s car was partially damaged in a suspected act of arson early this morning in his constituency. When contacted, the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leader accused his rivals in MIC of being responsible for this. In the March 8 general election, Jeyakumar had defeated MIC president S Samy Vellu in the parliamentary constituency in Perak, which the latter had controlled for more than three decades. The PSM leader said he believe

AS CAPITALISM CRASHES< THE RESISTANCE GATHERS! Rally Against Low Pay- $15 per hour minimum wage now!

Please Print Out, Copy and Put up! The weekend before the election, join the rally for a decent minimum wage- $15ph NOW! For posters and leaflets, contact Joe at 021 1861450 RALLY AGAINST LOW PAY- $15 per hour minimum wage now! As Capitalism crashes, the resistance gathers... Event Info Host: Socialist Aotearoa Type: Causes - Rally Time and Place Date: 01 November 2008 Time: 14:00 - 17:00 Location: Aotea Square Street: Queen Street Town/City: Auckland, New Zealand View Map Google MapQuest Microsoft Yahoo Phone: 0211861450 Email: The Gathering Storm. In recent months, low paid people have taken strike action in casinos, banks, fastfood outlets, supermarkets and on the busses. Low pay is crippling a generation of workers who are now expected to bear the brunt of a vicious global recession. It's time the resistance gathered. We're not going to pay for their crisis. We're not going to endure low pay anymore. A new generation is going to resist the Glob

One year on- Auckland remembers State Terror Raids

Socialist Aotearoa activists joined the picnic in Aotea Square yesyterday to remember the Terror Raids on Maori and anarchist comrades last year.

Anti Capitalist Protests hit the City of London

Several hundred students and other activists brought the City of London to a standstill in a flash protest on Friday evening. Chanting “No bail! send the bankers to jail” they stormed into the upmarket Royal Exchange Mall outside the Bank of England. A section of the the protesters was able to march through the glitzy mall before police could bar the entrance. The demonstrators then regrouped and attempted to force their way into the Bank of England building. There followed a short sit down protest encouraged by motorists who hooted in support. The protest, organised by the Socialist Worker Student Society, was called in response to the multi-billion pound bailout of the crisis-wracked banking system. Students from Oxford, Sussex, Essex and Sheffield joined London colleges including Soas, Goldmiths, the LSE, Kings and UEL in a good natured, but determined, show of force. As police desperately cleared the entrance to the bank, protesters turned up Threadneedle Street, pas

Sweatshops taking hold- John Minto

Can you imagine turning up for work to do a six-hour shift only to be sent home with just an hour's pay because your computer breaks down. What about being sent home without pay when the person doing the roster has booked too many staff and there aren't enough computers for everyone. Or imagine a scramble at the start of each shift to get a pair of reasonable headphones rather than be left with broken gear through your shift. Welcome to work in a call centre. They have sprung up all over the country and are our fastest growing area of employment. They mark the transition in New Zealand's economy from manufacturing to servicing . . . However, unlike relatively well-paid jobs associated with manufacturing, these jobs are not so flash. Just looking around some of these centres is an eye-opener. Cheap tables covered with phones and no cubicles. They are noisy workplaces and workers frequently end up with ringing ears after a few hours. Typically people have targets to meet a

The Economist magazine gets it spot on.


Interview: Korea’s summer of discontent

South Korean socialist Kim Kwang-il spoke to Owen Miller about the country’s recent protest movement This summer the biggest mass movement since the 1980s erupted in South Korea as hundreds of thousands came onto the streets to protest against the recently elected right wing government of Lee Myung-bak. Ostensibly the crowds were protesting against the government’s decision to resume imports of US beef which had been banned due to fears of “mad cow disease”, but their anger and slogans were directed at everything from education privatisation to Lee’s plans to construct an environmentally disastrous “grand canal” down the length of the country. The movement began online and then in May escalated into daily candlelight vigils in central Seoul. From late May people began to march, attempting to take their protests directly to the presidential residence, still carrying candles as a symbol of their defiance against the government. Since the middle of August the government has gone on the co

IST Statement on the Global Economic Crisis

INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST TENDENCY STATEMENT ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS 1. The extraordinary waves of panic that have swept through global financial markets in the past few weeks have filled ordinary working people around the world with a mixture of anger, bewilderment, and fear. It has become evident to everyone that the existing capitalist economic system isn’t working, and that we face a major historical turning point. What isn’t clear is what the consequences will be and what can be done. 2. The financial crash of September-October 2008 has confirmed that the world is facing a major economic crisis. The development of this crisis has been channelled through the neoliberal economic policy regime that was set in place in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, in particular with the deregulation of financial markets and their greater power to engage in large-scale speculation across state borders. Nevertheless, the real causes of the credit crunch lie in the long-term crisis of profitab

McCafe on Queen Street strikes!

Braving the wind and the rain on a chilly Friday morning, McDonalds McCafe workers struck against low pay and a bullying management, and also demanded fair trade coffee to be sold on premises. They were joined on the picket line by members of Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party, and teachers who are union members of the Queens Academic Unite branch next door!

McDonald's workers strike for fairness from coffee bean to coffee cup!

Kia ora Comrades , Throughout the month of October the Unite Union, which represents a 1000 low-paid McDonald's employees will be campaigning for living wages for workers and for REAL fair trade coffee to be sold in McCafes. This is part of our ongoing organising effort to ensure that workers for some of the world's largest corporations receive living wages and that these corporations reduce their environmental impact and help build sustainable and fair relationships with producers in developing nations. As part of this campaign we are asking for organisations and individuals to support our campaign in McDonald's for fairness from coffee bean to coffee cup. You can support this campaign by encouraging members of your organisation to come along to the rally for living wages and fair trade on Friday (10/10) morning at 8.30am or sending us a message of support we can use in our promotional material. Your support will mean a lot in this historic campaign to act locally and ac

Can world leaders avert the crisis? - questions and answers

The world economic situation worsened dramatically over the last week and each day seems to greet a new crisis. Many looked to the $700 billion bailout in the US to save the system. The bailout has been accompanied by governments propping up banks across Europe. None of this has solved the crisis. Socialist Aotearoa explains what the bailouts mean, what other solutions our rulers have and asks whether any of them can work. What happened over the last week? Across the world governments have been throwing cash at the money markets – global financial markets for short term borrowing and lending – in an attempt to encourage the banks to lend to each other again. The “credit crunch” that began over a year ago saw the daily lending between financial institutions dry up. The US government has provided $700 billion to bail out the US bankers. This follows a series of other bailouts in recent weeks – amounting to another $400 billion. Over the last week, five banks have been taken over or rescu

SO MUCH for that $700 billion bailout that was supposed to save world capitalism!

Why the panic won't stop American socialist Lee Sustar explains why the $700 billion Wall Street "rescue" plan hasn't stabilized the financial system. SO MUCH for that $700 billion bailout that was supposed to save world capitalism. Following two major bank failures in Europe, world stock markets greeted Congress' passage of the so-called Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) with an international meltdown October 6. It began in Asia, swept through Europe and sent Wall Street's main stock indexes into a freefall, though a late bounce-back limited the losses. Even so, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped below the 10,000 mark that it first crossed in 1999, finishing at 9,665. Overall, the decline erased $2.5 trillion in stock market value worldwide, according to Bloomberg News. Bad as the stock markets losses are, the really ominous financial news is about the credit markets--or rather, the lack of them. Banks, unwilling to trust their rivals'

Commentary fron an American member of Socialist Aotearoa

My Two Cents By Laura Hardin As with any presidential election, the American pubic will once again be asked to head to the polls to test which campaign slogans proved more effective. We can either vote for the fairy tale of “hope and change” or we can cast our vote for the “Maverick’s from Main Street.” The McCain/Palin ticket has just recently been trying to lure the middle class with their new Main Street myth, an attempt to portray themselves as sympathizers who understand how this economic crisis is affecting the majority of America. In the Vice Presidential debate last Thursday Palin said that credit markets is where "mainstreeters like me" would feel the effects of the meltdown. And earlier last week, presidential nominee John McCain said of the bailout, “The first thing I’d do is say, ‘Let’s not call it a bailout. Let’s call it a rescue,’ Because it is a rescue. It’s a rescue of Main Street America.” You know what you’ll find on most Main Streets in most American towns