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PMA newsletter - Feb-April 1998 (cont.)
Deployments ongoing : Bosnia, 15 gunners from 16th Field Regiment, six month tour of duty with British Royal Artillery Regiment; G Sinai Desert, 8 drivers attached to US support battalion as part of the Multinational Force and Observers; G Bougainville, c170 army soldiers as part of Truce Monitoring Group, until 30 April, maybe beyond; G Kuwait ?, 22 (aka 20 or 26 - take your pick) SAS troopers, indefinitely.
Referring to the release of the new glossy SIS booklet Security in New Zealand Today , the media release from Aziz Choudry pointed out ... "the government is a week late in releasing this booklet - it has all the hallmarks of a weak and tasteless April Fool's Day joke."
The booklet reminds us of the release last year of the Ministry of Defence's Why we need a defence force kit for secondary schools - an attempt to justify the unjustifiable ! Will free copies of this one be issued to the schools too ?
As Aziz and others have pointed out, publishing a booklet about what the SIS allegedly does is no substitute for making the organisation genuinely accountable for its activities. The October 1997 Alliance paper Footsteps up the Hall on the lack of accountability of the SIS is a useful starting point for those wishing to consider this further (copies available from Matt Robson's office, tel (04) 470 6672, fax (04) 473 7341).
Meanwhile, work continues on Aziz's case against the SIS whose operatives broke into
his home in 1996 (see previous PMA Newsletters). For more information including a
jolly handy fact sheet about this (or to send donations towards the court costs)
contact Democratic Rights Defence Fund, PO Box 1905, Christchurch, tel (03) 366 2803, fax
(03) 366 8035.
it seems the government is intent on eroding further those social and economic conditions which help to maintain a peaceful society as they pursue policies which can only increase inequality between the 'haves' and 'have nots'.
The newly announced 'work for the dole' scheme, whoops, sorry, that should read work for the community wage, is but the latest example of this - compelling people to work with no guarantees of health or safety requirements being met, no holidays or sick leave; and at risk of losing 40% of their benefit if their work is 'deemed to be unsatisfactory' with no right to appeal this.
We wait to see if this latter requirement will be extended to those other community wage workers, government MPs. This scenario raises interesting possibilities - if for example government MPs work was deemed to be unsatisfactory (eg by pursuing policies which create unemployment) and their community wage was cut by 40%, we have calculated that the money from the cut would be sufficient to support three unemployed persons for a year at current benefit levels. If on the other hand those persons' benefits had also been cut by 40%, then it would be sufficient to support five unemployed persons.
Such policies could include lifting tariffs on goods produced by the car manufacturing and clothing industries, or promoting a work for the dole scheme which results in the loss of proper jobs ... or by signing up to the MAI (while rumour abounds that the government is not planning on signing up to the current draft, the spectre of the MAI or a similar agreement has not faded).
Then of course we had the 'Code of Social Responsibility' - for those of you who are unfamiliar with the extraordinary 'consultation' booklet, this is the proposed code of individual responsibility for beneficiaries and other 'problem' groups ... not of government or business or transnational responsibility towards a fair and just society.
Wellington Food not Bombs- is going strong, from 28th April food will be served at 2-30pm on Tuesdays at Vincents Art Workshop, 166 Victoria Street instead of at Glover Park. Contact tel (04) 385 6728.
Occupied Territories- for information you can contact Auckland Palestinian Human Rights Group, PO Box 56 150, Auckland, fax (09) 630 0388 or Wellington Palestinian Human Rights Group, PO Box 642, Wellington, tel/fax (04) 479 7581.
Latin America Solidarity Committee- absolutely bulging at the seams with information on the situation in Latin American countries, action alerts, solidarity actions and much much more and very keen to share all this with you ! Contact LAC, PO Box 925, Wellington, tel (04) 389 8699, fax (04) 472 3622 <email@example.com> http://www.converge.org.nz/lac/
Taupo Peace Group have been active in letter writing about the Iraq situation, arranging a stall for a pre-school expo on peaceful toys and have booked to have the Waihopai display panels from the Wellington Anti-bases group.
Campaign against Landmineshave a new convener, Neil Mander, who may be reached at CALM-NZ, 6 John Sims Drive, Broadmeadows, Wellington, tel (04) 478 1828, fax (04) 384 2112, http://www.protel.co.nz/calm/
Kapatiran - Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoapublish the only specialist newsletter here on current affairs and social justice struggles in the Philippines. Contact PSNA, PO Box 2450, Christchurch, fax (03) 365 2919.
Golden Bay Peace Grouphave been invited by Tasman District Mayor Kerry Marshall to the unveiling of the 'Birds of Peace' sculpture, created in Takaka marble by local sculptor Lorraine Polglase. This work of art was commissioned by the Tasman District Council to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII and to mark the region's commitment to peace. Tasman was one of the first councils to endorse the Abolition 2000 statement.
Abolition 2000- speaking of which, 17 councils have now endorsed the A2000 Local Authorities Resolution; hundreds of signatures have been collected on the International A2000 petition (sorry - we'll count them exactly for the next Newsletter ) and you are most welcome to assist with signature collection by getting your copy of it from PMA; Rob Green is the only official NGO rep from Aotearoa /NZ attending the NPT prep-com in Geneva and he will be meeting with and briefing the official delegation.
Some quick snippets of news from the tons (!) of A2000 information which comes our way ... France and Britain are the first nuclear weapons states to ratify the CTBT; the US has exploded its first sub-critical nuclear weapons test for the year; a French official has for the first time admitted there was radioactive fallout from French nuclear testing in the Pacific; the new Indian government is talking about advancing its nuclear weapons programme and the Pakistan government says it might too ...
Waiwhetu / Lower Hutt Peace Group - report that Mordechai Vanunu has undertaken not to reveal the names of the people he worked with at Dimona and not to break the law and is now allowed to mix with other prisoners at exercise.
A US delegation is in Israel now presenting appeals from around the world calling for Mordechai to be released, his parole board hearing is due soon. Contact Arthur Quinn, tel (04) 567 0533.
Taking Control : the Fightback Against Transnational Control conference- (CAFCA, GATT Watchdog, CORSO), glowing accounts received from those who attended ! Reports available include that on Tranz Rail, winner of The 1998 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation in Aotearoa/NZ in 1997; and a list of Principles for Effective Resistance. Get yours now from Taking Control Organisers, Box 1905 or Box 2258, Christchurch.
Note - transnational attempts to silence protest about their activities have been put back somewhat by the recent Ontario Court ruling that a consumer boycott launched by Friends of the Lubicon against Daishowa was not only legal, but is "a model of how such activities should be conducted in a democratic society".
Wellington peace people !
Des Brough, ever gallant worker for the cause, has taken on the co-ordination of the rosters for both
Peace Forum(11am Saturdays) and
Peace Report(11-45am Sundays) on Wellington Access Radio. Please contact him immediately to book your time to air your views ! Tel / fax (04) 388 3173.
PMA Garage Sale - 23 May
the perfect opportunity for you to clean out your cupboards and help raise money for PMA at the same time! Start searching out your unwanted but still sellable goods for the garage sale ... books, magazines, clothes, kitchenware, knickknacks, CDs/records/tapes, or anything else that you think someone else would love to buy. For those of you outside Wellington who are keen to help, you could send goods that will travel well (like books and clothes) through the post to PMA.
If you can assist in supplying or transporting garage sale goodies, please get in touch with Pauline at the PMA office.
- responding to suggestions that pigeons around Sellafield are so contaminated they should be classified as nuclear waste, British Nuclear Fuels announced it was ... "nonsense to suggest that contaminated pigeons are flying nuclear waste". British MAF has issued a warning that people in the area are not to handle or eat pigeons.
- and an official report reported in the Daily Telegraph says that increases in levels of childhood leukaemia and cancers around Greenham Common are more likely to be caused by affluence than radiation .. shouldn't that read "effluence'?
28 April - 8 May- second Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2000 Review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Geneva.
1 May - International Labour Day- see National and local for contacts and events.
5 May - International Midwives Day12 noon, at Parliament steps (Wellington) join the party and celebrate everyone's birthday ! Children welcome.
15 May - International Day of the Family
Global Street Party- reclaim your street ! This year's global street party coincides with the G7 meeting in England which will be followed by their celebrations of 50 years of GATT at the WTO meeting in Geneva. This year the GSP organisers are suggesting an anti-globalisation focus for your party ! Contact PMA if you'd like to be sent new info on this as it comes in.
24 May - International Women's Day for Disarmament
International Day of Action for Women's Health,Feminist Action are planning events in Wellington and possibly elsewhere, contact Ange tel (04) 498 2500.
31 May- closing date for nominations to Reebok Human Rights Award - contact PMA for more details.
24-26 April - Pakeha anti-racism and Treaty workersgathering, at Motu Moana Scout Camp, Green Bay, Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland. Contact Network Waitangi, Karen tel/fax (09) 483 6493 firstname.lastname@example.org
26 April - Roading Reform CampaignActions, 2-30pm, Stratford Primary School, Stratford; 12 noon, Queen's Wharf, Wellington; 12 noon, Cathedral Square, Christchurch (take toy cars with you). Contact Martin Cooney tel (04) 384 9964, mcooney@ppta/org/nz
National Day of Action on Tariffs(for Intl Labour Day) contact Maxine Gay (04) 237 5062. See also 1 May events in Hamilton and Wellington listings.
15 May - Day of Union Reawakening(also anniversary of the ECA) - wear black arm bands to work to protest the ECA, contact your union for other events planned.
14-16 August - 'The Jobs gathering: getting back to employment'national cross sectoral conference. Contact AUWRC, PO Box 3813, Auckland, tel (09) 302 2496, fax (09) 377 4804, email@example.com
Hiti Tau speakers tour
Roland Oldham and Edouard Huriore are from the Tahitian NGO Hiti Tau; they are touring the country speaking about the impact of nuclear testing on the Maohi people, their work in indigenous development and their aspirations for decolonisation. We have details for Auckland and Wellington, for points between and beyond please contact : Greenpeace tel (09) 630 6317, fax (09) 630 7121.
1 May- 12-30pm, Conference room, Ellen Melville Centre, High Street, Auckland, contact Peace Foundation (09) 373 2379;
4 May- 7pm, Meeting room, Mezzanine floor, Wellington Public Library, contact CID (04) 472 6375
The (anti-) MAI hikoi began on 13 April from Te Hapua in the far north and will end in Wellington where the people will ask the government to abandon the MAI, suspend Treaty negotiations for 5 years, suspend allocation of fisheries assets for 5 years and impose a freeze on national asset sales. Follow their progress through the national media.
The marchers are expected to arrive at Takapuwahia Marae (Porirua) around 7pm on 4 May then travel to parliament on the morning of 5 May. MAI hikoi cell phone 025 769 682.
Native Forest Action
national meeting, to be held from 29 May to 1 June, based at Reefton Motor Camp with trips into surrounding beech forests, tree climbing practice and lots of other exciting activities! For more information write to NFA, PO Box 836, Nelson, tel Jenny (03) 545 6040 or Kate (04) 386 1296 firstname.lastname@example.org or Annette (03) 789 8734.
Student Christian Movement
National conference, 29 June to 3 July in Auckland, go there to experience justice-based spirituality ! Contact SCM, AUSA, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92 019, Auckland or http://www.godzone.gen.nz/scm
Auckland / Tamaki Makaurau
10 May- 1pm, Mother's Day Celebration Walk for Peace from QEII Square, along Quay St and Tamaki Drive to Okahu Bay where there will be stalls and entertainment for children and adults. Contact WILPF (Tamaki Makaurau) tel Rae (09) 828 6165 or Joan (09) 360 8001.
15 May- 12-30pm, Old Government House (upstairs dining room) Abolition 2000 meeting. (09) 373 2379.
6 August- lunchtime, Federation of University Women's Room, Daizen Brian Victoria speaks on 'The Zen of War', CPS & FPS tel (09) 373 2379.
Hamilton / Kirikiriroa
1 May- for National Day of Action on Tariffs,
Hamilton -12 noon, Garden Place, stalls, speakers, displays;
Morrinsville -11-30am, Main Street outside Deka, stall;
Te Aroha- 10-50am, meet outside Bendon factory, march to Mayor's office at 11am, meeting with Mayor, stalls. Contact tel (07) 839 0094.
26 - 28 June- at Lady Goodfellow Chapel, Waikato University, CCANZ 'just networking' weekend for social justice workers. Contact CCANZ, PO Box 4353, Hamilton.
Wellington / Whanga Nui A Tara
28 April- 5-30pm at St John's Centre (cnr Willis and Dixon Streets), Capital City Forum - Dick Hubbard on 'Companies with a soul - NZ businesses for social responsibility'. Contact : Ruth Smithies (04) 496 1701.
30 April- 6-30pm at the Beehive, launch of Journey towards World Peace : A History of the NZ Peace Council (1948-1998) , contact John Urlich 04 293 5190 if you wish to attend.
1 May- 12 noon, meet at Civic Square, International Worker's Day rally to protest the MAI, contact (04) 478 6354.
1 May- TUF launch of alternative labour relations legislation to replace the Employment Contracts Act ! Contact Michael tel (04) 384 8963.
11 May- 5-30pm at PMA offices, Vietnam Veteran's Parade protest forum.
15 May- CORSO street appeal, contact (04) 385 0579.
22 May(and dates throughout the year) - Alternatives to Violence Project training, contact AVP PO Box 6296, Te Aro, Wellington.
23 May- 10am to 2-30pm, the great extravaganza PMA garage sale, contact PMA for more details.
9 May- 10am at Riverside Community, Top of the South regional peace groups meeting.
Christchurch / Otautahi
15 May- CORSO street appeal, contact (03) 477 3395.
17 May- Christchurch Environment Centre's 25th birthday celebrations - happy birthday to them ! Contact tel (03) 379 2257 or mailto:email@example.com Note their new location - above the Body Shop in Cashel Mall (entrance off lane to Lichfield St carpark).
26 May- 12 noon, Commerce Room 101, Canterbury University, Alex Watson lectures on 'The work of Amnesty International' , contact Peter Low, tel (03) 364 2987 / 8550, P.Low@fren.canterbury.ac.nz
2 June- 12 noon (all location and contact details as for 26 May), Peter Low lectures on 'Human Rights and Peace'.
that's it folks, once again we are left with piles of information we wanted to bring to your attention - don't forget, if you require information on any peace or related issue, get in touch with us because we're sure to have something on it !
Link to earlier PMA newsletters.
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