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Protests against the Transpacific Partnership Agreement


The Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is being negotiated at the Sky City Casino in Auckland this week between NZ and 8 other countries, including the U.S. The US wants it to be completed by November 2011. The TPP is much more than a trade agreement. Trade is only a small part of it. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is concerned that it will stop future New Zealand governments from doing things that are in the interests of working people and most New Zealanders. Similar agreements the US has signed impose policies that New Zealand voters have repeatedly voted down and would oppose if they had the choice.

A noisy protest was held outside Sky City on Monday morning by trade unionists and community activists. A public meeting will take place on Tuesday 7th December starting at 6pm at St-Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland with Jane Kelsey speaking.

Links: TPP Watch | NZ Not For Sale | NZ Council of Trade Unions | Scoop Coverage

Solidarity with the Pike River Miners and their families


Friday's explosion at the Pike River Mine, and the unknown fate of the 29 miners still below ground, has been the catalyst for a number of emotions. Compassion and love, between members of the effected community; hope, for the families and friends of the workers; and anxiety, of that which is unknown. Our sympathies and thoughts go out to all of those fraught with such emotions, and hope that their loved ones can return to them soon.

Another emotion we cannot overlook is anger. Legitimate anger at an economic system that has seen such accidents occur again and again. Anger at an economic system which has seen generations of miners perish below the earth, simply to earn a living and get by in the world. Anger at an economic system which sees the pitfalls of profit fall squarely on the worker's shoulders, while the CEO's and shareholders sit in their plush offices and measure losses in terms of figures and dollars.

Links: Christchurch fundraiser | Workers Party statement | Socialist Aotearoa statement

London: Tory HQ Occupied as 50,000 Protest Education Cuts


Around 50,000 students marched against education cuts in a national DEMOLITION demonstration called by UCU and NUS in London (UK). Report and pics [1 | 2 | 3]. 30 Millbank Tory HQ was occupied and protestors took roof:

"We oppose all cuts and we stand in solidarity with public sector workers, and all poor, disabled, elderly and working people. [...] This is only the beginning of the resistance to the destruction of our education system and public services." read in full

Later Parliament Square was occupied (again) by the Open University and on Thursday the campaign against fees and cuts is calling to sign a statement of solidarity with the arrested students and an anti-repression blog has been set up.

Full feature | demo2010 wire | Tumblewire. Voices from the movements [1 | 2] and what the mainstream says [1 | 2 | 3]

There is nothing 'free' about free trade


Last night, Law Professor Jane Kelsey launched a new book, 'No ordinary deal: Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.' The book was launched by Prof Kelsey along with Lori Wallach from Global Trade watch and it presents a compelling case for concerted action against the trade deal (called the TPP) on labour, environmental, social justice and indigenous fronts.

The TPP negotiations are happening right now with a view towards being completed in November next year, in time for APEC. The TPP includes New Zealand, Australia, the US, Brunei, Chile, Peru, and Singapore. It may also include Japan, although the Japanese government is reticent about getting involved in the negotiations (see more about this below).

For New Zealand, the TPP does not hold any benefits whatsoever. New Zealand already has FTAs with all of the countries involved with the exception of the US. New Zealand is involved in these negotiations because Fonterra wants access to US markets to sell dairy. But anyone who knows anything about US politics, particularly about agricultural subsidies, will know that it will literally be a cold day in hell before the US opens dairy up to New Zealand.

Ngati Kahu forcibly removed from their own land



Police have forcibly removed Ngati Kahu activists from their whenua bringing an end to a land occupation on disputed land currently used by the Taipa Sailing Club, in the far north.

Police arrivedto the small coastal town at first light this morning and informed those occupying the site that they had the choice to remove themselves, or be removed. Many of the Ngati Kahu tangata remained defiant.

Police then moved in to arrest the occupiers. As they did so, they were met by shouts of protest from onlookers and songs of defiance from the occupiers. Those arrested were transported to the Kaitaia Police Station, 30 km south-west of Taipa.

World Dairy Summit's focus on sustainability set to be challenged



World Dairy Summit’s focus on sustainability set to be challenged.

Friday 5 November, for immediate release.  See below for invite to press conference on Monday 8th Nov.

The ‘Coalition Against the World Dairy Summit’ (CAWDS) will be exposing the true cost of current dairy practices with a series of demonstrations and acts of civil disobedience when industry leaders from around the world meet at Skycity next week in order to discuss growth and sustainability with regard to intensive dairy farming.

The coalition, made up of grassroots animal rights and climate change groups, formed to actively oppose the World Dairy Summit and raise public awareness about what is wrong with the corporate dairy model. As New Zealand’s largest and powerful dairy entity and platinum sponsor for the event, Fonterra will play a substantial role at the summit and therefore will also come under scrutiny.

Spokesperson for CAWDS, Claire Dann states “the dairy industry is responsible for animal rights abuses, increasing climate change, jeopardising human health and putting profit first before human and animal livelihoods. This is why when the industry leaders come together for the World Dairy Summit  we intend to send them a strong message letting them know that this intensive dairy model has no place in our futures.”

Locals Confront Gold Miners in Coromandel


Today in Opoutere, on the east coast of the Coromandel, about 40 locals and anti mining activists decended upon a drill rig operated by the American firm Newmont Gold.  Mining interests have previously sought to mine on conservation land throughout Aotearoa but backed off after substantial public pressure.  Though Section 4 land is off limits, Newmont intends to mine other areas of the Coromandel.  This could potentially be on other conservation land not protected by Section 4 legislation.

The protest was an impressive cross-section of locals, environmentalists young and old with a wide range of politics.  As we arrived to the drilling site, it was obvious that Newmont was aware of us and had the equipment shut down for the duration of the protest.  It was made clear to the workers that the protest was not aimed at them but the policies of Newmont Gold.  Various people made convincing cases against mining in Coromandel communities, urging workers to take a look at destructive Newmont operations in Peru and Indonesia, and much closer in Waihi.  It was also made clear that this will be the first of many actions against Newmont gold and communities would resist further drilling operations in the area.

Now standing around the shut down drill rig, people networked, strategized and considered the next steps...


Links |  Coromandel Watchdog  |  Newmont crimes in Peru  |  

Ruling class: 1, New Zealand: 0 — the Hobbit stays in NZ


According to, the Hobbit will be staying on NZ shores. Labour Laws will be rushed through parliament today so that an unjust, exploitative multinational can get its way. It's pretty clear who controls the Government in New Zealand: profit margins and offshore interests. We are essentially prostituting our labour laws to a multinational, all so the big wigs at the top can profit from the economic boom it creates. Not only will everyday, working New Zealanders see next to none of that money, but we have to pay for the film to be here from our own taxes. The economic spin off goes straight into the pockets of those at the top, while the workers on the film continue to work in unfair and unjust conditions.

Philippines National Democratic Front Leaders start NZ speaking tour next week



Luis Jalandoni is the International Representative of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), a post that he has held since 1977, and since 1994 he has been the Chairperson of the NDF’s Negotiating Panel for peace talks with the Government of the Philippines. The NDF is the coalition of several underground groups, including the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army, which has been waging a war of liberation throughout the Philippines for more than 40 years, making it one of the longest running armed struggles in the world.

The country desperately needs peace with justice and security, so resolving this people’s war is central to that. Luis will be accompanied by his wife Coni Ledesma, who will also be speaking. She is a member of the NDF Negotiating Panel for peace talks; and is the International Spokesperson of MAKIBAKA, a revolutionary women’s group which belongs to the NDF. Luis and Coni are both veteran leading figures in the Philippine revolutionary Left. He was a Catholic priest in the 1960s and she was a nun.  Both were founders of Christians for National Liberation, a member group of the NDF.

October 15th - three years later - DROP THE CHARGES


Today marks the third anniversary of the State's terroristic invasion into the homes of people around the country, of the lockdown of the community of Ruatoki and of the witch-hunt for anarchists who support tino rangatiratanga.This is a day that will never be forgotten. The black clad paramilitary police force instructed by their masters in the Beehive specifically carried out acts of terror against the people of Tuhoe. [ More ]

A book is launched in Wellington: The day the raids came: Stories of survival and resistance to the state terror raids. [ DETAILS ] A protest against the Search and Surveillance Bill and police repression will take place in Auckland. [ DETAILS ]

More: Goff's concerns about Raids cases are gutless point scoring | October 15th Solidarity

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