It's the land we want - Haapu

By RICHARD WOODD - Taranaki Daily News | Friday, 29 June 2007

A hapu claiming an ancestral right to the old Hawera Hospital site
says it's not interested in the buildings, only the land, which was
its Nga Tupaea tribal marae in pre-European times.

"We don't want the buildings because they are full of asbestos and
will be difficult and expensive to remove for demolition," hapu
spokesman Chris Turahui said.

Commenting on Ngati Ruanui chairman Sid Kahuranui's statement that the
hospital land was part of the $41 million treaty claim settlement
package in 2001, Mr Turahui said: "Tupaea were shut out of that
settlement and we've received nothing from it, even though all the
local marae have been given $100,000 each. We did not give Ngati
Ruanui the right to settle on our behalf. We were out-manoeuvred and
not properly advised. There's been friction between us and Ruanui ever

He said the hapu's objective was to interfere with the tendering
process to sell the hospital property, by the Taranaki District Health
Board. Tenders close on August 1. He had been unable to make contact
with the board.

"I hope we are achieving that," he said. "Whoever puts in a tender
must realise that they are really only buying the buildings, because
it's our land and we want the title to it."

He said Tupaea was a barely functional organisation "because we have
no money. We have been given the Turuturumokai marae by Ngati Ruanui
and we are waiting for the transfer of title. But we have no funds for
development and improvements there."


Whanau Maori & Mapuche solidarity

by:Viviana Avila.

There have been a series of recent events that have directly affected indigenous communities, within the Latin American and continental context. This is not a new occurrence; everything started more than 500 years ago, and everyone knows what the armed, cultural invasion brought to our continent. The damage has not been repaired, despite all the time that has passed by, and the regrets that have been said by western civilization.

The dignity of the indigenous peoples and nations of the continent has not been crushed, despite the planned genocide of assimilation imposed upon these millennial cultures. On the contrary in the last few decades, the organization and struggle for their intrinsic rights has been more vigilant with each passing day, as with the increasing grades of consciousness and disposal to struggle for their sovereignty and self-determination. Some more than others, but incentive is alive and has begun to go forward.

We see it end to end in our continent, in the south beyond the Andes; that long and narrow stretch of land, bathed along a contaminated ocean by transnational corporations known as Chile. Those who lust for power have taken over our territories, thanks to the permission given by the cowardly governments that have opened their doors to these companies in exchange for the scraps the empire throws at them, so they can thicken their dirty filthy pockets. They are traitors to their people and to their roots; they wallow in their corrupt state of lies and unbounded ambition. Inheritors of the Pinochet regime, and administrators of his politics and fascist constitution.

Immoral, racist representatives of a sick society that have launched themselves against an unarmed people; intimidating, incarcerating and murdering youth and elders. Assaulting and terrorizing entire communities, on the search for young liberators wearing military boots, worse than in the times of the dictatorship. Mapuche is the name that is criminalized; their courageous organizations, the men and women dignified of their race. What a historical shame for those in the government calling themselves socialist. What a shame for women to have representatives as deceitful as that who leads the country of Chile. You would have to be deceitful to lie and say to the UN that the Mapuches incarcerated by her neo-liberal system are not political prisoners, but "common delinquents."

The shame that they forgot about their history. The shame of being the legal crooks of lands that do not belong to them; for wanting to develop a second colonization on Mapuche territory, that is nothing more than the extermination of a noble millennial people. One day they will be judged by history. Meanwhile, we leave the natural forces to look after and protect the ancient people with their part in this history. We men and women hold the other part, those that are not willing to let a second colonization happen in Arauco, in Malleco, nor in any other part of Mapuche territory.

Here in Canada, the same thing is happening. Perhaps in a different form, but the pillaging is seen despite the camouflage of grand terrains of flora; immensities of incalculable beauty. Large... everything is large. When one comes to this country everything shines, deceiving, as were the colonizers, as is the current empire, unnecessarily large, inflated with arrogance.... Savage; when it arrives at the indigenous reservations in the darkness, assaulting, clawing, submitting defenseless beings, seizing children, hitting elders and women, arresting youth... Advancing through ancient territory with their infernal machinery. Their factories poisoning the water. The contamination and indigenous poverty makes you shudder in the north, where the great cellulose companies destroy the forest and turn the water that runs through the streams into the color of oxide; burning eyes as you look, and your insides as you drink....

This may seem like a fable, an odyssey, but it is not. It is present north to south, east to west, in this immense show model known as Canada. Here as in the south of the continent, history repeats itself. The repression and displacement of cultures and territories are the product of the same patron of values: money. Universal corrupter of consciouses. The most horrendous injustices that a human being could conceive have been committed in its name. However the peoples and nations have said enough, and have begun to go forward as Che Guevara once said; their march of giants will not be detained. Forced for years to dwell in sacrifice and misery, the indigenous Nations throughout the entire territory have begun their march...

A little more than a year a ago on February 28, 2006, Hadonashonee, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory had to take over their own lands to stop the illegal construction of a housing development (the Douglas Creek Estates), in Kanonhstaton, the protected place. To this day, men and women confront with great courage and dignity, the defense of their territory in harsh climatic conditions and economic pressures on behalf of the government in the talks to recover their land. They are in constant harassment from the police authorities, and the racist population in its surroundings. Despite all the pressures and efforts remove and divide them, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory are more solid and united as ever under the banner of truth, dignity, and solidarity of their own people, and of brotherly peoples that have not been absent from the Reclamation site.

Recently, another front of struggle has arisen from the heart of the Mohawk peoples in Tyendinaga, in defense of their territory and displacement... The taking over of land in their own territory, protest through highway and rail blockades; the different actions of the indigenous peoples have the same cause:the struggle for the defense of their ancient territories, the preservation of their culture, autonomy and the right to decide and influence in their own matters.

That is why we say with much strength: yesterday Kanonhstaton, today Tyendinaga, tomorrow Beyond the Andes. The prophesy of the Eagle and the Condor will yet be realized.

The Women's Coordinating Committee Chile-Canada

email: wccc_98@hotmail.com



MNN, June 28, 2007. Our Indigenous eyes are wide open. That's what
June 29th is about. We know the reality and the legality, in your law
and in ours. We are breaking the chains of colonialism for good. You
can never put them back on us. You never had the moral high road,
including the 401, the old number 2 and the CN. These enterprises and
yourselves are all trespassing on our land.

On June 29th the Indigenous people of Canada are going to be a model
for all of us all over the world. We will act with dignity, confidence
and the assurance that everything we are doing is right. In the end,
the world will see that the Indigenous people everywhere are releasing
ourselves from the shackles of hundreds of years of colonial bondage.

We are standing tall and strong knowing that a great responsibility
has been placed upon us to protect our Mother Earth that we have been
created to cherish. Our actions are for the benefit of the entire
human race. We know our responsibility. We have many friends
everywhere who understand why we are doing what we are doing.

As for you, the colonial oppressor class, you're trapped in the
crumbling concrete world that you created. Your overpasses, your
highways, your hydro and nuclear projects are all temporary blights on
our land. They're falling apart. The corruption, malfeasance and
neglect that are inherent to your way of doing things are now
manifesting themselves. Your atrocities against us and other humans
have to stop. We are reclaiming our lives and everything that is ours.
Tell your Queen that the Australian model of placing Aborigines under
martial law is not going to fly here.

Oppressor class, you have to deal with us as a free people, as the
rightful owners of the unsurrendered jurisdictions.

Phil Fontaine, go ahead and identify yourself with the Canadian
oppressor class. We are not. We never agreed to be Canadians or
British subjects. We never agreed to be forced to live on "reserves"
when all of it is ours. We never agreed to the Indian Act or to any
law the colonists brought here from Britain or France.

Everything is clear to us, that includes our right to the land that
you call "title". You have to treat us with respect for your own
survival. You know now that your way doesn't last. We've been here for
100,000 years. We created a perfect reality which you almost destroyed
in a matter of 140 years. We will not listen to you except when you
ask us how you are going to make amends.

When you arrived, this land was a paradise which we created. You came
as naked robber barons and immediately went into a world of grasping
and greed for our possessions. You hacked down our forests, our nut
trees, our strawberry fields. You said you wanted to make a place to
live and to create a haven for yourselves. You polluted the land, the
rivers and the air so no one can live here, not even you. Your problem
was and still is that we, the original people were created as part of
this world we call Onowarakeh/Turtle Island. We refuse to relinquish
our duties to our mother. So you treated us with the most disgusting
depravity ever created against other human beings.

Now you are having to face those of us who survived your genocidal
plans. We are putting a mirror up to your faces? Look at yourselves,
if you can! We hope you won't get frightened. It certainly is a scary
site. We see fear and loathing behind your masks.

The oppressor class have become fearful because they know they will
have to face up to their actions. They're afraid to live equally with
everyone else. They don't know how to share. Offering us $250 million
for ten years for our land will mostly go to your buddy lawyers,
negotiators and ad agencies to spin the whole deal. A few bucks to
your chosen "Indians" just doesn't cut it either. We can see through
your setup judges making decisions on your claims to our land. How
screwed up can you be?

Are we revealing the nature of the beast and it is you? You can no
longer hide behind that mask as the "peacemakers" of the world. You
are now committing atrocities to others elsewhere just like you did to
us. Your mining and oil exploration companies are wreaking havoc among
indigenous people worldwide. We will resist your investment portfolios
based on undermining us and theft of our possessions. We are going to
try to stop you from benefiting from the proceeds of crime. The
actions of your ancestors and yourselves violate human rights and
international law.

How did your constitution come to defame, defile and corrupt our Great
law, the greatest gift of democracy ever given to mankind?

Are Canadian citizens celebrating "Tax Freedom Day" by giving "only"
50% of their labor to the gluttonous parasites who live off the state
and get paid big salaries for doing as they're told and not doing
anything of worth for the people? We heard that in the feudal days the
peasants gave only a tenth of their earnings.

There was one quick communiqué from the Red-X, who stated from within
the horrible conditions he is presently confined. Simply put, he
uttered to MNN that "Subjugation shall flourish into liberation".

What is it that you're celebrating on Canada Day? Colonial gluttony?
Think about this at that barbecue you're going to have on July 1st.
You're eating the flesh of our brothers, the salmon. As you sink your
jaws into the bloody flesh of your cows, either sliced into steaks or
ground into hamburgers, are you celebrating the genocide of our
kindred buffalo whose spirit had been with us since eternity? Does
your fantasy take flight as you chomp on the bones of the flightless
birds you brought in after you massacred the many beautiful species
that were here? For those vegetarians eating potato salad and tomato
aspic, think about the Indigenous people who developed these foods.

Have the kind of `Day' you deserve as you watch your fireworks pollute
the city sky with yet more smog and smoke. Don't forget to watch the
`schmaltzy Canadian culture" goings-in front of the Gothic limestone
edifices, build on an Algonquin meeting ground, to try to convince
yourselves that you've been here as long as the fossils. Ta-ta.

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Indian News

To our Brothers, Sisters, Friends & Allies in Australia:

Modern law is based on human equality and consent of the governed. Colonialism is illegal. The physical abuse that is happening among Aborigines and us here was learned from the first encounters with the penal colonists. They tied up our women like animals to abuse them. This is not part of Aborigine culture.

The military going into our Aborigine communities will make it worse. It will turn the clock back 100 years. The depth of the problems caused by the residential schools molestation experience shows how long this abuse can last, many generations. Even the SPCA tells animal owners they can't hit a dog or cat, but they still think its okay to hit people.

We should challenge these politicians and officials to live for one week like they are forcing us to live. They could not do it.

The government is supposed to be an instrument of the people to regulate our lives for our betterment, not as an instrument of oppression. When people work together we can do more. The oppressor class is imposing situations that the public is not aware of. They do not realize what is right or wrong. Disturbing us and the environment needs our consent. We have not consented to this kind of interference by anyone, particularly the military.

Are there any Aborigines in the Australian Parliament? If so, why is there no outcry from them? Has the legislature been given the legitimate power to impose martial law on us?

The settler cultures were a product of people abused, enslaved and displaced in the early feudal period. They belonged to the king or prince in exchange for being allowed to live. The aristocracy started pushing people off the land to raise animals instead of farming. The people migrated to the cities where they died like flies. They had no means of support and they were cut off from the land. Those sent to the penal colonies had no means to survive. They were a poor culture of a poor people They treated us the way they were treated. They don't see anything wrong with that.

We remember our reality of just over 100 years. If oppression is our only reality and we had nothing before the settlers arrived, then would we have no reason to live? But we had something that we created ourselves that sustained us so we had better lives and healthy environment. This artificial brutal reality that was brought here and forced on us has to go!

Kahentinetha Horn
MNN Mohawk Nation News

He karanga tenei ki nga hau e wha

He karanga tenei ki nga hau e wha

Hei tautoko i te iwi Moemoea no Ahiterairia.

Na te mahi whakaware o te Kawanatanga me nga Kaporeihana e whai putea
ana e whai raupatu ana, kei te noho whakawhuia nga tangata whenua

he pouri tenei ahuatanga me kaati ra

Ko te tohenga ma ratou te iwi Moemoea ki te whai i ou ratou ake tino
rangatiratanga kia hapaitia e ratou te mana motuhake kia kaha ake kia
whawhai tonu

na reira

Tautoko atu a wairua, a hinengaro, a tinana hoki

Kaati noa ra, ko tenei te wa ki te tu rangatira, tu kotahi i te kawau
maro, o tenei kaupapa.

Kia ora whanau

The first roopu to endorse this rally from Aotearoa are:

Te Ata Tino Toa
Conscious Collaborations-Global indigenous network
Mana Wahine
Solidarity Union
Socialist Worker (Aotearoa)

If your roopu, group or collective (from Aotearoa) would like to add
their tautoko for this rally please mail me asap uriohau(at)gmail.com.

Much thanks to Tia Taurere & crew for the shout out in te reo.

In Struggle & Solidarity
Respect & Regards to all

Sina Ana Brown-Davis
(Te Roroa, Te Uri o Hau, Ngapuhi, Fale Ula & Vava'u)

Please circulate to all of your networks NOW!

National Day of Action — Kulin Nations (Melbourne)

Stop the Genocide on Stolen Aboriginal Land!

End Aboriginal deaths in Custody! Justice for Mulrunji and all killed
in custody. Implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into
Aboriginal Deaths in Custody!

Land rights not mining rights! No new mines, no new dumps!

Fund community controlled services, not troops, cops and martial law!
Social well-fair, not social control!

Aboriginal control of Aboriginal affairs! Treaty NOW!

Solidarity Rally

Saturday 14 July, 12:30 pm
City Square, corner of Swanston and Collins Streets

For more information:
David Dryden: 0419-662-812
Cheryl Kaulfuss: 0401-806-331
Kanga Menzies: 0429-860-006
ISJA – Melb: 9388-0062

Initial endorsements: Australia Asia Workers Links, Black GST, Camp
Sovereignty, Chilean Popular and Indigenous Network, Conscious
Collaborations-Global indigenous network, Freedom Socialist Party,
Indigenous Social Justice Association – Melbourne, Lasnet, Ongoing G20
Arrestees Solidarity Network, Radical Women, Resistance, RMIT Student
Union, Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, Socialist Worker
(Aotearoa),Solidarity Union, Te Ata Tino Toa, Your Voice (list in
progress. To add your endorsement e-mail Alison -
alison.thorne@... or call Solidarity Salon on 9388-0062)

Come to the next organising meeting

Wednesday 4 July, 6:30 pm
Solidarity Salon
580 Sydney Road

Solidarity Salon is opposite Hope Street. By public transport take and
Upfied train and walk north up Sydney Road from Brunswick or South
from Anstey. Or take a North Coburg tram and get off at Blythe Street
and walk north or Stewart Street and walk south. There's also plenty
of free parking available at the rear. Enter from Staley Street.

Please also encourage friends and contacts overseas to take action on
14 July in support of these demands!


2007 Australian Dictator Prime Minister 'Little Johnnie'

Video explains. Thanks to Jeff at Radio 2UE Australia. The most cutting satire I have ever heard. Incredibly accurate insight into Howards putrid agendas & mock concern.

Thanks to Mary for this, Maori, Irish & Aboriginal Solidarity


Last Updated: Monday, June 25, 2007 | 12:18 PM ET
Travellers in the Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa corridor may have to adjust
their Canada Day weekend plans after a native group said it will go
ahead with a road or rail barricade on Friday, likely between
Belleville and Kingston.

Spokesman Shawn Brant confirmed Monday that protesters from the
Tyendinaga Mohawk reserve near Deseronto, Ont., plan to set up a
blockade of either Highway 401 or the national rail line, close to the
town on Lake Ontario's Bay of Quinte, or will block access to
Deseronto itself.

The move will be part of the Assembly of First Nations' National Day
of Action on June 29 to draw attention to aboriginal poverty and
unresolved land claims, Brant said.

He added that the day is important for indigenous people.

"We're gonna be able to say to the government, 'This is the power that
we have,' " said Brant, whose group has occupied a quarry near
Deseronto since March to protest an unresolved land claim.
Brant is also among those named in a lawsuit launched by Canadian
National Railway over a blockade held in April over the same issue.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk band council is negotiating with the federal
government over about 400 hectares of privately held land that Mohawks
say they never surrendered. Brant's group says the talks are moving
too slowly.

Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations,
has said the National Day of Action is meant to reach out to
Canadians, not to cause major disruptions.

In May, Chief Terrance Nelson of Manitoba's Roseau River First Nation
threatened to block a CN line running through his community on the
June day of action.

He called off the protest last Tuesday after Indian Affairs
Minister Jim Prentice decided to add 30 hectares of new land to the
Roseau River band's territory.

Brant called the government's move at Roseau River a last-minute ploy
and said he thinks it was done to "destabilize June 29 as a day of

He was also critical of Nelson's decision to call off his blockade.
"To say that 70 acres was enough to sell out the day and sell out the
people is an indignity to everyone who's been standing in these
positions from the beginning," he said

Name says it all for Samoa's new leader

Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Taisi Tupuola Tufuga Efi is no stranger to New Zealand, but the intricate details of the career of Samoa's new Head of State, with its mingling of customary practice and modernity, are less well known. While he may have started with the advantage of privilege his path to that high office has not been an easy or automatic progression.

Any society is a complex organism but Samoa's is more complex than most. From top to bottom it is shot through with a nuanced criss-cross of ranks and statuses, each of which carries a title that also serves the holder as a personal name.

The title-holder, as abundantly illustrated in the present instance, is thereby identified not just as an individual but as one who occupies a particular niche, and with it a role within a family or district or in the nation.

At the apex of the hierarchy are the tafa'ifa, or royal, titles of Tuia'ana, Gatoa'itele, Tamasoali'i and Tuiatua, which is that held by the new appointee to Samoa's paramount office.

From about the 15th century top-level politics has centred on the sometimes bloody, and always resolute, competition for these titles between the two main family lineages of Malietoa and Tupua.

The latter of these groups embraces the Mata'afa, Tuimaleali'ifano and (of immediate relevance here) Tamasese lines.

Thus, in view of this historic rivalry, when Samoa became independent on January 1, 1962, it was deemed fitting and expedient that the honour of being the first Head of State (O le Ao o le Malo) of the new nation should be jointly shared for life by the leaders of each lineage.

These were Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole and Malietoa Tanumafili II. On the death of one, the constitution provided that the survivor would reign alone. After that, the tenure of the office was to alternate between the two families for five-year terms.

Tanumafili II, who died on May 11 at the age of 94, retained his position for 45 years. To no one's great surprise his successor, appointed by the Fono or parliament, was Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Taisi Tupuola Tufuga Efi.

He is the elder son of Mea'ole, one of the two original office holders, who died in 1963 and who Professor J.W. Davidson, a family friend and the founding father of the academic study of Pacific history, described as the architect of Samoan independence.

The new Head of State was born Olaf (or Efi) Tamasese in Apia in 1938. As well as exalted status he inherited the family custom of active involvement in politics. His maternal grandfather, Olaf Nelson, whose title of Taisi he holds, was a wealthy businessman and the leader of the Mau, the Samoan nationalist movement that challenged the New Zealand colonial regime. And on the paternal side, his father's brother was killed in 1929 in a demonstration supporting the same cause.

The family was strongly Catholic. From the local Marist Brothers school young Olaf/Efi Tamasese continued his education in New Zealand. He was at St Patrick's College, Silverstream, from 1955 to 1957, and then went to university in Wellington.

Unfortunately, with the death of his father he had to abandon his studies in law in 1963 and return to Samoa to manage family affairs. Then politics called.

In 1965, as Tufuga Efi, he entered parliament as Samoa's youngest MP, and in 1976 he became the country's youngest Prime Minister. As Tupuola Efi he held that office until 1982.

Under Tupuola's energetic direction Samoa experienced an innovative, but not always welcome, programme of accelerated rural development. Like similar well-meant initiatives under the colonial German and New Zealand administrations, however, this irritated the more conservative village interests.

Tupuola's regime was also assertively and courageously outward-looking. In 1976, during the Cold War, he invited a Russian delegation to attend the annual independence celebrations and he opened diplomatic relations with China.

The next year, in a further display of sovereignty, he had Samoa admitted to the United Nations.

Except for the latter, these measures generated considerable disquiet among many of the village elders in that intensely religious country, who saw contact with communism as flirting with godlessness.

But it was the hard line he took in 1981 against public servants who went on strike for three months over big pay demands that did most to pull the electoral mat from beneath his feet.

In the election of 1982 he was ousted by Va'ai Kolone of the Human Rights Protection Party, a group formed in 1979 with considerable Malietoa support.

While continuing in parliament as leader of the opposition, in November 1986 Efi was accorded the tama aiga (literally the son of the family) title of Tupua Tamasese. It is the senior one of his lineage. And just one month later he received the royal title of Tuiatua, by which he is officially known today.

As with his earlier titular promotions, there were other family claimants, so these advances were contested.

Indeed, they had eventually to be validated in the Land and Titles Court. As a result of these proceedings by 1987 Efi could reportedly quip that "the coffers of the Nelson family have been emptied". Even so that did not ensure his political longevity.

In 1991 he finally left parliament after losing his seat in Samoa's first election held under universal suffrage. Hitherto, only matais (chiefs) had been eligible to vote.

Politics' loss, though, has been to the benefit of that nobler calling of historical inquiry. Since leaving parliamentary politics, Efi Tamasese has devoted much of his energy to the scholarly investigation of Samoan traditions, history and culture.

He has published two books and a solid corpus of informed, insightful and critical analyses of his country's past in reputable academic journals. He has also held fellowships at Australian, American and New Zealand universities, and contributed valuably to conferences.

In the light of both pedigree and of performance Olaf/Efi has a fine record, and brings vast wisdom to his new job.

He has personally experienced the most critical moments of Samoa's post-independence history, even presiding over some of them, and has independently earned an estimable reputation as a scholar.


Maori land protests to go on after 13 arrests

Maori land protesters are vowing to continue their fight at two Taupo sites despite angry scenes as 13 people were arrested for trespass, including a 64-year-old woman.
In a double-pronged operation yesterday morning, police arrived at 7am at a Taupo District Council-owned house and section at Wharewaka, near Taupo airport, and at a multimillion-dollar subdivision near Acacia Bay to issue trespass notices on two separate groups.

Both groups had earlier been asked to leave the sites by Taupo District Council and Auckland-based developers Symphony Group.

Council deputy chief executive Anne McLeod said a trespass notice was issued yesterday at Wharewaka after discussions broke down with a Maori sovereignty group calling itself Mataara Tiger and Barbara Wall Whanau Hapu Maori Incorporation, which had occupied the house.

About 30 police moved on to the site and arrested a man, 38, and a woman, 31, when they refused to leave.

Ms McLeod said the group, all members of Waitahanui hapu Tutemahuta, had made claims for 282,000 hectares of land between the Waikato and Tongariro rivers and moved into the former Landcorp-owned house about two months ago to highlight their cause.
The council had offered to act as a facilitator between the group and government departments but the offer had been refused, Ms McLeod said. "We made considerable attempts to talk to the group and have tried to treat all parties with respect, but progress stalled."

Near Acacia Bay, another protest group occupying the $80 million Parawera subdivision said they would carry on their protest in spite of being evicted.
Eleven Ngati Rauhoto hapu members, including a 64-year-old woman, were arrested and charged with trespass after police converged on the subdivision yesterday afternoon.
The group oppose the decision taken in 2004 by the hapu trust, Hiruharama Ponui Trust, to lease the 19-hectare site to Symphony Group for 80 years.

The group refused to leave the site after occupying it for three weeks.

Spokesman Geoff Rameka said the issue was about whanau, and the land being developed was considered wahi tapu, a sacred site.

The group was not associated with Maori sovereignty issues or land claims, he said. "The battle has just begun in earnest."

Negotiations with the developer about leaving the site broke down at a meeting on Tuesday night. The group was issued with a trespass notice by Symphony Group about midday yesterday.
Buildings erected on the site by the occupiers are to be dismantled. All those arrested have bee remanded on bail to appear in Taupo District Court


Mexico, Oaxaca, They do not want us Indians: they want us dead to steal from us

To all honest media --- To all sons and daughters of mother Earth --- To all
brothers and sisters who are part of La Otra Campaña --- Brothers and Sisters:
The hearts of all men and women in the Indigenous Popular Council of Oaxaca
“Ricardo Flores Magón” (CIPO-RFM) are saddened and angered because of bad
governments who keep trying to steal our mother Earth only to hand it to rich
businessmen. These governments use communities that are affiliated with the
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to assault us and later say that it is
merely a conflict between two communities so that they can wash their hands
clean of the blood that is being shed. This is what is currently happening with
San Isidro Aloapam, a community that forms part of CIPO-RFM. This morning’s
events in a place known as Yyusuni in the San Isidro Aloapam forest help
illustrate this problem.

On Sunday June 17th, 2007 at 8.00 p.m. we received a phone call from Mr. Ricardo
Alavés Méndez, a police officer from the San Isidro Aloapam community. He said
he was extremely worried because according to some reports, San Miguel Aloapam’s
communal and municipal authorities had decided to go into the forest and log the
trees in the area. We have been asking the following authorities to intervene:
Esteban Ortiz Rodea (SEMARNAT regional delegate); Salvador Anta Fonseca
(SEMARNAT regional manager); Francisco Reyes Cervantes (CONAFOR ex-regional
manager); PROFEPA; and Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, regarding the issues of agrarian
conflict between the two communities; the outbreak of the Mexican pine beetle;
and San miguel Aloapam’s indiscriminate forest logging that has caused
irreversible damage to the ecosystem and has resulted in water shortages for
neighboring communities.

Our compañeros from San Isidro decided that they would keep surveillance of the
area in case that San Miguel Aloapam began to log the forest. They decided that
a commission would go into the forest in a peaceful way and engage in dialogue
to try to convince them to retreat. Compañeros and representatives of CIPO made
a phone call to Salvador Anta Fonseca (CONAFOR regional manager) as a
preventative measure. We called his cellular phone (044 951 54 71281) to let him
know about our fears and to ask him to intervene because that is his duty. He
acknowledged that SEMARNAT, CONAFORT, PROFEPA, and the state Government are
involved in the issue because they granted a permit to San Miguel Aloapam,
completely disregarding San Isidro. They did this in spite of their knowledge of
the agrarian conflict between these two communities. Nevertheless, he got upset
with our compañeros when they told him that he would be held responsible for
anything that might happen.

Unfortunately, today our fears were confirmed because at 8.15 a.m. loggers from
San Miguel Aloapam entered Yyuzuni guarded by more than 600 armed men. They were
carrying guns, rifles, and shotguns of different calibers and were accompanied
by their municipal president, San Miguel Fidel Alejandro Cruz Pablo and his
cabinet: secretary Pablo Alavés Pérez; treasurer Joel Santiago; municipal union
leader tomas Alavez Cruz; and auxiliary secretary Félix Rogelio Alavés Pérez.

At approximately 10.30 a.m. about 70 men and women from San Isidro walked into
the forest with the intention of peacefully addressing the people from San
Miguel Aloapam. However, when they reached the forest the loggers were already
falling trees. Still, they approached San Miguel’s authorities to try and speak
to them, but realized that the municipal president and his cabinet were
extremely drunk. The San Miguel authorities began insulting and attacking the
San Isidro people and ordered their people to arrest all those who were from San
Isidro. Given the situation our compañeros began backing down. It was at that
point that the people from San Miguel began firing shots in every direction;
they had to dodge bullets that were being fired by their own people. As a result
the men and women from San Isidro ran into the forest as fast as they could to
try and stay away from the bullets and from being caught by San Miguel Aloapam

At approximately noon, and little by little, those who were hiding in the forest
made their way back to San Isidro Aloapam. Initially it was thought that 13
compañeros had been disappeared, but slowly they started making their way back
to the community. At around 7.00 p.m. the police headquarters received an
anonymous phone call saying that those that had been kidnapped were in San
Miguel’s jail. The person said that they were being tortured and half dead from
the beatings. Oscar Fernandez, private secretary of the Head of State, was
called immediately. He confirmed the information and mentioned that he had been
aware for the last three hours but had not communicated it to anyone because he
did not have the names of the kidnapped.

People from San Miguel kidnapped four brothers and one sister. They are
torturing them in the San Miguel Aloapam jail, and we fear for their lives:
1. Juventino Cruz Pérez, 19 years old
2. Artemio Pérez Cruz, 52 years old
3. Juana Morales Pérez, 30 years old
4. Eutimio Méndez López, 32 years old
5. Anastasio López Pérez, 48 years old

We called Oscar Fernandez at 2.57 p.m. so that he could give us more information
about the missing people. He told us that the police was already in the forest
when San Isidro’s community members arrived there and that people from San
Miguel were shooting at them. He also mentioned that San Miguel people denied
having any prisoners.
This is all a result of the actions of SEMARNAT, PROFEPA, CONAFOR, and the state
Government. The deaths and blood are their responsibility. We are currently
receiving information from CEPROCI about 6 deaths. However, we do not know which
community the deceased belong to. What we do know is that this is all occurring
due to the conflict.

Currently, San Miguel Aloapam community members are using a megaphone to tell
all its people to gather with sticks, machetes, and other arms in order to
attack the autonomous community of San Isidro Aloapam. It is now known that
people from San Miguel cut down a tree in an area called Montesilla, which is
near the entrance of San Isidro Aloapam, with the purpose of blocking the path.

At approximately 10.00 p.m. according to government reports presented to us via
a murderer, Joaquín Rodríguez Palacio, San Miguel Aloapam would free the
hostages if the town was presented with the following people:
Ricardo Alavés Méndez, police officer San Isidro Aloapam
Epifanio Alavés Soriano, agency secretary
Eulogio Pérez Cruz, communal land owner from San Isidro
Marcelino Pérez Méndez, communal land owner from San Isidro
Octavio López Alavés, communal representative
Demetrio Pérez Méndez, community member
Dolores Villalobos Cuamatzi, general coordinator of CIPO-RFM
Given all the facts, all our hearts can feel is that both the state and federal
governments are protecting the PRI logres and paramilitaries from San Miguel
Aloapam, and that once again they are not practicing justice when it comes to
us, the indigenous. We hold the following people responsible for anything that
may happen to community members, citizens, municipal authorities and public
authorities of San Isidro Aloapam: SEMARNAT, Oaxaca delegate Esteban Ortiz
Rodea, Juan Rafael Evira Quesada; regional manager SALVADOR ANTA FONSECA; and
CALDERÓN; PRI candidate for Sierra Juarez deputy ADRIAN MENDEZ CRUZ; and San
Miguel Aloapam municipal Presient FIDEL ALEJANDRO CRUZ PABLO.

We call on all men and women with good hearts, the free, alternative and
community media to register what is currently happening and to spread the
information to all environmental and human rights groups, social organizations,
indigenous peoples from around the world, La Otra Campaña, and all those who
fight for justice. We urge you to help with any actions that may be within your
means. You can send a letter or call SEMARNAT, CONAFOR, PROFEPA, FELIPE
CALDERON, AND ULISES RUIZ so that all attacks on San Isidro Aloapam stop and to
prevent the destruction of the forest. We also ask that they act with honesty
and justice regarding the demands of our brothers and sisters from San Isidro.
The demands are the following.

1. The freedom of our five brothers that were kidnapped by people from San
Miguel Aloapam.
2. Punishment for those who have or commit any actions against people from San
Isidro Aloapam. In addition, guarantees for the safety of community authorities
and every single inhabitant of San Isidro.

3. That the corresponding truly execute the sentence that will force San Miguel
Aloapam to recognize 412 community land owners from San Isidro Aloapam.

4. That authorities recognize the injustices that our compañeros have suffered
under the legal cases 123/2004, 36/2000, and 129/2003 because in spite of having
presented evidence that proves their innocence, we fear that the court ruling
will not be in our favor due to San Miguel Aloapam’s bribing of judges.

5. That San Miguel Aloapam’s forest exploitation under the pretext of ‘curing’
it from the Mexican pine beetle stop. We want SEMARNAT to accept a program to
heal the 3-4 hectares of forested land affected by the pest. This should occur
with the participation of environmental groups, community members of San Isidro
Aloapam, forest technicians, neighboring communities, and using the lumber for
the good of the community and not for selling it.

6. That SEMARNAT does not grant San Miguel Aloapam any permit with the help of
CONAFOR, otherwise they will be taking part in an ecocide.

7. That there is a follow up of all the complaints previously made against
paramilitaries from San Miguel Aloapam befote state and federal authorities as

For the reconstitution and free association of peoples
Indigenous Popular Council of Oaxaca “Ricardo Flores Magón”

The Organizing Committee:
Dolores Villalobos, Rosario Gómez, Simón YIlescas, Crisologo Calleja, Pedro
Bautista Rojas y Miguel Cruz Moreno.
Favor de enviar e-mails y llamadas en solidaridad y apoyo a San Isidro Aloapam a
las siguientes direcciones:

Please send e-mails and make phone calls in solidarity and support to San Isidro
Aloapam to the following numbers and addresses:

Juan Rafael Evira Quesada
Titular de la Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT
Teléfono: 5628 0602 al 05, Fax: 56-28-06-43, Red: (Red 300,349 Red de Voz: 10901)
E-mail: c.secretario@semarnat.gob.mx .
Blvd. Adolfo Ruiz Cortínez 4209 Col. Jardines en la Montaña. C.P. 14210. México D.F.

Esteban Ortiz Rodea
Delegado Federal en Oaxaca de SEMARNAT
teléfono: (951) 512 96 00, Fax: 951-5129634, Red: 29630
E-mail: delegado@oaxaca.semarnat.gob.mx
Ignacio Loyola Vera
Procurador Federal de Protección al Ambiente, PROFEPA
Teléfono: 26-15-20-95 54-49-63-00, Fax: 26-15-20-41
E-mail: iloyola@profepa.gob.mx
Oficinas Centrales: Ajusco 200 CP 14210 Col Jardines en la Montaña, Distrito
Federal, TLALPAN

Edgar Guillermo Sigler Andrade
Delegado de la PROFEPA en Oaxaca
Télefono: 9515160078, 9515141991, Fax: 9515169213
Email: delegado_oax@correo.profepa.gob.mx
Av. Independencia 709, Palacio Federal, Centro. CP 68000 Col Centro Oaxaca de
Juárez, Oax.

Salvador Anta Fonseca
Gerente regional en Oaxaca de la Comisión Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR
Sabinos 402, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. Colonia Reforma
Teléfono: 01 951 5187210, E-mail: conafor@conafor.gob.mx

Residencia Oficial de los Pinos Casa Miguel Alemán, Col. San Miguel Chapultepec,
C.P. 11850, México D. F., Tel: +521 (55) 27891100, Fax: +521 (55) 52772376

Licenciado Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña,
Secretario de Gobernación,
Bucareli 99, 1er. piso, Col. Juárez, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., C.P.
06600, México,
Fax: +521 (55) 5093 3414, Tel. +521 (55) 5093 3400
La dirección mail no aparece en los directorios, favor de mandar comunicación
por fax

Lic. Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza,
Procurador General de la República
Av. Paseo de la Reforma #211-213 Col. Cuauhtémoc, Delegación Cuauhtémoc. México
D.F., C.P. 06500
Para enviar correos en línea: http://www.pgr.gob.mx/index.asp

Dr. José Luis Soberanes Fernández
Presidente de la CNDH
Periférico Sur 3469, Col. San Jerónimo Lídice, 10200, México, D.F.
Tel: 631 00 40, 6 81 81 25, Fax: 56 81 84 90, Lada sin costo: 01 800 00
Correo electrónico: correo@fmdh.cndh.org.mx , correo@cndh.gob.mx

Jaime Mario Pérez Jiménez
Presidente de la Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos
Domicilio: Calle de los Derechos Humanos no. 210, Col. América, C.P. 68050,
Oaxaca, Oax.
Teléfonos/Fax: Lada (951) 503 02 20, 503 02 21, 513 51 85, 513 51 91, 51351 97
Correo electrónico: correo@cedhoax.org

our website: www.nodo50.org/cipo

Consejo Indígena Popular de Oaxaca "Ricardo Flores Magón", CIPO-RFM. Calle:
Emilio Carranza 210, Sta. Lucía del Camino Oaxaca, México. tel: +(951) 51-78183
y +(951) 51-78190 mail: ciporfm@yahoo.com.mx, cipo@nodo50.org,
mujercipo@hotmail.com, los_magoneros@hotmail.com

Domicilio Hidalgo # 821. col.Centro, Oax. C.P.68000, Sucursal Oaxaca, No. 120,
Suit: Banamex: BNMXMXMM, Cuenta: 002610012077451770

Anarkismo.net is an anarchist communist international project.
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist initiative


Before Christ, Columbus, & Cook

Resist Oppression


A Woman Warrior Speaks


The original painting by Cleveley was discovered in 2004 and depicts Captain Cook as a violent man. The painting proved some artists skewed history to show Europeans in favorable light.


Tame Iti

Waitangi Day , and Tame Iti is the manifestation of every Pakeha's worst nightmare. Sturdily built and proudly bearing an intricate moko covering the entirety of his face, he spits in front of the Governor General, Cath Tizard, before delivering his piece de resistance, a whakapohane, a baring of the buttocks - an action hard to top on the list of Maori insults. His face is flashed on news bulletins around the world: beware the dangerous face of Maori radicalism.

t is said that when he was about a month old he arrived in Ruatoki in a disused mail box which was placed on the table of the wharekai at Mahurehure. His whangai parents, Hukarere and Te Peku Purewa, an elderly couple who had raised Tame's father and 14 children of their own, took him home. All told, they raised 26 whangai children. Tame himself is a socal worker dealing with substance abuse and domestic violence issues in his home valley he's lucky that his partner Karen and his whanau are so supportive of him, says longtime associate Tamati Kruger "his home is like a bloody marae. I mean, the man needs a licence just to operate his carpark. It must be the most active marae in Tuhoe."

Growing up in the heart of Tuhoe country where the spectres of Te Kooti and Rua Kenana maintain an almost tangible presence, the seeds for Maori nationalism were firmly planted in the mind of young Tame Iti. Each Sunday he would accompany Te Purewa on a kai gathering expedition, and at the foot of Taiarahia, the sacred mountain of Ruatoki, they would stop to spear eels. On these occasions, Te Purewa would point to the land occupied by the Pakeha families and talk about injustices and grievances that, decades later, continue to haunt Tame. "Dad called them whanako - stolen lands. He didn't talk about raupatu or confiscation. They were lands stolen by the Pakeha last century" says Tame. He speaks quietly but resolutely, often changing to Maori to emphasise a point."On another dav he said to me, 'see that lake over there, that's where my young brother was shot by a Pakeha". When asked why or how that had happened he replied, 'there was no reason, the Pakeha was trying to intimidate him and ending up shooting him dead'." The Pakeha neighbour was never arrested or taken to court, but a little while later he was found dead - hanging from a tree.

For those in the know, Tame lti is no Hone come lately He's been involved in Maori protest for much of his life, prepared, according to Tamati Kruger, to risk the wrath of his elders and "walk his talk". Tame was just a nipper when he staged his first show of defiance. "The principal of the school here in Ruatoki told us that we had to speak English. I didn't want to do that. To me if vou didn't speak Maori, you weren't a Maori." The punishment for defiance was to join a squad which picked up horse dung. Given the popularity of horse traffic in Ruatoki it was a substantial punishment.At 15 he left the security of Ruatoki and headed for Christchurch and a strange, new world outside the valley. Increasingly, he became drawn into political struggle against the system. It was a crucial stage in Tame's life, providing him with the political ideology that would lead to more than two decades of direct anti-authority action. He joined in the "No Maori, no tour" protest, read about communism and went to China in the early 1970s, followed the American Black Panther movement, and helped set up the Maori Liberation Front, before moving north to Auckland where he met up with Syd and Hana Jackson and others who would eventially become key members of Nga Tamatoa.

Over the years Tame has been the brains behind some exceedingly novel protest action. In the 197Os he and some mates decided that Maori were such strangers in this land that thev needed to set up an embassy Borrowing a small tent from his birth father in Huntly, he made his way south. In Wellington he pitched his tent beneath Dick Seddon's statue in Parliament ground, lectured the lunchtime passersby until, feeling bit tuckered out, he stretched out his bedroll, zipped up the tent and had a snooze. A couple of hours later he was politely woken by an elderly policeman. Explaining that he was Tame Iti, the new Maori ambassador, he then wangled his way into the office of the then Maori Affairs Minister, Duncan McIntyre -some say to present his credentials. The episode ended in TV cameras, handcuffs and the "ambassador" being subjected to Her Majesty's hospitality for the night.

Then there was the time when Tame decided to stop an annual jet boat race up the Whakatane river that local kaurnatua had felt powerless to prevent. Getting nowhere by politely phoning the Pakeha race organiser, Tame plunged into the river; watched by nervous whanaunga from a convenient viewing platform. As the first boat approached he closed his eyes to karakia, opening them just in time to eyeball an irate jet boat driven In the split second in which their eves met, the driver swerved and ran into the willows lining the bank. It earnt Tame six months of PD cutting blackberry, though after two weeks he appealed his sentence -but that's another story.. Undeterred, the following year Tame was back in the river again, on horseback this time and with a few rnates for company There were more arrests - but no more jet boat races.
Earlier this year at the Mataatua hui to discuss the fiscal envelope, Tame startled Doug Graham by mounting a stepladder he had brought for the occasion. When it was his turn to talk, he stated his case and then handed a bewildered Doug Graham a blanket. "It was a symbolic gesture - a blanket for our stolen land," says Tame.
His embassy theme has been resurrected with the setting up of the Tuhoe Embassy in the middle of the Taneatua township. Tame is serious about his mission to build a "Tuhoe Nation".

The embassy, a caravan with a makeshift awning, is staffed by some of the iwi's rangatahi. Late last year Tame (the Tuhoe Ambassador) issued eviction notices to Pakeha landowners on Maori land in the area. Reactions were mixed. says Tame: "one farmer said that before Tuhoe ever got hold of his farm he would flatten everything with his bulldozer others studied the paper carefully and said, 'do you have the support of your people in this?' and so on. "The purpose of the notices was to let them know this is Tuhoe territory" he continues. "I don't expect them to move out next week. When we regain our sovereignty they're welcome to stay. They can come to our marae and talk to us and we will shelter and feed them. But once we regain our sovereignty then they need to know that thev will be living under Tuhoe rules. "I came back here to Ruatoki because this is where I belong; for me it's where everything begins and finishes. This is Tuhoe land and it should be run according to our tikanga."

According to Tamati Kruger Tame has learnt that a Maori nationalist has to be prepared to do it alone. "He does what he does because he believes in it. If nobody turns up to a protest he won't go home he'll do it by himself. He's very much like his tupuna Te Purewa in that respect. If 90 percent of Tuhoe said to him to shut up, he'd just carry on. He has that sort of resoluteness and determination.
"But, to be fair, in all the vears I've attended hui with him I've never heard a kaumatua criticise his actual politics or ideals. It's more the delivery they have a problem with." Many who don't know him assume, and his moko probably has something to do with it, that Tame is a violent man. Nothing could be further from the truth. As one friend says, "he's alwavs there to help people out. He quite often has battered or scared wives turning up at his place and he'll meet them at the gate to take them in. And you can bet some of the husbands who turn up there are real pissed off. Tame puts himself on the line all the time."

TV producer Puhi Rangiaho, who grew up with Tame, says it's that sort of commitment that means people take him for granted. "People back home don't really realise how much work he's done for the tribe and for Maori."
But Tame says it's not recognition he's after "I don't see myself as the great leader here. A lot of the time the rangatahi do the work like at the embassy, I just keep an eve on it."

Whether he likes it or not he is an "identity". Having a rull facial moko in the last years of the 20th century is a powerful statement. It took Tame five years of thinking and consultation with his koroua before he subjected himself to the pain of the moko. Because of the pain, it took 10 hours, spread out over four months. According to Tame some of the most surprising reactions have come from Pakeha.
"They're positive, too. I see them staring at me. l was at an airport and a young woman came up with her child and said, 'that's a moko son'. She didn't say tattoo, she said moko. That surprised me. The only negative reaction I've had has been from the media."


The Ruatoki valley blazes as Tuhoe stands tall


and if your a fan of Tama shooting that nz flag wipe:


Activist Practice and Revolutionary Struggle

Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories
Vancouver, Canada
June 29, 2003

It's out of fashion to be a revolutionary. A lot of people have grown up over the past few years and moved on to more mature projects. Direct action against the class of exploiters and their institutions is dismissed, ignored, rejected or denounced.

The class conflict between the rich and the poor, the exploiter and the exploited, is obvious to everyone, but the orientation of those who claim to specialize in class struggle has changed. It's now unfashionable to claim a revolutionary perspective. Specialization has deepened, and various individuals and groups increasingly define themselves as social activists, and in many cases, the radical sector of the social democratic movement. Activists keep themselves busy by organizing endless meetings, educational forums that resemble the worst type of university lectures, distribution of literature that is not informative to anyone, and pointless protest marches that could be mistaken for funeral processions.

Activist practice is the natural consequence of activist theory, and it rejects revolutionary struggle and the autonomous organization of attacks on the structures of capitalism. Activist groups tend to organize under the model of the political party. They draft a rigid political program and work to recruit a membership that will adopt it. Activist organizations, both those structured with authoritarian leadership and those that make decisions democratically, demand that the individuals who make up their membership flatten their opinions and come to a lowest common denominator consensus. Activist organizations and political parties see their primary task as building their membership and mobilizing masses of people, as this directly relates to the amount of political power an organization can gain by appearing to represent the interests of the masses. Quantity overtakes quality, while organizations struggle for legitimacy in the arena of middle-class politics and corporate media presentations. The direct material struggle of the oppressed becomes a bargaining piece in negotiations with the class enemy.

Activists continue to place special importance on the role of the trade unions, despite the increasing tendency of the unions towards abandoning the struggle in favour of compromise, and the global shift in the capitalist economy from the manufacturing to the service sector, which is resulting in the decline of unionization.

Activists continue to spout off vague and abstract rhetoric in a language people increasingly do not understand or have no interest in listening to.

We need to mobilize the masses, they say.

We ask, what masses?

That alienates people.

What class of people?

Now is not the time.

Then when?

Activist practice affects the struggle of the exploited in many negative ways. Although individual, isolated acts of sabotage and absenteeism are common among workers, there is a growing distaste for all the traditional forms of political and social organization. Apathy, passivity and defeatist attitudes are also rampant, and there are still many na?e souls looking for a saviour in the form of a charismatic political leader, playing into a cycle of betrayal and disappointment. People expect nothing to change and this attitude contributes to the continuation of this system of exploitation.

The alternative to all this, in our view, is in the growing desire to resist domination and our ability to develop an insurrectionary social movement. Oppressed individuals must self-organize a project that is antagonistic and uncompromising towards the class enemy. Individuals can form small affinity groups that come together around a common perspective and then dissolve when they have outlived their function. Affinity groups can then build base structures, mass organizations with precise objectives and a hostile position towards all political forces. Acts of sabotage can also be points of reference and anti-capitalist insurgency can spread throughout society. With an insurrectionary orientation and practice we can potentially contribute to a revolution that will overthrow the economy of control and the class who benefits from it. Those who seek dignity and freedom should settle for nothing less.

Howard's new Tampa children overboard are our Aboriginal children.

Below is the text of an article by Jennifer Martiniello which will be forwarded to major newspapers in Australia. Please pass on to your networks. Jennifer Martiniello is a writer and academic of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo descent. She is a former Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and a current member of the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the ANU.

Howard's new Tampa children overboard are our Aboriginal children.

The Little Children are Sacred report does not advocate physically and psychologically invasive examinations of Aboriginal children, which could only be carried out anally and vaginally. It does not recommend scrapping the permit system to enter Aboriginal lands, nor does it recommend taking over Aboriginal 'towns' by enforced leases. These latter two points in the Howard scheme hide the true reason for the Federal Government's use of the latest report for blatant political opportunism.

It has been an openly stated agenda that Howard wants to move Aboriginal people off their lands, and has made recent attempts to buy off Aboriginal people by offering them millions for agreeing to lease their lands to the Federal Government, e.g. Tiwi Islands and Tangentyere in Alice Springs. There was also the statement by the Federal Government that it could not continue (?!) to provide essential services to remote communities, which raised an uproar of responses in the press. The focus on the sexual abuse of children is guaranteed to evoke the most emotive responses, and therefore command attention, just like the manipulation of the Tampa situation. But while the attention of the media and the public is being emotionally coerced, what is being sneaked in under the covers?

Two issues specifically - mining companies have applied for more exploration permits in the Northern Territory, the Jabiluka uranium mining operations at Kakadu have already hit the media because of the mining company's applications to the Government to significantly expand its operations, including establishing new mines at Coronation Government has already mooted that nuclear waste should be dumped in the Northern Territory, on Aboriginal lands. Aboriginal traditional owners are absolutely opposed to this. We have a long history of deaths and illness from radiation, from the atomic tests at Woomera in the 1950s to the current high incidences of carcinomas in the community at Kakadu near the Jabiluka site. The main obstacle to the Federal Government's desired expansion of mining operations in the Northern Territory and nuclear waste dumping is, of course, the Aboriginal people who have occupancy of, and rights under the common law to, their traditional lands.

Following the stages of the Howard Government's usual modus operandi (defund, blame, eliminate), defunding of critical programs for remote Aboriginal community projects began in July 2004, with coerced changes to funding contracts, and monies for critically needed youth and health programs in remote areas being the first dollars to go. Take Mutitjulu for example, which was notoriously profiled by the ABC's Nightline program. I say notorious because one of Senator Mal Brough's personal staffers was the so-called ex-youth worker interviewed on that program, and the content of that interview was laden with myths and mistruths. The staffer in question failed to appear when summoned before a Senate inquiry to explain and the Senator's office is yet to issue a statement. When the community lodged a formal protest to Government, it was raided and their computers seized. But the program did show the effects of the Howard Government defunding of essential programs on that community, in particular the youth centre and health centre. The people at Mutitjulu also just happen to be the traditional owners of Uluru, one of this country's most lucrative tourist attractions. The Howard Government would not like us to ask who benefits by the people of Mutitjulu being forced off their community. Under the amendments to Native Title made by the Howard Government, once Aboriginal people have left their traditional lands, forcibly or otherwise, their rights under the common law that every other Australian enjoys over their land are significantly impaired.

Progressive defunding of Aboriginal art centres has also begun, with a range of community art centres not having their funding renewed by DCITA in July 2005 and 2006 in the Northern Territory, from communities in Arnhemland to mid and southern Territory communities. The art production facilitated by those Aboriginal art centres are the only means through which members of those communities can actually earn a living, as opposed to being on welfare. But then, dependent people are easier to control by means of that dependency. The Howard Government's failed Shared Responsibility Agreements (SRAs) have also been the catalyst for further blame shifting and progressive defunding, take Wadeye for example.

Our Aboriginal communities are being squeezed further into dysfunction and disenfranchisement by carefully targeted political engineering, the systemic and ruthless roll-out of a planned agenda. It is no accident that Howard's scheme to address what he calls the urgency of the Little Children are Sacred report's 97 recommendations was trotted out so very quickly, and addresses so very few of those recommendations. It is sheer political opportunism to advance an already in motion agenda, and to score points in an election year. After all, The Little Children are Sacred report is not the first of
such reports, nor are its findings and recommendations new. The Federal Government has had the 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2002 reports gathering dust and deliberate inaction on its shelves. Perhaps Mr Howard has been saving them up for a rainy election year? And of course Mr Howard's scheme targets only Aboriginal communities, despite the fact that the findings specifically state that non- Aboriginal men, that is, white men, are a significant proportion of the offenders, who are black-marketeering in petrol and alcohol to gain access to Aboriginal children. What measures is the Howard Government going to take about non-Aboriginal sex offenders, pornographers, substance traffickers and the like? Nothing according to the measures announced, but then, they're not Aboriginal and they don't live on the Aboriginal communities where their victims live.

So who are the real victims here, the silenced victims of John Howard's scheme? Aboriginal children, of course, who will be subject to physically and psychologically invasive medical examinations, irrespective of their home and family circumstances, and who will deal with the mental and emotional fall-out from that? Aboriginal men, too, who become the silenced scapegoats, painted by default by John Howard as all being drunken, child-raping monsters.

Perhaps the fact that almost every picture shown of Aboriginal men in the media these days shows them drunk, with a slab, cask or bottle under their arms leads Mr Howard to expect that one to pass unchallenged, irrespective of the fact that statistics show that only 15% of Aboriginal people drink alcohol, socially or otherwise, compared to around 87% of non-Aboriginal Australians. The greater majority of Aboriginal men are good, decent people. Perhaps the media would like to rethink its portrayals of Aboriginal men? How about some photos of the other alcoholics, you know, the white ones. There's more of them.And what of our communities? The Howard Government also hasn't mentioned that the majority of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory are already dry communities, decided and enforced by those communities.

But then that would spoil the picture Mr Howard wants to paint of our Aboriginal communities. Other large communities, such as Daly River, have controlled the situation by only having alcohol available from the community's club and enforce a strict four can limit. Also forgotten in the current politically opportunistic furore is the fact that Aboriginal communities around Tennant Creek and Katherine have been lobbying Governments and town councils for decades to restrict the sale of alcohol on Thursdays, when Aboriginal community people come to town for supplies. So far their pleas have been rejected. Nothing in Mr Howard's plan to facilitate that, either. Or about the control of alcohol when those people, once forced off the communities into the towns, bring their problems with them, child abuse or alcoholism and all the rest. Of course that would make access to Aboriginal children a lot easier for white offenders, they won't have to go so far to find a victim.

One last word on focus of attention. In the famous Redfern Address, the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating asked perhaps the most important question for all Australians to consider. He said 'We failed to ask the most basic of questions. We failed to ask - What if this were done to us?' What if this were done to us - to Mr and Mrs Average Australian, to our schools, youth centres, health centres, access to medical care, communities, homes, children, grandchildren? After all, current national health reports from a wide range of health organisations name sexual abuse of non-Indigenous Australian children as a crisis area in need of urgent attention. And the numbers of victims are higher.

National reports into mainstream domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse also call for urgent action, again the issues are at crisis level, and the numbers of victims and abusers are far higher than in the Little Children are Sacred report. None of the recommendations in all of those hundreds of national health reports recommend compulsory sexual health tests for every Australian child under sixteen. Not one of them recommends that a viable solution is closing down youth and health programs, in fact they all advocate that more are needed. None recommend that the victims' or the offenders' communities and homes should be surrendered to the Federal Government and put under compulsory lease agreements, and none advocate processes which would lead to either the victims or the abusers losing their rights under common law to their property as measure to control or remedy the occurrence of abuse. Would the Howard Government even dare to contemplate such as that? I think not. It would be un-Australian, and the Government it would expect immediate legal repercussions on the grounds of impairment of human rights, extinguishment of rights under common law, discrimination, and a raft of other constitutional issues. Besides, Mr and Mrs Average Australian don't, for the most part, live on top of uranium and mineral deposits or future nuclear waste dumps.

But seriously, the most critical question for all Australians to ask themselves in the lead up to this year's Federal Election is just that - What if it were done to us? With full acknowledgment of what has already been done to workers, trade unions, student unions, public primary, secondary and tertiary education, elderly care, palliative care, medicare, crisis health care, nurses, teachers, multicultural affairs, migrant groups, women, child care, small businesses and artsworkers, among the many, through the exercise of policies of social engineering and fear, your answer at the polling booth may just determine whether it will be done to you, or continue to be done to you.

As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald 25th June, the Howard Government last week used the military to seize control of 60 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, which are now under military occupation. This is not Israel and Palestine. The Northern Territory is not Gaza or the West Bank. This is Australia - but is it the Australia you thought you lived in? Walk in our shoes, Aboriginal Australia's, and ask yourselves, what would it be like to have this done to us? And then, walk with us.

Jennifer Martiniello

Gubbament accused of trying to take back land

A former senior indigenous bureaucrat has accused the federal
government of using child sex abuse as a smokescreen to resume control
of Aboriginal lands in the Northern Territory.

More than 90 individuals, indigenous groups and community
organisations have put their name to a letter delivered on Tuesday to
Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough, warning him that the
government's plan to tackle child sex abuse will not work.

Prime Minister John Howard last week announced plans to seize control
of more than 60 NT Aboriginal communities, banning alcohol and
hardcore pornography and putting in place conditions on welfare
payments and compulsory health checks for children.

Pat Turner, a former head of the now defunct Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Commission and a former senior bureaucrat in the
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, warned that Mr Brough was
drawing too heavily on his military background to implement the
government's plan.

"What the prime minister and his minister Mal Brough are proposing is,
in the view of the combined Aboriginal organisations in Alice Springs,
totally unworkable," she told reporters.

"Mal Brough is drawing too heavily on his military background to swoop
into our communities and do a quick fix."

A key issue for Aboriginal leaders is the plan to scrap the permit
system, which restricts non-Aboriginal access to indigenous land.

"We are totally against tying serious social need to our hard-fought
land ownership and land tenure," Ms Turner said.

"We believe that this government is using child sexual abuse as the
Trojan horse to resume total control of our land.

"No compensation will ever, ever replace our land ownership rights."

The letter says while the commitment to tackle abuse in indigenous
communities is welcome, solutions must be developed with the
communities, not prescribed from Canberra.

It also warns the measures could weaken families and disempower
Aboriginal people.

"The proposals go well beyond an emergency response and will have a
profound effect on people's incomes, land ownership and their ability
to decide the kind of medical treatment they receive," the letter says.

"Some of the measures will weaken communities and families by taking
from them the ability to make basic decisions about their lives, thus
removing responsibility instead of empowering them.

"In their present form the proposals miss the mark and are unlikely to
be effective."

Greg Phillips, a population health expert at Melbourne University,
warned that victims of abuse could face additional trauma if they were
forcibly examined as part of compulsory health checks.

"If children and adults ... have been abused and are forced to take
medical examinations then significant psychiatric literature and
practice shows that victims are likely to be retraumatised," he said.

"This is of paramount concern to those of us in the public health field."

Mr Phillips said there was evidence to show that Aboriginal ownership
of their lands helped promote good health.

"Land is essential to Aboriginal cultural identity, sense of
spirituality and is therefore protective of good health," he said.

"There is no need to tie sexual abuse interventions with land tenure,
it's too much of a stretch for this nation to take and the government
is lying through its teeth to do so.

"You do not have to take children away and you do not have to take
communal rights to land away to deal effectively with sexual abuse and

Meanwhile, Tasmania has agreed to send police to help enforce the
federal government's indigenous child abuse plan, but will provide
only two instead of the 10 requested.

Labor Premier Paul Lennon told state parliament that Tasmania had
rejected Mr Brough's request for 10 officers, but would provide two

"The Tasmanian government will be responding positively to the federal
government's request on a pro-rata basis and our Police Minister David
Llewellyn will be speaking with Minister Brough today to further the
necessary arrangements," Mr Lennon told parliament.

"We have got a problem here that needs to be addressed where children
are at risk and governments have a responsibility to act."

But Mr Lennon said it was unreasonable for the federal government to
expect Tasmania to make the same commitment as NSW and Victoria.

"New South Wales has a police service of over 15,000 in strength
compared to Tasmania's police service strength of 1,200," he said.

"I think it unreasonable, therefore, to expect us to be in a position
to maintain policing responsibilities in Tasmania and to make the same
strength commitment to the Northern Territory as the state of New
South Wales which has a police service of 15,000, compared to our 1,200.

"Or, indeed, to the state of Victoria where the police strength is
about 10,800.

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre legal director Michael Mansell said the
state government was putting politics before people.

"Sending two or 200 police officers is neither here nor there," Mr
Mansell said.

"This is open approval by Paul Lennon of John Howard's over-the-top
invasion of Aboriginal communities.

"The premier's move puts politics before people because he is trying
to cover the back of his mate Kevin Rudd, who has also endorsed this
ridiculous plan."

Stop the attacks on building workers: Union Solidarity extraordinary meeting

Union Solidarity will hold an extraordinary meeting:

Thursday 6pm
June 28th
New Council Chambers
Trades Hall
Corner of Lygon and Victoria St Carlton.

The meeting will discuss the serious situation in the construction industry where the CFMEU and other unions are under enormous pressure from the building task force.

Approximately 90 investigations leading to possible prosecution, fines and or jail
terms is currently running Australia wide with approximately 56 of them affecting Victorian building workers and unions.

Specifically we will outline the situation on a large building site in Melbourne where shop stewards have been sacked and workers are denied the representative of their choice. We will discuss possible responses to this; concretely one item will be the organising of a phone tree for a rapid assembly/picket if the need arises.

Recently construction workers in Port Campbell building the Woodside gas plant who attended a mass meeting in defense of a sack shop steward have been summered to appear before the ABCC(Australian Building and Construction Commissioner). If the workers refuse to attend they face heavy fines and a jail term.

Construction union members are afforded less rights than accused criminals (they are denied the right to silence), at least if you rob a bank you have the right to remain silent in court.

Even discussing matters raised in the commission with partners and family could result in fines and a jail term.

These outrages must stop. Behind the recent hysteria in the media about what certain union officials have said is the reality that employers in the building industry (and in general) want to smash some of the most militant and effective unions in Australia.

Government backed and funded agencies like the ABCC are merely a tool to allow employers to get their way, deny working people basic democratic rights and increase the employer’s massive profit

You can make a difference, please attend this vital meeting and pass this message on through your networks. If you can’t attend the meeting and wish to be included on the phone tree ring the
number below.

More info: Dave 0412 484 094

Yours in Solidarity

Union Solidarity


* http://www.unionsolidarity.org/

Its Like that

RUN-DMC vs. Jason Nevins-It's Like That

Rise Up

pics of last Fridays Mulrunji Solidarity demo, thanks to PC for the pics.

Robbie Thorpe talking up the business

marching to the gubbament

later to you flag wipe of capitalist imperialism

Us Mob

Aotearoa/g20 arrestee Solidarity


The Death Of Maori Medicine?

Monday, 25 June 2007, 12:22 pm
Opinion: NZ Health Trust
The Death Of Maori Medicine?

For thousands of years Maori have accessed the botanical flora of this country to use in traditional healing. Yet just as such indigenous healing is undergoing a renaissance in popularity and use, Maori say their herbal medicine is under serious threat.

Maori liken the effects of the proposed Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill to the 1907 Tohunga Suppression Act that tried to end traditional Maori healing and language.

They say the Bill sells sovereignty of New Zealand flora to foreign rule and fails to recognise the value of Maori indigenous healing systems.

Kaiwaka man Pene Hita is a representative for the Ngati Whatua ote Kaipara and over the past two years he has rallied Maori across the country to fight the Bill.

What has particularly irked Maori such as Pene is the rushed nature of the introduction of the Bill and what they say is a “sham” consultation process.

“I understand for consultation to have actually taken place the Minister must have demonstrated an open mind at the time the consultation commenced. This clearly did not occur,” says Pene.

“Contrary to the views of the Select Committee then considering the issue, Annette King (then Health Minister) signed an agreement with Australia in 2003 under which New Zealand was committed to the process now contained in the Therapeutics Bill.

“The so-called `consultation process’ which followed was merely a sham. There was never any opportunity given to us to be meaningfully involved in any discussion on the issues covered in the Bill, rather we, like others, were talked at by officials who just were not interested in modifying their position at all.

“I have no doubt that this was always a given in the minds of both the Minister and her officials. It is little wonder that Annette King is now fighting for her survival as the true nature of what she has signed us into becomes exposed.

“This has all the appearances of games being played to rush through this legislation and not giving New Zealanders proper access to their democratic rights.”


When Captain Cook arrived in New Zealand in 1769 the Tohunga or priest/healer played a central role in Maori culture. It was the Tohunga who gave edicts for reasons of health and safety of the tribe and the Tohunga who knew the herbal uses of plants and how they were to be used in conjunction with karakia (prayer) for healing.

This herbal lore was highly valued and passed down by the older members of the tribe who continue to use ancient and proven remedies to the present day.

Western academics have written extensively about the special healing nature of New Zealand flora that they say is due “particularly to the long period in which plants have been isolated from other floras’. Early Europeans recorded sophisticated healing by Maori, including an English sailor who was wounded by a spear in his thigh.

`The spear was cut out by two Maori women with an oyster shell which left a wound as large as a teacup. Then green herbs were applied to the wound which immediately stopped bleeding and provided significant pain relief’ wrote observers.

It was known that the first European medical practitioners turned to Maori traditional remedies when their own scanty stock of drugs failed.

In 1907 the Tohunga Suppression Act worked to try and decimate traditional Maori healing by making it illegal. The tradition survived, but in secret.

“Now when there is noticeable resurgence in Rongoa Maori and of Maori interest in traditional methods of healing, it is not acceptable for some offshore body relying on the Western `scientific’ model of medicine to have any role in determining how Maori seek to use or develop a part of their culture,” says Pene, “… especially given Australians dire history regarding treatment of their own indigenous culture.

“Rongoa Maori healing is still practiced and valued in New Zealand today. It sits alongside orthodox European medicine and is a precious resource that plays an important part in the growing attention our young people are paying to our culture.

“It is accepted worldwide that indigenous people have rights to special protection for the exploitation and knowledge of the useful properties of fauna and flora. Maori understand that commercial interests cannot be allowed to trample over such rights.

“Our Rongoa Maori is part of the indigenous culture, knowledge and beliefs of this country. It is of vital concern that Parliament must recognise the need to respect, preserve and maintain this system – not just for Maori, but for all New Zealanders.”

Pene says Maori experience of contacting the Prime Minister and government officials over the Bill has shown “not only a lack of interest in any concern we as Maori express, but a determination to rush this legislation through come what may”.

“I do not know what the real motivating issues are behind this Bill. The process that has surrounded it means that it is something quite distinct from the claimed issue of public safety. I have heard this is really driven by trade considerations and foreign policy issues - especially with Australia and the United States.

“It seems our precious indigenous culture and our spiritual values don’t even get a look in when some foreign policy or trade issues compete.”


Identifying a new Head of State for Samoa

Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II

Samoa's political stability is under the spotlight with the passing of His Highness, Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II on Friday May 11, 2007.

He was without peer in Samoa and the Pacific with the possible exception of one clergymen and Masiofo Fetauimalemau Mata'afa.

Samoa has been spared the political upheavals unfolding elsewhere, violent outbreaks of tribal tensions in Melanesia, Fiji's growing political, civil and military coups, bankruptcy in Nauru and civil riots in Tonga.

During Malietoa's watch, he had witnessed and endured the loneliness of seeing many of his colleagues moving on. This included his co-Head of State, six Members of the Council of Deputies, four Prime Ministers, and numerous veteran politicians.

His passing completes the passage of an old order, leaders and colonial mentors who guided small, isolated and fragile nations to independence, the likes of whom included such luminaries as Hammer de Robert of Nauru, Albert Henry of Cook Islands, the four big of Fiji (two Cakobaus, Ganilau and Mara-Tuisawau), Robert Rex of Niue and the Tongan King.

The questions is: Who will be his successor and will Samoa's political stability continue? Identifying a successor is a poignant moment to pause and reflect on this question.

Succession is of special significance because like most of Western Polynesia, succession to high titles constituted the single most important cause of political upheavals in Samoa's political past.

Samoa's failure to solve it ultimately ushered in colonial rule, first under the Germans in 1900, then New Zealand in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War, second as a mandate under the League of Nation in 1921-1946, then as a Trust Territory under the United Nations from 1947 to 1962, and finally 1962.

Appointing a successor

In light of a power vacuum, what are the rules for appointing a successor to the office of head of state, who are the candidates and what criteria will they be considered.

History of the struggle over succession to Kingship

In Fiji and Western Polynesia, succession to power has almost always been achieved through a combination of birth, merit and luck.

Tonga institutionalised the principle of primogeniture in its constitution of 1875.

Since 1874 under colonial rule, Queen Victoria was the ruler but at the local level, the Vunivalu of Bau from Kubuna retained its pre-eminence.

Since independence in 1970, the highest office of Governor-General and then President was rotated among the titular heads of the three 19th century confederacies, Kubuna, Burebasaga and Tovata.

From 1970 to 1982 it was the Vunivalu of Bau, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, from 1983 to 1993, Tui Cakau, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, and from 1994 to 2000, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

While the pre-eminent titleholder of Burebasaga has not held the post, from 2001, Tui Vuda, Ratu Josefa Iloilo is symbolic of Burebasaga.

In Samoa, the contest over the kingship was dominated by two principle families, Sa Tupua, who dominated the kingship from late-1500 to 1800 and Sa Malietoa, who rose to power in the early 19th century.

This rise coincided with increasing European presence, particularly the Missionaries.

Malietoa Vainu'upo and his brother Malietoa Natuitasina raised the family's national profile.

Their descendants, Moli, Talavou, Laupepa and Fa'alata, and the two Tanumafilis have been associated with Samoan leadership at the highest level for the last 170 years.

The Sa Tupua and Sa Malietoa rivalry from the nineteenth century was to some extent contained through the principle of the offices of a King and a Vice King.

The principle was introduced in 1875 by an American adventurer, and appealed to a Samoan sense of fairness.

At independence, all Tama'Aiga (paramount titleholders) were recognised and all given first consideration for the highest offices of the land.

Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole were appointed as Joint Heads of State for life, Tuimaleali'ifano Suatipatipa II was appointed the sole member of the Council of Deputies, and the fourth, Mata'afa, was elected as Prime Minister under his non-Tama'Aiga title of Fiame.

Who qualifies for Head of State and what are the rules?

The main criterion is to be a matai (titleholder).

This means 35,000 matai titleholders from a population of 181,000 Samoans are eligible. The appointing authority lies with Parliament and the successor's term is five years.

The first eligible candidates are the 47 matai out of 49 MPs.

However, the architects of the Constitution provided for a three-member Council of Deputies, reserved nominally (but not exclusively) for Tama'Aiga titleholders as a way of minimising rivalry among political families.

The sole function of this Council is to deputise for the Head of State.

The Samoan mentality is that nomination for the position of Head of State is normally reserved but again not exclusively from the Council of Deputies.

The eligible candidates

Who are the most eligible candidates and by what criteria?

The three member Council of Deputies has two members Tuimalealiifano Va'aleto'a Eti and Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. Given that the late Head of State was held by Sa Malietoa, the next Head of State should be from Sa Tupua.

Both candidates belong to this family.

Factors considered for selection include age, suitability and performance, support within Parliament and particularly from the Governing Human Rights Protection Party.

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi

At 71 years, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi would seem to have the most credentials.

He was installed to Tama'aiga rank in November 1986. He is also an heir of Ta'isi Olaf Frederick Nelson, the prominent Mau activist of 1900s.

At the political level, he entered Parliament in 1972 under a tulafale title of Tupuola and four yeas later in 1976, he defeated his first cousin and rival for the Tama'aiga title of Tupua Tamasese, to become Prime Minister.

In 1982, he was toppled by the newly created Human Rights Protection Party after mis-handling the Public Service Association strike for better terms and conditions.

While he retained his Parliamentary seat for most of his 20 years in national politics, and despite his elevation to Tama'Aiga rank and Tui Atua honours in 1986 and 1987 respectively, he did not regain the Prime Ministership.

In addition to his role as Leader of the Samoa National Democratic Opposition Party, he has been a popular speaker at the regional and international stage and has also published on Samoan culture.

His major handicaps would appear to be that his father had already served as Joint Head of State with the late Malietoa.

Many in the HRPP Government will remember his often biting criticism of Government while Leader of the Opposition and will no doubt be under close scrutiny by the current HRPP Government.

Within his own extended Tupua Tamasese family, there is the memory of his defiance by challenging his predecessor for Tama'aiga honours and then ousting him from Prime Ministership.

Tuimaleali'ifano Va'aleto'a Eti

Born in 1947, he is the younger of the two contenders.

His predecessor, Tuimaleali'ifano Suatipatipa II, was the first Member of the Council of Deputies.

He succeeded to the Tama'aiga title in 1977.

Unlike Tupua Tamasese Efi, his is of humble background.

Before his appointment to Tama'aiga rank, he worked in the Police Department and rose through the ranks to be a Special Assistant to the Police Commissioner.

He obtained a law degree from ANU in 1986 and then worked as a civil servant until 1993 (Attorney-General from 1986-1988, Office of the Public Defender from 1989 to 1991, and Public Trustee from 1991 to 1993).

In July 1993, the HRPP government appointed him and former Prime Minister Va'ai Kolone to the Council of Deputies.

He has had served as a Member of the Council for almost 10 years, first from 1993 to 2001, and again from 2005 to 2007.

Two factors are against him. He was implicated in the controversial Su'a Rimoni Ah Chong Audit Report of 1993-1994 and an out of court settlement was recently announced in 2005.

His second handicap was when he ran for Parliament in the 2001 election.

Against the advice of extended and political families, he resigned from the Council of Deputies to run and lost.

He suffered the humiliation of losing his seat on the Council of Deputies and banishment from his village constituency.

He was reinstated by the political family in 2002 and returned to the council after being in the political wilderness for three years.

Church affiliation and wives

Church affiliation is another important factor.

Tupua Tamasese is a Methodist and enjoys close ties with the Catholic Church.

Tuimaleali'ifano is a member of the Congregational Christian Church, the largest in the country.

He is a Lay Preacher and associated with church hierarchy where has held senior positions including Commissioner of Property.

Their wives are indomitable people endowed with strong professional connections and modern qualifications.

Tupua Tamasese's wife, a long time educator, has strong business connections while Tuimaleali'ifano's wife, originally a Catholic and a matai herself, is a qualified Town Planner. Both have worked in Government.

Calm, clear and a bright head

At the time of writing, the HRPP Cabinet was to consider its nomination before Parliament is convened to elect a new Head of State.

Although not provided in the constitution, there is an expectation that the Members of the Council of Deputies would initiate discussion of a successor from their ranks.

If they cannot agree on one, then it would seem desirable for Cabinet to step in and make a recommendation.

There is something to be said about the value inherent in the principle of rotation.

Sa Tupua has been waiting for 45 years.

According to media commentators, Tupua Tamasese Efi is the favourite.

Whoever it will be, both candidates would be aware that Sa Tupua is presented with an opportunity to make a contribution after almost two generations of a Sa Malietoa at the top of the Malo.

Calm, clear and bright heads are needed.

And if after five years, the two are still alive and are enjoined by representatives of Sa Mata'afa and Sa Malietoa or indeed by any other family, it might be useful to re-consider the application of the rotation principle more widely.

That instead of confining to Sa Tupua or Sa Malietoa or other families, all candidates consider the nation rather than tribal affiliation.

By reviewing the application of the principle in light of changing global realities, Samoa's reputation as a modern, stable and democratising nation is assured.

Post script

On Friday June 15, 2007, the Human Rights Protection Party formally moved the name of Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi as Samoa's next Head of State. Parliament unanimously accepted his nomination as Samoa's Head of State for five years.

His appointment was overshadowed by what promises to be a titanic court struggle over who will be the next Malietoa.nDr Tuimaleali'ifano's views are not those of the university where he is employed. His paper was presented at a seminar on Thursday, June 14, 2007.