Movie: The Nu Face of Rebellion (Tonga 2006)

Following the pro-democracy riots in Tonga in 2006, troops from New Zealand and Australia were sent to quell the rebellion and restore Monarchical order. This documentary was filmed in the week after the troops arrived detailing the riots, the pro-democracy movement, the abuse of people by Tongan forces and the operations of the New Zealand and Australian army. The movie stands very much at odds with the mainstream media account of the events.

Download the movie: https://video.indymedia.org/en/2007/04/837.shtml


Oxfam Challenges the EU To Extend Acces

I don't think reformist type thinking from oxfam is going to cut it any more in the Pacific. Only grassroots resistance and solidarity against neo liberalism & colonialism will ensure any sort of dignified future for our grandchildrens grandchildren.

hursday, 26 April 2007, 4:21 pm
Press Release: Oxfam
Oxfam Challenges the EU to Extend Market Access to Pacific in the Absence of an EPA trade deal

For Immediate Release

The European Commission has threatened some of the world's poorest countries, including nations in the Pacific, with lower access to the EU market if they fail to sign new free trade deals known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) by the end of 2007, when their current market access preferences expire.

Yet according to a new report launched today by Oxfam International and Third World Network Africa, there are more options available to African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries short of signing the EPA than the European Commission has suggested. In the event that ACP nations are not ready to sign by the end of the year, the European Union could still provide them with a high level of market access, using the so-called Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)-plus scheme, without breaching World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

"The European Union has been cranking up the pressure in these trade talks and presenting governments, including those in the Pacific, with a stark choice: either sign up to this free trade deal that could have devastating social and economic impacts, or accept less advantageous market access terms overnight that could lead to income losses and economic instability," said Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

"This research shows that there is another way. With some improvements Europe could use GSP-plus to continue current levels of market access for ACP countries, even if EPA negotiations are not concluded by the end of the year. It's a matter of political will. The EC is, in fact, obliged to do this under the terms of the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2001."

The joint report shows that GSP-plus could offer a level of market access very similar to that currently enjoyed, including for key sectors such as horticulture, fisheries and wood. For example, Kenya would have 99.61% duty-free, quota free market access under GSP-plus, compared to 99.63% currently. Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Ghana would retain exactly the same access. The study predicts that the same would apply in other ACP countries. This enhanced version of GSP could provide developing countries such as Papua New Guinea, which stands to lose considerably when its canned tuna exports to the EU lose their duty-free access, with substantially better preferential access as long as it adheres to a set of international standards in labour rights and environmental protection.

"The EPA's rules will affect the livelihoods and lives of Pacific people, their cultures and their environment for decades to come," said Coates. "The EU could offer the same level of market access, economic stability, and time to negotiate good deals that realise the potential of trade to boost development and reduce poverty. If the EU is serious about helping poor countries, including those in the Pacific, it should open this possibility.

The report recognises that GSP-plus has a number of limitations but that these could be addressed given sufficient political will by all parties. It is important that rules of origin are improved and the scope of coverage is extended. In addition, neither GSP-plus nor EPAs resolve issues for exporters of bananas, sugar, beef, veal or rum currently administered under the EU's Commodity Protocols. The report calls for the EU and ACP to separate discussions on the future of the Protocols from the current EPA negotiations and seek long/term measures to support ACP countries that are highly dependent on commodity exports.


Herbs-Sensitive to a Smile

Herbs French Letter

Can you see yourself, under a coconut tree
Wanting for nothing, or maybe a cooler breeze
Where all things romantic, in the south pacific
And the only peace is the spit on a feast, your feast yeah

Do you know what makes the ocean glow
Do you know what makes the ocean glow
When unwelcome guests, are making nuclear tests
are making nuclear tests, are making nuclear tests,
are making nuclear tests

Oh yes, no nukes hah ahhhhhhh
Nuclear mis energy, nuclear, nuclear, free yo yo yo yo yo

Is there nothing at all who can appease your greed,
Could you please leave the air we breath
Why is it something we’ve done
You all seem to forget
About nuclear fallout and the long term effects

Is there anything gained when you hide the plane
Anything gained when you hide the plane
Let me be more specific, get out of the pacific
Ki te la pacific, get out of the pacific
Ki te la pacific

Oh yes, no nukes hah ahhhhhhh
Nuclear mis energy, nuclear, nuclear,
Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah

Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah

Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah
Nuclear free yeah

Nuclear free yeah

From the the end of May to 2 July 2007, Australia will play host to the largest military exercise in Australia - Operation Talisman Sabre. According to the Public Environment Report released October 2006 it will involve nearly 14,000 US troops and over 12,000 Australian personnel. Exercise activity will take place at Australian military locations including the Australian-US "training facilities": Shoalwater Bay in Queensland and Bradshaw and Delamere Range in the Northern Territory. Support sites including civilian facilities in Australia, offshore and overseas will also be utilised



Walking the Land - for Our Ancient Right For Peace and Healing

john Howard has a nuclear vision for Australia and slave labour support lifting the ban on uranium mining.I will be focused on the peoples whose lands are torn apart from uranium mining and to never forget that nuclear bombs have been "tested" here and elsewhere in the Pacific. Found this old bulletin from Uncle Kevin enjoy.FYI, if ya don't know the pic is Uncle reclaiming the Emu & the kangaroo from the High Court of Australia. Respect. Always Was Always Will be Aboriginal Land !!!!

2 October 2000

In this Bulletin:

Statement to Australia and the world given by Kevin Buzzacott on Friday September 29, near Kirribilli House, Sydney. A copy was handed to a representative of John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia.


From the ancient authority, ancient voices and ancient spirit, this is a message to the world from the place we call Australia, from the ancient government of this land.
We, the black people, the original people of this country, do not recognize John Howard and his government since arriving here 212 years ago from a foreign country named England. You, John Howard, and your government have failed to recognize our human rights issues. You yourself Mr Prime Minister, you can't even say sorry for the crimes your ancestors have done. You couldn't even begin that peace talk that we've invited you to, to come to our peace fire to begin a peace talk. You and your government in 212 years have simply failed.

The Government talks about a treaty. Before it even can talk about a treaty, there needs to be a cease fire. That means lay down your guns and your ammunition and your corrupt legislations.

Before the games finish and other countries participating in the games are going back to their countries, John Howard should lead his people back to their country as well, and leave us in peace. John Howard has failed our invitation to come and make peace.
We are calling on the world to support our statements. We're also calling on international bodies and the United Nations to support us.

On Wednesday 20th September, 2000 we have planted the flag on top of Cook's planting of his flag, and it symbolises we are taking our land back.

I am calling on all black people, leaders and elders to support this ancient request for all peace. The good white people have shown their respect and support to us and made peace. They are free to stay with us and to negotiate or to talk, to begin peace talks and to begin talks of the government, the real government of this country. The Queen, Elizabeth II, should use all her powers to remove her government, the Crown, from this country immediately, and take them all back to her country.

I call on all my brother and sister countries in the world to support me.

I, Kevin Buzzacott, Arabunna elder, leader and peacemaker, call on John Howard to resign immediately as Prime Minister of Australia. To dismantle his government immediately.



Britain actively used Australian soil and people to conduct it's nuclear testing program during the 1950s and 1960s. The 5 areas it conducted the tests are at Monte Bello Islands in north-western Western Australia (just off the mainland, near Monkey Mia); Emu Field in north-western South Australia; the infamous Maralinga in south-western South Australia; Christmas Island and Malden Island, both due south of Hawaii, on either side of the Equator. After the Grapple series of tests, the British lent the site to the US in 1962 for the Dominic series of 25 explosions.

Britain detonated its first nuclear device, Hurricane, on Monte Bello Island on October 3, 1952, followed by tests on May 16 and June 19, 1956. The June blast had a 60 kiloton capacity. At one monitoring point, over 3,200 kilometres to the east, radioactive iodine concentrations increased a hundredfold.

Two further atomic bomb tests, Totem 1 and 2, were carried out at Emu Field on October 15 and 27, 1953. The next series of atomic bomb tests were carried out at Maralinga between September 27, 1956 and October 9, 1957, along with a series of "minor" trials up to 1963. The Grapple series of tests were undertaken at Malden and Christmas Islands May 15, 1957, to September 23, 1958.

During the mainland tests many army personnel were deliberately exposed to the blasts just to see what effect radiation had on troops. Security at the test sites was lax. The testing range boundaries were not properly monitored, allowing people to walk in and out. Any signs were in English, which the local Aboriginal population could not read. Fallout from the ground blasts led to massive contamination of the Australian interior. The fallout from Maralinga even reached Adelaide and Melbourne. Some places are still heavily radioactive due principally to the presence of 20 kg of plutonium, the most toxic element known to humans.

Maralinga is Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal dialect for "Field of Thunder". Aborigines may have been directly affected by the blasts. Compensation is currently being sought in Australian courts.


Winona LaDuke speaks on Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity and Decentralization

Winona LaDuke speaks on Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity and Decentralization: A view from the Native American. 2003

"Across the continent, on the shores of small tributaries, in the shadows of sacred mountains, on the vast expanse of the prairies, or in the safety of the woods, prayers are being repeated, as they have for thousands of years, and common people with uncommon courage and the whispers of their ancestors in their ears continue their struggles to protect the land and water and trees on which their very existence is based. And like small tributaries joining together to form a mighty river, their force and power grows. This river will not be dammed."

--"Like Tributaries to a River"

Voices from the Gaps http://voices.cla.umn.edu/vg/Bios/entries/laduke_winona.html

During her talk, Winona speaks about the following issues and organizations:

Honor The Earth: a voice for the earth... a voice for those not heard www.honorearth.org

California Interfaith Power and Light: Our faith, our planet, our responsibility - a religious response to global warming www.interfaithpower.org

Save Wild Rice: Protecting Wild Rice from Genetic Engineering www.savewildrice.org

NativeEnergy: Supporting and building new renewable energy projects www.nativeenergy.com

White Earth Land Recovery Project www.nativeharvest.com

Black Mesa Trust www.blackmesatrust.org

Black Mesa Indigenous Support www.blackmesais.org

Black Mesa Water Coalition www.blackmesawatercoalition.org

The Gwich'in Steering Committee: Formed in 1988 in response to increasing threats to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing for oil. www.gwichinsteeringcommittee.org

Glen Canyon Institute: Dedicated to restoring a healthy Colorado River through Glen Canyon www.glencanyon.org

National Resources Defense Council: The Earth's Best Defense www.nrdc.org

Related videos and websites:

Peabody Coal/Cortez Gold: The Ongoing Rape of Indigenous Land, Water and Air


Sacred Species


Sacred Land Film Project

www.sacredland.org «


Jim M. Craven (Omahkohkiaayo i'poyi), Professor of Economics and Business Division Chair at Clark College/Vancouver, speaks at the Globalization of Homelessness and Poverty Community Lecture Series, Washington State University/Vancouver. January 27th, 2005

From the website: www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com

Peabody Coal/Cortez Gold: The Ongoing Rape of Indigenous Land, Water and Air

Peabody Energy/Cortez Gold Mines Barrick/Kennecott Joint Venture: The Ongoing Rape of Indigenous Land, Water, Air and Culture.

Honoring ... all » Our Indigenous Women Activists Tour 2006 Portland, Oregon June 11th, 2006

Carrie Dann Western Shoshone Nation

Louise Benally Dineh (Navaho) Nation

Julie Fischel, attorney Western Shoshone Defense Project


"Mission: To affirm Newe (Western Shoshone) jurisdiction over Newe Sogobia (Western Shoshone homelands) by protecting, preserving, and restoring Newe rights and lands for present and future generations based on cultural and spiritual traditions."

"We are who we are because our nation survived here. It is written on our earth." Bernice Lalo, Western Shoshone

"The destruction of these sacred places represents a continued genocide against the Western Shoshone."





"Relocation is Genocide"

"Entering Sovereign Dine Nation. All people who respect the land, life and laws of the Dine are welcome."

Senate bill SB1003: The Navajo faced with relocation oppose the bill and say relocation would strip them of their indigenous way of life. Since 1974 over 15,000 Navajo and 100 Hopi have been displaced from their ancestral homes in Arizona. Opponents say that the Navajo are being moved off their land so coal companies can mine it. The Bureau of Indian Affairs estimates that less than a few hundred Navajo remain on Black Mesa and John McCain's Senate Bill 1003 would require their imminent removal by 2008. But the remaining Navajo REFUSE TO BE MOVED.

Sacred Land Film Project http://www.sacredland.org/endangered_sites_pages/black_mesa.html

G8 2007 Protest-Trailer

John Pilger finds fear and silence in Australia

Published 07 February 2005

Australia, once the land of the "fair go", has collaborated with Guantanamo more closely than any other western government and is guilty of human rights abuses of its own

National myths are usually partly true. In Australia, the myth of an egalitarian society, or "fair go", has an extraordinary history. Long before most of the world, Australia had a minimum wage, a 35-hour working week, child benefits and the vote for women. The secret ballot was invented in Australia. By the 1960s, Australians could boast the most equitable spread of personal income in the world.

Today, these are forgotten, subversive truths. As schools are ordered to fly the flag (its Union Jack still mocking from on high), the maudlin story of Australian soldiers dying pointlessly for an imperial master at Gallipoli is elevated, along with barely veiled colonialism and racism. Self-promoted as a bastion of human rights, Australia has become a sideshow of their denial and degradation.

Many Australians are aware of this, not least those who filled a small Sydney theatre on 26 January, "Australia Day", which celebrates the dispossession of the Aboriginal people by the British in 1770. Stephen Sewell's remarkable play Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America was showing at the Stables Theatre. Inspired in part by Franz Kafka's The Trial, it strips away the democratic facade of Bush's America - "if you want to see America, look into the eyes of its prisoners", says one of the principal characters. Rapacious power dressed as democracy, and the fear and silence of its privileged - notably academics - are Sewell's theme and one that is rarely discussed in public in Australia.

When the performance ended, a lawyer, Stephen Hopper, stood and spoke. It was as if a long silence had been shattered. Hopper is the lawyer for Mamdouh Habib, one of two Australians imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. He described Habib's suffering and torture, first in Egypt where he was "rendered" by the Americans after they had kidnapped him in Pakistan. In a CIA-supported prison in Egypt, he was suspended from the ceiling with only an electrified barrel to stand on. "He would stand and get a shock or hang painfully by his arms until he'd collapse," said Hopper. He was blindfolded and locked in rooms that were flooded with water and charged with electricity. In Guantanamo Bay, the guards brought a prostitute who "stood over him naked while he was strapped to the floor and menstruated on him". Photographs of Habib's wife and four children were defaced. "The Americans in their wisdom have taken the heads off the pictures," said Hopper, "enlarged them and superimposed them with the heads of animals and then strung them up all over the walls of the interrogation room. [They said to him]: 'It's a shame we had to kill your family.'"

We know about these atrocities from the earlier accounts of the British prisoners. What is different here is that no government calling itself democratic has so completely collaborated with the Guantanamo regime as that of John Howard. Stephen Hopper described how an Australian official stood by as Habib was tortured by the Americans and dragged on to a plane; there is documented evidence of this. The Australian attorney general, Philip Ruddock, claims he knew nothing about this. Ruddock has relentlessly slandered Habib, and the other Australian prisoner, David Hicks, as terrorist suspects when not a shred of evidence has been produced. It was only when it seemed the US Supreme Court would examine his case that Habib was hurriedly sent home. Gareth Peirce, who represents the Guantanamo Britons, told me: "The fact that David Hicks is before a military commission is entirely due to the Australian government doing nothing for him." Even Hicks's American military lawyer says his "trial", with its vaporous conspiracy charges, is a travesty. Yet Ruddock, whose job is to resist the abuse of liberties bestowed by the law, has allowed a mockery of the judicial process to be used brutally against Australian citizens. Having placed Habib under constant surveillance and prevented him from leaving the country, he now is trying to stop him speaking publicly about the grotesque things done to him. What is clear is that this squalid politician fears the truth that Habib is now free to tell.

It is a fear faithfully reflected by most of the Australian media. The Sydney Morning Herald shamefully allowed an Israeli propagandist, Ted Lapkin, to say that Habib, an innocent man under any proper legal system, had "paid the price for his actions with incarceration by

American authorities". A leading "liberal" commentator, Michelle Grattan, has described Habib, who is clearly damaged by his abuse, as having "entered the celebrity category", and says he "cannot reasonably complain about [remaining under watch] by Australian authorities". It is hardly surprising that, according to Reporters sans Frontieres, the Australian press rates 41st on the world's press freedom index, its obsequiousness to power just ahead of autocratic and totalitarian states. Like those in Sewell's play, many Australian journalists remain silent (as do most Australian academics; I can think of only three who speak out regularly). Some of the most prominent journalists form an adoring court for a prime minister who has out-Blaired Blair in his rank deceptions and is out-Bushing his mentor in Washington in his demonstrable contempt for human rights.

Under Howard and Ruddock, Australia has built its own Gulag, imprisoning behind razor wire Iraqis and others fleeing dictatorships. These innocent people are held in some of the most isolated places on earth, including Manus Island and Nauru. They include children. A Kashmiri refugee, Peter Qasim, has been locked up for nearly seven years. The head of a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Louis Joinet, who has made more than 40 inspections of mandatory detention facilities around the world, says he had not seen worse abuse of human rights than in Australia.

The first Australians have experienced this for a long time. Under the Howard government, support for Aboriginal health and legal services has diminished. In western New South Wales, the life expectancy for Aboriginal men is 33; Australia is the only developed country on a United Nations "shame list" of countries that have not conquered trachoma, a preventable blindness that affects mostly Aboriginal children, and is a disease of poverty.

Six years ago, I interviewed Ruddock when he was the federal minister responsible for ensuring that uppity black Australians did not embarrass the government in the run-up to the Sydney Olympics. I asked him: "How do you feel receiving Amnesty reports on human rights violations with 'Australia' written across the top, such as 'Aborigines are still dying in prison and police custody at levels that may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment'?"

Smiling, he replied: "Why do they use the word 'may'?"

The land of fair go deserves better than supercilious cruelty.

Union determined to keep manufacturers in NZ

Aotearoa/NZ is the most trans nationalized economy in the OECD. Workers and their families have been kicked in the guts because of the states addiction to neo liberal bullshit. The Fisher & Pykel factory at East Tamaki has employed generations of Maori & Pacific Island families. Taking these jobs away means pushing down local conditions, and condoning the exploitation of workers in Asia.

Posted at 9:14am on 28 Apr 2007

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says it will spearhead discussions to find ways of keeping local manufacturers in New Zealand.

It follows Fisher & Paykel's announcement on Thursday that it will shift its laundry factory to Thailand to save an estimated $10 million a year, with the loss of 350 jobs in Auckland.

Sleepyhead, the country's biggest bed manufacturer, is also considering moving its operations to China next year. It employs about 500 people in New Zealand. About 250 jobs are expected to be lost.

The union's national secretary, Andrew Little, says an urgent review of manufacturing policies is needed to prevent a mass exodus overseas.

Mr Little says he plans to assemble representatives from the business community, other unions and the Government to discuss incentives for manufacturers to stay in New Zealand.

Sleepyhead managing director Graeme Turner says high interest rates and a huge array of costs have led it to look at China as a manufacturing site. He says the only things that would keep Sleepyhead in New Zealand are a drop in interest rates and a change in government policy.

The Canterbury Manufacturers Association says it is the same situation for many manufacturers and warns that more will either leave or go under. Spokesman John Walley says manufacturers are being abandoned.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association says it makes sense for companies to move overseas because the business environment in New Zealand is not good.

Chief executive Alasdair Thompson says it is a mess for exporters trying to operate in the face of high taxes and other costs.

He says countries such as Thailand and China are offering manufacturers tax cuts and cheap land to help them to get started.
New Zealand 'unfriendly'

Fisher & Paykel Appliances says New Zealand is an unfriendly environment for manufacturers and the company cannot rule out further job losses.

Managing director John Bongard says it can no longer compete with its main competitors, which are already manufacturing in cheaper Asian markets. He says the booming property market is also not helping, and believes the whole economy is being punished for that one sector not being in line.

The Reserve Bank on Thursday raised the Official Cash Rate by 25 basis points to 7.75% - the second increase in the past six weeks. The rate is the highest in the industrialised world.

Mr Bongard says Fisher & Paykel cannot rule out further job losses and other parts are under review. He says the Thai government has offered tax breaks and help with training for engineers as the company moves its production there.

Fisher & Paykel was founded in 1934. Strict import restrictions led it to branch into making its own washing machines and refrigerators. The company boomed in World War II and went international in the 1960s.

Manukau mayor Barry Curtis believes workers set to lose their jobs at Fisher & Paykel's east Tamaki plant will easily find work elsewhere. He says "hundreds of jobs" are going spare in the district each month and it is unlikely that his constituents will be unemployed for long.
Clear sign - union

The EPMU says the move by Fisher & Paykel Appliances is a clear sign that something is seriously wrong and the Government must urgently review its manufacturing strategy.

The union says it understands the company's difficult decision and says the Government should stop relying on raising interest rates to control inflation and look at targeted policies that do not endanger the manufacturing sector.
Global trend, says Clark

The Government says it acknowledges the pain many exporters are feeling but says it has an economic strategy to help.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says there is still a place for manufacturing in New Zealand, despite some companies shifting their production overseas. She says what is happening in New Zealand is typical of many developed countries where manufacturers are moving their operations to low-cost countries.

Miss Clark acknowledges the high value of the dollar is causing problems for exporters, but points out that the Australian and British currencies are also at 25-year highs against the US dollar.

Minister of Economic Development Trevor Mallard says it is unfortunate some manufacturers feel they are being forced overseas, but the sector is changing. It is difficult to compete against other countries that supply cheap labour and land.

He says options apart from capital gains tax and mortgage levies need to be explored to try to help businesses that are struggling.

Mr Mallard says New Zealand must focus on high-end manufacturing that come from local research and design initiatives. Any wide-ranging change to monetary policy would need to have the support of all the main political parties.
National urges Government to act

The National Party says the Government should be doing what it can to help struggling businesses.

National finance spokesperson Bill English says the Government needs to stop charging record amounts of tax and change the business environment. He says the Government also needs to rein in its own spending, which would take pressure off interest rates and the dollar.

Copyright © 2007 Radio New Zealand


Anthony Mundine Feat O.P.C. and August - Platinum Ryder

Scribe - Dreaming

Pacific challenges EU over trade negotiations

1233 FJT
Friday, April 27, 2007

Update: 12.33pm THE European Union has been challenged to either negotiate a trade deal in the Pacific that is to the benefit of the Pacific's people or to offer alternatives that are at least as good as the current trade regime.

The challenge was put to the EU this week at the Pacific Trade and Education Program by participants from Pacific civil society groups, in Apia, Samoa.

Chief executive officer of Samoa Umbrella for Non Governmental Organisations (SUNGO), Roina Vavatau, took a swipe at the EU, saying it has failed to live up to its rhetoric that the Economic Partnership Agreement should be an instrument for development.

'' Despite repeated letters over the past nine months, the EU has still so far failed to respond constructively to the Pacifics proposals. It is ridiculous that they are still insisting on a deadline for conclusion of negotiations by the end of this year,'' Ms Vavatau said.

Participants agreed with the Mid-Term Review of the EPA negotiations commissioned by the Pacific Trade Ministers, using a highly respected European research institute, which concluded that the Pacific and EU were still far apart in negotiations and that the Pacific was not ready to conclude a deal by the end of the year.

The review laid much of the responsibility at the feet of the EU, criticising their insistence on an inflexible free trade agreement.

The WTO waiver granted to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires on 31st December 2007.

This deadline only applies to trade in goods.

Negotiations on other aspects, in particular the complex issues of services, can be concluded when the Pacific region is ready, when adequate research, impact assessment and consultations are undertaken.

The chairperson of the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi said the EU is playing negotiating games and he finds these negotiating tactics unacceptable.

''It is unacceptable to risk peoples livelihoods, vital jobs for young people and the future sustainability of Pacific societies in the course of negotiating a trade agreement that is supposedly in the development interests of the Pacific Island countries.'' Mr Tevi said.

The meeting which concluded on Wednesday has reiterated the concerns expressed by over a hundred Pacific civil society groups over the likely social, cultural, gender, environmental and economic impacts of an EPA Agreement.

The participants have called for suspension of further negotiations between the Pacific and the EU until the results of the recently initiated social impact assessment are fully incorporated into negotiating positions.


Date: 27 April 2007
Auckland 3pm: Tongan MP Aikilisi Pohiva has revealed today that he's trying to challenge the legitimacy of the Government decision to extend the state of emergency powers.

Pohiva, whose on a brief visit to Auckland, says his Kiwi lawyer has told him they may have a case against the Government.

He says it seems that while the Government was within its rights to impose martial law immediately after the November Riots, it didn't have the authority to keep extending it, as it has done.

Pohiva says New Zealand lawyer Rodney Harrison is now investigating whether they can file a case against the Government on that basis. (listen)http://niufm.com/site_resources/library/News/Lito/APRIL_28_FRI/pohiva_for_5.mp3

He also told Pacific Radio News that this country has been taking the soft option regarding the complex issue of reform in Tonga.

Pohiva says even at home, New Zealand's high commissioner there, has played it safe, by not wanting to engage in any discussion with the pro-democracy movement. (listen)
Pohiva says New Zealand appears to have sided with the anti-democratic rule of Tonga, or at the very least is sitting on the fence.

Lawyer and deputy leader of the Progressives Party, Matt Robson, says New Zealand's reluctance to get involved can be traced back to its early colonial ties, where we accepted the monarchy and the Government who carried out its wishes, as the status quo. (listen)

The Green Party's spokesperson on foreign affairs, Keith Locke, also met with Pohiva today and told us that he intends to encourage New Zealand to show more support for the people of Tonga who're working for change. (listen)

Pohiva, who heads home tomorrow, was the first MP allowed out by authorities who've now imposed state of emergency laws for the third time.

Ngati Tamaahuroa Haapu Reclamation

STAYING PUT: Sandra Ngatai and her three-year-old daughter - also Sandra - with other occupiers at Te Kiri School in Taranaki. Resolution of the dispute through giving the occupiers free land leases has upset National MPs.

The occupation was no more illegal than the Crown's unlawful confiscation in 1863, she said.

Friday, 27 Apr 2007
Taranaki school occupiers told 'stay for free'

Maori involved in the illegal occupation of two schools, including alleged vandalism and apparent theft of thousands of litres of water, are set to be rewarded with free land leases.
The proposed deal has outraged the National Party, which says it sets a precedent for ''bullying'' protesters who take over disputed Government property, trash it then get their way.

Leaked Education Ministry documents show the Treaty Settlements Office is prepared to lease Taranaki's disused Pihama and Te Kiri schools to two occupying hapu at no cost.

The schools have allegedly suffered $23,000 damage, including broken locks and windows, graffiti and stolen fittings.

Titahi and Ngati Tamaahuroa hapu moved into the schools in March amid claims the classrooms were built on confiscated land.

Though the occupation was illegal, the ministry decided not to act because previous efforts to evict illegal occupiers from Crown land had taken up to nine months, the documents show. Officials wanted the matter resolved through negotiation, not confrontation, a spokesman said.

Though one school was earmarked for sale, the Government had put both aside for potential use in settlement claims with local iwi.

National's Taranaki-King Country MP, Shane Ardern, said up to 20 protesters had taken over buildings and were still living illegally at Te Kiri School.

The ministry disconnected water and electricity supplies but they used utilities from a nearby house till the owner cut them off and made a burglary complaint to police.

Protesters had broken windows, graffitied buildings and filled a school swimming pool for use ''like a bloody bathtub'', Mr Ardern said.

He was angry the Government planned to reward their behaviour and said the occupation had sparked widespread concern.

National's education spokeswoman Katherine Rich said the proposed deal showed Maori could illegally circumvent the Treaty settlement process to their benefit, and set a dangerous example.

Hawera Senior Sergeant Michael Hannah confirmed police had received complaints over water and electricity theft, burglary and a dogbiting incident involving Mr Ardern's heifer, which was grazing nearby. No charges had been laid.

Hapu spokeswoman Sandra Ngatai conceded the occupation was illegal ? but denied protesters had caused $23,000 damage.

Government officials met hapu leaders last week to offer them the lease deal. The hapu were considering the offer but were more interested in outright ownership than a lease arrangement, she said.

''They came to where we were occupying and they offered us the buildings with nil rent.

''We're sort of deciding whether to do that because it's not really what we want. We want the land back at no cost.''

The occupation was no more illegal than the Crown's unlawful confiscation in 1863, she said.

Treaty Settlements Office director Paul James said officials were working with the ministry to find a resolution.

The Clash-Clampdown Live


Hey, hey!
the kingdom is ransacked
the jewels all taken back
and the chopper descends
they're hidden in the back
with a message on a half-baked tape
with the spool going round
saying im back here in this place
and i could cry
and there's smoke you could click on

What are we gonna do now?
Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
’Cos working for the clampdown
They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
When we're working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers

The judge said five to ten but I say double that again
I'm not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don't owe nothing, so boy get runnin'
It's the best years of your life they want to steal

You grow up and you calm down and
You're working for the clampdown
You start wearing the blue and brown and
You're working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
You made your first kill now

In these days of evil presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due
For working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown

Yeah I’m working hard in Harrisburg
Working hard in Petersburg
Working for the clampdown
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong
Begging to be melted down
Gitalong, gitalong
And I give away no secrets – ha!
More work

Public Forum on Anti-terror legislation and the G20 arrests

Report from ORGASN/CRD solidarity meeting

It was a big turnout – I counted a few over 70 people. Good mix of ages.

Anita from ORGASN gave a fantastic speech encompassing the history of the G20 as it developed from the G7. She reiterated the ridiculousness of the claim to representation of the G20 (cos governments don’t represent the populace) and defended the attacks on the police van as an important step in confronting the fear that people have over the police, whose role is to enforce submission to capitalist social and economic relations. Anita invited people to be part of court solidarity actions and to join us in calling for the charges to be dropped.

Marcus Banks from Austudy 5 talked about the history of diverse, militant actions in the lead-up to the Austudy 5 cases in 1992. From the AIDEX Arms Fair in 1991 (3 day demonstration involving 3,000 people, including students, the Food Preservers Union, Domestic Violence and Incest Survivor activists) at which the Defence Minister Robert Ray was forced to cancel his speech because of the tripods, demonstrations, etc. The Arms Fair organisers actually asked the government to declare a state of emergency, and activists were accused of bizarre things like hurling oranges with syringes stuck in them at police, and covering themselves in shit. The Anti-Bush (snr) demos in early 1992 followed.

Marcus put the Austudy demonstrations in the context of the ALP/Keating neo-liberal assault, and the Gulf War. He gave an entertaining description of the Melbourne National Day of Action on March 26th, which was described as a”riot” in all the dailies. 4 people were de-arrested from a police van which was surrounded, rocked, graffitied and had its tyres let down. Those in the van were released. The day before the next action, 5 members of the ISO were raided and charged with unlawful assembly, releasing people from police custody and a number of other charges. These raids were co-ordinated with the media for maximum negative exposure. Marcus passed around a newspaper article in which the police declared the establishment of a new police unit to destroy the ISO. Marcus talked about the support he got from his trade union because he had gone to the demos in his role as delegate. Police claimed that they arrested the ISO activists because they couldn’t find the people from the police van – one of these, an NUS Education officer, issued press releases informing the cops that he’d been in the van. He wasn’t arrested. At the trial by jury that eventually ensued, a deal was struck by which all charges would be dropped except lawful assembly, and all would 5 would cop a 2 year good behaviour bond. Marcus emphasisied that the language of the defence campaign was frame in terms of rights, but rights that were political, social, economic – not framed in terms of limited legal rights.

Colin Mitchell and Lisa Farrance from CRD spoke of the victimisation of Jack Thomas and the Barwon 13. Colin emphasised that the Barwon 13 are being treated as guilty before being charged. He also talked about the truly terrifying case of Faheem Lohdi. Lohdi, a Sydney architect, was convicted in June 2006 of preparing for a terrorist act, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was convicted on the basis of downloading photos of various “sensitive sites” some of which he had worked on as an architect, of making enquiries about obtaining chemicals that the prosecution alleged could be used to make explosives [note: for those who want an example of what kind of chemicals can be hypothesised by cops desperate for a conviction as “potential explosives” please see the cases of the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven – people might know the movie “In the Name of the Father” based on these cases…], and of having “radical” Islamic views – whatever that means…

Rob Stary – now, I don’t like lawyers as a general rule, but this guy was great. He publicly acknowledged the work of Civil Rights Defence in defending Jack Thomas, and gave us a bit of a reminder of the history of the persecution and then failed prosecution of Jack Thomas. Stary, Mark Taft and Lex Lasry are now being called as witnesses by the prosecution to prevent them from representing Jack.

Rob talked about the flimsy evidence against the Barwon 13. Basically, that they have been charged with being members of an unnamed terrorist organization, of which they are members (and which bears a striking resemblance to their prayer circle), then of financing and supporting this unnamed organization. And they have been charged with “possession of a thing”. A thing can be anything that is connected to “terror” a computer with naughty documents on it, for example. It seems unclear exactly what the “thing” that they possess is. But, they did go camping together, and this apparently seals the case against them. The trial judge is the same Public prosecutor in charge of pursuing the Austudy 5, Bernard Bongiorno. Rob reminded people of the crazy charges used against anti-Nike crew and the Austudy 5, and against forest activists, and that the new National Security Information Act means that people can be tried in their absence and the absence of any legal representation.

Rob talked about being swamped with DVDs and evidence and that this is a tactic to make the legal reps lives very difficult.

There will be a mention this week of the G20 case. But Rob indicated that the May 11 court appearance would only go ahead if people pleased guilty. So its not that likely….

Discussion centred around the desire to get unions on board, and the need to get together some simple info to spread around (i.e leaflets) so people can hand out the info at workplaces. People also talked about the importance of APEC organising, and the direct link between the intense pressure on Sydney arrestees in particular, and APEC organising.

At the pub, we talked about fun ideas for organising APEC proxies, for those who can't leave the state cos of bail conditions...

by K Flat Friday April 27, 2007 at 01:31 AM


Article relating to public forum at Fitzroy Town hall last night on the G20 arrests.

Last night at the Fitzroy Town Hall a crowd of around 50 people attended a public meeting organised by the G20 solidarity network and Civil Rights Defence. Speakers discussed the current political climate in regards to anti-terror legislation and the charges facing the G20 arrestees.

The first speaker, Anita Thompson, discussed the tactics used in the stop-G20 movement and the media representations of both the protests and the subsequent arrests. Forty people have now been arrested in relation to the G20 protests.

Thompson said attempts by protesters to breach police barricades were a challenge to the G20 system - a system which sustains a world order whereby "twenty percent of the world's people control eighty percent of the world wealth".

Thompson argued that protesters "embraced a diversity of tactics" and they were far from the "apolitical thugs" that the media had portrayed them to be. She stated that "capitalism is inherently violent" and the police should not be viewed as "a neutral body". Thompson further stated that the crackdown on those involved in the G20 protests should be seen as an attempt by the state to demonise protesters and delegitimise the right to demonstrate.

Marcus Banks then spoke regarding his experiences with Austudy 5. Banks said that like the G20 arrestees, these protests resulted in dawn raids by the police and a "cascade of charges". Banks said the police tended to use militant actions as "an opportunity" to arrest and repress unpopular groups and individuals. He said the affect of this was "to make people feel fearful" causing actions to become less militant. Colin Mitchell of Civil Rights Defense supported this sentiment, saying that the charges against the G20 arrestees were symptomatic of the "demonisation for political purposes" that is a characteristic of the war on terror.

Rob Starry, the lawyer who is defending some of the G20 arrestees, Jack Thomas and the Barwon 13, then gave an update on these cases and how they can be viewed in light of recent anti-terror legislation.

Starry stated that the case against Muslim convert Jack Thomas is currently being adjourned after a number of trials and retrials. Thomas is charged with possessing a falsified passport and receiving funds from a terrorist organisation. Starry also spoke of the charges against the so-called Barwon 13, who are facing multiple charges in relation to allegations that they attended terrorist training camps.

Starry said that since July 2002 the Commonwealth Government has passed forty pieces of anti-terror legislation almost unanimously. He said that the most worrying piece of legislation inducted was the National Security Information Act, which allows court proceedings to be conducted in secret, in the absence of the accused or the legal representative.

In regards to G20 arrests, Starry said that charges like riot, affray and criminal damage were "an incredible overreaction" by the police to "a bit of property damage" and they will "cost the community literally millions of dollars".

The case against the G20 protesters is listed for mention tomorrow. However, Starry told the audience rather emphatically "we're not pleading guilty."

There are meetings at Trades Hall on every second Friday (I think?) in solidarity with the G20 arrestees.

Thanks to Food not Bombs for supplying the lovely nibblies.

Indigenous advocate criticises move-on powers

Last Update: Friday, April 27, 2007. 7:32am (AEST)

The Aboriginal Justice Advocacy Committee is angry about a new Northern Territory policing strategy.

Police are being trained for what is called the new Social Order Crime Reduction Strategy.

Under the plan, officers on the beat will move people on more regularly in an attempt to avoid situations escalating into violence or anti-social behaviour.

The advocacy group's Chris Howse says the Government should be addressing the reasons people are on the street instead.

"This committee is sick and tired of hearing about such policies as so-called proactive policing in the Alice Springs area that will result in people getting locked up and families being split apart when the overall problem is neglected gravely by governments and councils," he said.


TONGA: Calls for immediate return to democracy


The leader of Tonga's Pro-Democracy movement has called for the immediate lifting of the state of emergency and a quick timetable for the handover of power by the King.
Akilisi Pohiva says Tonga has waited far too long for change.

Presenter/Interviewer: Graeme Dobell

Speakers: The leader of Tonga's Pro-Democracy movement, Akilisi Pohiva




Jack Thomas “control order” case

Jack Thomas ... with his children

by Mike Head Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 05:25 PM

Australian government argues for mass detention power in “war on terror”

The Australian High Court is expected to hand down a decision soon that could have far-reaching consequences for civil and political rights. The case, Thomas v Mowbray, involves a constitutional challenge by a young Melbourne worker, Jack Thomas, to a “control order” imposed on him last August. His lawyers argue that the control order—a form of house arrest—amounts to unconstitutional detention without trial.

During the hearings before seven judges in December and February, the Howard government’s Solicitor-General David Bennett insisted that the “war on terror” justifies executive powers to detain not just individuals but thousands of people. Bennett advanced the proposition that the federal government could potentially round up and detain anyone “acting in any manner prejudicial to the public safety of the Commonwealth”.

Thomas was subjected to the control order just a week after an appeals court threw out his conviction on terrorism charges, because he had been tortured to obtain a confession. He became the first victim of police-state legislation jointly introduced by the Howard government and the state and territory governments in December 2005. Without any notice, let alone right for Thomas to object, a federal magistrate granted the 12-month order in a secret “ex parte” hearing.

The order—personally sought by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock—was a blatant political abuse. The government sought to reverse the humiliating setback that it suffered when all Thomas’s charges were dismissed. Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers had mounted a week-long witchhunt, openly demanding that Thomas be locked away by any means, irrespective of what judges or the law said.

The order deprived Thomas of the basic freedoms of movement and communication. He must remain in his house from midnight to 5 a.m. every day, and report to police three times a week. He cannot leave Australia, use any telephone or email service not approved by the Australian Federal Police, or communicate with specified individuals. A breach of these conditions could mean imprisonment for five years.

Control orders can be imposed without any conviction or even evidence of terrorist activity. The attorney-general only has to state that the order would “substantially assist in preventing” an unspecified “terrorist act”, or the person received training from an officially-declared “terrorist organisation”, and the order is “reasonably necessary” to protect the public from a terrorist act. A magistrate decides “on the balance of probabilities” after hearing only the government’s side of the case.

The government is preparing to clamp a similarly vindictive order on David Hicks, the Australian Guantánamo Bay detainee, as soon as he completes a nine-month jail term. After five and a half years of unlawful incarceration, Hicks was last month coerced into pleading guilty to a vague charge of “materially supporting a terrorist group”.

Throughout the Thomas v Mowbray hearings, Solicitor-General Bennett said anyone who opposed an almost unlimited interpretation of the federal government’s “defence power” was displaying “September 10 thinking”. He stated that the High Court had to take “judicial notice” of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the growth of “fanatical ideological movements which compass the destruction of Western civilisation”.

Asserting that terrorism was “something new and evil,” Bennett declared: “One needs general powers to deal with a variety of threats that have largely replaced the quaintly old-fashioned idea of an invading army.”

Justice Kenneth Hayne asked Bennett whether his argument extended to passing legislation or regulations similar to the World War II national security regulations, which gave the defence minister powers to intern anyone considered a threat to Australia’s “safety or defence”.

(At the peak of the internment regime, in 1942, more than 12,000 people were subjected to indefinite detention in jails, military barracks and remote camps. They included political detainees as well as thousands of residents of German, Italian and Japanese descent.)

Bennett’s answer was “yes”. He presented a scare-mongering scenario, involving a terrorist armed with an atomic weapon. “To suggest that there is not an executive power of preventative detention in that situation would be ridiculous,” he insisted.

Bennett also told the judges they had to accept, virtually without question, any declaration by the government that a threat to national security existed. Referring to previous rulings where the High Court had dismissed challenges to activities by the intelligence services, ASIO and ASIS, he stated: “[T]he gravity of a risk to national security is not readily susceptible to judicial evaluation and assessment.”

This assertion amounts to handing to the government virtually unchecked power, including to detain without trial or rip up other basic rights. It is little different to the claims of absolute regal power that led to the English, American and French revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the 1640s, lawyers for Charles I maintained that “the King is the law” and therefore had the right to arbitrarily punish political opponents.

The solicitor-general specifically cited the September 2005 Council of Australian Governments communiqué, in which Prime Minister John Howard and the state and territory leaders declared: “A terrorist attack in Australia continue to be feasible and could occur.” The communiqué unveiled draconian new “counter-terrorism” laws, including control orders and “preventative detention”.

Bennett said the court had to place “great weight” upon this assessment by “nine Executive Governments”. Actually, the communiqué, which was followed a month later by a dubious “alert” issued by Howard, was a political bid to bolster the “war on terror”. The state and territory Labor governments joined hands with Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition to pledge to push through unprecedented laws in the face of vehement opposition from the legal profession, civil liberties organisations and ordinary people.

High Court precedents under attack

Bennett made a frontal attack on two significant High Court rulings. The first was the Communist Party case of 1951, where the court rejected a bid by the Menzies government to rely on the defence power to outlaw the CP. The court’s decision has long been regarded as a bulwark against unfettered executive power. Menzies tried to overturn the ruling by calling a referendum to give the government the power it sought, but voters defeated his plan.

Speaking on behalf of the Howard government, Bennett submitted that “the case would very clearly have gone the other way,” if the Menzies government had proven that banning the CP was necessary to prevent a threat to “the life of the nation”. Chief Justice Murray Gleeson expressed support for this view, saying, “The Communist Party case did not decide that the government could not protect the country against communism.”

Likewise, Bennett criticised the 1992 decision in Lim, where the court rejected a challenge to the mandatory detention of asylum-seekers, but stated that Australian citizens (as distinct from refugees) could not be detained by purely administrative authority. Bennett said the judges had expressed the law “far too widely” in declaring that only courts, not the executive, could order the punishment or detention of citizens. Bennett’s argument effectively overturns the ancient principle of habeas corpus—no detention without trial.

The solicitor-general argued that no actual war was needed to invoke the “defence power” or an associated “implied protection of the nation power”. That was another “quaint old-fashioned concept”. All that was necessary was a threat that federal authority could be “overthrown, thwarted or undermined”. Bennett cited Sharkey, a 1949 sedition case in which Lance Sharkey, the general secretary of the Communist Party, was jailed for 18 months for telling a Daily Telegraph reporter that the CP would welcome Soviet troops in the hypothetical event that they entered Australia in pursuit of aggressors. The solicitor-general said the defence power similarly could be invoked if feelings of “ill will and hostility” were promoted to “endanger the peace, order or good government”.

The hearings featured discussion on calling out the military for internal use, breaching another centuries-old principle. Asked by Chief Justice Gleeson, a Howard government appointee, whether the army could be sent to deal with a threat to blow up the atomic installation at Lucas Heights, on Sydney’s outskirts, Bennett again answered in the affirmative. He received support from Justice Ian Callinan, another Howard appointee. Callinan earlier stated that the “defence power has to be the most flexible of all the powers” because the nation faced “absolutely unique” circumstances, unparalleled in history.

Justice Michael Kirby voiced some reservations about the propositions enunciated by Bennett and Callinan. He pointed out terrorism had existed for centuries, and that communists and anti-colonial liberation movements had been labelled “terrorist” in the past. He suggested that the United States had become “completely obsessed with September 11,” whereas more people died every day from AIDS than died on 9/11. He objected that the “rantings” of Islamic fundamentalists quoted by Bennett hardly posed a threat to “Australia’s existence as a nation and its constitutional stability”.

These comments raised traditional legal and judicial objections to claims of the need for unbounded executive power. Yet, Kirby was pilloried by the Murdoch media and members of the Howard government. Treasurer Peter Costello said Kirby lacked sympathy for the victims of 9/11. A government backbencher, Don Randall, described Kirby’s comments as “frightening” and branded him a “judicial activist”. An Australian editorial thundered that Kirby represented “the pampered elite, shielded from global reality by the freedoms bestowed on them”. The judge was “out of touch with the community he is supposed to serve”.

These denunciations are tantamount to contempt of court. They were clearly calculated to apply the maximum pressure on the judges to dismiss Thomas’s legal challenge and clear the way for a vast expansion of executive rule. Bennett compounded the affront several weeks later at the annual Australian Legal Convention, where he derided anyone who opposed using the defence power to enact control order legislation as “luddite”, “silly” and “very September 10”.

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman said Bennett had breached protocol by pre-empting the pending High Court ruling. The Australian immediately sprang to Bennett’s defence, saying he had the right to speak out.

As for the Labor party, its backing for using the “war on terror” as a vehicle for sweeping aside fundamental legal and democratic rights was highlighted when state Labor governments intervened in Thomas v Mowbray to support the Howard government. Their intervention sought to justify their own, matching control order legislation.


See Also:
Guantánamo Bay detainee railroaded into guilty plea: The issues of principle in the case of David Hicks
[14 April 2007]
Australia's first "control order" imposed on Jack Thomas
[30 April 2007]
Australia: The torture of Jack Thomas
[28 August 2006]
Australian court overturns "terrorist" conviction based on torture
[22 August 2006]



King Kapisi - Screems From Tha Old Plantation

Black Grace: From Cannon's Creek to Jacob's Pill

Black Grace, a dance troupe of Maori and Pacific Islander men, rises from a small town in New Zealand to Jacob's Pillow, the pinnacle of the modern dance world.

Hone Tuwhare

Hone Tuwhare (1922-- ), is New Zealand's most distinguished Maori poet writing in English, and also a playwright and author of short fiction.
This clip - produced by Laka Rolls - takes us to his house at Kaka Point in the deep south of the South Island and his astonishment (and joy) at hearing his words put to music by some of New Zealand's finest contemporary musicians.

On Colonialism

Indigenous peoples' views on genetic engineering

on Intellectual Property Rights


Global Warming and Indigenous survival: The Inuit

An extract from a talk by Sheila Watt-Cloutier of the Inuit Circumpolar at a Internation Forum on Globalisation teach in few days ago (taken here from Democracy Now of 23 Novembe (http://www.democracynow.org). She is making the very simple, but essential point, that global warming is not so much about the "environment", but about people and communities whose livelihoods and ways of life are threatened by it. People like the Inuit


Date: 23 April 2007
Auckland 6am: Tonga's frontman for pro-democracy, Aikilisi Pohiva, was in Auckland briefly over the weekend after managing to get authorities to let him leave the Kingdom.

Pohiva's the first pro-democracy leader allowed out after authorities applied a lock down following last year's Black Thursday Riots and the state of emergency laws.

The MP's visit was a brief one, as he heads to Canberra to speak at the Australian National University about what's happening in Tonga.

But he said he'll be taking every opportunity, while away to rally support for the people's struggle for reform and democratic rule. (listen)

Pohiva will talk to Kiwi lawyers on his way back from Canberra.

Meanwhile, Tongan police have stepped up their prosecution of journalists from the pro-democracy movement's Kele'a newspaper, with the recent arrest of senior reporter Falisi Tupou.

Pohiva says the charges of sedition and defamation against Falisi Tupou relate to using the word utukovi, which means bad brain, to describe The King, and writing a story about the alleged importing of drugs by the son of one of the directors of the Shoreline Power company. (listen)


Kele'a editor Tavake Fusimalohi has already been charged with sedition and defamation.

ANZAC Day Protest - Lest we forget: already forgotten

ANZAC Day is used both in Australia & NZ to build its settler mythology and to legitimize the presence of NZ troops around the world. War mongering Imperialism then, War mongering Imperialism Now. Troops out of the Middle East, Troops out of the Pacific Haere Atu
Fantastic protest. Solidarity love and kaha to the arrestees.


* Anonymous

Date Created

* 25 Apr 2007

public domainThis work is in the public domain.

Members of Peace Action Wellington (PAW) demonstrated at the Wellington ANZAC Day dawn service this morning, displaying banners that said "Lest We Forget: Already Forgotten - Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste" and "Conscientious Objectors: the real war heroes."

"ANZAC Day has ceased to be a day where we commit to 'never again', and has instead become nothing less than a celebration of the New Zealand military and the glorification of war," said Valerie Morse, Peace Action Wellington member.

"Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently engaged in combat in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently deployed in 18 different missions around
the world."

"Lest we forget that the military has, and always will, exist for the sole purpose of waging war," said Valerie Morse.

This morning's demonstration also marks the launch of Peace Action Wellington's 'NZ Troops Out Now' campaign. For further information about the campaign, go to www.nztroopsoutnow.org

"Peace Action Wellington demands the immediate withdrawal of all New Zealand troops and the cessation of all military training and joint exercises with other armies," concluded Valerie Morse.


Solemn note to Anzac ceremonies

TAKEN AWAY: An anti-war protestor is lead away after a flag burning incident at Wellington's Anzac dawn service.

Bro was only doing a 'Tama Iti' on the flag wipe. Kia Kaha. NZ/OZ Troops/Police out of the Pacific-Haere Atu

Wednesday, 25 Apr 2007

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders marked Anzac Day at Dawn Services around the country this morning.

Solemn ceremonies were attended by large crowds in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with protesters who burnt a NZ flag in Wellington making the only sour note.

A record crowd of about 15,000 attended the 68th dawn service in Auckland, while 8000 turned out at the Square in Christchurch.

Wellington RSA Anzac Day convenor Trevor McComish said this morning's crowd exceeded attendance of about 2,500 last year, highlighting the increasing popularity of the event.

"The younger generation are really embracing Anzac Day."

In Wellington, the tightly packed crowd lined areas around the cenotaph, with young children kneeling at the front and many people craning their necks to get a view of the ranks of about 150 veterans.

Chaplain Colonel Margaret Hay told the crowd they were part of a "vast company" of people around the country who had gathered at Anzac Day dawn services to honour the efforts of servicemen and servicewomen.

Two veterans were given medical attention after becoming faint during the ceremony in Wellington.

Hayley Westenra led the singing of the national anthem.

Anti-war protesters burnt the NZ flag and shouted during a speech by former defence secretary Graham Fortune.

A man and woman are to appear in Wellington District Court today charged with obstructing a police officer and offensive behaviour respectively after the incident.

RAMSI Review Delayed

Prime Minister Sogavare accuses Australia of meddling in local politics. [AFP file photo]
Last Updated 24/04/2007, 17:05:11

The first of two scheduled reviews of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been delayed after the review team became stranded in Fiji.

Pacific correspondent Campbell Cooney reports that the Solomons government hopes the review will ultimately set a timetable for the removal of RAMSI.

The preliminary review was to have begun today, but the two-member team, which includes former Fijian Foreign Affairs minister Kaliopate Tavola and former New Zealand diplomat Neil Walters, has been delayed in Fiji after their flight was cancelled due to fog.

They are now scheduled to arrive in Solomons on Thursday.

Their six-day visit will investigate the reasons for RAMSI's intervention in 2003, as well as its mandate and progress made so far.

The review will also consider the impact of RAMSI's continued presence on Solomon Islands sovereignty.

The government of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has been sharply critical of RAMSI and has accused it of meddling in domestic politics.

The government first called for the review at last year's Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting in Fiji.

The preliminary review's report will be presented to Forum Foreign Affairs Ministers before a more detailed review is carried out later this year


Joint G20 solidarity and Civil Rights Defense Public Meeting

by Anita Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 11:14 PM

The G20 arrestee solidarity network (ORGASN) has organised a joint public meeting with Civil Rights Defense at 7pm this Thursday the 26th of April, at the Fitzroy town hall, Reading room (cr Napier and Moor st, enter off Napier).

Dear Friends,

The G20 arrestee solidarity network (ORGASN) has organised a joint public meeting with Civil Rights Defense at 7pm this Thursday the 26th of April, at the Fitzroy town hall, Reading room (cr Napier and Moor st, enter off Napier).

At the meeting we will hear from:

- Marcus Banks from the Austudy 5 about the successful 'drop the charges campaign' run to defend the Austudy 5.
- Anita from ORGASN will speak about the g20 protests, police and media repression that followed, and will update us on the situation currently facing the G20 arrestees.
- Rob Starry, the lawyer who is defending some of the G20 arrestees and the Barwon 13 and will be able to update us on the legal issues in both cases including how the terror laws are being administered in the case of the Barwon 13.
- Colin Mitchell from Civil Rights Defense will update us on the David Hicks, Jack Thomas, anti-terror laws and Barwon 13 campaigns.

Each speaker has 10 minutes to speak. There will be nibbles supplied by Food not Bombs.
Come and get an update, join the discussion and show your support for these campaigns.

Drop the charges! Defend political protest

While France elects a new president we remember their nuclear colonisation in the Pacific

Nuclear Test Cloud In Pacific, 1946

27 Feb 2007

Eliminate "Military Might Mindset" To Cultivate Sustainable Peace

Fifty three years since the worlds  most powerful hydrogen bomb was detonated by the United States on Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 1st 1954, indigenous peoples continue with their struggle to fully realize a peaceful and secure Pacific for the current and future generations.

The "Bravo" blast on Bikini atoll was a thousand times more powerful than the bomb that flattened Hiroshima in 1945 and was one of 67 nuclear tests that the US military conducted in the Marshall Islands in the period following WW2.

More than fifty years since Bikini, former nuclear test site workers and civilian groups have formed pressure groups to strengthen their struggle for justice and compensation from associated health and environmental impacts as a result of exposure to nuclear radiation during those tests.

These include: Mururoa e tatou, the Nuclear Tests Veterans Association in Te Ao Maohi (French Polynesia) where the French government conducted nuclear tests between 1966 and 1996; the Fiji Nuclear test veterans who served in the British nuclear programs on Malden and Christmas Islands between 1957 and 1958; Aboriginal groups in the Maralinga desert and Emu Park; and Associations of Radiation Survivors in Guam and the Marshall Islands.

While the twentieth century has been regarded as the most violent in human history, the new millennium has not brought much hope for peace and security in the Pacific.

On this NFIP-Bikini Day, and in association with the International Conference for the Abolition of Foreign Military bases being held in Ecuador from March 5-9 next week, we call on:

1. The United States government to:

" Divert the billion dollar budget for military and war activities towards peace-building and humanitarian work that focuses on human security rather than military security;

" Close down its military installations in the Northern Pacific including the Ronald Regan Missile testing site on Kwajalein atoll and to adequately compensate the Marshallese people for years of exploitation of their sacred lands and seas;

" Dismantle its weapons stockpile, bombers and military operations on Anderson Airbase on Guam and its military bases on Ka Pae Aina (Hawaii);

" Reconsider the planned relocation of 8,000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam and discard plans to conduct the worlds so-called largest anti-terrorism exercise in Guam in October this year;

" Begin dialogue with the original owners, the Chamorru people of Guam, by genuinely listening to their concerns, needs and interests, to have the land returned to them for productive civilian use and environmental attraction.

2. The Governments of Australia, New Zealand, United States, U.K., France and others that conduct joint defense exercises with Pacific island militaries:

" Not to restrict military training to combat, equipment /technological skills or intelligence transfer, but more importantly, to ensure that relevant international human rights standards that govern the use of arms by armed forces form the core of the training programs;

" Carefully consider the implications of such trainings where it has the potential to be used to commit acts of treason, terrorism or to suppress civilian populations.

" Ratify the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and encourage its territories in the Northern Pacific that are current members of the Pacific Island Forum - Marshall Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia - to sign.

It is high time that Pacific Peoples utilize their resources and channel their energy against the infinite injustices and suppressions that exist, both within and externally, in order to realize their vision for a peaceful and secure Pacific for themselves and future generations.

For more information please contact: Peter Emberson (Information Desk) on email: pemberson@pcrc.org.fj;
Ema Tagicakibau (Demilitarization Desk) on etag@pcrc.org.fj; or on Telephone 679 3304 649; or email: pcrc@connect.com.fj


For 30 years, beginning in 1966, France detonated 46 atomic bombs in atmospheric tests and exploded 147 underground at its atomic-testing site in the South Pacific atoll of Moruroa. The testing program ended in 1996, following massive worldwide protests, and today French A-bomb tests are simulated on computers. International protest groups no longer mobilize over Moruroa. However, former workers at the site, left by France to deal with the radiation-related health problems, are only just beginning to organize in protest.

The French government, perhaps deliberately, conducted no systematic medical examinations of workers at the site, either when it was first set up or when it was dismantled. Fifty percent of former test workers were unfamiliar with or had never worn a radiation measuring device. The damage to the victims from exposure to radiation can no longer be established, as the military failed to release the necessary medical data. Officially, there was no risk of radiation, and therefore French authorities reject requests for compensation. Many radiation victims have no health insurance or are inadequately covered and unable to obtain medical treatment.

Following Algerian independence, France lost its atomic test site in southern Algeria. The remote and barely inhabited coral atoll within France’s colony in Polynesia appeared to the military to be an ideal substitute—so ideal that every precaution was thrown to the winds. In contrast to the practice in Algeria, atmospheric tests were immediately conducted. It is also possible that atmospheric tests were conducted in order to compete with the US—the latter was conducting atmospheric tests in the Bikini atoll at the time—and to boost France’s pretensions as a world power.

From 1962 to the present, up to 15,000 Polynesians worked on the French atomic-testing program, blandly named “The Centre for Pacific Experiments”, or CEP. Most worked in menial jobs such as construction or in the kitchens, but some had to carry out highly dangerous decontamination work, dig detonation chambers on oil rigs or carry out tests following explosions.

Former test workers were stationed on the atomic-test islands of Moruroa and Fangataufa, the garrison island of Hao, or in laboratories on the main island of Tahiti. Many came into contact with radiation during the course of their work, but were unsure of the danger. They were mainly local villagers, who did not understand French. Concepts such as “radiation” and “contamination” were outside of their experience.

In the documentary Moruroa and Us, the Dutch social scientists Pieter de Vries and Hans Seur interviewed 737 former workers at the French nuclear weapons test site. Seventy-three percent of those questioned did not know when they were hired that they would be working in an atomic-testing program. Ten percent of new employees were 17 years or younger, with 0.3 percent aged 10 years or under. Forty-one percent of those questioned said they had to work in a contaminated zone. Of these, 14 percent said that the handling of contaminated material was part of their job. At times no protective clothing was available, while on other occasions protective clothing was removed because it hindered work in the hot climate.

The practice of frequently altering the boundaries of contaminated zones contributed over the course of time to the prohibited area not being taken seriously. In line with their cultural traditions, Tahitians often did not observe the restrictive rules. For example, fishing in the Moruroa lagoons was prohibited, but 55 percent of those interviewed stated they ate fish caught there. Fishing and the consumption of fish are an important part of Polynesian culture, and no fresh fish was available from the canteens.

Many of those who had consumed fish were treated for poisoning in the hospital, and the consumption of fish was therefore no secret. While the CEP had formulated safety measures, in practice these were not supervised. Many former test workers today blame the CEP for not adequately informing them of the dangers involved and for establishing an atmosphere in which their questions and concerns had no place. Ironically, the word Moruroa translates as “Big Secret” in the Tahitian language. Many work contracts contained a secrets clause that carried the threat of dismissal combined with a carefully selected system of bonuses for dangerous work. The combined effect was to thwart any discussion of the dangers among employees.

The survey established that 7.4 percent of former Moruroa workers had physically disabled children,with 2.4 percent having mentally disabled children.

Raymond Pia, who must formerly have been a strong man, is now in early retirement. He appears older than his 59 years and his eyes twitch nervously. He worked for 28 years, from 1968 to 1996, at “Ground Zero,” the detonation area on Moruroa. During this time, he was relatively close to nearly all the explosions. His job was to work with a team drilling shafts more than 500 meters deep in which to sink the bombs and then, after detonation, to bury the remains of the detonation cylinders underground. “The employers said it could be dangerous but we had no protective clothing.” So Pia, along with his coworkers, handled the highly charged radioactive components dressed only in T-shirts and shorts.

In December 2002, he had a big toe removed in the private Paofai Clinic in Tahiti (“supposedly only diabetes”). In May this year his testicles were removed. “Nothing serious, only a minor cancer,” according to his doctors. He is at present in France for further treatment, and declared. “Without exception, all my co-workers have cancer. I am very afraid.” Dr Michael Brygiere, from the organisation “Medecins du Monde,” recently examined Raymond Pia and diagnosed radiation sickness.

Roland Oldham, 52, is president of the association, “Moruroa e tatou” (Moruroa and Us). The organization has 3,359 members, former test workers, 70 percent of whom have health problems related to radioactivity from Moruroa. The association was founded only two years ago, long after the tests had ended. Up until then, not only had the secrets clause in the employment contract prevented public discussion about the danger of atomic testing, but it was also politically taboo. One would have been branded an enemy of France. The silence was broken only with the establishment of the association, when the victims were no longer isolated individuals.

“France should admit that the atomic tests carried with them dangers to health and it should take full responsibility,” said Oldham. “We demand free medical treatment, compensation for health damages, infertility and the inability to work. It should also grant pensions to the surviving veterans. In addition, the government should enact legislation similar to that in the US, where 21 types of cancer, associated with atomic explosions, are automatically recognized as work-related illnesses. The workers are all dying off!”

Oldham cited the case of a female colleague at the military laboratory in Mahina, Tahiti. She was forced to handle apparently radioactive coral from Moruroa and prepare it for analysis. She is now in the terminal stages of leukemia and a few days ago asked to be discharged from the hospital to die at home. Last year 84 of the 1,544 original members of the association died.

The CEP authorities and the French government maintain that, because Moruroa was an official weapons testing site in which all risks were scientifically controlled, there was no radiation fallout and therefore no radiation victims.

Gilles Soubiran, 53, an intern at the only public hospital—Territorial Central Hospital—in Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, pointed to the obstructionist methods of the military. “Until 1998, Moruroa workers were treated in military hospitals, and we received no records of their medical histories,” he said. Nor was the hospital provided with information about the damage to patients from radiation.

Dr. Soubiran emphasized that thyroid cancer, related to the release of radioactive iodine after atomic explosions, is more common in Polynesia than in the rest of the world’s population. “One can certainly state on the basis of scientific evidence that at least in the case of the above ground atomic tests that the risks of cancer throughout Polynesia have increased,” he said.

In the Moruroa and Us study, it was established that in Polynesia, 25.7 out of 100,000 women contracted thyroid cancer, compared to a ratio of 4.8 out of 100,000 women in France. Dr Soubiran is not surprised that victims are only now coming forward. “Leukemia typically manifests itself 15 to 20 years after contact with radiation.” The victims are therefore at the mercy of the government. “I know of one case dealing with a civilian inspector who contracted cancer and was acknowledged as a cancer victim. His driver, with a lesser social status, received over many years perhaps the same dose of radiation and likewise contracted cancer. He was, however, refused recognition as a cancer victim.”

The authorities are not taking Dr. Soubiran’s opinion as a medical expert seriously. He gave evidence on behalf of Alfred Pautehea, a Moruroa worker who is campaigning for recognition as a victim of radiation poisoning. He said that the Pautehea “was suffering with the type of leukemia that workers who have been in contact with radioactive iodine contract.” A Dr. F. Yune from the medical council of the state-run health and social service insurance “CPS” in Tahiti argued the contrary, declaring that, as Alfred Pautehea was not exposed to radioactivity in the course of his work, leukemia could not be a work-related illness.

After chemotherapy and two admissions to hospital in France, Alfred Pautehea’s condition has at present stabilized, but he is by no means cured.

Doubts and a change in attitude towards the official French view of the completely safe and harmless nature of atomic testing first surfaced among former Moruroa workers and the public at large following the Chernobyl disaster and its associated fallout over wide areas of Europe. At the same time, serious atomic accidents also occurred in Moruroa during the period of underground testing. In March 1982, cyclone William removed a layer of asphalt from buried plutonium, spreading over 10 kilograms of highly radioactive substance over the atoll and also over the residences of approximately 2,000 workers stationed there. It took the military over five years to decontaminate the area.

The French authorities even regarded atmospheric tests as harmless. Notwithstanding their view, the then-French defence minister, Yves Bouges, referring to accidents at Moruroa and speaking during the transition to underground testing, affirmed that Moruroa would become a safer workplace—implicitly acknowledging that previously the facility had been unsafe.

“The only safe place in Tahiti is in the church!”, declared John Doom, a former evangelist church official and now co-coordinator of “Moruroa e Tatou.” Doom has been a bitter opponent of atomic testing since tests began in July 1966.

At that time he worked as an interpreter for a French government minister who had observed the first atmospheric nuclear explosion from a nearby island in the Gambier group. The wind turned and drove the fallout towards the island. The pair just managed to escape by plane while the inhabitants remained behind unprotected. “On average, 17 percent of the population develops cancer. Of our former Moruroa workforce, 34 percent have cancer!”

When French President Jacques Chirac visited Tahiti at the end of April, Doom led the first-ever demonstration of the association of victims in order to hand Chirac a resolution signed by 19 of Tahiti’s parliament members and 38 members of the French parliament. After marching 300 meters, the peaceful procession was blocked by a massive police contingent and Doom was forced to send the resolution by post. “Nevertheless, I’m very pleased,” he said. Only a few years ago, the victims would not have dared to be seen on the street for fear of reprisals, but today 300 association members were no longer afraid to go public.

“Moruroa e Tatou’s long-term strategy is to lobby parliament and exert public pressure so that its members achieve the status of victims. The French Senate, at the initiative of the organization, held a conference in Moruroa in February 2002. Its sister organization, the French “Association of veterans of nuclear tests” (AVEN), forced the courts to recognize three of its members as atomic radiation victims.

However, one group has no particular advocates: the Foreign Legion frequently had to perform particularly dangerous jobs. “I know one legionnaire who went to Moruroa in 1995 as an 18-year-old in order to assist in the decontamination of the facilities following the final tests. To date, he has undergone five operations—on the thyroid gland, lungs, heart and head. He is still a member of the Foreign Legion and therefore cannot go public; otherwise he would be considered a traitor. He was told a soldier’s duty is to die,” said Roland Oldham.

It is not only the 15,000 Polynesian workers who have suffered the ill effects of the atomic tests in the South Pacific. The long-term damage caused by radiation and the associated contamination of a whole region is not yet clear. The French government has failed to carry out a public inquiry or make its own findings public, while it has repeatedly blocked any thoroughgoing investigation by independent scientists.

Prior to the commencement of atomic testing, Tahiti was a sleepy paradise whose people on the whole lived in harmony with nature and in accord with the laws of its thousand-year-old culture. Within 40 years, Tahiti was catapulted into the modern era through changes brought on by the atomic tests. Cultural identity was lost; young people do not even speak the language of their fathers and grandfathers and no longer understand the old culture. But neither do they have any prospects in the modern era. With the end of the tests, the largest employer has left, and France will end its massive financial support in 2006. Future social conflicts can already be foreseen in the slums of Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, and its neighboring city of Faaa.

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This text was generously supplied to the World Socialist Web Site by Wolfgang B. Kleiner (www.wolfgangkleiner.de), who conducted interviews and also took the photos.

Sources for the text include the document “Moruroa and Us” (ISBN 2-9508291-5-5), and reports in the newspapers Dépêche de Tahiti, Nouvelles de Tahiti, and the monthly magazine Toere.

Moruroa is the geographically correct form of spelling. The Tahitian abbreviation for the islands is Muru, which explains the repeated wrong spelling used in the west of Mururoa.