Protest Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, at NZ National Party Conference.

ImagineNative Action, in collaboration with Radical Youth, is organising an action this weekend to protest the presence of Alexander Downer at the National Party Conference being held at the Langham Hotel in central Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland). We want to send a clear message to Alexander Downer and the National Party that we do not support the Australian Colonial Government's recent military/police invasion of Aboriginal Lands.

More importantly we wish to stand in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Occupied Australia as this plays a vital role in lifting the spirits of the Aboriginal People, strengthening their will to resist the colonial invasion and economic exploitation of their lands.

Saturday August 4th

2.30pm Mass demo against Downer and the National Party. Meet corner of Symonds Street and K'rd to march on the Langham Hotel, Symonds Street.

7.00pm: Disrupt Downer's Dinner.
Meet corner of Karangahape Road and Symonds Street, Auckland.

Bring musical instruments (especially taonga puoro - traditional Maori instruments) and noise makers. Some kai will be provided but donations are always welcome!

Since Don Brash resigned as National Party leader the National Party has put in a lot effort to convince us that they care about Tangata Whenua, the environment, and the poor of Aotearoa. Alexander Downer is a leading representative of a colonial government that has invaded Indigenous lands, supported similar actions in Indonesia and supplied troops to the invasion/occupation of Iraq. His government has publicly advocated using Aboriginal lands for large scale mining and nuclear waste dumping operations.

Downer's presence at the National conference clearly shows that National hasn't changed at all. It is still a party that endorses racism against indigenous people and represents the interests of the rich and powerful, at the expense of ordinary people and our whenua.
As it is likely that National will form the next colonial government of Aotearoa it is essential they know we will not tolerate racist and exploitative policies such as those enacted by Alexander Downer and his government.

For more information or to endorse this action email indigenous.solidarity (at) gmail.com or call/text 021 1551154

Endorsed by:

ImagineNative Action
Radical Youth
Indonesia Human Rights Committee
A Space Inside: Tamaki Makaurau Anarchist Collective
Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA)

More endorsements to come.

Reminder: A planning and banner making session for this action is being held this Wednesday, August 1st from 7pm at 43 Warwick Ave, Westmere (Look for the Tino Rangatiratanga flag). Bring red, black and yellow paint, banner materials.
As always some kai will be provided but koha always welcome!

na Te Kanikani Tangata Hara (ImagineNative Action) & Nila Yung (Radical Youth)

ImagineNative Action

"Building solidarity between Indigenous and Peoples of Colour communities. Defending our whenua & peoples against racism and exploitation since 2007"

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John Lennon And The Plastic Ono Band - Power To The People

Power To The People
John Lennon

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Say we want a revolution
We better get on right away
Well you get on your feet
And on the street

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Oh, when your man is working for nothing
You better give 'em what they really own
We got to put you down
When we come into town

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

I'm gonna ask you comrade and brother
How do you treat your own woman back home
She got to be herself
So she can give herself

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Oh well, power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

How to Fuck the Police

thanks to http://www.crimethinc.com/police/how.html

On the Streets:

Organizing a Copwatch Program

Copwatch groups seek to contest or at least limit police repression by directly monitoring police officers. Copwatch volunteers patrol the streets, observing police and recording their interactions with civilians. They often concentrate on areas of high police activity or to which known trouble-making cops are assigned. Copwatch groups also advise people of their rights and listen to their stories, and otherwise endeavor to undermine and thwart the police state.

Most radicals, not to mention many others, realize that the idea of policing itself needs to be completely rethought. In the meantime, people have to be protected from the brutality they face daily at the hands of the police.

Get a Group Together

Form a group. Put out calls for one everywhere, even on the bulletin boards of church groups and local grocers, not just in the activist community. Approach your neighbors—the best neighborhood watch includes a copwatch.

Educate people in your community and other communities, especially targeted ones, about their legal rights, and about how to carry out a copwatch. Hold classes everywhere in your city, at accessible places and times. These can be formal events, or informal teach-ins outside a movie theater or between performers at a show.

Hold regular, accessible, well-advertised meetings—don’t depend on the internet for all or even most of your communications. Many of those who need copwatch most are unlikely to have easy or regular computer access. Decide as a group what your goals are and how you will go about achieving them.

Find hotspots where police repression frequently takes place. Look for them in the police blotter in your local paper, or ask around in neighborhoods, or approach lawyers who do a lot of street work and request advice.

Establish patrols, and have them report on their observations on a regular basis. Your group will be more effective if it is well organized.

For a variety of reasons, it makes the most sense for people to do copwatch patrols in their own neighborhoods. If it is important that you patrol another neighborhood, make an effort to become familiar with it: get to know locals, and make sure you understand local issues and context. Canvas from door to door if necessary, introducing yourself and your group and announcing your intentions and motivations. Be open to input from locals; they are the ones who will experience the bulk of the repercussions from everything that happens in their neighborhood. Come through on your commitments: don’t just show up out of nowhere doing a copwatch program for a little while and then disappear, stick around until locals know who you are and that they can count on you.

When the cops are particularly brutal or kill someone, raise a ruckus about it. Put pressure on them and keep it on. Approach the survivors and follow their lead as to how to handle things. Offer to organize protests or benefit events, screenprint shirts, or play media liaison for them. If they’re into it, hold demonstrations, spray paint the names of the victims and murderers everywhere, smash out the windows of the offending police station.

Agitate for laws and regulations that enforce stricter controls on police. Try to get the worst police officers fired. If your community has a Citizen Review Board, make an effort to give it teeth. Police review boards should be elected by district, not appointed. They must be empowered to impose punishments and fire officers.

People from communities that are terrorized will often be understandably afraid to stand up for themselves. A copwatch program can be the first step towards solidarity with each other.

How to Copwatch

To copwatch effectively, all you need is your eyes and ears, and some means of recording incidents. A small notebook and pen or pencil are the most useful and least conspicuous. A camera or video camera can also be useful, as can a cell phone or an audio recording device.

Copwatching is generally safest and easiest if you make sure to follow the letter of the law. There should be no drugs, alcohol, or illegal weapons on your person or in your system. Be careful not to jaywalk. This author has friends who have done a perfect copwatch, then jaywalked almost immediately after leaving the scene, receiving a $50 ticket for their efforts. If you are driving, make sure that you and all of your passengers have on seat belts. Resist unnecessary horn honking or loud music as you drive away—violations of noise pollution laws and ordinances can be used as excuses to detain and arrest you. If you are not following the very letter of the law, you may end up doing more harm than good and could get yourself arrested. Don’t give them any excuse to bust you.

Copwatching is best done with two or three others—you are less likely to be arrested in a group. One cool-headed person can take the role of speaking to officers, getting their names, ranks, badge numbers, district designations, squad car numbers, license numbers, and general descriptions, thus making them aware of your being there as observers. The others should hang back, recording every detail of the encounter, being careful not to interfere, provoke, or draw attention. If you have the numbers, one person can pose as an individual onlooker with no connection to the rest of the group. Decide on your roles before the encounter, if possible.

Presumably, you are there to defuse the situation, not escalate it. Don’t goad the police into arresting people as a way of getting back at you because of your attitude. Reign in the hostility you feel towards them—be polite but firm. Remember, police are dangerous. Walk, don’t run, and avoid quick or sudden movements around them.

At the same time, don’t be so easily intimidated that you cannot accomplish your task. Police officers who feel threatened by your concern about the victims of their repression may well threaten you, shouting “Move on!” and puffing themselves up like territorial frogs. In the course of your interactions with them, you’ll develop a sense of what to expect from them and an instinct for exactly how seriously to take their threats.

Carry cards detailing legal rights, flyers with information about local copwatch programs, and other information with you to give to people subject to arrest or harassment. Inform people about their rights, and of any numbers, local services, or internet sites by means of which they can contact a lawyer or learn how and where to file a complaint. Citizen complaint review boards are often virtually useless as a way of dealing with police brutality, but they can be useful for documenting incidents. Be aware of local laws and limitations—for example, in some cities, in order to be able to file a lawsuit against the city, you must send a letter to the mayor announcing your intention to sue the district within six months of the incident in question. In such a case, you should emphasize to people who have suffered police brutality that they should keep their options open: “You don’t have to follow through with it, but you should secure your right to sue if the incident was severe enough for you even to think about doing so.”

When observing police officers’ interactions with civilians, try to get as much information as you can. Make note of the day, time, and exact location of the incident; the officer’s name, badge number, district, and physical description; where arrestees are being taken; the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses; and vehicle or license numbers for any police vehicles involved in the incident. Use cameras or other recording devices to document the event from beginning to end. Take down complete descriptions of police actions and any resulting injuries. If there are injuries of any sort, even preexisting ones, be sure to detail what medical attention was or was not offered by the police—people have been let go by officers after copwatch members observed them being denied medical attention, even though the injuries had been not caused by the police.

If you feel it is warranted, you can call 911 and report that someone is being injured. Wait until the end of your statement to note that it is the police doing so, but don’t leave that out, and stick to the facts. As all 911 calls are recorded and are relatively hard for the justice system to “lose,” they can provide useful documentation for legal proceedings. You can also call a friend’s or your own answering machine and record what is happening as it happens, assuming the tape is long enough. The sound quality may not be as good as an on-site recording device would provide, but the police cannot confiscate the tape; this method can be particularly useful if everyone present is getting arrested. If you get arrested and the police don’t take your cell phone immediately, call a talk show or progressive radio station from the back of the police vehicle.

If you witness someone else being arrested, try to give the arrestee a way to contact you, and vice versa. This is not to say you should give your name or get their name in front of police. Give your name and contact information only if you are comfortable with the police getting it, unless there is another way.

If you are comfortable doing an assertive copwatch, introduce yourself when you approach the scene and explain that you are there doing a copwatch. Ask police why they are detaining or arresting people, but don’t ask arrestees for their names directly, as they might not wish the police to have it. If arrestees say their names and addresses to the police loud enough for you to hear, write them down. If the justification for the stop seems to be vague, ask officers to name the section of the law they are enforcing. Officers will lie and make mistakes—if you know the code do better or have a copy of it with you, speak up. Don’t approach or speak to the arrestee directly while he or she is being detained; if you do, you risk being arrested. Sometimes you’ll have to do just that, but know what you’re getting into.

If a detainee is let go or ticketed, make use of the opportunity to give your flyers and rights cards to them. If a detainee is arrested, you can fold a card in half and ask the officer to give it to him or her—fat chance, but miracles happen. You can’t speak to an arrestee directly without risking trouble, but you can loudly talk about what rights people have with the police or a bystander or your compatriot. These include the right to remain silent, the right to speak to an attorney, the right to refuse a search of your person, personal items, or car.

Stick around until the police have moved on. The Rodney King beating began with what seemed to be a routine traffic stop.

Make use of every opportunity to have educational conversations. Speak to onlookers about their rights, about what citizens can do about police brutality, about community alternatives to policing. When answering questions about legal matters, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” This is always better then giving out wrong information.

Collect statements from other witnesses if you can. Many will not want to get involved. Try to persuade and educate them otherwise, and get statements from them even when you can’t get their names.

Keep the information you have gathered from your copwatching. If your copwatch group does not keep records, keep track of it yourself. It can be useful to submit copies of your records to government agencies, so they will have them documented and on file. Do not edit any videotapes you shoot, as this can render them useless as evidence in court.

If possible, carry with you the text of the laws most commonly used to justify harassment. In addition to being familiar with and ready to cite local laws, it can help to learn local police regulations, though it is often difficult to obtain copies of these. During your encounters with police, be forceful rather than tentative, but remain polite.

In extreme cases, police will smash or confiscate and “lose” your equipment to keep you from having evidence against them. If it seems like this might happen, a member of your group should swiftly leave the area with the evidence that has been gathered so far.

Be prepared to be arrested. Though copwatch is not illegal, police will trump up charges. Carry ID and at least $50 if you want to be able to get out of jail swiftly and easily.

Know what you will and will not do in extreme situations. Consider in advance what risks you are willing to take and what charges you are prepared to receive in order to intervene if someone is being beaten, injured, or killed by the police. Decide this ahead of time and talk about it within your group, so all of you know what to expect from one another. If you copwatch in some areas, you will eventually find yourself in this situation.

Be prepared to follow through on your work. If you couldn’t get an arrestee’s name and you feel that the situation was bad enough to warrant further investigation or that the abuse will continue after the arrest, go to the station to which he or she has been taken. Loudly and firmly ask what condition the arrestee is in and demand to know the charges he or she has received; explain what you saw during the arrest, and ask to make a complaint against the officers. This makes the police aware that people are concerned and will follow through; it may stop a back room beating.

Be careful leaving the area after a copwatch. Police have been known to follow, ticket, target, or beat copwatchers a few blocks from the site at which they were observed. Don’t let down your guard.

Report on what you have seen to your group, to whatever citizen review boards your area has, however ineffective, and to your community at large. Talk to city council members about police conduct, and show them your evidence. Tell them you want hearings and policy changes. Get your information to the National Lawyers Guild and or the ACLU. Tell community and church groups. Write up reports and spread them through local independent media outlets, both websites and papers.

If your copwatch group is ready, you could establish a copwatch hotline, a phone number people can call to report the activities of police officers; you could even have a response team ready to follow up calls. You could also start your own local copwatch paper or website, reporting on your observations, the conduct of local police, and the struggle in your community to survive and thwart police repression.

Copwatching Alone

Don’t copwatch alone if there are other options. You should not ignore those in exceptional danger just because you are alone, but be aware that lone copwatching entails taking extra risk. If you have been convicted of felonies, have a lengthy arrest record, or are not a citizen, you should probably not copwatch alone unless the circumstances are really exceptional. Be less assertive in engaging the police or the individual being detained or arrested than you would be if you were in a group. Police officers are much more likely to arrest or assault you if there are no other witnesses present.

Be especially careful to obey the letter of the law. If possible, remain at least twenty feet from the incident that you are watching; try to phone someone and let him or her know what’s happening. As always, take complete notes and, if possible, photos, audio, or videotape of the incident. If you take photos, make sure that they are taken at the last possible moment, to ensure the safety of you and your camera. Be especially careful leaving the area.

In Private and Community Spaces: Handling a Police Raid
If police knock on your door, do not invite them inside; step outside and close the door before speaking to them, locking it behind you if need be. If there are other people in the house, make them aware that the police are present. Don’t address other people in the house by name; let them decide how they want to identify themselves. After saying clearly “I do not consent to this search,” stand aside and maintain silence. Do not answer any questions.

If you are arrested or detained in the course of a raid, do not resist unless it is absolutely imperative that you escape and there is a high likelihood that you will be able to do so; instead, calmly ask on what basis you are being held. Don’t volunteer any information or answer any questions except when you are asked to identify yourself. No matter what they tell you, speaking to the police can never accomplish anything except making things worse for you and those you care about. If you have a lawyer, upon interrogation—whether formal or informal, whether by federal agents or local officers—simply present your lawyer’s card and state, “You can speak with my lawyer.” If you don’t have a lawyer, assert and maintain that you will seek legal counsel before answering questions.

If the police say they have a warrant, ask to see it but do not at that point resist the search. A warrant is simply a piece of paper signed by a judge; it should have an address and some terms of the search. It is not valid without a judge’s signature. In most cases, the police cannot enter your residence legally without a warrant. To get a warrant, they must have probable cause and a judge must sign his or her name validating this; judges can be sneaky, but they also don’t want any heat to come back on them. This is why we often don’t see warrants used in activist raids: there simply isn’t the probable cause. If they can’t get a warrant, the police may try to use other pretexts to get in: fire code violations, health violations, looking for people who have warrants out for their arrest. Educate yourself on local laws and municipal code. If the police come by when there is someone inside who has a warrant, it may be best for that person to go outside so the police cannot use this as a justification for entering the building.

If your space may be raided, decide in advance how you will handle this. Except in a few specific cases—for example, if you are engaged in a political squatting action with widespread community support, and you intend to resist eviction by militant means—it will make the most sense to cooperate carefully with the police, and then take revenge later by legal or extra-legal means. Determine with everyone involved what image you will try to project—“nonviolent peace activists suffering unjust police harassment,” for example—and maintain it from the beginning of the process through the follow-up media and court campaigns. Hold discussions in advance, so everyone who may be affected by a police raid knows what to expect, how to conduct themselves, and what their role will be in your response. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the decisions made and understands each other’s needs.

Sometimes a police raid will come as a surprise. Other times, especially if they are planning a raid on a larger scale, such as at an infoshop, activist house, or convergence space during a mass mobilization, you may be able to see it coming. Stay aware: if they are escalating their surveillance of your building or your activities, this may culminate in a raid. This surveillance may take the form of infiltration by undercover agents, who may be easy to recognize as such—on account of poor acting, suspicious questions, or suddenly getting involved right before an action—or very difficult to detect.

If you are involved in any kind of activity that demands security, your collective should decide ahead of time how careful to be in working with others who desire to get involved in your group and in actions you plan. Do you need to have a vouching system to protect against loose-lipped liberals and undercover cops? Or do you want to work with large numbers of people to such an extent that it makes more sense to leave things wide open? Some collectives decide not to take on last-minute stragglers right before an action: police infiltrators usually show up late, because there isn’t enough funding to put them in earlier.

If you are on good terms with groups that are in dialogue with the authorities, they may be able to tip you off when a raid is nigh; likewise, locals familiar with the workings of the local police force might be able to provide useful insights. For a serious raid, the police will establish a staging area a couple blocks from the location, which may give away their plans at the last minute if nothing else has.

In preparing for a potential raid, be conscious of what you have on the premises and what can be found nearby in dumpsters and adjacent lots. Make sure nobody has any illegal drugs or paraphernalia, recognizably stolen items, or other material which authorities could use against you. Police officers will routinely confiscate such standard household items as paint thinner and PVC pipe and claim the possessors were using them to make bombs. Such ludicrous charges will not generally stand up in court, but they can enable the police to denounce your group to the public; they can also paralyze individuals, preventing them from participating in serious actions until their court cases are finished.

Knives, spray paint, gasoline, anarchist literature, bottles of urine, and other similarly dangerous articles will all be needless liabilities when the police show up, unless you’re actually planning to fight them off with the stuff. Be conscious of what can be seen even when your doors are shut and locked; the police can use items “in plain view” to look further, even without a warrant. In extreme cases, the courts have declared it permissible for the police to enter a home to investigate further after seeing something suspicious through a window. Be careful to follow the very letter of the law: police who can find nothing else to use against you may ticket you for parking more than ten inches from the curb, for example.

Have a phone tree in place, to be activated in the case of a raid: there should be a couple numbers you can call to reach people who can instantly call others, and so on, until a large number of people have been informed. It is important that there is always at least one person off-site who knows what to do if he or she is the only person not arrested.

Don’t leave phone lists or similar information accessible to the police; there’s no sense in doing their intelligence work for them. If those informed by the phone tree converge immediately upon the space being raided, this will force the police to restrain themselves, and show them and the community at large that this is an issue many take seriously; in a best case scenario, this can even transform the raid into a positive, community-building event. Have local media ready to come: don’t miss the chance to have the local alternative or pirate radio station report live from your raid, or to get sympathetic coverage in the alternative press. Plan in advance what spin you want to give the story, so the police play into your hands. Compose a press release ahead of time and have it ready to go out.

If you fear a police raid is possible or imminent, keep a video camera charged and equipped with a blank tape, ready for use in documenting police conduct. You can also hide secret cameras on the premises; these may prove especially important if the police break their own laws in the course of invading your space. Get every single badge number and license plate, and record every movement and action of each individual police officer; in court, it will be very much to your advantage if you can prove that, for example, a police officer who claims he remained outside during the raid was actually upstairs knocking over bookshelves and breaking things. Your camera people should be levelheaded; even if things are heating up, it may be more important in the long run for them to record events as they unfold, calmly and consistently, than to get involved.

Once you’ve got documentation, keep track of it. Don’t edit or adjust it in any way. Be able to prove that your footage has been in your “line of possession” from the time you recorded it to the time it appears in court; this means you should be able to document everywhere it has been, and show that it has been in the care of good, law-abiding citizens the whole time—and as few of these as possible. To this end, it can be wise to leave your material with someone’s conservative parents or responsible sister-in-law; this can also be a way to make sure it is not seized in a secondary raid. Keep an organized journal, with times and dates and signatures, detailing all your observations from the time you first begin to fear a raid might take place. After one occurs, compile written narratives, with signatures, from all witnesses and participants, while the events are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

If you’re in the middle of organizing an action or campaign from the space that may be raided, make sure it won’t be crippled by a raid. Keep important materials elsewhere, make sure that all the people in pivotal organizing positions are never in the space all at once, see to it that there are other spaces to which activities can be shifted. Establish a place to get back together after the raid or ways to reestablish contact with one another and make sure that everyone is accounted for.

When bringing suit against the city over a raid, work out the local chain of command and sue as high in the hierarchy as you can. Those who hold power will attempt to portray any misconduct as the anomalous incompetence of individual underlings; your job is to show that the raid was orchestrated from on high and that the people at the top of the pyramid are to blame, if not the system itself. Get the best lawyer you can—the American Civil Liberties Union is generally a better resource than the National Lawyers’ Guild when it comes to violations of 4th Amendment rights regarding search and seizure and 1st Amendment rights regarding freedom of speech. If you don’t own the space that was raided, make sure you have the cooperation of the landlords: emphasize that they too can get something out of the proceedings. Keep the media informed throughout the affair, and keep the pressure on.

As we were organizing a convergence against a particularly ridiculous meeting of politicians, it became evident that our city’s Red Squad had its eyes on us. We continued our work, though we realized that, under the circumstances, we lacked the numbers to go forward with our original plans of turning the city into our playground. We narrowed our focus and message, deciding our best bet would be to embrace the image of pacifist peace activists: this would give us an advantage should the defenders of Power attempt a smear campaign against us. Having established this strategy, we decided that the weekend would go ahead as planned, with a festive street march and demonstrations outside the hotel where the politicians were meeting.

As the dates for the actions approached, we saw a steady increase in police traffic around our collective space, which was serving as a meeting and organizing point for the demonstrations. On multiple occasions, we experienced the unique pleasure of visits from undercover cops. Keeping tabs on liberal organizers we knew maintained ties with the police, we received additional clues that we were facing impending state repression, which was likely to take the form of a raid on our space.

We met as a collective and resolved to act preemptively in order to minimize any possible harm we would suffer and, if possible, humiliate and expose the police. We started by compiling a phone tree of our friends and supporters in the community, as well as a list of local media contacts. Drawing on the precedents established by the numerous police invasions of autonomous spaces that summer, we took a number of precautions, such as removing items that had justified earlier absurd charges against revolutionaries: for example, we removed all kitchen knives and Vitamin C pills, since cooking utensils and supplements had been considered weapons and drugs in other raids. We also cleaned the space and planted new flowers around the house, hoping this would make the police look even more ridiculous should they choose intrude on our space. We stockpiled photo and video cameras, tape recorders, note pads, and other recording devices, and spread them throughout the house, both openly and covertly. We made sure that at least one of the collective members was downstairs at all times, and that our door was always locked—though this was particularly difficult, with so many people coming in and out. People who could not risk arrest stayed at other locations.

Everyone who spent time in the space was briefed on the situation and developed an understanding of the collective’s rights. In a move that later proved to be of some importance, we painted the door with some “house rules,” including bans on weapons, animal products, and substances. This has since been used in both the media and in legal decisions as a further embarrassment to the police. We also prepared a press release, leaving only a few blank spaces for the details of the expected raid, and left it with an uninvolved family member in case the raid was accompanied by numerous arrests.

Busy as we were with organizing against the meetings, we were still able to keep our space open for concerts and other events. Two nights before the planned protests began, the police arrived during one of these shows, an apolitical folk performance. The raid caused quite a bit of alarm for the artists and visitors! At that time, some of us were leaving to work on the pirate ship puppets—described as “anarchist body armor” in police reports to the media—that we were planning to use for street theater. As we were loading the ships into a pickup truck, we noticed that police vehicles were assembling at every nearby intersection and decided to attempt to leave. As soon as we began driving, we were pulled over for the most minute of traffic violations. We called back to the space, where police were already knocking on the door. We set in motion our well-planned phone tree, calling our lawyers, leaving reports on answering machines, and informing scores of friends that we were in trouble. It turned out that the police had used supposed fire code violations to get into the house, because it is standard practice in our city for housing inspectors to be “protected” by police. Each cop and each inspector were followed everywhere by comrades from our ranks who documented everything. The police went through our book selection, our kitchen, our desks, our basement, our storage areas, even our bathroom, not to mention the personal belongings of those living upstairs. They searched our whole house and the squatted house next door. They towed our cars, on the ridiculous pretension that they were parked three inches too far from the curb! In the end, they didn’t use violence or arrests; they just hoped to scare us and reveal our supposedly violent machinations to the public.

The phone tree, however, paid off. The local media as well as a slam poetry group showed up immediately, along with about fifty of our friends. In conjunction with the drumming and the constant flash of still cameras, the slam poets created an atmosphere of festive defiance and creatively informed the media and curious passers-by about just how fucked up this situation was. While normally hostile to radicals, the local corporate media could not resist covering the obvious foolishness of the police, who wandered about the property en masse with bomb-sniffing dogs while obviously earnest and non-violent activists explained how the events of the evening were—can you believe it?—causing them to “lose faith in this society.”

Thanks to the thoroughness of our preparations, we were able to upstage law enforcement prior to the main event of the protests themselves; this coup gave us much-needed attention and credibility. Additionally, afterwards we were able to succeed in suing the city for tens of thousands of dollars. This enabled us to fund many new subversive projects, which the forces of order are even less equipped to deal with in the aftermath of their ill-thought-out raid.

Why Fuck the Police

thanks to http://www.crimethinc.com/police/

Criticism of opposition to the police usually falls into one of five categories. The first common argument is that the police, as our fellow workers, are also exploited members of the proletariat, and should therefore be our allies. Unfortunately, there is a vast gap between “should” and “is.” The police exist to enforce the will of the powerful; anyone who has not had a bad experience with them is likely either privileged or submissive. Today’s police officers, at least in North America, know exactly what they’re getting into when they join the force; people in uniform don’t just get cats out of trees in this country. Yes, most take the job because of what they feel to be economic necessity, but needing a paycheck is no excuse for obeying orders to evict families, harass young men of color, or pepper spray demonstrators; those whose consciences can be bought are everyone else’s enemies, not potential allies.

This argument could be more persuasive if it was couched in strategic terms, rather than Marxist abstractions: for example, “Every revolution succeeds at the moment the armed forces refuse to make war on their fellows; therefore we should focus on seducing the police to our side of the barricades.” But again, the police are not just any workers; they are the ones who have most deliberately chosen to base their livelihoods and value systems upon the prevailing order, and thus are the least likely to be sympathetic to those who struggle against hierarchy. This being the case, it makes sense to focus on opposing the police as such, not on seeking solidarity with them. So long as they serve their masters, they cannot be our allies; by publicly deriding the police as an institution, we encourage individual police officers to seek other employment, so we can find common cause with them.

The second argument is that the police can win any confrontation, so we shouldn’t invest ourselves in strategies that involve confronting them[1]. It may seem that, with all their guns and armor and equipment, the police are invincible, but this is an illusion. They are limited by all sorts of invisible constraints—bureaucracy, public opinion, their own need to avoid inconvenient escalation. This is why a motley crowd armed only with the tear gas canisters shot at them can hold off a larger, more organized, better equipped force; contests between social unrest and military might are not played out according to the rules of military engagement.

Those who have studied the police, who can predict what they are prepared for and what they can and cannot do, can usually outsmart and outmaneuver them. Such small victories can be inspiring for those who chafe under the heel of police repression, as well as instrumental in accomplishing concrete goals. In the collective unconscious of our society, the police are the ultimate bastion of reality, the force that ensures that things stay the way they are; to fight them and win, however temporarily, is to show that reality is negotiable.

The third argument is that the police are a mere distraction from the real enemy, not worth our wrath or attention. Alas, state power is not just the politicians; they would be powerless without the millions who do their bidding. When we contest their control, we are also contesting the submission of their flunkies, and we are sure sooner or later to come up against those of the latter who insist on submitting. That being said, it’s true that the police are no more integral to hierarchy than the oppressive dynamics in our own communities; they are simply the external manifestation, on a larger scale, of the same phenomena. If we are to contest hierarchy everywhere, rather than specializing in combating certain forms of it while leaving others unchallenged, we have to be prepared to take it on both in the streets and in our own bedrooms; we can’t expect to win on one front without fighting on the other. We shouldn’t fetishize confrontations with uniformed foes, we shouldn’t forget the power imbalances in our own ranks—but neither should we be content merely to manage the details of our own oppression in a non-hierarchical manner[2].

The fourth and most despicable argument is that we need police. According to this line of thinking, even if we can aspire to live in a society without police in the distant future, we need them today, for people are not ready to live with each other in peace without armed enforcers. As if the social imbalances and submissiveness maintained by the violence of the police are peace! Opponents of the police need not even answer this charge, however. It’s not as if a police-free society is suddenly going to appear overnight, for good or for ill, just because someone spraypaints “Fuck the Police” on a wall—if only it was so easy! The protracted struggle it is going to take to free our communities of police repression will probably go on as long as it takes us to learn to coexist peacefully; indeed, no community incapable of sorting out its own conflicts can expect to triumph against a more powerful occupying force. In the meantime, anti-police sentiments should be seen as objections to one of the most advanced and egregious forms of conflict between human beings, not arguments that without police there would be no conflict at all; and those who argue that the police sometimes do good things bear the burden of proving that those same good things could not be accomplished at least as well by other means.

The final and most nuanced objection to militant resistance against police oppression is the pacifist critique of violence itself. According to this account, violence is inherently a form of domination, and thus inconsistent with opposition to domination; those who engage in violence play the same game as their oppressors, thereby losing from the outset. Others hold that violence enforces unequal power dynamics in some cases, while in other cases it contests them—that is to say, there is such a thing as self-defense. For those whose value system is still descended from Christianity, keeping one’s hands clean of immoral behavior is the top priority, at whatever cost; for the rest of us, who desire to be free of superstitious prohibitions, the most important thing is what will work, in a given context, to make the world a better place. Sometimes—to name an obvious example, in the struggle against Nazi Germany—this may include violence.

To make this clear: yes, cops are people too, and deserve the same respect due all living things. The point is not that they deserve to suffer, or that we have to bring them to justice—that’s Christian morality again, dealing in currencies of superstition and resentment. The point is that, in purely pragmatic terms, in order that others not have to suffer, it may be necessary to interrupt, by militant and confrontational means, the injustices perpetrated by police officers. It can be empowering for those who have spent their lives under the heel of oppression to contemplate finally settling the score with their oppressors; however, a real liberation struggle does not focus on exacting revenge, but rather on solving problems so that all might have better lives. Therefore, while it may even sometimes be necessary to set police on fire, this should not be done out of a spirit of vengeful self-righteousness, but from a place of careful thought and compassion—if not for the police themselves, then for all those who would otherwise suffer at their hands.

One could make the argument that encouraging people to struggle against the police does more to publicize disapproval of them than to cause actual assaults. One could even argue that it thereby does a service not only for those who suffer police oppression, but also for the families of police officers and even for the officers themselves—for not only do police officers have a disproportionately high rate of domestic violence and child abuse, they also get killed, commit suicide, and become addicts with disproportionate frequency. Anything that demoralizes police officers and delegitimizes their authority, thus encouraging them to quit their posts, is in their best interest as well as the interest of their loved ones and society at large.



Date: 26 July 2007

Auckland 6am: Tonga's most militant pro-democracy advocate has been cleared of arson charges related to the King's Epsom residence.

Ailani Taione has instead agreed to the charge of wilful damage for running his burning car through the gates of Atalaga.

Authorities have now dropped the arson charge.

But Taione says he's not dropping his campaign for reform for the Kingdom.

Taione says he'll now focus on supporting the PSA's pending strike as opposed to backing the Government's new tripartite committee on reform. (listen)


The pro-democracy movement have three representatives on the tripartite committe, including Aikilisi Pohiva and Clive Edwards, but Taione doubts its authenticity. (listen)


The hardline protestor last year ran his burning car through the gates of the King's Auckland residence, Atalaga, saying it was in protest at the elderly monarch, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, turning a blind eye to the pain of the people.

He was fined $500, plus court costs, earlier this week.


The Clash - Guns Of Brixton Video

Poll Tax Riots, London 1990

Working Class Hero - John Lennon

As soon as you're born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can't really function you're so full of fear

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and class less and free
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There's room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me


AFP to form paramilitary wing

Haere Atu poaka (pigs), get the fuck out of the Pacific. To our brothers and sisters in the pacific, make life for these pigs hell, them and the agenda/s that they are pushing through the pacific have no relevance to us at all.

Mark Dodd | July 26, 2007

THE Australian Federal Police will form a 1200-strong paramilitary-style International Deployment Group to be equipped with the latest weaponry including armoured personnel carriers.

Tenders are now being called for the vehicles designed to provide maximum protection for the specialised police unit, which will be capable of being deployed alongside the army on peacekeeping operations.

The force is expected to be at full strength next year, AFP officers told a Senate inquiry yesterday. The IDG will be equipped with a formidable arsenal and structured along similar lines to the crack Portuguese National Republican Guard with which the AFP has worked closely in East Timor, said Commander Steve Lancaster.

Both the AFP and the Australian Defence Force are having to adapt more frequently to non-traditional missions, whether in Afghanistan or the immediate neighbourhood, an area dubbed the "arc of instability".

The government-backed Australian Strategic Policy Institute recently released a report saying Defence was becoming increasingly involved in non-war fighting roles such as civil border protection, while police and public servants were in the front line of security in areas as diverse as Baghdad and Bougainville.

Mr Lancaster told the inquiry this meant the IDG would be equipped to deal with a wide range of security challenges and would need to be able to dispense lethal and non-lethal force to restore order in hot spots such as the Solomons and East Timor.

Recruits drawn from sworn police ranks and Protective Service Officers would typically be deployed on 20-week rotational blocks, he said. The IDG's mandate would allow a rapid "blue uniform" presence during civil unrest, relieving the army of policing responsibility at an early stage in peacekeeping operations.

The force is expected to account for more than a third of the entire AFP budget, currently running at $1.1billion.


City to become police state for APEC summit

Andrew Clennell State Political Editor
June 6, 2007

MORE than 3000 security personnel, including police from New Zealand and interstate, will be deployed during the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in September, says the NSW Police Minister, David Campbell.

He also told the Labor caucus in a briefing note that the Government would introduce legislation today to "limit the civil liability" of police during the summit.

This could mean that if police injured violent protesters or damage was done to shops in the city during protests, police would be indemnified against suits for loss, damage or injury.

Police will have the power to "generally exclude people" regarded as undesirable or a risk from areas near the meeting.

A list of people who might be a problem would be drawn up with a view to excluding them. "NSW Police are gathering intelligence on a number of individuals and groups likely to engage in violent protest," said a police spokesman, Strath Gordon.

Mr Campbell's note said there would be 3500 security personnel, including members of the Australian Federal Police, the Defence Force, interstate and New Zealand police involved to protect 5000 officials and 1500 international media.

The legislation would give police the power to establish checkpoints, to prohibit certain items and allow bag searches in certain areas.

The legislation, which would be in force from August 30 to September 12, would also create a presumption against bail for certain offences and compel people to produce identification in certain areas. It will also allow foreign guards to patrol Sydney.

The Police Association said the massive deployment would "have an impact" at local area commands, where it would be a case of "first response only", rather than "proactive policing".

Laws will also be introduced that would allow police to lock up shops in the CBD and seal off suburbs should security problems occur.

Mr Campbell later told the Herald: "Given we have already seen reports that radical protesters are planning violent protests during the APEC meeting, it is important for NSW Police to have a strong contingent of officers.

"These types of threats are the very reason the Iemma Government will this week introduce new legislation to give police enhanced powers to deal with protesters."

The State Government will also legislate to ensure state awards contain an allowance for the creation of a public holiday for workers on September 7.

A spokesman for the federal minister for industrial relations, Joe Hockey, said the Government would follow suit with federal awards.

A spokeswoman for Mr Campbell, Alison Hill, said the civil liability powers being introduced were similar to powers introduced for police at other major events.

Australia’s Expansive Asian Security Footprint

The 2007 Defence Update, the United States, and the abuses of realism

Richard Tanter

“How we defend our sovereignty, our citizens and our interests – and our success in doing so – shapes the future of our nation.”

The opening words of Brendan Nelson’s Preface to the 2007 Defence Update [1] are the most accurate of all those in this seriously flawed document – though quite likelynot as Nelson had in mind when he wrote them. The Defence Update 2007 comes after a decade of constant and still unfinished increases in defence spending, a tripling of domestic security spending, huge weapons systems orders, Australian defence Forces deployments from Lebanon to the Solomon Islands, three large and extremely demanding deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor, and world politics turning on the hinge of a massive strategic miscalculation by Australia’s closest ally. The Defence Update is a deeply flawed policy document, shaped by double standards and selective learning, shortsightedness and botched use of realism, the aggressive demands of alliance maintenance, and an almost complete failure to consider the real and salient threats to Australian security – both the state- and human- versions – of global problems such as climate change, health and poverty.

1. Product warning

Defence White Papers, and their little cousins, the Defence Updates, are curious documents. They should probably come with a product warning label which says something like:

“The Defence Update represents current Australian government defence policy and its strategic perceptions of the world. However, this document contains also words not meant to be taken at face value, except when they should be.”

Invisible product warnings aside, White Papers and Updates are meant to be taken seriously - as a basis for planning within government; as an explanation of the rationale for government policy to the citizenry, especially in the absence of parliamentary sovereignty; and as a signal of intent to other governments, both friendly and otherwise. The problem for the government lies in indicating to the separate stakeholder/readers just how the document is to be read: when it should be taken literally, when it should be ignored, and when it should be read through a set of codes which can be publicly understood – at least by those at whom they are aimed - but if necessary, publicly denied. Brendan Nelson’s visit to Beijing to explain to China how they should read beyond the words on the page faced exactly this problem. Whatever Mr Nelson said to the Chinese will also have to be squared with the much more important stakeholder: Washington.

2. The jargon of national interests

The Defence Update 2007 follows its predecessors in 2003 and 2005, which in turn reflected changes in policy and strategic environment since the last Defence White Paper in 2000. The purpose of the Update and the rationale for its preparation are clearly explained:

“the Government has carefully assessed our national interests and how we might best use our armed forces in pursuit of those interests.

The core stated goal of defence policy is the pursuit of Australia’s “national interests”. Indeed in the brief space of 64 pages of generously spaced text and photographs (perhaps 15,000 words all told), the word “interests” appears 42 times. The interests concerned are Australia’s, as in “Australia national interests”, or very occasionally, those of Australia’s allies. No other conceptual term appears so often, or is used so freely, or with so little definition or conceptual traction.

The lack of clarity and traction in the use of interests in this document as a guide to policy comes from at least four immediately salient sources visible in the Update:

* double standards and selective learning,
* shortsightedness and botched use of realism, and
* the demands of alliance maintenance.

3. Double standards and selective learning

To speak of double standards in security affairs is to immediately invite suspicion that you are not serious about policy. The world of international politics, it is argued, is the realm of power, and policy formation for the national interest is a matter of seeking purchase in an anarchic world. In polite circles, we all understand that our friends and allies have failings best not mentioned. At worst, international politics is unfortunately the realm of “reasons of state” – as Bakunin rightly remarked and Chomsky reminds us, the most frightening term in our political lexicon.

The unwritten product warning that comes with White Papers and their like cues readers to accept such double standards, and to pass over them in sophisticated silence. Consistency is certainly an overrated political virtue, but there are some limits to the value of a blind eye in global politics. This is especially so when there are signs that those in power can no longer distinguish on the one hand between the little lies that make close company possible, and violent and genuinely threatening reality on the other.

Double standards on core issues abound. The primary worry about WMD technology today is “the proliferation of such weapons by countries like North Korea and Iran”. Nuclear proliferation in our region by India, Pakistan or, further afield, by Israel, is apparently not a concern. In East Asia, Australia supports “Japan’s more active security posture within the US alliance and multinational coalitions”. But Chinese military modernization “could create misunderstandings and instability in the region”. Just in case the Chinese failed to get the message, the China-based concern about possible “misunderstandings and instability”, is reinforced on the same page with a warning about the dangers of “strategic miscalculation” – echoing the same phrase apropos China barely a page earlier.

By contrast, the United States is several times depicted as “a stabilizing force”, despite its own rapid military transformation and increased military budget. The more salient and important example of “strategic miscalculation” is unmentioned and unmentionable: the American “miscalculation” in Iraq and Afghanistan – the hinge on which world politics are currently turning, catastrophically for the US and its close allies. The Defence Update’s authors know the reality, but in this context can say nothing of their fears.

US military bases in Australia

The Australian double standard on nuclear weapons in the Middle East is evident – and salient - to any informed Indonesian or Malaysian. Such readers might be surprised by the lofty heights of the Update’s statement of government intent on nuclear weapons proliferation:

“Australia has an over–riding interest to prevent the spread of WMD by backing arms control agreements and applying active counter–measures with our allies – such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) – where proliferation is discovered.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)’s rump disarmament section is the carrier of the institutional memory of the department’s activist non-proliferation period under Gareth Evans responding to large-scale mobilized peace movement pressure. But generally welcome though the concept of the PSI is, its execution and legal premises are flawed. Moreover, Australia in the last decade has a less than stellar record on nuclear proliferation and arms-control initiatives – witness the current convolutions on uranium exports to India, as Canberra waits for the US to resolve its position on NPT renegades.

Drawing lessons from recent events in world affairs is a useful rhetorical trope for the Update, but the lessons “learned” are somewhat selective. For example:

“The increased capability of terrorists and insurgents against a well–armed nation was illustrated during the Israel–Hezbollah conflict in 2006.”

There were any number of other lessons that could have been “learned” from that conflict, most of them highly relevant to current Australian policy. Most important among these was the extraordinary destructiveness of the practice of conventional warfare in urban environments by “a well–armed nation”, the now well-recognize limitations on the political effectiveness of using military force in such a manner, and the huge international cost in legitimacy to states seen using such disproportionate and indiscriminate force.

4. Botched realism and the calculation of national interests

At the heart of Australian policy, especially under Howard, are the claims of realism: this is the way the world is, and we can responsibly do no other. Leaving aside long-standing arguments about the constitutional failings of realism, what is most evident about the strategic picture portrayed in the latest Defence Update is that its realism is often wanting – often at the moments when it presents itself as most compelling.

This is most evident in the discussion of at least three of the four clear innovations in security policy under the Howard government: the attempt to overthrow the defence of Australia doctrine, the movement to military alliances with Japan, India and Indonesia in concert with the US against China, and the deployment of Middle East expeditionary forces. All three of these initiatives, coupled with the wider US-led Global war on Terror, are driven by the massive expansion of the military and intelligence budgets over the past decade.

Australian interests and the Middle East

In its piling up of Australian “interests”, one of the two places where the Update comes close to spelling out what those interests might be is the Middle East, though it does not actually do so. What the Update does is assert that given “the continuing importance of the region to our security and broader national interests”, that there are three reasons to “expect Australia’s strategic involvement in the Middle East to continue”:

* the US will continue to “remain heavily engaged” in the region, because to withdraw “would undermine its own security”;
* the strategic interests of China, India and our “trading partners” are increasingly linked to the Middle East; and
* “extremist terrorism continues to draw funding, support and people from the Middle East”.

Australia has approximately 1,500 troops in and around Iraq

In trying to convince a doubtful public that there is a reason for Australian troops to be involved in two Middle Eastern wars at one time, the Update authors were clearly labouring under several difficulties.

The first is the elephant in the room problem: the obvious and undoubted perceived interest – a perceived benefit to Australia from western access to oil – cannot be mentioned in polite company. When the Minister for Defence launched the Update with a general reference to the importance of energy security in the region, he was pilloried by the media and the political opposition, and then disowned by his leader and party. No, said the Treasurer, “Australian soldiers don't risk their lives for petrol prices." What the entire affair elided, and which is almost never discussed in parliament, the media, or by the commentariat, was the deep, unchanging and destructive character of the western concern to control Middle Eastern energy sources.

The second problem is that even when the dirty secret is admitted, even if only in only in conclaves of trusted experts, it is soon clear that it is not at all certain that the security of the Australian people can be shown to be affected by who owns the oil fields of Iraq. Even at the height of its revolutionary zeal, Iran, the regime most hostile to the US and its allies, did not interrupt the exchange of oil for dollars. Indeed the architect of the only serious assault on unfettered western access to cheap oil in the OPEC years was the closest US ally, Saudi Arabia.

Accordingly, the Update authors chose to speak of Australia’s interests by indirection, rationalising predicted behaviour rather than addressing national interests. But perhaps predictably, the three proffered bases for their expectation were limp and unconvincing, failing elementary tests of realism:

* even assuming, in the face of withdrawal from Iraq sooner rather than later, the US will continue to be “heavily engaged” in the Middle East, the question of why that means Australia will be militarily involved is left unsaid. This is probably as it has to be, since the only logical answers are either that it is assumed that American and Australian interests are identical, which is simply not true, or Australia follows US geo-political direction, which is close enough to the truth.
* the interests of our trading partners are indeed connected to the Middle East, but it is not at all automatic that fact then dictates an Australian military presence in the region. Certainly, not to China, our largest trading partner.
* “extremist terrorism” (sic) may indeed “draw funding, support and people from the Middle East”, but it is now catastrophically clear that the US-British-Australian coalition presence in Iraq is a much more important generator of “funding, support and people” for terrorism.

Realism in Northeast Asia

The Update’s remarks on China, reported above, have already had the predictable effects: Chinese protests about the gap between Australian claims of friendship and a desire for an even closer economic relationship above that of closest trading partner, as against the Update’s patronizing warnings of the dangers of “strategic miscalculation”:

“The pace and scope of China's military modernization, particularly the development of new and disruptive capabilities such as the anti-satellite missile, could create misunderstandings and instability in the region.”

There is of course a risk of strategic miscalculation in East Asia, certainly by dictatorships anxious to use nationalism as a domestic political crutch. But as the American example shows, China is not at risk alone. In the context of Australia’s deepening security relationship with Japan, calls for prudent realism need wider distribution amongst Australia’s allies and security partners as well as those nominated as potential antagonists by Australia’s major ally. [2]

5. The demanding ally and historical constants

The core of the China problem for Australia has been well canvassed for several years in the image of the Australian government’s nightmare of having to choose between its economic partner and its military ally. The trilateral security institutionalization now underway between the United States, Japan and Australia is certainly meant to exclude China. The Australian expression of concern about Chinese military development was itself an echo, just days apart, of Japan’s Defence Ministry statement:

“Tokyo's Defense Ministry said Beijing's military expansion plans include outer space, citing its successful missile test in January that destroyed a satellite. ‘It is highly possible that (China) is considering attacks against satellites as part of its military actions,’ the report went on, stressing that the rapid modernization of China's military forces ‘raises concerns’ and the effects on Japan ‘must be assessed carefully.’" [3]

The East Asian echo is a symptom of the deeper problem. Australia and Japan are effectively coordinating their statements on China, in the absence of any genuine security threat. The deepening of security relations between these two countries and India is not coincidental, and is well understood by China as such. Not surprisingly the Chinese have called Australia’s bluff on the matter, resulting in a humiliating backdown by the Australian Minister for Defence highly satisfactory to Middle Kingdom thinkers.

The tightening of security ties with Japan is being pursued enthusiastically without a realistic assessment of either the domestic problems that will inevitably arise from remilitarization in a country with deep and abiding democratic deficits, or the almost reckless embrace of “great power-like” security thinking and defence policies that are bringing Japan into unnecessary conflict with China, such as missile defence. [4]

But the key is the question of why the Australian government allowed itself to get into this predictable bind? It is not true that the Australian government simply does the bidding of Washington. Sometimes, as in the cases of both Afghanistan and Vietnam (and most likely Iraq) the problem is worse: Australia actively seeks participation in Washington’s wars before it is asked. [5] In the case of Japan, there is a combination of strong American pressure, Japanese nationalism (directed at its own constitution and “pacifist” public rather than outward), and Australian enthusiasm for a Northeast Asian technology-heavy partner.

In the case of China it is difficult to see anything other than either deep policy confusion or an inability to refuse the demands of our major ally, even in the face of a zero security threat and of entirely predictable negative consequences in relations with China.

The consequences of the demanding ally are even clearer and the consequences more dangerous in the case of Middle East policy. Australian policy towards the Middle East is almost purely derivative from US policy, and all its confusions and dangers. The exceptions to US derivation are two-fold, and both dangerous. The first, as already mentioned, is the repeated habit of Australian government’s anticipating the hegemon’s requirements, and volunteering for above-requirement coalition performance. Again the Update makes very clear the perceived need on the part of the Australian security establishment to actively maintain the alliance – to the point of identifying Australian security interests with those of the United States – as in the Middle East.

The second exception is a constant of Australian foreign policy which long predates the United States as preferred protector – the “common sense of a country feeling itself displaced from the centre into an alien geo-political and cultural environment. The Update rearticulates this distinctive “common sense”, this time apropos “terrorism”:

“For as long as that is true Australia and like–minded countries need to fight terrorism at its source rather than wait for it to come to our shores.

And again:

“In a globalised world, ignoring problems further afield only invites these threats to come closer to Australia.”

The current militarized response to what is presented as a generalized evil – “terrorism” (i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan) is a reprise of a much older Australian trait – evidenced by the rhetoric of “our shores”. In World War I the Australian government issued a propaganda poster that could well be recycled, showing bloodthirsty Huns in pointed helmets shooting an Australia farmer defending his family in front of a water tank. with the caption “Will you fight now, or wait for this?” [6] Historical constants continue to play their part in new contexts, and the destructiveness to real security needs of alliance anxiety is one such.

6. Globalisation and global problems as security threats

Globalisation is presented as one of two key factors structuring the changing strategic environment – the other being the “continued predominance of the United States, which acts as a stabilising force in the Asia-Pacific”.

Yet “globalisation” is understood at the most simplistic of levels: in fact, though presented as one of the two major drivers of world security, it receives barely a single paragraph of exposition.

What is deeply striking about the Defence Update, despite the unending and formless list of claims of “national interests” to be defended in this “globalizing world” is that genuinely global problems that are immediately and directly salient to the security of Australians are barely mentioned. The category of “non-traditional security issues” is noted, and then effectively dismissed. The dangers of “pandemics” are referred to twice, but on neither occasion for more than a phrase or two. Stunningly, especially given the electoral context in which the Update was prepared, the word “climate” does not appear once. Climate change, in the view of even the Pentagon, a matter of undoubted and immediate security relevance at both a global and national level in complex and mostly ill-understood ways, for all the pious talk of “non-traditional security threats” going back for a decade, is simply too big a problem to be seen. This is despite the fact that for our relations with Papua-New Guinea and the islands of the Southwest Pacific, to say nothing of Indonesia, and the economies of our trading partners, climate change and security – both the human and state varieties – are set to collide in ways we are barely beginning to understand.

Richard Tanter is Senior Research Associate at Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability and Director of the Nautilus Institute at RMIT and a Japan Focus associate. He has written widely on Japanese security policy, including 'With Eyes Wide Shut: Japan, Heisei Militarization and the Bush Doctrine' in Melvin Gurtov and Peter Van Ness (eds.), Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Views from the Asia-Pacific, (New York: Routledge, 2005). His most recent book, co-edited with Gerry Van Klinken and Desmond Ball, is Masters of Terror: Indonesia's Military and Violence in East Timor in 1999 [second edition].

This is a slightly abbreviated version of an article that appeared at the Austral Policy Forum at Nautilus nautilus.rmit.edu.au/ on July 12, 2007. Published at Japan Focus on July 25, 2007.

See also Richard Tanter, The New American-led Security Architecture in the Asia Pacific: Binding Japan and Australia, containing China and US Expansion and Upgrading of Joint Australia-US Training Facilities. Nautilus reports on Australian forces in Afghanistan here.

Interview on Solid Energy's legal action against activists

Frances Mountier, an activist in the Save Happy Valley Coalition (SHVC), was in court Wednesday after she was sued over her role in the production and distribution of a report into Solid Energy's environmental destruction in 2006.

The legal action taken by Solid Energy had changed considerably from when it was first launched. Proceedings against Powelliphanta Augustus Inc, who Solid Energy were trying to claim were representatives of the Save Happy Valley Coalition, were dropped prior to the hearing and Solid Energy reached an out-of-court settlement with a third defendant, Simon Oosterman, who runs Enzyme, which hosts the SHVC website. Solid Energy also dropped the original major causes of action - defamation & injurious falsehood - in favour of simply pursuing Frances Mountier for use of their trademarked logo.

For more details, see http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz


Produced by Anarchia Films: http://anarchia.wordpress.com


Anarchism and the Black Revolution, Cuban Anarchism and African Anarchism

Illvox.org is a website that exists for two reasons: --- 1. This site is a
recently created mirror for the documents formerly housed on illegalvoices.org, associated by many with the Anarchist People of Color movement. These archives include notes from the 2003 APOC conference; online editions of the books Anarchism and the Black Revolution, Cuban Anarchism and African Anarchism; APOC articles; and archives of the Onward newspaper. Illvox.org exists to make those documents available to interested parties.

---- 2. This site contains newer writings on matters of race, culture, gender and their intersections with anarchism, autonomism, social libertarianism, anarchist communism, primitivism, socialism, communism and a variety of tendencies within the anti-authoritarian milieu. Most of the writings are by people of color, but some are not. Illvox further exists to provide newer thinking and support discussion about the issues raised by people of color in relation to essential matters in these movements.

Illvox.org does not replace illegalvoices.org and is not affiliated with APOC. It is intended to provide access to documents for/by/of
this important anti-authoritarian tendency, and to support discussion.

What happened to illegalvoices.org? Although no one is exactly certain, the most informed guess is that a technical collective took over the site in 2005 and, due to issues, the domain was lost to what is presumably a domain sale site

From: http://www.illvox.org

Aloha Is Our Intelligence - Manu Aluli Meyer

Manu reveals what quantum physics and indigenous culture have in common, as well as her vision of a Free Hawai`i few of us have ever imagined. We promise this is one Hawai`i Maoli wahine (native woman) you'll remember for a long time to come.

Global Warrior-A Visit With Mililani Trask

Na Koa Ikaika O Ka Lahui Hawai`i head, Mililani spends her time at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, Switzerland. Find out how other peoples of the world view the illegal overthrow and occupation of Hawai`i and what goes on at the highest levels of world diplomacy to make it right.


Melbourne Activists Solidarity Gathering (Encuentro)

"In Solidarity with Latin American and Australian
Struggles and Resistance against Neoliberalism"

"Remembering at a time of forgetting"

"Against the love of death and For the love of life"

Dear Friends:
The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) in collaboration with other networks and groups is holding a gathering in solidarity with the Latin American, Australian and this part of the world (Asia pacific) social movements who continue to battle tirelessly to reach justice and dignity for all those that suffer under and resist against neoliberalism.

We believe it is very important to create spaces for discussion and to look for paths that lead us to the solutions to the exploitation of workers and humanity as a whole at the hands of the transnational corporations and the dominant sectors of our societies, the discrimination and marginalisation of the first nations, violence against minority groups and gay and lesbian people, the destruction of our natural resources and above all the irreparable damage that climate change is causing and will cause.

Other matters that focus the attention of activists of our nations are the topic of the validity of democracy under a neoliberal system, what type of socialism if any is possible in our societies, the violence or "security" that the nation state perpetrates against its people through its 'anti-terrorist' laws and the wars that the imperial powers are conducting at this moment against the poor of our countries under the pretext of the fight against terrorism.

We don't believe we can come up with the solutions today to these complex problems that humanity faces, but we can contribute to the discussion. The resolutions from this event
will be put for consideration at the gatherings to be held in Latin America in the next few
months and at the Forum in Solidarity with Latin America and the Asia Pacific to be held in
October in Australia.

We are having this solidarity gathering on Saturday 28 July 2007, from 9am-5pm at the MUA offices, 54 Ireland St, West Melbourne. It will be a simple day of workshops and central sessions which will allow space for participation and discussion.

At this gathering will be two international activists from the social movements. Claudio Castro will be representing the Popular Assemblies Movement from Chile, and there will be a Maori activist from New Zealand.

Registration is $10 waged, $5 unwaged and students.


9am: registration

9:30 am: Opening

10 am - 12 noon First plenary session

Organising, resisting and fighting against neoliberalism
Main Speakers:Claudio Castro, Chilean Activist from Popular Assemblies Movement from Chile;
Maori Activist; Dave kerin, Union solidarity


1 - 2pm: Workshops

-Workers Organising against neoliberalism(Dave Kerin, Union Solidarity)

-Latin American struggles and resistances (Jody Betzien AVSN rep, John Clearly ETU, Claudio
Castro Chile, Lucho-LASNET)

- Anti-globalisation movements (Anti-APEC)(David Glanz)

-First Nations struggles, Indigenous resistances (Sina, Marisol. Canopy)

2-3 pm Workshops session 2

-Peace and anti-war movements in Australia (Jacob Grench)

-Climate Change (Cam Walker(FOE), Beyond Zero emissions)

-Student and youth Movements (Julia Dehm, Liz Turner, Claudio Castro)

3.15pm - 5pm Second plenary session and close

-Proposing a path....

-What should be the central points of our struggle?

-What type of struggle should we wage?

-Finally, what should we propose?

5:30 Movie Premier "La Segunda Conquista", The Second Conquest...Plunder,
corruption, and resistance of the people of Patagonia, Argentina...An independant
documentary by Denali DeGraft and Joao Dujon Pereira, An Argentinian/Ausytralia

6:30 Film "Che Guevara: Hasta la Victoria Siempre", leading to the 9th of October
Commemoration of his Assasination by Bolivian and USA Army

7:30 Solidarity Dinner same place MUA, Music, dance, drinks and food available

To register or for more information
Write to
lasnet@latinlasnet.org or visit www.latinlasnet.org

Or call

Marisol: (03) 9481 2273
Pablo: 0421 011 182
Lucho: 0402 754 818

Palestinian protester shot in the head with a rubber bullet

Bil’in’s Friday protest saw over 300 Palestinian, Israeli and international supporters march towards the Israeli Apartheid Wall. As soon as the protesters were in sight of the Israeli soldiers, the latter began shooting a rain of tear gas and rubber bullets towards the protesters. Nevertheless, the demonstrators managed to regroup numerous times at different points, always getting closer to the wall.

The excessive firing of tear gas resulted once more in numerous fires among the olive trees. Despite the tear gas, some protesters and villagers rushed to extinguish the flames, using branches and their feet to beat and flames.

At least seven were injured, including a Palestinian young man who was hit in the head by a rubber bullet from only a few meters away. The youth was carried to the ambulance and taken to the Ramallah hospital, where he is still hospitalized. Two Israeli activists were hit by a tear gas canister, one in the face and another in the arm, from very close range.

Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW)


Palestine: Diaries: Live from Palestine:


Yassmin Moor, Live from Palestine, 23 July 2007

I first learned of my grandparents' home being demolished
a few months after it actually happened in October 2003.
Rafah was besieged by the Israeli army at that time and
phone calls to Gaza were nearly impossible. Al-Brazil
housing project was hit especially hard because it was
alongside the Gaza-Egypt border. I remember I was driving
to school in Pennsylvania when my mother called to tell
me. She was very calm, and reported it to me like she
reported every other piece of news that came out of Gaza.
I could not comprehend what she was saying.



Aboriginal issues rally

*START DATE:* 27/7/2007


*Duration:* 1 Hours

*Location:* Melb: North

*Location Details:*
Outside Safeway, 243 Smith St, Collingwood

*Event Topic:* Anti-Racism

*Event Type:* Protest

*Contact Name:* stephen jolly

*Contact Email:* jollys@yarracity.vic.gov.au

*Contact Phone:* 0433113421

Come to this important rally this Friday on Smith St.

Because of the lack of State Government support for the plan by Council
and indigenous groups for a cultural centre, dry house, and 24-hour bus
for Smith St, the problems there are not going away.

Darryn Hinch on 3AW and the Sunday Herald Sun are pushing for Joh Bjelke
Petersen-style police action to deal with public behaviour problems.

There is a better way - Support for indigenous people to deal with the
issues themselves. We will not allow a Howard NT-style 'solution' be
foisted in this area. Show your opposition to racism and for real,
united concrete action to deal with the issues on Smith St.

Hoping to see you on Friday.

Stephen Jolly


Bracks, Smith St needs your support!

We need a 24-hour indigenous-run bus to take people needing help to a
dry house or cultural centre. The bus is ready to go but held back by a
lack of State government support. Steve Bracks and Richard Wynne we need
your help not more delays!

No to any racist solutions to Smith St public behaviour issues. Unity
not racism to improve our street.

Rally Friday next, July 27th, 5pm

Outside Safeway, 243 Smith St, Collingwood

Speakers include:

DEAN RIOLI, ex-Essendon footy star and now Indigenous Apprenticeship
officer for the Electrical Trades Union

DENISE LOVETT, Parkies Inc leader

GARY FOLEY, Aboriginal activist and Melbourne Uni academic

KEVIN BRACKEN, State Secretary Maritime Union of Australia

STEPHEN JOLLY, local Councillor (Socialist Party)

PLUS: Live music from Peter Rotuham

Rally organised by Socialist Party and supported by many community
groups and trade unions. Phone (03) 96399111 for more info

Please pass on news of this important rally widely by email, web page,
text, and word of mouth. Phone (03) 96399111 or email
for leaflets and posters.


Nesian Island Warriors

Pasifika Men.
Music By Mapoga & Pacific Soul

To all our Warrior Grandfathers, Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Sons & Nephews much Respect and Love.

CALLOUT for 5 days of direct action and economic sabotage!!!!

Saturday, July 21 2007 @ 06:56 AM PDT
Contributed by: Anonymous

This is a call to action against the companies and governments who govern our lives through law and capital. Since the beginning of the invasion process, capitalism and state governance have perpetuated colonization on the lands of Turtle Island. This process has not stopped. Instead, it takes new forms through the neo-liberal agenda and continues under the authority of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).


Callout for 5 days of decentralized direct action and economic sabotage
Across Turtle Island (North America)
August 17-21, to culminate August 20 & 21,
The days of the SPP meetings in Montebello, Québec.

This is a call to action against the companies and governments who govern our lives through law and capital. Since the beginning of the invasion process, capitalism and state governance have perpetuated colonization on the lands of Turtle Island. This process has not stopped. Instead, it takes new forms through the neo-liberal agenda and continues under the authority of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

In March 2005, the SPP was initiated by Paul Martin, George W. Bush and Vincente Fox under the pretense of fortifying North American borders, thereby increasing trade opportunity. In other words, the goal is to manipulate and exploit human lives and their social contexts in the service of capital for the benefit of the ruling class.

Members of the corporate elite have in fact been given an explicit role in the SPP through a body called the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). This sub-group of the SPP is meant to advise North American governments to what they can do to make their countries more hospitable to trade. This includes, among other things, adjusting standards in food, environmental, health, water, labour and immigration in order to synchronize North American economies. Through its design to facilitate consumption and profit, our lives are reduced to capitalist service, entrenching our existence in the misery and scarcity of a global capitalist monoculture.

The planning and implementation of this model has been continuing quietly for years, in secret and behind closed doors. And so, quietly, the experts of exploitation continue to work out strategies for imposing their will on our lives through these secret schemes. How many of their meetings and conferences must we react to before we come to envision a strategy that attacks the capitalist and state apparatuses in the larger context?

We see the SPP as only the most recent manifestation of neo-liberal colonialism. We recognize the SPP and its member corporations as enemies to freedom and self-determination. As individuals who are directly affected by the NACC’s recommendations and the SPP’s implementation thereof, it is our time to come together and work against the corporations and state leaders who would otherwise determine our lives and the lives of generations to come. The companies and governments behind the SPP must be confronted; help us to coordinate a strike at the heart of neo-liberal capitalism.

-See www.ceocouncil.ca/en/about/members.php for a list of members of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), a corporate lobbying group from which all Canadian members of the NACC were selected. Thomas D’Aquino, the president, has been instrumental to the SPP.
-See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Competitiveness_Council#NACC_Members for a list of NACC members.
-See http://www.consejomexicano.org/index.php?asoc_todos for a list of corporations, benefactors, state institutions and individuals who are part of the Consejo Mexicano De Asuntos Internacionales (COMEXI) think-tank that pushed (alongside the CCCE) for the creation of the NACC, and subsequently the projects of the SPP.

From August 17th to the 21st we encourage decentralized direct actions and economic disruption for the purpose of making the SPP and our resistance against it widely known. During these five days, we hope to hear of actions that will inspire further resistance to this under-the-table plot. We encourage a diversity of tactics, and propose sabotage as a potentially effective means of revolt.

These five days will be remarkable only in scope; the change that we hope to see in the world will ultimately come through sustained actions. We hope to join you in an ongoing strategy of attack against the systems that perpetually dictate the terms of our existence. Let’s do away with waiting and consider acting daily against State and Capital every day of our lives.

For now we focus on the SPP and the very real threat that it poses to our lives. May this struggle continue in the context of anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist and anti-state resistance.

In love and revolution,
Saboteurs and Visionaries Anonymous (SVA)

For info on the SPP, visit