Solidarity & Unity

Steel Pulse-Handsworth Revolution

Arohanui (big love) to all the crews & whanau that turned up inside and outside the Court today.
Kia kaha tatou

Poaka defend scuffle arrest

APEC's banned persons 'will be contacted'

'Excluded' protester to march against APEC

Concerns over tough APEC police powers

DALE MILLS: Because what it means is that in every big protest in the future there may be similar emergency powers, then similar emergency powers are introduced at small protests then the emergency powers may become permanent.


TANGAROA - god of the sea -

Alex Bond interviews Gary Foley

International Demonstration Against Australia

29 August 2007

Claire Greensfelder



1 - Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (885 2nd Avenue at 47th St)


New York, New York: In an urgent effort in support of the upcoming
vote (tentatively scheduled for September 13th) in the UN General
Assembly on United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, over two dozen national and international NGOs in the United
States and Canada have come to New York City to announce their support
for Indigenous peoples rights and to protest the opposition to the
Declaration being led by the governments of Canada, New Zealand and

Jerry Mander, Founder and Co-Director of the International Forum on
Globalization (IFG) of San Francisco, the convening organization and
secretariat of The Emergency Coalition of NGOs in Support of the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said:

"We are appalled by this action of human rights hypocrisy-especially
coming from the governments of Canada and New Zealand, countries that
are traditionally considered global leaders for human rights." Mander
continued, "We call upon them to immediately stop their unprincipled
campaign against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous

Among the signers to the statement of the Emergency Coalition are some
of the world's largest human rights, development, environmental and
indigenous rights organizations including Oxfam America and Oxfam
Australia, Friends of the Earth-US, Transafrica Forum, Survival
International, the Sierra Club, Earth Rights International, Rainforest
Action Network, International Rivers Network, Amazon Watch and the
International Funders of Indigenous Peoples (complete list attached).

Amnesty International - Canada has been waging its own energetic
campaign in support of the Declaration and will participate in the
press conference and protest in front of the Canadian Mission to the UN
on Thursday August 30th. Amnesty Canada's international petition for
the Declaration has been signed by 22,382 individuals from around the
world, and states:

"Either the international community will move ahead with final
adoption [of the Declaration] as has been urged by Indigenous peoples
and their supporters worldwide, or adoption of the Declaration will
once again be delayed due to the demands of a small, yet vocal group of

In an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, released
on August 9th, the UN International Day of Indigenous Peoples, seven
major Canadian non-governmental and First Nations' organizations,
declared the Harper government's "efforts to block the adoption [of the
Declaration] as a clear reversal of Canadian policy."

The letter continued: "We are outraged that this reversal of policy
was undertaken without meaningful consultation with Indigenous Peoples,
despite a clear requirement under Canadian law" [to do so].

"Canada's Prime Minister Harper is risking not only his country's
long-fought legacy as a human rights champion but also the future of
the new UN human rights body that his country helped establish. Now
more than ever, the world needs a strong Canada to stand up for
indigenous rights," said Victor Menotti, IFG program director.

After 22 years of negotiations, the UN Declaration was adopted by the
UN Human Rights Council during its inaugural session in June 2006, and
recommended to the UN General Assembly for final passage. If the UN
General Assembly fails to adopt the Declaration, it will represent a
failure of the authority of the newly formed Human Rights Council and
marks an uncertain start of this new body.

"The Emergency Coalition of NGOs in Support of the UN Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is standing with Indigenous nations
around the world," said Rainy Blue Cloud, IFG's Emergency Coalition
Campaigner, "we absolutely support their demand that all governments
vote in favor of the Declaration and we call on Canada, New Zealand and
Australia, in particular, to cease their efforts to derail the process
and to step up to their duty to protect the human rights of all

The Declaration represents a significant recognition of the rights and
fundamental freedoms of hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples
around the world who suffer from human rights abuses such as forced
relocation, seizure and exploitation of lands and resources and an
adverse amount of poverty and discrimination. Indigenous languages,
cultures and ways of life continue to be threatened without
international legal protections.

The Declaration would provide moral and legal backing for several
concepts seen as critical to the preservation of the collective rights
of the world's estimated 370 million indigenous peoples, who belong to
5,000 groups spread out across 71 countries. These concepts include the
rights to:

o Self-determination, autonomy and self government
o Education in indigenous languages
o Recognition of indigenous laws, customs and traditions
o Ownership and control of indigenous territories and natural

The Declaration would also empower indigenous peoples to defend their
ancestral lands, often home to some of the world's most pristine
ecosystems and rarest biodiversity, against the operations of the
extractive industries such as mining and oil and gas drilling.

Claire Greensfelder, IFG's Communications Director stated: "According
to the latest calculations, the Declaration just needs a handful of
additional votes in the General Assembly. If it fails to win a
majority, it may be years before the General Assembly will consider it
again. It is imperative that the Declaration be approved in the next
two weeks."

* * *


12:00 noon Rally & Press Conference
Outside the Permanent Canadian Mission to the United Nations
1 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza - 885 2nd Avenue at 47th Street

Statements by Canadians and other International NGO's
Delivery of letter from the Emergency Coalition to the Canadian

12:45 PM March to The Permanent Mission of New Zealand

1:00 PM Rally & press statements
Outside of the Permanent Mission of New Zealand to the UN
One UN Plaza at 44th Street

Statements by Pacific Islander representatives and Intl NGO's
Delivery of Emergency Coalition letter to New Zealand's Ambassador

1:30 PM March to the Australian Mission to the UN

1:45 PM Rally & Press Statements
Outside the Permanent Mission of Australia to the UN
150 East 42nd Street (between Lexington & 3rd)

Statements by Australian and International NGO's
Delivery of Emergency Coalition letter to Australia's Ambassador

2:30 PM end of action

* * *

Emergency NGO Coalition in Support of the
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Emergency Coalition Secretariat:
The International Forum on Globalization

Emergency Coalition Partners:
ACODE-Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment, Uganda
Africa International Foundation - USA, Kenya, Ghana, East Africa
Amazon Alliance
Amazon Watch, USA
Arid Lands, Institute, Kenya
Cultural Survival
Earth Rights International
Flying Eagle Woman Fund, USA
Four Freedoms Foundation, USA
Friends of the Earth, USA
Global Exchange
Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights, USA
INOCHI/Plutonium Free Future, USA/Japan
Indigenous Environmental Network, USA
International Funders of Indigenous Peoples
International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
International Rivers Network
Missionary Oblates, Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation Ministry,
Oceania Human Rights, USA
Oil Change International

Oxfam America
Oxfam Australia
Rainforest Action Network
Rigoberta Menchu Fund
Sierra Club, USA
Solidarity Foundation, USA
Survival International
Transafrica Forum, USA
United Nations Association - USA, East Bay Chapter, California
(partial list-still in formation)

-- END --

Dead Prez - We Need A Revolution


the death of neil roberts and the bombing of the wanganui police computer


On November 18, 1982 at 12.35 a.m., Neil Roberts, a 22 year old punk anarchist, walked up to the entrance of the building which housed the Wanganui police computer. Two security guards in the building saw Neil approach with a carrybag on his shoulder. As the guard reached to activate a remote speaker in the foyer and ask him what he wanted, Neil bent over and there was a flash and a huge explosion. The blast could be felt for miles, and buildings were rocked up to 400 metres away.

Neil was killed instantly when the gelignite bomb he was carrying exploded. Pieces of his body were found up to 65 metres away. Nobody else was hurt, and damage was described as "confined to mangling the armoured glass main doors and the foyer of the building." But if Neil had in fact shut down the whole computer, we would of course expect to hear a similar story: "no damage, just ruined the front door", as they would be reluctant to let us know that it was so easy to take the computer out. The building was "designed to survive such a blast", and (according to the regime - and we know how accurate they are!), survive it did.

Before he died, Neil spraypainted a slogan on a public toilet block near the computer building: "WE HAVE MAINTAINED A SILENCE CLOSELY RESEMBLING STUPIDITY" followed by the anarchy is order sign (A circled by an O) and the words "anarchy - peace thinking".


There was an atmosphere of complete shock throughout Aotearoa after Neil's death. This type of thing occurred overseas, not here in little old conservative NZ. Newspapers could not understand why Neil had managed to blow himself to pieces. They called it a "bizarre act of self-destruction." There was a fear that there was an "anarchist conspiracy" to blow up government buildings throughout NZ. In fact, this is what the Prime Minister, Muldoon, suggested on TV. Security was stepped up outside key government buildings. But it was soon realised that no such "conspiracy" existed, as Neil had acted alone.

Letters flowed in to the press. To some, it confirmed the stereotype that anarchism means bombs and pure negativity and destruction. The Christchurch Press claimed that Neil was "the misfit son of a rich Auckland family" and that anarchism was a "sad, flippant kind of nihilism." Many letters defended Neil and anarchism. One writer stated: "Anarchism is ... based on the belief that humans can live with one another without coercion... The young man was sad and undoubtedly despairing, but hardly flippant. Surely we should consider why he and so many other young people are in such angry despair, rather than trivialise and discount his action as that of a 'misfit'. When we see the number of people on the dole, the preparations for nuclear war, and other evidence of our rulers' crazy incompetence and our own apathy, is it really so hard to understand why young people shout in our faces, 'We have maintained a silence closely resembling stupidity.'?"


There is some debate as to whether Neil attempted to kill himself or accidently blew himself up. It is certain that he planned the bombing well in advance. Neil had visited Wanganui two weeks before the bombing with a friend, and were noticed by many locals because they were wearing safety pins and razors in their ears. The day he left for Wanganui, he told friends, "I am going to Wanganui to do something frightful. If I should blow up the Wanganui computer, the cops will be around."

The government in an inquest came to the conclusion that Neil was a suicide bomber. It suited them to trivialise the incident, to make Neil seem like a sorry misfit rather than consider why he actually targetted the police computer. It seems the main evidence for this was a tattoo on Neil's chest: "This punk won't see 23. No future." The inquest was conducted without any evidence from fellow anarchist punks. One Aucklander who knew Neil claimed he wanted to die for his anarchist beliefs, and talked of suicide, and either taking the computer centre or Beehive with him. Another friend claimed that Neil had "talked of suicide for three years and he had every intention of doing it [a suicide bombing]. It was not an act of cowardice... it was making a statement with his life." The amount of gelignite Neil had was many, many times over the amount needed to blow himseolf up. It is possible that Neil intended to blow up the Wanganui police computer, and by mistake, through inexperience with explosives, could have set the bomb off accidently. Whether it was a suicide or accident, it will never be known for sure.


It is important to put Neil's act in context. By 1982, there was a real climate of fear of a police state in NZ developing under PM Robert "Piggy" Muldoon. Muldoon was a complete authoritarian, a proto-fascist, a more rabid version of the ultra-conservative post-war generation that ruled NZ politics in the 1960s. Muldoon was the kiwi equivalent of Nixon in the U$A. What was scary is that he was popular with a large chunk of the population. Many people seemed to lap up his left-bashing, union-bashing, sexist, racist, law-and-order policies. Muldoon did things like dawn raids on Pacific Islanders (the accusation: "Over-staying"), and allowed the 1981 Springbok Tour by the apartheid South African rugby team to go ahead. The Tour (as it was known) was very brutal. Tens of thousands of kiwis got out on the streets and tried to stop the thugby games from going ahead, and the police beat many up in a massive operation. Many suffered severe injuries, including one actor, playing a clown in an effort to defuse tension between the sides, but who was severely wounded by police baton attacks.

In 1982, a year after the Springbok Tour and the climate of fear and polarisation that the tour had created, Neil targetted the police central computer at Wanganui because it held all the national police records: it was a symbol of the creeping fascism of Muldoon and sections of the ruling class at the time. In 1978, there had been massive protests against an attempt by Muldoon to increase the power of the secret police, the SIS. The computer had become a symbol of Muldoonist authoritarianism since it was first installed in the mid 1970s (when several protest groups including the PYM organised campaigns against it.)

Neil was part of the anarchist punk rock scene at the time, which was then in its infancy. A very loose community of anarchist punks throughout Aotearoa was being formed by the early 1980s, which was to flourish by the mid to late 1980s. Punk is often dismissed as negative and nihilistic, but in the early 80s it was a child of its time: not only a protest against the stifling and boring cultural conformity in Aotearoa, but also an understandably pessimistic reaction to the state of the kiwi society at the time. The recession in the economy from the 1970s created a new political mood that things in godzone were getting worse and worse. New Zealand slipped from being one of the richest countries in the world in the 1960s to one with unemployment and a recession and a severe authoritarian law 'n order government under Muldoon to boot. So Neil's reaction is more understandable in this context.

Should Neil be considered a martyr?
Did the bombing really achieve any constructive resistance to the system?
Does an individual action against a symbol of authority like the Wanganui computer lead to real, collective resistance against the system?
Will these anarchists ever stop asking questions?


Riot 111 – subversive radicals

Anarchy in the Hutt Valley

Avalon television studios, at that time the nerve centre for local television, faced an unusual protest in 1982 over the alleged banning of a New Zealand music video.

One Thursday in July, staff rushed to the window to see punk rockers Riot 111 playing on the back of a truck, powering their home-grown buzz-saw sound with a generator.

The Wellington-based band were protesting Television New Zealand's (TVNZ) refusal to screen the video clip for their single 'Writing on the wall' on Radio with pictures, the only locally broadcast video show. The song included the line ‘You’re all waiting for 1984, but we all know it’s here’.

Featuring images of clashes between police and protestors during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand, the video was rejected for its ‘inference and recreation of police violence’. Riot 111 called the decision ‘stupid and dangerous censorship’.

As the band blazed away at high volume at the front of the Avalon studios, staff lobbed toilet rolls from upstairs windows. Punk supporters painted ‘Remember Riot 111’ in blue across the front lawn and hoisted the A for Anarchy banner on the flagpole.

Riot 111 had been closely involved with the Springbok tour protests. Their first single, '1981', borrowed from the famous 'Ka mate' haka and the 'Amandla' (Freedom) chant universally adopted by local tour marchers.

The band did its own recordings. Like those of other garage bands of the day, the quality wasn't the best. After the Avalon protest made the front page of Wellington newspaper the Dominion, TVNZ's head of entertainment said he would have screened the clip ‘if the music and sound recording had been of a higher standard’.


RIOT 111 was a New Zealand political punk band active from 1981 to 1984 often associated with anarcho-punk. The group was formed by two political activists, singer "Void" and drummer "Roger Riot", during the South Africa national rugby union team's infamous 1981 tour of New Zealand. The members of Riot 111 were Brown Squad protesters who were involved in running battles with the police's Red Squad outside the apartheid South African rugby games.

Void and Roger Riot recorded with guitarist Nick Swan and bassist Mark Crawford and their first song "1981" was based on the Haka of the All Blacks. It became an instant hit rising to eighteen in the national charts. This required the band to perform live, something they had not yet done. One of their first performances, in Wellington, caused a riot at Victoria University. This caused them to be banned from playing any commercial venues and forced the band to hire small school halls. Void was constantly attacked on stage by girls who would strip him of his clothes and left him to perform semi nude.

International touring acts asked Riot 111 to support them at New Zealand concerts, and through 1982 they played with The Birthday Party , John Cooper Clark and The Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra wrote extensively about Void in US punk fanzines as an icon of anti-music imperialism. Riot 111 was one of the first bands to express Oceania indigenous culture through alternative post-punk rock 'n' roll rebellion.

Riot 111's EP Subversive Radicals was released in 1981. A music clip had been created to go with one of the EP's tracks, "Writing on the Wall", but it was refused airplay by state television on the only music channel. The band publicly protested the decision outside Television New Zealand's studio in the Hutt Valley.[1]

Subversive Radicals was followed by a tour of the South Island with a band called The First XV. This resulted in four of the eight tour members being arrested in Christchurch on the first day of arrival. They were also involved in a street battle with police outside The Star and Garter hotel which caused the closure the hotel for the year and led to more banning of the band. Such trouble with the police proved to be one factor that caused the band to fall apart. Other factors included continued violence from skinheads, the replacement of bassist Mark Crawford with Tim Ord, and a close friendship with Neil Roberts, an anarchist who died in an attempt to bomb a police computer database building.



Right now, capitalism is killing us.

Violent Resistance

Stokley Carmichael talking up the business.


outside the Melbourne Magistrate's Court,
cnr William and Lonsdale Sts, City
Friday 31st August

Please show your support for those arrested at the G20 protests in

At a time when civil liberties are under threat we should all support the 27 people facing charges resulting from their alleged participation in political protest against the G20 in November 2006.

The charges are overblown and disproportionate – imposed after a media witch-hunt led by the Herald Sun. They are part of a conservative campaign to discredit protest and social movements for change.

Thousands of people joined the protest against the g20 meeting. We did so because the G20 is an unaccountable elite institution that pushes neo-liberal policies that wreck the lives of workers and the poor. Privatisation, cuts to public health, education and welfare, and WorkChoices-style attacks on workers’ rights are all neo-liberal policies pushed by the G20.

We protested because we want a better world – without corporate greed, endless war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and global environmental destruction. The G20, like APEC, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, is an institution set up to promote the interests of the rich and powerful.

It is no surprise that every time they meet, anywhere in the world, they are met with protest and resistance. And that’s why thousands of people will be protesting against the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting, attended by Presidents Bush, Putin, and Hu Jintao, in Sydney in September.

The G20 protest challenged the ‘lock-down’ of the city that the Victorian police imposed to insulate the G20 delegates from the people affected by their decisions. Direct action and civil disobedience have a proud history in movements for social justice, from the suffragettes and 8-hour-day movements to the anti-Vietnam war and Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s.

We need to defend our ability to organise, protest and resist – Drop the charges now!

Called by: Ongoing G20 Arrestees Solidarity Network (OGASN)
Endorsed by: Australian Student Environmental Network, Civil Rights Defence, Unity for Peace, Latin American Solidarity Network, Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group,
Anti-APEC Network, Anarchist Black Cross, Socialist Party, Resistance, Permanent Revolution, Revo, International Socialist Organisation, Solidarity, Refugee Action Collective (VIC).

OGASN meets every 2nd Friday at the New International Bookshop, Trades Hall, Lygon Street, Carlton. For more info call 0421 979 694 or email afterg20@gmail.com. Website: www.afterg20.org

"We were babies"

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following video may contain images of deceased persons.

The truth about The Stolen Generation. These laws were the cause to our pain our suffering as a nation, as a people we too suffer with them in the fight for retribution. Thank you Larissa


nau mai haere

he panui hira ki nga toa o te motu ki te tautoko te hui wananga nei kia kotahi mai nga whakaaro tika ka mauria nga iwi te mana motuhake o tenei whenua

Te Kotahi A Tuhoe

As Treaty Settlement Claims have gathered momentum so too has the country's politician call for "one law for all".

For the people of ... all » Tühoe though, they say their authority and their law casts the stronger shadow over their ancestral lands. This belief forms the foundations of their Treaty Claims as Tahuri Tumoana reveals.

Piss off RAMSI

This follows claims of deployment of foreign troops without Police Commissioner Jahir Khan’s consent or involvement.

Solomon Star/ Pacnews
Tue, 28 Aug 2007

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS ---- Serious rift is deepening between the Solomon Islands Police Force and Australian lead Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

This follows claims of deployment of foreign troops without Police Commissioner Jahir Khan’s consent or involvement.

RAMSI was alleged to have bypassed Mr Khan in: bringing in troops during the recent political tension over the Opposition motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and planning to bring in extra Australian Federal Police officers to further investigate failed prosecutions over the April 2006 Honiara riots.

The Solomon Star yesterday sighted a strongly worded letter written by Commissioner Khan to Mr Sogavare last week. In this Mr Khan questioned the way RAMSI is allegedly making these decisions without consultation.

Mr Khan seeks Government support to temporarily prevent any additional RAMSI personnel being engaged within the Solomon Islands Police Force. This is until a conclusion is reached clearly demarcating responsibilities of the local police force and RAMSI’s Participating Police Force.

It comes with the Government already questioning the Facilitation of International Assistance Act 2003. This allowed RAMSI to intervene in 2003 after years of ethnic tension and lawlessness.

The Government has stressed it does not oppose RAMSI’s presence and appreciates its good work. But it said the situation now was different to what it was four years ago. The way RAMSI continues to operate here now needs to be looked at, the Government says.

Mr Khan’s letter details his strong opposition to the engagement of foreign forces prior to the motion of no confidence on 10 August.

During that time, he said, additional military personnel were flown to Honiara to reinforce security around Honiara.

Chartered aircraft carrying 168 military personnel flew into Honiara International Airport on Tuesday 7 August from Townsville, Australia, he said.

Mr Khan – a former senior Fiji police officer employed directly by the Solomon Islands Government - said: This operation was executed, without my knowledge or consent, as a result of an executive decision made between RAMSI Special Coordinator, the Commander of PPF, the OIC of the military and Deputy Commissioner Peter Marshall on behalf of the SIPF.”

Meanwhile , the Commander of the RAMSI Participating Police Force, Denis McDermott has rejected as completely misleading suggestions that RAMSI was deploying extra troops and police without consulting with the relevant Solomon Islands authorities.

Mr McDermott expressed surprise at the allegations, saying not only were they not true but he was disappointed that the Commissioner had not raised any of these issues with him directly.

“Ï have been very open with the Commissioner and have made it very clear that I am very keen to have an open, efficient and positive working relationship between from the top to the bottom of the PPF and the SIPF.”

Mr McDermott said it was simply not true that additional troops had been brought into the country ahead of the expected motion of no-confidence as alleged in the letter signed by the Commissioner.

“The troops that arrived were part of the normal rotation of military personnel that has been occurring since the deployment of the mission in 2003.”

Mr McDermott said the policing plan for Operation Parliament had been developed as a joint PPF-SIPF exercise which had been signed off by Commissioner Khan two days before Parliament commenced.

“Further to that Commissioner Khan wrote to me formally requesting the assistance of the PPF and RAMSI’s military contingent. It is therefore very puzzling to me, that the Commissioner should sign a letter suggesting the opposite,” Mr McDermott said.

Network hits out at dirty EU politics

THE Pacific Network on Globalistion (PANG) has supported the Pacific ministers and negotiators for sticking to their mandate on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Co-ordinator Roshni Sami said "people’s lives and livelihood are at stake here and PANG strongly supports Pacific ministers and negotiators for questioning such dirty politics by the European Union".

Ms Sami’s comments came after the Pacific African Carribean Pacific (ACP) trade ministers meeting in Vanuatu expressed "grave concern and deep disappointment" that the EU was tying the negotiation of the EPA to development funding from the 10th European Development Fund.

"Pacific people must continue to demand an EPA that actually benefits the development of Pacific Island countries," she said.

"We must keep in mind there are alternatives and we should not compromise the integrity of the Pacific negotiating position nor future economic opportunities for the Pacific just to sign an EPA within the negotiating framework set by the EU."

EDF funding is what Pacific governments use to build schools, hospitals and other vital public infrastructures, Ms Sami said.

She argued it was essential that Pacific Island nations receive separate assistance to cope with the effects of opening up the market as well as take advantage of opportunities that liberalisation might bring.

"This is why the Pacific proposal has always included an adjustment fund as a development component.

"It is imperative that Pacific negotiators continue to protect these kinds of pro-development initiatives in the Pacific ACP EPA proposal.

"We are seeing the explicit linking of aid with trade in an agreement between a weak and a very strong negotiating power. This power imbalance makes us vulnerable to bullying from the EU. PANG urges Pacific governments to stand strong and push for Pacific interests," said Ms Sami.

She said it was important for Pacific negotiators to hold their ground in the EPA negotiations to set a benchmark for negotiations with New Zealand and Australia.

A Space Inside (Issue 1) Trailer

A video trailer highlighting the contents of the first issue of our journal. Contents:
How to Stencil (2 Stencils Included)
The Best Things in Life are Anarchistic
Learning from OCAP - Making Activism Relevant
An Interview with a Russian Anarchist
A Radical History of Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau


Revolutionary Motives

Fighting and organising globally against neoliberalism!

Latin American and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum Oct
11-14, 2007. Melbourne, Australia

A global call for participation

We call on all activists, organisations and communities who are
committed to building a better world to join together at the Latin
American and Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum to be held in
October 2007, in Melbourne Australia.

The forum has been initiated by the organisers of several successful
conferences and gatherings in solidarity with Latin America and the
Asia Pacific, the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), Asia
Pacific International Solidarity Conference (APISC) and the Latin
American Solidarity Network (LASNET). With this call we would like to
invite you to participate in this international forum.

A time of resistance, progress and struggle

Today, cracks are beginning to appear in the neo-liberal capitalist
ruling system. In the Asia-Pacific there is a growing crisis of
legitimacy for neo-liberal governments and mass movements of
resistance are on the rise. In Latin American a people's rebellion is
growing across the continent. An echo of the massive independence
struggles against colonialism and imperialism can again be heard.

Old ideas are being re-examined and new ways experimented with.
Discussion and debate have been revived among whole communities -- on
issues such as workers' control and management; indigenous autonomy
and self-determination; building trade unions and social movements;
electoral campaigning and counter-power strategies. These discussions
have given birth to some of the most dynamic and successful social
movements and political organisations in recent decades.

There is great diversity among these movements. Some are working to
achieve power, while others, such as the Zapatistas, aim to completely
re-define and recreate the notion of power. Some have formed links
with political parties and are constantly adjusting how they relate to
the government of the day.

Popular governments have won elections with the support of social
movements, and in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador we
are seeing progressive and radical changes. The Venezuelan idea of
socialism for the 21st century is giving renewed hope and energy to
other liberation processes.

Many of these movements and political organisations are winning. They
are strengthening people's participation, strengthening their
communities, developing people's power and inspiring a new generation
of political activists.

Another world can only be realised if people like you and me also
commit to this emerging project of struggle against neoliberalism.


International participants

Aotearoa / New Zealand
* Sina Brown-Davis, Maori/Pasifikan activist, G20 Arrestee
* Vaughan Gunson, Socialist Worker NZ
* Abul Hossain, President, United Labour Federation
* An activist from the life and water social movements coalition
* Roger Annis, Canada Haiti Action Network
* John Riddell, Socialist Voice
* Suzanne Weiss, Venezuela We are With You
* A representative of the National Federation of Agricultural Farming
Unions (Fensuagro)
* Nélida Hernández Carmona & Ifrahim Miranda León, Cuban
Consul-General & Consul in Australia
East Timor
* Avelino Coelho, General Secretary, Socialist Party of Timor
* Efren Calapucha, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of
Ecuador (CONAIE)
El Salvador

* Sigfrido Reyes Morales, Member of Parliament, FMLN Political Commission.
* Dita Sari, Founding chairperson of Centre for Indonesian Workers
Struggle (FNPBI)
* Agus Priono, Chairperson, National Liberation Party of Unity (PAPERNAS)
* Reverend Jang Chang Weon, Osan Laborers and Migrants Shelter,
Reconciliation and Unification Mission Center
* Irene Xavier, Coordinator, Transnational Information Exchange Asia
* Franciso Nemenzo, Chairperson, Laban ng Masa
* Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, Labour Party Pakistan
* Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, Labour Party Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
* John Chitoa and Rosa Koian, Bismarck Ramu Group
* Eva Golinger, author of The Chavez Code and Bush vs Chavez:
Washington's War on Venezuela
* Vladimir Villegas, Vice-Minister for Asia, Middle East and Oceania.
* Sandino Carrizales, Youth activist and Communal Councils organiser.
* Nelson Davila, Venezuela's Charge d'Affairs in Australia
* Tran Quoc Khanh, Vietnam's Deputy Consul General in Australia
West Papua
* Anak Jehudi, Patron, West Papua Students Association, Port Morseby.


George Clinton - Atomic Dog

Apartheid South Africa and Israel Today:The Parallels

Farid Esack, a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School, is the author of Qur'an, Liberation and Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity against Oppression and On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today. A former national commissioner on gender equality appointed by President Nelson Mandela, Esack was active in the struggle against apartheid in the United Democratic Front and the Call of Islam. His current major field of research and activism is the response of Islam to AIDS; he founded Positive Muslims, an organization working with Muslims who are HIV positive in South Africa. This program was created by Altera Vista.

Aaliyah ft DMX- Come Back in One Piece


Villawood protesters claim victory

When asked if the protest had achieved anything, Ngaromoa replied:

"Did we achieve anything boys? Absolutely. This is from all walks of life on this earth and we all came united."

Related Video
Villawood protesters claim victory (1:58)

Aug 24, 2007 6:18 PM

Two New Zealanders who have been protesting on the roof of an Australian immigration jail have declared victory on their fourth night out in the open.

The Hawke's Bay men have come down from the roof of Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre and ended a hunger strike after immigration officials met with detainees and agreed to improve conditions.

New Zealanders Montana Kelly, 27, his cousin Bruce Ngaromoa, 32, and 30-year-old Vietnamese man Van Nguyn climbed onto the roof on Monday night in a protest sparked by the cancellation of inmates' visits to family outside the centre.

The Villawood Three were preparing for another long night on the roof when news came that immigration officials were backing down.

"It was a victory," says Ngaromoa.

A spokeswoman for Australia's immigration minister had gone on record saying there would be no negotiations on conditions inside the centre until the men came down.

"The issues that we've asked... they're going to address those tomorrow morning," says Ngaromoa.

"We're waiting for them to come back with more paperwork."

As well as seeking drug and violence counselling common in any prison, the protesters also asked negotiators if they will face any charges for their protest.

They were assured that no charges would be laid.

When asked if the protest had achieved anything, Ngaromoa replied:

"Did we achieve anything boys? Absolutely. This is from all walks of life on this earth and we all came united."

The three have served jail time in Australia and they face deportation as a result.

While they fight against that, they will continue to be detained at the centre where the Australian government charges each inmate $125 a night.

The inmates run up a debt they must pay back if they are deported and ever want to return.

Malcolm X & Keith LeBlanc - No Sell Out


Censors and beat-ups in the South Pacific

Assassinations, coups and conflicts plague the region -- most recently in Fiji -- but does the media provide enough background on post-terrorism issues? asks David Robie

In the more recent case of rebellion against the Polynesian feudal monarchy of Tonga -- seven people died during last month's rioting -- the conflict is about greater democracy and self-determination for the citizens.

"When the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) warned of a developing 'post-modern badlands' in the Pacific Islands, and politicians began talking seriously of the need for urgent 'pre-emptive' action, you had to wonder whether their perceptions of the Pacific were being coloured by the type of images conveyed in futuristic movies such as Minority Report," Fraenkel wrote in 2005.

"In that film, tomorrow's murderers can be identified, arrested and convicted using a psychic machine before they are even conscious of having decided to commit crimes.

"To anyone familiar with Pacific politics, these images of postmodern security threats were outlandish scaremongering.

By David Robie
AsiaMedia Contributing Writer

Friday, December 8, 2006

Auckland, New Zealand --- Fiji's fourth coup in almost two decades and the military's failed attempt to censor key media has thrown a spotlight on growing challenges facing journalists reporting on the South Pacific. The Melanesian sub-region of the South Pacific, in particular, has been branded by some political analysts as an "arc of instability."

In the past two decades, coups (Fiji), ethnic conflict (Solomon Islands), pro-independence ructions (New Caledonia), paramilitary revolts (Vanuatu), secessionist rebellion and civil war (Bougainville-Papua New Guinea and the Southern Highlands) have troubled the Pacific.

While New Zealand argues from a "Pacific" perspective that sees the region as less threatening, a predominantly Australian view of the region, as argued by strategic analyst Paul Dibb (PDF), forecasts a "more demanding and potentially dangerous neighbourhood."

Australia's strategic objective was to promote stability with regional neighbours such as East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the island countries of the Southwest Pacific. But in the wake of 9/11, the Bali bombing of October 2002 and a perceived higher level of internal conflict in several Pacific countries, Australia dramatically changed tack in the region.

Already strongly aligned with U.S. security interests and objectives, Canberra three years ago adopted a radical new "activist/interventionist" approach to regional security. "Australia sees the Pacific as potential or actual failed states, a potential source of terror and/or transnational crime and/or drug trafficking and/or pandemics (not to mention a corrosive China-Taiwan rivalry) and accordingly fashions an Iraq-style fixit response," says New Zealand Herald columnist Colin James.

In a recent speech, he added that a New Zealand analysis would say the policy is "bound to fail because it fails to see the island societies, economies and governments in their totality. New Zealanders, perhaps unjustly, would urge a more subtle analysis."

Military policing interventions will not deal with strategic issues such as the lack of jobs for the exploding populations in Melanesia. And Pacific labour mobility is just one of the crucial issues facing the region.

Simplistic notions and prejudices about the region pose challenges for journalists attempting to report with depth, context and analytical skill. Pressures and dilemmas for the news media continue to gain momentum in the South Pacific, often from a cultural as well as socio-political dimension.

After the military this week forced Fiji's major daily newspaper and sole television station, The Fiji Times and Fiji TV, to close for a day in response to heavy censorship, acting commander Captain Esala Teleni claimed it was a "misunderstanding" and pledged no further media interference.

Crises also pose major problems for Pacific media covering the region with very limited resources. While the media in some countries are refreshingly outspoken and courageous, in others there is a worrying trend towards self-censorship.

Background of conflict

Pacific media need more journalists with regional perspectives and experience in conflict reporting. In a 2005 survey of violent conflict in the South Pacific, political analyst John Henderson found that 10 political assassinations have occurred in the region since 1981.

These assassinations have been:

New Caledonian independence leader Pierre Declercq (1981); Belau President Haruo Remeliik (1985); Kanak independence leader Eloi Machoro (1985); New Caledonian independence leaders Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Yéiwene Yéiwene (1989); Bougainville Premier Theodore Miriung (1996); Samoan cabinet Minister and anti-corruption campaigner Luagalau Leva'ula Kamu (1999); West Papua pro-independence leader Theys Hiyo Eluay (2001); and two leading Solomon islands political figures, cabinet minister Augustine Geve (2002) and Peace Council member Frederick Soaki (2003). Fiji's current military strongman, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, narrowly escaped becoming the 11th assassination victim when rebel elite Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit (CRW) soldiers staged a mutiny in November 2000.

The South Pacific's military and paramilitary forces have been a major contributor to violence in the region, particularly in Melanesia. About 120,000 Pacific Islanders have died in conflicts over the past quarter century.

The region has so far experienced:

* Four coups -- two in Fiji in 1987, and a further one in May 2000, followed by a putsch in the Solomon Islands the following month. The fourth Fiji coup happened this week.
* Seven mutinies -- the Vanuatu paramilitary in 1996 and 2002, PNG military forces in 1997 (over the Sandline mercenary affair), 2001 and 2002; and part of the Fiji army in July and November 2000.
* One cross-border military strike by a friendly nation -- French secret service saboteurs bombed the Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand in 1985.
* Systematic military oppression -- by Indonesian forces in West Papua since Jakarta seized the province from the Dutch colonisers in 1963.

Some analysts argue that the region should not get carried away with extreme perceptions over so-called "failed states" or even "rogue states."

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) responses -- including the Biketawa Declaration, a collective crisis response in 2000, and Nasonini Declaration, a 2002 implementation of anti-terrorist measures -- led to the establishment of the multinational Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in early 2003.

University of the South Pacific academic Dr. Jon Fraenkel argued in a 2004 article in the Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics that the major security threats in the region are "internal, not externally inspired terrorist atrocities." He added that there are "no movements in the Pacific like Al Qaeda, or the Red Brigades of the 1970s, which...retreat into committing bloody terrorist atrocities against perceived opponents."

In contrast, Melanesian conflicts in Bougainville, Fiji, Papua New Guinea Highlands, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are fuelled by local disputes, including demands for autonomy and/or independence, clan-based or ethnic divisions or land-related disputes.

In the more recent case of rebellion against the Polynesian feudal monarchy of Tonga -- seven people died during last month's rioting -- the conflict is about greater democracy and self-determination for the citizens.

"When the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) warned of a developing 'post-modern badlands' in the Pacific Islands, and politicians began talking seriously of the need for urgent 'pre-emptive' action, you had to wonder whether their perceptions of the Pacific were being coloured by the type of images conveyed in futuristic movies such as Minority Report," Fraenkel wrote in 2005.

"In that film, tomorrow's murderers can be identified, arrested and convicted using a psychic machine before they are even conscious of having decided to commit crimes.

"To anyone familiar with Pacific politics, these images of postmodern security threats were outlandish scaremongering."

The case of West Papua

The major conflict in the region has been West Papua, often billed the "forgotten war," and indeed this issue has been largely neglected by international media and the issue of state terrorism is rarely addressed.

Now through a new security treaty with Indonesia, Australia is even more overtly being drawn into repression of pro-independence activists. Diplomats expect the recent Indonesia and Australia Framework for Security Co-operation to put an end to the diplomatic rift caused when Australia granted 43 Papuans political asylum earlier this year. Both nations will agree to respect each other's territorial integrity. The treaty will recognise Indonesian sovereignty over Papua and commit both countries to suppressing independence activists.

South Pacific news media have played a crucial role in exposing corruption and abuse of political power or office in the region -- in some cases leading to justice. Now the Pacific needs more journalists with the skills necessary to address globalisation and "the new regionalism."

There is an urgent need for more journalists who can make sense of the new Australian, New Zealand and international "interventionist" engagement with the Pacific that is broadly shaping regional trends.

This article is based on Dr. Robie's keynote paper at the Media: Policies, cultures and futures in the Asia-Pacific Region conference at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, on Nov. 29, 2006. You can access the complete paper as a PDF via Robie's website.

The views expressed above are those of the author and are not necessarily those of AsiaMedia or the UCLA Asia Institute.

Date Posted: 12/8/2006


Colorado AIM Call To Action: Newmont Mining Protest

Most of you know that Newmont Mining is the second largest mining
corporation in the world, and is based in Denver. Newmont operates on
every continent, except Antarctica, and almost every one of its
operations has negative impacts on First Nations people. In Peru,
indigenous activists have been beaten, imprisoned and killed in the
course of opposing Newmont's practices. The same can be said in Ghana
and Indonesia. In the U.S., Newmont, in collusion with the U.S.
government, is invading the territory of the Western Shoshone Nation
-- in violation of the Treaty of Ruby Valley of 1863. Next week, the
University of Denver, Graduate School of International Studies,
intends to honor Newmont in expectation of a huge corporate
contribution to the school.

The protest will be joined by Carrie Dann and Julie Fishel of the
Western Shoshone Defense Project. At the protest, the " Real
International Bridge-Builder Human Rights Award" will be awarded to
Carrie Dann, who will accept it on behalf of the Western Shoshone,
other indigenous communities, and all communities who have suffered,
but continue to resist, Newmont's policies and actions.

WHO: American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado, Global Response,
Rocky Mtn Peace and Justice Center, Stop Newmont Coalition, CU
Indigenous Support Network, and the Denver Justice and Peace
Commission are all protesting an award to be given by the U of Denver
to Wayne Murdy, CEO of Newmont Mining Company. Please join us!
WHAT: On Aug 30, at the black-tie Korbel Dinner, DU will be wining and
dining Denver's elite. This is a top-tier fund raiser for the Graduate
School of International Studies (GSIS), which touts its program on
International Human Rights. Newmont CEO Wayne Murdy will be presented
the "International Bridge Builder's Award." Former Secreatry of State
Madeleine Albright will be the keynote speaker.

WHY: To educate the public about Newmont Mining Corporation's myriad
human rights and environmental abuses in Indonesia, Ghana, Peru, San
Luis Valley in Colorado, Western Shoshone territory ( U.S.),
Australia, Romania and Mexico, and to let the University of Denver
know how inappropriate it is for Newmont to be receiving this award.

WHERE: The Denver Marriot on 17th and California, downtown Denver.

WHEN: Thursday, August 30th at 6pm


Fire Witch Rising:



Rudd-Other Cheek of the Same Arse

WHAT difference will the election of Labor leader Kevin Rudd as Australia’s next prime minister make for his Pacific neighbours? Will there be significant changes, or just more of the same?

Unlike the sometimes tumultuous democratic change elsewhere, Australian elections are a staid affair. But consistent polls tell us that a limited version of “regime change” is about to take place in Canberra.

The Rudd team has successfully marketed itself, and the investment groups, mining companies and corporate media which dominate Australian policy – despite their prior uncritical support for prime minister John Howard – broadly accept the proposed change.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch even gave his personal blessing, after Rudd visited him in New York.

No small part of the Rudd team’s success has been the ugliness of the incumbents.
Domestic legitimacy was difficult to maintain in face of the unpopular privatisations, bloody war, racist policy towards immigrants and refugees, and attacks on domestic civil and industrial rights.

The Pacific legacy, similarly, is not pretty.While preaching “good governance” and security in the region, intervention and corruption were hallmarks of the Howard administration.

Regional intervention was linked to commercial and strategic interest, but argued in the name of “stability” and “assistance”. The Ramsi intervention in the Solomon Islands, although initially invited, led to a near collapse in relations between the Australian and Solomons governments.

The 2006 intervention in Timor Leste, following a long conflict over oil and gas revenue, affronted the major political party. Fretilin now in opposition, blames Australia for backing a coup. And the planned Enhanced Cooperation Programme for PNG collapsed after unconstitutional immunities sought for Australian officials were overturned in PNG’s Supreme Court.

Under Alexander Downer’s stewardship of foreign affairs and trade, the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) personnel paid nearly A$300 million in bribes to Saddam Hussein’s regime, to secure pre-invasion wheat contracts. As an official inquiry showed, Downer then argued the case for Australian participation in the illegal invasion of Iraq, on the basis that support for the US-led war would benefit “Australia’s commercial position in Iraq”.

As it happened, exposure of the AWB scandal allowed the US to completely squeeze Australian wheat suppliers out of the Iraqi market.

Neighbouring leaders were treated with contempt. When PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare was forced to remove his shoes in Brisbane airport, Downer claimed this was a “standard operation” that applies to “everybody”.Yet when US vice-president Dick Cheney arrived in Australia, state laws were changed overnight, at Howard and Downer’s request, to allow Cheney’s bodyguards to carry their weapons through the airport and onto the streets of Sydney.

Then as Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare sought to appoint Australian lawyer Julian Moti as his attorney-general, Canberra and the Australian federal police decided they would sideline Moti with charges that he had engaged in child sex in Vanuatu.

In fact, Moti had been cleared of all charges and was not wanted in Vanuatu. His real offence, it seems, was that he had advised an inquiry into the role of Australian police in the April 2006 disturbances in Honiara.

When Moti passed through Port Moresby, the PNG Government did not comply with an Australian extradition request, and instead deported him to the Solomons, Howard and Downer then turned on the PNG Government.

With such a history, most Australians and their Pacific neighbours are keen to see the back of Howard.Indeed, regime change in Canberra at the least brings the prospect of some new faces, and perhaps a change of tone in the conversation.

Rudd and his shadow foreign minister Robert McClelland may well take a step back from the overt racism that characterised the Howard-Downer regime, where neighbouring governments were bluntly told what was good for them.

This change in tone may be reflected in some actual policy changes, for example a resurgence in the teaching of Asian languages in Australian schools, and an increase in AusAID scholarships.

Rudd has spoken of a “Pacific Colombo Plan”, suggesting significant numbers of scholarships. He has also indicated a planned increase in the AusAID budget, from 0.3% to 0.5% of GDP, by 2015-16.

Most of this, as we know, will return as “boomerang aid” to the handful of Australian companies who are AusAID’s “preferred contractors”. Nevertheless, aid money is clearly a central means by which Rudd hopes to rescue Australian influence. He recognises the damage Howard has done, speaking of a “long-term drift in Australia’s strategic standing right across this region” and expressing a desire to control “anti-Australianism” and avoid “costly military interventions”.

What might this mean in practice?It may include increased intervention.
Rudd’s party now speaks of a “staged withdrawal” of troops from Iraq, but a build-up in Afghanistan and the Pacific, possibly including Timor Leste.

The budget of the Australian Federal Police in the Pacific already nearly exceeds its domestic budget, but Rudd has promised them even greater resources.

Education aid will be targeted. Rudd will likely follow Howard in plans to increase scholarships to Timor Leste, now that Australian troops have helped sideline Fretilin.

Due to Howard’s chilly relations with the Alkatiri government, scholarships to Australian universities for Timorese students had fallen from 20% a year to just 8% per year. That may now increase.

McClelland, who is likely to be the new foreign minister under a Rudd government, has spoken of Labor’s desire to train “a new generation of young leaders” from Timor Leste, PNG, the Solomons and Fiji, with greater Australian loyalties.

This brings us back to the continuities between Howard and Rudd. We can expect Rudd as prime minister to continue to back Australian mining companies and to work against potential competitors, in the Timor Sea and in PNG.

He will be hostile to plans to develop gas processing capacity in Timor Leste and PNG, if Australian companies are not involved. Rudd will probably continue Howard and Downer’s opposition to Cuban health and health training programmes in the region, but the opposition will remain private, because Australia cannot compete.

Timor Leste already has one of the fastest-growing health systems in the world, largely thanks to Cuban generosity. Relations with China are in a class apart, due to its economic power. Rudd, who speaks Chinese, has said he will seek greater engagement with China while maintaining a strong alliance with the US.
A further continuity will be Rudd’s backing of the “open market” or export-oriented approach to agriculture.

This is dictated by the global ambitions of Australian agribusiness.
On this basis, Australia refused to help rebuild Timor Leste’s rice production after 1999, even though it sells no rice to that country. Australia does have substantial rice exports to PNG, and typically does not support staple grain programmes.
A Labor government led by Rudd would not be quick to move on the “migrant worker” issue, because of trade union fears.

A possible breakthrough might come for skilled workers in the mining sector.
The simplest solution, of course, would be to extend to young Pacific people the backpacker visas now offered to young “working tourists” from wealthier countries such as Britain, Germany and South Korea.

However, residual racism in the Australian immigration system may make this difficult. As Rudd says, he “will listen” to the region. His background as a diplomat and a linguist give him some advantages, in this regard. However as a technocrat – who quibbles more with Howard’s means than his ends – he can be expected to maintain support for all the important commercial and strategic interests backed by Howard.
The pressure and influence is likely to be less crass and less public, but somewhat more “backroom” and cheque-book driven.

Dr Tim Anderson

Note: The author is a senior lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney

Stevie Wonder - Living For The City ( live 1973 )

Grace Jones - Pull Up To The Bumper

The Crusaders - Street Life (1979)

Third World - 96 Degrees in the Shade

UB40 One In Ten

Aussies 'had better go home': Alkatiri ups the stakes in East Timor

The leader of East Timor's largest political party has denounced the Australian troops occupying his country, saying 'they had better go home because they are not neutral'. Mari Alkatiri, the Secretary-General of the Fretilin party, made his call after Australian troops waded into an anti-government protest held in a village near the East Timorese capital Dili yesterday. The Aussies provoked fury by ripping down two Fretilin flags and wiping their backsides with them. Fretilin led the fight against both the Portugese and the Indonesian occupations of East Timor, and its flag is seen by many Timorese as a symbol of national independence.

The leader of East Timor's largest political party has denounced the Australian troops occupying his country, saying 'they had better go home because they are not neutral'.

Mari Alkatiri, the Secretary-General of the Fretilin party, made his call after Australian troops waded into an anti-government protest held in a village near the East Timorese capital Dili yesterday. The Aussies provoked fury by ripping down two Fretilin flags and wiping their backsides with them. Fretilin led the fight against both the Portugese and the Indonesian occupations of East Timor, and its flag is seen by many Timorese as a symbol of national independence. Fretilin vice-President Arsenio Bano backed up Alatiri's statement, saying that the actions of the troops reflected the 'cultural insensitivity and arrogance [that] typifies Australian military operations in the Pacific region'.

Yesterday's incident came amidst continuing protests against an Australian-backed government that is widely seen as illegitimate. Although it won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections held last month, Fretilin was snubbed by East Timor's pro-Australian President Jose Ramos-Horta, who invited his close political ally Xanana Gusmao to form a government. Gusmao and Horta's National Congress for Timorese Reconciliation party won only 22% of the vote in the elections, and Gusmao's inauguration as Prime Minister on August the 8th sparked big protests in Dili and in the eastern towns of Baucau and Viqueque.

When the Australian and New Zealand troops and police who comprise the majority of the UN-sponsored 'International Stabilisation Force' tried to shut the protests down rioting broke out. Vehicles carrying Anzacs were stoned, and buildings associated with the UN, the Australian government, and the CNRT were burnt. Ambushers fired shots at a convoy of UN vehicles on a road south of Baucau.

In some places criminal gangs joined in the riots, attacking civilians and churches and looting shops. In Baucau, a gang broke into a convent and raped several girls. The government and its Anzac allies have used the criminals as an excuse to launch a campaign of repression against their political opponents. In the four days after Gusmao's inauguration as Prime Minister, the International Stabilisation Force fired more than two hundred rounds of tear gas at protesters. Dozens of peaceful protesters were arrested for offences like 'blocking the road'.

Comparing protesters to the pro-Indonesian militia that killed hundreds of East Timorese in 1999, Horta and Gusmao have warned that civil servants who take to the streets could lose their jobs. Such a threat carries great weight, in a country where 50% of the population is unemployed and the public sector offers the best hope of well-paid work. The new government has also tried to discourage protesters by insisting that they must apply for a permit to march through public streets a full twenty-one days in advance.

Anzac troops and police have often been accused of using their muscle to interfere in the politics of East Timor. Fretilin complained about Australian harassment of its election workers and candidates during the elections earlier this year, and in February big protests broke out in Dili after Australian soldiers killed two youths who had been demonstrating against the destruction of a refugee camp near the city's airport.

Alkatiri was Prime Minister of East Timor until the middle of last year, when he was forced to resign by the Anzac force that had arrived in his country in the aftermath of rioting that killed thirty-seven people. Alkatiri and other Fretilin leaders have argued that the Australian government stirred up the riots, and then used Anzac troops to force him to relinquish power in favour of Horta.

The left-wing journalist and long-time observer of East Timor John Pilger has backed Alkatiri's claims. Pilger believes that the Howard government wanted a government in Dili which would agree to greater Australian control over the rich oil and gas reserves under the seas off Timor. Alkatiri had angered Canberra and its ally in Washington by playing hardball over the oil reserves, refusing to support Bush's 'War of Terror', and bringing Cuban medics to East Timor. Horta, by contrast, is an outspoken supporter of the invasion of Iraq who calls John Howard a personal friend and has taken a conciliatory attitude in negotiations over oil.

Alkatiri has also found support for his complaints amongst the leaders of some of East Timor's neighbours. Last week, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare accused Australia of interfering in East Timor's politics, and warned that it was trying similar tricks in his country. The Solomon Islands is saddled with its own Anzac occupation, and its new, independent-minded Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare has expressed his solidarity with Alkatiri.

Despite his hatred of the Howard government, Alkatiri has never before called so directly for the withdrawal of Australian forces from East Timor. An astute and often cynical political player, he has feared angering those parts of Fretilin who had hoped the occupation could be made to work in the party's interests. Alkatiri's new boldness and the ongoing protests suggest that the mood in Fretilin has turned decisively against accommodation with the occupiers of East Timor. Together, the illegitimate government in Dili and the Anzac troops that support it have alienated large numbers of Timorese. Arsenio Bano summed up the feelings of many when he said yesterday that the Australian government 'has had one overriding aim — the removal of the democratically elected Fretilin government and its replacement with the illegitimate government of Gusmao'.

The ongoing protests in East Timor should be a wake-up call to New Zealanders. Most Kiwis oppose the Howard government and the neo-colonial occupation it is helping George Bush maintain in Iraq, but few realise that their army and police force is helping prop up a similar occupation in East Timor. Kiwi troops and cops operate under Australian control in East Timor, and are supporting a government which is deeply unpopular. It is not surprising, then, that they are being targeted alongside the Australians. They should be withdrawn before they get sucked further into the escalating conflict between Australian imperialism and the East Timorese people.


More protests at Villawood expected

August 21, 2007 - 1:34PM

More detainees are expected to join a protest against conditions at Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre, where three inmates have spent almost a day on the facility's roof, a refugee advocate says.

New Zealanders Montana Kelly, 27, his cousin Bruce Ngaromoa, 32, and 30-year-old Vietnamese man Van Nguyn climbed onto the roof on Monday night in a protest sparked by the cancellation of inmates' visits to family outside the centre.

The men also are demanding improved health care at the centre.

Social Justice Network spokesman Jamal Daoud, who visited the centre on Tuesday afternoon, said there was a "heated" feeling among the 400-odd inmates and he predicted more action on Tuesday night.

"(Detainees) are ready to take more action," Mr Daoud said.

"Something could happen tonight or tomorrow ... maybe more people climbing on the roof."

Talking to AAP by mobile phone from the rooftop, two of the men claimed to have badly injured themselves climbing on the roof.

Mr Daoud said a meeting on Tuesday afternoon between centre management and a detainee representative had not been productive.

"(Management) say they can't do much until Canberra review the process," Mr Daoud said.

A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the matters would not be addressed until the men came down from the roof.

Mr Daoud, who said security at the centre had almost doubled, said he was disappointed the department had not sent a delegate to negotiate with protesters.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said he would not order the removal of the three detainees from the roof for fear of them being hurt.

Asked on Macquarie Radio why centre officials did not simply put up a ladder and bring the men down, Mr Andrews said: "We have to be careful we don't cause any physical damage to them".

He said the three men were being held at the centre awaiting deportation, after being convicted of armed robbery or assault.

"The three people involved (in the protest) have lengthy and serious criminal histories and they're people that we will be seeking to remove from Australia," Mr Andrews said.

"The reason why any excursions out of Villawood in these situations have been stopped is because unfortunately we had someone who went on a visit a few weeks ago and absconded.

"I've taken the decision that I'm not prepared to allow that to happen and the only reason that a person will be escorted out of Villawood would be (for) something like a medical emergency."


"The Harder They Come" Jimmy Cliff

4 Bro, take it easy aye.

The Palm Island Uprising

We've had enough mate, this is ridiculous.The system not only is not working for us, it has never ever worked for us or delivered justice. What is going on on Palm Island is a genuine reflection of how all Aboriginal people are feeling at this stage across Aboriginal Australia.
Murrandoo Doomadgee, cousin of Mulrunjie Doomadgee, on Lateline, 26th November 2004

On the 26th of November, 2004, around 300 members of the Aboriginal community on Palm Island in northern Queensland rioted, burning down the police station and courthouse, and setting fire to the police barracks, a police officers house, and a stolen police car, by throwing Molotov cocktails (as well as rocks and other projectiles). The islands armed police force were helpless to stop the destruction, and the scores of riot police ready to be flown in from the mainland to put the riot down were prevented from doing so by rioters blockading the islands only airstrip with cars.

On the 19th of November, 36-year-old Palm Islander Mulrunjie (Cameron) Doomadgee had died in police custody, after being arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior. The riot came in immediate response to the reading of the coroners autopsy report a week later, which detailed Doomadgees injuries at time of death as being four broken ribs, a punctured lung, and his liver literally torn in two an injury most commonly seen in serious road accidents. The coroner deemed these injuries to be in-keeping with the official police line of Doomadgee having fallen on a concrete step during a scuffle as he was being led from the police paddy wagon to the islands watch-house. It seems the Aboriginal community of Palm Island did not agree.

Palm Island has quite a history of colonial brutality and indigenous resistance. Before white invasion in north Queensland, the island belonged to the Manbarra people. It was only in 1914 that the Queensland Government claimed the island as a reserve, and shortly decided it would make an appropriate dumping ground for Aboriginal and Islander people regarded by the colonial establishment as uncontrollables. By 1940, at least 1,630 people from 40 different Aboriginal communities around Queensland would be forcibly removed from their communities and deposited imprisoned on the island.

Removal to Palm Island was the heaviest punishment a colonial officer could legally administer. In charge of the new reserve settlement was an ex-army captain, Robert Curry, a man with no previous administrative experience. From the start the settlement was under-financed, with the residents (that is, prisoners) of the island violently denied their traditional ways of life (even speaking Aboriginal languages was forbidden) surviving on meagre rations and living in complete poverty. Leprosy and venereal disease spread through the settlement, and the doctors appointed to the island by the colonial administration were, unsuprisingly, less than enthusiastic in their attempts to curtail the diseases spreading.

Perhaps an indication of just how desperate things were on the island during this time is the mental collapse of Administrator Curry whose living conditions would have been positively luxurious compared to the settlements Aboriginal population who in February 1930 went on a destructive rampage, killing his own children and torching several buildings before he was shot by one of his own Aboriginal staffers.
In 1957 a series of incidents involving the colonial staffs treatment of Aboriginal women and a decision by the colonial administration to cut wages, led to a strike by the residents. The authorities responded by expelling 25 identified ringleaders of the resistance, and their families, from the island. A second strike occurred in 1974 when the colonial administration sacked the local Community Council and threatened to turn control of the island over to the City Council of Townsville the nearest mainland city.

The Australian Govenment finally relinquished control of Palm Island at least on paper in 1985 when title for the island was passed to the Community Council in the form of a DOGIT (Deed of Grant in Trust). While this gave the residents a greater say in the administration of the island, the transfer of title led to the removal of much of the Government infrastructure. Soon after the decision was made, barges arrived and houses, shops, the timber mill and farming equipment were disassembled and shipped back to the mainland. The Aboriginal residents of Palm Island some of them Manbarra people, indigenous to the island, many of them indigenous to elsewhere in Queensland and transported (or the descendents of those transported) to the settlement as punishment for their defiance of colonial authority had their traditional ways of life stamped out and replaced with the poverty of colonial capitalist life by the white European occupiers over the course of 70 brutal years. Then, when they protested their slave-like conditions and insisted upon some semblance of independence, the Government punished them for their perceived ingratitude and removed everything it had taught them to rely upon.

In the 20 years since this event, familiar symptoms of social trauma and denigration have set in as a direct result of the poverty, appalling conditions and subsequent desperation of the community of Palm Island, who grapple with the weight of a common legacy of colonization: they are at once brutally oppressed and utterly abandoned. A Department of Public Works Director-Generals briefing note records that in an 8 month period in 2003, there were 16 youth suicides and 8 domestic murders on the island. The community of 3500 indigenous people is squeezed into about 220 houses, averaging 17 people to a house. The unemployment rate on the island remembering that the Aboriginal people comprising the community of Palm Island have had their traditional ways of life completely annihilated is said to be around 95%. In the late 1990s, The Guinness Book of Records listed Palm Island, Australias largest indigenous community, as the most violent place on earth outside of a war-zone. Here we see the extent of the damage Australia has done to its surviving indigenous communities; the legacy of colonization in its starkest tones.

Since the uprising, the Palm Island community has been vilified by the very political and cultural establishment that created its problems in the first place. Peter Lindsay, The Federal Member for Herbert (in which Palm Island is situated), for instance, recently called his constituents dysfunctional and hopeless. Perhaps a reporter for the ABC went even further in revealing the true nature of Australias supposed multi-culturism and respect for its indigenous cultures: during the inquest into Mulrunjie Doomadgees death (which at this writing is still in progress), legal representatives for Aboriginal witnesses requested interpreters for the witnesses, for whom English is not a first language (Aboriginal people are now at least permitted to speak their own languages on Palm Island). The reporter in question asked an Aboriginal spokesperson, why cant these people just speak English?
Aside from the unabashed white supremacist commentary of the occupying culture which, by the way, has no more legal right to be occupying a single square inch of Australia than, say, the U.S military in Iraq the Palm Island community has been terrorized since the uprising by a paramilitary police force that has itself been nothing short of an army of occupation on the island.

Indeed, well-respected Aboriginal activist Sam Watson responded to a question from the mainstream media about violence in the Aboriginal community in the wake of the riot thusly: The only violence weve had in the Aboriginal community within the past few hours has been the tactical response force running through our homes and terrorising our old people and our children Weve had small children, eight and nine-year-olds, cast onto the ground and their heads forced into the dirt by these thugs in balaclavas with submachine guns. That sort of thing doesn't even happen in Iraq.

As well as verifying Watsons shocking assertions, U.K newspaper The Guardian (Australias corporate media has evidently been too busy wondering why residents of Palm Island wont just speak English to bother reporting any of this repression) also reported that police smashed down front doors of homes and stormed in with shotguns and riot shields. An alleged leader of the protests, Lex Wotton, was arrested by four car loads of police, who shot him with an immobiliser gun while he was stood with his hands up and the police guns were trained on him.

More than 30 people were arrested by these methods plus of course the countless people terrorized by the Tactical Response paramilitaries who werent taken into custody. 18 men, 3 womyn (one of them 65 years old) and 2 children (of undisclosed age) were charged, and eventually released on bail, but for many of them it was a condition of their bail that they could not return to Palm Island not for the funeral of Mulrunjie Doomadgee, not to be with their families for Christmas, and not even if they were the sole provider for their families.

Meanwhile, the man clearly responsible for the violent demise of Mulrunjie Doomadgee, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley the arresting officer on the night he died, who was seen on top of Doomadgee, punching him, by another man arrested that night was whisked away from the island soon after the death (for his own safety) and transferred to a cushy post on the Gold Coast, apparently rewarded rather than punished for the murder.

As the inquest into Doomadgees death drags on it seems less and less likely that Hurley will ever face charges; but 23 of the men, womyn and children arrested so brutally on Palm Island face charges of arson, serious assault of police, rioting with intent to cause damage to property and riotous demolition of a building (and it could have been worse: a few days after the uprising the Queensland Police Union made a failed bid to ensure that the charges against those accused of firebombing Palm Islands police station be upgraded to attempted murder, as there were cops hiding in there). The Queensland Police Union also launched a government-sponsored public appeal for donations to help the officers whose belongings were destroyed or stolen in the rebellion this, of course, includes Hurley, whose house was burnt down (sadly not with him in it he had already left the island). Perhaps a fat cheque helped ease Hurleys disappointment at not being honored for his bravery unbelievably, at least two of the 18 armed police who fled the 300-strong insurgency of 26th November were said by Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence to be in line to be awarded bravery medals!!!

Absurd double-standards, lies, hypocrisy, brazen racism, murderous police state brutality and repression; all of it part of an unbroken circle of occupation and genocide in this country that has been spinning continuously for 217 years and counting. There has been no great change in the megalomaniacal ideals or vicious conduct of the invading European culture that has colonized Australia. But indigenous resistance to this spinning circle of death and money, this McCulture of annihilation, is changing, is fluid. In Redfern in early 2004, we saw a small but militant reprisal from the Aboriginal community of the Block when a young Aboriginal boy was impaled on a fence while being chased by police [see The Redfern Uprising by Dave Antagonism]. The Palm Island uprising less than a year later involved at least twice as many Aboriginal people, and, although there was little direct engagement with the cops (who were hopelessly outnumbered and thus beat a hasty retreat), the insurgency was both militant and focussed the primary vestiges of colonial authority on the island (the police station, the courthouse) were attacked and destroyed outright. The Palm Island uprising also showed clear signs of tactical awareness, particularly in the blockading of the islands airstrip, preventing police reinforcements from arriving.

This, in my view, is what elevates it from a riot spontaneous, unfocussed, easily out-maneuvered, contained or crushed by a large enough enemy force to an uprising, an insurgency, an insurrection.

But thats semantics. What we need to do is piece together what these recent ruptures in Australias otherwise undisturbed colonial realities mean for us anarchists, radicals, indigenous sovereignty advocates, environmentalists, anti-racists, criminals, malcontents; whatever space we occupy in the underbelly of occupied Australia. Because clearly, our standard practice when we even bother of giving lip-service to Aboriginal struggles as some kind of medication for our White Australian guilt-complex (whether we personally are white or not), is just not going to cut it anymore. The Aboriginal rebellions in Redfern and on Palm Island have been the only serious challenges to the colonial capitalist power structure in Australia in recent memory, and the fact is, to paraphrase Ward Churchills Pacifism as Pathology, the rest of us are in danger of being left behind to feel good about ourselves (if that), while the revolution goes on without us.

So if were serious about liberation in any way at all, we must find ways to contribute to the burgeoning Aboriginal militant resistance. Granted, the examples I have given here Redfern and Palm Island are clear cases of Aboriginal communities reaching a breaking point and spontaneously revolting against the colonial power structure as it manifests in their own community. But its increasingly clear that all Aboriginal communities are approaching this breaking point, and so our options for how and where to contribute to the resistance are practically infinite earning the trust and respect of Aboriginal communities with support and solidarity, furthering discussion and action around issues of Aboriginal sovereignty in the political circles we are already moving in, and I would say most important of all, readying ourselves for militant resistance in a very serious way.

At Redfern and Palm Island, the Aboriginal Nations of this country let it be known that, after more than 200 years of genocide, they are not about to be pushed over the brink without a fight. Now we must all decide to stop waiting for provocation, and finally carry the fight to our enemy.