Guest workers are not the answer, training our own is

John Sutton

April 30, 2008

Kevin Rudd's 2020 Summit may have hit some sweet notes but it got one issue profoundly wrong. By advocating so-called "labour mobility from the Asia-Pacific" it was embracing a key big-business demand that has the potential to devastate our labour market and open up major social divisions.

The push for the free movement of labour from the Asia-Pacific to Australia comes from the same people who gave us the failed Work Choices policy.

The summit notionally qualified its support for this policy with the proposition that the new guest workers should be paid according to Australian standards. This stipulation is not new. The labour laws were meant to protect 457 visa workers who have been found time and again in the past five years to be underpaid and exploited and deported if they claimed unfair treatment.

Make no mistake - the large movement of guest workers from the Asia-Pacific to our small labour market would have profound effects on the ability of governments or unions to uphold standards. This policy would lead to the "Mexicanisation" of our job market.

This two-track model is playing itself out in the world in Western Europe and the Middle East. Probably nowhere is the social experiment more advanced than in the Gulf states. What one sees around Dubai, for instance, are palaces of opulence rising out of the desert for citizens of the United Arab Emirates - off the back of the vast pool of cheap labour from the Asian subcontinent that lives in enclaves that are out of sight and out of mind.

Having temporary migrant status compared to permanent migrant status is the key difference with guest workers. Traditional migrants' difficulties pale into insignificance when you consider the circumstances of guest workers. Their right to stay in the country is completely dependent on their employer.

More often than not the conversation between an employer and a guest worker with a complaint goes as follows:

Worker: Boss, I'm not getting some rights and entitlements I should be getting under Australian law.

Employer: I'm giving you $10 an hour. If you were at home you'd be getting $2 an hour.

Worker: Boss, I'm working very long hours, I haven't had a day off for months and I'm not getting overtime rates like Australians get.

Employer: You ungrateful sod. Put your head down and keep working or you will be on a plane home.

End of conversation.

It's all very well for the Rudd Government to claim it can redress this situation with changes to the 457 visa regime. While the worker does not have the freedom to stay in the country, there is huge capacity for abuse and exploitation.

At the global level the World Bank advocates the spread of guest worker arrangements. Similarly, countries with vast pools of low-skilled workers are agitating through free trade agreements to place their workers overseas to obtain remittances from the host country.

While one can understand the point of view of these countries, it doesn't mean Australia should rush towards the two-track labour market without fully understanding the consequences.

There is a tried and true nation-building formula that has stood us in good stead and we need to return to it. It's called training our own people, particularly our youth, and committing to a strong permanent migration program.

Those employers who use the constant refrain of "We can't get Australians to do hard and dirty work" ought to stop leaving the last three words off their complaint. Those three words, "at low pay", tell the real story.

John Sutton is national secretary of the CFMEU.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/04/29/1209234861913.html


e waiata mo tatou I ou tatou nei ao tihei mauri ora kahangia koutou ki te wahi tika mou ehara etahi atu

Ploughshares Penetrate Waihopai Base Deflate Satellite Dome

by Ploughshares

Statement Of The Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation; and there shall be no more training for war. Isaiah 2/4

This morning, 30 April 2008, we entered the Waihopai Spy Base near Blenheim. Our group, including a Dominican Priest, temporarily closed the base by padlocking the gates and proceeded to deflate one of the large domes covering two satellite dishes.

At 6am we cut through three security fences surrounding the domes - these are armed with razor wire, infrared motion sensors and a high voltage electrified fence. Once inside we used sickles to cut one of the two 30-metre white domes, built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the people killed by United States military activity.

We have financed our activities through personal savings, additional part-time employment and a small interest-free loan from one of our supporters.

We are responding to the Bush administration’s admission that intelligence gathering is the most important tool in the so-called War on Terror. This war will have no end until citizens of the world refuse to let it continue. The ECHELON spy network including Waihopai, is an important part of the US government’s global spy network and we have come in the name of the Prince of Peace to close it down.

The base is funded by New Zealand tax payers and located on New Zealand soil which makes New Zealand a target through our association with the UKUSA intelligence cooperation agreement.

Five years ago the Clark government opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq. Yet at the same time the Bush administration was using the National Security Agency’s ECHELON system, of which Waihopai is an integral component, to spy on UN Security Council members so it could more easily swing them in favour of an invasion.

There have been over 100 Ploughshares actions over the last twenty years around the world. Ploughshares direct actions are linked through the common factors of: entry to locations connected to military activity, Christian prayers and most involve some form of property destruction.

Links: Photos | Anti-Bases Campaign | GPJA Congratulations

About Waihopai and ECHELON

Green MP Keith Locke is quoted as saying that the base has cost New Zealand up to NZ$500million since 1989. The base intercepts electronic communications throughout the Pacific region including New Zealand and is often staffed by personnel from US agencies.

In 1996 researcher Nicky Hager published an expose on Waihopai and New Zealand’s strong links to the USA-led ECHELON network of six similar spy stations around the world. The United Nations launched an investigation in 2003 to claims that ECHELON had been used by the US government to eavesdrop on UN diplomats and Security Council members. A report published in 2000 showed that ECHELON had also been used by the US to gain commercial advantage for US corporations.

Information gathered at Waihopai is transferred to the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in Wellington and fed unseen directly to Washington DC.


Free Indigenous Political Prisoners (Part 2)

Part 2 features Rastafarian solidarity with Bob Lovelace and the KI-6, as well as the voices of KI Chief Donny Morris and political prisoner Bruce Sakakeep, both being held in Thunder Bay.

Free Indigenous Political Prisoners (Part 1)

A rally in support of indigenous political prisoners Bob Lovelace and the "KI-6" was held on 09 Apr. at Ryerson University in Toronto. About 400 supporters turned out to decry corporatism and support the rights of indigenous people to land and freedom. Part 1 of 2.

Thanks to the RFB


Rio Tinto head claims tailings are not toxic

Shareholder's queries were met with inadequate responses from the Rio Tinto board at their annual general meeting held in Brisbane on 24th April 2008, including the outlandish claim by Paul Skinner that mine tailings dumping into the river from the notorious Freeport mine are not toxic.

"Mr Skinners response indicates that the board of Rio Tinto have some drastically inaccurate information on the nature and extent of the impacts of the Freeport mine, and that the company really isn't taking the destructive impacts of their operations seriously," stated Techa Beaumont, Executive Director of MPI who attended the meeting as a proxy for a Rio Tinto shareholder.

"Its time for Rio Tinto to take responsiblity for its role in what is arguably the most destructive mining operations on the planet; to be honest about the severe impacts at this operation and do something meaningful to stop the unsustainable practices. It is ridiculous and completely untenable for Rio Tinto to defend the mine's waste impacts as harmless," continued Ms Beaumont.

The company's toxicology testings and CSIRO studies confirmed the toxicity of the tailings to aquatic life in the downstream environment beyond any doubt (see below) and the Norweigan Government Pension fund- an investor in the company operating the mine divested from the company based on finding of 'severe environmental damage' caused by the practice of riverine tailings disposal.

Rio Tinto is viewed as directly responsible for the problems at this operation in as far as they provided the funding and profit from a massive expansion in rates of production at the operations - a change at the mine that lead to the enormous environmental destruction downstream of the operation and have make it impossible to responsibly manage the mine's enormous volumes of waste.

The chair refused to rule out the dumping of mine waste in rivers or oceans at the company's existing or new operations - practices know in the industry as 'riverine and submarine tailings disposal'despite industry trends towards outlawing these practices. Companies such as BHP Billiton have developed policies that indicate they will not utilise waterways as a dumping ground for mine waste and groups ranging from World Vision and Oxfam to the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union have supported a call for a ban on these practices.

media enquires: Techa Beaumont 0409 318 406


As a proxy on behalf of shareholders from the Rio Tinto Ethical Shareholders group, MPI raised issues relating to Freeport and also queried the company's ongoing majority stake in Bougainville Copper Limited, that operated the Panguna mine that lead to civil war on the small Pacific island.

The Panguna Landowner Association- Women landowners from the mine site who carry the traditional authority over land which is passed matrilineal in Bougainville called upon Rio Tinto to ensure that they were consulted at the earliest opportunity regarding future plans for the site. Discussions over the mine's future have proceeded between the Bougainville autonomous government and RIo TInto's subsiduary Bougainville Copper LImited (BCL) without any efforts to get the views or include the appropriate and rightful customary owners of the land. MPI conveyed their message directly to BCL's chair following the formal proceedings.

The company's financial reports did not include any estimation of liabilty for or future value of the Panguna operation, and states "the directors do not have reliable, accurate or objective information on BCL" despite a majority ownership of the company. (p52 Rio TInto Full Financial Statements 2007)

Other shareholder questions on the company's Hope Down operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia expressed concerns regarding the threats posed to important cultural heritage sites of the local Indigenous traditional owners whose archeological significance has not yet been fully investigated. Initial research conducted rated the site as one of the most significant archeological finds in Australia.

Shareholder John Poppins requested information on the buffer zones that would be developed around the site, and also regarding the impacts caused by the dumping of potable groundwater from mine site dewatering processes into a creek system, leading to a loss of important cultural sites, natural ecosystems as well as the depletion of important water resources.

Excerpts from an independent report by WALHI -Friends of the Earth Indonesia on the Environmental Impacts of the Freeport Operation:

available at



Tailings toxicity and aquatic impacts: Freshwater aquatic life has been largely destroyed through pollution and habitat destruction in the watercourses which receive tailings. The suspended solids from tailings (TSS) are directly harmful to fish gills, eggs, and organisms which are photosynthetic, predatory or filter feeding. Copper inhibits respiration in fish gills. Bioavailability and toxicity investigations have shown that much of the dissolved copper in river water affected by Freeport-Rio Tinto’s operations is indeed bioavailable and present at toxic levels. Dissolved copper at the range of concentrations found in the lower Ajkwa River is of chronic toxicity to most (30% to 75%) fresh water organisms. Actual toxicology testing by CSIRO and Freeport’s analysts shows tailings water and sediment are toxic to shrimp larvae (Caridina sp), adult river prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), minnow larvae (Cyprinodon variegatus and Pimephales promelas), river algae(Chlorella), rainbowfish embryos and larvae (Melanotaenia spledida), and invertebrate animals Gammarus and Nassarius sp.

Heavy metals in plants and wildlife: Levels of toxic heavy metals selenium (Se), lead (Pb), arsenic (As), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu) are significantly elevated in Freeport's tailings compared to natural jungle soil. The concentrations of several of those metals in the tailings exceed US EPA and Australian sediment guidelines, and scientific phytotoxicity thresholds, indicating that toxic effects on plant growth are expected. Controlled tests and field sampling show that plants grown in tailings accumulate these heavy metals in their tissues, posing risks to wildlife that feed on them. At risk through exposure to metals from tailings in the food chain are:
• kingfishers and other fish-eating birds
• brush turkey, fantail and other birds that eat invertebrates in foliage or soil
• cassowaries and other large fruit-eating birds

At high risk through exposure to metals from tailings in the food chain are:
• mammals such as flying fox or similar-sized animals that feed wholly or partially on fruit
• mammals such as bats which feed on invertebrates in foliage
• mammals such as cuscus which feed on vegetation
• large mammalian omnivores such as pigs

Contamination of estuary food chain: Metals from tailings are contaminating the Ajkwa Estuary food chain. Areas which have received Freeport's tailings have significantly higher concentrations of toxic metals copper, arsenic, manganese, lead, silver, and zinc than nearby unaffected reference estuaries. Wildlife in the mangrove area is exposed through eating plants and invertebrates, which take up heavy metals from tailings sediment, particularly copper. Fish caught in the Ajkwa Estuary have higher minimum levels of copper in flesh than fish from nearby reference sites, and non-mobile aquatic animals living in the Ajkwa Estuary are contaminated with copper in their bodies at levels 100 times higher than normal, up to an extraordinary level of one gram per kilo. The ERA study predicts that small birds and mammals which feed exclusively on estuarine invertebrates may suffer reproductive impairment and reduced fitness, and larger predators (such as raptors) in turn will have less food available as these small birds and mammals become less abundant in the Ajkwa Estuary area.

Ecological disruption: Freeport states that “The estuary downstream of our tailings deposition area is a functioning, bio-diverse ecosystem with abundant species of fish and shrimp.” However, the presence of mobile species such as fish and shrimp in the Ajkwa Estuary is not proof that the estuary is healthy, nor that it is safe in the future. Dissolved copper is present in mangrove waters at levels which are of chronic toxicity to 30% - 90% of saltwater organisms. There are currently around 35% fewer species of fish, shellfish, crabs and polychaetes present in Ajkwa Estuary compared to the reference sites. The ERA predicts that up to 68% of aquatic species are at risk in the upper estuary.

The outer Ajkwa estuary, which includes the nearshore Arafura Sea, has between 40% to 70% fewer families of bottom-dwelling animals, and their biomass per area is half that of nearby reference estuaries. Besides these figures, calculation of technical indices of biodiversity confirms that there has been significant disruption to the ecology of the Ajkwa Estuary.

Impacts in Lorenz National Park: The World Heritage-listed Lorentz National Park wraps around the Freeport concession area, its area having been reduced to accommodate the mine. The Lorentz World Heritage Area is one of Indonesia’s conservation jewels. The alpine portion of the World Heritage site is affected by polluted groundwater from Freeport-Rio Tinto’s acid and copper producing waste rock dumps. Meanwhile, the coastal portion of the World Heritage site is affected by deposition of tailings. Around 250 million tons of tailings will be carried out of the Ajkwa Estuary and into the offshore Arafura Sea, and measurements show a plume of dissolved copper from Freeport's tailings already reaching 5 to 10 km offshore. Tailings are carried by the monsoon current along the coastline, and may come to form up to 20% of the future sedimentation in Lorenz National Park mangrove areas. The ERA found that mangroves and bottom-dwelling organisms in Lorenz National Park have elevated copper levels, with tailings the likely source, since upstream sites within the Park are unaffected.

Regeneration in the Ajkwa Deposition Area: Mine tailings, which will eventually comprise most of the 230 km2 ADA area, at depths of up to 17 meters, lack organic carbon and other key nutrients, and have very poor water holding capacity. Tests have shown pure tailings cannot support adequate germination or growth of most native or garden plants without intensive fertilisers, compost and/or the import of topsoil. Company efforts to rehabilitate a small and relatively shallow area of tailings have involved unsustainably high inputs and elaborate irrigation systems.

The large ADA area which has experienced dieback from tailings will not return to its original species composition after tailings deposition ceases. Native species which regenerate in tailings are neither especially useful to local communities nor representative of the diverse species which comprised the native jungle and riverine rainforest destroyed within the ADA.

Transparency: Freeport-Rio Tinto operates without transparency or sufficient regulatory oversight. There is no information and public discussion of the current management and future for the mine, including alternatives for waste management, and mine closure planning. Despite legal requirement for public access to environmental information, the company has not made key documents public, including the ERA, nor has it made public any independent external audits since 1999, breaching its environmental permitting requirements. The ERA underestimates key environmental risks, does not look at options for reducing waste disposal impacts, and the independence of the ERA peer reviewers is questionable.

Techa Beaumont, Mineral Policy Institute, Australia



Action of Support on Coast Salish Territory

Tyendinaga and Six Nations Solidarity Action of Support on Coast Salish Territory
Monday, April 27th, 2008
2:30 - Meet @ China Creek Skate Park
Located at East Broadway and Clark Drive
Bring your flags, banners and voices!Wear Red to show your solidarity!

On Friday April 25th at 2:45pm EST OPP surrounded the quarries inTyendinaga demanding the surrender of the Mohawks. Guns were drawnand violence ensued on the part of the police. This is following theOPP's swarm of Mohawk Territory earlier this week which was theresponse to halting of construction of a development site thatencroaches onto Mohawk territory that a group of warriors had taken over.

2 years ago we made a promise that if the OPP harmed the Haudenosauneagain, we would take action and show KKKanada that we will standunited against police oppression and the governments theft of ourlands.

Actions have already taken place in Awkwesasne and Kahnawake, SixNations has resurrected Barricades and were threatened with an OPPraid yesturday afternoon. Because of the overwhelming support thatreturned to Kahnonstaton reclamation site (the protected place andformerly the Douglas Creek Estates) the raid was called off and theHighway 6 Bypass remains closed.
In Tyendinaga, the quarries have been blocked off by police and thereis only one entrance through the reserve to the quarries. They arestill holding strong despite 6 arrests, physical violence inflicted onyoung people (a young man had both arms broken by police) and despitenews reports that denied this fact, guns were pointed at our children. They are currently requesting actions of support as well asdonations for food and supplies. See more info at bottom of email.

Tyendinaga and Six Nations SolidarityAction of Support on Coast Salish TerritoryMonday, April 27th, 2008
2:30 - Meet @ China Creek Skate ParkLocated at East Broadway and Clark Drive
Bring your flags, banners and voices!Wear Red to show your solidarity!
Banner/Sign/Placard Making PartySunday April 26th, 20083:00 - 9:00@ Purple Thistle Centrehttp://www.purplethistle.ca/ for location details*** purple thistle is one block SOUTH of Venables and one block WEST of Clarkring buzzer to be let in.All Welcome and there will be food!

==> Requested Action from Mohawk Nation News:

CALL Ontario Provincial Police & advise them that the world is watching: 24hour communications center OPP: 1-888-310-1122OPP Eastern Headquarters: 613-284-4500


West Papua Leaders Summit: April 2008: Port Vila, Vanuatu


West Papua shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea, on the western rim of the Pacific. A former colony of the Dutch, it was taken over by Indonesia in the 1960s. West New Guinea, as it was then known, had already held national elections and inaugurated its own New Guinea Council in April 1961. The Morning Star flag of the proposed new nation of West Papua was raised next to the Dutch Tri-colour on 1st December 1961.

But Indonesia gained Western support for its claim and was granted control of the territory on the condition that an act of self determination would be held. A fraudulent “Act of Free Choice” in which less than 1% of the West Papuan voted under duress was held in 1969. The West Papuans have never stopped struggling for their freedom even though they have paid dearly in the loss of more than 100,000 lives. Today the people are repressed by a heavy military and militia presence and outsiders have limited access. West Papua now suffers a HIV/AIDS epidemic and many of its tribal communities are under threat from illegal logging.

The West Papua leaders summit held outside the country in Port Vila, Vanuatu was a historic step for a broad movement which has not always achieved unity of strategy and aims.

The 28 groups represented included the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, the human rights group ELSHAM, and coalitions representing tribal organisations, students, women and former political prisoners. The gathering achieved a higher degree of unity among the political organisations and the NGOs as well as a strong plan of action in the diplomatic arena. The representatives reaffirmed their commitment to the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) formed last year.
Photo journalist, writer and Pacific expert Ben Bohane who follows West Papua closely said this meeting could be the most significant summit held since 1964 when the OPM was formed.

The groups have common goals and despite their different backgrounds and approaches all hope to see a peaceful dialogue between Indonesia and the West Papuan people on the issue of self-determination.

At some levels the international climate can be considered weighted against the West Papuan cause and hopes for negotiations; for example in the post 9/11 atmosphere it seems that the label of ‘separatist’ is an effective way to dismiss West Papuan aspirations. Indonesia has been boosted by renewed military support from Australia (the Lombok Treaty) the US and New Zealand, and Indonesia’s leadership may be risk averse in the run up to the 2009 Presidential elections.

However, on the positive side the newly assertive Melanesian Spearhead Group (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and the Indigenous FLNKS political party in New Caledonia) offers a ray of hope. According to Dr John Ondawame, the Vice Chair of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL), the upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group leaders’ summit in Vila this May represents the best chance yet to get observer status for West Papuans at the MSG. The Government of Vanuatu has undertaken to take the issue of self-determination to the MSG Summit following an important meeting of the West Papuan leaders with Vanuatu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Wells. Mr Wells said he wants to see West Papua ultimately given Observer status in the MSG as well as the Pacific Islands Forum.

The West Papuans also met with Prime Minister Ham Lini and visited the Vanuatu Parliament where President Kalkot Mataskelekele said the struggle for West Papuan freedom is always in the hearts of the people of Vanuatu.

The West Papuan leaders and NGOs settled on a new unified leadership for their self-determination efforts. WPNCL voted Rex Rumakiek of the Free Papua Movement, or OPM, as Secretary-General, and hopes its new international drive for discussion on Papua will be helped by a unified structure.

Vanuatu has come under pressure from Jakarta and Canberra but has not abandoned its independent foreign policy - the legacy of its own independence struggle. Vanuatu achieved independence from Britain and France in 1980. It was only Pacific nation to join the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War.

Vanuatu has a strong West Papua Support Association and the Vanuatu people consider themselves brothers and sisters to the West Papuan people.

As the Australian West Papua Association newsletter expresses it:
“Vanuatu is the only country in the world where everybody knows about West Papua and supports the right of the people of West Papua to self-determination. A courageous people, a courageous country.”

Maire Leadbeater: Indonesia Human Rights Committee

Swat Team Attacks Mohawks at Tyendinaga



Choppers flying overhead. Low flights over our heads at Culbertson Track and the quarry. On the water there a dozen OPP surveillance boats.

Mohawk Nation News

Apr. 22, 2008. Last night the non-native Deseronto squatters, whose town is on Tyendinaga Mohawk land along the Bay of Quinte, made human chains along the road leading up to the demostration. They held up signs for the Mohawks to see, with messages, like “power to people [themselves]” “Remove your masks” and “You are a disgrace to your race”. Pictures available. Are they copying us or what? They get the tactics but not the principle! Band council chief R. Don Maracle distanced himself from the blockaders saying “Blockades are not the way to settle land claims. it takes time to resolve these issues. They need to remain calm to allow [me] to negotiate peacefully in a climate that is not hampered by protests and blockades”, he told the local radio station. His treasonous comments set us up for the colonial attack that followed. R.Don Maracle is wrong. One, a negotiator needs to be picked by the people for the purpose. You can’t assume the right to negotiate because you’ve been elected to a colonial band council office who function on colonial capitalist brains. You are not legal! Two, negotiations have to be in public to meet the requirements of both Haudenosaunee Law and international law. Agreements cannot be the result of the informed consent of the people if the people have not been informed. In camera closed door negotiations are not legitimate.

The land in question is the Culbertson Track of 1832 which was never given up. The Ontario government knows full well that there’s a problem with squatters on the Tract since 1832. How long do they expect us to wait for them to uphold the law. The roads trespass on our land. It’s our land. It’s our business where we stand on it. The OPP, the squatters, the trucks carrying toxic waste to the quarry and the construction crews are all trespassers. The illegal colonial governments and agents defame us by accusing us of saying we’re the law breakers instead of doing their duty to protect to us from their unruly law breaking people. Why are the cops breaking the law? The squatters roamed around all night shooting verbal threats left, right and center, “You better take down your blockade or else!”, with the OPP standing behind them probably setting them up and urging them along. The OPP are following the same “Whiskey Trench” tactics used by the SQ during the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990 at Kanehsatake and Kahnawake. They’re just standing there watching as their citizens break the law. By doing this they are encouraging them to act like rabble. What needs to happen in a proper democracy is that the legal rights and principles have to be set out and recognized by all responsible parties. In keeping with the requirements of both international law and the Great Law of Peace/Kaianereh’ko:wa, we have set out our rights.

The British Crown agreed to recognize and protect our right to our land on the Culbertson Tract. Ontario has not set out its rights. It has provided no legal authority for its claims. Instead it’s using armed force to support those who would violate the law. This is totally dishonorable behavior. This isn’t the 19th century anymore. When are Canadians going to leave colonialism behind? It’s been formally recognized as illegal for almost a century now. They should know by now that their strong arm strategy to wear us down and scare us into submission by defaming us and our ancestors just won’t work. We have been unwavering since the time of first contact. We never agreed to be British subjects. We never became Canadian citizens. We never agreed to accept the injustices that have been visited upon us. We will continue to ask questions about their illegal actions. We will overcome this nonsense. The Rotiskenekete did take down some of the blockades last night in good faith as we feel we had made our point about the fraud that is taking place. The condominium construction on the Bay of Quinte is illegal. Ontario should stop feeding into the scam artists who are trying to use us to extort cash pay outs out of them.

They should simply uphold the law and evict the squatters. Succumbing to these tactics is unfair to Ontario tax payers. When the Deseronto squatters started attacking us, it was left to the Mohawks to defend ourselves and our land by putting the blockades back up. The OPP should have been cooperating with these efforts to ensure the safety of everyone. The OPP came in yesterday morning and set up a perimeter further out. This morning at 8:00 am they moved closer. The OPP came to every area where there was a Mohawk blockade pushing threats from OPP Headquarters that they are “coming in” and “taking us out”. Constables Ron Van Straalen and C. Flynn of the OPP at Napanee Detachment are in charge [613-354-3369, Fax 613-354-9183]. We had 4 sections blocked. The roads are open, #2 highway going through Deseronto to Napanee. Emile Neibourg, the real estate agent created this situation. He is trying to extort a pay out from Ontario by threatening to build condos on our land. Caught on video was the police saying, “We know that he created this to deal with this land issue”. Then he can help Canada say, “We don’t have any money to pay the Mohawks for the disruption of their land, or to relocate the Deseronto squatters. We gave it all to Mr. Neibourg. The OPP has become a tool of corporate corruption. They’ve been turned into a private army of the opportunistic scumbags who will stop at nothing to line their pockets. To our brothers and sisters, “We need help. Pressure the OPP and the governments of Ontario and Canada to stop the violence and stop the corruption on sovereign independent people. Nobody has spoken to us.

They just came in and attacked. Is this the new OPP protocol? These OPP look like they are itching to converge on us at the quarry and take us out. They want to try out their new Faschist Fantino tactics. Their ultimatum is, “get out of here!!” They know we are right. They refuse to talk to us. Ontario citizens should be asking why their government is letting itself be used for this organized thuggery.

Rotiskenekete 613-849-1314 – 613-827-4991 email davidrmaracle@aol.com OPP Eastern Regional Headquarters 613-284-4500 fax 613-284-4597 lg.beechey chief supt. Commander, Eastern Region, Smiths Falls . MBQ R. Don Maracle, 613-396-3089, CELL 613-391-9249 RDONM@MBQ-TMT.ORG 613-396-3424 ext. 106 info@mbq-tmt.org Jan Hill 613-396-6742 Emile Nibourg 613-561-0984 fax 613-544-7868 enibourg@sutton.com

Guam at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

April 24, 2008

SUBJECT: Guam Makes Historic Intervention at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Chides the Decolonization Units of the UN for Glaring Non-Performance

Yesterday in New York, Guam made a historic appearance before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, appealing to the UN body to take the lead on the decolonization process in the non-self-governing territories.

Writer-activist Julian Aguon represented the Chamoru Nation and affiliated indigenous organizations in the Forum’s Seventh Session, held at UN headquarters between April 21 – May 2, 2008. Aguon delivered Guam’s official intervention to the Forum, an advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, calling global attention to the major deficiencies with the Special Committee on Decolonization and the overall decolonization regime endorsed by the UN.

Addressing some 3,000 indigenous peoples, international organizations, and national governments, Aguon highlighted the blatant failure and non-compliance of the relevant UN and US organs and officials tasked with oversight of the decolonization process in the non-self-governing territories, and called upon the Forum to take the lead on decolonization in the Pacific by sponsoring an expert seminar on the situation of the indigenous peoples of these territories.

Aguon stated:

“The failure of the U.S. to honor its international obligations to Guam and her native people, the non-responsiveness of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization to our rapid deterioration, and the overall non-performance of relevant U.S. and UN Decolonization organs and officials combine to carry our small chance of survival to its final coffin … To date the Forum has deferred to the Special Committee. The time has come for the Forum to take the lead.”

Aguon highlighted that the unilateral, non-transparent U.S. militarization of Guam constitutes a manifold deprivation of human rights of the Chamoru people, which is especially embarrassing as only two years remain of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Joining Aguon was a delegation from Hawaii including Mililani Trask, a native Hawaiian international human rights attorney and former member of the UN Permanent Forum, who also filed an intervention denouncing the ineffectiveness of the decolonization committee and calling on the Forum to challenge the committee and to advise the General Assembly to look into this issue as the most pressing matter of international human rights law in the region.

Joining Guam and Hawaii was a strong delegation from the Pacific and Caribbean Communities including: Australia, New Zealand, Rapa Nui, Kanaky (New Caledonia), Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Samoa, West Papua, Maluku Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Occupied Virgin Islands.

Also signatories to Guam’s intervention were: Society for Threatened Peoples International, the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE), the Western Shoshone Defense Project, Flying Eagle Woman Fund, and Mohawk Nation at Kahmawake, three of which have UN-recognized consultative status with the Economic and Social Council, the UN body with the widest institutional mandate in the entire UN system.

Fore more information, contact: Debbie Quinata at 671-828-2957, Hope Cristobal at 671-649-0097, or Julian Aguon at 808-375-3646

Malia Nobrega



Pacific trade ministers slam EU bullying in trade

Saturday, 19 April 2008, 11:45 am

Press Release: Pacific Network on Globalisation


Pacific trade ministers slam EU bullying in trade deal

Pacific trade ministers have slammed the European Union's approach to negotiating a new trade deal with the Pacific island countries as divisive, harsh and unnecessarily domineering.

A resolution passed at a meeting of Pacific Island trade ministers and officials from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat last month pointed out the "harsh and unnecessarily domineering attitude" of the European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson when Pacific trade ministers met with him to discuss negotiations for a new Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in late 2007.

The anger of the Pacific Island trade ministers is highlighted in letters between the Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilkie Rasmussen, and the EU's top trade official, Trade Commissioner Mandelson. In those letters, Pacific trade ministers warn that the EU is pursuing a harmful strategy of divide and rule in negotiations for a new EPA with the Pacific Island states. The letters indicate Pacific trade ministers feel the EU forced Papua New Guinea and Fiji to sign an interim-EPA in late 2007 by threatening to raise tariffs on Pacific exports of tuna and sugar.

The concerns of Pacific trade ministers echo those of trade ministers in Africa, where some countries have been forced to initial interim-EPAs with the EU under a threat of tariff increases on key exports, while others have already said they will refuse to sign any EPA, because the deal would be bad for their national development.

Minister Rasmussen, who is also the co-president of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and the EU, first complained about Trade Commissioner Mandelson's "insensitivity" to the Pacific at the most recent ACP-EU Joint Parliament, held in Slovenia last month.

In response, Commissioner Mandelson wrote to Minister Rasmussen suggesting that Rasmussen had been misquoted and that he might consider making a public correction. Mandelson also threatened that if Pacific Ministers made more comments like these they would get less from the EPA negotiations. Mandelson wrote, "you are perfectly entitled to take a different view from me about the conduct and content of these negotiations. But personal and public attacks on your negotiating partner are unlikely to do much to improve the prospects of strengthening our relations looking forward".

In Rasmussen's reply, dated April 11, 2008, the minister re-iterated that comments made at the Joint Parliament "reflected the general feeling of the Pacific region that has dealt with you." In strong diplomatic language, he wrote to Mandelson that "the common impression you left on all of the Pacific Island Trade Ministers and the PACP/Forum Secretariat was that you were insensitive to our protocols and issues, and the result was that division occurred between the Pacific Island Countries. I can assure you that the general feeling is that Papua New Guinea and Fiji initialled the Interim Agreement because of fear that they would lose their preferential trade arrangements with the European Union."

Mr Rasmussen said he was trying to explain "why two countries of the Pacific initialled an agreement that the rest of the Pacific was not ready for". He wrote, "the solidarity of the Pacific was our strength and you have managed to break that with your particular agenda in the negotiations".

The letters, made public today by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG), indicate that Pacific trade ministers have deep concerns about the negotiations for a new EPA between Europe and the Pacific. In November 2007, Papua New Guinea and Fiji initialled interim agreements in order to preserve access for their goods to the EU, but negotiations continue on unresolved issues, with the EU pushing for a comprehensive free trade deal with all Pacific governments by the end of 2008.

PANG coordinator Maureen Penjueli said the EU's proposals for a new EPA meant Pacific governments would have to give away the policy space that allows governments to support local firms and suppliers, and to regulate widely to meet the social and environmental needs of Pacific peoples. She said a new EPA, which was designed to aid European big business and EU exporters, would also have implications for the ability of Pacific governments to meet their human rights obligations – particularly the right to the highest attainable standards of health, the right to housing, and access to essential services like water, health and education.

Mrs Penjueli called upon the EU to allow a re-negotiation of the interim agreements with PNG and Fiji, adding that in forcing PNG and Fiji to sign, the EU had ignored its commitments to the Pacific under the Cotonou Agreement. Ms Penjueli also called on Pacific ministers to listen to the concerns of Pacific civil society, and to refuse to sign any new EPA.

"The Pacific is under no legal obligation to conclude an EPA with the European Union," said Ms Penjueli. "This deal is actually about the EU making sure it still has access to raw materials from all of its ex-colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The Europeans want to make sure raw materials are not diverted to trade rivals like China, or even to value-adding processes in the ACP countries themselves."

She said that if it really was in the Pacific's development interest to reduce trade 'barriers' in particular areas, then Pacific governments "could do so at any time they liked." "A binding agreement designed by a foreign power [the EU], and potentially leading to massive pressure for trade liberalisation from Australia and New Zealand, is frankly unnecessary and detrimental to the realisation of the Pacific's development interests," said Ms Penjueli.


Cook Islands minister criticises EU trade commissioner

The Cook Islands foreign minister has defended his comments about one of the European Union's trade commissioners.

Tense trade negotiations between Pacific Island trade ministers and a European Union trade commissioner have been revealed after a series of letters was leaked to the media.

In his correspondence, European Union Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson asked the Cook Islands foreign minister, Wilkie Rasmussen to publicly correct what he calls "unnecessarily offensive" and personal comments about his negotiation style.

But Mr Rasmussen has defended his comments, and told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat programme, the commissioner took a harsh and unneccessarily domineering approach to the talks.

"We came out of there feeling like we had been totally run over by his team," Mr Rasmussen said.

"You know, there's a style, there's a protocol - I don't think he really gave us the time for that."

The European Commission has declined to comment.



Prepared by Professor Jane Kelsey, School of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand

15 October 2006

This is a preliminary analysis of the Pacific Islands’ draft text of the Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement and the EC’s ‘non-paper’ on services and investment. Legal provisions are paraphrased and not all are covered. The paper does not include the Partnership Agreement on Trade in Goods that only some PICs will negotiate. This analysis is offered as a contribution to ongoing discussion on the EPA. Corrections and comments are welcome.

Draft EU-Pacific EPA (Aug 2007) Submitted to Pacific region August 2007.The draft is missing several sections. The document properties reveal it has been adapted from the West African text.

07.09.2004: Statement of civil society organizations from workshop on negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Pacific ACP states and the European Union, 7 September 2004, Suva


EPA will open economies of poor countries to European pirates

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) due to be signed between the European Union (EU) and 110 developing countries this year would open up those countries to European pirates and ultimately increase poverty for less developed countries (LDCs), a new report on the EPA said on Wednesday.

“We are not against trade but we are against the type of rules that the EU imposes on us and that is why we say ‘no’ to European pirates,” the report quoted Ms Norma Maldonado from the Central American-based International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN) as saying.

The report put together by the World Trade Movement (WTM) under the title “Raw Deal”, and launched at the ongoing United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) meeting in Accra, claims the benefits of signing a free trade deal with the EU sat firmly with European businesses, rather the developing countries.

Through the EPA, the EU is seeking to open up the markets of 110 African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP), Latin American, Asian and Mediterranean countries for free trade in spite of the fact that all of those countries do not have strong enough economies to compete fairly with the EU.

Critics maintain that the fact that the EU provided heavy subsidies for its local farmers and multinationals, something that developing countries were being asked not to do, made the playing ground uneven.

The WTM through the report has therefore added its voice to the widespread call for the EPA to be rejected outright.

Meanwhile other organizations, including UK-based international charity, Oxfam, have said that a better deal would be to include some amount of development content in the EPA for less developed countries and for the EU to open up its markets for least developed countries (LDCs) now.

The report captured the development impacts of two existing EU bilateral trade agreements with South Africa and Mexico, saying that in both examples the deals were found to be one-sided in favour of the EU.

The impacts highlighted by the report included balance of payment problems, decreased tax revenue, decreased access to credit for farmers, decreased ability to effectively regulate foreign investors and increased unemployment in those two countries.

“An almost 50 per cent increase in South African food and drink imports from the EU, including diary products, cereals, and processed food and drink, coupled with the reduction of tariffs on European sweets in South Africa has resulted in 25 per cent fall in employment in the sweet making industry in that country.”

It said South Africa’s growing trade deficit with the EU had made that country more vulnerable to international debt, particularly destabilizing short-term capital flow.

In the case of Mexico, the report said that country could no longer regulate the proportion of foreign shareholders in banks.

“Mexico can no longer favour domestic companies for government procurement contracts, which amounts to six per cent of GDP, even though UNCTAD has said that favouring domestic companies is a vital tool of development,” it said.

It also projected government revenue loss to the tune of 7.5 per cent of GDP in Namibia.

Meanwhile Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, who have already initialled an Interim EPA, are expected to lose at least 83 million dollars a year in import tariffs on goods from EU.

Ms Maldonado said the EU wanted to impose things on LDCs which they (EU) did not impose on themselves, such as demanding access to LDCs, even though they had huge subsidies on their own agricultural goods.

Ms. Vicky Cann, Trade Policy Officer of WTM, said EU trade deals were unfair and hurt the poor, adding that the evidence was that the EPA would benefit European multinationals and hinder rather than help the development of poor countries.

“In this time of rocketing world food prices, it is hard to believe that Europe seeks to open up developing countries’ markets to heavily subsidized European exports, putting LDCs farmers out of business and undermining food security,” she said.

Charles Santiago, MP for the Democratic Action Party in Malaysia, described the EPA as a re-write of trade rules in favour of EU corporations, following the thwarting of EU’s plans at the World Trade Organization (WTO) by LDCs.

“EU is now targeting LDCs individually to reap the rewards it couldn’t get at the WTO because countries stood up and said ‘no’ together. To developing countries I say keep away from EU free trade agreements, they do not work in your interest,” he said.

Mr. John Ochola from Econews in Kenya called on European citizens and companies to stand up to their governments and tell them not to make the poor poorer.

Meanwhile 25 individual LDCs, including Ghana, have already initialled an Interim EPA, under which a number of exports between them and EU were under a quota-free, duty free regime, pending the signing of the full EPA this year.

Critics have said if the EPA is signed, people in the 110 targeted countries, 1.47 billion of which lived on less than a dollar a day, stood the risk of even further sinking under the doldrums of poverty.

Source: GNA

I am a Revolutionary-Fred Hampton

Dedicated to Revolutionaries everywhere.

AFP training Burma Police - Human Rights Hypocrisy

AFP clamps down on Pacific

This is nothing more than facilities across the islands to spy on and to repress local populations. Transnational crime bullshit, right wing "academics" have written off our young men across the Pacific as transnational youth gangs, just like the bullshit war on terror this is all about control of the Pacific its people and it resources.

See Also:


Joining Together to Fight Crime in the Pacific

24 Apr 2008, 11:10

Canberra, Australia:

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has stepped up the fight against transnational crime in the Asia Pacific region with today's opening of the Micronesia Regional Transnational Crime Unit (TCU).

The Micronesia Regional TCU is a joint initiative between Australia, the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, and the opening has been welcomed by Micronesia's Secretary of Justice Maketo Robert.

It is the sixth to open in the Pacific region, and is linked to a network of existing TCUs in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

The AFP first forged a relationship with the United States' Hawaii-based Department of Defence Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West) in 2004 to create a more proactive criminal intelligence and investigative presence in the Pacific.

AFP's Manager International Network Paul Osborne said the TCU network allows law enforcement agencies to share intelligence, and to profile and target transnational crime groups operating across the region.

"The fight against transnational crime can only be successful through strong collaborative partnerships and effective law enforcement intelligence," Commander Osborne said.

The AFP's engagement in the Pacific is focused on long-term capacity building, and addressing issues such as the transportation of narcotics, people smuggling, child sex tourism and transnational sex exploitation.

The AFP has provided the Micronesia TCU with $300,000 of equipment and support, including a new vehicle, intelligence training and an AFP advisor for the first 12 months.

JIATF West has contributed $450,000 to the project for the refurbishment of offices including the provision of cabling, air-conditioning, furniture and computer and communications equipment.

JIATF West's Deputy Director of Intelligence Gary Royster said the facility now had the level of technology required to fight transnational crime in the 21st century. AFP, 23/04/08.

Nau Mai Haere Mai-Polynesian Markets open in Sydney

click to enlarge

Hey Sydney siders and friends of the network,

If you are free next weekend, get along to the newest Polynesian milestone in Australian HISTORY!!!!

If you can’t make it, but have family/friends nearby that would appreciate our own local Otara style markets, please forward this onto them but YOU will not want to miss being a part of this opening.

IB BROWN International


Gubba Trade minister backs Pacific trade talks

"So in many senses, PACER can be a mini-Dohor. It can be a trade and aid development approach".

Same neo liberal shit as howard, let us plunder your resources or no "aid". Strategic & economic "interests" in the Pacific have not changed a bit since invasion. PACER, PICTA, APEC, G20, NAFTA, we know what this free trade really means to us in the Pacific, destroying and defiling our lands, our oceans our culture in an insatiable greed for resources. Neo colonisation and control of Pacific through aid and the training of government officials, the military and the police.

Even worse is the actu condoning migrant worker schemes for the pacific islands. When unionists start sounding like pr consultants for neo liberals, you have to worry.

"Like every other part of the globe, the tiny island states of the South Pacific have become arenas for intensifying rivalry between the major powers. As well as being rich in resources, including oil and gas, the region has immense strategic significance."

Australia's Trade Minister Simon Crean is in Papua New Guinea today to participate in trade negotiations. It's a small part of the overall meeting but important for the Pacific.


Presenter: Karon Snowdon
Speaker: Australia's trade minister, Simon Crean

CREAN: PACER is the Pacific area, CER, the free trade agreement if you like for the Pacific. I am very keen to advance it, because I think that in the Pacific, we need to build an economic self-sufficiency for the Pacific Islands and we can do that by opening up trade, but also engaging the Pacific Islands in technical transfers, obviously ensuring that our aid programs are supportive of assisting them build their infrastructure, build their capacities. So in many senses, PACER can be a mini-Dohor. It can be a trade and aid development approach.

SNOWDON: There's less enthusiasm on the other side of the table though for obvious reasons in that they've got favourable trade conditions now without PACER, that they might lose if those talks are confirmed?

CREAN: Well again, I think this is the concern that people have in trade by looking at it from a defensive perspective. There's clearly many more benefits from opening up trade. The reality is that world trade is growing three times faster than world output. If countries want to secure their economic future, whether they're developed countries or developing countries, the message is simple. You've got to engage in trade because that's where there are more opportunities. How do we create those opportunities and keep building the opportunities, we keep liberalising the barriers that restrict trade.

Now out of all of that, countries find their specialities, their niches, the comparative advantages and there are many within the Pacific area.

Our task is to ensure that they have got the capacity to take advantage of it. So the opening of trade advantage is only one dimension. Building their capacity is another and Australia and New Zealand are in very strong positions to assist them in that regard.

SNOWDON: The trial seasonal worker program looks more promising now. Will PNG and East Timor be included in that, workers from those countries included in that?

CREAN: Well, we're watching with interest the trial that New Zealand has conducted and we're making our own assessment of its impact in the Australian context, that's something that we're interested to follow. But in the context of PACER, I've got no doubt that this will be an issue that is raised by the Pacific nations. It's something we have to respond to in a sensible way. But we're not going to do that in advance of seeing how the trial works and we're not going to do it in advance of a more comprehensive approach to the whole aid and trade perspective in the Pacific.

SNOWDON: And, the big trade union here, the Australian Workers Union has thrown its weight behind a seasonal workers scheme here in Australia. Is that encouraging?

CREAN: Well, it is encouraging, but I think again it's terribly important that when we develop these approaches, we explain what the basis for them is, what the rational behind them is so that people don't see them from threatening perspective's, but see them as part of a much broader agenda to open up and make more self-sufficient the Pacific. Because it's in all of our interests that we develop their economic sustainability, because that's the lasting basis upon which we can build security in the region to.

Bases of Empire-The Global Spread of US Military & Spy Bases


Touring Aotearoa

July 7 - 18, 2008

Cora Fabros, from the Philippines, has been a high profile activist, domestically and internationally, for more than 30 years with the anti-bases, anti-nuclear and peace movement. She has been to New Zealand before, as a guest of the Anti-Bases Campaign. Cora will be touring New Zealand as the Asia/Pacific Coordinator of the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases.

The US has been on a global war footing since 2001 and sees the Asia/Pacific region, NZ’s backyard, as being of immense strategic significance. This is the region that Cora will be speaking about. In countries such as Japan (particularly Okinawa) and South Korea the huge US presence there covers the full range from nuclear warfighting bases to conventional combat bases to a whole variety of spybases. Despite having been kicked out of the Philippines by the world’s most successful anti-bases campaign in the early 1990s, the US military is now permanently entrenched back in that country, which it has designated “The Second Front In The War On Terror”. Guam, which is a US territory in the Pacific, has been turned into a major US nuclear warfighting base in recent years. Australia hosts a variety of US bases and has given the US permission to build its first new spybase there in 40 years. And, of course, New Zealand hosts one medium level US military transport base (at Christchurch Airport) which is a cog in the chain of regional US bases; and two “New Zealand” spybases, at Tangimoana and Waihopai. The latter is NZ’s single most important contribution to all US wars.

2008 is election year in both NZ and the US (this only happens every 12 years). The Anti-Bases Campaign believes that it is vital that NZ’s continuing role as a small but very important satellite of the US military and intelligence empire be thoroughly ex-posed and that voters demand that the Government finish the job begun when this country became nuclear free and out of ANZUS in the 1980s. Cora Fabros’ tour is vital in providing an international context for how we aid and abet that empire. US bases and the struggle against them are a huge issue for many of our neighbours.

Anti-Bases Campaign

Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand



G20 Public Meeting Update

click to enlarge


New Caledonia Union Leader Gets Six Months Jail Sentence

A Nouméa tribunal has on Monday sentenced Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers (USTKE) leader Gérard Jodar to six months jail after he was found guilty of inciting an armed reunion that led to violent clashed between union militants and French police, on January 17, in the outskirts of the French territory's capital Nouméa.

The sentence imposed on the union leader includes a formal 12 months jail, including six suspended.

Jodar has also been deprived of his civic rights for a duration of three years, the court ruled.

As part of the same trial, 22 other USTKE militants were also found guilty of a series of offences, ranging from unlawful meeting involving the use of arms, aggravated violence to theft and vandalising of public property.

Sentences imposed of the 22 others range from one month to 12 months jail.

The trial was related to violent clashes between USTKE militants and French police, after an estimated 200 French policemen stepped in to lift a USTKE-staged blockade as part of a strike at local bus company Carsud.

The union was demanding that a bus driver, who was sacked for stealing proceedings from ticket sales, be reinstated.

The violent clashes between police and some 400 USTKE members and sympathisers, on January 17, lasted for up to twelve hours and were locally described as a riot bordering "urban guerrilla".

Dozens of people, on both sides, were injured, some by the French police's notorious "flash-balls (rubber bullets).

Police also used teargas to disperse the crowd and finally managed to restore an uneasy calm in the Nouméa suburb by Thursday evening.

Jodar, on his part, has maintained USTKE militants would remain camped near Carsud headquarters and would keep on organising "regular" demonstrations in Nouméa.
The union leader claims an agreement struck in January 2007 with Carsud management had not been respected.

Since January's unrest, police have stepped in several more times to disperse further attempt son the part of USTKE to erect new blockades at the entrance of Carsud headquarters.

The later interventions, which were incident-free, were said to aim at allowing non-striking employees, especially bus drivers, to ensure there was no further disruption in the bus service in the New Caledonian capital.

But French high commissioner Yves Dassonville later assured, in February, that police would not tire of intervening whenever illegal pickets were erected, "in spite of the hostile and aggressive attitude" from USTKE militants.

Since then, French police have sent a team of investigators to carry out an enquiry into local French police, in relation to the January 17 clashes.

Late February, Jodar and three other members spontaneously turned up at the Central Police Headquarters in Nouméa to be heard as part of the inquiry into the January 17 clashes.

They were briefly held, then released.

Jodar is also summoned to appear on May 16 in another case, this time to respond to charges of organising at least five demonstrations without obtaining prior and proper permits.

After the January clashes, Jodar held a face-to-face meeting with French High Commissioner Yves Dassonville.

As a gesture of good will, USTKE later announced that its strike was to be suspended at Carsud to allow for proper negotiations to take place with the company's management.
Jodar had since taken part in talks with USTKE, under the mediation of New Caledonia's labour department.

But talks have collapsed again and have not resumed since February.
Following his sentence, Jodar told local media on Monday he would appeal.
USTKE is also accusing French authorities in New Caledonia of systematically resorting to violence against the union.

In March, USTKE also announced it was no longer taking part into attempts made locally to foster "social dialogue", as part of a formal roundtable that attempted to identify a consensual way of solving industrial disputes.

In a joint statement released at the weekend, the Human Rights Leagues of New Caledonia and metropolitan France "unreservedly condemned any attack on the right to strike".

"Economic and social rights are an integral part of human rights… To sanction employees because they are taking part in a strike movement amounts to negating the right to strike", the statement went on.

"While the respect of persons and property, as well as the freedom to access to working places must be imposed on everyone, the disproportionate, repeated and untimely of law enforcement agencies can only trigger more violence than it purports to avoid".
But both leagues are also balancing their position, saying "union action cannot let itself be mistaken from the acts of a political party and it is also not compatible to mix personal interests with union activities".

Since last year, USTKE has officially set up its political arm, which it has called the Labour party.

Jodar said at the time it was felt the historic, pro-independence FLNKS (Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front) umbrella of parties had become too soft and too embedded in the local institutions.

20th anniversay of Ouvea incident to be commemorated

To the fallen Melanesian freedom fighters and their families, love & solidairty from across the ocean.

In New Caledonia, a Kanak organization is preparing a commemoration of an important moment for the French Territory's pro-independence movement. Last Wednesday, the Committee of the 20 Years organized a gathering in the capital, Noumea, and more is planned for the next days at Ouvea. In April and May 1988, a clash between Kanak pro-independence activists and French authorities ended with 25 people dead. The incident led to talks between Paris and the pro-independence movement which lead to the Matignon agreements signed in June 1988.


"The Kanak women have well understood how important it is that they take part in the struggle for liberation. They take part in the political struggle not only to defend the rights of the people, but also to defend their own rights and to better their situation. They did not stop at political discourse, but they have taken an active part in the field and on the front lines such as barricades against colonial military forces and guerilla tactics." --Bertha Nare. Kanaky/New Caledonia


The Melanesian Kanaks arrived in the islands 3,000 years ago from Papua New Guinea.

They are related to their northern neighbours both ethnically and culturally.

The mountainous main island and scattered islands have resulted in distinct cultural groups, represented by the 20 distinct languages that existed when Europeans first arrived.


Kanaky, also known as New Caledonia, is home to the Melanesian Kanak people.

There are presently 187,784 (1996) people living in Kanaky. Only 42.5% of them are Kanaks, making them a minority in their own lands. They are joined by Europeans, mainly French (37%), Wallisian 8% and Polynesians, Indonesians and Vietnamese.


Other names for Kanaky are New Caledonia or Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances.

A Melanesian nation, it lies off the north-east coast of Australia.

Kanaky consists of five inhabited islands. The largest is New Caledonia, or La Grande Terre. It is the second largest island in the Pacific, after Aotearoa/New Zealand and hosts the capital Noumea.

There are also two island groups, the Huons and the Loyalty Islands which includes Ouvea.

The nation is about 250 miles long and 30 miles wide.


Kanaky is not independent. It has been an Overseas Territory of France since 1956.

In 1988, the Matignon Accord promised a degree of political and economic self-autonomy, with France maintaining control of foreign and military affairs, treasury and immigration.

The Matignon Accords were to lead, in 1998, to a referendum on independence. But in 1998 another agreement, called the "Noumea Accord", was signed. Setting guidelines towards independence in 2013 oe 2018, the Accord was brokered between the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), the loyalist Rally for Caledonia in the Republic (RPCR) and the French government. A Kanaky-wide referendum in November 1998 will ask the 200,000 population whether they agree with the Accord.

If accepted the Accord would lead to new elections in mid-1999 for three Provincial assemblies and a New Caledonia Congress. France will then transfer some powers in the first five year term to the Congress - labour legislation, local employment and foreign trade. Other powers that would be handed over in the following decade include mining rights, regional relations and social services.

But France will retain control of crucial sovereign powers such as defence, foreign relations, police, justice and currency for the entire 15 to 20 year period.

Those entitled to vote in the independence referendum would include all those who would have been entitled to vote in the 1998 referendum - Kanaks and people who had lived in the nation at the time of the Matignon Accord - and others who had been born in Kanaky, or had one parent born in Kanaky or those who, in 2013, could prove 20 years continuous residence.

This Agreement would eraze the Kanaks' sole right to self-determination as the Indigenous people. The UN promised in 1960, and repeated in 1980, that Indigenous peoples alone have the right to decide the future political status of their nation.

This promise is outlined in the UN General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of December 1960, and supported by resolution 65/118 of December 1980.

The referendum at the end of the 15-20 year period will focus on the sovereign powers of Kanaky/New Caledonia, accession to an international status of full responsibility and the transformation from citizenship to nationality.

Presently the French President is the Chief of State and is represented in Kanaky by a High Commissioner appointed by the French Ministry of the Interior. That High Commissioner is President of an eight member Counseil de Gouvernement which are elected by the Territorial Assembly, which deals only with issues internal to the nation. The High Commissioner controls all government services.

Kanaky/New Caledonia's involvement in its national affairs is limited to one representative in the French Senate and two Deputies in the French National Assembly.


Kanaky is dependent on French financial aid. Most of Kanaky's income is derived from nickel, of which it has the world's largest known reserve (20%). Other minerals are also mined including chrome, iron, cobalt and manganese.

The economy is threatened by the global drop in demand for nickel.

The 1988 Matignon Accord committed France to improve infrastructure and services and to stimulate economic growth of its colony. This was only carried out in a limited form. Economic power continues to reside with the European settlers in Noumea, while the Kanak areas are under resourced.


Kanaky/New Caledonian military affairs are controlled by France and hosts a French naval base.


British Arrive

When the British Captain Cook arrived in 1775 he estimated 70,000 Kanaks lived in the islands. Cook named the islands "New Caledonia" after the Scottish highlands.

French Arrive

The protestant London Missionary Society followed after 50 years, leading the way for the French Catholics in 1843. Increasing tensions between the religious factions led to the French Catholics winning control over the islands.

France annexed the island nation in 1850.

Then, between 1864 and 1897, France established a penal colony. The majority of the 20,000 convicts transported to the islands chose to remain and settle there.

This coincided with the development of the nickel (1864) and copper (1875) industries.

As a result the Kanaks were pushed off their lands and into infertile reserves on the edges of the mountains. By 1900, the Kanaks had access to only 10% of their islands.

Loss of land, and therefore livelihood, coupled with diseases introduced with immigration, decimated the Kanak population until only 27,000 survived.

The Kanaks did not give away their sovereignty. They resisted the colonial presence. The Canaque Revolt of 1878 was only one example. But the Kanaks were repressed by the European superior weaponry.

Independence Stopped

Following Second World War, the UN placed Kanaky on its Decolonisation List of Non-Self-Governing Territories. But France unilaterally removed it from the list and made it an Overseas Territory.

In 1951 France granted the Kanaks and French settlers the right to vote and allowed Kanaks to move out of the reservations in which they had been contained.

In 1957 the French established a Territorial Assembly, a move which was seen as a first step towards independence.

But then, in 1958, General De Gaulle was elected as French President. He abolished the Territorial Assembly and reinstated the regime of repression.


The Kanaks had long resisted the French colonialists.

In 1878 the Canaque Revolt called for independence. The French successfully suppressed the indigenous endeavour to re-establish their sovereignty.

The independence movement re-orgranised in 1981 when the Kanak leader of the Union Caledonienne was shot in his home.

In 1984 the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) was formed. It called for a boycott of the Territorial Assembly elections and established a Provisional Government.

The French settlers responded by massacring Kanak youth.

On January 7, 1985, the FLNKS announced a referendum on independence to be held in July 1985, and to be followed in January 1986 with self-government in association with France.

Again the French settlers responded with violence. French President Mitterand moved to establish greater autonomy in the colony but this was barely implemented when Prime Minister Chirac stationed troops in the islands.

The UN re-inscribed Kanaky on the Decolonisation List of Non-Self-Governing Territories in 1986 but the repressive French regime continued. Tensions mounted and another massacre of Kanak youth took place in 1987.


Then in 1988 the Ouvea Massacre occurred.

Responding to a pending election for the Territorial Assembly, Kanak youth took French gendarmes prisoner. The French government responded with 300 troops. Fifteen youth were killed, including those who were surrendering.

Matignon Accord

International outrage at the massacre resulted in talks between the French government, French settlers and the Kanaks.

The Matignon Accord was signed by the Kanaks in August 1988. It was then voted on in France by 80% of French citizens.

Tension continued to mount however and resulted in the assassination of Kanak leaders Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Yeiwene Yeiwene, the two Kanaks who were involved in signing the Matignon Accord.

The Matignon Accord promises a referendum on self-government in 1998, but as the Kanaks are a minority in their own lands, independence is considered an unlikely outcome.

Many Kanaks were angry that independence will not be guaranteed after a ten years wait. They argued that the Matignon Accord gave France time to change the political power structure, gearing it even more so towards the Caldoches (pro-French settlers).

The Accord divided the country up for shared administration by the Caldoches and the Kanaks. The Caldoches maintained control of the predominantly white urban and militarised area around Noumea, while the Kanaks gained control over the less developed rural areas. Establishing a limited local autonomy, France retained control over foreign and military affairs, land ownership, treasury and immigration.

Noumea Accord

The Matignon Accords was to lead to a referendum on independence in 1998 but another agreement was signed.

If accepted this agreement progressively hand political power to the Kanaky population until full independence is achieved in 2013 or 2018. France however would continue to control military and foreign affairs, immigration, police and currency until that time.

A referendum will be held in Kanaky in November 1998 to determine whether or not the Agreement is acceptable to the people.

Colonisation Continues

The French value Kanaky not only for its mineral deposits but also for its position which enables them to maintain political, military and economic power in the Pacific.

After the US, France has the second largest military presence in the Pacific. A naval base in Kanaky helps them to keep that control.

The Kanaks are determined to reclaim sovereignty over their own lands.



A recent agreement, called the "Noumea Accord", will be taken to a public referendum in December 1998. This Accord replaces the Matignon Accord which guaranteed that a referendum on independence would be held in 1998. It is the result of negotiations between Kanak, European settler communities and the French government.

If accepted at the December referendum the Noumea Accord result in reforms leading to a referendum on independence in between 15 to 20 years.

This will include progressive changes to the local political control and structure. While Kanaky will gain greater control over internal and regional affairs, France will retain sovereign rights including control over military and foreign affairs.


Unemployment is rife among Kanaks. In 1996, of 18,000 jobs only 5,000 went to Kanaks people. Public sector jobs are open to all citizens but Kanaks tend to be less qualified.


KANAKY (New Caledonia) - http://www.planet.apc.org/pacific_action/national/g_l/kanaky.html

See also:http://uriohau.blogspot.com/search?q=kanaky


Hawaii Needs You

An open letter to the US left from the Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

The confluence of two forces--a massive military expansion in Hawai'i and Congressional legislation that will stymie the Kanaka Maoli [Native Hawaiian] sovereignty movement--will expand and consolidate the use of Hawai'i for US empire. We are calling on the US left to join our movement opposing these threats and to add our quest for independence as a plank of the broad US left strategy for a nonimperialist America. If you support peace and justice for the United States and the world, please support demilitarization and independence for Hawai'i.

Since 1893, the United States has malformed Hawai'i into the command and control center for US imperialism in Oceania and Asia. From the hills of the Ewa district of O'ahu, the US Pacific Command--the largest of the unified military commands--directs troops and hardware throughout literally half the planet. Since the late nineteenth century, the US military has multiplied in our islands, taking 150,000 acres for its use, including one-quarter of the metropolitan island of O'ahu. Moreover, the National Security Administration is building a new surveillance facility nearby, not far from where urban assault brigades, called Strykers, will train for deployment throughout the world. The US Navy is also increasing training over the entire archipelago, including populated areas and the fragile northwestern whale sanctuary. This militarized occupation has a long history. Ke Awalau o Pu'uloa--known now as Pearl Harbor--became one of the very first overseas bases, along with Guantánamo, around the time of the Spanish-American War. We still hold much in common with prerevolution Cuba--a sugar plantation economy and status as the playground for the rich of North America.

We have suffered from the effects of being the pawn for US wars on the world. Our family members languish from strange diseases brought by military toxins in our water and soil. Our economy is a foreign-run modern plantation serving multinational shareholders and decorated generals. We salute a foreign flag, and the education system instructs us to yearn for a distant continent called the Mainland. Tourists imbibe in sunny Waīkikī, while the beaches in the native-inhabited regions are littered with chemical munitions.

But amid our suffering, we have survived. Our tenacity and resilience have historical roots: in 1897, 95 percent of the Kanaka Maoli population signed petitions that helped to defeat a treaty to forcibly annex Hawai'i to the United States.

The last forty years have seen remarkable change for our people, through the advancement of a grassroots struggle against the political occupation and mental colonization of our homeland. We have been successful in several campaigns: in stopping the bombing of Kaho'olawe Island and Makua Valley, in revitalizing the Hawaiian language and culture in our schools and families, in returning to our indigenous spiritual practices and in making Hawaiian sovereignty a dinner-table topic and an actual possibility. These hard-fought wins are successes in the movement for self-determination and also a threat to America's use of Hawai'i as the purveyor of its empire.

It is against this backdrop that the Akaka bill (the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act) is being discussed in the halls of Congress. Named for US Senator Daniel Akaka, the bill is being promoted by Hawai'i's corporate and political elite as a vehicle for racial justice. Yet the bill would turn back one of the most important victories of the last four decades--the rise of Hawaiian self-determination, including independence, as a political possibility--replacing it with the extinguishment of our historic claims to land and sovereignty.

Our conundrum puts us squarely in opposition to the middle ground of American politics, which has arrived at a consensus that Hawai'i will remain a military colony of the United States. Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye is a major purveyor of pork barrel spending for military appropriations and defense contractors. All three presidential contenders have signaled their support for the Akaka bill. And while the far right wing of the Republican Party opposes the Akaka bill, both major parties have no quarrel over the continuance of the empire's use of our homeland.

In light of this American consensus on Hawai'i, we turn to our nearest political allies, US progressive movements, and seek your solidarity for our independence because it is congruent and essential to your hope for a better world. Please join us in opposing the Akaka bill and the militarization of Hawai'i, and please support Hawai'i's independence as part of your vision for a more humane United States and a more just world.

Ikaika Hussey, convenor, Movement for Aloha No ka Aina

Terrilee Keko'olani, Ohana Koa/Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific

Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua, assistant professor of political
 science, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Jon Osorio, director, Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Kekuni Blaisdell, convenor, Ka Pakaukau

Andre Perez, Hui Pu

Kelii "Skippy" Ioane, Hui Pu

Kai'opua Fyfe, director, The Koani Foundation