Children Of Gaza

 In December 2008, the Israeli Defence Force unleashed a campaign to destroy the ability of Hamas to launch rockets and mortars into Israel. Around 300 children were among the 1,300 Palestinians that were killed. After the ceasefire, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Jezza Neumann arrived in Gaza to follow the lives of three children over a year.

Surrounded by the remnants of the demolished Gaza Strip and increasingly isolated by the blockade that prevents anyone from rebuilding their homes and their lives, Children of Gaza is a shocking, touching and uniquely intimate reflection on extraordinary courage in the face of great adversity





Save Rapanui Day of Protest Los Angeles

Thursday, Dec. 23rd, 2010
11am to 1:30pm
6100 Wilshire Blvd. #1240
LA, CA 90048
corner of Wilshire and Fairfax


Wai 796 report good for the climate

MEDIA RELEASE: 'Wai 796 report good for the climate'
DATE: EMBARGOED UNTIL 12pm, 22nd December 2010
FROM: Climate Justice Taranaki

Wai 796 report good for the climate

"The waitangi Tribunal 796 Report on the Management of the Petroleum  Resource, released today, is a clear finding that the Crown breached  the rights and protection of tangata whenua promised in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. If the Tribunal's recommendations are accepted by the crown it will be a step towards greater community involvement in decision-making and stronger environmental protections. We expect the crown won't accept but it's good to make the communities demands  heard" said Climate Justice Taranaki and Otaraua hapu member Emily Bailey.

"This month's disastrous Cancun climate talks put tackling climate change into the hands of fossil fuel companies, the capitalist market and corrupt governments. Most specialists have come out saying that
the change in management will now increase world temperatures by 7°C resulting in near global genocide of the poor" continued Bailey.

For decades the oil and gas industry has been making billions of dollars from the Taranaki region with very little coming to local communities and environmental protections near zero. Maori have
consistently called for greater protections and mining access to be disallowed in some areas. The crown delegated responsibility to councils who were allowed to disregard the legal rights of tangata
whenua, under the Resource Management Act and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and imposed access licences that caused the destruction of over 100 waahi tapu in the rohe of one Taranaki hapu alone.

Under the so-called management of these councils we had NZ's largest oil spill near Okato in 2007, which saw a pitiful fine of only $105,000 paid by the polluter. Two more oil spills this year were
barely even reported because they happened outside of council jurisdiction.

Now, more oil and gas exploration permits have just been awarded to numerous multi-national companies, covering an area of nearly 300,000 square kilometres. This is over 42 times the current area being mined for oil and gas.

"It's crazy. We are supposed to be reducing greenhouse gas emissions not majorly increasing them. The permitted land, sea and air discharges could seriously pollute groundwater and soils, wipe out marinelife and threaten livelihoods not just locally but globally through the added effects of climate chaos" added Bailey.

"We will not watch silently as Papatuanuku and Ranginui are threatened by profit-driven companies for the benefit of the rich. Instead, we are organising a movement here in Taranaki to confront and stop the
rampant mining and stand in solidarity with people across the world who are resisting at the front lines of climate change" read a statement by Climate Justice Taranaki.



1. Climate Justice Taranaki is part of the Climate Camp Aotearoa (CCA) network. CCA is part of the inernational Climate Justice Action Network which calls for horizontal organising of direct action and
people-based solutions, not market solutions to climate change.

2. A hui is planned for early 2011 in Taranaki to discuss plans to stop the mining


It's the most wondeful time of the year

A video highlight reel of 2010's best riots set to inappropriate music. Enjoy!

Wikileaks Exposes NZ Government Duplicity on TPP

19 December 2010
For immediate release

Critic Calls for Honesty after Wikileaks Exposes Government Duplicity on TPP
“The government should stop its propaganda campaign to sell the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement to unsuspecting New Zealanders and tell them what it has told the United States government itself,” said Professor Jane Kelsey, author of a book of academic essays critical of the proposed deal.*

US diplomatic cables that reveal the views of New Zealand’s lead negotiator Mark Sinclair are included in Wikileaks documents analysed by Nicky Hager in today’s [19 Dec] Sunday Star-Times.
As recently as February this year, New Zealand’s own chief negotiator Mark Sinclair conceded to US officials there was little in a TPP Agreement for New Zealand. The only real “pay-off” was a remote long-term prospect to “put the squeeze” on Japan and Korea to stop protecting their agricultural markets.

Sinclair reportedly pointed to “a public perception that getting into the US will be an ‘El Dorado’ for New Zealand's commercial sector. However, the reality is different.’”
Professor Kelsey observed that this “false perception” has been scripted by the government itself.
“When our book was released, the Prime Minister and private sector cheerleaders peremptorily dismissed the same kind of criticisms that officials have voiced behind closed doors.”

“The cable confirmed that US firms have our GM regulations, restrictions on foreign ownership of land and mineral resources, and intellectual property laws, including Pharmac, squarely in their sights.”
A second set of cables from 2004 analysed by the New Zealand Herald show the US diplomatic post has been working with its pharmaceutical companies to undermine the world-leading Pharmac drug purchasing regime that makes medicines affordable to New Zealanders, claiming this would enhance New Zealanders’ access to health care.

The cable suggests the US drug industry helped foment the furore over Herceptin and Alzheimers medicines as part of campaign to “fire up pressure from below”.
“The cable confirms that ‘US Big Pharma’ will use a TPPA to target Pharmac and other intellectual property laws”, said Professor Kelsey.

“Equally worrying is the revelation that officials saw the extension of patent terms, which would increase medicine prices, as bargaining chips if the US agreement to negotiate FTA.”
“In the February 2010 discussion with US officials, negotiator Mark Sinclair talks about “managing” New Zealanders’ expectations from a TPPA.”

“That’s not good enough. It is time the government came clean to Kiwis that it sees no tangible gains from a deal and justify why it is continuing with negotiations that have potentially serious costs for our health system, consumer laws, ultimately for our sovereignty”, Professor Kelsey said.

* No Ordinary Deal. Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, Jane Kelsey, ed, Bridget Williams Books, 2010.


SERCO Sharples Corporate Kupapa

'Dr Sharples joked he was looking to accommodate his family in a secure unit outside a New Zealand prison so he could feed them each for $4.50 a day'

Sharples is paying off his mortgage on the backs of his cronies making money out of the incarceration/slave labour/misery of our people. Shame on him hope he chokes on it.

As more and more Western governments use the services of Serco – the British multinational with an unhealthy hold on prisons and detention centres – it’s worth remembering the gross human rights abuses under its watch   http://antonyloewenstein.com/tag/serco/


Maori Affairs and Associate Corrections minister Pita Sharples is counting on outsourcer Serco and its Maori partner to change the way prisons operate.

The British company, which runs a number of private prisons in Australia, has been picked to run the Auckland Central... Remand Prison at Mount Eden.

Dr Sharples says the prison system's focus on punishment and incarceration has created structural baggage, and left room for innovation.

“The whole idea of rehabilitating these people to put them out as productive members of society is not yet captured, and that’s what I want to see, and I’m hoping that Serco and I believe it’s Tainui they’re involved will do a good job and introduce meaningful programmes into the prison. That would be really great,” he says.

Dr Sharples wants to see more drug rehabilitation, Maori focused units, and other targeted programmes for prisoners

Serco Morgan Corporate Kupapa
‎'The concept appalled me then and still does. First grow the raw material, then put it in a can and look after it, I said. It was investing money in the belief that there was an endless supply of losers out there waiting to be processed. I...t was a depressing vision of the future, one with half the tribe and their mates in prison while the other half was being paid by the state to run it. Indeed the prosperity of the tribe would depend on a continuing - and hopefully expanding - supply of the raw material'. Of all the places Maori could invest their Treaty settlement and other money, this would have to be the most inappropriate. Ethical investment it is not.'


TPPA Audio: Jane Kelsey, Sanya Smith, Mike Smith & A Campbell

Audio + Images: Jane Kelsey, Sanya Reid Smith, Mike Smith & Andrew Campbell
Talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, Public Meeting - St Matthew's In The City, Auckland, 7 December 2010

Audio and Images from Simon Maude
On Tuesday night December 7 the public were invited to Auckland church St Matthew's in the City, to hear Prominent law professor Jane Kelsey, of Auckland University and others explain their opposition to secret trade rules negotiations underway at Sky City Auckland that week. Professor Kelsey, author of a new book on free trade "No Ordinary Deal", kicked-off the speeches. She detailed why we should all be worried about New Zealand’s laws being superseded by a ‘rules-based’ system negotiated amid secrecy. Mike Smith, activist and self-styled 'concerned citizen' spoke next suggesting NZ society needs a paradigm shift in its attitude to commerce. Then Sanya Reid Smith, a Swiss-based lawyer, gave the audience some concrete examples of how rule changes could affect our quality of life. The speeches were wrapped-up by Andrew Campbell, FINSEC’s TPP campaign director. Campbell said National and Labour party politicians need pressure from voters to push for transparent negotiations.


Click for big version
Professor Jane Kelsey

  • Scoop Audio (35 Minutes): Audio of Professor Jane Kelsey's opening speech to a public meeting about the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations held in Auckland at St Matthew's in the City on Tuesday 7 December 2010.

Press Play To Start Audio Playing….


Click for big version

Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network)

  • Scoop Audio (13 Minutes): Audio of Sanya Reid Smith's (Third World Network) speech to a public meeting about the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations held in Auckland at St Matthew's in the City on Tuesday 7 December 2010

Press Play To Start Audio Playing….



Click for big version

Mike Smith

  • Scoop Audio (13 Minutes): Audio of Mike Smith's speech to a public meeting about the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations held in Auckland at St Matthew's in the City on Tuesday 7 December 2010.

Press Play To Start Audio Playing….


Click for big version

Andrew Campbell (Finsec)

  • Scoop Audio (15 Minutes): Audio of Andrew Campbell's (Finsec) speech to a public meeting about the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations held in Auckland at St Matthew's in the City on Tuesday 7 December 2010.

Press Play To Start Audio Playing….

Wairoa will not ban gang regalia in the township

So nice to see a community stand against the redneck trend. 'Gang' members are whanau & part of our communities.

Because of some individuals actions it was felt that everyone was going to be tarnished with the same brush but there are actually gang members in our community who live very productive lives. They have children who are thriving and showing leadership in this community, so it didn’t seem the right answer for us as Wairoa,” Ms Cairns says.


10 December 2010 

Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann (pictured) ordered yesterday that the "Urewera State Raids" prosecution (R v Bailey) against 15 accused will be by judge alone trial.  The landmark ruling  was 

sought on application by the Crown and had been opposed by the accused. 
The remaining three of the eighteen listed defendants were ordered separate trials. 
Winkelmann J ordered the public not be told about her order.  In the past Winkelmann has stated the reason for such secrecy was to ensure the jury pool is not prejudiced by pre-trial information.  Her latest order prohibiting a jury states the potential length of the trial, or that jurors would use "improper reasoning processes" , each provide a sufficient ground for denial of jury trial in her mind.

In responding to the defendants' assertion the Bill of Rights Act 1990 ensures the right to elect trial by jury when facing more than 3 months prison, Her Honour stated the Supreme Court declared last year in Wenzel v R that barring a jury trial did not violate the Bill of Rights Act.  The Supreme Court reasoning in Wenzel v R was that judges are as fair as juries, even though the Bill of Rights guarantee to jury trial is not founded on contrary reasoning.
The R v Bailey accused were originally charged under the Terrorist Suppression Act.  After widespread public protests, Solicitor General David Collins dropped the terrorism charges in October 2007.  Most are now charged with arms violations: some with organised crime activity.

Justice Winkelmann was the Judge who earlier concurred with Police that their Court affidavit used to obtain the nationwide search warrants in the massive arrests be suppressed, then revoked bail on Crown application after Auckland District Court Judge Josephine Bouchier granted bail for some of the accused in 2007.  In 2009, Justice Winkelmann struck out several of those search warrants as unlawful.  Last month, the Court of Appeal reinstated them after the Crown appealed.

Winkelmann's ruling yesterday means the eighteen originally charged wrongly by the Crown as terrorists will now have their guilt or innocence determined by a Crown judge, as the Crown is being forced to justify its actions in the raids to the Unitited Nations.

The arrests were the culmination of a 13 month and multi-million dollar covert police investigation in 2007 which made news headlines around the world.


Alternative welfare report “superior”

09 Dec 2010

Alternative welfare report “superior”

A group of Maori women urge government to adopt the recommendations outlined in the alternative welfare report launched today.

Te Wharepora Hou, a mainly Auckland based group, agrees with the findings of the report “Welfare Justice for All”.  The report, released today by the Alternative Welfare Working Group, concludes that “there is no immediate crisis in New Zealand’s social welfare system”.
Te Wharepora Hou says that Maori women and children will be disproportionately affected if Government instead adopts those recommendations proposed by the official Government appointed Welfare Working Group. Te Wharepora Hou urges the Government to abandon its policies of benign neglect.

Te Wharepora Hou maintains that the Government group continues to stigmatise and punish beneficiaries.  Spokesperson Marama Davidson says “Successive government policies have failed to address and have contributed to growing inequalities. The Welfare Working Group report is an abdication of State responsibility that places the blame on beneficiaries who are living the consequences of wider societal problems.”

 Te Wharepora Hou asks Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to explain how the adoption of the Government group recommendations will enhance the care and protection of the vulnerable when its core aim is to further reduce the safety net of the welfare system?

Te Wharepora Hou urges the Government to instead work with the informed analysis of the Alternative Welfare Working Group report.  It urges the Government to outline its job creation policies and commitment to reducing inequalities, especially for Maori women, before the next election.

CONTACT: Marama Davidson

 PHONE: [021 025 88302]


FWRM highlights gender importance on the Pacific HRIA Scoping Study for PACER-Plus

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) supports the findings of the Scoping Study undertaken into the potential for using a Pacific Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) tool in the context of PACER Plus.

“We support the idea of a HRIA and welcome the Scoping Study’s findings to the PACER Plus, especially the recommendation that gender be central to any analysis,” said Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Virisila Buadromo.

Gender analysis provides an understanding of the differences and magnitude of differences in women and men’s lived experiences and is therefore fundamental to measuring and forecasting the realisation of clearly defined rights.

According to Buadromo, trade policy impacts women and men in very different ways because they are differently integrated into formal and informal economies, social and political life.

FWRM shares similar sentiments with the Republic of Marshall Island’s Amatlain Kabua who recently said that although the Marshall Islands is still some way from striking any free trade deals, when it does, human rights will need to be protected.

Women and men also have different needs for, and ability to access public services such as health and education, which may also be impacted by changes in trade policy. Understanding these differences is important for targeted, effective and efficient policy making. Thus gender analysis is key to understanding trade policy impacts, including the right to health. In the Pacific, gender inequality is a key barrier to development that is recognised in the Pacific Plan, national-level development plans, donor analysis and in government commitments to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Millennium Development Goals.

FWRM believes that the HRIA is an important mechanism to inform and shape the trade negotiation process of PACER-Plus, especially as it takes human rights based approach to the negotiation process.

Taking this approach to trade negotiation supports trade and economic policy being in line with all other government objectives, rather than trade policies being put into place at the expense of development objectives.

A HRIA on PACER Plus that focuses on health also necessarily highlights violence against women, which is not only a key development and health issue, but also the number one issue facing women in the Pacific.

The Scoping Study was conducted by the International Women’s Development Agency and La Trobe University. It was presented in Suva recently with initial presentations done in Sydney and Melbourne.


For more information contact Shazia Usman at shazia@fwrm.org.fj


TPPA No Good for Maori

Press Release Te Wharepora Hou
 Te Wharepora Hou, a group of Maori women based in Auckland, supports civil society groups from Australia and New Zealand that are opposing the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Similar free trade agreements have had a devastating impact on the rights & lives of Indigenous peoples around the world.  Indigenous peoples have been criminalised  and rights to their lands and resource have been ignored.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is colonisation by corporation.  Maori and Pacific Island communities have already borne the  brunt of  neo-liberal economic restructuring  in the 80’s and 1990’s.

The TPPA will intensify and increase these negative economic impacts In our communities and as a result are hugely over-represented in all negative indices. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)  is part of the neo liberal structural adjustment programme to diminish and extinguish Indigenous rights forever.

The TPP represents a significant and; disruptive challenge to Maori.

 As wahine Maori, our long and deeply-held traditional values and understandings of collectivity, of manakitanga , of kaitiakitanga (Caring for Earth Mother), for Tangaroa (god of the sea) and for their children, is in direct opposition to what is being proposed in the TPPA. The New Zealand government does no have the right to negotiate away our Treaty rights and  our rights as Indigenous peoples. 
The selling off of our mokopuna and their future must stop.

You can download a fact sheet “Maori, Treaty and the TPPA” here:


What’s a TPPA?

Another of those international treaties that would give massive amounts of power to big foreign companies and allow them to enforce their rights against the government – what Maori have been struggling to secure for over 160 years!

Why is this one special?

First, it’s huge. Eight countries are involved. The most important, the US, acts for the benefit of its mega-firms. It will try to dictate what is discussed and what is agreed. The others countries are Australia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and NZ.
  Second, the TPPA is like an octopus whose tentacles will reach into every aspect of life – land, culture, broadcasting, medicines, water, mining, jobs, finance, prisons, …

What kind of treaty is it?

The formal name is the Trans-Pacific Partnership and they call it a free trade treaty. But it’s really a treaty that guarantees foreign investors extensive rights and restricts the kinds of policies and laws that governments can have in the future.

It sounds like the MAI that we fought off years ago!

It is – but bigger and worse.

Are there particular issues for indigenous peoples?

Indigenous communities in Chile and Peru have already been dispossessed and criminalised as a result of their existing free trade agreements with the US.

In northern Chile, Diaguita communities have resisted the FTA-related expansion of mining operations that are located on their traditional lands, take ancestral waters and threaten the environment. Further South, the Mapuche have faced expansion of pine forestry, hydro dams, fishing and salmon farms along the rivers and foreshores, without proper consultation or participation in benefits. Their protests have been criminalised by the Chilean state using police brutality involving torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment affecting community members. The state has prosecuted hundreds of Mapuche activists, accusing them of ordinary or terrorist offences listed in the Anti-terrorist Law; 50 are in prison charged with terrorist crimes.

In Peru, the government issued a mass of laws that threatened indigenous peoples’ lands and resources as part of implementing the US–Peru FTA. The laws aimed to break up indigenous communities so foreign investors could set up huge private estates on Amazonian forest lands and produce biofuels. In 2008 the Amazonian indigenous peoples in the Interethnic Association of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) mobilised against these decrees. Some were overturned, but there were new protests when the government broke its promises about overturning others. After several days of road blockade, the government ordered the police to clear the roads. Clashes ended with 34 identified deaths, including 24 police officers and 10 people from the indigenous communities; a hundred civilians were injured by firearms.
(see José Aylwin, ‘The TPPA and Indigenous Peoples: Lessons from Latin America’ in Jane Kelsey ed. No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Bridget Williams Books)

Are there specific impacts for Aotearoa?

Lots – some examples are …
Water companies run privatised water all around the world, often with disastrous impacts on local communities. Rodney Hide is pushing a new law through Parliament that will let these mega-water corporations run the water supply of cities and towns throughout Aotearoa for 30+ years. We saw the human cost of privatised electricity in 2009 when the Muliana family couldn’t pay the bill and Mrs Muliana’s oxygen machine was cut off. Tragedies like that happen with failed water privatisations all over the world, forcing governments to cancel the private contracts and take back control. Under a TPPA foreign water companies are likely to get powers to sue the government for multi-millions in compensation in a secret international court if it did that. Bolivia and Argentina have faced crippling cases that drag on for years.

Another example affected the foreign companies that are getting licenses for exploration and mining on Maori land or land subject to claims that aren’t yet settled. Often the hapu aren’t being fully consulted before licenses are issued and have no real say. The government hasn’t developed proper rules yet about what these companies can and can’t do or ways to hold them accountable for disasters. Under a TPPA the government’s hands could be tied - it could be stopped from limiting or banning certain mining operations or from introducing new restrictions that undermine the profitability of a mining company from one of the TPPA countries. Because the law is complicated, it is easy for the companies to tie governments up in knots with threats of long, costly law suits in secret foreign courts.

A TPPA could make it hard, even impossible to require plain package cigarettes and make tobacco companies contribute to the health costs of smoking related diseases.

Compulsory quotas for Maori - or even New Zealand – music are already prohibited cos they breach the rules of ‘trade’ treaties. A TPPA would mean more limits in favour of Hollywood.

Stricter intellectual property laws could threaten control over taonga that the WAI 262 claim is trying to protect and stop the government introducing new safeguards.

Medicines will become more expensive if the big US drug companies have their way, so only rich people with health insurance can afford the medicines they need.

Isn’t there some special exception for the Treaty of Waitangi in NZ’s FTAs?

That doesn’t guarantee Maori any rights. It says the government may take action if it believes is required to implement the Treaty. Other parties to the agreement can still challenge aspects of the government’s action.

How do we find out what’s happening with these negotiations?

The 4th round of negotiations started in Auckland on 6 December 2010. We don’t get to know what’s on the table because the negotiations are secret. If the government thinks it’s so good for us it should stop hiding behind closed doors and let us know what trade-offs they’re proposing in our name and justify them – before the negotiations go any further.

Who is consulted about these negotiations?

The only people who really matter and have the inside story are big business. Presumably that includes Maori entrepreneurs involved in forestry, energy, fishing, property development, exploration, private prisons, private water schemes … .

What’s the Maori Party’s position on the TPPA?

Hone has said he opposes it.  The Party itself hasn’t shown its hand. In recent times they have been split in voting on FTAs –  for example, on the NZ-Malaysia FTA Pita, Tariana and Te Ururoa voted for and Hone and Rahui voted against. Time to get off the fence …

For more information see www.tppwatch.org


TPP: Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Australia and NZ

3 December 2010

Rt Hon Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia
Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand
Dear Prime Ministers

The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has been branded a “free trade agreement” by its corporate and government proponents. In reality, the main function of the agreement would be to establish an array of new investor rights and privileges that could undermine vast swathes of important non-trade laws, policies and practices in the nine countries currently involved. These constraints would bind our governments into the indefinite future.

Perversely, the TPPA proposal is being sold as a new agreement for the 21st century. In fact, the US is effectively setting the terms for negotiations, based on a standard template that replicates the US North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) model.

We know from the experience in the US, Canada and Mexico that the NAFTA model eliminates the crucial policy space that our governments need to address the employment, climate, financial and energy crises that will dominate the next century. It not only establishes vast new investor rights to acquire land, natural resources, financial and other firms and operate them under deregulated terms - it also elevates private investors to equal status as sovereign government signatories to the agreement. Under the US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) model, foreign investors and corporations are empowered to privately enforce their new “trade” pact privileges by suing signatory governments in foreign World Bank and UN tribunals, seeking monetary compensation for government actions they consider to undermine their expected future profits.

If a TPPA follows that old investor-rights model, decisions on development of our economies, management of our natural resources and land, our access to medicines, cultural content, banking regulation, environment and labour laws, food labelling, tobacco control policies, and much more will be circumscribed from outside the country, with the threat of challenge by foreign firms in private international courts chilling critical innovations and potentially threatening some existing policies.
Trade agreements should focus on real trade. They should not provide a means for corporations to achieve policies and laws through a back door that bypasses the democratic processes of domestic parliaments.

Moreover, investment rules in an agreement for the 21st century should address the damaging by-products of the old model - climate change, food scarcity, financial instability, an employment crisis, natural resource exhaustion, indigenous dispossession and rampant inequality – and make the corporations and investors that are responsible for these crises accountable and liable.
In addition to establishing corporate and investor responsibilities, any future investment agreement must exclude the substantive rules and enforcement mechanism of past investor-rights agreements that make them unacceptable. These include:

Investor-state enforcement privileges that elevate individual investors and firms to equal status with our sovereign governments, empowering them to enforce a public treaty’s commercial provisions privately by demanding cash compensation from country’s taxpayers for government regulatory actions via lawsuits before international tribunals that lack public accountability, standard judicial ethics rules, and appeals processes.

The empowerment of secretive international tribunals at the UN and World Bank that supplant domestic courts and apply international agreements to undermine the validity of domestic laws and require our countries to compensate investors and corporations with our taxpayer funds. Arbitrators in those tribunals are not subject to any effective conflict of interest rules and crucial documents and proceedings are closed to the public and press.

Entitlement to prior consultation on proposed policies and regulations that guarantee foreign investors more input into domestic decisions than the country’s own citizens.

Vaguely worded provisions guaranteeing foreign investors a “minimum standard of treatment”, including “fair and equitable treatment,” that extend beyond guarantees of due process and confer preferential treatment on foreign firms relative to their domestic counterparts.

Corporate rights to compensation for regulatory costs in the guise of protection against “indirect” expropriation by regulations and other government actions that reduce the value of a foreign investment. The threat of massive damages awards can have a “chilling effect” on policymaking, with important policies being reversed or never being implemented. It is misleading to suggest that annexes and tweaks added to recent FTAs provide effective protection from these threats.

Far-reaching definitions of “investment” that must be provided with new protections and privileges under an FTA extend far beyond real property rights and other specific interests in property to include speculative financial instruments, natural resource concessions, procurement contracts and intellectual property rights, over which governments must retain effective regulatory authority.

Pre-establishment rights for investors that remove the host government’s right to review foreign investment proposals to ensure that they meet the public interest.

Constraints on capital controls and other financial regulatory tools that can minimise hot money flows and excessive concentration of financial investors, restrict the sale of risky financial products and services, and open prudential measures to investor and state challenge. Again, the misleadingly termed “prudential carve-out” does not provide effective protection for these measures.

The subsidiary loophole that allows corporations to bypass their domestic courts by using “trade” pacts and their foreign subsidiaries located in a FTA or Bilateral Investment Treaty partner nation to attack their domestic laws from outside the country.

We note that the US-Australia FTA does not contain the outrageous provision on investor-state disputes, and the Australian government remains opposed to its inclusion in any TPPA. We applaud that position as an important first step, and urge the government to adopt a similarly forward thinking position in relation to the other matters we have raised.

We also note that the New Zealand Prime Minister has described the inclusion of such powers in a TPPA as “far-fetched” and expects that New Zealand would support Australia’s position. Minister of Trade Tim Groser subsequently stated in Parliament that the government would carefully safeguard the sovereignty of New Zealand to entertain good public policy in accordance with the principles of open government. It is clear that the only way to achieve that outcome is not just to reject investor-state disputes procedures, but also to pursue an investment agreement that is premised on the principles outlined above.

Across the political spectrum in our countries, opposition is building to investor-rights agreements that threaten to lock us into policies and approaches that have proved a failure.
Our governments must re-think the dangerously outdated NAFTA-style approach to investment and genuinely engage with their citizens to develop a new model investment agreement that is genuinely fit for the 21st century.


Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJ)
Friends of the Earth, Australia (FOE)
Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)
Public Health Association of New Zealand (PHA)
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET)
Music Council of Australia (MCA)
Australian Education Union (AEU)
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU)
Australian Nursing Federation (ANF)
Australian Writers Guild (AWG)
Australian Services Union (ASU)
Community and Public Sector Union - State Public Services Federation (CPSU - SPSF)
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)
Finance Sector Union (FSU)
Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)
Finsec Union of New Zealand
Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ)
National Distribution Union of New Zealand (NDU)
New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU)
New Zealand Society of Authors
Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA)
New Zealand Not for Sale
Catholics in Coalition for Peace and Justice (CCJP)
President-elect, Methodist Church of New Zealand John Roberts
Economic Reform Australia (ERA)
Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (F.M.M)
Nature Conservation Council New South Wales (NCCNSW)
Pacific Institute of Resource Management, NZ (PIRM)
Our Water Our Vote, New Zealand
Pacific Calling Partnership
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
SEARCH Foundation
The Grail
The Alliance to Expose GATS
West Australian Regional Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
WTO Watch Qld
Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA)
Workers Institute for Scientific Socialist Education (WISSE)



Historic Moment in the defence of the Rights of Nature

Quito, Ecuador, 26 November 2010

A historic case was filed by an international coalition of defenders of nature’s rights at the Constitutional court of Ecuador against BP and its crimes against nature. Ecuador recognises the rights of nature in its current constitution adopted in 2008. The rights of nature are universal. This provides the fundamental basis for this legal case.

The case was brought with regard to the massive environmental disaster caused when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, 2010. That incident exposed BP’s drive to maximise profit with total disregard of nature and its rights. The company constantly lied with regard to the scale of the
disaster and toped this up by using unusually high amounts of toxic chemical dispersants to cover up the spill. This disaster was not limited to the Gulf Coast but has wider reach through the movement of water as well as atmospheric pollutions.

The defenders of nature are not seeking financial compensation since the harm done to nature cannot be compensated for in monetary terms. Some of the key demands in the case include that BP should release all data and information on the ecological destruction caused by the oil spill. Another
demand is that they should also to refrain from extracting as much oil underground as they spilled in the Gulf of Mexico incident.

Besides this case the activists called for support for the Yasuni ITT proposal of the Ecuadorian government to leave the oil in that sensitive ecosystem underground. They also urged the US government to extend the moratorium on offshore oil drilling.

Speaking after filing the case, the defenders of nature insisted that phasing out crude oil as a major energy source should be an issue of critical importance at the climate conference in Cancun. It is the key way to phase out the current carbon economy, tackle climate change and halt the forces
that are driving the current global crises.

The case was jointly filed by

1. Vandana Shiva, (eco-feminist and winner of the1993 Right Livelihood
Award, considered the Alternative Nobel Prize)

2. Nnimmo Bassey (Friends of the Earth Nigeria and Coordinator of
Oilwatch international and 2010 laureate of the Right Livelihood Award)

3. Delfín Tenesaca (President of ECUARUNARI, indigenous Andean
ecuadorean organisation)

4. Blanca Chancoso (ecuadorean indigenous leader)

5. Líder Góngora (representative of the ancestral peoples of Mangroves)

6. Alberto Acosta (Ex President of the Constitutional Assembly of

7. Ana Luz Valdéz (representative of social movements from Chiapas,

8. Diana Murcia (Colombian human rights lawyer) and

9. Cecilia Chérrez (President of Acción Ecológica, Ecuador)

British Petroleum demandada en Ecuador       
martes, 16 de noviembre de 2010

El viernes 26 de noviembre se presentó en la Corte Constitucional del Ecuador una demanda contra la empresa de origen británico, British Petroleum por haber violado los Derechos de la Naturaleza y los Derechos del Mar consagrados en la Constitución Política del Ecuador, al permitir el derrame de al menos cinco millones de barriles de petróleo, luego de que la plataforma Deep Water Horizon se hundiera el pasado 20 de Abril, matando a 11 trabajadores.

La inédita demanda es presentada por un grupo heterogéneo conformado por científicos, académicos, ecologistas, líderes indígenas y de base de diferentes partes del mundo. Destaca la presencia de Vandana Shiva, reconocida ecofeminista a nivel mundial a quién se le otorgó en el año 1993 el Right Livelihood Award, considerado como el Premio Nobel Alternativo, por su lucha en defensa del medio ambiente. También resalta la presencia de Nnimmo Bassey, presidente de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional, y coordinador de la red internacional Oilwatch, quién también recibió el mismo premio en el 2010; además suscribieron la demanda Delfín Tenesaca, Presidente de ECUARUNARI, Blanca Chancoso reconocida dirigente indígena, Líder Góngora representante de los pueblos ancestrales del manglar, Alberto Acosta Ex Presidente de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, Ana Luz Valadez de México, Diana Murcia de Colombia y Cecilia Chérrez Presidenta de Acción Ecológica.

Los demandantes argumentan, “es un imperativo ético en tiempos en que las voces más optimistas anuncian que la humanidad está perdiendo el futuro, porque el modelo de crecimiento, sobre explotación y despojo, basado en la energía fósil nos lo está arrebatando”.

Apelan al principio de la jurisdicción universal, “porque la jurisdicción universal asienta su filosofía en la persecución de hechos que ofenden la conciencia de la humanidad y el desastre ecológico del Golfo de México ofende esa conciencia”

Los demandantes solicitan que la corte designe a la Magistrada Nina Pacari, dado que ha sido la primera en argumentar y defender los derechos de la naturaleza, consagrados en la Constitución Política del Ecuador.

Entre las peticiones a la empresa constan recomendaciones de medidas de compensación como son:

1. Que se ordene a la British Petroleum dejar represada en el subsuelo una cantidad equivalente en crudo a la derramada en el Golfo.

2. Que se ordene a British Petroleum redireccionar la inversión destinada para nuevas exploraciones hacia modalidades para dejar el crudo en el subsuelo como mecanismo más eficaz de compensación a la naturaleza actualmente afectada en sus ciclos climáticos debido a la producción petrolera.

Y otras recomendaciones a los gobiernos entre las que constan

   1. La exhortación al Gobierno de los Estados Unidos para que de manera inmediata se restablezca la moratoria de exploración petrolera en el Golfo de México

   2. Que se exhorte a todos los gobiernos y a las Naciones Unidas a incorporar en todas las discusiones que realicen sobre el cambio climático, biodiversidad y desarrollo el reconocimiento de los derechos del mar y de la naturaleza y el progresivo abandono de operaciones que, como la petrolera, afectan estos sujetos y sus derechos; y se impulse el dejar el crudo en el subsuelo tal y como ha sido la propuesta Yasuní-ITT impulsada por el Ecuador.

La demanda se presenta en el contexto de las “Jornadas por los Derechos de la Naturaleza”, organizadas por el Instituto de Estudios Ecologistas del Tercer Mundo, Acción Ecológica y la Red Internacional Oilwatch, que se realizaron en Quito este 25 y 26 de Noviembre.


Action Alert Sydney residents to mobilize against Hidden Valley mine damage


I am Reuben, the Interim President of Union of Watut River Communities. An organization that is representing the people along the Watut River where the Hidden Valley Mine is operating. Morobe Mining Joint Venture (MMJV), the company operating the mine, is owned 50% by Newcrest Mining(Australian based) and 50% by Harmony Mining (South African based).
There is already a huge environmental damage to the river system. Mine run-offs and overflows are allowed directly into the Watut River system. The River was most importantly known for its white water rafting and is regarded one of the most fast flowing river within the Southern Hemisphere. Tourist all over the world have been visiting the river.

All these potentials are now gone!

People (children, men, women and old people) are getting rashes due to the pH and alkalinity variations from the river. Food crops are not giving good yields, the alluvial miners are not getting much as they used to before. The silts are covering the once fertile top soil for gardening and the river banks are overflowing and flooding gardens. The river itself is very dirty/murky and filled with contaminated sediments daily….

I am very keen to at least raise this awareness when the 2010 Mining Conference is held down in Sydney between December 6 – 8, 2010. Due to financial difficulty, I cannot make it.

Is there any way we can get all the Papua New Guineans living and working within the vicinity of Sydney to mobilise and put-up some bill boards or placards about the “unsafe, unethical, immoral acts”, that are being caused by those mining giants???

Just a peaceful protest because the PNG Prime Minister will also be there. If more information is needed, I will try to supply.

Have a read and let me know your thoughts. Your help in anyway would greatly be appreciated.
Best Regards,



From 6 December a week of free trade negotiations for a mega-free deal between NZ, the US, Australia and six other countries will be held in the Sky City Casino. This agreement (known as the TPPA) will tie the hands of NZ governments to the failed neoliberal agenda for the next century.
A meeting to discuss actions and strategies will be held at Unite offices at 6a Western Springs Rd, Kingsland on Tuesday November 30 at 6pm. Please come!
You can also register to be inside the venue along with the media, business people and maybe even delegates (???) on http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Trans-Pacific-meeting/0–stakeholder/ . There are guaranteed to be about 500 big business lobbyists for every 1 people’s representative inside the Casino venue, so …
Another occasion for debate: Jon Mayson, Chair, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
invites you to help mark the opening of The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations, Round four Monday, 6 December, 6.00pm-8.00pm, Voyager Maritime Museum, Corner Quay and Hobson Streets, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland. RSVP essential by Wednesday 1 December
tpprsvp@nzte.govt.nz telephone (04) 816-8196


Tonga Votes Today

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

Produced by Smush and Slm of Aotearoa Indymedia.
Download the movie (high quality): video.indymedia.org/en/2007/04/837.shtml

See also :

Blood From a Stone
Toga's accession to the WTO


Blood From a Stone
60.98 KB

15 December 2005

The tiny island Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific is about to make history, by joining the WTO on what are arguably the worst terms ever offered to any country. The appalling terms of Tonga’s accession package show that nothing has changed in the way the world’s smallest and most vulnerable economies are treated as they seek to join the WTO. It is a further demonstration that the fine words of the Doha Development Agenda mean nothing when pitted against the commercial interests of the world’s richest countries



Moana & The Tribe Titia

Dedicated with Love to all the participants & PANG staff of Navigating trade Winds meeting just held in Fji.

TITIA TO HOE (M.Maniapoto/D.Nehua)

E kore koe e ngaro nga kakano (repeat)
Titia tō hoe
Dig your paddle
...Kia hōhonu Deeper
Tukua mai tō toa e
Let your courage
E tū te pai Guide the helm
Titiro ake ki a Rangitūhāhā
Look to the sky Mātaki
atu i te taura
Read the weave e here
ana i te hau
Of wind
Ki ngā kapua i te rā
In clouds by day
Whāia atu ngā huarahi
Follow the trails o ngā whetū Of familiar stars e mōhio nei tātau Guiding you by night
I ngā pō, i ngā pō Whakatītahatia tō taringa
Bend your ear Ki te reo
To the voice o ngā karakia tawhito
of the ancient ones chanting
ngā karakia tapu Sacred karakia
Hoea rā tō waka e
Paddle your canoe


FTA Critic Told To "Get A Visa" To Go To Australia

Tuesday, 16 November 2010, 4:13 pm
Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey

FTA Critic Told To "Get A Visa" To Go To Australia

16 November 2010

On Sunday evening (14 November), Professor Jane Kelsey was detained at immigration at Sydney airport for about an hour at the beginning of a tour to launch a new book on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. She was informed by a senior immigration official that she was not eligible for visa free entry to Australia on the grounds that she was not an ‘appropriate person’ under Australia’s 1994 immigration laws.

While eventually allowed to enter Australia on this occasion, Professor Kelsey was told she would need to apply formally for a visa for any future visits, and was advised to seek a waiver from the Australian High Commissioner.

The official relied on a Springbok tour conviction from the early 1980s, which he claimed had attracted a suspended prison sentence of one year and nine months. Despite claims by the official that ‘appropriate checks have been made’, no such sentence was ever imposed on Professor Kelsey or the others involved in the case. Indeed, the Court of Appeal overturned a binding-over order that would have prevented those involves from engaging in further political protest. Former Green MP Sue Bradford, who was also involved in the case, has confirmed that she has never had similar problems entering Australia.

Professor Kelsey describes this development as ‘totally bizarre’.

‘I am a constant visitor to Australia for professional and personal reasons – at least eight times in the past two years, including just one month ago for an academic conference on trade.’

‘I always tick the box about criminal convictions, which relate to the Springbok tour and Bastion Point in the early 1980s. They have the list on record at Australian immigration. Usually I wait 10 or at most 15 minutes and they wave me on. This twist came completely out of the blue.’

Professor Kelsey has expressed her concern to the Australian High Commissioner and sought clarification of her immigration status under Australian law, including whether she will be required to seek visa for future entry to Australia.

‘It is possible it is an ill-judged over-reach by super-officious immigration officials at Sydney.‘

‘However it is equally likely that my name has recently been flagged, presumably linked to my role in promoting critical debate on the TransPacific Partnership negotiations. Requiring me to apply for a visa each time I go to Australia would make it easier to monitor and restrict my movements. At the very least sends an intimidating message to me and to others.’

Last year Professor Kelsey raised concerns over the apparent surveillance by the SIS of her activities as a critic of neoliberalism and free trade agreements, which she argues are actually investor-rights agreements that impose severe constraints on New Zealand’s future policy choices and sovereignty.

‘This latest development seems to confirm that promoting informed and democratic debate on these secretly negotiated agreements is deemed a threat to national security. Everyone should be worried about the implications for academic freedom and informed debate in a democracy.’

- Press release from Professor Jane Kelsey.


Aamer Rahman (Fear of a Brown Planet) @ Political Asylum


Wild Rivers Defender Murrandoo Yanner

Murrandoo Yanner, a Gangalidda traditional owner said, "Healthy rivers are the lifeblood of our people — everything depends on that. Water for drinking, fish for eating — we have to protect this for our children's children. We've talked with the Government and we thought we were on the same page — we want the Settlement and Gregory Rivers declared — the Government shouldn't cave in to the scare-mongering of those mining and agriculture mobs.


Women of Aotearoa, Philippines Share Wisdom

12 November 2010
Women of Aotearoa, Philippines Share Wisdom, Affirm Solidarity for Women’s Rights and Self-Determination:

No To Further Sell-Out Of Land, Sovereignty In The Name Of ‘Free Trade’
While foreign and trade ministers attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Japan discuss further opening of economies for ‘free trade,’ women activists say no to further sell-out of land, culture and sovereignty. They denounced APEC, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade deals that ensure huge profits for big business at the expense of women, workers, indigenous peoples and other disadvantaged sectors.

“WISE WOMEN SPEAK,” an intergenerational - inter movement korero (forum) on the liberation of women and self determination featured Coni Ledesma, International Spokesperson of Makibaka: Patriotic Movement of New Women together with Ngapuhi leader Titewhai Harawira and activist lawyer Annette Sykes at the Auckland University, New Zealand, 10th November.

“In 1975 we marched to demand not one more acre of Maori land to be sold. Now more trade agreements are being negotiated above our heads without our participation,” activist lawyer Annette Sykes says as she points out that the capitalist neo-liberal agenda is the new form of colonization. Sykes challenged the participants, mostly students and young women to speak out and revive a strong women’s movement in defense of land, rights and self-determination. “With the Terrorism Suppression Act and Search and Surveillance Bill that allows installation of listening devices into our homes, the state’s actions are meant to silence us and tell us that it’s not right to demand land, rights and liberation.”

Ledesma, senior member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel was invited to NZ along with Luis Jalandoni, Chair of NDFP Peace Panel for a peace speaking tour from 26th October to 12th November hosted by Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS), Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa and Wellington Kiwi Pinoy.

Welcoming Ledesma, distinguished Maori woman leader Titewhai Harawira says, “I remember coming to the Philippines in the ‘80s where I was shocked at how women were treated. At the same time, sharing the pain of struggling indigenous women in the Philippines gave me a lot of strength.” Denouncing the latest news on mining exploration projects in NZ, Harariwa says, “Enough is enough. Neo-liberalism means theft of land, theft of identity, theft of culture. Corporate giants spend billions to save the whales. They save the whales while they shoot natives and grab their land.”

According to Ledesma, “It is important for women to find the correct analysis and understanding of the cause of oppression of women. Women's oppression is not a problem between men and women, but a matter of class oppression that began when classes in society emerged. The oppression of women will be fully eliminated, and the real liberation of women achieved when the system of exploitation and oppression of one human being by another will be abolished. Today, global monopoly capitalism operates on insatiable greed for profits at the expense of women, indigenous peoples and other marginalised sectors. Socialism will remove the conditions that have made women unequal to men.”
At the forum, Ledesma also appealed for solidarity for women activists in the Philippines currently detained on trumped-up charges including Angie Ipong, a 65-year-old church worker and veteran social justice activist who has been jailed since 2005.

Ms Ipong was arrested by the military while she was giving a seminar to peasants and women leaders on the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), one of the landmark bilateral agreements reached in the government-NDFP peace talks. She was missing for 13 days during which time she underwent torture while undergoing interrogation. She began a hunger strike from day one of her illegal arrest to force her captors to surface her and allow her to have access to her lawyer.

Looking at the photographs of Filipino women detainees Angie Ipong and the two nursing mothers among the Morong 43 health workers, Harariwa notes, “I’m sad to see you’re still carrying placards for these women to be free. I believe that no one is free until everyone is free.”
The forum organiser says Maori have learned a lot from cross cultural korero. Helen Te Hira from Auckland Philippines Solidarity says, “Maori have been to the Philippines over the years, learnt and discussed about colonisation, militarism, deforestation, so this is women from different communities talking and exchanging their experiences and hopefully from that we will get sense of where we have come from and where we're going.”

“With the governments of New Zealand and Philippines both selling off the people’s ancestral domain and sovereignty to foreign powers and local business elite, Maori and Filipinos share a common struggle to defend the rights of women, indigenous people and all disadvantaged sectors in the face of large-scale mining and other destructive projects against the people and environment,” Te Hira noted. The forum participants affirmed solidarity on common struggles of Maori and Filipinos especially against mining corporations and big business causing massive community displacement and loss of ancestral domain in Aotearoa and Philippines. “In building women’s networks, we need to find linkages to strategies with those who have common desire to eliminate poverty and violence against women” Sykes adds.

“One hundred years after the declaration of the first International Women’s Day, the International Women’s Alliance (IWA) was founded on 16th August 2010 in Montréal, Canada immediately after the successful Montreal International Women’s Conference attended by more than 350 participants from 32 countries. Faced with global concerns including indigenous struggles, developmental aggression, violence against women, racism, discrimination and genocide, resistance to wars and imperialist aggression, IWA aims to foster the creation and coordination of local, regional and international campaigns, to promote mutual support and the sharing of resistance strategies, and to mobilize women around the world in the struggle against imperialism, violence and capitalist globalization,” Ledesma shared with the forum participants.

Ledesma enjoined the women of Aotearoa to join the first assembly of the International Women’s Assembly in July 2011 in the Philippines. The forum closed with the signing of the international petition calling on Philippine Pres. Benigno Aquino III to effect the immediate release of Morong 43 community health workers who have been illegally arrested, tortured and detained since 6th February, including 26 women, two of whom gave birth recently. Around 30 signatories include Titewhai Harawira – Ngapuhi, Maori Council NZ Annette Sykes – Lawyer and Activist, Catherine Delahunty - Member of Parliament, Green Party of Aotearoa, Lena Henry – Iwi Have Influence, Helen Te Hira - Auckland Philippines Solidarity, Ann Pala - Ethnix Links, students of Auckland University and members of various groups. #

Reference: Helen Te Hira aotearoasolidarity@gmail.com 09 280 3372 or 0272888894


Indigenous Muslim Solidarity Conference Melbourne

ASWAD and the Indigenous Muslims of Australia Network present


This is a special one-day conference for Muslims to be introduced to issues of social justice affecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Australia, including Land Rights and the Northern Territory Intervention.

Featured Speakers:

For the last 40 years, Gary Foley has been at the centre of major political activities including the 1971 Springbok tour demonstrations, the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972, the Commonwealth Games protest in 1982, and more recently, the protests during the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations.  Late in life Foley became a student at the University of Melbourne where he studied history, cultural studies and computer science.  Between 2005 and 2008 he was a lecturer / tutor in the Education Faculty of University of Melbourne, and is about to complete a PhD in History at the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne.

Chris Graham is the former editor and founder of the National Indigenous Times newspaper, where he won a Walkley Award and a Walkley High Commendation for his reporting on Indigenous affairs.

In addition to discussing the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island, Chris will also be making a special presentation on Racism and the Media. A key part of this presentation is an expose about a fraudulent ABC Lateline program which aired in the lead-up to the Northern Territory Intervention.

"Lateline's reporting led directly to the greatest human rights abuse against Aboriginal people certainly of my time, and probably in the last half century.  The Northern Territory intervention has harmed Aboriginal people; it's caused starvation; it's seen a dramatic rise in reports of self-harm incidents; it's driven children away from school; it's wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. In short, it's been a disaster for the nation's most disadvantaged citizens, the people who could least afford it."


Date: Saturday, 27th November
Venue: Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Melbourne University, Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room, Level 1
Time: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM 

Registration for this event is crucial, please email: aamer.rahman@gmail.com by the 20th of November.