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The Green Party is urging Helen Clark to maintain the integrity with which she has opposed the US-British invasion of Iraq and not to fall for the idea that there is only a “small difference in emphasis” between those countries that supported an illegal invasion of Iraq and thosethat didn’t. Read Keith’s
Just two days after the Green Party added its voice to the calls for a select committee inquiry into New Zealanders’ exposure to the deadly toxin Agent Orange during the Vietnam war, Sue Kedgley was delighted to find that an inquiry was to go ahead. Read Sue’s statements on the
call for an inquiry
and on the
confirmation that an inquiry would take place
NATIONAL PEACE WORKSHOPS May 9-11, CHRISTCHURCH. It’s not too late to register and come (although you may have to find your own lunch on Saturday). The
programme, general information and registration form are available here
Although the bombing may be over, for so long as Iraq is occupied the war itself cannot be said to be over. Action continues around New Zealand. Here are some highlights from the main centres — but do check
Peace Movement Aotearoa site
for what else is on. There are still regular vigils and pickets, plus one-off events, in most places.
- AUCKLAND, SATURDAY, 3 May, 2-3 P.M., Aotea Square – Palestine/Israel Rally for Peace, supporting peace and justice based on Removal of Israeli Occupation, Right of Return for Refugees, Sharing Jerusalem and Cessation of Jewish only Settlements in occupied Palestine. Contact David Wakim (09) 520 0201.
WEST AUCKLAND, SATURDAY, 3 May. 7:30 P.M. – Titirangi War Memorial Hall, South Titirangi Road (beside the library). Waitakere Community Peace Concert – featuring Kurdish musicians from Iraq, and a selection of great Auckland songwriters and musicians. Music, dance, multimedia show, Middle Eastern food; $15 waged / $10 unwaged and family concessions. Organised by Free Spirit Peace Productions; for tickets and more details contact Laurie Ross (09) 811 8696 or email
xtra [dot] co [dot] nz
or David Lynam (09) 817 8338. Tickets are also available from the Titirangi Pharmacy. Proceeds will go to humanitarian aid in Iraq.
AUCKLAND, MONDAY, 5 May, 7:30 P.M.- Global Peace and Justice Auckland Forum with Murray Horton, Anti-Bases Campaign and CAFCA, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn. For more info contact John Minto (09) 846 3173 or email
xtra [dot] co [dot] nz
WELLINGTON, SATURDAY, 3 May, 12 NOON – Celebrate International Workers’ Day! gather at 12 noon at Glover Park (Ghuznee Street, west of Cuba St intersection), march to Civic Square where there will be a rally at 12:30pm with performers and speakers. Contact — email
eclectic [dot] org [dot] nz
- WELLINGTON, FRIDAY, 9 May, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St Andrews on the Terrace, 30 The Terrace. Poets for Peace: with Emad Jabbar, Iraq; Yilma Tasew, Ethiopia; Ron Riddell, Aotearoa/New Zealand; Saray Torres, Colombia; and NZ musician Bryan James. Free entry, with a koha collection for poets living in Iraq.
CHRISTCHURCH, SUNDAY, 4 May, 2 P.M, Cathedral Square. – ‘Another World is Possible’, RALLY with speakers in Cathedral Square; then MARCH to the Bridge of Remembrance and back. Bring white flowers to leave at the Bridge of Remembrance. For more info contact Peace Action Network (03) 981 2825 or email
yahoo [dot] co [dot] nz
- CHRISTCHURCH, MONDAY, 5 May, 7:30 P.M. – Fundraising fun quiz night for WILPF and Bougainville women’s projects, at Captain’s Mistake, Hillsborough Tavern (corner Opawa Rd and Curries Rd), $10 / $5. For more info contact Leith Graydon (03) 384 2322.
SLASHING THE STATE DEPARTMENT. Can you imagine a former NZ Speaker of the House working with the Business Round Table to bring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the control of the Defence Department and the SIS? In the US today, that’s not a far-fetched scenario. Jim Lobe reports on the
attack launched by former Republican Speaker and Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute Newt Gingrich on the State Department
. This has the support of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and is an unprecedented attempt to undermine American diplomacy from within and replace it with militarism. Worth a look.
WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN CUBA? Cuba’s human rights record under Castro has always been mixed, with the best health care and education services in Latin America having to be balanced against the repression of intellectual, political and sexual ”dissidents”. Right now it seems to have taken a major turn for the worse. How can we explain this and what could be done about it? The Transnational Institute has a
balanced account of what is going on
by Latin American expert Saul Landau.
WHY THE PAX AMERICANA WILL NOT LAST AS LONG AS THE PAX ROMANA. For a fascinating comparison of the 700 year Pax Romana (which was based on the extension of Roman citizenship to those within the Roman imperium) and the Pax Americana (which struggles with citizen participation even within the borders of the USA, let alone elsewhere) see the
latest article by Walden Bello
. Bello lists the indicators that America may already have over-extended itself, and considers the challenges to the new empire, especially those coming from China.
In his column for the April 2003 issue of Christchurch’s city magazine Presto Rod Donald wrote about the need to be alert for Weapons of mass deception
Weapons of mass deception
” As I write this column the New Zealand government has just confirmed it will send a team of mine clearers to Iraq to work under United Nations auspices. The Green Party is pleased to support Labour’s initiative and hope it is the first step towards the U N replacing the United States in Iraq.
George Bush and his cronies may have won the war but they have certainly lost the peace. We have no truck with Saddam Hussein and his brutal regime, but neither do we regard the US as Iraq’s or anyone else’s saviour. I watched with despair and disbelief as our television screens filled with pictures of American forces standing by while Iraqis looted public buildings, including hospitals and schools. Even worse, in the eyes of many, has been the ransacking of museums and the destruction and theft of artefacts marking the font of human civilisation.
What has happened has happened, and now the world’s attention must focus on ending all the violence, cleaning up the mess caused by both the United States and the Iraqi regime, restoring public services and facilitating the emergence of a civilian government. The United States must withdraw from Iraq so that other members of the United Nations can undertake these responsibilities.
The US has already caused enough suffering in Iraq. American driven sanctions caused the death of at least half a million children over the last decade. During the invasion civilians were deliberately targeted, and weapons of mass destruction, such as cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells, will go on killing until they are disarmed.
There is another weapon of mass destruction that must be cleaned up and that is the deception and distortion of events leading up to, during and since the US invasion. Symbolising all this are the so-called “embedded” journalists who ostensibly work for independent news-gathering organisations but travel with US military units. There is no doubt that they are “in bed” with their hosts and project a slanted and sanitised view of the invasion.
We must challenge the lies, the half-truths and the biased reporting that is generated by this American propaganda machine. There is a lot at stake. US unilateralism has brought the United Nations to its knees. Too many people believe that America should become the world’s policeman. Civil society and freedom of speech are increasingly under threat from the US-UK military-industrial complex.
As outspoken American commentator Michael Moore (not the free trade zealot, but the author of Stupid White Men and producer of Bowling for Columbine) recently said: “Don’t let the false patriots intimidate you by setting the agenda or terms of the debate. Don’t be defeated by polls that show 70% of the public in favour of the war. Unfortunately Bush and Co are not through yet. This invasion and conquest will encourage them to do it again elsewhere. The real purpose of this war was to say to the rest of the world, ‘Don’t mess with Texas — if you’ve got what we want, we’re coming to get it!’ This is not the time for the majority of us who believe in a peaceful America to be quiet.”
This isn’t the time for the people of New Zealand to be quiet either. Let the Labour government know that you are pleased they did not join Bush’s illegal immoral war and challenge them to call for the United Nations to replace the United States in Iraq.”
JustPeace is produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
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