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Where is our Orion hiding?
On 8 May Keith Locke asked the Government to come clean on exactly what the Orion aircraft sent to the Persian Gulf will be doing. ”It is unacceptable that New Zealanders cannot even be told where our Orion will be located…We shouldn’t be colluding with a mystery state to hide from its people that US-led military operations are being conducted from its soil.” Keith is concerned that the Orion will end up assisting US forces, as the NZ frigate ended up escorting US warships, not catching terrorists. Read
Keith’s press release
International law not the law of the jungle
is exactly what the Greens want too, said Keith Locke on 4 May, praising the Prime Minister for her courage in telling the US and Britain that they may well regret the dangerous precedent set in ignoring the UN. Read
There’s a world of difference between war and peace
was Keith’s reaction on 2 May to the Prime Minister’s suggestion that there was ”no division” between Washington, London and Wellington over the illegal invasion of Iraq. Perhaps she took note — see above. Read
What next? Is what many people are asking. Take advantage of the opportunities to analyse and reflect on the war and the anti-war movement, and on related matters, at the many educational events currently being organised. As well as the National Peace Workshops in Christchurch this weekend, here are some more to look out for.
Auckland, Monday 19 May, 7:30 P.M. – ‘IRAQ. what next?’
with speakers including Keith Locke MP; Dr Umara, Iraqi member of the Mandaean Religion; and Susie Blowers, Chair of Amnesty New Zealand; 7-30pm in the Lounge Room, St Austells Church, corner Seabrook Road and Margan Avenue, New Lynn. Organised by Amnesty International West Auckland.
Wellington, Friday 9 May, 5 P.M. – Nuclear weapons proliferation: with a focus on North Korea and the USA
– with speakers Merav Datan, international lawyer and disarmament specialist, principal drafter of the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention, on ‘International Law, Nuclear Weapons, and US Policy’; Tim Beal, Senior Lecturer in the School of Marketing and International Business at VUW, specialist on North Korea on ‘Giving as Good as You Get: North Korea and the Bush Doctrine’; and Roderic Alley, Associate Professor in Political Studies at VUW on ‘Article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: a Dilemma Without End?’ From 5pm, tea/coffee, first paper at 5-30pm, ends at 7-30pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Victoria University Law School, Lambton Quay (Old Government Buildings). A Public Seminar sponsored by the National Consultative Committee on Disarmament, for more info contact email
g [dot] coote
clear [dot] net [dot] nz
Wellington, Friday 16 May, 6 P.M. – ‘The War against Iraq, Civil Liberties, The Bush Agenda – where to from here?
Starts at 6pm with curry and rice with the video ‘Voices from the Streets’ by Saul Landau and Sonia Angulo, from 7pm to 8-30pm – discussion lead by Keith Locke, Green MP; at the Brooklyn Resource Centre, 36 Jefferson St, Brooklyn. For further information contact Paul Bruce tel (04) 972 8699 or email
paul [dot] bruce
paradise [dot] net [dot] nz
New Zealand tour of Saharawi spokeswoman, Fatima Mahfoud.
In May a representative of the Saharawi people, Fatima Mahfoud, will visit New Zealand to tell the story of the Western Saharan conflict from a Saharawi woman’s point of view. She will share her experiences of life in the refugee camps where her people have been living in unbearable conditions for 26 years whilst their families remain trapped in the territories occupied by Morocco where they suffer human rights abuses.
- AUCKLAND, Thursday 22 May, 7.30pm, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby. Contact Felicity Coggan 09 5795707
- DUNEDIN, Saturday 24 May, 5.30pm dinner meeting at the Age Concern Rooms, The Octagon. Contact Marie Laufiso 03 477 3395
- CHRISTCHURCH Monday 26 May; 7.30pm, PEETO, 201 Peterborough St (cnr Madras). Contact Annalucia Vermunt 03 3773834
- WELLINGTON Thursday 29 May, 5.30 — 7.30pm, ground floor, Turnbull House, 25 Bowen St. Contact Kirsten Forsyth 04 934 2289
More information on the tour and on the situation of the Saharawi from
chn [dot] quik [dot] co [dot] nz
Donations to cover expenses to “WILPF-Auckland Branch” marked ‘Fatima Mahfoud tour’, P.O. Box 47-189, Ponsonby, Auckland
New Zealands’ Foreign Policy: A Green View
Keith Locke spoke to the NZ Political Studies Association Annual Meeting on 13th April. His address is reproduced in full below.
“Green foreign policy addresses the main problem of our time, and that is the huge differences in wealth and power between countries, and within countries. Flowing from this inequality we have widespread poverty, major health problems, inadequate schooling, the ongoing destruction of the planetary environment, and the political marginalisation of much of the world’s population.
The governments of the richer countries, with New Zealand among them, have not effectively addressed these problems. In fact, they have led a drive for free trade and investment arrangements that allow multinational companies to dominate more of the global market.
The policies of most OECD countries are geared toward this corporate globalisation. The rich countries have their own spheres of influence, maintained through political and cultural pressure, economic rewards, and sometimes military intervention. For all its recent antiwar position, the French state sends troops into its former African colonies when it deems its interests to be threatened.
However, the invasion of Iraq has highlighted differences between the dominant power, America, and a second tier of rich countries, particularly France and Germany. Despite substantial common interests, some European powers are worried that European multinationals are losing out to their American competitors, who have strong support from the White House and the Pentagon. There is also concern about American cultural dominance, which seems a particular worry to the French.
European politics reflects a stronger social democratic and Green tradition which means two things. European governments oppose the more purely New Right American policies, which belittle social and environmental concerns. And secondly, the Europeans have a more progressive internationalism, recognising the need to address global problems of peace, human rights, poverty and the environment. There is also a greater recognition of the need for multilateral agencies, particularly the UN, to deal with these problems.
Now, New Zealand’s problem is this. It is politically closer to the European perspective, but many of our institutions, particularly defence and intelligence, but also in foreign affairs, are very close to their American, Australian and British counterparts.
It is hard to justify such close ties in the light of the Iraq crisis. The America, British and Australian invasion was the most serious and flagrant aggression since World War II, so clearly against international law, and a big blow to the United Nations. It came on top of America and Australia declaring a doctrine of “pre-emptive strike”, America sinking the ABM treaty, pushing ahead with Star Wars, developing new types of nuclear weapons, advocating a first strike policy against non-nuclear counties, and opposing both the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court.
It is simply not credible for Labour to treat the Iraq crisis, against this background, as some hiccup in relationship with traditional friends, allies, or partners – and arguing that it will still be business as usual after the dust settles. If we don’t want to keep helping America implement its global agenda then we are going to have to cut some ties.
I think it appropriate to start with intelligence gathering ties, because this is the area where we are of most help to the US, in helping spy on other governments, and identifying things like targets to attack – which is disturbing now American intelligence agencies are back in the assassination business. A recent US Congressional paper identified the Waihopai station near Blenheim as an integral part of the Echelon electronic spying network, and listed Waihopai as one of New Zealand’s two contributions to the war on Afghanistan. The other contribution was our SAS unit. Unquestionably Echelon was also used in the war against Iraq. Through Waihopai we have been part of that war.
You might also have read about the memo from a US National Security Agency section head, Frank Koza, directing units to “mount a surge” of electronic spying against wavering UN Security Council members prior to a possible vote in the Council on Iraq. Echelon would have been used for this.
It is also clear from the evidence that a prime focus of Echelon, a five-nation network of Anglo countries, is to spy on the Japanese and European governments and firms, advantaging, in the main, America corporates. This has already created a serious and public diplomatic problem for New Zealand as other governments and politicians rightly criticise us for being part of the Echelon.
Militarily, we are also closely bound into this five Anglo nation network of the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The “tight five” as I call them. Those five nations are the bedrock of American defence strategy. Every year New Zealand defence people attend dozens of seminars, colleges, technical workshops, and war-gaming exercises with the other four countries.
There is a great reluctance to break from that Anglo framework, but we must. But I first should explain that of course this doesn’t mean breaking all military relations with America, Australia, or Britain. We must continue to have strong relations in peacekeeping, particularly with Australia in the Pacific. We must cooperate closely in resource protection work, disaster relief, countering smuggling, and similar things. We will work with any nation in these areas. Just because we don’t like the French military presence in the Pacific, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work the French military on fisheries monitoring and other matters of joint concern.
What we Greens are talking about is not continuing to be a part, and we have always been a subordinate part, of the five nation strategic alliance – which only leads us from disaster to disaster, as we have seen in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The extent of the damage to New Zealand’s reputation is not always obvious because the government doesn’t always tell the people what our military is doing. We simply don’t know how deeply our SAS was involved in the raids that killed a lot of civilians in Afghanistan, or what our intelligence officers are doing now at Bagram airbase, in the light of the Americans admitting they killed two prisoners at the same base.
There is also rightly a huge amount of public concern about our frigate helping escort US warships through the Strait of Hormuz before during and after the recent war. It was helping America in the war, even though the ostensible reason for the frigate being there was to fight terrorism.
Pressure from the four other Anglo nations have got us significantly involved in this so-called “war against terrorism”, not just in terms of a military contribution, but also through introducing legislation and practices which undermine our civil liberties. Last year’s Terrorism Suppression Act has been followed by a Counter-Terrorism Bill.
September 11 was very real. But many people are now seeing that Bush’s “war against terrorism” is an excuse for a darker agenda. “Terrorism” has been projected as the worldwide enemy, replacing “communism” as the excuse for massive arms spending and military intervention.
For the Greens small group terrorism of the type seen in the Islamic world should not be seen as a problem in and of itself. It is a consequence of chronic social and political problems. You just need to look at the Israel/Palestine situation to see that. Dealing with terrorism militarily is in practice a legitimation of state terrorism – which you can again see in Sharon’s treatment of Palestinians, or Putin’s attacks of the Chechens, or the thousands killed by American bombing in Afghanistan.
This military response to terrorism is also undermining the UN and international law. It is absurd that our government justifies the ship boarding actions of the frigate Te Mana, acting like a pirate on the high seas, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, the article on self-defence.
It is unfortunately true that European states have also bought into this so-called “war on terrorism”, albeit in a less extreme form than the Americans.
So the Green critique is directed at them too. Which points to the fact that the Green approach is not just one of siding with Europe against America.
What we are advocating is “best practice” associations with countries (wherever they are in the world), which is something we are already doing with some success in the anti-nuclear area – through the New Agenda coalition involving such countries as South Africa, Mexico and Ireland.
We need to consciously develop close associations with best practice countries in a range of areas: human rights, mediating peace settlements, and aid and development. Norway has done, and is still doing, great work in mediation, in relation to Palestine, Sri Lanka and southern Sudan. On West Papua we should be working closely with Vanuatu, which is now hosting a West Papuan diplomatic mission. We should have close relations with the Arab League to get New Zealand more involved in the Palestine issue. We can learn from our past mistakes, such as in East Timor, when we went with the “worst practice” countries, Australia and America, and legitimised an Indonesian occupation.
We must be seen as a champion of the United Nations as a counter to big power unilateralism, and push for its reform so that it is less beholden to the interests of big powers, particularly the United States.
We should also be more of a model in aid for development, increasing our contribution to the international standard of 0.7% of GNI.
There is a huge amount we can do in the world, turning our small size, geographical isolation and the lack of threat we are to anyone, into an advantage. We have already showed this in our anti-nuclear campaigning, the Bougainville peace settlement, and in peacekeeping in places like East Timor.
Particularly in the age of American dominance, the world needs strong independent peacemaking countries and the Green Party thinks it is New Zealand’s duty and destiny to be one of them. But to become truly independent, we have got to stop seeing Australia, or America or Britain as our first point of reference. It is hard because in becoming independent we are rubbing against the cultural similarities we have with those countries, we are running against a long-standing colonial mindset. I could see that mindset so vividly in Parliament last week, with all the idiocy about New Zealand having to bow before George Bush about a correct aside about an Al Gore presidency not invading Iraq. The demands on Clark had a very strong “defer to the Emperor” feel about them.
And of course, National and Act justified it all in terms of the necessity of a free trade deal with America, which the Greens don’t accept at all. In fact, rather than going under the economic wing of America, as we were once under the economic wing of Britain, we should continually broaden our trading base. The American government is looking after the interests of its own farmers and business people, not ours.
None of what I have said can be taken as anti-American, or anti-Australian or anti-British, because in all those countries there are growing movements, and growing Green Parties, that are advocating the same sort of policies I have explained today.
We live in dark times, but in another sense very hopeful times. The millions of people who have been out on the streets in New York and San Francisco, London and Edinburgh, Melbourne and Sydney represent the hope for our future, for a world where there is peace, an ecologically sustainable economy and social justice.”
May Day Speech
. On 3 May Wellington Green and long time Latin America peace and solidarity activist Paul Bruce reprised Keith’s connections of economic and social justice and peace in his address to the May Day rally in Civic Square.
”The most powerful nation that the world has ever known is taking control of the rest of the world. The reason is more than control of remaining global supplies of cheap oil. It is the continued survival of the Enrons, the Monsantos, and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton.
Ecological Wisdom, Social Responsibility, Appropriate Decision-making and Non Violence are all basic tenets of the Green party, and they are all violated by Bush’s wars.
Today is May Day, and I want to acknowledge those who are holding the flag today. Let’s celebrate the victories that have been achieved over the last years. Let’s celebrate the support for participatory democracy in local body legislation – now it is up to you and me to take one step back, and elect the representatives who understand how to devolve power back to our community -as they did in Porto Alegre, a city in the south of Brazil.
Indeed, let’s celebrate the World Social Forum (WSF) at Porto Alegre,
with 100,000 people this year, which promotes an alternative world order, one that is sustainable, cares for the real needs of workers and the environment and that has a deliberative democracy.
Light a candle for the Iraqis, colonialised by Bush & Dick Cheney’s Halliburton,but celebrate the Iraqis courageous determination to reclaim their sovereignty at impossible odds.
Protest loud and clear the repression at the Brukman factory in Buenos Aires last week, where police evicted workers in the middle of the night and turned an entire block into a military zone guarded by machineguns and attack dogs.
But let us learn at the same time, from the resurgence of worker’s activism in Argentina. Brukman isn’t just any factory; it’s a fabrica ocupada, one of almost 200 factories across Argentina that have been taken over and run by their workers in the past 18 months. In Argentina, hundreds of factories, bankrupt and abandoned by theirowners, have been turned into cooperatives or collectives. Decisions are now being made in open assemblies, with profits split equally among the workers. The new factories are seen not just as an economic alternative, but a political one as well.
Protest the US backed war against the people of Colombia, where more trade unionists, journalists and peace workers have been murdered than any other country in the world. But at the same time, let’s celebrate the class action taken against Coca Cola where a U.S. District Court Judge ruled, that Coca-Cola is to be held accountable for “extra-judicial killing, torture, and unlawful detention” in its subsidiary operations.
Protest the US supported coup and strike against democratically elected Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but celebrate the popular revolution and mobilisation of the people in support of Bolivarisation and Hugo Chavez.
Draw the connection between repression of oil workers in Nigeria and Colombia, the exploitation of coffee and banana workers in Guatemala and Ecuador, and unfair, free trade rules.
Draw the connection between US Corporation Bechtel’s attempt to take over the water supply in Bolivia, and attempts to institute PPP or Private Public Partnerships and company structures by Councils here in NZ. But celebrate the ejection of Bechtel by the Bolivian people, and the rejection of liberalisation of services by anti globalisation forces throughout the world.
And finally, celebrate the presence of Greens in parliament, the only party which is uncovering the scandalous lack of analysis behind the Government’s GATS offers in March this year, when the environment, New Zealand jobs and welfare of New Zealanders were put on the line.
Learn the RUB rule:
Reclaim our local economy
Undo corporate capitalism
Buy a bicycle
Get in behind the super power movement for peace, worker’s rights and sustainable global development.
And then another world is possible
Kia Kaha! ”
JustPeace is produced by Christine Dann, Tim Hannah and Keith Locke, MP
If you have feedback on the content of JustPeace, or news items, please
christine [dot] dann
clear [dot] net [dot] nz
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