By Kieran Kelly
The United States of America was built on a foundation of genocide against the Indigenous peoples of North America. In fact, all successful settler colonial societies are founded in genocide. The process is one of dispossession – the erasure of one group identity and the imposition of another on the people and/or on the land.
But genocide is not merely the foundation of the US nation state, it is also the foundation of the US empire. The US habit of genocide has not died, but has transformed. The US has become a serial perpetrator of genocide with the blood of many millions of innocents spilled in pursuit of imperial hegemony.
There is a fight going on for the very meaning of the term “genocide”. Western powers assert their right to accuse enemies of committing genocide using the broadest possible definitions whilst also touting a twisted undefined sense of “genocide” which can never, ever be applied to their own actions. Aotearoa (New Zealand) Prime Minister John Key, apparently taking his cue from the US, is currently pushing for reform of the UN Security Council such that the veto power would be unavailable.
Two men have been arrested after protesters gathered outside an Auckland hotel ahead of a post-Budget speech by Prime Minister John Key today.
About 100 protesters chanted “shame, shame, shame” and tried to stop members of a business forum as they made their way inside the Langham Hotel in central Auckland for the Prime Minister’s address.
A 20-strong group of police was present to control the protesters, including students, from blocking the entrance to the hotel.
Supporters of the Auckland Action Against Poverty group made several attempts to break through police lines, and two men were arrested.
Two of the Urewera Four, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey, were involved in the protest against the Budget just a day after Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara were sentenced to two and a half years in jail.
"I’m just here to support the kaupapa," Signer said.
The group was protesting against welfare reforms outlined in yesterday’s Budget, saying it will make things even harder for those on a low income or benefit.
They are calling it class warfare and chanted: “Stop the war on the poor”.
One woman said the Budget was “basically an attack on the working class, on beneficiaries, on the poor, on students, on children”.
And beneficiary Phil McNeale said: “It will create a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. What we need are jobs, we don’t need beneficiaries harassed, to go out for work that doesn’t exist.”
Upcoming marches on May 20, 2012
On May 20th from 2pm, people from all walks of life will be banding together for one simple reason – we have had enough. Enough of being angry. Enough of wanting better education, awareness and treatment around sexual assault and seeing nothing. Enough of being accused of ‘oversensitivity’ and ‘political correctness gone mad’ when we object to rape jokes. Enough of the pervasive and continuing myths and stereotypes about who is sexually assaulted and why.
For those who don’t know the origins of SlutWalk, it started in Toronto, Canada when a police officer stood up at a safety talk at York University and stated, “I’ve been told not to say this… but women should avoid dressing like sluts if they don’t want to be victimised.” SlutWalk Toronto was held on April 3rd and attracted over 4,000 participants after just six weeks of organisation. Women and men of all ages marched together – most carrying placards, ranging from the humorous: “Sluts say yes!” to the heartbreaking: “I was 10 years old and he was my father. Does it really matter what I was wearing?” Some were dressed in stereotypical ‘slutty’ clothing, while others dressed for a, still fairly cold, Canadian spring afternoon.
SlutWalk is about unity. We are fighting the myths around the types of people who are sexually assaulted, who is responsible, and why they occur. We are rallying to place the blame for sexual assault where it belongs: on the perpetrators. We are promoting the idea that women should be able to dress however they like without having to wonder if they will be blamed if they are attacked – and that ‘slut’ should not be seen as an inherently bad thing. We aim to put an end to victims’ sexual history being brought up at trial as a weapon for the defence, and we wish to get the message out there: no means no, yes means yes, and only our words can consent for us – not our bodies or our clothes. We also firmly stand behind the truth that sexual assault is not only something done by men to women, and that not all sexual assault is rape.
Sluts and allies of Aotearoa, please consider joining us on May 20th for our march. Join us in our mission to spread the word that those those who experience sexual assault are not the ones at fault, without exception.
What: Protest march against asset sales
When: Saturday 28 April, 3pm
Where: Britomart to Aotea Square, route up Queen Street, Auckland
Is New Zealand a commodity to sell off to the highest bidder, or is it a country where the people own the decisions about their future?
The Aotearoa NZ is Not for Sale Movement warmly welcomes all New Zealanders to join with them in protest against the National Government’s proposed asset sales, in a march up Queen Street, Auckland this coming Saturday 28 April from 3pm.
The National Government does not have the mandate to sell off our publicly owned assets, either in full or in part. The Aotearoa NZ is Not for Sale Movement is a wide and diverse coalition of organisations, political parties and individual New Zealanders who want their country to remain in the hands and hearts of its people, not in the pockets of wealthy corporations and private investors, be they foreign or local. The public opposition to National’s plans to fire-sell chunks of our major energy companies, Air NZ and land is getting stronger and louder. The Government cannot go ahead with these hugely controversial plans without the support of the people whose future they are supposed to be securing.
We, the people already own these assets, as tax payers and rate payers. The Government does not own them, but should act as a guardian. The National Party however, plans on taking them out of our hands, then selling them back to us with the rhetoric of “Kiwi Mum and Dad investors”. Who of us could ever afford to buy shares in these SOEs, when we are already struggling to make ends meet in this economic climate? The shares sold under the Mixed Ownership Model will inevitably be bought by the wealthy elite who can afford them. Private profit will become paramount, and our beautiful country’s environment, economy and society will suffer for it.
“National’s get rich quick scheme to balance its books for its term in office is short-sighted and irresponsible. The publicly owned companies they have lined up on the plank are profitable and we should continue to benefit from the annual revenue they return. Selling them off to make a quick buck does not make economic sense. It is financially unsustainable and will not save our economy in the long term,” says Aotearoa NZ is Not for Sale spokesperson Miriam Pierard. “Our future should not be compromised for the desire of a quick fix to a complex problem. Join us on Saturday to be part of the solution.”
We will not be divided like our assets. We will be united, we will not be silenced, we will resist this together.
STOP THE KILLING: Protesters marched through central Wellington yesterday over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. Among them was three-year-old Shamso Aden.
Occupied Aotearoa / New Zealand during the siege of Gaza.
Lawyers for former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary interjected at the beginning of today’s Case 002 proceedings, requesting that New Zealand Trial Chamber Judge Silvia Cartwright step down from her judicial position immediately, pending an investigation into alleged secret, ex-parte meetings she had been conducting over the past year with British prosecutor Andrew Cayley and Deputy Director of Administration Knut Rosandhaug.
Trial Chamber President Nil Nonn denied Ieng Sary’s request to read aloud a statement and refused the request for the immediate disqualification of Judge Silvia Cartwright, saying the issue would be addressed “in due course.”
A British prosecutor and a New Zealand judge, both representing junior partners of U.S. imperialism. What more do you need to know about this ‘trial’?
A collaboration of images from both the Wellington and Auckland slutwalks.
There is no way to express how much pride and admiration I have for all of the beautiful people in these photographs. If only more people had co-operated. (It’s okay, I know by our next public protest you’ll all be more aware and our numbers will be crazy!)
credit goes to photographers and protestors.
By Mike Kay (Workers Party, Auckland, and editorial board of The Spark) The meeting hall at Mahurehure Marae in Auckland was packed to overflowing with activists keen to hear Hone Harawira launch the new Mana Party yesterday. The first approximately 1 1/2 hours of the meeting consisted of pōwhiri and speeches in te reo Māori. The following account describes the speeches in English that followed. The hui opened with CTU Vice-President Māori Syd Keepa plainly stating: “Māori are poor,” and went on to highlight the need to speak out for Māori and the working class. He was followed by Professor Margret Mutu, who described Harawira as the only Te Tai Tokerau MP to have helped Ngāti Kahu, having given support to the occupation of Maheatai/ Taipa Pt. She also praised his support for those arrested in the October 15, 2007 police raids, and spoke of the need for a party to “protect us from the worst excesses of the rabid racism of Parliament.”
By Mike Kay (Workers Party, Auckland, and editorial board of The Spark)
The meeting hall at Mahurehure Marae in Auckland was packed to overflowing with activists keen to hear Hone Harawira launch the new Mana Party yesterday. The first approximately 1 1/2 hours of the meeting consisted of pōwhiri and speeches in te reo Māori. The following account describes the speeches in English that followed.
The hui opened with CTU Vice-President Māori Syd Keepa plainly stating: “Māori are poor,” and went on to highlight the need to speak out for Māori and the working class. He was followed by Professor Margret Mutu, who described Harawira as the only Te Tai Tokerau MP to have helped Ngāti Kahu, having given support to the occupation of Maheatai/ Taipa Pt. She also praised his support for those arrested in the October 15, 2007 police raids, and spoke of the need for a party to “protect us from the worst excesses of the rabid racism of Parliament.”