Wellington Solidarity with Hong Kong Protesters

Embassy1About 50 people gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy on Glenmore St in Wellington Wednesday to support the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Wearing black clothes and yellow ribbon pins, the group held signs calling for “Democracy”, “Proper Elections” and to “Stop Violence on HK Students”. Many signs included images of umbrellas as this has become a symbol of the movement in Hong Kong. Police forces in HK having been attacking protesters with tear gas and pepper spray, so umbrellas have been used as a way to offer some protection for the large numbers who will not be deterred. On Glenmore St there were two umbrellas, adorned with messages written on yellow postit notes, to show support from afar. [Read more...]

Women and the Early Years of Japanese Communism

The_1st_Labor_Day_in_JapanShomi Yoon gave this talk as part of Marxism 2014 in Melbourne. Marxism 2015 will take place from April 2 – 5.

“What sort of woman are you? Demonstrating when you should be at home looking after your children?” This was the question Sadayo Nakasone faced by the arresting officer for participating in the first contingent of women to march on the second May Day held in Japan in 1921.

Nakasone, fired back, “What sort of man are you! A proletarian who works for the capitalists! Take a look at yourself!”

Nakasone, along with 20 other socialists, made history on this day as the first contingent of women to mark May Day in Japan. They were all arrested after marching under the banner of Sekirankai or Red Wave – an organisation that was established with the specific aim or participating in May Day but with the wider aim of overthrowing capitalism for genuine women’s liberation.

Women have always been involved in the communist and socialist movements from the earliest of days. The second May Day in 1921 is a continuation of this history but also symptomatic of the wider social and political struggles that were happening domestically and internationally that pushed these women into mobilizing onto the streets. The class was on the move, revolutionary ferment was in the air, and Red Wave women wanted to be part of this historical shift. [Read more...]

Protesting National’s Budget 2014

10310986_666551580084626_8098992426911689432_nStudents, workers, beneficiaries and activists gathered outside the Skycity Convention Centre to protest against the National government’s budget and its continuing war on the poor. Over 150 people turned out to voice their anger at National’s rule for the rich and the damage already done by the government. Chants such as ‘stop the war on the poor’ and ‘what’s the story filthy tory? Out! Out! Out!’ were chanted with such enthusiasm that a worker came down from the 22nd story of his office to join in the protest. [Read more...]

Marching Against the TPPA

Image
TPPA, No Way! We’re going to fight it all the way! Chants like this were booming nationwide against the government’s commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – a secret agreement between 12 countries that will be so “beneficial” that the government has not disclosed a single iota of what will negotiated.

Today organizations and groups like the Greens, Mana Party, Greenpeace, members of the Labour Party, Oxfam and more, including us in the International Socialists, came out to protest against the government’s trade deals.

[Read more...]

No Pride in National

AucklandPrideFestival

Last Sunday, the Auckland Pride Festival kicked off with the LYC Big Gay Out, a pride event attracting 15,000 people, as well as some politicians. While Gay Pride events have a history stretching back to the Stonewall Riots of 1969, and have been powerful protest actions fighting against homophobia, in recent years such events have become less radical and more encompassed in the mainstream. Although this is partly because of victories in the Gay Liberation movement – especially with the passing of equal marriage laws – the take-over of Gay Pride by the likes of John Key and the U.S. Embassy (That’s right, the event is partly sponsored by the US Embassy) is a cause for concern. [Read more...]

Wellington in Solidarity with Egyptian Revolutionaries

SolidaritywithEgyptianWorkersMovement

January 25th marks three years since Egypt’s revolutionary uprisings ended the rule of Mubarak. Today on four continents protests are happening in solidarity with Egypt’s revolutionaries. [Read more...]

“Stop the War on the Poor!” Crashing National’s Party

AAAPPicketA quarter of children in New Zealand live in poverty, and 10% are in extreme poverty, according to a new study. What will Christmas be like for them? What will the financial stress mean for families and whanau? This is a world away from National Party members’ and supporters’ lifestyles. Last weekend they held a Christmas bash at the Auckland Grammar Old Boys’ Pavilion. The name says it all – Auckland Action Against Poverty called a picket of this gathering of the rich, and the ISO was proud to support the demonstration. Raukawa Whenu Knight reports from the picket

 

After having spent three days on Waipapa Marae at the ISO hui a tau, trying to decide whether or not that the ISO was that “thing” I had been looking for, a contingent of members headed down to Auckland Boys’ Grammar to adhere to the cry from the AAAP “come join the picket line”.

[Read more...]

Respect our Community! Stop the Motorway!

Last weekend we in the Tamaki branch of the ISO went to support the handing over of a petition containing 4000 signatories at the Mangere Festival.

RespectOurCommunity1

The Respect our Community! Stop the Motorway! campaign is headed by veteran activist and MANA member Roger Fowler. Local Labour MP Su’a Williams Sio spoke in support of stopping a massive transport motorway from destroying many people’s houses, schools, kohanga reo, ECE, churches and other community centres.

This motorway is being fast tracked so construction can start before elections and not many people know about it. It is a disgraceful situation. We will know by February which of the preferred option of 4 routes for the construction will be used. Three of the proposed routes will cut through a highly working-class, low cost housing area; driving people even further South and destroying communities.

RespectOurCommunity2
On Anniversary Weekend there will be a protest/rally in Mangere.
Stop John Key! Stop the Motorway!

All power to Mangere and Otahuhu residents!

Rowan McArthur

Marching against Rape Culture

Auckland

Auckland

International Socialist Organisation members joined over one thousand others in rallies across the country last weekend, protesting against rape and sexual violence. Members in Tamaki Makaurau report a lively and energetic, mostly young, crowd at that city’s demonstration. Many in the crowd were receptive to left-wing ideas and arguments: we distributed many hundreds of leaflets outlining our analysis of why misogyny is so rampant in this society, and sold around 85 copies of Socialist Review nationally.

Shomi Yoon reports from Poneke: “Whatever we wear, wherever we go, Yes means yes, and no means no”.

This was the chant that boomed through the Wellington streets. Some 1000 protestors gathered against a culture that normalizes rape behaviour. The protest stopped outside the Wellington Central Police Station to express disgust at the way police have handled the “Roast busters” issue. Organiser Anne Russell said, that despite what the Police have to say about protecting society “It is clear to everyone here that the Police have no interest in ending rape culture or protecting rape victims”. She also pointed out the hypocrisy of Police stating that they the only reason they failed to shut down the “Roastbusters” group due to lack of evidence:

“Some of the people here are members of the Uruwera 19, the police felt they could arrest people on evidence as flimsy as a text message which joked about catapulting a bus on to George Bush, this [Police inaction] is not about a lack of evidence. It is because they don’t care about rape.”

Other speeches also emphasised the fact that despite the outpouring of public anger at the actions of the “Roastbusters”; rape and the suffering that comes with it is an unexceptional occurrence in the society we live and, that the states lack of concern about slashing funding for rape crisis and other related public services illustrates “rape culture in action”.

ISO Poneke collected $250 for organizers to distribute to Rape Crisis and education group SAPPAN (joint project between Rape Crisis, Help, and STOP).

[Read more...]

Auckland Action Against Poverty Welfare Impact

560983_501014533245828_1675135460_nToday I am going to give a brief overview of the recent Auckland Action Against Poverty Welfare Impact that I attended, what drives me to work in this area, and my plans to build a sustainable welfare advocacy service in Otepoti.

Firstly, my interest in welfare stems from my upbringing, living in a household sustained by the Domestic Purposes Benefit, and my personal experience being a sole parent receiving what was called the DPB before the National Government abolished it, and classed all parents as ‘jobseekers.’

A small disclaimer: I am not a “jobseeker” and no sole parent in Aotearoa is a jobseeker.  Parents have a job already, the most important job there is, to care for our babies and build healthy, happy, and capable, children.

Recent attacks on welfare effectively undermine parenting as a valid, fundamentally important function in Aotearoa. They try to set paid workers against unpaid workers, to ensure people in the paid working class attack unpaid workers instead of the real target, the ruling class. [Read more...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers