Fighting to Choose: the Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand

fightingtochoose__73920.1355261486.1280.1280[Alison McCulloch is a freelance journalist and abortion rights activist based in Tauranga.  Her history of the abortion rights struggle in New Zealand, Fighting to Choose, will be published by Victoria University Press next month. We spoke to Alison about her book and the campaign.]

Alison, you’re an active member of ALRANZ, the pro-choice organisation. Could you tell us a little about how you came to be involved in the campaign for abortion rights? What motivated you to start researching this topic?

I’ve been a feminist for as long as I can remember, and securing the right to access contraception and abortion is a major part of what I think it means to be a feminist. [Read more...]

Review: We Will Work With You!

This is a wonderful exhibition, and is bound to fascinate every left-wing person interested in art and design, or just curious to see some of the history of the many social and political struggles from the past decades in Wellington.

Some of the work and originality that the work building activist campaigns demands – in designing leaflets, getting out posters, thinking up slogans and songs – gives us just a little glimpse of the enormous wasted  creativity of working people, creativity too often smothered or ignored in jobs where people are just ‘human resources’ towards profits.

[Read more...]

The Fire Last Time: The Rise of Class Struggle and Progressive Social Movements in Aotearoa, 1968-1977.

“A dramatic upsurge in working class struggle, surpassing in magnitude the rise of the Red Feds from 1908 to 1913 and the 1951 Waterfront Lockout, took place in New Zealand from the Arbitration Court’s nil general wage order in June 1968 to the union movement’s defeat of the Muldoon Government’s attempted wage freeze in 1976.

The pamphlet describes and analyses these struggles and their impact on progressive social movements, particularly the anti-war, women’s liberation, and Maori protest movements.”

[Read more...]

The Significance of the 1912 Waihi Strike

This year marks the centenary of the 1912 Waihi miners’ strike, one of the most important – and violently contested - strikes in New Zealand history. Frederick Evans was matyred; political ideas and organisational questions clarified; and the role and force of the state made clear. The strike offers many lessons for today.

To mark the occasion, we have published a new pamphlet, The Significance of the 1912 Waihi Strike. This pamphlet aims to introduce the story of the strike to a new generation of unionists and activists, and to draw out its political significance.

You can buy a copy from our branches or you can order copies for $5 by emailing contact@iso.org.nz or by writing to ISO, PO Box 6157, Dunedin. You can also contact us by phone, either text or ring 022 312 8012.

The Significance of the Waihi Strike
by Martin Gregory
International Socialist Organisation
(ISBN 978-0-473-22214-7)

Mana and working class consciousness

On April 30 this year, a new political party was formed by former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira – Te Mana Party. It was formed from a left split, as Harawira was expelled for opposing his party’s support for the National Government. Mana immediately drew support from veteran activist and lawyer Annette Sykes and Unite Union leaders John Minto, Mike Treen, and Matt McCarten. It has also received support from CTU vice-president Syd Keepa, Ngati Kahu leader Professor Margaret Mutu and former Green Mps Nandor Tanczos and Sue Bradford. It’s clear from the policies Hone has so far offered that he is determined to broaden his support beyond his te Tai Tokerau electorate by appealing explicitly to the working class.

[Read more...]

He pokeke uenuku i tu ai: the evolution of contemporary Maori protest

“Historically, the intensity and momentum of Maori political activism has never been consistent. Upturns in protest activity are followed by downturns in struggle and vice versa. The 1970s were witness to a dramatic upsurge in Maori activism which had a profound effect on New Zealand Society.

The political turbulence created in the wake of the 1975 land march on parliament, Bastion Point, Raglan and the regular protests at Waitangi, once again revealed the exploitative and oppressive foundations on which capitalism had been established in Aotearoa.”

This article, written by a member of the International Socialist Organisation, Evan Te Ahu Poata-Smith, in the 1990s is a useful resource for activists today. We are committed to producing and distributing quality material that arms activists with the knowledge we need to take into the struggles of the future.

[Read more...]

Students and the Education Factory

This is a must read pamphlet for any activist interested in student politics today. It covers a range of topics related to tertiary education like why we should campaign for free education and the role of the University in modern capitalism.

Most importantly the pamphlet is a history of the student movement in the 1990s and early 2000s. This was when there was a massive student movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand that involved mass protest and occupations. While our rulers would rather us forget this movement because it stopped the worst of the attacks on students. It won interest free student loans and caps on course fees, two concessions that mean education is far cheaper today than what it could have been.

[Read more...]

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