Reject racism – the left must welcome migrants

 iso-fist1Kick National out! –Build a Socialist Alternative, Reject Racism – the Left must welcome immigrants. These are the two slogans our special conference resolved should guide the International Socialist Organisation’s approach to the upcoming election. Over 25 members spent the weekend of 8 – 9 July in Auckland debating our perspectives and approach. Debates covered a range of topics, from the nature of the Labour Party and reformism today to educational meetings on free speech fights, as well as discussing how the ISO can bring socialist ideas to the heightened political period before an election.


We want to see the end of the National government. National has ruled over nine years of increasing inequality and entrenched poverty, and has chipped away – incrementally, cleverly, patiently – at all sorts of rights and protections. While they have avoided direct confrontation with the organised working class, National have whittled away at workers’ rights. Their Employment Relations Act amendments make it harder for unions to organise. Their 90-day trial legislation makes it easier for bosses to intimidate and cow workers. In Christchurch and Auckland especially, but across the country more generally, National’s ‘reforms’ in local government have eroded democratic control.

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Recent articles

For the many, not the few: Labour in Britain shows we deserve better here

By Martin Gregory   Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has delivered a stunning blow against the Tories and British Labour’s rightwing Blairites. Theresa May might not survive as Tory leader. With most of the British general election results declared the upshot is a hung parliament. The general election has dramatically shown the power of simple leftwing […]

Niki is still resisting eviction

by Emma Smith Niki Rauti has been staunchly defending her home at 14 Taniwha Street for years now, against a sustained attempt to evict her from it by the state. Yesterday the Auckland district court ruled to allow Niki to be evicted and this is in the process of being brought to the high court […]

Oppose Big Brother University

By Thomas Ricketts The University of Otago is pushing to have 60 CCTV cameras installed in student neighbourhoods in late 2017-2018. The project which will cost around $1,270,000 has been accepted by both the local police and the university administration who claim it is a successful crime detection and prevention tool. By extending it’s preying eyes, the university […]

Labour must turn left to win support

by Martin Gregory The Labour and Green alliance could win September’s general election outright, without being held to ransom by Winston Peters. This statement defies the conventional wisdom of commentators, who are fixated by opinion polling that has Labour on around 30% of the vote. Unlike dialectical Marxists, the commentators struggle to grasp that stasis […]

Greg O’Connor: Labour cops in

Labour’s decision to run Greg O’Connor against Peter Dunne in Ōhāriu tells us much about the party’s strategy. And the news is not good. O’Connor is a hardened reactionary, a veteran of decades at the head of the Police Association. In this role he was the public face of the police, and used his considerable […]

The Expropriators are Expropriated

‘The Expropriators are Expropriated’ and other writings on Marxism’ By Tom O’Lincoln (Melbourne: Interventions Inc). Reviewed by Shomi Yoon Tom O’Lincoln’s The Expropriators are Expropriated is a collection of talks and essays from his political career in socialist organisations in Australia from the early 1980s. Tom’s writing is immensely readable and easy to understand. In […]

‘A mighty lesson’: how did New Zealand socialists respond to 1917?

by Dougal McNeill   ‘There is a mighty lesson to be learned from the Russian Revolution.’ That’s how the Maoriland Worker, newspaper of the radical wing of New Zealand’s labour movement, editorialised in March 1917. The newspaper’s editors – including Harry Holland, who would go on to lead the Labour Party for the next 16 […]

Shop workers against Easter Sunday working

The National-led majority in Parliament passed the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 last August at the behest of the big retailers. The law change allows local councils to adopt Easter Sunday trading. This is another step in the erosion of public holidays. There were already a host of exemptions that allowed cafés, fast-food and […]

From the archive

Anzac Day: Against the Carnival of Reaction

mobiliseagainstthewarOn Anzac Day 1967, at the height of New Zealand involvement in the ‘American War’ in Vietnam, with New Zealand troops taking part in the suppression of the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, members of the Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch tried to lay a wreath following the dawn service in memory of those killed by imperialism in Vietnam. They were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour. Feminists a decade later faced down a media-driven public outcry when they laid wreaths to the victims of sexual violence during war.

Lest we forget? It’s more like lest we remember. Anzac Day serves as a carnival of nationalist reaction, a day of public ritual aimed at promoting forgetting: forgetting the real legacy of New Zealand imperialism and militarism in favour of a sentimental nationalism, an anti-political celebration of national unity. [Read More…]