Kia Ora Christchurch

September 12, 2010

A Wellington street collection was made today for low paid worker victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

Brass Razoo solidarity band played  while Workers Party and Trades Hall action group members  leafleted and collected.

Brass Razoo

To the waving of Unite flags and the tune  of the Internationale, $508.80 was raised in 40 minutes.

Additional donations can follow this to Christchurch Unite union office account at 03 0675 0423909 000 Westpac.

Capitalist state fails police rape victims

September 10, 2010

Marika Pratley, Workers Party, Wellington Branch

The Spark September 2010

Eight women were denied compensation for being raped by police
officers at a recent Police Misconduct Forum. Seven cases proved police
misconduct in court, but only one woman was successful in bringing a
prosecution, against police officers Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton for rape in 2005. She was raped by them and another Tauranga man in 1989.

Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton

An inquiry into Police Misconduct and rape was initiated by Dame Margaret Bazley in which 300 cases of Police Misconduct were identified.

Former Police Minister Annette King began working with the 8 women to set up the forum in 2007. They were pressured into signing confidentiality agreements, meaning the other 300 women in the report were excluded from participation. Although compensation was considered, it was decided that it was not the government’s responsibility to compensate the eight women. This raises the issue of not just whether these survivors should be getting compensation, but how we can stop rape happening to begin with. Read the rest of this entry »

Pakistan must refuse debt repayments, divert amount for relief & rehabilitation of flood-hit communities

September 8, 2010

The Spark September 2010

This article is a reprint of a recently-issued statement by Abdul Khaliq Shah and Farooq Tariq of the Labour Party Pakistan’s Labour Relief Campaign.

Farooq Tariq

Pakistan must refuse to pay the foreign debts and divert the amount into the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees. It is high time to change the priorities of the national budget and all those suggesting to cut the development budget and spend on flood affectees be stopped. There is an easy way out. Stop paying the debts owed to International Finance Institutions, donor countries and club.Pakistan is facing the worst disaster of its history. About 20 million of its population is badly affected by the recent huge devastation caused by angry floods. Major infrastructure is totally destroyed in major parts of the country.  The country has suffered a loss of about Rs250 billion only in the agricultural and livestock sectors and the flood recovery costs may run into billions of dollars. Pakistan is in real and worst human and economic crisis. Though international donors are announcing commitments for relief and rehabilitation, but these are peanuts vis-à-vis the degree of catastrophe. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: Kia Ora Gaza

September 7, 2010

John Edmunson, Workers Party national education officer, Christchurch

The Spark September 2010

In June this year Socialist Worker announced that Kia Ora Gaza would be heading to Palestine. Kia Ora Gaza is a New Zealand contribution to British ex-Labour MP George Galloway’s Viva Palestina charity and it will be departing these shores in September to bring aid to the people of Gaza. Kia Ora Gaza’s aim is to raise NZ$100,000 to be used to buy items to deliver to Gaza.

Galloway’s notion of breaking the siege with a massive aid convoy, travelling in full public view and defying the Israeli state was an inspired one. The mere existence of that first convoy brought international attention to the plight of the imprisoned population of Gaza and to the barbarity of the Zionist regime’s mediaeval treatment of Gaza’s 1.4 million inhabitants. As an act of humanitarian solidarity it was brilliant. But socialist solidarity is more than just humanitarianism. It is humanitarian certainly, but it is also revolutionary internationalist solidarity. Read the rest of this entry »


September 5, 2010

The Spark September 2010

Since the August issue of The Spark a second wave of activity has crossed the country’s major centres in opposition to the employment law changes. Ian Anderson, a Workers Party member in Wellington reports below on activities in the capital.

Over August, two major events were organised in Wellington against the government’s attacks on workers. There was a public meeting against anti-worker laws, and the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Fairness at Work rally.

Organised by a group including Workers Party activists, unionists and others, Thursday’s “Anti-Worker Laws” public meeting was a success. Due to heavy promotion including posters, leaflets, a Facebook event and a press release, turnout was good with around 60 people showing up. The CTU refused to promote the event, although they did take the opportunity to put up posters promoting their rally on Sunday.

Wellington protest August 2010

The event was held in St John’s on Willis. Starting at 7:30, Bill Logan of the International Bolshevik Tendency introduced the event with an overview of the new laws, introduced by Kate Wilkinson that very day, and their implications for the working class. Logan emphasised that this was not simply a “workplace” issue, but a class issue that affected families and children’s welfare. Read the rest of this entry »

Three clear points about the employment law proposals

September 5, 2010

By Spark reporter
The Spark September 2010
Resistance is beginning. Unions, the left, and advanced layers of workers have started campaigning against the employment law reform proposals which were announced by the National government in mid- July 2010. National’s proposals, if implemented, will impact on sick leave and annual leave provisions, union access to work sites, the ability of individuals to challenge unfair dismissals, and the possibility of challenging unfair dismissals at all within the first 90-days of an individual s employment in a new job. As a package, these changes will further shift the balance of power to the employers by driving down collective bargaining power. Essentially, the rate of exploitation of our class will be increased so as to resolve the recession and recovery in favour of the employers.

Unionists protesting the law changes

Read the rest of this entry »

“PFLP Solidarity Campaign interviews Leila Khaled, Palestine’s leading revolutionary woman”

September 1, 2010

Date: 30/09/2010

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Solidarity Campaign is happy to announce the release of the first part of an interview with Leila Khaled. PFLP Solidarity Campaign co-ordinator Mike Walker conducted the interview via Skype with Leila at her home in Amman, Jordan on the 6th April this year.

Leila Khaled is often referred to as a terrorist by her enemies, the United States and the State of Israel. But in the Occupied Territories, the Gaza Strip and the countless refugee camps scattered throughout the Arab world she is a revolutionary hero, a freedom fighter and the embodiment of the Palestinian militant struggle against Zionism and Imperialism in the Middle East and for freedom and self-determination.

Leila Khaled and the PFLP shot to international attention when Leila became the first woman to hi-jack a commercial airliner on August 29th 1969. Leila made the pilot divert the plane over Haifa, where she was born but has never been allowed to visit, eventually allowing the plane to land in Damascus, Syria. The passengers were disembarked and the plane was blown up in front of the international media. Golda Meir had stated that June that “There was no such thing as Palestinians”, but Leila Khaled and the PFLP had put the Palestinian struggle firmly onto the world stage, where it could no longer be ignored.

Today Leila is a core member of the PFLP and serves on its Politburo, dealing primarily with the ‘right of return’ for Palestinian refugees. Walker stated that “Leila is a true revolutionary woman that has dedicated her life to the struggle of Palestinians for their right to self-determination, and to return home.” “Leila is an inspiration to us all,” he continued.

Leila Khaled finished the interview by stating that she had “a message for the New Zealanders.” She then warned that we should all “beware Zionism. Nazism caused humanity twenty two million casualties and the destruction of Europe. What do you think that Zionism will do, do we need a third world war? We have to stop the expansion of the Zionist ideology and policy.”

The interview is available at

A full transcript or audio is available on request.

Smash All Anti-Worker Laws: Wellington Meeting

September 1, 2010

Class War Song - Don Franks

Lisa Stoneham, sacked under 90-Day Bill, speaks on her experiences.

Heleyni Pratley, Workers Party activist, speaks on the need to smash all anti-worker laws.


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