The Spark got a mention in the mainstream media recently when the Waikato Times asked for a comment on a new energy drink from The Spark co-ordinating editor Jared Phillips. The new ‘Seize the Power’ energy drink can features the iconic image of Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara and the slogan ‘energise and revolutionise’.
The Waikato Times article was not an analysis of how revolutionary imagery has been co-opted for marketing- the ubiquitous Che image is just the most prominent example, see Kiwibank’s ‘join the movement’ ad campaign or the TV commercial that shows a popular uprising by iced tea enthusiasts- but a light piece of filler. One reading the article could come away thinking that this was the most pressing issue for socialists in New Zealand, but rest assured that after this sentence you will find no more mentions of energy drinks in this magazine.
In this issue we reprint an article by Simon Oosterman reporting on the Ports of Auckland strike and then look at how the lockout at ANZCO shows the need for the right to strike. We also have an article about sex work and how it should be looked at by socialists.
Guest writer Nada Tawfeck provides a first-hand account of the situation in Egypt a year after the popular uprising that deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak. Last year those uprsisings spread across the region in what’s now known as the Arab Spring, but the movement didn’t flow south to Africa- until now; a general strike recently took place in Nigeria, spurred by austerity measures that drastically raised the cost of living. We also continue our coverage of the Occupy movement in this country.
The second part of our series by Kelly Pope examining the relationship between work and mental health appears in the second half of the magazine, along with two other theoretical articles, one examining queer oppression with regard to Libra’s commercial featuring a transgender woman, and the other a look at the meaning of Sonny Bill Williams in a sports article by Joel Cosgrove. Of course, theory without practice is a dead end, also in this issue is an ‘activist calendar’ listing.
Notice to readers and subscribers of the Spark
We would like to reassure readers and subscribers of The Spark that the January-December issue has been laid out, but due to a technical issue the December-January issue it couldn’t be printed or uploaded. There will be a smaller run of this issue alongside the February issue of The Spark.
The Spark is made by volunteers and is laid out on a personal computer. We apologise for and regret any inconvenience.