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(en) Aotearoa, Wellington, SNAP #31 Jun 2005 - THE ORIGINAL ALL BLACK BLOC!

Date Fri, 12 Aug 2005 08:13:42 +0300

Janus women's conference
THE Janus Women's Convention
was held in Wellington last week-
end, thirty years after the United
Women's Convention in 1975.
The theme of the convention was
Titiro whakamuri, haere whaka-
mua: Looking Back, Moving
Forward. All women who could
afford a $377 registration fee and
a weekend off were welcome to
attend the convention, although
a few free places were available
to women who wanted to jump
through hoops to prove their
lack of income. The key themes
of the conference were billed
as `Changing Workplaces',
`Sustainable Development' and
`The Changing Faces of New
Zealand'. However the exclu-
sion of low income women and
the dodgy sponsors ­ includ-
ing Wellington City Council,
Westpac and 2004 Roger Award
winner Telecom ­ suggest that
sustainability and workers' rights
are not issues the convention or-
ganizers take too seriously.
An alternative (free) meet-
ing organized by women who
couldn't afford to go to the Janus
Convention was well attended.
Many of the convention attendees
who also came to the alternative
meeting expressed frustration at
the way the Janus Convention
had been structured. One young
woman commented that she
would've liked an opportunity to
get to know some of the more ex-
perienced feminists there.
On the last day of the convention
the young women's caucus gave
a very well received presen-
tation. They pointed to
the lack of voices
of Maori, Pacific
Islander, refugee,
new migrant,
student, ben-
eficiary, and
low income
women as
a major failure. They also dis-
cussed issues that must be ad-
dressed in order to end patriarchy,
including poverty, student debt,
violence against women, media
projections of women, militari-
zation, environmental destruc-
tion and sexual, reproductive and
mental health. They emphasized
that contrary to popular belief,
many young women are passion-
ate about feminism. They also
announced a young women's
convention will be organized
for 2006.
Oppose the G8 summit

THE G8 IS holding its annual
summit in Scotland in July. The
G8 is a group of eight major
industrial countries. They aim
to manage the growing global
economy and ensure increased
power and profits for the already
wealthy G8 countries.
The gap between the world's rich
and poor has never been wider.
Millions suffer from poverty,
malnutrition, AIDS and conflict.
Global inequalities have reached
the level where nearly one bil-
lion people suffer chronic hunger
and over one billion do not have
safe drinking water, whereas
the three richest men own more
wealth than the poorest 48 coun-
tries, and 285 individuals own as
much as half of humanity.
It isn't chance or bad luck that
keeps people trapped in poverty.
World poverty exists because of
the political and economic poli-
cies of wealthy elites like the G8.
The IMF and World Bank enforce
these policies, imposing eco-
nomic restructuring in exchange
for aid, and further impoverish-
ing already poor countries.
The G8 is also unwilling to deal
with climate change. A report
by the International Climate
Change Taskforce predicts that
in ten years carbon dioxide levels
could reach levels that will cause
a 2 degree temperature increase.
This temperature rise could put
100 million more people at risk
of coastal flooding, put 50­120
million more people at risk of
hunger, and put more than 3 bil-
lion more people at risk of fresh
water shortages. The rise in tem-
perature could be greater than
this and cause worse suffering if
the G8 and other rich elites stick
with their `consume now, worry
later' mind-set.
In New Zealand the govern-
ment is committed to neo-liberal
policies similar to the G8. New
Zealand's greenhouse gas emis-
sions are 20% above 1990 levels
and continue to rise. The govern-
ment claims to be dealing with
climate change yet they allow
state-owned coal company Solid
Energy to expand its operations,
and both the government and
local councils support car culture
with projects like the Wellington
inner-city "bypass."
Activists have called a Day of
Action against the Root Causes
of Climate Change on July 8 in
response to the G8 summit. A
number of events are planned for
Wellington including a mass rally
and bike ride, a teach-in, and an
indymedia centre, but indepen-
dent protests are encouraged!
For more information visit
www.g8wellington.tk or email:
Not so Happy Valley
has granted permission to
state-owned coal company
Solid Energy to go ahead
with its open cast coal mine at
Happy Valley, near Westport,
despite the company's atro-
cious environmental record
and evidence of the environ-
mentally devastating effect of
the new mine. Forest & Bird
may re-appeal the decision, as
it allows Solid Energy to kill up
to ten great spoed kiwi while
digging the mine, despite kiwi
being absolutely protected
under the Wildlife Act.
The coal mine will release 13
million tonnes of CO2 into the
atmosphere, pollute rivers
and the fragile wetland with
acidic run-off, cause loss of
biodiversity and destroy the
habitat of threatened species,
including the great spoed
kiwi and Powelliphanta "pat-
rickensis" snails.
"We are totally against this
mine, regardless of condi-
tions," said Save Happy
Valley group member Jon
Oosterman. "We have ab-
solutely no faith that Solid
Energy will comply with
the conditions set by the
Environment Court, minimal
as they are. Solid Energy has
repeatedly shown a blatant
disregard for the environ-
ment in the interest of making
a quick buck."
"It is important to see the
direct connection between
new coal mines here in
Aotearoa and the suffering
and destruction caused by cli-
mate change to communities
and the environment around
the world. The decision does
not mean an end to this cam-
paign. Instead, we will move
to opposition based around
direct action at the mine site
and against Solid Energy,"
says Oosterman.
The Save Happy Valley
Campaign has actively op-
posed the proposed mine for
over a year, organising oc-
cupations of the proposed
mine site, public meetings
around the country, a tree-sit
near Solid Energy's Stockton
mine and three protests at
Solid Energy headquarters in
Christchurch. For more de-
tails visit hp://happyvalley.
Profits and losses benefit bosses
MOST KIWI workers took a pay
cut last year, but the NZ branch
of IT services multinational EDS
recently announced a $44.8 mil-
lion profit, thanks in part to a tax-
payer funded hand out.
In 2003, the IT services com-
pany was the recipient of a $1.5
million bribe from NZ Trade
and Enterprise in exchange for
a promise to create 360 jobs in
Auckland and Wellington. The
jobs, mostly call centre work, are
being created as part of EDS's
`Best Shores' initiative, a plan to
outsource jobs to low cost coun-
tries around the world.
When the deal was announced
EDS boss and international dole
bludger Rick Ellis said New
Zealand had "competitive cost
structures and flexible and skilled
IT workforce". In capitalist jargon,
the terms `competitive' and `flexi-
ble' mean `cheap' and `badly paid.'
Ellis is correct ­ figures for the
year to March 2005 show workers
received an average wage increase
of 2.5 per cent, which means they
aren't even keeping up with the
2.7 per cent official inflation rate.
However, 40 per cent of workers
got no wage increase at all, and
less than a third got three per cent
or more. Miserable as that is, this
was the biggest average wage in-
crease in seven years.
Business has had a cheerful time
lately, the economy has sup-
posedly been booming and the
government has been raking in
higher than expected tax rev-
enues. As usual, the only people
not getting a piece of the action
is most of us.
SNAP! is a Wellington based A3 news broadsheet
Produced by Wildcat Anarchist Collective. E-mail snapmail@gmail.com, P.O.Box 9263, Te Aro, Wellington. Donations welcome! News and Feedback Welcome!
To contact SNAP!, email snapmail@REMOVETHISgmail.com.

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