Thursday, 31 July 2008
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
RAM media release
30 July 2008
Yesterday the Electoral Commission agreed to register RAM - Residents Action Movement. (See EC email below.)
RAM is the fastest growing party in New Zealand. We have gained 3,000 members since late February 2008, when RAM decided to switch from being a Greater Auckland local body coalition to being a countrywide people's movement that contests parliamentary elections.
On average, RAM has gained 150 new members every single week since we decided to go countrywide. Not even the Big Two parties, Labour and National, can claim this recruiting success.
"At our RAM tables, the grassroots are telling us how worried they are about meeting their bills, and also how upset they are that both Labour and National are only looking after the rich people," said Grant Morgan, chair of RAM.
RAM will be fielding a long party list in the 2008 General Election as well as standing in a significant number of electorates.
RAM has issued our Ten Commandments - ten policy priorities - which offer immediate "common sense" improvements in the lives of grassroots people.
Heading the Ten Commandments is our call for GST to be removed from food. RAM's GST-off-food petition has already attracted 20,000 signatures. We will be taking the petition to MP's in a two-week People's Procession to Parliament in late September/early October.
"The People's Procession to Parliament will be a chance for the grassroots to get a fairer taxation system as well as having their voice heard in the election campaign, which is usually dominated by spin from the big political machines," said Grant Morgan.
For more information, contact:
Chair of RAM - Residents Action Movement
021 2544 515
See RAM's TEN COMMANDMENTS
from Climate and Capitalism
July 29, 2008
Two years ago, George Monbiot published Heat, a ground-breaking book which armed a generation of activists with the technical and scientific know how to fight climate change. Jonathan Neale’s new book starts in a similar vein, by explaining the science of climate change and by showing that the technology already exists to prevent it or at least to prevent catastrophic abrupt climate change. Climate change as such is already with us, and hitting the world’s poor first and hardest.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
by Federico Fuentes, Caracas
from Green Left Weekly
19 July 2008
"As a product of four weeks of meetings between the different currents in the National Union of Workers (UNT), together with important union federations, we have democratically decided, in consultation with the grassroots, that [on September 19-21] we will hold a national congress.
"By no later than February next year, we will go towards a transparent, democratic process of internal elections."
I tera wiki, i whakanuitia ana a Rererangi Aotearoa e te Minita Tapoi e Damien O’Connor, i te whakatuwheratanga o te rere-kotahi, mai i a Beijing, ki Tamaki Makaurau.
Last week, Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor was heaping praises upon Air New Zealand as they launched the first non-stop service between Auckland and Beijing.
E mea ana te minita, “he marea hokohoko tino nui ki Haina, mo ake tonu”.
“This very important long-term Chinese market” was how the Minister put it.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
RAM will be standing a full list of candidates for the party vote and will be contesting a number of electoral seats. RAM's membership has soared to over 3,000, making it one of the 5 biggest parties by membership in the country.
Because Labour & National are political twins (the LabNats) a vote for RAM will be a vote for a grassroots alternative to their market policies.
1 Remove GST tax from all our food.
2 $2,000 ‘baby bonus’ to every mum.
3 Lift minimum wage to $15 an hour.
4 Offer first-home buyers a 3% interest state loan.
5 Free lunches in schools serving poor areas.
6 Free tertiary education plus a student living allowance.
7 Free & frequent public transport in our main cities.
8 Offer cheap solar panels to homeowners.
9 Restore to workers their free right to strike.
10 Enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a new constitution to guarantee the mutual rights of Maori & non-Maori.
An A5 leaflet has been produced for mass distribution. If you would like copies of the leaflet email RAM chair Grant Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to RAM's website http://www.ram.org.nz/ for PDF files of RAM's popular "GST-off-food" petition and RAM membership forms. To join RAM is $1 for three years.
Other news and information relating to RAM can be found on the UNITYblog sidebar.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Why you should read 'Mates & Lovers'
29 June 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Govt considers big housing projects as industry cools 9 July 2008 by Claire Trevett from NZ Herald The Government has hinted it is considering starting large-scale housing developments to help boost the number of affordable homes. Yesterday the Prime Minister said caucus had considered the issue because, while the housing sector has cooled,"there are a lot of people looking for an affordable home ... but there is still the issue of land." Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the economic slowdown meant there was less demand on the construction industry which the Government could take advantage of over the next two or three years. Neither would reveal further details of what was proposed, but it could indicate the Government is looking at further developments similar to those under way in Whenuapai and Tamaki, which will provide a mix of cheap and mid-priced homes with state houses. The Government is already working on a stocktake of spare Crown-owned land which could be freed up for housing developments. Housing minister Maryan Street has also been considering establishing Urban Housing Authorities to undertake large-scale new housing developments. Ms Street has previously said large-scale urban housing projects, such as those established in Australia, are needed to ensure substantial growth in supply of affordable housing.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
from Indigenous Intelligence Review
29 June 2008
8 July 2008
The US is so bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan that recent threats by Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear sites has sent waves of panic through the US military.
The top US commander Michael Mullen warned Israel at a recent high level meeting that he has serious doubts that any attack will succeed.
According to military analysts, any operation to destroy Iran’s nuclear sites will also have to target missile bases and other facilities. This would involve hundreds of warplanes.
To add to US woes, Iran said that it will respond to any attack by closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz, choking off 20 percent of the world’s supply of oil.
Iran also warned that it will fire long range missiles at Israel, with the danger of sparking a regional war that could draw in Lebanon and Syria.
Following the meeting with Israeli military commanders, Mullen said, “Opening up a third front right now would be extremely stressful on us, very challenging, with consequences that would be difficult to predict.
“This is a very unstable part of the world and I don’t need it to be more unstable.”
Monday, 14 July 2008
13 July 2008
Scientists are warning that an Antarctic ice shelf the size of Northern Ireland is on the verge of disintegration, even though it is now the middle of the southern hemisphere's winter.
The European Space Agency says new satellite pictures show that the Wilkins shelf – the largest to be threatened so far – is "hanging by its last thread". Extending for approximately 5,600 square miles, it has been held in place by a thin ice bridge connecting it to an island, but this is now fracturing.
The shelf, which lies near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, had not been expected to collapse until the early 2020s. It provides further evidence that the planet is warming more quickly than predicted.
Scientists are stunned that it is continuing to melt in the depths of winter, and believe that warm water is welling up from the ocean to attack it from underneath. So far seven shelves on the peninsula have collapsed due to climate change.
On Friday, President Bush – who last week told the G8 summit "Goodbye from the world's greatest polluter" – defied a 2007 ruling by the US Supreme Court to take action on global warming under the Clean Air Act.
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Solidarity statement: We demand the unconditional freedom of the people who are facing charges as a result of the state terror raids on 15 October 2007. Attempts by the Police to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA) failed but people are still facing politically motivated charges under the Arms Act. These charges are the result of a racist operation. Police used the Terrorism Suppression Act and over $8 million to harass and punish political activists who they saw as supporting Tino Rangatiratanga. The Police have arrested a few people but we're all targeted. The arrests of October 15th are aimed at intimidating and frightening all of our communities and cannot be tolerated. We therefore call on everyone to stand up against this attack on our communities. We support the global day of action on 30 August 2008 and are mobilising to demand the unconditional freedom of the people facing charges as a result of the state terror raids.
Friday, 11 July 2008
Ecuadorian Assembly Approves Constitutional Rights for Nature
from Climate and Capitalism 10 July 2008 On July 7, the 130-member Ecuador Constitutional Assembly, elected countrywide to rewrite the country’s Constitution, voted to approve articles that recognize rights for nature and ecosystems. “If adopted in the final constitution by the people, Ecuador would become the first country in the world to codify a new system of environmental protection based on rights,” says Thomas Linzey, Executive Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. The following clauses will be included in the constitution that will be submitted to a countrywide vote, to be held 45 days after Assembly finishes its work later this month.
Chapter: Rights for Nature Article 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution. Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before the public organisms. The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution. Article 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration. This integral restoration is independent of the obligation on natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people and the collectives that depend on the natural systems. In the cases of severe or permanent environmental impact, including the ones caused by the exploitation of non renewable natural resources, the State will establish the most efficient mechanisms for the restoration, and will adopt the adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the harmful environmental consequences. Article 3. The State will motivate natural and juridical persons as well as collectives to protect nature; it will promote respect towards all the elements that form an ecosystem. Article 4. The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles. The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can alter in a definitive way the national genetic patrimony is prohibited. Article 5. The persons, people, communities and nationalities will have the right to benefit from the environment and form natural wealth that will allow wellbeing. The environmental services cannot be appropriated; its production, provision, use and exploitation, will be regulated by the State. “Public organisms” in Article 1 means the courts and government agencies, i.e., the people of Ecuador would be able to take action to enforce nature rights if the government did not do so.
Thursday, 10 July 2008
June 27, 2008
“We’re not left or right, we’re green.” That phrase has been repeated ad nauseum by green politicos who think they are being clever, but constant repetition doesn’t make it true. The green movement can’t escape politics — there are eco-socialists and eco-anarchists and eco-liberals and eco-capitalists, and many subdivisions in each current.
A particularly nasty current in the eco-capitalist camp are the eco-racists, people who blame foreigners — especially foreigners with dark skins — for ecological problems.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Sunday, 6 July 2008
As the meeting was held on a marae Hone spoke without notes, though covering many of the points made here.