No GST on food – Join us for launch of tax justice campaign!

The nationwide campaign to remove GST from food and tax financial speculation is being launched this Saturday 22 May.

That’s two days after National’s budget where a hike in GST to fund tax cuts for the rich was announced.

All supporters of our tax justice campaign are welcome to attend the petition stalls organised by Socialist Worker (www.UNITYblogNZ.com) and the Alliance (www.alliance.org.nz).

Here are the times and venues for this Saturday’s petition stalls:

Whangarei
8am-10am, Whangarei Growers’ Market, Water Street

Auckland
12noon-3pm, outside Onehunga Supermarket, cnr Church Street & Selwyn Street, Onehunga.

Rotorua
9am-3pm, Rotorua City Focus, Tutanekai Street.

Tauranga
9am-12noon, Chadwick Road (opposite the post office), Greerton.

Wellington
11am-12noon, Lower Hutt Markets, Riverbank carpark.

Christchurch
11am, The Square (next to the chalice).

Dunedin
10am-12noon, The Octagon.

At the stalls we will be collecting signatures on the tax petition, which has the following wording:

We request Parliament to:
• Remove GST from food.
• Tax financial speculation.

The campaign has a website up and running, ‘No GST on Food’, go to http://www.nogstonfood.org/. Updates on the campaign will be posted there.

Dunedin Anti-War Coalition

Amidst pouring rain on Saturday January 15th around 150 people gathered in Dunedin’s Octagon to show support for the people of Gaza during the latest hostilities from Israel.

Beneath banners calling for an end to the war a diverse group of protesters heard a speech from local Imam Sheikh Gamael, who spoke about the pain and suffering being inflicted on the civilians in Gaza. Also speaking were representatives of the International Socialist Organisation, the NZ Alliance Party, the Workers Party of
New Zealand and a member of the local Jewish community. Additionally, Christina Gibb spoke on her time as a member of the Christian Peacemakers team in Palestine. A moment of silence was observed for the 1,155 Palestinians who have died in the conflict so far.

Several local political activists criticised the Israeli aggression, and signatures were taken for a letter addressed to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, calling on the Government to sever diplomatic relations with Israel if it did not immediately withdraw its troops from Gaza.

Over $770 was raised from donations for the Christian World Service, whose Palestinian partner has been trying to provide medical aid and supplies to the besieged people of Gaza.

Speech given by Matthew Stephen to the demonstration in support of Gaza:

My name is Matthew Stephen and I’m a member of the Alliance Party. I just have a few words to say about the events in Gaza and New Zealand’s role, and the disgraceful conduct of our National-led Government.

Murray McCully and John Key have steadfastly refused to denounce Israel’s aggression. Palestinians are being slaughtered in their hundreds and New Zealand has “refused to take sides”. Well I think we should take sides – we should take sides with every civilian man, woman and child being bombed and killed. We should take the sides of those thrown out of their homes. We should take the sides of the millions forced to live in refugee camps. We should take the side of those fighting to defend their homes from demolition. We should take the sides of those fighting a racist state in defence of equal rights for Jews and Arabs.

If our National Government had any moral credibility New Zealand would cut diplomatic ties with Israel like Venezuela and Bolivia have done. The New Zealand Governments cut its ties with Israel when Mossad agents were caught with counterfeit kiwi passports, but it won’t when hundreds of people are being murdered. Evo Morales, the socialist president of Bolivia, is filing charges of crimes against humanity the Israeli Prime Minister, and New Zealand should stand up for the human rights of the people of Palestine and not the
chauvinist right of Israel to murder its enemies with impunity. New Zealand should expel the Israeli ambassador and fight to bring the Israeli government to justice. Continue reading

On the campaign trail

Alliance candidates and members leafletting in George Street, Dunedin, 1 November 2008. From left Kay Murray, Sarah Campbell, Andrew McKenzie, Tom Dowie, Eunice Billot, Gail Marmont, Matthew Stephen, Marvin Hubbard, Quentin Findlay, Victor Billot
Alliance candidates and members leafletting in George Street, Dunedin, 1 November 2008. From left Kay Murray, Sarah Campbell, Andrew McKenzie, Tom Dowie, Eunice Billot, Gail Marmont, Matthew Stephen, Marvin Hubbard, Quentin Findlay, Victor Billot

Say No to the Free Trade Deal with China – email campaign launched

The Alliance has launched an email campaign to say no to the free trade deal with China.

Please share this article with any one you think might be interested!

In the next few weeks, Helen Clark will travel to Beijing to sign a free trade agreement between New Zealand and China. The Alliance Party has grave concerns about what this will mean for New Zealand and New Zealand workers. China’s standards with regard to labour conditions and pay rates, protection of the environment and human rights fall far short of what most New Zealanders would consider to be acceptable. The use of cross border labour with inferior conditions, contracting out, aggressive corporates, and a hands off approach by government will push down wages and conditions for workers and put even more pressure on our fragile environment.
Continue reading