New design

September 27, 2006

So, I got bored with the old design and decided to find something now – thanks to the lovely template system here on WordPress I didn’t even have to pull out my non-existant artistic talents. Wicked!

Anyway, comments are welcome. If enough of you hate this one, I might even try a new one.

Coming up here on Anarchia in the next little while: the powerpoint presentation I gave the other day, issue 2 of my zine, something on that ol’ violence question and maybe a piece on mental health.

In the meantime, take a wander over to the soul unfolds itself and look at some wicked Jews in San Francisco, blockading the entrance to the (Zionist) “Jewish Community Federation” building in protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza and Lebanon and the JCF’s unconditional support for Israel. More cool stuff from other parts of the USA over at Jewish Conscience. (Hat tip to my newest link, Angry White Kid)


Against the conflation of Judaism and Zionism

September 25, 2006

Something from an email I wrote today that I thought I might put on here too, as its something thats been frustrating me a lot lately:

I think it’s important to remember that popular conflation of Zionism and Judaism is only a recent occurance – prior to the Shoah, Zionism was a minority movement amongst Jews, and Jewish opposition to Zionism has never ceased, on the contrary, it has been growing across the world in the last 5-10 years.

I am currently writing a book, looking at Jewish radicals from 1800 to present, and the research for it has thrown up some interesting parallels. In the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, in London’s East End, there were literally tens of thousands of Jewish anarchists, socialists and communists (in fact, for a long time, there were more Jewish radical leftists than non-Jewish in the UK). Jewish trade unions flourished, and explicitly revolutionary newspapers written solely in Yiddish had print runs of upwards of 50,000. Nobody, however, suggested that you could not be Jewish and a capitalist, nobody suggested radical leftism was a prerequisite for Judaism.

I think those that seek to conflate Zionism and Judaism could learn a lot from that lesson – just because a political theory is dominant within a cultural/ethnic group at any given moment, it does not mean that it always has been or always will be, and it most certainly does not mean one has to subscribe to the political philosophy in order to be a part of the cultural/ethnic group.


Otautahi/Christchurch teach in on Israel/Palestine

September 22, 2006

If you’re in Otautahi/Christchurch, you should come along and listen to me (and other people) speak on Saturday at the TUC. If not, I’ll put my speech and powerpoint presentation online sometime next week.

How To Foster Peace & Justice in the Middle East

Saturday, 23 September 2006
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

What the news media don’t tell you.

Teach-in to learn and discuss ways we can contribute to peace in the Middle East

12pm – Dr Ron Macintyre
The Situation Today

1pm – Dr Bill Shepard
Religion: Part of the problem or part of the solution?

2:10pm – Asher Goldman
Peace initiatives on the ground in Israel and Palestine

2:40pm – Dr Philip Ferguson
Repression and resistance

3:20pm – What to do next? Time for a Middle East solidarity group?

Saturday 23rd September

Please bring koha for afternoon tea

Location:
TUC Building, 199 Armagh St, corner Armagh & Madras


Locked Out – Won’t Shut Up!

September 7, 2006

I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday up in Auckland hanging out at the picket of the Mangere distribution centre by striking workers who have been locked out by Progressive Enterprises, who own Foodtown, Woolworths, Countdown, Fresh Choice and Super Value supermarkets. Workers in Palmerston North and Christchurch have also been locked out.

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The workers were nothing short of inspirational – this is the first strike action they have taken on this job, after anything up to 17 years of working there! The community support is massive – upwards of 90% of cars that drive past (and it’s a very busy road) are tooting and yelling messages of support.

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Meanwhile, Progressive continue to spread lies – many of their stores have giant posters claiming the worker’s demands for fair pay and working conditions would be “bad for New Zealand”. They have paid for full page ads in daily newspapers, and they are paying scabs double the normal rate. Despite this, they are being hit hard – an analyst in the NZ Herald claimed the first 10 days of strike action could have cost Progressive up to 15% of their annual profit. Shelves in Progressive owned supermarkets are steadily being emptied and restocking is only happening on a small scale.

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The striking workers need your support. You can make donations by ringing 0900 LOCK OUT ($20 automatic donation) or by deposit to BNZ 02-0200-0217968-00, account name National Distribution Union with the reference “Lock Out”. Alternatively, credit card donations can be made on the Shelf Respect campaign website.

Things are getting messier steadily – yesterday, three people were arrested in Lower Hutt trying to stop trucks getting into a makeshift distribution centre, while I have just recieved word that 8 (or possibly 10) people were just arrested at the Mangere distribution centre for trying to stop scab trucks from getting in. If you can, get to one of the distribution centre pickets, or join flying pickets of supermarkets.

For more information and up to date coverage, see the Shelf Respect campaign site, Aotearoa Indymedia or the Aucklands Burning blog (where the photos in this post are from).

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