Green Left Weekly’s Bronwyn Jennings, spoke with Vaughan Gunson, an activist with Socialist Worker (Aotearoa), which actively participates in the Residents Action Movement, about RAM’s activities in defence of peoples’ rights and against corporate greed.
Starting on October 15, New Zealand Security Intelligence Service officers and police began raids on the homes of environmental, unionist and Maori activists in an unprecedented police action allegedly in response to a “terrorist” threat. Peter Robson from Green Left Weekly spoke to New Zealand-based activist Joe Carolan, who is involved with the Civil Rights Defence Committee (CRDC), the Solidarity union, and is a member of the national executive of Socialist Worker, about the raids and who is affected by them.
Carrying signs reading Police are the real terrorists and Free all political activists, up to 1000 people rallied outside the Rotorua District Court on October 25 to protest against police raids that resulted in the arrest of 17 people a week earlier, as three of those arrested had their court cases transferred to Auckland.
Sam Watson, a Queensland Murri leader and a Socialist Alliance Senate candidate in the coming Australian federal elections, condemned the recent raids by New Zealand police on the homes of Maori and other social movement activists, in the following statement released on October 24.
Across the board, the right made gains in Greater Aucklands council elections at the expense of both the political centre (Labour-aligned tickets) and the grassroots left (notably RAM the Residents Action Movement).
Two-hundred people protested outside the Wellington District Court on October 17 to protest the arrest of four Wellington men appearing in the court following massive police raids on the homes of many social activists two days earlier, according to a NarcoNews.com article by Julie Web-Pullman. Aotearoa Indymedia reported on October 17 that 80 people protested in Christchurch and 30 in Melbourne on October 16, and 50 protested in Rotorua and 30 in Sydney the following day.
The following is abridged from a July 29 report by the Residents Action Movement (RAM).
On the evening of July 24, New Zealand hospital workers claimed a major victory against the aggressive industrial tactics of Australian company Spotless Services.
At midnight on June 4, around 2800 kitchen staff, orderlies and hospital cleaners were set to be locked out of their workplaces by four contracting companies Spotless, OCS, ISS and Compass in hospitals across New Zealand. However, last-minute negotiations between the Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) and the District Health Board averted the lockout.
On May 31, a picket of 50 people organised by Solidarity Unity protested outside the offices of Mighty River Power, which supplies electricity to Mercury Energy, the company responsible for the death of an Auckland woman on May 29.