Now it’s new armoured vehicles for the army

Today, the government has revealed $104 million for new armoured vehicles to replace ones that were just purchased in 2004 under the last Labour government.

Does the NZDF need armoured vehicles?

No. The Labour/Green/NZ First weapons funding is cloaked in the rhetoric of humanitarian aid and climate change, making it more palatable to the NZ public but no less bullshit than the National party’s refrain of “supporting our traditional allies.” Instead, these new armoured vehicles are for combat situations in far-flung wars when our “friends” requests it, and very worryingly, also for assisting police domestically (think #BlackLivesMatter, think militarised police).

Wait. Didn’t they just get some other new weapons?

Yep. They sure did. It started with the upgrade of the weapons systems on the navy’s frigates. That blew out by over $200 million dollars – that’s right – that was the cost overrun, not the full cost which now nears three-quarters of a billion dollars, all of it going to nuclear weapons giant Lockheed Martin. Oh, and Lockheed also scored the massive contract for another cool $1.5 billion of our tax dollars for the new C130 troop transport planes. This is on top of the $2.4 billion going to Boeing for some new P8 spy planes.

The NZDF push for upgrading military equipment is coming at least as much from the United States and Australia as from any domestic need or war-hungry constituency. Trump has loosened restrictions on exports and pushed overseas weapons sales as a key part of US economic survival. He has travelled the world, haranguing world leaders to spend more on weapons. New Zealand has not been left out of that conversation. Stuff reports that, “Some Bushmasters are already in service with the SAS and they’re widely used across other Five Eyes nations.” Bingo.

So why isn’t anyone saying anything?

Good question. The National government planned a $20 billion spend up, and this government has seen to it that it happens.  New Zealand First is leading the charge, for sure, but the idea that climate change and humanitarian aid is military work is very much on the Green Party. They embraced the idea that NZ needs a standing army which they have reconciled with their principle of non-violence. Go figure.  Noam Chomsky will tell you ‘military humanism’ is an oxymoron – militaries are made to kill people not aid them. And there is a good reason why that delineation should remain.

#DefundTheMilitary

We should all have had just about enough of this insanity tbh: there is no military threat to New Zealand. The military will tell you that themselves. There is, however, widespread financial hardship, gross inequality and deprivation – and not just because of Covid, but because of decades of destroying our social safety net that provided adequate housing and guaranteed employment for all.

Military spending robs us: it robs us of health care for our elderly parents; it robs us of childcare for our babies, it robs us of benefits people can live on, it robs us of art, music and culture, it robs us of housing. Just as an example, the $1 billion that is being spent on five new airplanes to fly soldiers around is twice as much money as that needed for the Christchurch hospital project ($440 million). Instead, the hospital project got a capped $150 million an amount doctors have said is a “train wreck” and creates a building that is “not fit for purpose.” In Whangarei, clinicians have begged for a new hospital and doctors are openly worried about the safety of some patients due to the poor state of the buildings. Instead the billion-dollar rebuild plan that it’s been working on for five years, has been turned down.

New Zealand spends more than $10 million a day on the military. It is time that we stop accepting the parliamentary consensus on military expansion and start organising a non-violent transformation.

 

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Minister must explain white supremacist in the NZDF

The public needs answers from Ron Mark, Minister of Defence, about another member of the NZDF named in a Newsroom article today with explicit links to a domestic white supremacist terrorist organisation.

What is the Minister going to do about ongoing white supremacist organising within the military? This is the third NZDF soldier linked to a neo-nazi group.

Today, James Fairburn, a former Army communications operator and a current member of the Army Reserves was publicly outed as a white supremacist. He has attended events hosted by a domestic white supremacist group, and he has engaged in online hate forums. The group he has been associated with, Action Zealandia, has several members already linked with other criminal offenses.

The NZDF appears to have a serious problem with recruiting active neo-nazis into their forces. Minister of Defence Ron Mark has so far been unwilling to deal with this problem and the NZDF has brushed it off. It is disturbing that they haven’t reviewed any processes or policies since before the Christchurch terrorist attack.

We also believe that the New Zealand Police are not doing any active investigation of these people.

The Defence Minister, Minister of Police, and the Minister of the NZSIS, and the agencies they manage, appear incapable of responding to this obvious threat to public safety.

The people of Aotearoa have a right to feel safe from neo-nazi violence and need answers now.

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Solidarity with Hawai‘i against RIMPAC 2020

From across Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa, the great Pacific Ocean, we send greetings and solidarity to our Hawaiian brothers, sisters and friends resisting RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific military exercise.

We stand resolutely and implacably opposed to the arrogant imperial violence that is RIMPAC. This military exercise is training for mass murder and ecocide. No amount of propaganda or spin can disguise the true nature of these preparations for war and colonisation.

RIMPAC enforces the illegal US colonial occupation of Hawai‘i. The great islands of Hawai‘i were never ceded to the United States. They were stolen by a US coup d’etat and fraudulently occupied by US marines in 1896. Hawaiians have never been asked nor consulted about their lands and seas being used as a US military base. The Hawaiian people are the sole legitimate source of authority across the Hawaiian archipelago. We support their aspirations for a free and independent nation.

RIMPAC is a dangerous provocation to other countries. It is intended to be a show of force and a demonstration of US power in the region. The Pacific is a new imperialist battleground between the US and China. This military exercise has excluded and encircled China. It does not build international trust or cooperation, but instead builds fear, creates opportunities for misunderstandings and sows division. We support a nuclear-free, weapons-free and independent Pacific.

The US does not, and never has, acted in the service of freedom or democracy. It acts in the interest of US business in pursuit of new resources and new markets. When those are not freely given, they are taken by force. The US military is the enforcer of the exploitative, global capitalist economic order. This violence is the history of the US military in the Pacific.

RIMPAC is harmful to our collective existence: the 26 attending militaries burn millions of litres of fossil fuels; they use missiles and torpedoes in sinking exercises polluting the Pacific, they deploy underwater sonar blasts damaging marine mammal health and killing marine life, they conduct live ordnance training, and they dump toxic wastes at sea.

From Aotearoa New Zealand to Hawai‘i, we stand with you to build a different world in the shell of the old. We will work with you to build peace with justice and self-determination. We will be tireless in our efforts to end militarism and imperialism in every corner of the earth. We act in solidarity with you to end RIMPAC this year and every year.

Kia kaha. Kia maia. Kia manawanui. Be strong. Be brave. Be resolute. #CancelRIMPAC2020

 

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#CancelRIMPAC: International Day of Action

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Thousands of people across Aotearoa and the world joined in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter to stand against systemic racism both inside the United States and everywhere. The US police are intimately tied to the US military that enforce white supremacist violence across the globe under the rubric of the “war on terrorism.” New Zealand should have no involvement with the US empire and its forces of violence. Instead we must stand for a free and independent Pacific. The global day of action – this Saturday 20 June – is about educating people and building solidarity across the Pacific between those who resist RIMPAC 2020.

DAY OF ACTION EVENT on FACEBOOK

Ideas for actions:

    • Make a sign or banner using one of the key messages and take a photo of yourself, then post it to our facebook event using the hashtag #CancelRIMPAC. If you use twitter, please ping us on @PeaceActionWGTN and our sister organisation @AKPeaceAction
    • Visit the offices of your Member of Parliament and write a message in chalk outside of their office and take a photo of yourself, then post it to our facebook using the hashtag #CancelRIMPAC.
    • Print some posters (1, 2, 3) and put them up in your workplace, community, library, coffee shop etc.
    • Set up a stall and collect signatures for our petition: electronic version or paper version and take a photo of yourself, then post it to our facebook event using the hashtag #CancelRIMPAC.
    • Create a large message using people or other natural items (such as rocks) as letters, photograph it from a vantage point then post it to our facebook event using the hashtag #CancelRIMPAC.
    • Create a meme, gif or video message of solidarity then post it to our facebook event using the hashtag #CancelRIMPAC.
    • Join us for the RIMPAC webinar on Saturday from 1pm-3pm hosted by World Beyond War Aotearoa. Register here

Key Messages for actions:

  • DECOLONISE! DEMILITARISE!
  • Stop US Wars. No RIMPAC 2020
  • Healthcare NOT warfare. Cancel RIMPAC wargames
  • Solidarity Across the Pacific. Resist RIMPAC 2020
  • For a Nuclear-free, Weapons-free & Independent Pacific
  • Cancel RIMPAC, Protect Hawai’i
  • For a Free, Independent & Indigenous Pacific
  • You cannot simultaneously prepare for war and for peace. NZ out of RIMPAC.

Key Hashtag for the Day of Action: #CancelRIMPAC

Resources to Use:

For more info about RIMPAC

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Protect Ihumātao: National Day of Action – Wellington!

Individuals and groups stood in solidarity with the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) Campaign outside Fletcher offices in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, and Hamilton on Friday 15 February to stop an unwanted housing development on 33 hectares of rare landscape at Ihumātao, near Auckland International Airport.

This land is part of a rare cultural heritage landscape and is adjacent to the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. It was unjustly confiscated in 1863 and given to settlers who farmed it until their descendants sold it for around $20m to Fletcher Building Limited in
2016. Fletcher wants to build 480 houses.

SOUL are currently occupying land at Ihumātao to halt Fletchers plans to start construction. SOUL have called for collective action and support in an effort to stop a confrontation on the land. ‘We invite anyone who wants to stand against colonisation and racism to join us at Fletchers on Friday the 15th. If you can’t make it to a protest, we invite you to call or email Fletchers and let them know how you feel.’’

Here in Wellington we heard the call to action and started a new group SOUL Solidarity Pōneke. We stand in solidarity with mana whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau who are standing up against development on their illegally confiscated ancestral lands.

On the 15th of February we took action targeting Fletcher’s Construction who bought the land at Ihumātao and are planning to start construction soon. As Fletcher’s seem to be having trouble knowing what being a good treaty partner looks like, we held them a FREE Tiriti o Waitangi workshop at their premises in Churton Park! Together, we learnt more about Te Tiriti, sung waiata and shared kai.

For more information:
https://www.protectihumatao.com/

 

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