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PMA newsletter - May 1997
Also, thanks to our current volunteers - Mike, Christine and Briar; and to Noelene who has moved on to other things after keeping track of the finances and contacts lists for the past few months.
Enclosures - WILPF 'spending priorities protest postcards' flyer, reprinted to mark 24 May (International Women's Day for Disarmament); and a petition calling for an end to plutonium shipments through the Pacific. There has been a delay in the production of the 'How PMA can help you' , this will be included in the next newsletter.
- the PMA office will be closed from Thursday 5 June until Wednesday 25 June, although
mail and messages will be sorted once a week during this period. The next newsletter
will be sent out in mid July (combined June/July edition) so if you have inserts,
comments or information you wish to go in it, please have them to us by 14 July. Thanks.
2pm, Sunday 8 June, St Andrew's on The Terrace
celebration party, music, afternoon tea with keynote speaker : David Lange.
<0H5>For more details contact : Colin Willis, (04) 389 4985.
in Auckland9-30am to 3-00pm, Saturday 7 June at Conference Centre, School of Architecture, 22 Symonds Street, University of Auckland Campus.
Seminar organised by the Foundation for Peace Studies and the Centre for Peace Studies, speakers
include Helen Clark, Richard Northey and Nicky Hager.
No need to book, just turn up on the day, $20 / 12-50.
... and a coalition of local and national anti-nuclear and peace groups in Wellington are using the opportunity of this anniversary to call on the nuclear weapons states to renounce further use of nuclear weapons and declare that they now too believe their use would be illegal. This message will be delivered to the relevant ambassadors in the week leading up to the anniversary. Contact - CND (via PMA office).
News from the Australian Campaign Against the Arms Trade that the Defence allocation would be protected in their May Budget while debate continues on cutting social spending. Apparently this was first announced by John Howard on his visit here earlier in the year - is this where he caught the idea ?
Perhaps not, if we are to believe a letter recently received from Jim Bolger's office (in reply to Arthur Quinn's letter re the frigates) ... "NZ's defence expenditure has been systematically reduced since the late 1980s to its current level of 1.1% of GDP, which is low in both real and relative terms."
this letter continues ... " I would like to assure you that money for the purchase of ANZAC frigates comes out of the existing defence budget and is not especially appropriated from funds the Government could choose to use elsewhere."
Well ! excuse us Jim but that really isn't an adequate reply, the point is that the government could choose to spend the
wholedefence budget elsewhere.
and further from the PM on this one ... "I do not believe that raising sub-critical testing with the United States will get us any closer to our goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. What is needed, as proposed by the Canberra Commission, is an unequivocal commitment by all five nuclear weapons states to the elimination of nuclear weapons, and agreement to start work immediately on the practical steps and negotiations required for the achievement of this goal."
Kind of missed the point again don't you think ? Surely one of the 'practical steps' could be to cancel the sub-critical nuclear testing programme.
You will, no doubt, not be surprised to hear that Josiah Beeman (US Ambassador) stated in his letter in reply to Arthur's that the tests are fully consistent with the CTBT, and are designed to ensure the continued safety and reliability
of existing stockpiles. Well of course, everyone knows that nuclear weapons are jolly safe and reliable things.
He also stated that the US is committed to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, but believes this should be done .... wait for it .... what's he going to say ? ... step by step.
Update- 28 May - apparently this was a surprise to Russian defence personnel too, who have clarified he REALLY meant to say de-targeting ..... so near, and yet so far.
We thought it might be interesting if any of you have the time or inclination to have a bit of an 'adopt-an-APC' campaign.
What you could do is write to Defence Force HQ, (Defence House, 15-21 Stout Street, Wellington) saying that you are concerned about the damage caused to the environment and ecology of the Central North Island by army tanks, APCs and such training there; that you have thought very carefully about the responsibilities entailed in owning such a vehicle; that you feel you could give one a good home; so please could you adopt one.
Please send us copies of any replies you receive so we can share them with all our readers.
there are still big gaps in the roster for Peace Forum, the Wellington Access Radio programme produced by peace persons and groups.
Programme makers are urgently required for the fortnightly blocks from 14 June to 19 July. If there are no programme makers, the programme will have to be shut down. To stop this happening, please phone Mike at PMA (Monday afternoons or Friday mornings) as soon as possible to book your dates within this time period ...
and ... on 17 June
people are required to help collect signatures for the petition for the release of Mordechai Vanunu, 11am to 1-30pm, Civic Square. Contact : Arthur Quinn, tel (04) 567 0533.
and ... on 26 June, 'Budget Day'
a rally to protest government spending priorities will be held at parliament - bring-your-own banner showing what YOUR spending priorities are or how yours differ from those of the government.
speaking of 6 August reminds us of course of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the need for you to share your plans for these days with us so we can share them with everyone else !
We'd particularly be interested in hearing from any shadow painters, given the wee difficulty WILPF are having with the Wellington Council about painting plans for this year .....
More details and the very moving statements of Maubere, Mau Nana and Renan as to why they did this, are available from PMA.
from the Muttlangen Action Group (MAG) via Citizens for Peace in Space (CPIS) - the MAG are planning an action on 4 July at Bad Aibling (NSA / NRO base in Germany), which I think must be in solidarity with the Menwith women's Independence 'from the US' Day actions.
CPIS are also planning a demo at another NSA / NRO base in Denver (USA) - they are interested in hearing from anyone who would like to arrange a solidarity action at
Waihopaion the same day.
For more details, please contact PMA or Loring Wirbel, CPIS, email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
... are sharing the message as they travel of all citizens throughout the world bonding together to declare World Peace Day on 1 Jan 2000, and 2000 as the International Year of Peace.
This is an excellent initiative which will be visiting our shores later in the year - if you would like to be involved or assist in arrangements with their visit, please contact Foundation for Peace Studies, tel (09) 373 2379, email <email@example.com>
was adopted by Wellington City Council on 16 May by 13 votes to 5. Other areas where we know people have been working on this are - Dunedin, Golden Bay, Tasman District, Mahia, and Auckland.
If you are working on your city council / local authority to get them to adopt the resolution, then please let us know so we can share it with everyone.
in the latest fine edition of Peace News is an article describing actions at supermarkets to draw consumer and media attention to the prevalence and hazards of GEF. If you are working on this issue, and would like some action ideas, PMA will be happy to send you a copy of the article.
a summary of a new strategic research report refers to the latest growth industry - anti-submarine warfare equipment and systems. Revenues from all ASW programmes (outside the USA) were estimated to be $985.2 million in 1996, predicted to rise to $1.47 billion by 2003 (Frost & Sullicvan press release, 27-05-97).
Of potential markets, one of their defence analysts suggests Asia as the largest market of all - and guess who falls into the 'Asian' section ? .... yep, you got it, NZ. For your copy, contact PMA.
We also have an article on the recent IMDEX Asia 97 naval exhibition which has a section relating to the NZ navy.
News from the Shundahai Network that the first mandatory dry run of the 'Rebound' test (scheduled for June) was conducted 'successfully' earlier this month. The request for groups all around the work to continue pressurising the US government to stop the planned series was repeated - adding to such requests received now from many US peace and related groups.
PMA has a great deal of information on the test series - please contact us if you would like more details (plus look in your past copies of our newsletter).
and further requests from US peace groups for pressure on the US government to cancel NASA's proposed launch on 6 October of the Cassini space probe which will carry 72.3 pounds of plutonium on board.
Aside from the issue of sending such a large amount of plutonium out into space, there are two crucial potential problems for earth dwellers. They are - (i) whether the launch itself will be safe given that the probe will be on a Titan IV rocket which have not proved totally reliable in making it to space; and (ii) whether the probe will re-enter Earth's atmosphere on its journey between Venus and Saturn, and the likelihood of it disintegrating on re-entry.
You could contact the US ambassador expressing your opinions on this, for more details contact PMA.
... apparently the US is planning to inject all its troops with anti-anthrax vaccine amid fears that 'rogue' states are rapidly acquiring the technology to produce biological weapons .... wasn't this vaccine thought to be one of the possible causes of Gulf War Syndrome ?
... did you know that Three Mile Island is up for sale ? There's a tempting little prospect for a holiday home ...
... moving north for a moment, we see that the World Wildlife Fund has nominated Shell Oil to receive the British Columbia Minister's Environmental Award for 1997.
a fable for our time ?..... once upon a time there was a place where people paid taxes on what they earned, and on what they bought, as well as levies to the ACC, and rates or rent ... then they began to pay again for education and health; and rumblings of 'user pays' for water, sewage disposal, roads and books from the public libraries were heard throughout the land of the people who thought they were already user paying for those things.
To add to their confusion, it was announced that a 'work for welfare' scheme would be started the next year; and everyone knows that this means less real wages for real jobs. So soon there were fewer and fewer people who could user pay even once, never mind twice.
And most of the people lived use-lessly ever after.
3 June -public meeting with Nico Warouw (Indonesian pro-democracy activist) at 7-30pm, Crossways Community House, cnr Elizabeth and Brogham Streets. Contact Vernon Tile, tel (04) 383 6262.
17 June- signature collecting for Mordechai Vanunu petition, 11-00am to 1-30pm in the Civic Square. Details: Arthur Quinn, tel (04) 567 0533.
19 - 22 June - Sam Day visit : 19 June -public meeting, 7-30pm at Methodist Church, Laings Road, Lower Hutt;
20 June -public meeting, 12-15pm to 1-15pm at St Andrews on The Terrace;
22 June- church service focussed on the plight of Mordechai Vanunu, 10am, St Andrews on The Terrace. Details : Arthur Quinn, tel (04) 567 0533.
26 June- 12-30pm, parliament, bring your own banner protest rally against government spending priorities.
2 July to 6 July- Student Christian Movement Aotearoa: National Conference 1997 'Power and Praxis: The personal, the political and the prophetic' at St. John's Presbyterian church in the central city. They have an extremely interesting and busy programme planned - for more information about SCM Aotearoa and the conference contact the national office at : PO Box 8556,Otautahi/Christchurch, Tel/Fax: (03) 3484663 Email:<firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 - 8 June- National Peace Workshops and seminar to celebrate 10th anniversary of our nuclear-free legislation. For more details see pages 1 and 2.
July- workshops on conflict resolution, mediation and facilitation, organised by and details from Centre for Special Education, Te Kura Akoranga O Tamaki Makaurau, tel (09) 623 8899, fax (09) 638 6176.
8 July- NATO summit - delivery of summons to heads of government (HOGs?) to commemorate first anniversary of the ICJ opinion re nuclear weapons. This also marks a dramatic increase in the activities of the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Days groups in Europe and N. America.
7 to 12 August- annual Gertrude Baer Summer School for young women, includes tour of military bases / nuclear weapons establishments in England. Contact WILPF, email <email@example.com> or <womensleague@gn.
August -first International Children's Peace-full conference, urgent need for children to become involved. Contact Claire Bradley, 200 Longland Road, RD2, Hastings.
from the Children and Young Person's Service -a new booklet
Cool Parents, Cool kidswhich is part of their new campaign to encourage positive messages to, and an end to verbal abuse of, children. Contact your nearest CYPS for more information.
Model Nuclear Weapons Convention- for truly devoted nuclear disarmers, PMA has the full text. $9-00 (cost-price copying and post).
Women Insist on Nuclear Disarmament information pack- very comprehensive, easy to read and understand, all the latest information. Get yours from WILPF, PO Box 2054, Wellington.
..... more resources next newsletter .....
Link to earlier PMA newsletters.
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