Indymedia News Roundup for 2013
Here's some events that shaped the 2013 year, most of which you won't hear about in the local paper.
- Supreme court hears NZ Maori council case against privatization of water and asset sales. Following the decision of the Waitangi Tribunal saying that the sale of state owned power companies had the potential to disenfranchise Maori of their rights, the government legislates to sell of Mighty River Power and three other assets – Meridian, Solid Energy and Genesis Power.
- Te Whanau Apanui drive off Brazilian owned Petrobras, an oil company given oil exploration permits in the Raukumara Basin off the Bay of Plenty. After months of campaigning by locals getting in their boats and getting in the way of the survey vessel, Petrobras calls it quits.
- Idle No More solidarity actions happen around the world – Indigenous Canadian movement inspired in part by the liquid diet hunger strike of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence to support the First Nations people struggling against the tar sands oil extraction project. "Idle No More calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water"
- John Key announces that NZ troops will remain in Afghanistan until at least 2014. New Zealand soldiers will remain in Afghanistan till the end of next year rather than pulling out in April, this includes 3 SAS.
- Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara and Taame Iti were freed from jail after serving 9 months of their sentence for convictions relating to the October 15, 2007 raids.
- Benny Wenda, West Papuan freedom fighter, visits NZ. Government refuses to allow him to speak in parliament.
- Police violence and brutality wrachted up a notch in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes as nightly house removals continue. The community is being dismembered house by house in order that Housing NZ can cash in on the land value, moving a 40 year old community to Papakura.
- A massive drought hits the country and NZers get a taste of what climate change looks like. These ‘severe weather events’ look only to become more common, even as the conversion of land to dairying (NZ’s largest contribution to climate change) speeds up to record rates.
- In good news, Solid Energy pulls the plug on its Southland lignite briquette plant. One of the dumbest ideas lately, the briquetting plant was a multi-billion dollar plan to use some of the world’s dirtiest coal to convert into diesel, urea, and into highly experimental “briquettes.”
- Appeal in Urewera case denied by supreme court. Urs Signer and Emily Bailey return to home detention.
- Lackluster sale of Mighty river power begins against backdrop of widespread public opposition and Labour/Greens announcement to create an NZ Power Company to buy power for residential use at bulk rates.
- Anadarko Act passed – despite its name, Simon Bridges actually met with Shell and passed this law to stop protests against deep sea oil at their behest, not that the folks from Anadarko didn’t appreciate it.
- Dannevirke got busy organizing against fracking with a protest march with hundreds of angry folks
- IPCA report into Operation 8 released sighting 77 instances of unlawful, unjustified, and unreasonable behavior by the cops.
- Waihopai 3 back in court – The three men who popped the dome at the Waihopai spybase in 2008 go to the appeal court to find out why they can’t have a hearing before the court orders a $1.3 million judgment against them
- In Nauru, lawyers working ‘pro bono’ for ten asylum seekers who are facing ‘riotous offences’ charges in the Nauru courts brought the constitutional challenge against the detaining of asylum seekers. Australia pays Nauru to detain and "process" refugees despite the people having asked for asylum in Australia. This practice of off-shore processing is known as the 'Pacific Solution' – a solution largely for Australia’s racist elite.
- Malaysia ‘Black 505’ post-election protest. On May 8, 2013, hundreds of thousands gathered in Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital, to protest the outcome of the election that gave the administration coalition a slim majority.
- There was a prison riot at Springhill. An excessive "lockdown" regime introduced by the managers of the Spring Hill Corrections Facility was the reason for the riot at the prison.
- Auckland hosts the National Conference on Palestine and Palestinian journalists Yousef al-Jamal comes as guest speaker to discuss life inside the world’s largest ‘open air prison – Gaza
- Edward Snowden blows the whistle on the massive global spying programme by the National Security council in the US. First we hear about Prism, then Xkeyscore, then Tempora then Trailblazer and soon there are so many surveillance programmes we can no longer keep up with the vast apparatus of digital weapons that are being deployed against us. Snowden himself flees to Russia and seeks asylum.
- NZDF documents are revealed that label investigative journalists as ‘subversives’ and that a US spy agency assisted the NZDF to spy on journalist Jon Stephenson.
- Massive anti-GCSB protests fill the streets of cities around the country
- The national Animal Rights conference is held in Wellington and author Will Potter (Green is the New Red) speaks as invited guest
- Coromandel Watchdog activists shut down Newmont Gold drilling rig in the Parakiwai Valley
- Mohammed Morsi, elected president of Egypt, is overthrown in a military coup
- GCSB bill passes into law
- Folk singer David Rovics is denied entry to New Zealand, ostensibly because he was intending to ‘work’ by giving a benefit show, certainly not because of his political beliefs
- NZ State hands over $30 million subsidy to world’s largest mining company, Rio Tinto, to keep the Bluff smelter open
- ‘Million People March’ Against Corruption in the Philippines. Filipinos were outraged after a whistleblower exposed how legislators have been systematically stealing from their pork barrel allocations.
- Arctic 30 arrested by Russians after attempting to hang a banner on the first oil platform in the Arctic. They are held on charges of piracy
- Oil Free Wellington organizes a massive 7am welcoming protest to the delegates of the Petroleum Summit
- The West Papua Freedom Flotilla leaves from Queensland carrying ashes from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra
- Syria signs the Chemical Weapons convention and agrees to get rid of weapons stockpile
- Auckland McDonalds is blockaded by workers protesting against shit pay and homophobic management
- The launch of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and sanctions solidarity campaign targeting G4S, a private prisons provider in the West Bank and checkpoints in Gaza, begins in Wellington
- Coal Action Network and 350.org launch a divestment campaign targeting Westpac Bank’s support of the Bathhurst coal mine in the South Island begins
- Remember October 15th Solidarity events held in Auckland and Wellington commemorating 6 years since the raids
- Indonesia General Strike for Pay Hike. Workers in Indonesia launched a two-day general strike on October 31-November 1 aimed at pressuring the government to raise the minimum wage. Tens of thousands joined the factory shutdowns, union visits, and rallies across the country.
- In Puhipuhi, Ngati Hau and local pakeha get together to blockade Highway 1 in protest against the granting of gold mining permits in the area
- Anti-rape demonstrations erupt around the country in response to the Roast Busters gang rape ring
- Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines causing massive loss of life and devastation
- The Oil Free Seas flotilla sails off the coast of Taranaki to stop drilling by Anadarko
- Thailand protests against the ‘Amnesty Bill.’ Various sectors, including those supportive of the government, rejected the controversial ‘Amnesty Bill’ which was approved by the parliament on November 1.
- Comrade Nelson Mandela dies, sparking a celebrity scrum to cash in on his freedom fighter mana
- Urs Signer and Emily Bailey are freed from home detention after serving a 9 month sentence for charges relating to October 15, 2007.
- Auckland Action Against Poverty pickets the National Party Christmas Do.