Tag: Humanitarianism

Patronage, Journalism and Open Society.

Article – James Littlewood A panel discussion this morning shone a very bright light on a very familiar problem: the problem of journalism; knowing whats going on; keeping the bastards honest. Marianne Ellion (of Action Station) hosted the discussion with Mark Jennings (Mediaworks), … A panel discussion this morning shone a very bright light on a very familiar problem: the problem of journalism; knowing what’s going on; keeping the bastards honest. Marianne Ellion (of Action Station) hosted the discussion with Mark Jennings (Mediaworks), Jan Rivers (Scoop) and Bernard Hickey (Hive News). The problem is all too familiar. But here...

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Gordon Campbell on our refugee response, and a TPP rewrite

Column – Gordon Campbell T he miserly nature of New Zealands response to the global refugee crisis continues apace. Yesterdays announcement of an increase in our intake of UNHCR refugees from 750 to 1,000 refugees will only kick in from 2018, after the recent special … Gordon Campbell on our paltry refugee response and a brazen US rewrite of the TPP First published at werewolf.co.nz The miserly nature of New Zealand’s response to the global refugee crisis continues apace. Yesterday’s announcement of an increase in our intake of UNHCR refugees from 750 to 1,000 refugees will only kick in from 2018, after the recent special intake of 650 Syrian refugees over two years have been cleared. So, do the math. The “ increase” really means that the intake of 1,000 after 2018 will be pretty much the same number of refugees as we admitted this year, once you’ve added 2016’s share of the Syrian special intake to the current 750 UNHCR numbers. In other words, this is a triumph of spin: an ‘increase’ in the refugee intake that is virtually the same as the status quo, but counted differently. Moreover, since New Zealand requires that 50% of our UNHCR intake is from the Asia/Pacific region, we will actually be taking in fewer refugees from the Syrian/Iraq war zone than we have done of late. For many advocates of a...

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A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions

Article – Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free … A Friendly Critique of the Break Free Climate Actions Robert J. Burrowes I have enjoyed reading accounts and seeing photos of those committed and courageous climate activists who participated in the recent Break Free from Fossil Fuels actions conducted at various locations in 13 countries from 4-15 May 2016. See ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels’. https://breakfree2016.org/ Much of what was done was creative (some of it demonstrating considerable flair) and, mostly, how it was done reflected a sound understanding off nonviolent principles and dynamics to which virtually all activists adhered. In this regard I must acknowledge the thoughtful ‘action agreements’ signed by participating activists, the conduct of nonviolence education workshops, the police liaison, legal briefings and arrest support, and the widespread recognition that secrecy and sabotage have no part to play in nonviolent actions for them to be strategically effective. My friendly criticism is directed at those key organisers who planned the nonviolent actions without understanding how to make the commitment and courage of those who were mobilised have maximum strategic impact on the ongoing climate catastrophe. I understand that it takes phenomenal...

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The Climate Talks in Paris will Fail: Why

Article – Robert J. Burrowes As expectations build for a global consensus to emerge from the United Nations climate conference in Paris, starting on 30 November 2015, that could agree to taking action to limit any rise in global temperature to 2 degrees celsius, I would like to explain … The Climate Talks in Paris will Fail: Why? Robert J. Burrowes As expectations build for a global consensus to emerge from the United Nations climate conference in Paris, starting on 30 November 2015, that could agree to taking action to limit any rise in global temperature to 2 degrees celsius, I would like to explain why these expectations are misplaced. And what we can do about it. The essence of the problem is that most people and organisations are asking elites to take action on their behalf rather than taking action themselves. Not only is this a fearful and powerless approach, it reinforces the widespread delusions that elites have the power in this regard and that they are responsive to our pleas. Neither of these is true. We have the power and elites only respond when we create the circumstances that compel them to do so. And not otherwise. Hence, it is the action that we take, as individuals, communities and organisations, that generate the outcomes we want. As a nonviolent activist, I have never asked elites (or their...

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Emir Hodzic: No troubles in Godzone

Article – Emir Hodzic Being in New Zealand now, while the Middle East burns and Europe is overwhelmed with refugees, is like being on the other side of the planet. Well, New Zealand is actually on the other side of the planet. So far away in fact, that nothing disrupts Prime … No troubles in Godzone Emir Hodzic Being in New Zealand now, while the Middle East burns and Europe is overwhelmed with refugees, is like being on the other side of the planet. Well, New Zealand is actually on the other side of the planet. So far away in fact, that nothing disrupts Prime Minister’s “rebranding” project. Nothing except rugby, that is. Everything is fine and dandy in Godzone. Except, sometimes thousands of “uninformed” and “politically irrelevant” New Zealanders take to the streets in protest of the TPPA free trade agreement, and the unusual secrecy behind it. Unfolding human tragedy does make it to the 6 o’clock news, but it is so far away that it isn’t our problem. Most have accepted the Government’s explanation that we can’t afford to take more refugees, and some have even embraced good old-fashioned racism and bigotry. “All they will do is sit around dreaming of ways to kill us” one concerned Kiwi commented, “What you people need is a boot back to your nation, and fight your own way out, you...

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