Nepal: Revolution at the brink

Alastair Reith
The Spark March 2010
“The People’s Democratic Revolution in Nepal is now passing objectively through a gateway of great victory accompanied by a danger of serious defeat… the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has arrived at a serious and extraordinary juncture of possibilities and challenges… it is apparent that the forces of revolution and counterrevolution are going ahead towards the direction of decisive confrontation… Only by remaining united can the proletariat and the revolutionary masses, after completing the historical task of democratic revolution, open the way to go ahead towards socialism and communism.”
From the recent Unified CPN (Maoist) political document “Present Situation and Historical Task of the Proletariat”. In January 2009 the Spark carried an article entitled “Nepal: A revolution in progress”, which began with the following words; “Ever since the destruction of the Soviet Union, the capitalist class has told us that communism is dead. We are expected to believe that this is as good as it gets, that the inequality and oppression inherent within the capitalist system will be with us forever and there will be no more revolutions.
The ruling class declared the end of history. Unfortunately for them, the people of Nepal have decided not to listen. A communist revolution is unfolding in Nepal, a small Himalayan country just to the North of India. Led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the workers and peasants of Nepal are rising up and challenging the feudal oppression they face in their daily lives, and the neo-colonial domination they face as a nation.”
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From Occupation to Resistance:Interview with an Israeli peace activist

The Spark March 2010
Anti-Zionists in Wellington recently ran an exhibition of Israeli photography, entitled From Occupation to Resistance. Featuring work by photography collective ActiveStills, this exhibition highlighted the affect occupation has on Palestinians. Spark journalist Ian Anderson interviewed Kerem Blumberg, an Israeli peace activist and co-runner of this event.
Spark: How did you have the idea to hold this exhibition?
KB: Well, a lot of the photographers from ActiveStills are friends of mine in Israel. The idea was to show the NZ public images of daily life under occupation in Palestine, alongside resistance by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists.
Spark: Have you had good feedback?
KB: Really good feedback. The photos moved people, and the texts were easy to understand. We raised about $400.
Spark: How did you get involved in peace activism?
KB: I started going to demonstrations in high school, back in Israel. During the first Intifada there were riots throughout the West Bank, Gaza and in Israel. These were severely repressed. As a reaction to the Intifada, Jewish protesters attacked a mosque near my house, throwing stones at it. So I guess it was a time when you had to start figuring out where you stood. Continue reading “From Occupation to Resistance:Interview with an Israeli peace activist”

Howard Zinn: In Memory of a Radical Historian

On January 27th, one of America’s most high profile progressive voices passed away. Howard Zinn, the anti-war activist and historian, wrote the first edition of A People’s History of the United States in 1980 and unlike many radical critiques of conventional history that have been published over the years, his became a bestseller, selling over 2 million copies with many schools and colleges across the country incorporating the book into their curriculum.
A People’s History injected a solid class analysis totally lacking in conventional narratives about US history, discarding the nationalist myth of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, with the focus instead being on working people, rebelling slaves and farmers, labour radicals and the heavily marginalized indigenous. Continue reading “Howard Zinn: In Memory of a Radical Historian”

Workers Party clubs on campus

Around campuses in the main cities the Workers Party has clubs.

These clubs run socialist discussions, Marxist education, public forums, organise protests and focus on solidarity with workers’ struggles.
This week is Orientation week at many universities and the Workers Party has been holding stalls, signing up new members to our campus clubs.
There are WP campus clubs in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton. If you want to get involved drop us a line at

Wgtn screening: Reds

Two part screening at Victoria University:
4pm Wednesday March 3
Meeting Room 3, Student Union Building
4pm, Wednesday March 10
Collins Room, Student Union Building

Review: Goldilocks and the Three Queers

by Ian Anderson
In its initial workshop run, Goldilocks and the Three Queers made for an unforgettable night out. There’s maybe a bit of chaff to cut, with the play running overlong in a packed Fringe season, but the wheat makes for delicious brownies. Definitely worth catching on its return season at BATS.
Goldilocks is the second in a trilogy of fairytales, devised by theatre company Short Term Visitor Parking. The first instalment, Hansel und Gretel, interpreted Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale as a Nazi parable. This one gives us a potted history of the ‘70s gay liberation movement, with a dash of ‘80s (AIDS, cocaine, paranoia) thrown in for good measure.
The production is uniformly excellent, with set designer Fern Karun milking the unusual venue for all it’s worth. In a cramped building next door to a strip club, cantankerous landlord (landlady?) Ling Ling guides the audience into an intimate 1970s basement pad, where couches and beanbags await. Divider screens serve as changing rooms, and funkadelic music-man Tane Upjohn-Beatson sits in full view of the audience. We’re accepted as guests in the rented abode of an unconventional nuclear family; the Queers.
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Eyewitness to a revolution in Nepal

Ben Peterson is a young Australian activist who spent a year in Nepal witnessing first hand the revolutionary struggle. He is touring NZ 21-26 March 2010.
Auckland: Sunday 21 March @ 2pm Trades Hall, 147 Gt Nth Rd, Grey Lynn Monday 22 March @ 1pm Function Room (over Quad café) Auckland University
Hamilton Tuesday 23 March  1 -2pm (followed by discussion) @ SUB G.20 (Guru Phabians room) Student Union Building Waikato University
Rotorua, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch venues and dates to be advised soon.