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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sue Bradford, Nice Lady, Shame About the Politics, Part 4


By the mid '90s, Sue Bradford was firmly committed to a new project. This was "People's Network", the culmination of her earlier "Building Our Own Futures" project.

Established in late 1994, the People's Network linked a wide range of individuals and groups from all over the country and published a regular magazine "Common Ground".

Organisations or campaigns linked to the People's Network included, the Aotearoa Network of Unemployed and Beneficiaries, the Aotearoa Youth Network, Wellington People's Resource Centre, Christchurch Beneficiaries Advisory Service, Waimakiriri Women's Collective, Whangarei's 155 Community Centre, the Activism in Aotearoa training camps, NZUSA, Radical Society, the Organisation for Marxist Unity, Street Art Aotearoa, Manawatu Popular Theatre Group, Pakeha Treaty Action, Next Step Democracy Movement, the Waihopai Spy Base protests, Wellington Consumer Health Forum, Child Poverty Action Group, the catholic peace group, Pax Christi, Universal Basic Income campaign, East Timor Independence Committee, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, elements of the Green Party, Trade Union Federation, Aotearoa Non Governmental Organisations Association, COMMACT, the priests and nuns from the National Network of Sisters and Brothers for Justice, the Motua Gardens campaign, Network Waitangi, Gattwatch, the anti ACT group, CounterACT, Auckland Eco Village Group, Engineers for Social Responsibility, the Maori students group, Te Kawau Maro, Coalition for Public Health, Dunedin Community Coalition, Dunedin Jobs With Justice Campaign, Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links, Kotare Education Trust, CHOGM Action Coalition and Auckland People's Centre-to name a few.

Individuals contributing to "Common Ground" included Azziz Choudry (a Maoist activist who sued the SIS for burgling his home), Don Borrie (a pro North Korean clergyman from Porirua), Don Ross (leader of the pro Chinese, Organisation for Marxist Unity), Paul Maunder (Marxist playwright and dramatist), Jim Delahunty (longtime Marxist activist from Wellington), Ben Nathan (in jail for smashing the America's Cup), Moana Cole (jailed in the USA for a protest at an Air Force base), Murray Horton (ex Progressive Youth Movement, leader of CAFCA), Madeleine Burdon (formerly in the Maoist controlled, Working Women's Alliance) Oliver Hoffman (Green Party), Alistair Shaw, David Fleming (neo Maoist, Radical Society and Aotearoa Youth Network), Cybele Locke, Lisa Beech, Steve Collett, Joss Debreceny, Kyle Matthews (Aotearoa Youth Network), David Small (ex Canterbury University Progressives Club), Tauni Sinclair (planned to visit Cuba in January 1997), Noeleen Landrigan, Kevin McBride, Jim Consedine, Jeff Drane, Josie Lander, Peter Healey (all Catholic activists, priests or nuns), Sue Bradford, Bill Bradford, Robert Reid and Maxine Gay (all formerly linked to or members of, the Workers Communist League.)

Clearly, the People's Network functioned to integrate socialist activity all over NZ. Its orientation was certainly Marxist and Sue Bradford played a leading role.

The People's Network endured until at least 1998. At this time, Sue Bradford rejoined the Green Party after its split from the Alliance. Many of her comrades from the People's Network and Auckland People's Centre went with her.

Bradford made a bid for Auckland mayoralty, that year, collecting nearly 4000 votes.

The move was strategic. In 1999, Sue Bradford was placed forth on the Green Party list and was elected to parliament.

Even then, the protesting did not stop and in September 2000, she traveled to Melbourne to protest against the World Economic Forum meeting.

On March 3rd 2001, Bradford spoke at the "Globalisation or Localisation" conference in Wellington. I quote an email about the conference from Bruce Dyer of the Proutist organisation.

Sent: Monday, 21 May 2001 17:07
Subject: Report on Globalisation conference...."Globalisation or Localisation - reclaiming the economy for the community"
conference held at Tapu Te Ranga marae, Wellington 3rd March 2001.

"150 people representing more than 40 NGOs attended the Saturday conference. Edward Goldsmith; director of the International Forum on Globalisation, and Sue Bradford long time activist and a Green MP, began with a strong attack on the phenomenon of economic globalisation. Their presentations espoused a positive note which was reflected in Sue declaring her "heartfelt belief that what we are sharing in here is possibly the beginnings of the next true Internationale, one which has the hope of achieving world-wide revolutionary change without going backwards into feudalism or totalitarianism." (The Internationale, refers to the body of Communist Party representatives who met annually in the early years of the last century to try to realise their dream of a world without exploitation or poverty.) Sue claimed the people's right for "honourable dissent" against exploitation...."

10 Comments:

Anonymous Camryn said...

Trevor... yes, there are many Scoialists out there. Communists too.

Why do you feel the need to chronicle the fact? I think it'd be more productive if you challened your energy in Act and into expressing why liberal ideas are better than socialist ones. All your long posts on peoples' backgrounds must take up a lot of time that could be better spent.

Do you think that you're 'exposing' their background and people will think differently about them? We all know what they stand for... focus on discrediting the idea.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous James said...

This is good stuff to know and I for one am filing these profiles away for future reference.The Left have been doing similar work for years on the "Right' ie the book "First Knights" on the BRT.Know thine enemy is a basic principle that should not be forgotten...

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy D said...

Absolutely. Keep 'em coming Trevor!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Mike Heine said...

Agree completely with James. Nothing like a good unauthorised biography :D
CounterACT, I remember them! Whatever happened to that group?

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

I enjoy learning how radical major elements of the Green are; keep them coming!

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Stevo said...

A simply beautiful series of articles about another greenie with the "me and my friends are perpetually wronged, even though we're losers that would never make it in the real world" attitude....

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think CounterACT faded into obscurity a while back as the act party are no longer seen as a real threat to the left.

Some decent fact based argument would be great to read, u certainly have spare time and are good at ur research why not put together a few posts rebutting climate change or talk about the effect of benefits on the economy

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Stevo said...

Love it when the "Left" accuse us of playing the man rather than the ball.....love it!!!!!

12:50 AM  
Blogger Cactus Kate said...

I played a large part in forming the Auckland University ACT on Campus branch.

Sue Bradford launched CounterACT so we did a midnight poster run launching Anti-Counter ACT.

Come Monday morning the commie fuckers took it so seriously they called a meeting to discuss tactics on how they were going to deal with our group, which was supposedly countering their right to free speech.

The argument was circularly intriguing.

7:18 PM  
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6:45 PM  

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