SJPUPDATES#14: Take Action Against Super Fund Investments in Cluster Bombs

April 16 2008
Kia ora all,
In this update>>>>

(A) Take Action Against Super Fund Investments in Cluster Bombs.
(B) Situation in Gaza
(C) IMEMC: Israeli military attacks weekly Bil’in protest, 17 injured
including 7 journalists

>>>>>(A) Take Action on Super Fund Investments in Cluster Bombs>>>>>

On Friday, 18 April, the day before the Global Day of Action to Ban Cluster Munitions (19 April), there will be protests at the Super Fund offices in Auckland and Wellington to call on the Fund to divest immediately from companies involved in cluster bomb production.

* Auckland: from 5pm to 6pm, outside the AMP Centre, corner Customs Street West and Albert Street, down by the Viaduct. Organised by Investment Watch, for more information contact email omarhamed123@gmail.com

* Wellington: from 5pm to 6pm, at the traffic lights at the intersection of Queen’s Wharf, Jervois Quay and Grey Street. Organised by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Peace Movement Aotearoa, for more information contact email wilpf@xtra.co.nz

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What is the Super Fund?
The Super Fund is billions of dollars of YOUR tax money invested in heaps of different corporations so that there will be money in the bank to pay for your pension when you retire.

What Cluster Munitions companies is the Super Fund invested in?
As of 30 June 2007, the Super Fund had investments in companies involved in cluster munitions production of around $26 million [6], which they list as Lockheed Martin, investment of $21,850,772 [7] , Raytheon Co. $2,294,974, and Poongsan Corp. $1,582,636. Not included in the Fund’s list are Thales S.A. $657,428, and Hanwha Corp. $139,445 – both of which the Norwegian government Pension Fund has divested from because of their involvement in cluster munitions production. There may additionally be investments in other companies that have been involved in such production in the past, but whose current involvement is uncertain.

What are Cluster Bombs?
While all weapons are potentially dangerous to civilians, cluster bombs pose a particular threat to civilians for two reasons: they have a wide area of effect, and they have consistently left behind a large number of unexploded bomblets. The unexploded bomblets remain dangerous for decades after the end of a conflict.

98% of 13,306 recorded cluster munitions casualties that are registered with Handicap International are civilians. Many of these are children. So if you want to let the government know that your not happy with investments in cluster bombs then come along to the protest.

More info:
http://www.converge.org.nz/pma
http://investmentwatch.wordpress.com
http://www.stopclusterbombs.org.nz

>>>>>(B) Situation in Gaza Strip (from http://palestinecampaign.org)>>>>>

• 1562 patients need to leave the Gaza Strip for urgent medical treatment.

• 90 patients have died due to Israel ‘s refusal to allow them medical treatment.

According to the latest UN report:

• 107 Palestinians, including 27 children, were killed by the Israeli army between 27 February and 2 March.

• Essential services, including water and sanitation, are close to breakdown because of the combined lack of electricity, fuel, and spare parts.

• 85 essential drug items, have run out. There are severe shortages of other essential medical supplies.

• 30% of the population are without regular water supplies.

>>>>>(C) IMEMC: Israeli military attacks weekly Bil’in protest, 17 injured including 7 journalists>>>>>

On Friday March 28, 2008 scores of residents of Bil’in, a village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, along with their international and Israeli supporters, took to the streets to conduct their weekly nonviolent protest against the Israeli wall and illegal confiscation
of the village’s land. Israeli troops manning the wall and its gate that cuts off the villagers from their land showered the protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets immediately after the protesters reached the gate.

17 people were injured including seven journalists. Medical sources identified some of the injured journalists as Fadi Al Arouri, a photojournalist, Najud al Qassem, a cameraman, Moheb Al Bargouthi, a reporter, and George Haltah, a cameraman.

Also among those injured was Eyad Burnat, of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall, who said, “I was trying to protect one of the village youth who was attacked by the soldiers when soldiers attacked and beat me up.”

The parents of Rachel Corrie, an American peace activist who was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza five years ago, took part in the Bil’in protest. Her father, Mr. Craig Corrie, praised the nonviolent resistance in Bil’in and called for more support for the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom. Rachel Corrie was killed in 2003 in Rafah city, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, when an army bulldozer ran over her while she was protecting a local family home
from being demolished by the Israeli army.

For original article: http://www.imemc.org/article/53799


“Remember the solidarity shown to Palestine here and everywhere… and remember also that there is a cause to which many people have committed themselves, difficulties and terrible obstacles notwithstanding. Why? Because it is a just cause, a noble ideal, a moral quest for equality and human rights.” – Edward Said, Palestinian/American historian/political commentator
SJP on the internet: www.ausjp.wordpress.com
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