[Marxism] NZ stuff

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Sun Apr 18 17:54:57 MDT 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of
marxism-request at lists.econ.utah.edu
Sent: Sunday, 18 April 2004 10:11 p.m.
To: marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
Subject: Marxism Digest, Vol 6, Issue 68

John O'Brien:
>I do not have much from New Zealand - around 50 buttons. But I have
been looking to get a couple of New Zealand buttons I really have wanted
for some time.  One is the July 14th Vietnam button with a plane
dropping bombs.  Another is a Gay button issued in Christ Church with
that cities name on it.

>I am willing to purchase or trade for progressive items.  I am also
interested in any of the early IWW items issued in New Zealand around
World War One.  If you come across items - like anti-Iraq War or
anti-Bush issued in New Zealand - please keep me in mind. If you know of
someone who does collect or would like to trade for items from other
countries - feel free to give them my name and contact information.

I don't really keep political mementos.  I used to shift around a lot
and gave away chunks of stuff at various times.

The July 14 Vietnam badge would be from the last big anti-Vietnam War
mobilisations in NZ - July 14, 1972.  

There was a Gay Liberation group in Christchurch for two or three years,
and they would have produced that button.  I don't know where anyone
from that group would be these days.  There is no gay movement in NZ
now, just social groups - gay rugby teams, tramping groups, lobby groups
within the main political parties, but no actual campaigning

Things gay have been pretty much incorporated into mainstream politics
here - there are openly gay MPs, a Maori transsexual MP in a rural
electorate, etc.  All very establishment.

There was quite a significant IWW or IWW-influenced movement in NZ in
the early 1900s, mainly brought here from Australia.  Defeated on the
industrial field it ended up fusing with more moderate social democrats
and forming the NZ Labour Party in 1916, with a steady motion rightwards
after this.

Syndicalism maintained some influence in the trade unions, but this came
to an end with the defeat of the watersiders and their allies in 1951.

There is a general left-activists e-group in NZ which as Trotskyists,
anarchists, left social democrats and so on.  I'll post there what you
are interested in.  There is an anarchist in Christchurch who has some
stuff about anarcho-syndicalism in NZ in the early 1900s.  

>If someone does send items - please do not send in regular envelopes
since the post office stamp cancellation machines damage such items as
buttons - or while in transit.  It needs a bubble pack or box to avoid
such damage.

>Can you recommend a good source of reference works on progressive
groups in New Zealand history?

There's very little around.  A few people who were in the CP published
memoirs.  There's one by Alex Galbraith, which is available from the
Workers Party.  There's maybe one academic history of the CP, by someone
who is fairly hostile to socialism I think.  

Jock Barnes' 'Never a White Flag' is quite good.  He was the leader of
the watersiders in 1951 and a class-struggle militant, in the
syndicalist tradition.

Philip Ferguson

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