Tuesday, 16 August 2022

RIP Déwé Gorodey who died recently at the age of 73

Gorodey was a member of the Red Scarves movement, a founding member of both PALIKA, the Party of Kanak Liberation which became one of the groups which formed the FLNKS coalition, and the feminist Groupe de Femmes Kanak Exploitées en Lutte (Group of Kanak and Exploited Women in Struggle). She was imprisoned three times between 1974 and 1977 for her political activities.

She was the first Kanak woman to gain a university degree, a teacher, writer and politician. She wrote collections of poems and short stories and the first published Kanak novel L'Épave (translated as The Wreck). As a teacher, she encouraged the use of her own language, Païci, and later became  a leading figure in the Ecoles Populaires Kanak (Kanak Popular Schools) movement, set up in opposition to French state schools Kanak  to teach Kanak children about their history, culture and languages. After the Noumea accord, she worked as an elected member of the New Caledonian congress.

"My country is Kanaky" - Déwé Gorodé in Melbourne in August 1987

Suffering from cancer for many years, Dewe Gorodei died at a hospital in Puindimije on August 14th.

Read more about her life here https://islandsbusiness.com/news-break/dewe-gorode-champion-of-oceanic-culture/

Monday, 8 August 2022

Prisoners’ Justice Day - 10 August

International Prisoners' Justice Day on 10 August is a reminder that we must end the violence of human caging and fight against the world that allows it to exist. When you look at who's in prison in countries around the world, it is so obvious that prisons have been and are tools of colonising empires and capitalism. Prisons are blatant examples of the criminalisation of the indigenous, of the poor, of people identified as 'other' and different by states the world over. In this country the reality of our history of colonisation is laid bare: Māori are vastly over-represented in prison statistics. It is in prisons that the racist and class nature of capitalism is clearly exposed. The fight to end prisons is a fight for a just world.

At the Freedom Shop we have some books and zines about prison, including:

  • Hell Is A Very Small Place: Voices From Solitary Confinement by Jean Casella
  • Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society's Crimes by Ann Hansen
  • Hauling Up the Morning edited by Tim Blunk & Raymond Luc Levasseur
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising by Staughton Lynd
  • Writers in Prison by Ioan Davies
  • Abolition Now! Ten Years of Strategy and Struggle Against the Prison Industrial Complex by the CR-10 Publications Collective


One of the zines we have is our very own 'Prison Abolition' which includes writings from aargh!, Aotearoa Indymedia, imminent rebellion and PAPA. An online journal to read is 'Paper Chained' - an Australian based journal written by those who are or have been incarcerated. One short story by Sojourn, who writes in 'Prison Abolition', also appears in issue 2 of Paper Chained.

If you want to get involved in the prison abolition movement in this country, do check out PAPA

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Film Screening & Discussion: No Fire Zone - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

Come along for a film screening and discussion about 'No Fire Zone' and - The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka

Newtown Hall, 71 Daniel Street, Newtown

FRIDAY, 29 JULY 2022 FROM 18:30-21:30

The film details the final days of Eelam War IV in 2009 and its aftermath. It helps explain why Eelam Tamils continue to flee the country.

The documentary depicts the Government of Sri Lanka's assault on the territory of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the north of the island. The war followed the end of the Sri Lankan Peace Process which began formally in 2002.

A central player in the film is recently deposed Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the then Defence Secretary.

The story is told by the people who lived through the war and through dramatic and disturbing video evidence.

Following the screening researcher Umesh Perinpanayagam will provide critical comment on the film: does the film hide the British/US role in the killings? what is the relevance of the events depicted in the film to the current protests in Sri Lanka? why the Sri Lankan Peace Process failed and how its related to the current campaign to oppose to the ongoing criminalisation of Eelam Tamils in Germany?

Please be aware that the film does contain violence: it shows executions, bombings, death and other violence between people that occurred and was filmed at the time. 

The trailer of the film can be seen here with a link to a timeline showing some of Sri Lanka's history and also here.