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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rock Against War marks Iraq Anniversary in Auckland


For Immediate Release
Monday 19 March


Rock Against War marks Iraq Anniversary in Auckland

Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury, Chris Knox and Nandor Tancos are among the many community leaders and musicians lending their services to The Rock Against War this Friday, 23 March - upstairs at the Bluestone Room on Durham Lane from 7pm.

The event marks four years since the US-led illegal invasion of Iraq, during which time there has been an estimated 655,000* Iraqi civilian casualties.

"It's as much about raising awareness as it is about raising money”, says Rock Against War organizer and seasoned anti-war protestor, Ryan Sproull. “New Zealand is small and remote, but Kiwis are decent people, and whatever influence we can have for a fairer world will require people getting together. So they're getting together for this. And, you know, music", says Sproull.

Local musicians Chris Knox, Body Corporate, Cerveza and Captain Hammer & the Gold Stars will perform live sets at the event, and well-versed media terrorist, Martyn ‘Bomber Bradbury’, will speak.

Bomber says: “Its time New Zealanders remember their New Zealand history – we are known internationally as being champions of human rights, our apathy towards Iraq has to stop now.”

Green Party MP, Nandor Tancos, will also speak at the event.

All proceeds from the suggested $5 entry fee will go to charities in Iraq and Afghanistan and there will be opportunities at the venue to sign up for mailing lists if people are interested in being involved in future social-justice efforts.

Principle sponsors: The Bluestone Room and Auckland University Students Association

Special thanks to: Fleet FM, bFM and Craccum magazine.

-Ends-

For further information and interview opportunities contact:

Ryan Sproull wataki@gmail.com

15 Comments:

At 20/3/07 7:47 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Ryan Sproull for mayor!

 
At 21/3/07 7:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, how is it that the concert itself is clearly focused on Iraq- but then the proceeds also go to Afghanistan which has not been mentioned? It's like an after thought: "Oh what the hell, might as well have some proceeds go to Afghanistan too 'cause I heard there's some sort of an occupation that our country is involved in, and some other nasty shit going down there; ya know stuff like people dying in droves, incredible poverty...". AAAANNNND back to the popular hot topic for all lefties in the 'West': "Iraq's occupation is illegal and stuff".

Either Ryan should have focused entirely on Iraq and then followed with another concert on Afghanistan etc which I thought was the plan, or highlighted both conflicts equally considering they're identical. Before someone responds with the usual "but what about Congo, Darfur etc". Agreed, however, we're talking about the same region, same pretenses to invading these countries etc.
Although I understand the intention and respect it, I found the selective highlighting to be completely offensive to those suffering in Afghanistan.

-Anti-Flag.

 
At 21/3/07 8:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha-ha bomber even when you try and help muslims, people like anti-flag attack you. You are on the wrong side, you always stand up for gays and muslims and the poor and downtrodden, but these people want things that eventually mean bad things for you as a white male. You need to start using that brain of yours for our side, earn some nice money, enough to seperate you from their social strata so they have zero influence over you and stop pointing out how unjust the system is. Come on bomber, you know you want to.

 
At 21/3/07 9:22 am, Anonymous jo said...

I hardly think that Anti-flag was attacking Bombers article or the event, Constructive critism is actually very useful. Speakers need to be educated about what their talking about, otherwise they can come across as thoughtless and not taken seriously. I would like to see more Muslim speakers at events like this and also involved in the organising as well.
Anti-flag raised some good points.

 
At 21/3/07 9:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh so the white male species is doomed.

Yeah riiight!

 
At 21/3/07 11:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Before you start dishing out advice, learn how to spell.

Your comment is officially the dumbest I've read so far on Bomber's blog, and believe me, I've read some pretty dumb ones. This isn't an issue of Muslims versus everyone else, so stop trying to make it as one. It's incredible that the moment a Muslim shares any view on something, that view encompasses the very identity and belief of all Muslims which is ridiculous. So tell me, was I attacking Bomber or Ryan? Or was I giving some constructive criticism perhaps? And what exactly am I wanting that Bomber and all 'white males' would not want? I love how these fools try to create these divisions with ridiculous categories and enforce superficial identities on them like 'white male' and homogenise their experiences, aspirations and outlook.

-Anti-Flag.

 
At 21/3/07 11:15 am, Blogger Ryan Sproull said...

I apologise if the later addition of Afghanistan appeared token and haphazard. The original idea was that it was the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, so Iraq was a natural focus of the donations. Then I spoke to a friend who pointed out that Iraq gets much more attention than Afghanistan, and Afghan charities suffer as a result. So I've tried to find a charity that deals with children in both conflicts.

I see that if I was Afghan myself, I would be a bit pissed off that children in my country had been added in a way that seemed like an afterthought - a "what they hell, might as well include them along with the real victims" kind of thing.

It wasn't my intention. It was just an Iraq anniversary thing, and when Afghanistan was mentioned to me, I didn't want to leave them out. Obviously I don't want to leave anyone out. But, you know, there's not enough to go around.

So apologies, Anti-Flag. It looks worse than it is in my head.

 
At 21/3/07 11:43 am, Blogger bomber said...

...
ha-ha bomber even when you try and help muslims, people like anti-flag attack you. You are on the wrong side, you always stand up for gays and muslims and the poor and downtrodden, but these people want things that eventually mean bad things for you as a white male. You need to start using that brain of yours for our side, earn some nice money, enough to seperate you from their social strata so they have zero influence over you and stop pointing out how unjust the system is. Come on bomber, you know you want to.

Grin – to my white male friend

Brother, Anti-Flag has every reason to voice her concern because she is right – Afghanistan has become some type of forgotten add on war, and there is the complaint aimed at western protest movements that while they oppose Iraq, there is some type of tacit approval of what the West are doing in Afghanistan. That is a valid criticism and it’s one that needs to be addressed – as we try to wipe our eyes clear of the cultural prejudices that distort the truth, we must remember to keep our ears open as well for the voices that have been ignored for too long – when the end point is social justice for all, we must learn to listen. Anti-Flag has made her point and Ryan has seen the truth in her comments, and with much mana to him has been big enough to recognise that.

So I don’t cringe from Anti-Flag’s comments, nor do I feel attacked by them – I welcome those thoughts because she’s right, but I would like to take a moment to have a quick word with you my white male friend – brother you come from a group in society with a huge amount of power. Unfortunately the system responsible for a lot of that economic power is totally unsustainable and is leading to an environmental collapse we could see within 20 years. I realize that reality scares you shitless, and you will want to cling to any conservative media that will continue to pour as much skepticism on global warming as possible, but sadly for you the weather will continue to deteriorate and no matter what your corporate media tries to tell people so that they don’t start challenging that system, people will see and feel the environmental destruction. Your privilege, and the system that helped create that privilege is at an end because the system isn’t sustainable and your gated communities can’t build fences high enough to keep you separated from that reality. Believing in social justice for all means moving beyond supporting a system that only benefits a few, my white male friend - your way of life and thinking is killing the planet, our one and only home. Come on white male, you know you want to join us.

 
At 21/3/07 1:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why dont those pro war types turn up, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the US who are fighting a war against terror. i'll never let those who died on 9/11 be forgotten. Sept 11 is when this war started. the rag heads started it and we must stand united to fight those who will kill our woman and children and destroy our values.

 
At 21/3/07 6:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ill never forget the 655,000 rag-heads killed as a direct result of Bush Co's illegal invasion!

Fcuk man! That dosen't even mention those 1 million mostly children who died because of the sanctions!

But it was worth it as Albright would say.

 
At 21/3/07 8:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan, I understand your intentions and know you weren't trying to be offensive. I respect you a great deal for your efforts. The reason why I criticised your approach was because this is so COMMON in left movements which selectively show their sympathy depending on what is the current trend. So when you tell me that you only focused on Iraq because it was the anniversary of the war- then I must ask- why not the anniversary of the war on Afghanistan? Do we even know the exact date? October 7th for those who don't. Have we ever even acknowledged it? Why is that not highlighted at all by anyone? Why does the anti-war movement call for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq but not Afghanistan? Why the moral hypocrisy? Both countries were raped and destroyed in retaliation for 911. (so the mainstream justification goes) So what's the difference? As Bomber articulated well:

"Afghanistan has become some type of forgotten add on war, and there is the complaint aimed at western protest movements that while they oppose Iraq, there is some type of tacit approval of what the West are doing in Afghanistan. That is a valid criticism and it’s one that needs to be addressed – as we try to wipe our eyes clear of the cultural prejudices that distort the truth, we must remember to keep our ears open as well for the voices that have been ignored for too long".

In consequence, the war on Afghanistan is somehow legitimised when it is not highlighted on par with Iraq. That's the implication that is being made, and it's a dangerous one. To me, it also implies that going into Afghanistan was justified because of the rampant religious fundamentalism of the Taliban and the oppression of women. Therefore, this echoes the colonial racist way of thinking of the'white man's burden' to 'civilise' and 'liberate'. So the 'West' pats itself on the back. I know what the occupation has done to Afghanistan; I have family living there and see the daily struggles of the people. I also think it's imperative that it is highlighted because NZ has a direct association to this occupation and could play a role in discreditng and delegitimising the intentions behind this war and the continued military presence.

And this isn't necessarily about an Afghan finding this offensive. All individuals of conscience, should be offended by this selectivity when it comes to two countries undergoing a similar ordeal. Trouble is, we have yet to realise we're even doing it most of the time. This is why I felt it necessary to bring it up.

-Anti-Flag.

 
At 22/3/07 10:26 am, Blogger Ryan Sproull said...

Also, for various reasons, the US invasion of Afghanistan is considered by some to be the "good invasion" in comparison with Iraq. I'd be interested in doing a poll to see how many people who realise that the invasion of Iraq was illegal also happen to think that the invasion of Afghanistan was sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

I do see your point, Anti-Flag. I intend to do more of these charity things (apparently I have a masochistic streak), and October 7 is only half a year away.

 
At 22/3/07 10:33 am, Anonymous lol said...

Do you think the average Afghani was better off under the Taliban antiflag?

 
At 23/3/07 7:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, a poll on that would be interesting.

lol: The Taliban weren't a well organised group working within a set ideological framework and system as most people conveniently suggest. So the way they behaved and treated the Afghan people varied. That's why we have so many different stories from both Afghans, journalists and others who've gone there and tell us contradicting stories of what they were like. Therefore experiences varied.

And this isn't about choosing a side. Do I really need to? That's almost as ridiculous as Bush's "you're either with us or against us" mentality. How depressing is it for the Afghan people to have to be forced to choose between two oppressors? Why put them in that position?

That being said reports do suggest that the Afghans as a whole 'benefited' under the Taliban-comparatively speaking of course. When you put it in context, it makes sense. The country experienced an invasion and civil war and in consequence knew nothing but war for 2 decades. The Taliban's strictness brought back some stability. But that doesn't mean they were a better option for them.

Another thing that amazes me is the focus is all on the Taliban's oppression but the international community has ignored the US-backed Northern Alliance which committed far more atrocities against the Afghan people, not to mention violated the Geneva Conventions duiring the 2001 invasion with full U.S. compliance. Their crimes were forgotten because they were more willing to make deals with the U.S. and their corporations. Gotta love the hypocrisy.

So the problem with Afghanistan has not been the Taliban per se but historica invasions by empire that have destroyed civil society and infrastructure and the Western-backed despotic leaders and systems that have no intention of improving the country for the benefit of its people. Why is that? Because it serves the U.S. and Pakistan far more to contain Afghanistan and ensure it remains weak and vulnerable to their own agenda.

-Anti-Flag.

 
At 27/3/07 3:52 pm, Anonymous don'twhinetoomuch... said...

Gee, even when some lefties try to do something good, other lefties have to complain. Poor.

 

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