Like his comrade, Helen Te Hira, Luke Coxon is a well traveled and well connected young Marxist.
From an academic family, Luke Coxon grew up in various Pacific countries, including Tonga.
The Tongan Pro Democracy Movement is heavily Marxist influenced. In May 1996, Coxon spoke on behalf of the Neo Maoist, Radical Society at Auckland University, on the Tongan “Democracy” movement. He later spent the 96/97 Christmas holidays in the Philippines at an anti APEC conference.
In 1997/99 Luke Coxon was one the leading lights in Radical Society at Auckland Uni and in 1999 was active in the APEC Monitoring Group.
By 2000, Coxon was in Tauranga, organising for the Service and Food Workers Union.
By 2001, Coxon was active in Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links, a pan Asian organisation networking radical and Maoist trade unionists. APWSL is in turn affiliated to the Peoples Plan for the 21st Century (PP21), a Japanese based, Asian, African and Latin American network of radical and Maoist oriented NGOs, Church groups and “people’s organisations”.
In 2002, Coxon was on APWSL’s secretariat and was editing its newsletter. He was also back in Auckland working for the Financial Sector union, Finsec.
In 2003, Luke Coxon helped organise the NZ tour of Emilia Dapulang, national vice chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU-May First Movement), the Communist Party of the Philippines’ trade union wing.
The same year Coxon was involved in distributing union literature opposing the US invasion of Iraq.
In 2004, Coxon represented APWSL and the Christchurch based ARENA, organisation at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. This huge event was primarily organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the even more radical, Maoist leaning, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
ARENA activists include ex Maoists like Robert Reid, radical academics like Jane Kelsey, Radha D’Sousa and David Small and ex Radsocers, Helen Te Hira and Desigin Thulkanan. ARENA Advisory Board members, David Small, Helen Te Hira and Luke Coxon have all been involved in the campaign to have Ahmed Zaoui released from prison, cleared of being a ‘security risk’ and granted refuge in NZ.
In August 2005 a march was held in Queen Street, Auckland to support striking public servants in Tonga.
The March was supported by Tongan Ma’ae Fonua (Niulala Helu), Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links (Luke Coxon) Global Peace and Justice Auckland (Mike Treen, John Minto) the Council of Trade Unions (Ross Wilson) and the Green Party (Keith Locke).
Coxon is also a leading activist in the Socialist Worker/Matt McCarten led, Workers Charter Movement and is on their 20 strong steering committee. On August the 5th 2005, Coxon reported to the Workers Charter executive on a recent APWSL meeting he had attended in Malaysia.
In February this year, Like Coxon joined fellow ex Radical Society members David Fleming and Helen Te Hira on the staff of the National Disribution Union. Coxon is working in the NDU’s “growth unit”.
The NDU is controlled by NZ’s leading Marxist-Leninist party, the Socialist Party of Aotearoa. It will interesting to see how Coxon and his fellow ex Radsocers fit in, with the “old guard” communists.