Far from being an isolated aberration, the recently discovered quasi-military training camps in the Ureweras are part of a world wide movement, born more than a decade ago.
What brought highly educated, mainly pakeha anarchists to the forests of the Ureweras, to allegedly undergo firearms training with some of the country’s most militant Maori radicals?
This alliance of Maori nationalists and anarchists has its origins in an international coalition of radical organisations-Peoples Global Action.
In turn PGA is descended from the 1994 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, lead by the mysterious Subcommandante Marcos.
In 1996 after the Zapatista rebellion reached a stalemate with the Mexican government, the rebels held an encuentro (encounter) of invited radical organizations from around the world. Six thousand people talked and planned for several days in the southern Mexican jungle.
In August 1997, European Zapatista supporters held a Second Meeting for Humanity and Against Neo-Liberalism, in El Indiano, Spain. Radicals from around the globe attended including the militant Landless Movement of Brazilian Peasants (MST), which is linked to the crypto-communist Workers Party of Brazil and the Karnataka State Farmers Union from India, famous for burning fields of genetically modified crops.
Another attendee was the Libyan trained French farmer activist and anti McDonalds campaigner, José Bové.
This was the beginning of the Global Anticapitalist movement that has grown exponentially in the last decade.
The next step was the formation of Peoples Global Action in Geneva in February 1998,
with delegates from 300 movements from more than 70 countries.
From the PGA website
First Conference of the Peoples’ Global Action against “Free” Trade and the WTO, Geneva, 23-25 February 1998
This conference will lay down the definitive basis of the Peoples’ Global Action (PGA). Its objectives are discussing and amending the manifesto of the PGA, co-ordinating decentralised protest actions all over the world during the Ministerial Conference of the WTO in May, promoting the creation of local, national, regional and topic-based platforms, and setting up the basis of an information and press network to give more international projection to the work of peoples’ movements.
New Zealand Maori were there from the beginning.
From the PGA website, same page as above link.
This conference is convened by a committee formed by:
Foundation for Independent Analysis / Foundation for an Independent Aotearoa, Aotearoa
Frente Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (FZLN), Mexico (EZLN to be confirmed)
Indigenous Women’s Network, North America and the Pacific
Karnataka State Farmers’ Association (KRRS), India
Mama 86, Ukraine
Movimento Sem Terra (MST), Brazil
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Nigeria
Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP), Philippines
Central Sandinista de Trabajadores (CST), Nicaragua
Play Fair Europe! (PFE!), Europe
Note the prominent role played by a tiny Maori organisation, Foundation for an Independent Aotearoa.
Also significant is the presence of the KMP, a well known front for the Maoist oriented Communist Party of the Philippines. Note also the role of the Cuban/communist aligned Sandinista trade union organisation.
While PGA is anarchist in orientation, the old line Marxist-Leninist influence has been significant from day one.
Part 2 here