Keith Locke

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Keith Locke

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Keith James Locke is an ultra - left, former New Zealand Green Party MP.

Background

Locke, always a man of the extreme left and seldom if ever, known not to support a left-wing cause, was born and grew up in Christchurch, to Jack Locke and Elsie Locke, both Communist Party of New Zealand members and prominent life-long political activists for a wide variety of causes. Their four children were brought up in this environment and followed their parents into a life of activism, (as well as Keith, his sister Maire Leadbeater is a well-known activist and former city councillor for Auckland City Council). Former Prime Minister Rob Muldoon is said to have described the Lockes as the most "notorious Communist family in New Zealand". The Lockes lived in the Avon Loop area of the Christchurch Central City and were very active in the community' notably organising Avon River clean-ups and native tree planting and arguing against development of the area, and in favour of retaining the character of the area.[1]

Locke currently lives with his partner Michelle Donovan.

Activism in the New Zealand tertiary sector

Locke attained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Canterbury. In 1963, during his second year at Canterbury, he formed the Canterbuy University New Left Club along with fellow members Bruce Jesson (journalist and writer), Michael Cullen (former Minister of Finance for the New Zealand Labour Party) and Neville Gibson (editor of the National Business Review).[2] In 1965, he was recorded as still being a member of this group.[3]

Continued activism in Canada

Locke then went to Canada and attained a Masters in Sociology at the University of Alberta. He also studied towards, but never completed, a Ph.D in Sociology at the University of Toronto. It was during this time - in 1969 - that he was chairman of Australians and New Zealanders Against the War in Vietnam. Indeed he was one of 25 members who attended a demonstration of 10,000 in Toronto against the war. A few days earlier, Locke had been with a group who drove to Ottawa to picket Australian PM Gorton who was in town for talks with PM Trudeau. "Many tendencies on the left were present: pacifists, Trotskyists, communists, anarchists and liberals. . . Most of the Communist and pacifist forces no longer dispute that the central aim of the anti-war movement should be the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops."[4]

During his time in the Canadian tertiary sector, he was under the influence of the League for Socialist Action (aligned with the U.S. Socialist Workers Party).[5] It was around 1969 that Locke returned to New Zealand. He then lectured in Sociology at Victoria University from 1970 - 72, but at this point decided to leave academia to persue radical political activities with greater energy still.

Further activities

Locke claims that the first political organisation he joined was the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society.[6] Although he gives no date for this, it appears that this must have been around 1964, if not before.

Locke was an anti-Vietnam war demonstration organiser in both New Zealand and Canada from 1964-1973.

In 1967, he belonged to the Socialist Labour Movement of New Zealand. Around 1969, there was a polemic between Locke, who was at that time studying in Canada, and fellow SLM member Owen Gager. The Gager-Locke polemic was associated with a de facto split in the Socialist Labour Movement and the emergence of the New Zealand Spartacist League in 1967, and the Pabloist Socialist Action League in late 1968. (The NZSL had close fraternal ties, though no organisational links with the U.S. Spartacist League.)

In September 1969, Locke wrote an article for the left-wing New Zealand Monthly Review on the "Canadian role in global imperialism".

Locke, a passionate Trotskyist

In 1969, it is believed he was a founder member of the Trotskyist Socialist Action League. He was certainly a member of the SAL from 1970-1985.

From August 15-17, Locke addressed the Wellington Radical Activists Congress. He spoke at the session, his subject being "Maoism or Trotskyism, which way for the revolution in New Zealand?" He put the case for Trotskyism.[7]

In February 19 1971, Locke wrote an article for Socialist Action on foreign capital.[8]

On June 12, 1971, Locke represented the SAL when he attended the antiwar group's national representative meeting at Victoria University.

Key man for leftist paper

From 1972-1977, he worked as the full-time editor for Socialist Action and in 1973-8, was also its publisher.[9]

On September 9, 1977, George Fyson replaced Locke as the Socialist Action editor. Locke, meanwhile, moved to the SAL national office.[10]

Central figure in SAL

At a SAL conference, which took place on January 4-5, 1972, Locke was elected on to their national executive.[11]

By 1980, he remained a member of the SAL's National Committee.

By 1972, he was the National Secretary of the SAL. Locke was also at that time, on the editorial board of Socialist Action.[12]

On October 19, 1973, Locke wrote an article for Socialist Action, concerning K. Dawson of the Committee Against Repression in France and H. MacNeill of the Interim Committee to Defend the Communist League, who presented an open letter to the French Embassy on October 5, protesting about Pompidou's banning of the Communist League on June 28. Other signatories were:

On March 29, 1974, Locke, in an article he had written for Socialist Action, noted that Halt All Racist Tours activist Trevor Richards had refered to Tanzania's president, Julius Nyerere, as "a good chap".[14]

From January 9-13, Locke addressed an SAL conference in Palmerston North, concerning the 4th International.[15]

On February 14, 1975, R. Johnson wrote an article for Socialist Action entitled "Maoists discuss dumping 'The Paper.'" The Paper had been founded 18 months prior, by "Wellington adherants of Stalin and Mao".[16]

Locke, in July 13 1973, had written an article about the above publication in which he noted that "...the people involved are a group of expelled members of the Communist Party of New Zealand around Rona Bailey and some younger and more recent Maoist converts". The 1st issue of The Paper incorporated HART News (the paper of the pressure group Halt All Racist Tours).[17]

On August 16, 1975, Locke addressed a Young Socialists educational conference at Victoria University , in a debate with Rob Campbell, the subject being "Foreign or local ownership: is New Zealand nationalism progressive?"[18]

Locke wrote, in October 1975, an article for Socialist Action concerning a picket of the Malaysian PM Razak during his New Zealand visit, on october 13 in Wellington. there were around 300 protesters in attendance, including Don Carson, members of the New Zealand University Students Association, international VP".[19]

On Saturday, June 25, 1977, Locke spoke at the Socialist Seminar organized by the SAL and the Christchurch Young Socialists at the Hotel Workers Union Building, 127 Lichfield St., Christchurch, on a strategy for working people - putting an end to the whole capitalist system of private profit.

on February 10, 1978, Locke was identified as a speaker at the SAL's 5th National Conference at Otaki.[20]

From December 29, 1978-January 2, 1979, Locke attended the SAL's educational conference in Auckland.[21]

As early as 1983, there were suggestions that Locke and his relationship with the SAL had come to an end. Certainly by 1985, this had come to pass.[22]

CIA documents on Locke

On February 27, 1976, Socialist Action reprinted CIA documents on George Fyson, Keith Locke and Tony Lane (pages1-4), obtained under a court order by U.S. friends who used the Political Rights Defense Fund. The documents also noted visits to New Zealand by black antiwar GI and socialist Andrew Pulley, in 1976.[23]

Under surveillance in New Zealand

Locke was recently to discover that The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service had been keeping tabs on him since he was 11 years old.[24]

He was able to apply under the Privacy Act to have his top-secret file released, which contained over 400 pages.[25]

Locke admits that most of the facts in the file are accurate.[26]

First entry

The first entry on Locke's file which was made by the predecessor of the SIS - the Police Special Branch - was made on December 12, 1955,wherein it notes that he and his mother attended a William Morris - (the renowned craftsman and English socialist) - social evening at the Christchurch YWCA.[27]

Chip off the old bloc

Locke claims the SIS had always been on his family's heels because he is the son of prominent environmentalists and Communist Party members Jack Locke and Elsie Locke. The SIS took an interest in Keith at the age of 11 because at the time, his parents were active communists, with the last reference to him on the file he aquired having been made in 2006.

He says that even after his mother stopped supporting the Communist Party, the SIS continued to monitor her.[28]

Protest against S.A. sporting contacts

An entry made by the SIS in 1963 notes that Locke, by then active in the New Left Club, took part in a demonstration at Harewood airport against the South African rugby team. Further, other files released 2 years ago reveal the SIS' concern over the communist influence in the campaign to include Maori All Black tours of South Africa.[29]

Outstanding leader of SAL

Another report by the SIS, made in 1977, notes that Locke was "probably the outstanding leader" of the Socialist Action League.[30]

Workplace activism

The SIS maintained contact with Locke's employers, especially when he was working at the troubled Gear meatworks. A report in 1981, had identified Locke and other SAL members as likely to sign on for the season. Too, it noted that another man under surveillance had applied for employment, but one source did not think he had much of a chance. The file also noted that "Locke has been trying to obtain employment in the Wellington area, but he has been given such bad references by Gear that he no longer asks for them."[31]

Extremists target Labour Party

Recorded also is Locke's expulsion from the Labour Party in 1974, and the then prime minister Rob Muldoon's attack on the SAL. Muldoon commended the director of the SIS, Paul Molineaux, for exposing a plan by the SAL to infiltrate the Labour Party. Said Muldoon, "In this area of subversion, it will be the government's policy to expose these people."[32]

Latin American activism

The file covers Locke's activity in the Latin American Committee in the 1980s, and includes clippings of the expulsion from it of an SIS informer.[33]

Locke and Philippines

There is much coverage of Locke's trips to the Philippines to support left groups. All of his overseas trips, including details of his passports, are included.[34]

M.P. activities

Given that Locke entered parliament in 1999 and the last SIS entry in his file was dated 2006, it would appear that that he was being monitered for 6-7 years in his time as an MP.

The file compiled on him during this time includes clippings about his activities as an MP, including the official Hansard report of his speech in parliament proposing a bill to increase oversight of the SIS.[35] Locke also claims that the SIS had even kept track of his work with his constituents.[36]

Locke's file has got other members of parliament worried and they too are now applying to see what if anything the SIS has on them.[37]

A number of other politicians such as Hone Harawira and Ginnette Fitzsimons have found that the SIS had personal records on them also.[38]

It also includes a copy of a biting letter about him and about academic Paul Buchanan to an Auckland newspaper. Someone in the SIS has written below it: "Eeeecxcellent!"[39]

Sri Lankan trip

Locke is particularly worked up about a file from 2003, criticising the MP's proposed visit to war-torn Sri Lanka, where he proposed to visit the area controlled by the Tamil Tigers (the LTTE), regarded by some governments as a terrorist organisation.

The file notes that: "It would suggest a level of naivety if Locke did not consider that the organisation and payment for this trip to war-affected areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka was not in some way connected with the LTTE... In fairness to Locke he most likely does want to meet both sides of the conflict to get a better idea of the situation but needs to raise this delicately with his hosts."[40]

Locke - the new man

Locke claims he has long since renounced Marxism and now likens the SAL to a religious sect. He now describes himself as a"libertarian eco-socialist".[41]

Accusations by newspaper of funding from Chinese Embassy

In 1977, Locke complained to the New Zealand Truth that it was incorrect that Socialist Action was getting money for its printing from the Chinese Embassy. But Truth pointed out that it costs $50,000 a year to bring out Socialist Action, which the SAL simply did not have.

Trotskyist support for Labour

In that same year, the SAL launched a Socialists for Labour campaign, "to build support for a Labour Government in 1972 around a socialist programme . . . it expects to attract many young people into a national network of Young Socialists for a Labour Government groups." Indeed, Locke was the Chairman of the Socialists for Labour Campaign.

On May 25, 1972, the National Executive of the New Zealand Labour Party announced a proscription of the SAL, wherein a statement was made that the "structure and affiliation of the SAL is such that it offends against the constitution of the NZLP . . . it is not possible to belong to both the NZLP and the SAL." Locke responded by saying "Is it not a publicly-acknowledged fact that the SAL is an organisation of Labour Party members which explicitly supports the Party and organises socialists for this purpose?" Moreover, in defence of the SAL, it was noted that "Unlike the (Soviet aligned) Socialist Unity Party, the SAL sees itself as part of the Labour Party." What is more, within the same statement, the SAL were described as "revolutionary socialists".

On August 18, 1972, Locke addressed the Young Socialists educational conference at McLaurin Hall, Princess St., Auckland. The subject in hand was "Labour and the 1972 elections."[42]

On June 8, 1973, he made yet another address concerning the Labour Party, this time to the Victoria Socialist Front, on "The record of the Labour Government."[43]

Locke's Labour's Lost

By 1974, the Labour Party had grown tired of Locke and tried to expell him.[44]

On November 14, 1992, the Press reported that Locke had criticised Labour's Foreign policy directions paper, saying it was hypocritical for Mike Moore to be saying he had been pushing for years for a higher foreign aid level when the Labour Government had cut foreign aid to 0.25% of GDP.[45]

On November 16 1992, the New Zealand Herald reported that as the Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, the Alliance would raise foreign aid "to 0.7 per cent."[46]

Anti-apartheid activism

Locke notes that he had been involved in the first anti-apartheid marches in the country.[47]

With the earliest of these marches being in 1960, Locke must only have been a stripling of around 15-16 years of age.

On November 12-13, 1977, Locke addressed a national anti-apartheid conference in Wellington.[48]

Locke was against sporting contacts with South Africa and made his views known by protest action during the 1981 Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand.[49]

By 1973, it is obvious that Locke was still charming his comrades, as indicated by fellow SAL member, Terry Marshall, who claimed that H. T. Lee, former HART Wellington area officer, assaulted Peter Rotheram in the Victoria cafeteria on March 5 and Locke on March 7.[50]

Glowing report for socialist nuclear energy

In 1976, a letter appeared in Socialist Action submitted by Patrick Neary opposing nuclear weapons and supporting fusion power. Locke who was the Editor, replied: "Capitalism cannot be trusted with nuclear power. . . socialism . . . would step up nuclear power research in order to make it safe". [51] (A decade later, the world witnessed the greatest nuclear accident in history, when a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant in the Soviet Union exploded. It served to greatly highlight the inferior technology and poor safety standards employed under the communist system).

Support for Maori causes

Locke notes that he has supported Maori causes "from Bastion Pt. on."[52]

Bastion Pt. refers to the maori occupation of that place from 1977-9 to highight local tribal land issues.

Leftist peacenik

As already mentioned, Locke had been an anti-Vietnam war activist from 1963-1973 and, as expected, one can see a constant anti-Western - particularly anti-American - thread running through this.

In April 1970, he wrote a report for the SAL fortnightly newspaper Socialist Action , on North American antiwar activities.[53]

On June 12, 1971, Locke represented the SAL when he attended the antiwar group's national representative meeting at Victoria University.

In March 13-14, 1971, Locke was one of the conveners of the interim committee for continuing the antiwar media project, to investigate methods and techniques of publicity as well as research.

On April 28, 1971, Locke was a member of the National Liaison Committee for the April 30 Antiwar Mobilisation, but he was not able to attend the meeting to finalise the details of it, until May 29, when he was finally available to attended the NLC meeting for the New Zealand Antiwar Mobilisation. In 1971, Locke signed a petition addressed to the Wellington Council On Vietnam, requesting that after the NLC was dissolved, a new committee be elected to "continue the work of the NLC in building the July 30 mobilisation."

On June 12, 1971, Locke represented the SAL when he attended the antiwar group's national representative meeting at Victoria University.

In March 1976, Locke wrote an article for Socialist Action entitled "Open door to warships raises nuclear risks".[54]

On March 19, 1982, a letter appeared by Locke in Socialist Action, praising veteran peacenik Owen Wilkes, for his exposure of the presence of supposed foreign bases - for example, Black Birch - in New Zealand.[55]

In October 1983, Locke was one of the signatories in a letter to U.S. President Ronald Reagan, protesting at the U.S. invasion of Grenada, which saw the removal of the revolutionary communist state there. Other signatories were:

In 1986, Locke wrote an article for the Soviet aligned Socialist Unity Party newspaper Tribune concerning demonstrations against American bases in both Australia - such as Pine Gap - and New Zealand.[57]

From October 25-27, 1987 Locke was a facilitator at a workshop along with Owen Wilkes, concerning the "Militarisation of Bases in Pacific" at the National Peace Workshops meetings in Auckland. Among the decisions reached at this workshop: Support a joint campaign against U.S. bases in Australia, New Zealand and Philippines; substitute US military aid to Philippines with development aid; keep up support for Belau, Vanuatu and the Soloman Is. and stop the export of the "Mere" mortar calculator to ASEAN countries.[58]

In August 1988, Locke Wrote for Peacelink magazine in their "Guest Editorial" wherein he explaned that he intended joining a "peace brigade" to the Philippines.[59]

In early 1989 at least, Locke was spokesman for People Against Frigates arguing that the money would be better spent on housing, education and finding work for the unemployed, rather than on these warships by New Zealanders.[60]

In May 1990, The Press reported that Locke had said that the New Zealand government's decision to buy 18 jet air trainers was "a total waste of $266 million," He said New Zealand no longer needed a jet fighter squadron.[61]

In 1999, Locke, who, in his capacity as the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand defence spokesman and member of the defence and foreign affairs select committee, called for the immediate scrapping of the F16 fighter jet deal with the U.S.[62]

In 2004, Locke took part in protests against the Waihopai spy base.

Attendance of Soviet front WPC meeting

In 1987, Locke attended a World Peace Council Bureau meeting - (the World Peace Council was a Soviet front) - held in Auckland from October 17-19.[63]

Union activism

From 1978-1986, Locke worked as an active socialist and union delegate in a car factory, railway workshops and meatworks in the Wellington region. The meatworks in question were the Gear Meatworks.[64] Locke was evidently employed there until its closure in December 1981.[65]

The afore mentioned railway workshops were the Woburn Rail workshops, Wellington and he is on record as having worked there in 1983 at least.[66]

In 1982, Locke wrote about an industrial dispute at the Gear Meatworks in Socialist Action.[67]

He was also a representative on the Wellington Trades Council.

In 1985, he moved to Auckland, working in the Auckland City abattoirs from 1985-86.

In 2000, Locke was one of a bunch of leftists and unionists to sign a Socialist Workers Organisation petition labeled Freedom to Strike.

Involvement with Nicaragua cause

On March 29, 1980, Locke was elected Secretary of the Wellington Nicaragua Solidarity Committee during its founding meeting.[68]

In the years 1980-84, he was secretary of the Latin American Committee.

On July 19, 1987, Locke was a sponsor of the Nicaragua Must Survive's South Pacific Conference for Peace and Justice in Central America.[69]

Commemoration of Chilean coup anniversary

In 1982, Locke wrote a report for Socialist Action, on the Wellington commemorations of the Chilean coup which saw the removal of the extreme left-wing Salvador Allende regime.[70]

Support for enquiry into police shooting

In 1983, Locke was active in the committee formed to campaign for a public enquiry into the Paul Chase - (a former workmate) - shooting by police.[71]

Support for Philippine leftists

From 1986-1990, Locke worked full-time, as the national coordinator of the Philippines Solidarity Network, based in Auckland.[72] Reputedly, his position of national coordinator of the PSN infact extended to 1990. In November 1986, Locke was interviewed about the PSN by Lawrence Brock in the Tribune.[73]

In 1987, Locke spoke at the South Pacific Conference for Peace and Justice in Central America from July 18-19 in Wellington, concerning both the Philippines and Central America.

Around July/August 1987, he spoke at the Philippines Seminar held at the Union Parish of Cambridge along with A. Leadley and E. Panginaban.[74]

In January, 1988, Locke was in the Philippines during local elections. He was interviewed about this visit in the March 25th issue of the Maoist New Zealand Workers Communist League newspaper Unity.[75]

Also in January, 1988, Locke, probably during the same Philippines visit as above, was on a list of prospective delegates to a closed "Human Rights" conference in which he represented the PSN, held at the Philippines Parliamentary Buildings.[76]

On September 4, 1988, Locke was a speaker representing the Philippines Solidarity Network which took place at a Catholic Development Fund seminar on racism at the Knox Centre, Parnell.This was advertised in the SUP's Tribune.[77]

In 1988, Locke helped to produce the August issue of Peacelink, which featured the Philippines.[78]

In September, 1991, Locke was again in the Philippines for the International Peace Festival.[79]

In 2000, Locke, in his capacity as a Green MP - (and former national coordinator of the PSNA) - reported on his April 2000 Parliamentary visit to the controversial Bukidnon Forestry Project, on Mindanao, New Zealand's biggest aid project in the Philippines. "Matt Robson, the Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, has written to us saying that New Zealand will pull out of the decade old project." [80]

Support for East Timor leftists

From around 1985-90, Locke was involved in the support of the East Timor Solidarity Movement.

Member of left-wing aid agency

In 1989 at least, Locke was a member of the left-wing New Zealand aid agency the Council of Organisations for Relief Services Overseas, better known as CORSO.[81]

Locke has also been involved with aid groups like Trade Aid.[82]

Support for Amnesty International

Locke notes that he has helped civil liberties groups like Amnesty International.[83]

Involvement with other leftist publications

In 1991, Locke was a member of the Editorial Group of the L.C. linked journal Agenda - which provides news and resources from a "broadly socialist viewpoint".[84]

In 1992, Locke was an international correspondent to the Australian Democratic Socialist Party linked Green Left Weekly.

Ode to fallen comrade

Anderton.JPG

In November 1992, Locke wrote to the Green Left Weekly along with fellow leftists Paul Piesse, Petronella Townsend, Matt Robson and Lew Stribling, offering condolences on death of Australian Democratic Socialist Party leader Jim Percy. Said "We have known Jim since 1970. Since that time we have shared the same socialist vision and suported the same struggles against oppression. Through two decades we kept in contact with Jim and benefitted from sharing political ideas and experiences...Jim was with us in our early political development as members of the Socialist Action League in New Zealand. He was also alongside us when we formed the New Labour Party. He contributed his political ideas and experience to the NLP in a comradely and supportive way. He saw the NLP as a progressive development which could revitalise socialism in New Zealand and have a positive effect in Australia...We cannot be with you at the funeral of our comrade. However it is a maori tradition to sing at a funeral. We therefore request that when the Internationale is sung that it be recognised that the voices of Jim's comrades in New Zealand have also been raised as a final tribute to a respected fighter of the people".[85]

Manager of left-wing bookshop

From 1990-99, Locke was manager of One World Books, a left-wing non-profit bookshop in Pitt St., Auckland, specialising in social, environmental and development issues.

Party activities

In 1989, Jim Anderton broke away from the New Zealand Labour Party to form the New Labour Party. Locke, as well as several other former Socialist Action League members,were given roles in the NLP's first National Council.

Locke was first elected to parliament in 1999. He is a former New Labour Spokesperson on International Affairs, Defence and Disarmament.

NLP contact with pro-IRA group

In August, 1989, Locke was noted by the pro-IRA New Zealand publication Saoirse, as being the International Commission convener of the NLP.[86][87] In that same month, Locke wrote a letter to Saoirse, inviting suggestions from Saoirse readers for the NLP's foreign policy.[88]

Creation of the Alliance

He also stood as the NLP candidate for Mt. Eden in the 1990 election. In 1991, Locke had become the NLP National Counciller in Auckland. In December of the same year, the NLP merged with the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Mana Motuhake - (a Maori party) and the Democrats to form the Alliance Party. Locke continued as foreign affairs spokesperson for the Alliance- (a position he had held since at least July 1989). In Sepember 1992, Locke, as Alliance Party Foreign affairs spokesman, criticised the New Zealand government for attempting to get on the UN Security Council while being miserly with Foreign Aid. In the same year, the New Zealand Herald reported that the Alliance, once again with Locke as their Foreign Affairs "Spokesperson", would raise foreign aid "to 0.7 per cent".[89] Locke also stood in Mt.Eden in the 1993 election and in Owairaka in the 1996 election.

Alliance Party contact with fellow leftists

In 1993, Locke addressed a Democratic Socialist Party forum in Australia, called "Unity in Action"in which he spoke about the Alliance Party.[90]

In 1994, Locke, in his capacity as the Alliance Party Foreign Affairs spokesman, addressed the Australian Union of Radical Socialists on the U.N. as a Global police force.[91]

In 1994, the observation was made that "The flagship of the DSP's internationalist stance is it's quarterly journal LINKS. Launched at Easter 1994 in Sydney, the LINKS planning and assessment meeting was formally hosted by the DSP. Delegates attended from the Brazilian Workers Party, the Italian Party of Communist Refoundation, the U.S. Committees of Correspondence (a breakaway from the Communist Party USA), several Filipino Marxist organisations, the Sri Lankan Trotskyite Nava Sama Samaj Party, the Indonesian Peoples Committee, Fourth International and the British Marxist group Militant. Dr Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy director of Vietnam's National Environment Agency was present as was then New Zealand Alliance Foreign Affairs spokesman Keith Locke. The main discussion was on broadening the distribution of LINKS to promote the widest possible unity of Marxists from different political traditions.

Locke suddenly goes Green

By 1997 the Greens had decided to leave the Alliance. Soon after, Locke, too had left the Alliance and joined the Greens where he was made foreign affairs spokesperson. By 1999, he still held this position. This was the year he was elected to parliament - albeit as a Green Party list M.P.

In 2000, Locke had two member's bills drawn from the ballot. The first, the Intelligence and Security Committee Act Repeal Bill 2000, attempted to reform oversight of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and Government Communications Security Bureau[92]

The second, the International Treaties Bill, attempted to give greater parliamentary oversight of treaty-making.[93]

Undiminished ideological commitment

As is Locke's wont, he hasn't allowed his ministerial responsibilities to curb his enthusiasm for leftist causes which may be outside his political brief: In May 2000, Locke was a speaker along with fellow ranters Mike Treen and Joe Carolan at the Socialist Workers Organisation's Socialism 2000 hui -(hui is a Maori word for a meeting) - held at Metro College. The subject under discussion: "Is Global Capitalism Under Seige?"

In 2001, Locke had become involved in the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji.

Locke supports Pol Pot

His political enemies have referred to him during question period as "Pol Pot" or "the Honourable Member for Cambodia" due to supportive articles he wrote in 1975, while editor of Socialist Action, about the murderous Khmer Rouge regime under the headline; "Cambodia liberated: victory for humanity".[94]

Support for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Similarly, while he opposed the 2001 war in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban, he had, in 1980, written an article for Socialist Action, entitled "Why workers should support Soviet action in Afghanistan".[95]

This led to accusations of hypocrisy.

Waihopai protestor

In 2011, the Anti-Bases Campaign congratulated Steffan Browning on his election as one of the Green Party’s new MPs.

For the past decade Steffan has been ABC’s key contact in Blenheim during our marathon campaign to have the Waihopai spybase closed down. He has always represented the local Greens at our regular protests in Blenheim and at the base.

Now we’re delighted that he will be speaking at our Waihopai spybase protest on Saturday January 21st in his new capacity as a Green MP.

This continues a long tradition of active Green Party support for our campaign, dating back to when the late Rod Donald started out as an Alliance MP in the 1990s. "Rod unfailingly spoke at every Waihopai protest for the rest of his life and the just retired Keith Locke never missed speaking at one either, most recently in January 2011. The past Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and present one, Russel Norman, have also spoken at Waihopai protests. And it is particularly appropriate that Steffan, as a Blenheim person, speaks at the January 21st protest."[96]

Students for Justice in Palestine

Keith Locke and Auckland SJP banner, 2006

In the late 2000s, Keith Locke has been closely tied to radical Auckland University group, Students for Justice in Palestine.

According to anarchist website Indymedia, July 26, 2006;[97]

Yesterday around 500 people took to the streets of Auckland to oppose Israel's brutal attacks on the people of Gaza and Lebanon, which have already killed more than 300 innocent civilians. The day started with a rally in Aotea Square. Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC), Green MP Keith Locke and several others spoke condemning Israel's terrorist actions against innocents. One of the SJP speakers got an awesome chant in Arabic going amongst Arabic speaking members of the crowd.

Auckland SJP is w dominated by mainly Muslim students of Palestinian, Afghan, Indian and Pakistani extraction. It is one of the most militant groups on campus.

In September 2006 Auckland University SJP published a magazine (with students association help) entitled Intifada.[98]

Keith Locke contributed an article to the magazine in his capacity as Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesman.

Sometimes, when I support Palestinian rights, I am accused of not being “even-handed” in the Israel/Palestine dispute.

But what does “even-handed” mean when the situation on the ground is hardly “even”. There is only one occupying power (Israeli) and only one occupied people (the Palestinians).

Another contributor to the publication was Rana Khumkhor. Her article was a fictionalised account of a suicide bombing against Israel. When death becomes a sacrifice

Some extracts;

The Dead cannot ask for justice it is the duty of the living to do so. For my father and for my people the hunger of my hatred opens its mouth. Calling to me to avenge those who have fallen. Years ago my father gave his life for me. Tonight I die for Palestine.
I could start by telling you my name, but what would be the point? I’m just a face, in a sea of oppression, inflicted upon my people. For generations we suffered at the hands of the Zionists. Oh my insane rage vengeance will be ours, the clouds will clear and the sun will shine on us again. They think by uprooting our trees they can destroy our history? But our history is in our hearts and we will tell it to our children and they will tell it to their children. They cannot cut off our tongues...
Religion is what keeps us alive. It is what keeps us going, because in the mind of a freedom fighter fear of god is greater then the fear of death. The desire for paradise dominates our thoughts, reminding us that this wasn’t the way life was supposed to be...
Suddenly my train of thought comes to an abrupt halt as the bus comes to a stop I glance up to see cars lining up in front of the bus. I shrug it off as traffic. I know time is running out. I look outside the window and can barely make out my city of Jenin in the distance. I know this will be the last time I will see my home ever again. There is no turning back now, it is at the end of a person’s life when they realise how important the choices in her life are. Maybe my death won’t make a difference; maybe my people will continue to live in terror tomorrow. But maybe for just a moment, my enemies can feel what we feel when we lose a brother or a sister, a father or a mother, a daughter or a son. If they can feel what we feel for just a moment for just a fraction of a second, my death would have been worth something...
“We will be reaching Jerusalem in a few minutes “ I sit up straighter in my seat. It is now the time, I can wait no longer. I feel around in my pocket for the trigger that leads to the c4-tapped securely to my chest. I swallow the bile that had risen in my throat. I am afraid yes, I am afraid the bomb wont go off. There is no greater shame then failure and I have no desire to fail. I close my eyes imagining what it will be like. Will it hurt? Will I meet my maker upon my death? Or will I wait till the day of reckoning where we all shall be judged...
Oh lord forgive me for my sins. Forgive my father, forgive my family and most of all forgive my people. Shed some light on our oppression and free us.
I clutch the trigger in my hand. I take the time to acknowledge each person in the bus. I feel the walls in my heart closing up for I feel no pity where we received none. I look out the window for the last time. The bus is coming over a hill. There lies Jerusalem in all its glory. I close my eyes and take my last breath…. Freedom

Supporting Urewera arrestees

Locke defends "Urewera 17" arrestees, Auckland, October 27, 2007

Green MP Keith Locke has been one of Parliament's biggest supporters of the anarchists and maori radicals arrested in the October 15th 2007 police anti terror raids.

In the video to the right, Locke refers to one of the arrestees as "my good friend Rongomai Bailey."

Locke also recounts his 40 year relationship, with the leader of the arrestees, Tuhoe activist and former Communist Party of New Zealand member Tame Iti.

One of those arrested in the police raids was Omar Hamed, a young Auckland based anarchist, since 2006 heavily in Auckland University's Students for Justice in Palestine branch, with which keith Locke had had dealings.

Target of S.I.S. spying

Keith Locke was spied on by Police Special Branch and later the Security Intelligence Service, for 55 years - seven of these when he was an M.P.

This means that they were first spying on him when he was 11.

Locke had been in parliament for 7 yrs. when he first discovered he was being spied on, so he lodged a complaint. He's still rather concerned that under the rules, his file could still be opened when he leaves parliament. He claims he has done nothing criminal or illegitimate

A number of politicians, such as Hone Harawira and Jeannette Fitzsimons also discovered that the SIS had personal records on them also. Around 6,700 New Zealander's had been monitored at some stage over the past 50 years. Upon hearing this, Locke thinks there's no justification for this and stated "That is shocking..."

Locke says his files show the spies as having been "out of control". They even spied on his love life, he claims. He says they spied on him "for no good reason". [99]

Celebrating Cuban Victory at Bay of Pigs

At Wellington, April 15, 2011, New Zealanders and Latin Americans honored the "heroes and martyrs" of Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs), and celebrated the "historic victory of the Cuban people against that invasion organized, armed and financed by the United States 50 years ago".

Those attending the activity included Green Party MP Keith Locke; the secretary general of the Maritime Union, Joe Fleetwood; members of the Cuba Friendship Society in New Zealand; Cuban Ambassador Jose Luis Robaina, and Latin American diplomats.

Speakers referred to the heroism and determination shown by the Cuban people during the invasion.

The victory in Bay of Pigs has a historical relevance because it represented the first major defeat of the U.S. imperialism in Latin America, Locke said.[100]

"Cuban 5"

Auckland, 15th of June 2013. A group of Cuban residents in this city joined the political-cultural evening organized by the Cuban Friendship Association in supporting worldwide efforts for the release of the Five. Daniel Gallo Villalon, Raudell Conte Morales and Ricardo Izquierdo Pestana Ricardo Morales shared the emotional journey with union leaders, former MP Keith Locke, members of the Communist League, renowned writers, poets and artists of New Zealand, and the Ambassador and Councilor of the Cuban Embassy and the general public.

Cuban residents also took the stage to contribute songs to the evening of Cuban solidarity. Speaking on the case of the five were the Cuban Ambassador Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro, the Former MP Keith Locke and First Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

The occasion was also conducive to the sharing of a lively exchange on various issues between Cubans resident and the Ambassador and Councilor Manuel Sánchez Oliva.[101]

Keith Locke, former Green Party member of parliament, celebrated the release of René González. “People around the world should take some credit for this,” he said.[102]

Current parliamentary roles

As of 2010;

  • Member, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
  • Spokesperson, Defence
  • Spokesperson, Ethnic Affairs
  • Spokesperson, Foreign Affairs
  • Spokesperson, Human Rights
  • Spokesperson, Immigration
  • Spokesperson, Industrial Relations
  • Spokesperson, Pacific Island Affairs
  • Spokesperson, Police
  • Spokesperson, Transport (Auckland)[103]

Former parliamentary roles

  • Green Party Spokesperson, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Disarmament 1999-2002
  • Member, Officers of parliament select committee 21 December 1999-11 August 2005
  • Member, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee 9 November 2005-3 October 2008
  • Spokesperson, Civil Defence -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Customs -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Disarmament -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Overseas Development Assistance -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Security and Intelligence -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Sports, Fitness and Leisure -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Trade -2 November 2009
  • Spokesperson, Veterans' Affairs -2 November 2009
  • Associate Spokesperson, Industrial Relations -2 November 2009
  • Associate Spokesperson, Transport (Auckland) -2 November 2009[104]

Some issues he is currently pursuing

Recently, Locke has been involved in campaigns against the New Zealand Police being armed with Taser guns, and repeal of the law of sedition. He is also a supporter of New Zealand becoming republic.

References

  1. Obituary Elsie Locke, Murray Horton
  2. Green Party website 2005
  3. Canta Number 3 1965
  4. NZMR June 1969
  5. RCB August 1972 page 2
  6. http://www.greens.org.nz/people/candidates/keithlocke
  7. Socialist Action September 5 1970
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  26. [3] Locke, stock but no smoking barrel,Sunday Star Times website,March 7, 2009, accessed July 1, 2010
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  36. [13]Green MpP: SIS has been spying on me by Cliff Taylor and Jonathan Milne New Zealand Herald website February 8, 2009 accessed July 1 2010
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  38. Prime Television News June 18 2010
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  49. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Keith-Locke-MP/59546059512
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  91. Craccum Number 24 1994
  92. Intelligence and security Committee Act Repeal Bill, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand October 5 2010
  93. [http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/F3F6427D-House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trades Committee. Report on the International Treaties Bill. Copied June 10 2010
  94. Socialist Action April 25 1975 page 1
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  96. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1112/S00283/new-blenheim-green-mp-to-speak-at-waihopai-spybase-protest.htm SCOOP, New Blenheim Green MP to Speak at Waihopai Spybase Protest, Friday, 23 December 2011, 11:31 am Press Release: Anti-Bases Campaign]
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  98. [19] Intifada, September 2006, Auckland SJP
  99. TV3, June 18, 2010, story by Patrick Gower
  100. Prensa Latina, New Zealanders Celebrate Anniversary of Cuban Victory
  101. Cuba Diplomatic, CUBAN RESIDENTS ATTEND AN EVENT IN SUPPORT OF THE FIVE, Auckland, 15th of June 2013
  102. http://www.themilitant.com/2013/7726/772650.html, The Militant,Vol. 77/No. 26 July 8, 2013, Event in New Zealand draws unionists, artists, others into fight to free Cuban 5 ]
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