Julie Webb-Pullman

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Julie Webb-Pullman


Julie Webb-Pullman is a New Zealand based journalist and socialist activist.

Background

57 years old in 2010. One daughter. Pakeha. Born in Kaitaia and raised in Napier. Now living in Wellington. Holds two university degrees: Master of Public Health (1998) and Bachelor of Arts (1982). Studied international human rights law and holds Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Law (2003). Over 200 published reports, commentaries and articles in media ranging from academic journals to print magazines to news websites.

Her photo-journalism displayed in two photographic exhibitions. Currently freelance journalist for SCOOP and other independent news websites. Served as election observer in Venezuela (2008) and human rights observer in Mexico (2006-7) and Honduras (2009). Investigator of health practitioners’ professional standards in Queensland, Australia (2000-5). UNICEF country manager for Solomon Islands and Vanuatu programmes (1998-9). Extensive interactions with indigenous peoples in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and Latin America. Past union delegate for Australian public sector union. Speaks Spanish and French. [1]

Springbok Tour

In 1981 Webb-Pullman was involved with anti Springbok Tour protests in Wellington

"Rebels in Retrospect"

In 1990 Webb-Pullman was a researcher for a film on the Christchurch Progressive Youth Movement "Rebels in Retrospect"

Fiji

In the 1990s Webb-Pullman was an AVA Assistant Programme Officer in Fiji, for Unicef.

Nursing book

In 1997 "Rural and Remote Area Nursing". ....Edited by Ms. Julie Webb-Pullman, was published.

CISLAC connection

In 2001, "Cuban Five: Retrial or appeal?" was written by Julie Webb-Pullman for Democratic Socialist Party front CISLAC.

Cuban 5

Julie Webb-Pullman and Lynda Hansen wrote an article for Green Left Weekly May 29, 2002 issue, "Campaign launched for `political prisoners'."

Latin American solidarity activists here have combined forces to launch a campaign to free five Cubans imprisoned in the United States on espionage charges. The Miami Five, as they have come to be known, infiltrated and monitored far-right groups in Miami who were plotting terrorist actions against Cuban civilians and shared this information with US authorities. They were convicted in June 2001 after a politically charged trial in which the US government claimed that they had engaged in espionage against US military bases and were a threat to national security. Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo received two life sentences plus 80 months, Ramon Labanino Salazar was sentenced to life, Rene Gonzalez Sehweret got 15 years' imprisonment, Fernando Gonzalez Llort got 19 years' and Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez was sentenced to life plus two additional sentences of five years' and eight months'.

Cuban 5 Committee

Thirty people attended a public meeting on September 12, 2002 to mark the fourth year since five Cubans were arrested in Miami and convicted in June 2001 for espionage. They had been involved in monitoring right-wing anti-Cuba terrorist groups in Miami.

The meeting began with entertainment from the Salvadorean Dance Group and a sizzling performance from Latin dance duo Night Moves. Rafael Pacheco and Julie Webb-Pullman from the Brisbane Cuba Five Committee presented an update on the international campaign to free the five men. [2]

NZ films in Cuba

February 2004, the Latin America Strategy Fund provided financial support for a New Zealand film festival in Havana as part of Si! Cubanz Filmz, a film festival exchange project organised by New Zealander Julie Webb-Pullman in conjunction with ICAIC (the Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematograficos – the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry). The New Zealand films screened (subtitled in Spanish) were The Price of Milk, Don’t Let it Get You, Sleeping Dogs, Utu, Ngati and Once were Warriors. The Latin America Strategy Fund supported the initiative through a contribution to the costs of subtitling.

Cuba

Webb-Pullman spent much of 2005 in Havana, Cuba, where she "edits, revises and writes for Prensa Latina in Havana". Prensa Latina is the Cuban state news agency.[3]

Back in NZ

In 2005 Julie Webb-Pullman lived partially in New Zealand.

Press Council complaint

In 2005 Julie Webb-Pullman of Wellington, raised a series of complaints to the Press Council arising from two articles published in the Lifestyle and Leisure section of The New Zealand Herald on 29 September and 30 November 2004 and a film review published on 18 December. All were by Peter Calder and touched on aspects of life in Cuba. The Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand H. E. Miguel Ramirez also took issue on several points in a letter to the Deputy Editor, but did not complain to the Press Council. His letter was forwarded to the Council by Ms Webb-Pullman but is not discussed in this adjudication.

Oaxaca clinic project

In 2006 A successful meeting was held in Wellington on 11th April to discuss support for a hospital/clinic project in the Lacandon Jungle zone, with a subcommittee set up to look at fundraising. Julie Webb-Pullman, an Australian freelance writer who has been working in Mexico, Guatemala and recently with Prensa Latina (Cuba) outlined the situation in Chiapas, Mexico. The first organising meeting was to be held 6 to 7.30pm 15th May 128 Abel Smith St., Wellington.

The hospital project is in association with the Chiapas Support Committee based in San Francisco, who together with an Italian solidarity group, had already raised most of the funds for the pharmaceutical warehouse being built now. The plan was to build a hospital for women to give birth in that will have facilities for all eventualities eg caesareans, and to purchase an emergency vehicle. The hospital was to be located in 'La Garrucha' , headquarters for the Zapatista Autonomous Municipality of Francisco Gomez, in the Lacandon jungle, and the "Z's will do the actual work of building, providing the labour".

Julie Webb-Pullman had covered the first week of the Zapatista´s Other Campaign in Mexico earlier that year, and whilst doing so became aware of the total lack of health care facilities in the Lacandon Jungle zone. The Red Cross did have a clinic with an ambulance, but pulled out in February last year to go to Iraq, leaving the area with absolutely no services and no emergency vehicle. Since then several women have died in childbirth due to the lack of care and an emergency vehicle to transport them if complications arise during the birth. Although the Mexican Government agreed to build a hospital as part of the San Andres accords, they never did, and the Zapatistas are trying to develop services themselves.

As Commandante Ramona died in the first week of the campaign, Webb-Pullman proposed a project to the communities to raise funds for a hospital/clinic/emergency vehicle in the neediest zone, to be named for Ramona. The communities are keen on this, and are currently deciding what to call the project and where the facility is most needed. They would obviously prefer a hospital, but a clinic with an emergency vehicle would be most welcome!!

Webb-Pullman hopes to raise the funds in NZ and Australia, possibly with the assistance of a couple of the big unions. There are a whole lot of options, not the least of which is getting some brigades into the jungle to see the situation, and then return home and assist with getting the word out. She emphasis's that the Z´s don´t accept support from any government, whether good or bad, so it has to be solidarity fundraising only. Julie expects to return to the Lacandon jungle in May to meet the community where the hospital will be, and if anyone else would like to accompany her, they would be welcome!!

They desperately need health care personnel immediately, like doctors, dentists and nurses, to do clinics. They can provide interpreters from Mayan to Spanish, but if there are health care practitioners interested in doing a month´s solidarity work, then English-Spanish interpreters could also be arranged, but Spanish speakers would obviously fare best!! Any health care is better than none at all, which is the current situation.

"The Mad Hatter’s PRI Party"

On 30 October 2006 Stuff published Julie Webb-Pullman: "The Mad Hatter’s PRI Party"

If memorial events for murdered Mexican human rights lawyer Digna Ochoa last weekend marked a melding of Mexico’s past and present, the future was forged this week, as Oaxaca unravelled in events of unrivalled insanity.
Whilst last Friday, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), San Salvador Atenco’s Peoples’ Front in Defence of the Land (FPDT), and the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) made a historic pledge of mutual support to fight for the liberation of political prisoners and create a united front against repressive municipal, state and federal authorities, this Friday saw those very state and federal authorities unleashing an unprecedented (in Oaxaca at least) round of repression, killing at least four and injuring scores more, in the name of restoring public order.

Oaxaca

In 2006 Webb-Pullman spent most of her time moving between Cuba and Mexico.

Much of her time was spent in the southern state of Oaxaca covering the anarchist inspired rioting that resulted in several deaths.

Webb-Pullman filed a photo-essay for the Australian Democratic Socialist Party's Green Left Weekly on the troubles.

In January 2007 Julie Webb-Pullman was a member of the CCIODH in Oaxaca. The Preliminary Report of the Commission is expected to be released in Spanish in late February, and in English shortly thereafter.

Zapatistas

In mid 2006 Jenny Bell also traveled to meet the Zapatistas in Chiapas, with Tim Bailey and Julie Webb-Pullman.

At the beginning of January 2007 Webb-Pullman attended a several thousand strong Zapatista gathering or "encuentro" in Oventik, Chiapas.[4]

In August 2007 she covered the Second Zapatista Intergalactica-a huge international gathering of anarchists and indigenous revolutionaries.

Zapatista exhibition

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"Dignity in Resistance" is an exhibition of photographs taken in Zapatista Communities 2006-7 by [Jenny Bell|Jen Bell, Julie Webb-Pullman, and Julien, that will be on display in Poneke/Wellington, from Monday 14 April, 2008.

In 1994 the Zapatista’s said “Enough!!” and stood up to attempts to further dispossess them of their indigenous lands and culture. Within days of the 1 January armed uprising, a peace deal was brokered, since when they committed to pursue a peaceful path, constructing from below and to the left a “world in which many worlds fit”. Despite their public commitment to peace and inclusion, they have suffered, and continue to suffer, ongoing repression and attack from military and paramilitary alike.

Through the eye of the camera, this exhibition captures rare glimpses of largely unknown aspects of Zapatista life – at home, at church, at school, in the fields and the kitchens, and sharing their struggles and achievements at ‘Encuentros’, as well as the more familiar protests in the streets.

The photos have been selected for the strength, dignity, humanity and spirit of the subjects and their environment, in their struggle not only to survive, but to build a better world.

Place: Thistle Gallery, Cnr Cuba and Arthur Streets, Wellington.[5]"

"Urewera 17"

Webb-Pullman returned to New Zealand just in time for the October 15th 2007 anti terror raids, in which 17 anarchists and maori radicals led by Tame Iti were accused of attending quasi-military training camps in the Urewera Mountains.

As the news of the 17 arrests broke, Webb-Pullman began churning out articles in defence of her arrested comrades.

Several of those jailed were active in the Wellington Zapatista Support Group-an organisation Webb-Pullman is herself heavily involved in.

Welcoming Cuban Ambassador

In November 2007, Webb-Pullman wrote an article for STUFF , welcoming the new Cuban ambassador to New Zealand.[6]

All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but there is no danger of a dull José - it is not just our voracious appetite for Cuban salsa and music that has him opening the first Cuban Embassy in our country – he also intends to share Cuban art with us, in addition to some 40 subtitled films he brought with him!

Once this show gets on the road Cuba may lose a few tourists – why leave town when you can see his country right here – especially when, as he appreciatively pointed out, we already live in one of most beautiful cities in the world!! Salud, Senor Robaina Garcia - y Bienvenidos!

Close ties

Webb-Pullman enjoys close ties to Cuba's New Zealand ambassador.

Cuba.JPG
Cuba2.JPG

From Latin American Solidarity Committee Minutes, meeting Sunday 9th December 2007, 272 Ohiro Road, Wellington. 5pm

Present: Paul Bruce, Nicole Benkhert, Lucia Zanmonti, Mercedes Gazaron, Lorena Gonzales, Ben Robinson, Carla Batista, Melissa, Metien, Neil, Ron Apologies: Jorge Hererra, Rolando Olmedo, Toni Carson, Michelle Campbell Minute Taker: Julie Webb-Pullman.

Cuban Embassy – discussed opening of Cuban Embassy in NZ, how LAC can work with them. Decided to invite the new Ambassador and his wife to a social event at Havana Bar in the next two weeks, to welcome them and explain what LAC does, investigate ways of working together. Carla said her father is very interested in meeting them, helping set up a Cuban Friendship Society here, but he is only in NZ for a few months more.

Some discussion about LAC as umbrella for other groups such as Zapatista Support Group, Cuba Friendship Society, danger of spreading too thinly. Needs more discussion in January/after speaking with Ambassador. Action: JWP to contact Ambassador to find which day suits him for welcome, notify LAC list.

NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Circa 2009, the list of Initiating Members and Supporters of the New Zealand Committee to Free the Cuban Five, included Julie Webb-Pullman, Journalist, Wellington.[7]

US Embassy letter/Cuban 5

On 6 April 2009 US Embassy in Wellington refused to accept a hand delivered letter from MPs, City Councillors, trade unionists, church leaders,academics and other New Zealanders calling on the US Government not to oppose the petition to the US Supreme Court for the release of the Cuban 5.

An attempt to deliver the letter was made by Wellington City Councillor, Ray Ahipene-Mercer and Secretary of the Weliington Cuba Friendship Society Gillian Magee but US Embassy Guards said they would not accept a hand delivered letter.[8]

Dear Attorney General Holder
We, the undersigned New Zealanders are writing this letter to you on the eve of the US Government submitting a brief in response to the 30 January 09 petition to the Supreme Court and the twelve separate amicus curiae briefs that were filed in the US Supreme Court on 6 March 2009 regarding the unjust incarceration of five Cuban citizens - Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, René González Sehweret, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort - known as the Cuban 5.
We urge the United States Government to acknowledge that a complete miscarriage of justice has taken place regarding the Cuban 5 and to support, rather than oppose, a review of the conviction by the Supreme Court. We urge you to immediately release the Cuban 5.

Signatories included Julie Webb-Pullman.

Venezuela

In late 2008 Webb-Pullman was in Caracas covering the Venezuelan elections.[9]

Kia Ora Gaza

Viva Palestina founder George Galloway (centre) congratulates the Kia Ora Gaza team for their significant contribution to the success of the international aid convoy to Gaza. From left: Roger Fowler, Julie Webb-Pullman, Pat O'Dea, Hone Fowler, Mousa Taher and Chris van Ryn

In October 2010, a six-person Kia Ora Gaza team was part of the huge Gaza aid convoy that successfully broke Israel’s blockade a few days ago to deliver desperately-needed medical supplies along with a message of international solidarity.

“Our Kiwi volunteers are authentic heros who put their bodies on the line to help people in need on the other side of the world,” said Grant Morgan, co-organiser of Kia Ora Gaza.

“We are celebrating their historic victory with a welcome home ceremony upon their arrival at the airport. We invite all supporters of Kia Ora Gaza to join in this special occasion.”

“We hope a big crowd will turn out to honour Roger Fowler, Chris van Ryn, Julie Webb-Pullman, Pat O'Dea, Mousa Taher and Hone Fowler, our six courageous Kiwis returning from Gaza.”[10]

Meeting Hamas

On 22 Oct 2010 in Gaza City, at a lunch reception hosted by Hamas, Julie Webb-Pullman and British woman Pippa Bartolotti found ourselves invited to have a sit-down meeting with Gaza President Ismail Haniya and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar.[11]

Shortly before we had complained to women organisers of the event that only men had been allowed into the line to greet the Gazan dignitaries, pointing out that we had both also raised funds, driven the vehicles, and participated equally in the convoy bringing the aid to the stricken Gazan people.

Within minutes, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar came over to us, personally welcomed us to Gaza and expressed his thanks for all we have done. After discussing the situation and participation of women in Gazan life and politics, and assuring us that there was no intention to exclude women from the gretting process, Mr Zahar asked if we would like to meet with the President. Women began lining up to greet him, and Mr Zahar suggested to me that we sit down somewhere a bit quieter to talk.

The President then joined us at the table, and we spent the next 15 minutes discussing the situation in Gaza, the importance of solidarity such as the Viva Palestina convoys, and informing them about New Zealand and British solidarity efforts in support of the Palestinian cause. One of the women from the Malaysian delegation joined us, and discussed her country's efforts.

References