Joe Fleetwood is General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand.
New Zealand delegates Bill Andersen, Mike Williams, Joe Fleetwood and Rachael Goddard attended the Australian Maritime Unionist Socialist Activities Association and Socialist Party of Aotearoa Conference held 18 – 20 February 2003, at St. George Basin, Australia.
According to Rachael Goddard;
- This conference was a great education for the twenty comrades that attended from around Australia and New Zealand.
- Part of educating ourselves towards building a strong, militant and democratic union was to ask your self at the end of the seminar “what do you intend to do differently after the seminar than before the seminar?”
- We should aim to make the minority accountable, by exposing discrimination and getting law changes.
- Global Capitalism is dominant in our world today, but it has not always existed. It came after the feudal system, and before that the slave system and previous primitive communal system, and one day the current system will change too.
- Most Socialists would agree we need the majority on side to get the changes.
The Seminar had an "immediate gain" in the setup of a Tasman Shipping Campaign.
On "behalf of my fellow Kiwis" Rachael Goddard thankedd the Wellington Branch for the nominations, the Maritime Union of Australia for the Training School facilities, the Workers Institute of Scientific Socialism, the Maritime Unionist Socialist Activities Association of Australia and the Socialist Party of Aotearoa for the opportunity.
- WORKERS OF THE WORLD MUST UNITE!
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.
- 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 Joe Fleetwood, Wellington Seafarers Branch Secretary, Maritime Union of New Zealand.
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.