Sue Bradford

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Sue Bradford


Sue Bradford served as a Member of Parliament in New Zealand representing the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from 1999 to 2009.

Background

Grew up in Mt Albert. Father Dick Matthews was a biology Professor, mother was secondary school teacher from USA. After getting degree in politics, history & English, she passed a post-graduate diploma in journalism from Canterbury University. First job was as a journalist with NZPA. She then got pregnant with twins and became a solo mother.

At age 14 Sue Matthews attended an American school at the start of Vietnam War. Her father later Professor emeritus of microbiology at Auckland University went to study in Madison, Wisconsin. Attended meetings against war and became committed from there. On her return to NZ she was arrested protesting the tour. [1] According to Metro (May 93) she has spent 3 nights in prison and has done 200 hours community service.

While at Auckland Girls Grammar School, she openly carried around Mao's "Little Red Book", for which she was threatened with expulsion. She attended Peace Movement workshops & joined the Progressive Youth Movement. Outside school hours she read Marx & Lenin and attended Communist Party of New Zealand run study groups. Stated that she never thought that you could transplant communism from one country into another and since the age of 17 "I've become very antagonistic and unhappy about the totalitarianism of communist beliefs and the nature of totalitarian societies."

In 1969 she started at Auckland University at age 16, doing political studies and history.

She briefly joined Communist Party of New Zealand at age 18.

In the early 2000s, Bradford was Chairperson, Auckland People's Centre; Founder and Trustee, Auckland Region Employment Resource Centre; Trustee, Kotare Trust; National Co-ordinating Committee, Association of NGOs of Aotearoa.

SIS file

As seasoned political activists, Green MPs Sue Bradford and Catherine Delahunty always assumed the SIS was watching but they never suspected the spying began when they were teenagers.

From Stuff;

Sueww.jpg
In April 1968, Sue Bradford was 15, a fresh-faced sixth-former at Auckland Girls' Grammar and also, apparently, a potential national security threat.
She came to the spooks' attention when her name appeared on a mailing list for the Progressive Youth Movement, which was linked to the Communist Party.
The extent of the spying was discovered when the women, now Green MPs, asked for their SIS records after colleague Keith Locke, watched from age 11 because of his parents' communist views, found his file continued for seven years after he became an MP.
The SIS has since been ordered to cease spying on subjects if they become MPs, unless there are clear national security concerns and the Speaker agrees.

Ms Bradford's file ends in March 1999, the year she entered Parliament, and Ms Delahunty's finishes in March 2002, the year she sought selection for the Greens.
Ms Bradford who had a lengthy and confrontational history as an unemployed rights' activist was not surprised she had a file, but was curious it ended when it did.
"I'm very suspicious about the way the file just chops off at 1999, especially as I was very involved in the organisation of the demonstrations at Apec in late '99."
She found it odd there was little mention of her involvement in the 1981 Springbok tour protests and other movements, although it was possible that information was held by police.[2]

Resistance Bookshop

1969 Sept./Oct., one of people who moved into 436 Queen St to renovate it and open the Auckland Resistance Bookshop.

Education

Early '70s Masters Degree in Chinese from Auckland University.

1974 - attended Canterbury University to do the one-year postgraduate journalism course.

March for reproductive rights

A march for reproductive rights is being held 5 December 2018 at 12:30pm. The march is being organised by Organise Aotearoa, ALRANZ, the Victoria University Feminist Organisation, and the Feminist Law Society.

Speakers will include Jan Logie from the Green Party, Priyanca Radhakrishnan from the Labour Party, long time women’s-rights advocate Sue Bradford, and sex workers rights advocate Dame Catherine Healy.

“The state of abortion rights in New Zealand is embarrassing,” says Organise Aotearoa spokesperson Kate McIntyre. “The law has been stuck in a state of unacceptable compromise since 1977, and has caused significant stress and grief for those seeking abortions.”[3]

China one

1970s late, as student of Chinese language won student-exchange scholarship to study same in China for 6 months."I saw it was a totalitarian state with really bad oppression of people." She had been a member of the PYM. [Press 8 June 1989]

According to ex boyfriend Greg Newbold Matthews went to China about 73 or 74, meant to stay a year but left early. Hated barracks and regimentation.

Meeting Bill

1979 - New Years Eve, Matthews Bill Bradford at the Russell Pub. He was at time working in Bay of Islands as a fisherman. He had grown up on a farm near Kawhia and left school after the 6th form to work as a shepherd, but read politics & philosophy and had spent a lot of time traveling abroad."

1980, May - married Bill Bradford.

China two

1981 - returned from a study trip to China and became involved in anti-Springbok Tour movement. She was again arrested.

China Society

1989 July, member NZ-China Friendship Society. Member of Asian Students Centre at Auckland University. [4]

WCL

1981, on returning from China, Bradford became a member of the Workers Communist League. [5]

1989 member WCL. [6]

Circa 1990, left WCL after its dissolution [Metro, May 1993]. Bradford briefly joined the replacement organisation Left Currents.

Warwick Taylor said of her "I think she's a member of the Left Currents group. She would be someone we [the People's Party] could trust."

Direct action

When she was 6 months pregnant she & her small "direct action" group in association with the co-ordinators of the Mobilisation Against the Springbok Tour, developed strategies to divert police by causing disruption across Auckland. Raided the Waiatarua TV transmitter & pushed enough keys to interrupt 20 minutes transmission of the 1st test. On the day of the 2nd test the group burst onto Auckland Airport & occupied a commercial airport for 45 minutes. On the last day of the tour she was 1 of a group of 30 (including C.K. Stead) who went over an Auckland Airport security fence and lay on the tarmac. [7]

Unemployed activism

Circa 1982 one of group who set up Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre.[8]

1987, August 28, issue of Unity gives plug for Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre, PO Box 68-558, Newton, Auck - Sue Bradford spokesperson. Also mentioned: Wellington Unemployed Workers Union, 166 Victoria St, Wellington.

1988-89, national co-ordinator & spokeswoman for Unemployment Beneficiaries Movement of NZ (Te Roopu Rawakore o Aotearoa). "Her main goals have been to unify the many unemployed centres around the country, to give the unemployed a national voice and to develop links with other organisations, such as unions" . The job is funded by a grant from the Roy McKenzie Foundation, which was due to run out at end of June 1989. She has an unemployed husband and four children.[9]

The N.Z.Herald of 24th December 1988 had a feature on her at the time she was elected as National Co-ordinator of the Unemployed and Beneficiaries Union. The item was headed 'Vocal activist for the jobless' and contained the following :-

'During the last general election she was active in Left Alternative....Part of her background : helped start Auckland's first women's lib group. Was in the Progressive Youth Movement opposing Viet Nam..Very sympathetic to Chinese communism. Has an M.A. in Chinese.....In 1980-81 she was on a scholarship in Peking for six months. Married to Bill Bradford.'

1988 June 2, criticised government's new youth support package as an "attack on young people's independence and dignity."

1988 July 25, interviewed in Socialist Unity Party's Tribune on the unemployed job search tour.

1988 Oct. 10-Nov. 2, one of organisers & speakers for March Against Unemployment in North Island.

1988, member of March Against Unemployment Policy committee.[10]

1989 National Co-ordinator Te Roopu Rawakore

1989 June 26, interviewed in Tribune about the proposed "work for dole" scheme. "We [Te Roopu Rawakore] have asked the CTU to support this campaign, as work for the dole is an issue which affects people stilll in work as much as it harms unemployed people."

1989 July 6, Press reported he was a spokesman for the National Unemployed and Beneficiaries Movement.

1990 April, Prominent in organising a AUWRC barricade of the Auck Treasury offices.[11]

1990 April 19, attended Auck District CTU conference. Co-ordinator of the Auck Unemployed Rights Centre. Stated that the unemployed movement is organising a march on Parliament in July, focusing on "unity and protection of the standard of living" of all working people".

1990 April 26, chaired an Auckland meeting where reps from 18 different organisations were present. Planned two demos to protest Government benefit cuts.[12]

1990 July, spoke at Wellington unemployed march where 1000 turned up. Reported in July 16 Tribune.

1990 July, Prominent in organising a AUWRC C occupation of Business Roundtable Offices in Wgtn. [13]

1991 - member Auckland CTU executive, Unemployed Workers.

1991 Feb 1, prominent at Auck march against benefit cuts at which there was big red CPNZ banner "Build a United Front of Labour - Communist Party" and many smaller red flags. Doug McCallum was protest organiser, Frank Clarke spoke to crowd, also there was Bill Andersen.

1991 Feb. 12, spokeswoman for the Unemployed Workers Rights Centre. "She warned that the legislation [Finance Bill No 2] would ultimately kill people." to the Parliamentary committee on social services.

1991 May, Prominent in organising a AUWRC demo outside Auckland National Party offices. [14]

1991 May, prominent in organising a AUWRC gatecrash of economics seminar at the Hyatt ballroom where Rob Storey was delivering a speech on behalf of Ruth Richardson. [15]

1991 May, prominent in organising a AUWRC soup kitchen outside the Aotea Centre as patrons arrived for the opening night of Les Miserables. [16]

1991 Nov, prominent in organising a AUWRC trespass onto the lawn of Sir Michael Fay's Mission Bay mansion where a plastic and bamboo shanty is erected.[17]

1991 Nov. 28, her and husband Bill, 2 of 3 arrested at Unemployed Workers Union march in Auck, at which flew red & Maori Marxist flags, also attended by skinheads (including Emily Govorko). Bradfords spent weekend in jail, represented by Auckland civil liberties lawyer Colin Amery. Paul Blair also grizzling about arrest on radio 29th.

1992 Feb, prominent in organising a AUWRC street theatre outside PMs home in Tinakori Road. [18]

1992 April, prominent in organising a AUWRC demo outside an economics conference at the Pan Pacific and outside the 1ZB studios where Jim Bolger was on talkback radio. [19]

1992 Aug., prominent in organising a AUWRC demo outside the Downtown Convention Centre where National was holding annual Conference. [20]

1993, Co-ordinator Auckland Peoples Centre.

1993, May Metro reported she is considering standing for AUWRC in election. "A parliamentary seat has long been a personal ambition."

1993 - one of 8 AUWRC candidates standing in General Election-Henderson.

28th March, 1994 - arrested for trespass at Reserve Bank, Wellington with 11 others. Protesting that Reserve Bank should be helping solve unemployment problem. Organised by Aoteoroa Network of Unemployed & Beneficiaries. [21]

13th March, 1995 The Community Funding Agency has underspent its budget last year by $3 million. It says most of the money was earmarked for delayed projects and would be carried over into the new financial year.

Circa 1996, veteran unemployed rights campaigner Sue Bradford was struck twice in the face during a protest outside the ACT NZ political rally in Auckland. The attack came as chanting protesters of the Counter ACT group accused Donna Awatere Huata of selling her people out. [22]

1996, Sue Bradford of the Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre is a strong advocate of the UBI scheme. She told the New Zealand Herald that the UBI would "put an end to welfare dependency, mass unemployment and means testing. It would give people more choice and lead to a more harmonious, creative society ..." [23]

NLP

1989 - on New Labour Party National Council, Auckland.

1989 June 4, elected Vice-President NLP. "We have got a council and executive that truly represent the members of this party - women, unemployed, beneficiaries, low-paid workers and Maoris. If we manage to keep up the momentum we have started, we'll be the government in a much shorter time than we ever imagined." she said in her closing speech to the NLP conference. "She felt she was politically more left-wing than the body of the party, but was determined not to compromise on issues that were important to her. These were feminist issues, such as equal-gender representation, pay equity & abortion, as well as the concerns of the unemployed such as jobs for all at award rates." [24].

1990 April, resigned from the NLP as she saw a "definite move to the right".

Green Party one

1990 Immediately after leaving NLP joined Greens - for 4 months.

1990 Sept 9, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand candidate for Auckland Central, missed out on selection.

Independent

1990 Oct., stood as an independent in Auckland Central for election.[25]

Anti Gulf War

1991, Jan. 17, Bradford, Joyce Brown and Mark Allen leading sit-in at US Consulate in Auckland after Gulf War breaks out.

Radical Society

11th August 1992 - addressed Auckland University Radical Society on ousting National Government.[26]

NZMR interview

1992 Sept./Oct., interviewed in New Zealand Monthly Review by Steven Cowan. "Bradford sees the need for another political party that can fight elections. She seems less sure though about what sort of party it would be Would it be a socialist party? "Well, I've given up on isms! I'm wary of defining myself. But, the two forces that have had the most influence on me have been socialism and feminism." "She denies that some of the Auckland unemployed movement's activities have alienated it from the general public. She considers office occupations and raiding private homes as a legitimate political act." "But how does raiding an office help to build a movement?" "Well, someone has to make a stand and say that enough is enough."

BOOF/Peoples Assembly

1992, November 19, attended meeting at WEA Centre in Christchurch to start a conference "Building for Real Political Change", run by the Campaign for People's Sovereignty. Bradford spoke at the meeting.

Nov. 27, 1993 - attended Wellington Peoples Assembly . Spoke about Peoples Charter.[27]

1993 - member National Organising Group (NOG) for Peoples Assembly for Building Our Own Futures Project. [28]

1994 - contact for ANUB in Common Ground Vol 1 No 1, ANUB part of BOOF,. Contact address is Box 3813 Auckland.

1994 - helped write book on Peoples Assembly and BOOF Project.

1994 - Karen & Sue at AUWRC Contacts for People Centred Economic Development Training Course (EDT) in Common Ground Vol 1 No 1, part of BOOF. Sending for material from Highlander School in Tennessee (whom we see as a pioneer of what we'd like to achieve in Aoteoroa)

May 1998 - contributor to Peoples Network's Common Ground.

Kotare

Kotare training, Bradford right

Oct. 1995 - attended Kotare Trust AGM at Otimai Camp, West Auckland, confirmed as trustee. From Wellsford. [29]

2002 Groups in which Sue Bradford had a key involvement include the Kotare Trust (Research & Education for Social Change), the Auckland Region Employment Resource Centre, COMMACT Aotearoa (community economic development) and the Auckland Community Childcare Association.

2005 - Kotare current Trustees are: Tim Howard (Whangarei) Chair, Sue Bradford (Wellsford) deputy Chair, Quentin Jukes, Noelene Landrigan (Wellsford), Kate Abel (Opotiki), Gordon Jackman (Gisborne) Kay Robin, Ngai Tamanuhiri (Manutuke), Tali Williams (Wellington) and Sue Berman (Waitakere).

CHOGM Action Coalition

April 1996, age 43, from Wellsford, member of CHOGM Action Coalition on trial in Auckland for assaulting police after incidents in Auckland.[30]

Green Party two

In 1998 Bradford rejoined the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, after the party split with the Alliance, and after she made a short bid for the Auckland mayoralty, collecting nearly 4000 votes. She said the Green Party was her natural home.

The same year she was Green Party candidate for the Auckland Mayoralty.

Advice from radicals

During her valedictory speech in Parliament Sue Bradford mentioned the role beneficiary advocacy groups, had played in policy advice;

I should particularly like to thank people like Kay Brereton, Tony McGurk, Quentin Jukes, Graham Howell and Paul Blair for the way in which you have kept in touch, supported and advised me on how best to take the struggle for jobs and a living wage for all into this place of power.[31]

Melbourne protests

Sept. 2000 attended S11 protests in Melbourne against World Economic Forum meeting.

Jobs Research Trust

2001 - thankedd for support on homepage Jobs Research Trust Palmerston North, with Ian Ritchie.

Ritchie email

2002 - Sue Bradford was sent Ian Ritchie's email to list ex WCL and neo Maoists opposing sanctions on Iraq "Oppose the sanctions!"

It is time to send a letter to Helen Clarke to oppose the sanctions which are attached to the Working Towards Employment Plan for people on the DPB. If you missed the submission date then this is your opportunity to persuade the Government to remove the sanctions. Please find a moment in your day to send a letter to Helen Clarke. It would be perfectly fine to send a personal letter if you are not attached to an organisation.

"Globalisation or Localisation"

From: Bruce Dyer / Harideva

To: ProutMail Sent: Monday, 21 May 2001 17:07

Please find below a report on the "Globalisation or Localisation" conference held in Wellington on the 3rd March, together with an order form for the proceedings of the conference.

Report on the "Globalisation or Localisation - reclaiming the economy for the community" conference held at Tapu Te Ranga marae, Wellington 3rd March 2001.

150 people representing more than 40 NGOs attended the Saturday conference.
Edward Goldsmith; director of the International Forum on Globalisation, and Sue Bradford long time activist and a Green MP, began with a strong attack on the phenomenon of economic globalisation. Their presentations espoused a positive note which was reflected in Sue declaring her "heartfelt belief that what we are sharing in here is possibly the beginnings of the next true Internationale, one which has the hope of achieving world-wide revolutionary change without going backwards into feudalism or totalitarianism."

(The Internationale, refers to the body of Communist Party representatives who met annually in the early years of the last century to try to realise their dream of a world without exploitation or poverty.) Sue claimed the people's right for "honourable dissent" against exploitation and also asked why practically all New Zealand banks are foreign-owned.

Workers Charter conference

Little.JPG

Matt McCarten, John Minto and Socialist Worker hosted a “Workers Charter” meeting Saturday October 11 2006, in Auckland.

The Workers Charter Movement was the embryo of a new left wing political party, modeled on the successful British “Respect” coalition and the less successful Australian Socialist Alliance. It was also a co-ordinating body for militant union trade union activity. The “movement” published a “Workers Charter” newspaper.

This Saturday, 7th October, starts 11am

Auckland Trades Hall 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn

11 – 11.10am Welcome from chair (Daphne Lawless).
11.10am – 12.30pm – Workers Charter, a paper for the movement – introduced by John Minto (editorial) & Bronwyn Summers (financial).
1.30 – 3pm – Unions in the 21st century – intro by Laila Harre (NDU), Andrew Little (EPMU), Sue Bradford (Green MP), Mengzhu (Radical Youth) and Joe Carolan (unionist & socialist).
3.15 – 4pm – Human Rights for Workers campaign – introduced by Vaughan Gunson (unionist & socialist) and Eliana Darroch (Radical Youth).
4pm – 4.30 pm – Graham Matthews, Australian unionist.
4.30 – 4.45pm – election of expanded, national editorial board of Workers Charter paper.
4.45 – 5.30pm – Climaction Day (4 November) to build a campaign for

System Change, Not Climate Change. Speaker(s) to be confirmed.

Graham Matthews was a National Committee member of Australia’s largest Marxist-Leninist organisation, the Democratic Socialist Perspective. He had also been in recent years, NSW and Victorian convener for the Socialist Alliance.

Daphne Lawless, Vaughan Gunson and Joe Carolan were all members of NZ’s largest Trotskyite group, Socialist Worker, which effectively has sister party ties to the DSP and Socialist Alliance.

It was significant that Green Party MP Sue Bradford supported the meeting. When Bradford was in the Workers Communist League, her group had very close ties to the DSP’s fore-runner, the Socialist Workers Party.

Laila Harre and Andrew Little also participated. Harre as head of the Socialist Party of Aotearoa dominated, NDU, (which heavily backed the Workers Charter) has a long history of involvement with the far left and is a close friend and business partner of the Green’s Russel Norman.

Little, head of the Engineers Union, had strongly supported the NDU’s recent industrial battle with Progressive Enterprise.[32]

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 Sue Bradford, Green Party MP.[33]

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.[34]

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; Sue Bradford, Green Party MP

Mana Party launch

At the launch of the Mana Party, in 2011, on the stage with Hone Harawira to express their solidarity and support were some of the most well-known names from the left, union, Maori rights and social justice movements. They included Annette Sykes (Ngati Pikiao, lawyer and activist), Matt McCarten (general secretary of Unite Union), John Minto (leader of the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s and spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland), Sue Bradford (unemployed workers rights leader in the 1980s and 1990s and former Green Party MP), Syd Keepa (Maori vice-president of the Council of Trade Unions), Nandor Tanczos (former Green MP), Margaret Mutu (Ngāti Kahu’s chief negotiator, the chairperson of Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu and the professor of Māori Studies at Auckland University). Most groups that describe themselves as socialist, such as Socialist Aotearoa, the Workers Party, Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Organisation, have also generally greeted the emergence of this new party positively.[35]

External links

References

  1. [Doledrums, July 89]
  2. Spooks spied on high school 'revolutionaries' STUFF, BY MARTIN KAY Last updated 05:00 23/06/2009
  3. [1]
  4. [Doledrums, July 89].
  5. [Metro, May 1993]
  6. [CPNZ's PV, 10 July 1989]
  7. [Metro, May 93]
  8. [Nelson Evening Mail, 12 June 1989]
  9. [Nelson Evening Mail, 12 June 1989]
  10. DD 84 Sep 88
  11. [Metro, May 93]
  12. [PV, 30 April 90]
  13. [Metro, May 93]
  14. [Metro, May 93]
  15. [Metro, May 93]
  16. [Metro, May 93]
  17. [Metro, May 93]
  18. [Metro, May 93]
  19. [Metro, May 93]
  20. [Metro, May 93]
  21. Dom 2.4.94
  22. Jobs Letter
  23. Jobs Letter 3.7.96
  24. [Nelson Evening Mail, 12 June 1989]
  25. [NZMR, Aug/Sep '90]
  26. Craccum 19
  27. Peace of Action Dec 93
  28. (BOOF book)
  29. CG Dec 95
  30. 13.11.95 Press 17.4.96
  31. Sue Bradford Valedictory Speech, Oct 28 2009
  32. [http://archive.indymedia.org.nz/article/72416/workers-charter-conference, www.indymedia.org.nz Workers Charter Conference Submitted by Anonymous on 4 October 2006]
  33. Initiating Members and Supporters of the NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five
  34. SCOOP, US Embassy Refuses Letter From MPs. Crs. Unionists Tuesday, 7 April 2009, 9:36 am Press Release: NZ Committee to Free the Cuban Five
  35. LINKS, Aotearoa/New Zealand: A new working-class, pro-Maori political voice.May 11, 2011