Online book launch: Political lessons from the Pike River disaster and the cover-up

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The Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand and the World Socialist Website will hold an online public meeting on Saturday, June 4 at 5:00 p.m. NZ time to launch the new book Pike River: crime and cover-uppublished by Mehring Books.

Please register here to attend this critical webinar on Zoom.

On November 19, 2010, an explosion ripped through the Pike River underground coal mine on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. After a second explosion five days later, all 29 basement workers were pronounced dead.

It was not a random accident: it was a crime caused by capitalism. However, despite overwhelming evidence that Pike River Coal put profit and production ahead of workers’ lives, more than 11 years later, no one has been held accountable for turning the mine into a death trap.

At this public meeting, Tom Peters, the principal author of Pike River: crime and cover-upwill talk about the causes of the disaster and the ongoing struggle to find out the whole truth about what happened.

Peters, a leading member of the SEG, has written extensively for the WSWS on Pike River since the disaster. He will explain how successive National and Labor Party governments worked with unions, state regulators and the judiciary, to prevent a full investigation into the disaster and to protect the management and owners of the business.

Last year, the government of Jacinda Ardern permanently sealed the mine, refusing to recover human remains and vital evidence from the mine workings. The decision was opposed by the majority of the families of the victims and international mining experts.

This meeting will also be addressed by members of socialist equality parties in Britain and Australia. Speakers will examine global parallels with Pike River and how capitalist governments around the world have rigged the legal system in favor of the wealthy and big business.

The lessons from Pike River have searing international relevance: Millions of workers have died in the COVID-19 pandemic as governments around the world put profits before lives, allowing the virus to spread out of control. This webinar will discuss how workers need to organize politically to fight back; he will advocate for the creation by workers of rank-and-file security committees, independent of the pro-capitalist unions, and for the construction of a new socialist party.

We urge WSWS workers, students, and readers to participate and join in the discussion of these vital issues, share this meeting notice on social media, and invite others to attend.

Times for this meeting:
New Zealand: June 4, 5 p.m.
London: June 4, 6:00 a.m.
Sydney: June 4, 3:00 p.m.
Colombo: June 4, 10:30 a.m.
New York: June 4, 1:00 a.m.

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