Home' Greymouth Star : May 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, May 4, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1814 - Napoleon Bonaparte goes into exile on
the island of Elba.
1863 - New Maori uprisings begin.
1926 - The first general strike in
British history begins. Troops are
called in to man essential ser vices.
1970 - Four students protesting
against Vietnam War are killed by
US National Guard at Kent State
1979 - Margaret Thatcher becomes
Britain’s first woman prime minister.
1980 - Yugoslav strongman Josip Broz Tito
1982 - British destroyer Sheffield is sunk by an
Argentine plane off the Falklands.
1989 - Tens of thousands of Chinese students
march to Tiananmen Square, calling for
freedom and democracy.
1998 - Convicted ‘Unabomber’ Theodore
Kaczynski is sentenced to four terms of life in
prison without parole in the United States.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Thomas Lawrence, English artist (1769-
1830); Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian
president (1928-); Audrey Hepburn,
Belgian-born actress (1929-
1993); Tyrone Davis, US singer
(1938-2005); Nick Ashford, US
Jackie Jackson, US singer (1951-);
Randy Travis, US country singer
(1959-); Lance Bass, US Singer
‘N Sync (1979-); Jorge Lorenzo,
Spanish motorcycle racer (1987-).
“ We so love all new and unusual things
that we even derive a secret pleasure from the
saddest and most tragic events, both because
of their novelty and because to the natural
malignity that exists within us.” — Madeleine
de Souvre, marquise de Sable, French aristocrat
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends..” — ( John 15:13).
Founder of the
Brown Walters and
Brown yesterday relinquished his position
as managing director of the firm. Mr Brown
intends to take up his home in Rangiora in the
He has not, however, severed his connections
with the company for he retains his interest
and takes over the position of chairman of
directors. It was in 1937 that Mr Brown
founded the company. He has been associated
with the motor trade in the area for some 46
years. Besides his business associations, Mr
Brown has strong connections with many local
Mr Jack D unn has been appointed general
manager of the business. He is well acquainted
with every facet of the motor trade.
The Lewis Pass and Jackson Bay have close
ties. Many of the men who helped push
through the east-west road link went to work
at Jackson Bay when the pass was completed
in 1937. At the conclusion of the Lewis Pass
route fully 100 men employed on the work
applied for positions at Jackson Bay.
No doubt many of the same men will
converge in Christchurch during Queen’s
Birthday weekend to attend a reunion of
those who helped build the Lewis Pass.
Very interested on the reunion is the former
engineer in charge of the Lewis Pass project,
Mr J B Jackson who was appointed engineer
for all works in Jackson Bay.
Engagement. Reedy — Lee. — Mr and
Mrs H Lee, of Ikamatua, have much pleasure
in announcing the engagement of their only
daughter, Carol May, to Peter John, elder son
of Mr and Mrs C J Reedy, 19 Nelson Street,
uFood for thought
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David Lewis and Aaron Ross
our years after launching
a campaign to get young
Senegalese to vote, journalist
Fadel Barro found himself
in a dark prison cell over
4000km from home in
Democratic Republic of Congo, accused of
His journey and brief incarceration
in March show how youth movements
have linked up across francophone
Africa to push for change in a region still
dominated by “Big Men” leaders, and how
some deeply entrenched governments are
Barro and two rappers founded their
Y ’en a marre movement in 2011, worried
that youth in Senegal were uninspired
by politics and that the octogenarian
president might win a third term in their
west African country.
What began as a local idea has inspired
pro-democracy groups in other countries
such as Burkina Faso to tap into
frustration with traditional opposition
politicians who have failed to challenge
effectively those leaders who overstay their
Barro was arrested alongside foreign and
local activists at a gathering calling for
Congolese youth to mobilise at a time of
another possible third term bid, this time
by President Joseph Kabila.
“There is an internationalisation of
African youth who are dreaming and
thinking in the same way,” said Barro,
wearing his trademark scarf and woolly
hat, back in Senegal after spending three
days in detention in Kinshasa.
Y ’en a marre played a key role in voting
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade out
of power in 2012.
It went on to collaborate with Balai
Citoyen, a youth group at the heart of
protests in Burkina Faso that ousted
President Blaise Compaore last year when
he tried to rejig the constitution to extend
his 27-year rule.
But similar movements encouraged by
these successes face tougher challenges
this year in African nations with
governments that have hardened military
Congo has cracked down since
protests in January. These had forced the
government to abandon a reform which
opposition leaders said was a back-door
attempt to keep Kabila in power by
delaying elections due next year when he
is supposed to step down.
The event that landed Barro and Balai
Citoyen member Oscibi Johann in the
Kinshasa cell, accused of being “teachers
of insurrection”, was the launch of a
youth movement, Filimbi. Members of
an affiliated group in Congo’s violent
east, Lucha, were also rounded up by
“They don’t want Filimbi and Lucha
to even exist in Congo,” Barro said. “But
they can not imprison hope. They will fail.
Youth will continue to mobilise.”
Pro-democracy movements are not new
in Africa but their recent success has been
helped by technology making it easier for
young people to see what is happening in
other countries and make contact on-line.
While elections take place regularly
across the continent, Africa’s youth
has been frustrated by veteran leaders’
attempts to cling to power by bending the
“All we expect from our leaders is the
understanding that whatever was accepted
10, 20 years ago no longer goes,” said
Assane Dioma Ndiaye, a human rights
lawyer in Dakar who advises at the
International Criminal Court. “ What
happened in Senegal and Burkina will
happen... elsewhere if leaders maintain
their efforts to stay in power.”
Gilles Yabi, founder of the citizen think
tank WATHI in West Africa, noted how
popular musicians have collaborated with
journalists, lawyers and even bankers as
robust economic growth fosters a young,
“There are singers and rappers but also
professionals who have both the means
and the ability to articulate a political
discourse,” he said. “ That makes a
difference. It gives them some clout.”
While the best known Balai Citoyen
members are a rapper called Smockey
and a reggae artist called Sams’K le
Jah, lawyer Guy Her ve Kam is their
Filimbi’s leaders include Floribert
Anzuluni, until recently a director of the
pan-African Ecobank in Congo, and
Miyangu Kiakwama, an agro-businessman
and the son of a parliamentarian.
The youth leaders have captured the
attention of Washington: President
Barack Obama met Barro when he visited
Senegal in 2013. The United States
embassy in Senegal has also worked with
Y ’en a marre under civic engagement and
election monitoring programmes.
In Congo, the Filimbi event was co-
sponsored by the U.S. government and
a diplomat was among those rounded
up, prompting Kinshasa to accuse the
United States of meddling in its affairs.
Washington defended its support for
people it called respected, non-partisan
Barro played down the international
backing youth groups are getting, saying
they were mainly self-financing. “ They are
driven by their own problems,” he said.
“They belong to a hyper-connected|
world and they simply don’t think it is
normal for their country not to function
To succeed, youth movements need a
united opposition. Barro made contact
with a youth group in Togo before
presidential elections in April but he
said divisions among Togo’s politicised
civil society groups made cooperation
With the opposition divided, President
Faure Gnassingbe swept comfortably to
a third term amid low turnout, taking his
family’s control over Togo towards its sixth
In the capital of Congo Republic,
Brazzaville, just across the Congo river
from Kinshasa, rapper Martial Pa’Nucci
is targeting President Denis Sassou
Nguesso, who is widely expected to seek
constitutional change to run for re-
election next year.
His songs lambasting poverty have upset
the authorities, forcing him to live virtually
in hiding. But they have yet to mobilise
the young to oppose the reelection of a
man who has ruled the oil-producing
nation for most of the last 35 years.
“There are youth who complain: ‘ We
suffer, there isn’t work, the schools don’t
work, we have a failing education system’,”
he said. “But tomorrow, these are the
same people you’re going to find in
T-shirts chanting the government ’s
Pa’Nucci said it cost the government
as little as 400 CFA francs ($1) to buy
support. Many people are afraid of the
security ser vice and are made cautious by
memories of ethnically-fuelled civil war in
the 1990s, he said.
“The fear is visible on the people’s faces,”
Tresor Nzila, the executive director of the
Congolese Obser vatory of Human Rights,
said young people believed opposition
leaders were too close to the ruling elite.
“ If at night, (opposition leaders) are
together with the men in power, and
during the day, they pretend to be
opponents, (young people) are not going
to mobilise,” he said. — Reuters
Connected and angry
The view from Lenny Clay ’s barbershop
in a neighbourhood just west of downtown
Baltimore is bleak. Grass grows through
the cracks of a broken sidewalk and weeds
cover an empty lot where a row house
once stood. Sometimes, the teenagers on
the street are just talking to their friends;
sometimes they are selling drugs.
“Back in the ‘60s I couldn’t keep the
politicians out of here,” Clay, now 80, said.
“ Now none of them will come.”
In 1961, when Clay opened Lenny ’s
House of Naturals in this corner
storefront, the neighbourhood was busy,
bright, full of hard-working black families
and black-owned businesses. And Clay ’s
barbershop was at the centre of things.
His clients included prominent local and
national politicians, the basketball star
Earl “the Pearl” Monroe — even Oprah
Winfrey, he says, came in for haircuts
during the 1970s.
As Clay snipped and trimmed, his clients
poured out their problems and talked
about the city and about civil rights. In
his autobiography, Monroe described Clay
as “always there for me,” which was why,
when Monroe bought himself a Rolls
Royce, he gave his Cadillac Eldorado to
Last week, visitors who stopped by the
shop wanted to talk about the city’s recent
unrest and how it was different from the
riots that erupted in Baltimore in 1968,
following the death of the civil rights
leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“In the ‘60s, we were fighting for
equality,” said Sterling Brunson, 50. “Now
we’re fighting for sur vival. ”
To the men who gathered at the House
of Naturals, the story of Freddie Gray,
the 25-year-old black man whose death
from injuries he sustained while in police
custody, was not surprising. What did
surprise them was the intensity of the
media attention focused on the violence
that shook Baltimore Monday night.
And the men do not expect the ensuing
protests to change much. After all,
they noted, the much more widespread
unrest in 1968 did not lead to long-term
improvements in the lives of poor, black
“Most people under 50 have never
seen this before,” he said of the clashes
between young Baltimore residents and
police. “D uring the ‘68 riots they had the
National Guard on every corner. You’d see
them chasing people across that lot ” — he
gestured out the window — “ with their
bayonets, and the people were carrying tvs,
In the months that followed, some of
his customers paid in pints of whisky
looted from shops during the riots. “I was
drinking liquor back then, and for six
months after the riots every time I took
a drink of liquor it tasted like smoke,”
he said. “I got a lot of humour out of the
riots, as bad as they were. ”
Another man, Jessie Bell, 69 broke in:
“There was a different thing going on in
the riots of ‘68,” he said.
“ It was mostly adults back then,” added
Tim Bridges, who said he was five when
the riots started.
“I was 16,” said Tony Boy Sr, 63. “the
National Guard came and they said:
‘ You’ve got to go in the house now.’”
Bell said most of the people fighting
back then, even if they participated in the
looting, wanted an end to the old system
of segregation. “After ward we thought
it would be better,” Bell said. “ But it got
In the wake of the riots, a wide boulevard
named after King was built, separating
Clay ’s neighbourhood from downtown
and from the cluster of University of
Maryland buildings nearby. That, Clay
said, reduced the flow of customers to the
neighbourhood’s businesses and drained it
of its economic base. Families that could
afford to moved away to the suburbs, and
“All our businesses are pretty much
gone,” Brunson said. “ We had black
dry cleaners, we had black barbers, we had
pretty much everything known to man.
Now, we’ve got nothing. ”
As Baltimore’s economy declined, the
men said, its poorest black residents grew
more and more isolated, and their relations
with police and city officials worsened.
In 2009, Clay’s arm was broken when an
officer threw him to the ground during a
traffic stop. There were protests then, too.
In 2013, Baltimore paid Clay $63,000 to
settle a lawsuit over the incident.
On Wednesday, the power in Clay ’s
shop was out — he had forgotten to pay
his electrical bill — but it did not matter;
soon the building where the shop is
located will be torn down to make way for
a new development and Clay will have to
retire or open up somewhere else.
“ I wish you could make your skin black
for 24 hours,” he said to a reporter. “ You
wouldn’t believe how fast you’d move to be
white again.” — Reuters
A barber’s view in Baltimore
They may be hated pests that love eating
our cherished native birds, but pesky
introduced stoats have just become a little
more interesting to scientists overseas.
Just-published DNA comparisons have
revealed that the stoats lurking in our
wilderness include several genetic types
that have long been lost from populations
in their native Britain, prompting scientists
to ask whether this diversity may even
be worth bringing back home to
Our stoats are descendants of those
imported in the late 1800s to control
rabbit numbers, which reached plague
proportions after their introduction for
food and sport.
Since then, stoats have been implicated in
the extinction of bush wrens, laughing owls
and the native thrush, and have been a
major cause in the decline of kiwi, kokako,
takahe, kaka and kakapo.
The Department of Conser vation
recently declared them “public enemy
No 1” for birds and the Government has
poured millions of dollars into 1080 poison
drops and research to control them.
However, new New Zealand-led research
published in the journal Molecular
Ecology has found that when the stoat
population in Britain crashed, their expat
relatives in this country conser ved a
reservoir of genetic diversity.
“History has demonstrated that even
well-intentioned introductions of species to
non-native habitats are almost always a bad
idea,” said professor Robbie McDonald, of
the University of Exeter.
“That said, as a result of a series of
misguided introductions, we have
accidentally created an ‘invasive ark’ for
genetic diversity in New Zealand.
“It would be a fascinating long-term
experiment to return native genotypes
back to Britain from New Zealand and
see whether it re-established among its
Fellow author Dr Andrew Veale, formerly
at the University of Auckland, said that
while invasive, non-native species were a
global cause of biodiversity loss, “our results
show that sometimes these introduced
populations may paradoxically conser ve
diversity lost from their native range —
and potentially this diversity may be worth
Auckland University co-author Professor
Mick Clout said the discovery that they
had a higher genetic diversity here than
back in their homeland was “intriguing”.
But that did not mean New Zealand stoats
had any value or were worth protecting.
“If the Brits wanted to have them, then
fine, but we are not going to compromise
our control because of genetic diversity.”
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Once a pest always a pest, the NZ stoat
is one of the main killers of kiwi and
other native birds.
More stoats please, say scientists
Lenny Clay, centre, sits with other men at his barber shop in Baltimore.
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