OPEN LETTER: Occupy NZ Tell Corporate Media: “You Need Not Fear Becoming Julian Assange”

To the employees of our National media outlets;

in our naive shock and disbelief at the inaccuracies, favouritisms and false representations made to the international public concerning the inception and continuation of the Occupy movement globally; we have wronged YOU.

You, the individual corporate media employee, denied the right to unionise in a meaningful pursuit of the BARE MINIMUM in appropriate work conditions – encouraged, institutionalised and coerced to the MISpursuit of truth by the industrial framework and management environment that rewards false things over integrity, covets facets and image over substance, and above all covets the almighty advertising dollar..

You work in a broken, defunct system that is being made collectively redundant by the indisputable NEED of the people to obtain and ratify and share, when you don’t, the TRUTH of what is happening to our world at ground level – to the extent that of sheer desperation, members of the public band together and against any natural inclination embrace REAL journalism, UNPAID… replacing & exposing hypocrisy and whistleblowing on the facts you won’t report..

Even we the public see the lay-offs happening to you, the media being fed like minced meat grinding through the insatiable machine of corporate takeovers, mergers and asset-stripping. We see the patriarchy and the old boys club. We see 4 white males & a white female on slick 1ZB promo pics. Even to those of us born “white”, these things are no longer able to be ignored or tolerated, they are unneccesary relics of an ignorant past.

To you the “media”, we the “new media”, say:

You are the intended voice of the people.

Not your employer. Collectively, you.

You need no longer be the voice of the corporations. Nor of a specific ruling Government.

Your objectivity and veracity for truth-seeking and your moral indenture to the public you service should be on par with that of a scientist or a medical professional; your duty of care and ethical obligations the same.

Lives and deaths and the fate of nations depend on you and your collective influence is beyond the ability of even any Government to challenge; let alone any corporation. You could shame a corporation and end its profitability overnight as easily as you are now regurgitating the AP or being fed stories by corrupt Government officials, undisclosed conflicts of interest abounding…

You can bring down a Government, with the truth, and the power of a UNIFIED and RELENTLESS media is untamable.

We think you know it has reached the time where if you do not respect the core values of journalism we will replace you. What you haven’t yet realised is that we do not actually want to.

The purpose of Occupy is NOT to destroy it is to build. Occupy is about resolution not destruction.

But until you report on what is common knowledge amongst YOURSELVES but not amongst the public at large – for example the 380 cities protesting May 15th globally – and begin to explain to the public truly why the vast majority of the planet is simultaneously erupting against austerity measures, asset sales, privatisation, racism, against colonialism and the never-ending imperialistic wars to blatantly steal resources –

we have to do your job for you. Even suffering the full weight of local/national/international Government slander, surveillance and sabotage, the information is already too widespread to suppress. The cat is out of the bag.

You have a unique opportunity right now; to be amongst the first to recognise and embrace it; or to make yourselves defunct.

You need not fear becoming Julian Assange. Exposing yourselves to the pressures and invasions of privacy that many involved initially in Occupy around the world have. For even Governments are limited in their ability to interfere with revolution; and every day the snowball grows bigger. It has long since gained its own momentum, perpetual motion. As each mind is awakened to the hive, the potential to suppress it diminishes.

As you watch, “enthralled” by us, we will continue to watch you. But we do so as colleagues of conscience.

Awaiting your awakening. For you must

“rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to earth like dew: which in sleep have fallen on you: Ye are many — they are few.” (Shelley)

http://metanoia-films.org/rise-like-lions/

Your time is now. Contact us in good faith and you can write under the Occupy banner. You need not be shackled by professional limitations. Journalism is not merely a profession it is a mindset, and a quest. Embrace it.

Kia kaha. (Stand strong/stay strong)

Judith Collins Says From Bright Red Vintage Convertible: “They want to portray me as a rich little white woman”

The recent NZ Listener article about ACC Minister Judith Collins is off the charts. Their profile of her (May 5-11 2012 edition) features a one and a half page colour photo of her driving a bright red vintage convertible. Shocking quotes in the article include;

“I am not there to make their lives easy.” (of her opponents)

“They want to portray me as a rich little white woman from middle-class New Zealand” – this from a Minister posing in a sports car like some kind of deranged model for the quintessential mid-life crisis. Guyon Espiner describes her residence as an “immaculate Maraetai home she has scrubbed spotless”. Later in the article Guyon observes “…beyond the ranch slider and the spacious deck, the sea sparkles invitingly like the diamonds on her fingers.” WTF.

The Listener says she denies there is ‘internecine warfare within the National Party.. then quotes her as saying “It’s sort of like friendly fire”, making it clear that behind the scenes things aren’t quite so peachy as they’d have us believe.

The most shocking quote in this article though, is when it refers to a previous Listener interview with Collins in 2006, in which she claimed her tactic of leaking stories to the media required no apology. They quote her as saying;, “I do ring people up and give them stories, because, gee, I guess I think that’s my job…”. She bragged of her “friendly and open” relationships with the media.

WHAT. THE. F$%&.

Since when is it a Ministers JOB to leak stories to the media? Can someone please explain this insanity? Doesn’t that defy everything we expect of a Minister? If we’re wrong and it’s totally cool, don’t they at least have some PR lackeys that can sit around ringing morally corrupt journos, feeding them pre-set agendas masked as ‘stories’??

The deeper we get into the article, the more we despair. Especially when Collins broaches the subject of poverty. “We do have poverty but attitude is really important..” she says. “The poverty of which I speak is a poverty of responsibility. A poverty of courage, a poverty of truth, a poverty of love, a poverty of faith.”

Which makes us want to stand her in front of a hungry child & see how many of the aforementioned words fill its mouth with food.

We suspect none.

The article repeatedly brings up her willingness to have a QC sue anyone who crosses her. To the extent that Guyon writes; “You can’t call politicians liars, especially ones who might hire a QC in response.”

Well guess what Ms Collins. We are calling you on your bullshit. You want to grin $10,000 worth of teeth into a camera from a bright red sports car then wax lyrical about being misunderstood as middle-class – well perhaps you are right.

We think, Ms Collins, that you are not middle class. How do we know that? Because the real middle class is currently fighting to stay in existence.

You are in fact: the 1%. Wholly complicit in the fleecing of our country, currently underway by National.

We, he tangata, will not forget.

George Wood: Keeping The Public Safe; For Two Hours Every Six Weeks

Imagine Auckland Council had a secretary of right-wing leanings and associations. Imagine the secretary was known to boast about their aptitude at Facebook and imagine that this spilled over into their work hours, where they periodically got their social media fix on their employer’s time, eventually graduating to trolling the Facebook page of representatives of a political movement, democratically protesting outside the doors of the Council office.

Imagine the secretary used their public profile to deride, demean and harrass the protesters; advocating the use of ‘Alsatians’ and ‘water cannons’ and then climactically gloating in real time during their violent eviction, executed by their employer, paying private security forces and involving the NZ Police.

How would the secretary’s managers respond to this employment matter? The secretary would get fired, right? Facebook on work time? The cardinal capitalist sin?

Now imagine – that it wasn’t a secretary at all. Imagine that it is George Wood, the sitting Chairman of the Community Safety Board. Openly, on public record. On public time. On public dollars.

Which led us to wonder; what exactly is the Community Safety Board? What is the culture of it, if influenced by an internet Facebook troll?

Patching together the tiny scraps of democracy left in the wake of the evictions, we took a look at the public minutes of the Board, and quickly established that it is the local government equivalent of puppetry theatre.

The Community Safety Board:

* Meets every 6 weeks.
* Meeting times range from roughly 1 to 2 hours. Start to finish.
* Has several Auckland Council members and other representatives.
* Latenesses & absences on the part of members are frequent and noted in the minutes.

According to the minutes, every meeting covers off:

* Declarations of Interest
* Confirmation of Previous Minutes
* Petitions
* Public Input
* Local Board Input
* Extraordinary Business
* Notices of Motion

However, nearly ALL of the minutes for every meeting since the establishment of the Board, look like this:

“2 Declaration of Interest: There were no declarations of interest.
3 Confirmation of Minutes Resolution number CS/2012/6 MOVED by Cr Wood, seconded Cr Quax: That the minutes of the Community Safety Forum held on Tuesday, 28 February 2012, be confirmed as a true and correct. CARRIED
4 Petitions: There were no petitions.
5 Public Input: There was no public input.
6 Local Board Input: There was no Local Board input.
7 Extraordinary Business: There was no extraordinary business.
8 Notices of Motion: There were no notices of motion.”

Is this why they only meet for 1-2 hours every six weeks? Is this what it means to be in public service? How much are they getting paid to attend these meetings? Plus benefits/expenses? Transport? Catering??

Fortunately one set of minutes has this helpful snippet for us:

“Declaration of interest:
Members were reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as an elected representative and any private or other external interest they might have. There were no declarations of interest.”

We take this to mean that were Occupy Auckland members to appear in the “Public Input” section of the Community Safety Board meeting that George Wood would have to step down as Chairman out of his private (public!) external interest in trolling Occupy Auckland Facebook pages?

If we were to show up there, apparently this next snippet dictates our rights as the public to contribute to one of these public meetings:

“Deputations/Public Forum
The Standing Orders provide for deputations. Those applying for deputations were
required to give five working days notice of subject matter and applications were approved
by the Chair. This means that details relating to deputations could be included in the
published agenda. Total speaking time per deputation was thirty minutes
The Standing Orders also provide for public forums. Advance notice was not required but
it was expected that those wishing to speak at the public forum would advise the
Committee Secretary prior to the meeting. A maximum of thirty minutes was allocated to
the public forum with five minutes speaking time for each speaker.”

Let’s just check that again. “Advance notice was not required but it was expected that those wishing to speak at the public forum would advise the Committee Secretary prior to the meeting.” Expected? So the law says, the public can attend a public meeting but your secretary, who may or may not be busy trolling a political organisation on Facebook ala your Chairman George Wood, expects advance notice of any future disruption to your completely vacuous meeting? Lest the spotless minutes feature something other than “There was no/there were no/there was no/there were no” from top to bottom?

Is this what they call red tape? Needless bureaucracy? Government for the sake of government? Middle management gone wild? And these are the guys currently privatising our country across the industrial board? Yes, they are..

I only have two words to say with how aghast we are with George Wood and the Community Safety Board, who fails to protect us as members of the public and does a completely insufficient and inept job of representing anyone at all other than themselves.

Here’s our two words.

MIC CHECK!

Disclaimer: Not all members of the Board are as inane as George Wood. Some, have gone on record as dissenting to much of the craziness rampant within the walls of Auckland Council.

That said, be it knowingly or unknowingly, George Wood’s “Community Safety Board” is cowering in the shadow of what a real democracy should provide to our public.

Full minutes for the Community Safety Board can be found here:

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/meetings_agendas/committees/Pages/communitysafetyforum.aspx

C/O OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

An Idiot’s Guide To The Beehive: The Clowns Running New Zealand

Warning New Zealand: The Clowns Are Running The Circus

Thanks to the incompetent stooges that are currently in ‘power’ in New Zealand, our little country has been repeatedly hitting the international press for all the wrong reasons. For those who may have been fooled into thinking #BanksDotCom was a one-off, he & his colleagues embody a culture of political blindness and contempt for the general public.

Therefore we’ve thrown together a little synopsis for you of current topical members of the New Zealand Parliament.

John Key: Prime Sinister: Professional history includes membership of the Reserve Bank of AMERICA (no, not New Zealand, America) & associated with institutions ultimately responsible for the global financial crisis. He is an advocate of using public funds to bail out private lending institutions & is deeply entwined with private/corporate interests, primarily of the overseas variety. Currently architect of an agenda to privatise the entire country out of existence, denying by omission the widespread grassroots unrest and discontent at his continuation of failed policies of the past. http://occupysavvy.com/2011/10/26/john-key-his-cronies-profited-from-irelands-downfall-now-replicating-it-in-new-zealand/

Bill English: Deputy Prime Sinister: After a long history of political tomfoolery much of it exposed by his own party members on their various attempts to dislodge him, Mr. English is recently notable for his inciting New Zealand students to riot “like the Greeks”, an offense which is prosecutable, were it by an ordinary member of the public. http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/students-prepare-protest-like-greeks-4905921

John Banks: Banks is now internationally renowned for political corruption; being outed by web celebrity Kim Dotcom as essentially being a living depiction of the typical cartoon cronyist wheeling & dealing sleazy stereotype of a well-heeled politician. Despite his obvious implication in wrongdoings, his ridiculous responses & actions to the initial accusation, he still remains in the circus we call the Beehive, today. http://occupysavvy.com/2012/05/23/what-a-tangled-web-they-weave-fbi-and-dhs-involved-in-questionable-events-in-new-zealand/

Paula Bennett: With a history as a solo Mum on prolonged government assistance including tertiary study allowances, this Minister has embarked upon a nationwide scapegoating of solo Mum’s on prolonged government assistance, having previously cut the same tertiary study allowances that she enjoyed, out of existence. At best a hypocrite. At worst, responsible for widespread misery amongst a sector of the public that desperately need support. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10810384 

Hekia Parata: Ms Parata has today declined to meet with the multiple stakeholders aggrieved at the Government treading all over them with sudden changes to the education system that conveniently weren’t mentioned by National during last year’s election. This seems to make her the National equivalent of the unelected “CEO” of Auckland Council Doug Mckay, who physically stands in the doorway of public meetings, preventing the public from entering. (The most expensive security guard in the history of Auckland Council). Ms Parata claims to want to meet with the parties ‘individually’ though from the look of the mass student protests, she is going to have a full calendar trying to do that. http://www.3news.co.nz/Minister-refuses-meeting-with-education-alliance/tabid/1607/articleID/256805/Default.aspx

Phil Heatley: the Minister in charge of “Creating Communities”: a program which takes public housing, evicts the impoverished tenants on little notice and frequently on fraudulent promises of resettlement (renovation/remodeling/then tricked into interim corporate tenancies then never allowed back into their original homes) then removes the housing wholesale & sells it to a conglomerate of three private housing development corporations to then profit off the rapid upscaling of a new high-end housing development; essentially making an entire community homeless. Children get ripped from their school (which suffers an ever declining roll until it is closed or worse, privatised) & families separated & removed from the suburb which many had called home their entire lives. Heatley’s lack of public acknowledgment of the ongoing Glen Innes Housing Defence actions, where the community is going to extreme lengths such as lying under removal trucks & physically blocking removal of public housing, to dispute their ill treatment at Government hands, is in line with John Key’s utter lack of acknowledgment of the current global unrest. Instead the Government put it down to isolated incidents in countries worse off than us; when it is in fact a global grassroots public movement to protect the global public from the rapacious appetites of the private/corporate elite.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7013457/Housing-New-Zealand-call-centre-woes

Counter to the above clowns is Hone Harawira. Disclosure: I did not vote for him last election nor will I likely vote for him next election as I currently vote Green. HOWEVER: Hone is the ONLY KNOWN NEW ZEALAND POLITICIAN to have within the walls of the beehive acknowledged the situation on the ground as it is in the world. Not as the media portray it. Vast difference. The most telling thing about the following video is how empty the House is. The above clowns didn’t even show up for Hone’s speech. But for the fact that he gave this speech, and that every word in it was true, is enough for me to name him here as different to the rest.

Apologies to the Greens if you have brought it up in the Beehive & I’m unaware of it at writing, but 380 cities protested simultaneously globally on #M12 May 12 (not to mention May Day, May 15, May 25, etc etc) and at this point it seems obvious that any politician who has the opportunity to ask a question in the House should be affixing “in light of the current global mass dissent against failed austerity policies” to the end of it until there is actually some public accountability for the current geopolitical situation we are in!