Occupy New Zealand: Lest We Forget

This month, New Zealand has been rocked by back-to-back multiple fatalities of soldiers in service with our military in Afghanistan. Emotions running high, and the immediacy yet lasting nature of social media enabling fingers to run wild, the digital version of the proverbial foot-in-mouth has manifested itself resoundingly in the Sumner Burstyn scandal.

With dismay we watched the larger undercurrent of awakening to the horrors of war remodelled into a very specific and personal attack at a micro level. A convenient, timely and desirable effect for corporate profiteers of said wars; much of the ensuing rhetoric was extremely counter-productive to humanity.

From threats of violence and retaliation to the airing of sheer disgust and wholesale rejection, we struggled to find the silver lining.

Buried in the comments of the aforementioned article, we found the beginnings of it.

“I’ve never understood people who target the individual soldiers when they disagree with a war – especially Vietnam. By all means target the government loudly and vocally, but leave the individual soldiers out of it. People who sign up to the army do so in service of their country. They don’t choose where they get posted, but they do choose a career where they are willing to risk their life to protect our country and others around the world.”

On our Facebook page, we found the rest. The below video is of a haka. Performed for the fallen, as a final and public act of respect and remembrance.

Despite having large metropolitan cities, New Zealand is small enough for everyone to have a connection with everyone else by several degrees of separation. In this case, closer. Our Occupy Media team members almost uniformly (no pun intended) have military ties; through our parents and grandparents who were veterans of World War II and other wars; by our high school classmates, family members and partners, many of whom were either employed by various armed forces or, as in the case of one, serving in the Territorials alongside one of the recently fallen, adding a very personal dimension to the tragedy.

Having ourselves grown up in relative peace and in a largely unarmed society, we remain staunch in our anti-war activism; in our distrust and distaste for the colonialist, war-for-resource agendas at play amongst the corporations, with unwavering contempt for the insidious back-room deals behind the front lines of Earth’s constant geopolitical theatre.

However many of our families and friends remain employed by those very governments, employed by those corporates, regardless of whether they are aware of or endorse the hidden agendas.

All humans are a product of their experiences; a result of their conditioning. Most often we believe what we are taught and mimic what we have seen. It is only when given alternatives for comparison that the concept of “choice” is activated. This is why we fight against poverty, against slavery, against war, against child prostitution, against corruption; for they are all ultimately the weapons of deprivation of choice, inflicted upon the innocent.

Those soldiers in generations before us and those who are dying today, by the hand of another or by their own – they are not the 0.1%; whose offshore bank accounts grow ever-filled by the very presence of war upon this planet. They are our extended family and compatriots facing many of the same struggles we do and in a very physical and confronting landscape but more; they are our only hope.

For if the day comes that they are ordered to perpetuate atrocities directly against us; the unarmed citizen; it is only they who will be able to prevent the injustice and protect us. In times of governmental treason; it is only they who will be able to secure the country.

Whether or not they are now used as lapdogs of a foreign power, for private profit; if the ultimate day of decision comes, their upbringing, their whakapapa, their conscience, their familial conditioning, MUST prevail. Or we are lost.

Bringing hope to bridging the divide between the armed services and those who are dismayed at the political direction of armed services, and also our national police forces, are the following worthy organisations. If you have not yet, we urge you to check them out, and consider lending them your support. They are evidence that you can serve in the military or law enforcement while still remaining true to the Bill of Rights, to international law, to your own conscience.

Occupy Marines:  Website     Tumbler    Facebook    Twitter

Occupy Police:     Website     Facebook     Twitter

Occupy Army:      Facebook   Twitter

Occupy Navy:       Facebook   Twitter

If you don’t know who Sgt. Shamar Thomas is – strongly suggest you watch the following video. He is the epitome of Occupy Marines. The first video is of his famous and passionate defense of unarmed peaceful protesters at Occupy Wall Street; the second a sit-down interview where he has the opportunity to explain his reasoning and motives.

We all must have a voice in our future, for our future to be free of tyranny in whatever form.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM: $0 funding; 10 months of unadulterated truth.

Occupy Savvy Asks Birgitta Jonsdottir: “How Did Iceland Sack Its Government?”

Working in Occupy Media is the most incredible and profound professional experience imaginable. You literally never know what is around the next corner; what you will see, who you will meet, who you will learn from, who you will teach. You become both the interviewer and the interviewed. The manufacturer, the wholesaler, the retailer, and the customer, all wrapped up into one.

A combination of elements from what some consider coincidence to what others call fate, karma or destiny – along with the energy you invest into each action and each venture and your own desires, epiphanies and subconscious choices – culminate in possibilities and potentials that ever increase in pace, magnitude, scope and impact.

It is a global arena and our individual sources of origin provide richness and culture as we eye-witness for and speak to a worldwide platform.

Although the above might not resound with those unfamiliar with Occupy Media, thanks to social media, the topic of Iceland is bound to.

Touted as the only known modern example of a successful (read: peaceful) revolution, word has trickled all the way from the Northern to the deep Southern Hemisphere of the incredible feats achieved by the people of Iceland.

Namely; engaging citizens in politics at an everyday level sufficient to achieve “critical mass”, then engaging their human intellectual resources to forge a People’s Movement and Assembly; engaging in direct action that secured the resignations of its entire sitting Parliament; having its citizens collectively draft a new “Constitution of the People of Iceland” now recognised as the “supreme law of Iceland”, and serving as a model of success to the rest of us still struggling with step one.

Their Constitution reads like a dream to any human rights activist. A written guarantee of the ultimate rights of the Citizen in all manifestations, industrial contexts & in civilian governance, the document leaves no stone unturned in its quest for the protection of the citizens of Iceland.

Despite a profound lack of international corporate media coverage of their revolution, Iceland’s associations with Wikileaks, Occupy Media and the global independent press, have carried the day to spread the message of their achievements.

But what the many and varied Iceland memes circulating Facebook were yet to successfully convey was the “how” rather than the “what”.

So it was with great delight that through the fantastic networking tool that is Twitter, I recently discovered myself having a late-night (NZ time) conversation with none other than the magical Birgitta Jonsdottir – Member of the Icelandic Parliament for the Movement, “activist inside and outside of the system”, supporter of Wikileaks, web designer, revolutionary and accomplished poet.

She had tweeted a reference to the children behind the now-famous “Collateral Murder” video released by Wikileaks – an appeal to remember the humans for whom the events were not merely an international media sensation, but a first-person memory; children who had lost their father (he was attempting to help wounded civilians to obtain medical care when his vehicle was fired on by Apache helicopters using heavy weaponry); children who were themselves seriously wounded in the same attack.

Birgitta pointed me towards this document; the medical reports of the children involved. It is a heart-clenching and devastating read that quickly brings home to bear the personal reality for these human beings, so severely victimised by the injustice of “war”.

Innately sensing that my conversation with Birgitta was not yet concluded, I mentally poured over everything our Media Team had heard, read and shared about Iceland throughout Occupy. It was obvious to me that something was missing, so I put my head together with some other team members to work out what it was.

Someone I refer to as my “Occu-Mama” (for her steadfast support for other occupiers and her continued care of us) had the breakthrough.

“Ask Birgitta – HOW did they do it? HOW did they get all their corrupt politicians to resign?”

Fearlessly, from my ridiculously overly-surveilled Twitter account, I asked the question. Sure enough, she replied:

“Massive protests leading up to pots and pans revolution, putting the parliament under siege for 3 days. They got scared.”

Just like that, the penny dropped. For months we had been reporting on Manifecours/Casseroles and the Canadian protest movements – utilising pots and pans to literally rouse sleeping civilians to awaken to the reality of their political situation; to get off their backsides and do something about it. We knew the tactic, knew it was a successful one; but we did NOT realise it had been utilised in Iceland prior to the Canadian mass protests!

A follower then threw this Wikipedia link into the fray – one which makes us wonder how we had ever failed to search the Icelandic revolution Wikis. (A failure easily corrected!)

At this point, it is clear we have to pass on that knowledge to fellow activists. Utilising the ever-handy Topsy.com I quickly compiled a recap of our past retweets about Iceland.

Here is the resulting treasure trove, for your convenience, with the month tweeted, for search reference. (NOT date of source publication.)

December 2011: CEO’s of Glitnir Bank In Custody

February 2012: Global Justice and the Future of Hope

March 2012: Iceland Puts Former Prime Minister On Trial Over Crisis

March 2012: Iceland Say “Hell NO” To Prison-Cell Economy

April 2012: Ex-Prime Minister Of Iceland Convicted

May 2012: Iceland Forces Debt Forgiveness

May 2012: How To Start A Revolution: Learn From Iceland! (Must watch documentary!!)

June 2012: The Constitutional Council Hands Over The Bill For A New Constitution

July 2012: Iceland A Peaceful And Democratic Regime Change (Features another embedded must-watch documentary; “Pots, Pans and Other Solutions”)

July 2012: Iceland Hires An Ex-Cop To Hunt Down Bankers That Wrecked Its Economy

August 2012: Icelandic Anger Brings Debt Recovery In Best Forgiveness Story

August 2012: More On Iceland Holding Banks Accountable

Also, by searching “Iceland” on this very site we discovered the first piece we had ever shared about Iceland – back in October 2011, a mere few weeks into our Occupy Media journey: Why Iceland Should Be In The News, But Is Not

There is more; much more. Pictures and memes about Iceland abound on other social media platforms most notably Facebook; but unfortunately many are fooled by the ensuing trolls who too-quickly state that the Icelandic Revolution is an urban myth; a legend, and not rooted in fact.

The above links collectively disprove that claim. Hopefully this article will clearly and decisively silence the pessimists, once and for all.

To Birgitta, thank you for speaking with us, you are an inspiration. We were delighted when you told us of your time spent in New Zealand. Thank you for sharing not only your knowledge with us, but your poetry. There is no better closing for this article than your poem: “Warriors of Words”, which to us, encompasses flawlessly, the relentless mission of Occupy Media. Thank you for your permission to reprint it.

Warriors of Words by Birgitta Jonsdottir

listen poets of the world
your words are mighty
your vision is clear
war is war is war
never peace
never healing
if war

the oracle of history speaks
through your words
through your courage
fight with the pen
with your vision
but most importantly
open the space between space
the world between worlds
between your words

the world is not simple
it is not even one
it is in layers of understanding
create that empty space
of understanding
by heart on fire
by compassion
by being unbearably honest

create that space for free thinking
curling through your words
to hit in the heart of hearts
like a bolt of enlightenment

you are the carrier of the flame
the favorite of the muse
the warrior of words
truth truth truth
seek it speak it

the bush is on fire
illusions run deep
seek speak the truth
and hope shall remain
peace shall remain
in the s p a c e

dedicated to all the people that took part in making the Book of Hope & the
World Healing Book possible with their work and with their spirit.”
——————————————————–

Papua New Guinea Ocean Life Under Threat

Despite not knowing the full extent of the potential risks, Papua New Guinea have just given Nautilus Minerals the go ahead on a commercial deep sea mining operation. Steve Rogers, the CEO of Nautilus Minerals, claims good intent, despite activists saying that the company has been less than forthright in responding to requests for information.

Source: The Guardian

Chilean Students Demand Education Reform

After more than one hundred arrests, University of Chile Student’s Federation President Gabriel Boric assures followers that students are not giving up the fight. Considering that Chile is making such strong economic advances, yet their students are being forced to drop out, it is no wonder the students are refusing to stay quiet.

Source: Merco Press

Ex British Diplomat Craig Murray: “We Need WhistleBlowers”

This video shows former British Ambassador Crag Murray speaking about the critical importance of whistleblowing; especially in these times.

Source: dissenter.firedoglake.com

How To Recreate The Occupied NZ Herald If We Or It Disappear

HOW TO RECREATE WWW.OCCUPIEDNZHERALD.CO.NZ: YOURSELF if anything should ever happen to us/it, here is how we set it up & anyone in the country can do it. Hell, in the world for that matter.

Welcome to the wonders of decentralisation. If you, our supporters, have our backs, our newspaper can NEVER be taken offline.

The Occupied NZ Herald Kaupapa: we publish left, right, center, and none of the above news; giving multiple different views of each story. We publish fearlessly; never putting ourselves between the public & free information, the way traditional media does.

TO SET UP A CLONE OF THE ONZH: start an Anonymous twitter account. Using whatever name/new email details you want. Create a Twitter list. To create the list, click on the icon of a person (where all your options are) go to Lists then Create & Name your new list. Then type in the names of the accounts you want to add to the list (these are the sources your newspaper will pull content from) by typing each of them into the search bar, pressing enter, then selecting the right account under where it will say “People” on the left. Then click on the mini-person icon next to the ‘Following’ bar and select “Add or remove from lists” then select the list & tick the check-box. Bingo that account is now on your source list.

Go to http://www.paper.li & set up an account. It is pretty easy and straightforward. Start a newspaper. Call it The Occupied NZ Herald & if it won’t let you do that, call it something extremely similar so people will realise what it is. In the Paper Settings, under Content, Edit Sources, add your List name. The format for adding the list name is @(youraccountname)/(yourlistname)

For us it reads @OccupyNZ/ONZH

You can also manually add source accounts though it’s not as reliable & you can also if you’re really clever, use RSS feeds to do the entire thing. Don’t necessarily have to use Twitter, though it’s the easiest way to pull large amounts of content that we know of.

OUR CURRENT ONZH SOURCE LIST: names to search & add:

@OccupyWallST @OccupyDavis
@OOMedia @punkboyinsf
@Min_Reyes @ElleryMitten
@keyweekat @Mz_Chief
@endarken @OccupyNZ @OccupyAuckland

If for some reason any of the above accounts have gone black (no longer tweeting content) you can use almost any active Occupy account in your source list. We always tweet the person and ask their permission to include them as we personally don’t believe in blindly adding people & if you tell them why you are wanting to add them any true Occupy media person/group is highly likely to agree to being included. However there are SOME newspapers which source from literally 1000s of accounts so there is no limit to what you can put in, it will just be more time-consuming to edit come publishing time.

To find other Occupy Media sources just type @Occupy into Twitter search and “Follow” all the results that are obviously legitimate accounts that actively tweet links to Occupy-related material.

As it is, if you set default publishing times, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t edit it at all (as long as your sources are reliable and good) but for best results you should log in after each auto-update and remove any irrelevant or blatantly false articles/pics/links, and put the most current/important stuff at the top of the headlines page. (Just mouse over bottom right of each article blurb on each page of the paper for the options)

If you, Aotearoa, do the above… they can never kill the Occupied NZ Herald. It will just be replicated and replicated over and over again.

HOW TO PROMOTE IT ONCE YOU’VE DONE THE ABOVE: tweet the link, through the paper page, to the hashtags relevant to that day’s edition, tweet it to the individual sources used in the paper (for example, tweet New edition of The Occupied NZ Herald! (paper.li link) Thx @OccupyWallSt …. etc etc) & then post your paper.li newspaper link onto every page on Facebook you can find, namely all the Occupy pages for a start.

It is time we, the people, took control of our access to public information back, and via this method or similar, the information can never be restricted from us again.

Encourage everyone you know to read & be aware of the above and collectively, they can never silence us. Oh the beauty of decentralised media.

Kia ora thank you so much for reading this.

Deconstructing The New York Times #TrapWire WhiteWash – PLEASE REBLOG!

This afternoon, NZST, Occupy New Zealand posted THIS update, threatening a corporate media boycott due to the mainstream media blackout of #TrapWire – the private for-profit global surveillance & analysis network exposed by Wikileaks in the continuing Stratfor “GI Files” data dump.

Pointing out that it had been 5 days since #Trapwire broke, and that Google searches on “TrapWire” had returned 34,400 results yesterday, and over 240,000 results today, we asked how many million results must be returned before corporate media would address it.

Shortly thereafter (by sheer coincidence no doubt) the New York Times have posted THIS scrub article – denouncing the email evidence as “stolen”, the TrapWire program as “Counter-Terrorism Software” and then quoting a New York Police Department source as assuring the NYT that they do not in fact use TrapWire.

Unfortunately the article raises more questions than it answers. Most notably:

  1. If everything is fine and we should trust our governments, which is the general feel of the article, why did it take 5 days & a quarter million Google results for the New York Times to acknowledge the concerns of the public & assuage them?
  2. The NYT quote “Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman” as saying “We don’t use TrapWire.” Which immediately begs the apparently unasked question; then what DO they use?
  3. If, like the NYT says, TrapWire is “Counter-Terrorism” software, how do we explain THIS 2nd August 2010 internal Stratfor email, which states, “they (San Francisco) need something like TrapWire more for threats from activists than from terror threats. Both are useful, but activists are ever-present around here.”
  4. The NYT claims “TrapWire was originally developed in 2004 by the Abraxas Corporation, which was founded by several former C.I.A. employees. It later spun off TrapWire, but the C.I.A. connection, along with the company’s vague but impressive descriptions of the program’s capabilities, appears to have fueled the furor on the Web that it was a sort of automated Big Brother.” This makes it sound as if the CIA connection belonged only to Abraxas and is some kind of archaic stigma carried over to TrapWire. Yet THIS dox of TrapWire management shows clearly that there are pervasive connections between TrapWire (NOT just Abraxas) management and the CIA. Similarly, THIS second dox of TrapWire distributors/partners with global reach, exposes a management hierarchy steeped in intelligence agency service/connections?
  5. The NYT carries on to say “TrapWire’s marketing materials say it uses video cameras and observations by security guards to develop a 10-point description of people near a potential terrorist target and an eight-point description of vehicles.” Actually, TrapWire’s marketing materials said a whole lot more than that, before they scrubbed their website (five days prior to NYT even uttering the word “TrapWire) clean of any incriminating or traceable information, however if you visit the websites of their distributors/on-selling agents such as New Zealand’s Cubic Defense Systems (an apparent subsidiary of Cubic International) you will discover not only the same executive connections to intelligence agencies, but clearly advertised services such as “Competitive Market Intelligence” and “Asset Tracking”. Which we take to mean that there are plenty of other uses beyond counter-terrorism, for this kind of software?
  6. While the NYT is convinced one statement from an NYPD official is enough to go on, THIS leaked email confirms that the City of Los Angeles, at least, is a client of TrapWire. It also discusses a meeting with a “Senator Williams” & says it passed on recommendations for “TRAPWIRE and 100% digital CCTV upgrades for the entire Capitol”. So surely this issue goes a lot deeper than the NYT’s extremely shallow article?

As if all the above weren’t enough, the major question that WE have, is how can private companies access, commodify and on-sell data from publicly-funded surveillance systems? If this is what has been occurring, then taxpayers are unwittingly funding a structure in which they themselves, unknowingly become the product? A product which they then receive no profit from?

The icing on the cake has to be the final line of the NYT article, which quotes a “Jay Stanley” who “studies threats to privacy at the American Civil Liberties Union.”

“We live in a democracy,” he said, “and that’s what security agencies are here to protect.”

Well according to the corporate management profiles of TrapWire Inc., Abraxas and Cubic Defense, that’s what security agents are here to profit off.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM.

CALL TO ACTION: Please download everything linked to here & store multiple copies wherever you can (lest it mysteriously disappear). Please reblog this post anywhere you are able, you have our full permission to do so. Please, most importantly, start filing Freedom of Information Act requests to all relevant local/national/civil authorities and let’s get to the bottom of what they’ve been doing, once and for all.

An Elementary Guide To The #TrapWire Global Surveillance Revelations

We anticipate the subject of #TrapWire and it’s global government-corporation intelligence software will continue to garner massive attention in the coming weeks. This is a list of basic reading for anyone who is interested in beginning to understand the subject.

Business Insider: Wikileaks; Surveillance Cameras Around The Country Are Being Used In A Huge Spy Network

RT.com: Stratfor Emails Reveal Secret, Widespread TrapWire Surveillance System

FireDogLake: TrapWire; Welcome To The Police State, Where You Must Fear For Your Freedoms

Ben Doernberg’s TrapWire Storify: TrapWire; International Surveillance Coordination Network

Salon: Biggest Story You Missed

 

 

 

 

 

Occupy NZ’s Gorgeous A9 Chalkupy Solidarity Slideshow: Pics From 3 Continents

Among the first countries to see each new day, Occupy New Zealand kicked off #A9 Chalkupy: Chalkupy The World, on Thursday, with members of the public chalking public and private space throughout the country.

The following is our first attempt at inserting a slideshow (rather than our usual slew of raw pics resulting in a kilometre long post), hope you like it 🙂

One of the most positive changes for Occupy New Zealand post-evictions has been the continued international solidarity experienced by us and in which we have participated, in the chain of global solidarity action days.

From our May Day actions to Chalkupy, as several have commented, “it makes the world seem a lot smaller!”, and it also diminishes the differences between us, allowing us to feel akin to all humankind.

As we chatted with members of the public who stopped to admire our work, and handed out chalk to the youngsters soon swirling around us, each witness to the chalking was able to also feel that kinsmanship. We told them of what had happened to Occupy Los Angeles chalkupiers – and their faces fell. We told them of what we were doing in solidarity; their faces beamed.

One passerby was so excited to see the Syria image that he was exuding to his wife, “Syria! Syria! They know about Syria!” The relief and excitement on his face palpable.

For some people, the acknowledgement is profound. For their heritage, for the truth of what is happening in those countries, to be aired openly, is the first step in the ladder to fixing it once and for all.

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