Occupy Independence Forever: @Suzi3D Interviewed About Snowden, Wikileaks, the TPP and Berlin

One of the most recent additions to Berlin’s unofficial political exile club is Kiwi activist, citizen journalist and blogger Suzie Dawson (better known as @endarken).

On 4th July she was interviewed at length by the ‘Occupy America Social Network’s podcast about her recent articles about Edward Snowden, alongside many other topical and interesting issues.

If you want to listen to it, the full podcast is available here. (Easier to download & playback than to stream). If you prefer to read what was said, a preliminary transcript of the 63-minute interview is provided below.

Enjoy!!

Host: Terry Bain (@TWBainusW / Terry’s Official Website )
Guest: Suzie Dawson (@Suzi3D / Suzie’s Official Website )

Introduction:

HOST:  Hi and welcome back to another edition of Occupy America Social Network and this is Episode 42, this is Occupy Independence Forever! Which is a quote from the 2nd American President John Adams. That was his quote – this is our Independence Day, and I’m really delighted to be talking to somebody who can give us a more broad picture – Suzie, can you introduce yourself please?

GUEST:  Sure. Thanks so much Terry for having me on the show. My name is Suzie Dawson, I’m a citizen journalist from Occupy Auckland Media Team in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m also a blogger on a variety of independent platforms and an old friend of you, through the wonders of the internet!

HOST:  Great talking to you. I want to go ahead, we’ve got a billion things to try to cover and not much time. You’ve got three stories that I think that people will get a kick out of, our listeners and we’ll start off with probably the most important one – help us out here, with Mr. Snowden.

GUEST: There’s been so much happening with Snowden recently, I’m looking forward to talking about that. Also I just want to quickly say Happy Independence Day because I know it is 4th July for you, and also your 4th July show. I saw an awesome tweet go out yesterday, a photo, a Stand With Snowden pic featuring Jesselyn Radack, Edward Snowden’s lawyer;  William Binney; Thomas Drake; Laura Poitras, Diani Barreto and James Bamford. That really inspired me too because recently – I’m in Berlin – I got to meet some of those people, on June 7th at the #qvdemocracy event here, I got to meet Jess Radack, Sarah Harrison, Thomas Drake and Diani Barreto which was an amazing experience because these are people I’ve written about and kept a close eye on for years but to actually get to see them in the flesh and get some really good vibes from them was amazing.

HOST: I’ve never actually had the chance to talk to them; I have reservations and we’ve talked about this before; I have a quote from Mr. Snowden and it goes to the heart of why I’m having trouble finding a way of being able to use his information. Do you have that quote?

GUEST: It was Bloomberg, right?

HOST:  Bloomberg, yes. It was a Snowden quote, hopefully, or they may have misquoted him.

GUEST:  I don’t have the quote in front of me unfortunately, but I think what you’re talking about is where he was saying that the journalists who he passed the information to, actually run it past certain government representatives before they release it.

HOST:  Yes, basically to paraphrase, he only released it to ‘responsible journalists’ – and I’m not sure you and I would be classified as responsible journalists! And the second point was, in coordination with government stakeholders. And again, if the government stakeholders were acting responsibly, we wouldn’t be needing whistleblowers!  Help us out here – how do we use the information – what’s the middle line here?

GUEST:  I totally agree with you, however, on the other side, I think that Snowden is kind of damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, because there’s really two positions that are diametrically opposed. The one position is that, he’s trying to do the responsible thing; he’s trying to make sure that no ones life or limb is endangered by the release of this information. He wants to show that there’s some process to guarantee that. But the other option would be to dump it all to Wikileaks and have it all come out at once. I think the way he’s doing it now has the positive side of appealing to more of the mainstream as being a responsible tactic in releasing the information, but then there’s the downside which is the critics who are saying ‘it’s not coming out fast enough’ and as you say, are these government representatives actually responsible enough to be making decisions about, or having input about, whether or not the information should be released? But then if he had just dumped it all through Wikileaks it would flip to the other side – people would say ‘oh that’s irresponsible to just give it all to Wikileaks, it’s irresponsible to dump it all out in one go’ but then some people would say ‘no it’s really great, because now it’s all in the public domain’ so I kind of feel like no matter what way he had gone about releasing this information, there was going to be some sector of people that is upset with him.

HOST:  I totally agree, and also what we’re going to address here shortly is some of the psychological warfare  being used to discredit him, which is pretty obvious. But there is one other thing on the slow-motion release which I wanted to touch on – which was a former show guest, Stanley Cohen, kept requesting information because he had defendants who needed that information, if there was anything on it. It’s a little late for Mr. Cohen to work on it because right now he is also a political prisoner. Where’s the balance on this too? We’re about 5 minutes out of the first 20 minutes, can you touch on that?

GUEST:  I think it was primarily a resource issue. First Look Media wasn’t an established organisation when Snowden leaked the information to the journalists. They’ve had to build this media organisation to get these releases out, and in doing so that’s allowed them to circumvent, or to not have to be entirely dependent upon the mainstream outlets, like the New York Times or whoever else, who seemed to be interested in some big stories at the beginning, and to be fair have been more recently, but were clearly not going to consistently report on every document that was released. So I think they did the right thing in building a new media organisation from the ground up. I think a lot more reporting has come out as a result and I think that puts pressure on the mainstream media internationally to do more reporting on the releases. But I don’t think they ever had the resources at the outset to be able to just pull information out for specific individuals or for specific purposes. At the end of the day, he handed over documents, not necessarily a searchable database. I think that is something that’s beginning to happen now – what was .pdf images and image files eventually will be searchable text and then perhaps people will be able to sort through that information a lot more easily but unfortunately I don’t think it was viable for that to happen from the outset.

HOST:  We’ve got about 13 minutes left in this first segment; if you would, please talk about the article that you did, that’s showing the obvious mainstream media – which is actually no longer the mainstream media because they’ve lied so much that people don’t trust them anymore – we are now the mainstream media! But obviously there’s some discrediting going on and please go into that – that was the dinosaur article, we’ll have a link up on it.

GUEST:  On Contraspin, I published an article called ‘Debunking the Dinosaurs; Dismantling Snowden’s Detractors’ where I deconstructed a 15-point Twitter diatribe by Boston Globe and London Observer columnist Michael Cohen, who had pretty much ripped into Snowden and into Glenn Greenwald, for a number of reasons and I break these down in that article. Particularly of note, I discuss that what ultimately convinces me of Snowden’s authenticity isn’t his supporters – it’s not Glenn Greenwald, or Jess Radack or everyone else – I mean, they’re great, but that’s not what really proves to me his efficacy. What does prove it to me is the way that the establishment is attacking him, and the methods that they are using, because they are using the exact same deny, degrade, distract, disrupt, destroy playbook against him that his own revelations show are being used against every other activist. Everything I’ve experienced and seen happen to others over the last nearly four years, is precisely what is being done to Snowden. The same sock puppet accounts with the uniform negative narratives about him, the disparagements that they make. Then when you start to look at the cast of political characters that have been trotted out to discredit him, it’s Cheney, it’s Clinton, it’s Hayden, it’s current and past directors of this, that and the other government agency. Not only that but these are the people who were behind the disinformation about the Iraq War. These are literally the disinformation dinosaurs. The fact that the full weight of their departments is being used to discredit him and that the methodology is exactly the same as the discrediting of the Occupy movement, or pick any other movement, they’ve had the same thing happen to them, that is really telling. To me, it is so much more credible that they’re using that playbook against him the same as they do against us, than the obscure theory that’s out there that somehow Snowden is a CIA disinfo op and somehow President Putin is involved or complicit in it with the Americans; to me that just makes no sense. There’s been a very genuine attempt to starve out Russia economically through sanctions. There’s no way that the assaults on the Russian economy are part of some grand scheme to pretend that they’re at war with each other when they’re actually not. Those sanctions were used against Iraq and other countries long before they were used on Russia. It’s very clear to me also that Russia and China are seen by the U.S. as the greatest so-called threats to them in the cyberwar and that’s what the U.S.A. policy is really all about. So I don’t believe for one second that Russia and the U.S. are in bed together to try to put Snowden out as a disinfo op. It just makes no sense when you look at the facts.

HOST:  There’s a historian by the name of… he wrote a book called ‘The Best Enemy Money Can Buy’ and we’ll have a link to it, in an online version that can be read. It comes down to, Wall Street is basically backing both sides. They make money off of both sides. It’s the economic view of history. We could do an entire show and should do an entire show on it later. We haven’t got time in the last 6 minutes we’ve got in this section but could you touch on – you’ve actually, because of going to Germany, you’ve got a feel for them personally and maybe you can help us try to sort out, how do we… at the same time we don’t trust them completely, but we should be able to work with the information. Is it a verifiable fact? How do we do this?

GUEST:  I think it’s quite hard when you’re detached – whether it’s geographically detached, like I was in New Zealand, or as the average viewer is, but when they watch the videos or read the articles, it’s the same methods of transmitting information that the mainstream media use – video journalism and print journalism. So it’s quite easy to view it with the same critical eye that you would with the mainstream media, who clearly don’t tell the truth all the time if any of the time to be frank. But actually having met them in person, which I never expected to happen, there was no coordination surrounding that whatsoever, it just happened to occur for me. Meeting them in person, I realised that they really are just ordinary people. I just got amazing vibes from all of them. They talked to me very personally especially Thomas Drake, about his story and the things that happened to him and every single thing that he was telling me was matching up with everything I’d experienced in Auckland. Again, it’s the same methodology – the same tactics, the same playbook – that have been used against these people as have been used against all of us grassroots activists. So yet again that really hammered home for me that these are real people who are speaking out about their experiences, it is not scripted at all. And Ellsberg – you and I had had some discussion I think from something Doug Valentine had written about Daniel Ellsberg where he suspected that Ellsberg might have not been forthright about how the Pentagon Papers came to be released. I saw and stood right next to Daniel Ellsberg on several occasions on that day and I was really struck by the fact that this is a guy in his 80’s. This is not a guy who’s pre-retirement, who’s trotting out around the globe pushing a government line. This is someone who is in his 80’s and speaking out – his entire speech was anti-nuclear. To me, a government shill is not in his middle 80’s giving speeches about nuclear weapons. That’s just not what happens. If he was truly a government shill pushing a government agenda, in his 80’s he would be retired in his mansion on Cape Cod with his feet up on a lounge chair. There’s no way he would be out traveling and giving really important political speeches that directly contravene America’s nuclear interests, right? He’s literally talking about the inherent insanity of nuclear warfare no matter which country it is that’s perpetrating it. Anti-nuclear issues are really, really core, especially in New Zealand. We rejected the ANZUS treaty in the eighties because we wanted to create a nuclear-free zone. I know first-hand how contentious that kind of activism has been and how much heat was on those anti-nuclear activists. So the fact that Daniel Ellsberg has the wherewithal to be talking about issues that contentious at his advanced age I think also lends to his personal efficacy. I find it very difficult to believe that the U.S. government would send someone of his age around to do that. I don’t see where they stand to gain from it.

HOST:  That being said, Doug had raised a specific, assured point. I think when you checked into it, there was a good point that he was raising. At least that’s my understanding.

GUEST: Right, what he was saying is that Daniel Ellsberg was a CIA agent and not just a Department of Defense or Pentagon person. It was interesting because I instantly started to research that because I thought ‘I’m sure that’s not the case’. So I started to look into it and I actually found an Ellsberg interview where he talks about the government, in the wake of his release of the Pentagon Papers, as he described it, that the government tried to ‘Valerie Plame’ him. Valerie Plame of course being the CIA officer whose name was leaked, I think it was by Dick Cheney’s office wasn’t it? Back in the wake of the Iraq War? I think her husband had dissented in some way and to get back at him, they had leaked her name to reporters. So the fact that he used those words, that they had tried to Valerie Plame him, tells me that – yes he was a CIA officer, right? Cos Valerie Plame was a CIA officer. So if they tried to Valerie Plame him, what they were trying to do is to use the fact that he was a CIA officer to discredit his release of the Pentagon Papers. So, that again is a tactic that the same group of disinformation dinosaurs uses to discredit people. Then when you look at Snowden – Snowden also says he was in the CIA. So you have to ask yourself, does being a part of a military service then discredit you from ever speaking out or whistle-blowing? Clearly we are better off for the Pentagon Papers and clearly we are better off for the Snowden releases, so I don’t think them purely having been CIA officers is enough to discredit them and I think the fact that their own government is willing to expose them for being covert operatives seems very convenient to their government.

HOST:  I think that’s a good point. I don’t think its realistic to expect that we’re going to have perfect individuals. We’ve all got a mixture of good and bad. But at the same time, to use the information… do you see any transparency? Is there any way that we can let individuals – again, Independence Forever- let independent people, give them enough data, that they can make their own judgment as to who’s telling the truth and what the truth is. What do you see there?

GUEST:  I think there’s a lot more information in the public realm now than people realise. There’s a website called Cryptome.org – they keep a tally of Snowden’s leaked documents and they’re up to over 5,000 now. There’s 5,000 pages out there. Not 5,000 documents but 5,000 pages. I think that I found about a half dozen websites that are analysing those documents, outside of the mainstream media sphere obviously, they were also listed on Cryptome. So I think there is a huge amount of information out there but people only really see what comes from the big outlets. So if people really want to participate in analysing that information, I would urge them to go and read the documents. Read those 5,000 pages. Because you can be guaranteed that for every document, for every page, that CNN turn into one story, there’s probably ten stories in that document, but without the eyes to look at it and the hands to write about it, that information might never be found. So I think rather than criticise based on appearances, people need to actually jump in boots and all, see what’s there and circulate that information. Then they’re really in more of a position to criticise I think, if they’ve done that.

HOST:  There’s one other crucial point here. Again, I’m not a trusting soul as you’ve picked up, I want to be able to verify. But at the same time I 100% support that, these are political prisoners and they’re doing more time and being punished more, than the war criminals who actually created this situation, for profit, that has led to these political prisoners having to take risks. So, how do we support freeing these guys? Amnesty, or whatever? It’s just not fair for them to do more time than the people who are responsible. The Bushes. The Obamas. The list goes on and on. And again, it’s not my list. These are again, independently verifiable, that there are experts saying, you’re breaking international law. What are your thoughts there?

GUEST:  There are practical things that we can do, right, like we can go and donate to the legal defense funds. I know that Chelsea Manning was needing a sum of money quite recently to continue his legal case – HER legal case I should actually say. [So sorry, Chelsea.] Same with Snowden, same with others, they have legal costs, we can help and chip in with that. But I think that strategically what we need to do is to raise the political price on the government for persecuting whistleblowers. We need to raise the same kinds of movements in support of the whistleblowers that we see in working for other issues. But that said, I think Jesselyn Radack said that it’s a long game, it’s not a short game, in terms of actually freeing them. I think she’s right and when we look historically – look at Mandela, how many years he was in prison for. Obviously his is a different case for a number of reasons but still, I don’t think that Chelsea Manning is going to be released tomorrow or next week no matter what we do. But what we can do is raise the visibility for them and we can educate people and hopefully we can inspire a whole torrent of new whistleblowers and have more and more information coming out because I think the D.O.J. is a very slow-moving beast.  It’s taken them years trying to investigate Wikileaks and then every time there’s a new leak they have to start from scratch on that, so I do think it’s possible for whistleblowers to move faster than the government if there’s enough of them and if they bring out enough information.

HOST:  We’re at 21 minutes into the show, we really need to move, I guess, into the second segment. It was really good – I got a laugh out of it and this stuff is so scary that being able to laugh at it really helps: the Dick Pics. Could you tell us about the story you did on the Dick Pics.

GUEST:  Who didn’t get a laugh out of the Dick Pics. I actually thought it was priceless. I’ve seen so many interviews by Snowden over the years and it was definitely a one of a kind interview and I knew as soon as I saw the John Oliver interview – the ‘Dick Pics’ interview as it’s known – that it was going to go viral. It was really clear to me straight away. I think there was 300,000 views when I saw it; by the time I’d finished my article there was a million views on it; there’s now seven and a half million views on it. He did the most brilliant thing right – which is that he found the one point that would engage every single human being on the planet. Because every single human being either has a dick, or they know someone who has a dick. So, everybody feels personally invested in this topic. While on one hand people bemoan and say, ‘oh it’s really sad that we have to stoop to genital humour in order to be able to engage everybody’, but then at the same time you saw in the interviews of the general public that this really did hit home for them. This is something they can relate to because yes, they send intimate photos to their partners, and no, they don’t want the NSA looking at, and/or circulating, and/or storing forever, their intimate photos! Unfortunately that’s exactly what has been happening – they HAVE been vacuuming up everybody’s intimate photos and they do have access to them, and as Snowden said they do have a chuckle about them and/or send them to Bob down the row and that horrifies people, it completely horrifies people. Because it personalises it. It’s no longer just about the terrorists overseas somewhere, it’s about my penis, or my husband’s penis, and oh my God the NSA have a picture of it!

HOST:  It really also dovetails (?) with what we were just saying – it’s not realistic to expect that these people are perfect people. These sources may have things that they don’t want to be out there but in the interests of transparency, it’s going to have to be addressed. It will be addressed. What was really, I thought the best part of Snowden’s reaction to it, was how he reacted to it. I really got a kick out of how he was dealing with the interviewer, which was of course a sham, that wasn’t a for real, but that is so close to what mainstream media and disinformation is trying to do. Can you go into that a little bit?

GUEST:  Yeah, I think he handled it really well. It was nice to see him in a deep blush at a certain point there but he really did handle it so well. He did well with the off-the-cuff comments and statements. I mean, obviously he’s not a comedian like John Oliver is, but he handled the comedic aspect really, really well. His answers were brilliant. The leading questions at the end, where they actually went into each individual program and how that could capture your Dick Pic, that was just absolutely classic. It took what was highly technical information and very specialised knowledge and made it very accessible to the viewing audience. I think that needed to happen, it was overdue for that to happen. Full props to Snowden as well for actually participating and appreciating what had occurred, not being mortified by it, not being embarrassed by it but actually embracing it. And also to Greenwald and others who subsequently promoted the video and the viral nature of it. I think that was really genius on their part, to embrace this. It was clearly a huge win for them.

HOST:  There are several points in here, one of them is, this stuff is scary. This is warfare. Our government has declared war against us and it’s very difficult to be afraid of something that you can laugh at. So I think the humour side of this is extremely important here. You helped us out, you did an analysis of Doug Valentine, and of the Counterinsurgency interview that we did, and basically it’s the humour that helps you get through this. Cos we were talking, when somebody looks at the tweets from that time period, it’s like the crickets chirping. No one wants to touch this and I understand that but we’re not going to get out of here by ignoring it harder. What are your thoughts on this?

GUEST:  I think it’s easier for people to deal with that type of information that have seen it in person on the ground because then it’s making sense of things that didn’t make sense to them when they were going through it, so there’s a relief aspect to it. For me, when I was reading through that Counterinsurgency stuff, I was like, ‘oh my God, this is the story of everything that has happened to us for the last four years’ and all these pieces are dropping into place and it’s making sense for me. But for when a non-activist reads this stuff, they’re shocked and dismayed and they just can’t believe – ‘surely this doesn’t happen, surely our government doesn’t do this, maybe they do this in Afghanistan, surely they don’t do this in Ferguson, or Auckland, or New York City’, you know? But of course they are, and they do…

HOST:  Like they do in Fergu-stan.

GUEST:  Yeah, really! But I think that comedy is something that engages people and people feel good about it. So they don’t feel scared, or doubtful, they’re not doubting whether something has actually occurred, they’re actually laughing and happy and they want to show it to their friends and they want to show it to their family. I think that was a really good object lesson, I think that maybe the Counterintelligence information that is coming out is more palatable to activists than it is to the general public but I think the John Oliver interview taught us a lot about how we can get wider circulation of these issues to the general public in a way that is meaningful to them.

HOST:  It’s absolutely vital that it gets out to there too. I’m really not seeing, even out of journalists – like The Intercept – I don’t see The Intercept really addressing this and we’ve got to have their help. We’ve got to have them. I don’t see them being there. Any day, now, guys!

GUEST:  They’re addressing it, but they’re addressing the nitty gritty, right? They’re addressing the precise tactics of JTRIG, which is the precise unit from GCHQ that is perpetrating a lot of, at least, the online side of it. So they’re dealing with documents that are detailing the specifics of what is being done, so it’s really at a micro level. Really, operational information around targeting activists personally. So, again, that’s really key information for activists. I read that stuff and I’m like ‘oh my God, that happened to me, and that happened to this other person on my media team, and that happened to another activist that I know’ and I can relate personal situations to everything that I’m seeing in those documents, which is yet another reason I know that they are legit. However, I think, again, for non-activists, it’s harder for them to connect with that and I see what you’re saying, which is that we need the bigger picture. People need to understand the bigger picture, that this is an actual strategy that is played out at a very high level and at an international level because this is being done in New Zealand, it’s being done in the U.K. It’s being done in America. God only knows where else it’s being done, I’m sure it’s being done in Canada. Obviously all of the Five Eyes at a minimum and probably dozens more, maybe even a hundred countries in the world are having the same tactics used on it. So I think that, you’re right that The Intercept isn’t covering it at a big level, at a generic level, but then if they did they would be criticised for – how are you sourcing that? People would want them to prove the nitty gritty in order to be able to provide a bigger picture. So I think it’s a catch-22 right, where if they cover the big picture, people are going to say ‘it’s conspiracy theory’. But if they cover the nitty gritty then people are going to say ‘it’s too technical and we don’t really understand it’ and whatnot. I think it’s about more than just The Intercept. I think the responsibility lies with all of us to circulate information in the way that we can, to the people that we can. The tendency to sit back and be like ‘oh why hasn’t Greenwald done this, why hasn’t Snowden done that’ – look at what they have done. How much do you expect from these guys, seriously? They can be an expert in one thing or two things or three things or five things – but I see people saying ‘why aren’t they 9/11 truthers? Why aren’t they blah blah blah blah blah…’ – and it’s like, you can’t actually list every problem that the world has and expect Greenwald and Snowden to solve it.

HOST:  That’s a good point…

GUEST: At the end of the day, people have to take responsibility for what they have a personal interest in and what issues they can contribute to.

HOST:  I guess my own personal side of it is, if we don’t get some support on these issues, we’re going to disappear. It would be much more difficult for Greenwald to be disappeared, or defenestrated in the final spy game term. I don’t want to be defenestrated but if we don’t get the word out just a little bit faster, I’m not going to be around to see the end of this mess. I guess that’s my own selfish reason for saying ‘Hello? Could we pick up the pace a little bit guys?’ Do you see a way to try to accelerate this?

GUEST:  I think safety comes in numbers and the more connected that we are to each other, the higher our chance of survival increases and therefore our ability to serve others and the cause increases. Having seen the transition for myself, from New Zealand, where I was very isolated. I had my media team but my media team all faced exactly the same problems as I was facing. At a very individual level, we were all targeted. We didn’t have the wider infrastructure to support us of other activists having gone through the same thing and come out the other end. Also, New Zealand is in a technology black hole so we are 10-15 years behind the rest of the world in technology, but we were being attacked with technology that is cutting-edge. Coming to Berlin where there are established structures for activists and there are places of refuge and safe-haven, and organisations, like, really well-established organisations that are well-resourced and really have their proverbial together, has just been amazing. The difference is incredible. Because you can begin to work free of that level of harassment that you face when you are more isolated. So I think that activists being isolated serves the government agenda because it allows them to be targeted and to be repressed. But the more that we coordinate and the more that we support each other, the harder it is for the governments to be able to get away with doing the kind of low-down dirty deeds to us that they are able to when we are isolated. So that for me has been the big lesson – that there is safety in numbers and there are support structures are out there, we have to find them and we have to help each other to find them. As for the general state of the world though, I feel the same way. I look at the water problems – I look at Shell drilling in the Arctic Ocean right this very day – and climate change, and everything else, and I’m just absolutely overwhelmed by it. Even Fukushima and the state of the oceans and the list just goes on and on and on and on. We are destroying this planet so rapidly and there are so many issues that if there isn’t systemic change we are ALL toast. The planet is toast. I have absolutely no doubt about that. But I do believe what you say and what you’ve told us, which is that eventually the system will cave in upon itself because it cannot sustain itself.

HOST:  It always does. That is what the history is showing and that is something to try to keep a handle on. They’re losing; they’re going to lose; they always lose; but it would be nice if they would lose fast enough that I stay alive to get all the way through it. The three pillars, that we’re dealing with – the architect of that is Kilcullen and he’s from Australia. He’s quoted as saying, before they can even deploy all of these magical toys that they have and billions, maybe trillions of dollars worth of technology; before they can use any of that against us, they have to have control of information. Our control of information is specifically; we have to defend our ideology, what we believe in. We have to defend sanctuary; we have to be able to do this and be safe while we do it or at least, like you were saying, safety in numbers. There has to be safe places for us. And the third thing is – I forgot the third thing – ideology, sanctuary, and that’s right: motivation. How do we motivate ourselves? How do we continue to do this? And it’s probably a Freudian slip that I couldn’t remember the word motivation, because I want to quit! I’ve been doing this since the first week of Occupy. I’ve been scared to death since the first week of Occupy and I’m tired of being scared to death; I’m too old for this. I need to be fishing in a rocking chair!

GUEST:  Well that’s a bit like what I was saying about Ellsberg, isn’t it? I mean, he should definitely be in retirement fishing in a rocking chair somewhere, but he’s trying to tell the world that nuclear weapons are insanity, and to stop the fighting. I don’t know that this is a fight that we ever can give up and retire from. I look at my older friends who came through the Springbok tour in ’81 in New Zealand and won some of the biggest political battles in the history of New Zealand activism – they’re still fighting today. Even from all the struggles they went through then – they had the same type of targeting, it was a different time, different level of technology, different resources set against them but they still went through hell. They were still individually targeted and having their lives dismantled but they won one of the biggest political battles of our time and they are still here beside us today fighting. I don’t think you ever really can retire from caring about the planet. I don’t think you ever retire from wanting life to continue for future generations. I do hear you though, I’ve definitely had what they call ‘activist burnout’ which is periods where you just don’t want to know anymore, you just need to think about yourself and regenerate a bit because it’s just too much pressure and too much stress but at the end of the day we’re guided by our conscience and my conscience always leads me back to the cause no matter what because when I see that injustice I cannot be silent and they count on our silence! That’s the whole point of what they do to us, they want to shame us and silence us. But when we are silent we become complicit. When we are silent we are protecting the perpetrators. So we have to speak out, because speaking out clears our conscience. It’s our only hope for the future, literally, and it reassigns the shame and the blame to where it belongs – which is not on us, but on those who do this and who profit from doing it.

HOST:  Again, the title of this show and the theme for this show is Independence Forever – the American 1776 Independence – and specifically the ideology is what’s contained in the Declaration of Independence and the architect of that was Benjamin Franklin and Ben Franklin was less than totally humourous but I they needed a good laugh too, I’m sure! Either we all hang together or we most certainly will hang separately and that’s where we’re at. That is the three things that they’re trying to defeat us on. We have to defend ideology, sanctuary, motivation. We have to defend there. They cannot win as long as we continue to defeat – or at least to defend. We don’t even have to defend successfully. We just have to continue to defend and with that little speech out of the way, we’ve got 20 minutes left in the show. We wanted to touch base on the third article that I really got a kick out of – on the Patriot Act. You wanted to do the show Occupy Patriots but right now up here the Ku Klux Klan has occupied the term patriot. Tom Payne – another member of the original Independence Forever group – talked about ‘summertime soldiers and sunshine patriots’, and I believe I just rewrote Tom Payne, my apologies, but talk to us about patriots. Again, this will be news to a lot of people to understand, this isn’t just an American thing. This is Five Eyes, for sure. Touch on Five Eyes. Most people don’t understand, even if we took out the NSA, at this point in the United States, there’s four more of them! So it’s going to have to be a worldwide movement to dismantle this. We’ve got 19 minutes left, let’s fix this in 19 minutes! Go!

GUEST:  Well it’s the breakdown of national sovereignty really, is what is occurring, right, so the Five Eyes are operating as a single entity, as a single country, irrespective of the political constructs in each individual country. So, we have the general public who wait every 3 or 4 years to have their one vote for a political party that is supposed to represent them and is supposed to call the shots but lo and behold the shots are actually being called by the Five Eyes. Regardless of what political party gets into power. We see now with the TPP agreement that is being rolled out worldwide almost, that is again the breakdown of national sovereignty so now the laws will transcend borders and the laws are in the interests of corporations. They are not in the interests of voters or of the citizenry. We already have the military occupation of five countries, which is the Five Eyes. Now we have the corporate occupation of a bunch of countries. We have a massive movement in New Zealand called the #TPPANoWay movement (by It’s Our Future NZ) where we have had – it’s really gone mainstream – we’ve had tens of thousands of people in coordinated actions throughout cities and towns all through New Zealand marching against the TPP. Alongside cities and towns all over the world that have been marching as well. The Trade Minister in New Zealand, Tim Groser, recently described us as politically irrelevant, our movement, and yet said that we get way too much press, that we have a pervasive level of press. Well I can tell you that to get a pervasive level of press, you have to have a mammoth movement because the press play down the numbers, and they play down the movements, severely. So if you have a pervasive coverage in the press it means that you really have astronomical numbers of support behind you. But what he’s really showing is the political disdain for the will of the people. Even where you have the entire citizenry mobilised and in constant action against something that is occurring, the politicians just don’t care. They’re just putting their middle finger up. Because they know that the corporate agenda and the military agenda will advance completely regardless of what the voters do or say about it. So the entire political structure becomes this puppetry theatre. Which again ties us back to Counterinsurgency theory, right, or the strategy. Because that shows the political sphere as one column – one column to hold up the building – and it actually states that if that political column falls, if our movements got so big that we camped out at the Beehive in Wellington and took down the government, the security and the economic pillars, those structures, are strong enough to hold up the building regardless of whether the political stands, whether it remains. So basically the security forces; the police forces; the private investigators that are sub-contracted; the military itself; and the economic structures: the banks; the finance; the money-lenders, that keep industry turning every single day; those together can still hold up the system regardless of whether the political column falls. Which tells us that all of this action for political change and all of the election cycles and the promise of democracy and everything else, is completely irrelevant in the larger picture and they know it is irrelevant and they count on it being irrelevant. So they’re quite happy to shepherd activists into political campaigns, they’re quite happy to see us focus on an election cycle or on who we’re going to vote in this time or next time. What they’re not cool with is us circulating information about exactly this. Because that information is the foundation of the building. Once the well of information has been poisoned, from their perspective, poisoned against them – then they are in really big trouble. Because that’s the point at which everything can fall. That’s the Tunisia moment. That’s the moment where everything can change and so people really need to understand I think that we can’t win by appealing to politicians. We can’t win by appealing to legislators. That said, they will try and prolong their tenure in power by appeasing us in small ways if they feel that those ways are not critically important to their continuation. I think that the win against Section 215 of the Patriot Act, where that’s now been discontinued, the United States Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals found that it was in fact an illegal program, and that has since supposedly ceased – though I did hear something about it being restarted in the interim period until it’s finally shutdown – if nothing else, that was a symbolic win for us. Again, Jesselyn Radack, quoting her – she said that this is the first time that legislation has actually been revoked. Even if it’s just one piece or if it’s just one system. It’s the first time that there has been any step backwards since 9/11. Up until this point they’ve just been racing forward with more and more invasive anti-privacy legislation. So, this was definitely a symbolic victory, this was definitely a vindication for Snowden, there is no doubt about that. But it’s also a very small concession by a very powerful state and we need to push for a whole lot more than that if there’s going to be any significant change.

HOST:  Once again, we know according to the architect of the plan, that as long as people defend those three things – the ideology, the sanctuary, the motivation, they don’t even have to successfully defend it, they just have to defend it, that they cannot win. They never win. In fact, it’s designed, according to some really good historians, that it doesn’t make any difference from their point of view. If the bankers are making money by pitting one side against the other, they actually make more money by losing and then coming again with the next battle. We are back in Iraq – we never really left Iraq. Does New Zealand have people in Iraq too? Probably.

GUEST:  Yeah – with New Zealand it’s always sold to us as ‘they’re just there for reconstruction’ or ‘they’re just there to help the people’ and you know, whatever else, and never mind that it’s actually our special forces getting sent in and whatnot. The situation in New Zealand right now is that we have a government that is a mini American government, in all regards. Our Prime Minister was a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of America. Not the Federal Reserve Bank of New Zealand – the Federal Reserve Bank of America.

HOST:  Okay, now I’d missed that one and I’ve been following you for years now and I had missed that little point!

GUEST: Yes, John Key. He was a derivatives trader, for God’s sake.

HOST: Oh, wonderful! You’ve made my evening, once again.

GUEST: Exactly, you know. But going back yet again to the Counterinsurgency strategy – look at who is attacking the information base the most successfully at the moment: it’s Wikileaks. They are literally on fire recently, they’ve had back-to-back disclosures. They had the Saudi leaks come out and the stuff about France recently, with NSA spying on President Hollande and his two predecessors. Then, in the last 24 hours too, the leaks about Brazil. Wikileaks is circulating probably the only true and accurate history of the world, that we’ve ever seen. I often think about the Encyclopedia Britannica sets that salesmen used to come around and sell to people in the 70s and 80s. Wikileaks is now that living encyclopedia. Wikileaks is the largest trove of 100% true information that exists in the world and you’ve got to shout out Julian Assange for that. It was his birthday recently. The dude has spent his entire 40s fighting this epic huge battle against political repression, both personally and on behalf of everyone. I really think his work is under-recognised to be honest with you. Though I do see a lot more recognition now in the mainstream media and I was really happy to see, yesterday, CNN covering the Wikileaks releases, BBC covering the Wikileaks releases. Fast forward eight hours and there’s a disparaging spin put on it, but the fact they’re having to cover them at all tells you what a big deal this is and how far the information is penetrating.

HOST:  It was definitely good enough but, I’d talked to you and I’d sent you links before but you’ve got like a gazillion irons in the fire and I’ll have to resend and there’ll be a link with this story, but there was a piece of disinformation, once again, put into Wikileaks – poison well theory again – it’s effective enough that they’re actually taking information warfare steps against it. That was with part of what Barrett Brown was involved in – Stratfor – a couple of journalists I know had to file retractions. A couple of people who would like to think they are journalists but aren’t journalists, never filed retractions. Again, a violation of transparency at this point. We’ve got to trust people – give them enough information, they can make the correct decision. Any thoughts about that, with 14 minutes left in the show?

GUEST:  I’m just not surprised at all that that’s happened. I remember Jeremy Hammond putting out a statement about the extent to which the FBI had been involved in masterminding the Stratfor hack and I think that they lost control of that operation at the point at which Jeremy allegedly leaked that information to Wikileaks. So they could have done anything, that’s really what it comes down to and Stratfor itself is not the most trustworthy organisation in the world in my personal opinion, to say the very least. They have very close familial ties to what I can only describe as disinformation merchants that operate in the right-wing political radio sphere in New Zealand and I don’t trust them as far as I can kick them to be honest. So God only knows what was in here and God only knows where it came from. But I can tell you that, us information activists, we have people approach us with bullshit information. That’s something that happens. It’s deliberately done. They dress it as if its legitimate. They go to great lengths to present it as if it’s legitimate. But there’s always some nasty thing inside it, some nasty factor. Then once they’ve convinced you to use the information, they ‘out’ you for having used it. It’s entrapment – a form of entrapment. It’s very much deliberate on their part and is part of the methodology of discrediting activists so it’s something we constantly have to be on the look out for. I have no doubt they would have done the same thing to Wikileaks – they’ve probably been trying to do it for years. In fact it’s probably quite remarkable that with the number of documents Wikileaks has released, that there’s been so few instances of that

HOST:  The old reporter rule used to be, if you can get a story, and you can confirm a story, then you ran the story and that’s back to transparency again. If it turns out that you’re wrong – hey – until we have perfect people to make perfect reporters, occasionally we’re going to get it wrong. When you do, you file a retraction and say okay, I had this wrong and here’s why I had it wrong. Because this snake in the bush over here handed me a big bow-tied wrapped turd and I fell for it. Then you do everything you can to try to illuminate that snake so that the next time he comes along it’s not quite so easy for him to just completely pass something off as true. We’ve got 5 or 6 minutes left.

GUEST: I feel like that takes us back to the catch-22, it’s like a half dozen to one and six to the other. Either you really carefully vet every single document and you give the government a chance to present any contrary evidence or you just fact-check the hell out of it before you release it and then you’re releasing documents in this tiny slow drip-feed and everyone’s complaining about how many documents haven’t been analysed yet and that they’re not released to the public. Or you go the other way and just release the whole hog and hope like hell that it isn’t a poisoned well. So again, I think they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

HOST:  Well, that’s what retractions are for, and real reporters file retractions. You’ll notice I keep using the term reporter. I am really down on the term journalist. I used to be paid to be a journalist. I’m not paid anymore, I’m paying to do this. I’m just reporting. So I think part of what we’re looking for here is to try to explain, how do we deal with this, as what you’ve said, an information activist – I still call it a reporter. It’s transparency.

GUEST:  I love the term ‘citizen journalist’. I know other people don’t agree. But I love the term citizen journalist because for me it’s like, where I came from and who I do it for. The citizens. I was not a journalist. I did not go to journalism school. I did not get told “you must do a, b, c, d, e or you won’t have a pay check’. I did not go and work for a mainstream organisation. I do not do this because somebody pays me. I was a citizen experiencing things that the media were not reporting on and my responsibility is to other citizens. I am not responsible to a mainstream media organisation. There’s no editor or publisher on this entire planet that can stake a claim on me or that can tell me what I need to cover next or can substantially change my stories. I have my own publishing platforms, a whole variety of them in fact, and some other really amazing publishers, independent publishers, also support and promote my work and I’m lucky enough to have built a following over the last few years. But, to me, the citizen word is much more important than the journalist word, because everything I saw of journalists was just absolutely shocking.

I remember having an argument with a journalist where they wouldn’t take a quote from us because they wanted to take a quote from the councilman and they knew if they took a quote from us that the councilman wouldn’t give them a quote. I said ‘you know that they’re going to lie to you so why would you want a quote from them? You know that whatever quote they give you will be rubbish’ and they said ‘yes, but if we don’t, then we will lose access to them” and it’s like, well why do you want access to somebody that you know is going to lie to you? Because access is everything to them. I would rather have access to truth-tellers, and I’d rather have access to whistleblowers, and I’d rather have access to activists, than to have access to P.R. people, or Press Secretary of this, or whoever else, government officials or whatever. It’s just ridiculous and the fact that they get pandered to, actually enables their lies, it really does. If the media just said ‘we’re going with the truth and unless you give it to us we’ll be going to where it is’ then it would reform pretty quickly but instead the media participates in the P.R. veneer and I just think that’s disgraceful and completely contrary to the public interest.

HOST:  I agree. We’ve got 2 minutes left. I think we’ve touched on some basic ways to work through this mess. Transparency. Trust individuals enough that if they’ve got good information they can make their own judgment. Leave us with some good news. Especially – you’re in Germany right now. What is the mood in Germany, in two minutes?

GUEST:  I have a lot to talk to the German people about. I haven’t had a chance yet but I definitely will be getting there because what I see in Germany is a lot of how New Zealand used to be and it feels like there are a lot of things here that we already lost in New Zealand. So I have a lot of warnings for the German people about the critical need for them to preserve what they have here and to be aware of how many other places it has been lost. There is not the pervasive public surveillance here that there is in the Five Eyes countries however I do see surveillance networks in the transport systems and I think that’s how it starts. It starts in the transport systems then it spreads through to the commercial zones and the industrial zones then eventually ends up in the residential zones. In New Zealand it is now legal for the NZ SIS which is our equivalent of the FBI, to plant surveillance cameras inside residential homes, without a warrant, for a 24 hour period then to use the information gathered in support of obtaining a warrant. To me, it’s not an issue of Orwell is coming, or an Orwellian world is on it’s way – in New Zealand it has already arrived. They can film you in your house without a warrant. That is where countries like Germany could end up in the long term if they don’t really respect and fight to preserve the privacy that they do have now, as well as pushing back on expanding it. So I definitely have a lot of warnings for Germany.

I think on a happy note – well I don’t really have much to say on a happy note other than Happy Birthday Edward Snowden! I’ve been dying to say ‘Hari Huritau’ which is Happy Birthday in NZ Maori which is our indigenous language. I saw messages go to him from all around the world but I didn’t see anything speak to him in Maori so I thought I would get that out there.

HOST:  Well I think that was a happy note, too. To me, New Zealand used the electoral process and made further forward progress than any place else I can see. Kim Dotcom, and the Maori – excuse me, I can’t remember off the top of my head what the party was –

GUEST:  The Mana Movement of the People. Hone Harawira’s party, yes. That allied with Kim Dotcom.

HOST:  You gave us hope. For anybody who was watching, you gave us hope.

GUEST:  We fought hella hard, that’s what it came down to. We really gave it absolutely everything we had. We broke through to the mainstream. We got through to Mom and Pop New Zealanders. We even had mainstream programs having to cover our content five days a week. But at the end of the day it didn’t effect change. So we have to change our tactics now. If we can’t get change through the political system we have to be active outside of it. It’s the only option left to us.

HOST:  On that note – I think we need to remember that COIN is always destined to fail. That’s what the research showed. You helped us with that research, with that analysis. I’m looking forward to more shows like this. It would be good to get an international view for Occupy America Social Network and I thank you Suzie. It was really great talking to you.

GUEST:  Thank you so much for having me on, it’s just awesome.

HOST:  Well, I end the show the same way each time. From the old Occupy movement, we had a saying – thanks for standing and that’s where I’m at right now. Thanks for standing and join us again for our next show.

GUEST:  Thank you so much. Take care.

—TRANSCRIPT ENDS—

 

#GCSB FAN FICTION: “Meagan’s First Story” by Kiwi Occupier Lyn Ny

The following is a piece of fan fiction by Kiwi Occupier Lyn Ny. Any resemblance to persons or organisations living or dead, or events, is merely coincidental. Allow your imaginations to run free!

Meagan’s First Story

By Lyn Ny

The room was generic, corporation-style meeting room. A large, fake timber table held sway over a flotilla of small, uncomfortable chairs; a water cooler stood in one corner; windows looked over an ordinary city view. On the small, uncomfortable chairs were an eclectic group of people. There were some in very businesslike suits and ties and others in jeans and t-shirts.

An outsider, Bill thought, wouldn’t instantly know the purpose of this group. They were clearly not physical labourers although Sarah and Joe were starting to show the benefit of their gym sessions. A discreet hiccough brought Bill back to business.

“Right then, that about covers everything except this latest GCSB leak. Another leaked email has surfaced calling them out on the actual number of people being surveilled. It includes a list of 1243 people under active investigation – not the 88 they ‘fessed up to earlier. Now I don’t care one way or another how many people our government agencies are looking at – that’s their job for fuck’s sake. Somebody has to protect us from cyber attacks, industrial espionage and terrorist bomb plots but we’d better print something for the punters. Our official angle should reassure the public that security is paramount for us to compete in the current global financial climate. You wanna make an omelet you gotta break some eggs. Even those in the lens would agree, I’m sure, that the threats to our country, our government and our economy are worth some loss of privacy. Any takers?”

He looked up at his bunch of journalists and was met with a wall of apathy. This was not going to be a rewarding mission. The story and that paper’s stand were a foregone conclusion. One of the effects of mainstream media was to kill any investigative spirit, especially with potentially career damaging investigations into the activities of the government or its agencies.

Tentatively Meagan raised her eyebrows and met Bill’s gaze. “Can I have a crack at it?” she asked. Meagan, who was naturally on the shy side, had only just started working for the paper which was the most read daily in the country. Meagan’s appearance; small, young and pretty, often lead to her being overlooked. Her quiet nature added to her non-threatening appearance and allowed her to get close to people and gain their confidence and trust quickly.

“Sure, why not! I’ll send you the email for background and you can get started. I want to print the story on Thursday so have it ready for editing on Wednesday. It’s a human interest story – the political issues are far too complex for us to cover in any depth and we want to reduce people’s concerns. There are over 4 million people in this country and 1243 is a paltry number in reality. The vast majority of our readers are NOT under surveillance and are unaffected by this information – those that are must have done something to attract attention! Come and see me if you have any problems and keep me posted. And that’s it for today. Let’s get on with it!”

Meagan followed everyone from the room and started planning the first story of her new journalist life. How to begin? The computer on her desk advised her of two new emails – one from her sister and the other from Bill with the leaked list of GCSB targets. Today was Tuesday and she’d have to work fast to get anything juicy to print by the deadline.

The list wasn’t in any apparent order. It looked like any database with name, address, date of birth, phone numbers and email addresses. There was nothing to differentiate one entry from any other. She spent some time on Facebook searching for matches. An hour of that found more than half of those on the list. Trawling through their friend lists netted three who shared mutual friends with Meagan. Another half hour of Facebooking left Meagan in no doubt about why these people had attracted attention. Posts about fluoride, Palestine, Five Eyes, global financial schemes, derivatives, fracking, deep sea oil drilling, HAARP, environmental destruction and political corruption featured large on all three profiles. All three re-posted numerous articles from Al-Jazeera, RT News and Occupy with news from Egypt, Spain, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Syria, US, England, Canada and Australia – extensive coverage of national and international topics, protests, rumours, fact, speculation, opinion and comment.

All three seemed to be a cross between new age hippies and anarchists. Their threads included fruity talk of rising awareness, the masses awakening as if from coma, vibrations, energy, the cosmos, self-sufficiency, unfucking the system.

Meagan picked up her phone and dialled.

Redstar answered almost instantly “Yo!”.

“Hey, Redstar. How well do you know Terry Daniels?” Meagan asked without preamble.

“Well enough – why?” Redstar’s response was tinged with suspicion.

Meagan ignored his question. “Can you get him to lunch today do you reckon?” Redstar demurred and Meagan hastily added “My shout – anywhere you want.”

While Meagan waited for Redstar to get back to her she filled in time by searching the internet for anything related to GCSB. There were dozens of entries. Apparently the more secret a thing is the more it gets talked about. When Redstar phoned back 45 minutes later Meagan had read many articles on the GCSB and had learned surprisingly little.

By chance, Terry Daniels was in the city for a few days and was keen to meet up for lunch at 1:30ish “and bring pot” was Redstar’s stipulation “lubricate his vocal chords – lol!”

Meagan packed up her laptop and got organised for her first real interview. She left the office and stepped into a beautiful afternoon – sunny with a breath of breeze – perfect for walking the few blocks to Father Ted’s.

Redstar and Terry were sitting at a footpath table sipping beer and chatting. Meagan stifled a pang of disappointment on seeing Terry. He was pretty ordinary – 40-ish, average height, a little on the cuddly side, long greying brown hair and blue eyes, in blue jeans and white t-shirt. He didn’t look like a terrorist that’s for sure.

“Hi there, thanks for meeting with me Terry. What’s Redstar told you?” asked Meagan as she pulled out a seat and got comfortable.

“That you’ve just embarked on a career as a mainstream propaganda merchant with the Herald is all” Redstar quipped. “We’re both busting to know what you want with him.”

Meagan had her, almost true, story ready. “The editor wants a story about activists in New Zealand. Nothing meaty but plenty of scope to highlight some issues that get people off the couch and into the streets.”

Terry grinned broadly. “Cool! I love to talk. What do you want to know?”

Before Meagan could answer a slim, smiling young man, David according to his tag, came to take their lunch order. Redstar ordered big – lamb shanks and kumara mash, garlic pizza bread, stick date pudding and a jug of lager. Meagan and Terry ordered less extravagantly and all three reached for cigarettes and settled in to talk. “Are you all good with me recording? It’s more efficient than taking notes.”

“Sure, why not. I’m quite sure you’re not the only one recording us.” He laughed cheerfully as he spoke.

Meagan fought a pang of guilt that she had fudged her real purpose which she covered by pulling a joint from her pocket. Using marijuana is illegal and smoking it in public was risky but fun. Meagan reasoned that if anyone called the Police the evidence would be long gone before (or if) anyone came to enforce the law. She lit up and passed the joint as she set up her Ipad. “So who else is recording and why?” she asked innocently.

“I think it’s more like who isn’t?! I reckon Auckland Transport is a front for the Men in Black for a start. They’ve got surveillance cameras everywhere – intersections, motorways, streets, buildings – fucken everywhere! No need to follow anyone once they’ve hit the auckland motorway system – it’s all on film and they’ve probably got long range microphones and all the whizz bang spy gear. I’d love to know how much of ratepayers money goes to surveillance… or on anything else for that matter. Polly Black may be crazy or a spook but I agree with her that Council should tell us where our money is being spent before we hand it over. The CEO’s $800,000 salary doesn’t appear on their little pie chart! And then there’s the CGSB and the cops and the guys watching the watchers. I reckon that’s real job creation. We gotta pretend we can keep this collapsing financial system running somehow.”

Conversation stopped for a moment as David arrived with their meals and took an order for drinks. If there was a single word to describe Redstar it was gusto. He took to his meal with it and was obviously enjoying this afternoon treat. There’s nothing a conspiracy theorist likes more than the company of another conspiracy theorist it seemed.

“Bloody Polly Black! Merlin was right from the start – she’s a cunt! But she does have that one point – why should we pay rates to a Council when we don’t know what it’s spent on? he added, resuming the conversation.

“Damn straight! And while we’re on Auckland Council – guess who the contractors are for the rubbish, poison water supply and public transport? Redstar – you know this one.

“Yup – Veolia” put in Redstar obligingly.

“And guess who does water and refuse and transport for Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton? Or Paris? London? Washington? Sydney? Tel Aviv? I’m making some of those up” Terry admitted “because I can’t remember how far the tentacles of that particular wheke (octopus) reach – nor do I know if its head is in Israel or France. It’s a bugger having no internet but must make it harder for the heebie jeebies to keep tabs on us.”

This gave Meagan opportunity to get to the heart of the interview. “You sound like you think you are being watched. Why would you think so?” she asked casually.

“Do you want the long story or the short one?” Terry responded.

“I’ve got all day – the long one please.” Meagan was happy that Terry was so keen to talk. And with that Terry spilled forth on the many reasons he could be a target of particular attention. Redstar chugged on through his sticky date pudding with a bourbon on the side. He knew the story and enjoyed hearing it again.

As Terry talked Meagan became more and more amazed at how wrong her first impression had been. Terry was far less ordinary than he seemed.

“I was interwebbing one Saturday when I saw a Herald photo of thousands of people marching up Queen St under an “Occupy Auckland” banner. I was inspired and soon discovered what turned out to be a life-changing movement. I trolled YouTube, hungry for knowledge of the amazing people holding vigil in Zucotti Park at Occupy Wall St. Like mushrooms, Occupy sprung up everywhere. Their message resonated with millions of people globally. The world is being run by and for the 1% who hold the majority of the world’s financial wealth.

I visited Occupy Auckland in Aotea Square that Monday and was in awe of what they had achieved over a weekend. The normally empty, too-perfect lawn was alive with colour and movement. Tents, flags and placards lent a carnival air. People were everywhere and had come from everywhere – Unite, Mana, Socialist Aotearoa, the Nurse’s Union were all there with banners and tents and rosettes and slogans. Notice boards displayed meetings and meals and support groups and tutorials. Movies and music played, throngs of people were queuing for food and working groups were forming to deal with issues peculiar to this unusual form of protest. I was drawn in by the enthusiasm and optimism of this disparate group. I brought food and helped with meals and meetings. Occupy and occupiers became my life.”

Terry stopped talking and all three turned at the sound of a shouted chant from the nearby street corner. “O-C-C-U-P-Y what do we do? OCCUPY!” the disturbance was walking towards them in the form of a man in a black hoody, black jeans and boots, with a backpack. As he drew near Terry gave the man some tobacco and he went on his way. “Sir Occupy Auckland – awesome dude!” he said by way of explanation and he picked up his story.

“Governments and their agents and enforcers couldn’t ignore the Occupy movement and came down with enormous force all over the world to crush it. We lasted about 3 months before the Council got serious about moving us on. I got a call for help early one morning when police and security guards were forcefully evicting Occupiers. The 15 minute trip to town seemed to take forever and the scene that met us was devastating. Fences, security guards and police surrounded the Occupiers while tents and other belongings were being wrestled into trucks. A minister in black robes stood sentinel over the chaos with tears rolling down his face.

A French tourist begged me to help. I fought my way onto the arena, ducking under outstretched arms like a rugby player. By now mainstream media had arrived and the audience bristled with cameras and phones and megaphones. I was taken swiftly by police and locked in a cell for the first time in my life.”

“We filmed everything! Including four cops with the same badge number – Z557. Cunts!” Redstar interjected with passion.

Young David arrived at this point with fresh drinks. “Have you still got the video? Can I see it?” Meagan was skeptical that such a serious breach actually occurred but Redstar flicked open his phone and sent the footage to Meagan.

“There you go. Put that in the piece!” he dared and Terry resumed his story.

“As soon as I was released I went back to the Square. The situation was still horrendous and I did what I could to support Occupiers and frustrate the officials. In the end the CEO of the Council read from his official document that if I didn’t stop camping in the Square I would be arrested for trespass. When I told him I couldn’t stop doing what I’d never done he was unphased. He had the dogs arrest me and I was one of a dozen or so named as a defendant in the Council vs Occupy case and was subsequently found guilty. Of a thought crime! I was a member of the public, a fucking ratepayer, in a public place sharing the same views as the Occupy ‘campers'”. There was a momentary pause as Terry thought broodingly of these events.

“But that was three years ago.” Meagan broke the silence, “Do you still think you’re under surveillance?” Although she knew that Terry was still being watched the Occupy involvement didn’t seem to justify continuing surveillance. There must be more to it.

Terry smiled. “Maybe. New Zealand’s population is small and there are relatively few real targets. The cops and media did a great job of giving me an unjustifiably high profile. apparently my detainment was shown all over the world. One of my friends watched it on TV in Japan! Fuck’s sake! Of course, once Occupy was dismantled in the Square that left me at a loose end. I couldn’t get work in my field because the Council would have been my best employment prospect and they’d never hire me after Occupy. I was too old and over-qualified for most jobs. I became involved with the education protests and the housing bullshit in Glen Innes. I became a target for local police in Auckland Central and Counties Manakau. The cunts began calling me by name when I was out and about. I don’t remember now how many times I was locked up. My favourite arrest involved some real activists from the Springbok days. There were always MP’s floating around putting their faces out there for photo ops in the safer protests but only one willing to take any real risk. Hone Harawira stood up for the Glen Innes community. I was so proud to be arrested with him at G.I.”

“I think the government and cops were getting pretty stressed. They had their hands full of Occupy and Anonymous and Kim Dotcom. They were stomping hard on anyone with a rebellious bent. Still are I think but I’ve been out of the loop for a while. It got too hot for me in the city – became dangerous. The local cops started targeting us. My daughter’s life was endangered after a serious car accident. She was arrested for obstruction after hitting the windscreen of a car that she was a passenger in – denied medical treatment for a potentially life-threatening head injury. Council used a pretext to take our old dog and tried to kill her. I had to take that to the High Court.”

Meagan was finding this story unbelievable. Cops, council and government working together to harass a protester seemed a bit dramatic. She made a mental note to follow up some of these side stories. She encouraged Terry to continue by asking “So you’re not living in Auckland anymore?”

“No. And that’s another story that may or may not have caught the GCSB, or more likely JK’s personal attention, given that it was his mortgage scheme that lost me my house.”

“How does that work – he’s the Prime Minister. What does he have to do with mortgage schemes?” Meagan was genuinely curious.

“He wasn’t always the PM. His background is world finance – Merrill Lynch, Wall St. He devised a system that ensures banks’ continued profit if their customers default. The mortgage documents are all sold so that the banks effectively double dip. It’s known as derivatives or hedge funding or sub-prime lending. Lend money to poor people who can’t service the debt, sell the document and foreclose – win/win for the bank.”

Meagan was even more cynical. Surely that would be fraud. Another lead to follow up. “So you lost your house? How? Because you couldn’t pay?”

“Kind of. I got very stubborn and refused to make payment once the ASB told me that they did not hold my original mortgage document. I told them I wouldn’t pay unless they could produce it… so they began foreclosure proceedings and I had to sell up in a hurry. My wife and I now live over an hour away from the city – and our family and friends. It’s been a very difficult time for us. She’s been diagnosed with PTSD but we’re slowly recovering. Having non-fluoride water helps. We are now in a remote location with no income, no internet and poor phone reception. Can’t pay power or phone or rates so it’s like sitting on a bomb.”

“That begs the question then – why are you still being watched?” Meagan couldn’t help herself from interjecting.

“I don’t know that I am but odd things happen that make me wonder. Cars parked for no reason within sight of the house. Doors open when we come home that were shut and locked when we left. “They” don’t like dogs and I think they try to get rid of them. I have three now – that should piss them off!” This thought obviously gave Terry some grim pleasure.

Redstar looked up suddenly with a strange expression on his face. “Why did you want to meet Terry? I mean – why Terry?!”

It was clearly time to come clean. Meagan found the email from Bill and, without a word, showed Terry the attachment. His face moved through confusion and understanding to…what? Satisfaction? Relief? “I fucken knew it!” He almost shouted. “Bastards! Look Redstar – how many names do you recognise? It looks like our Facebook friend list! I fucken knew it! I’m not surprised by this – it’s no secret how I feel about the Crown, the Government and its enforcers.”

With that outburst Terry picked up his glass and drained it. He looked ready for action. “You want to know what I really think. How I’m a real threat to society? Or Government more likely!” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Somewhere along the way I met up with a freeman and, like Occupy, it seems to fit me like it was made for me. I didn’t sign up to this system. I was registered with the New Zealand Government before I was old enough to object, before I understood the implications of belonging to a corporation registered as The New Zealand Government. ‘We’, the people, are not New Zealand – it only exists as a legal entity. Money is wrong. Jesus died because he was against the use of money and wage slavery. Government didn’t like it then and still don’t. We are born free and have the right to live free. That means without the need to generate money and not as a possession of the Government or anyone else!” Terry’s passion was almost scary and other patrons were beginning to glance in his direction.

“Two questions: are you Christian and how can we live without money. We need to work to earn money to live.” Meagan
was genuinely interested.

“That’s the big lie, right there! We are taught to believe we need money to live but we know it’s not true. We need air, water, food, shelter and companionship – not money, which is nothing. A bit of paper or a number on a screen. It’s not even money – it’s debt. We need to work to live but the money is there so that “they” – the 1% – don’t have to work. Here look at this.”

With that Terry drew a quick doodle on a napkin:

“You see it’s like a tree. The tree lives because it takes nutrient from the soil. We’re the worms making the food (money) for the tree to live. If we stop doing it the tree dies!”

“So how do we live?” Meagan asked the obvious question.

“We live as we should.” He said simply. “We are born with two jobs – feeding ourselves and caring for others. Give what you can and take what you need.”

“How about education, health, law and order. Who does that if the current system fails?”

“Lol! ‘If’! It does and has failed. We take care of it ourselves or we die. It’s time to man up for fuck’s sake. Stop relying on other people. We’re all grown up now. Legislation doesn’t stop bad things or bad people. It just keeps the slaves in line and creates a revenue stream. There’s a lot of money to be made from the ‘justice’ system.” Terry gave a wry smile that contained no humour. “I don’t have the answers but I refuse to support a system that has the world’s human population prostituting itself, working for money to pay tax for governments to buy guns to kill people to steal their resources and sell them to us. Every time I buy petrol I can feel the dead Palestinian babies under my wheels.”

“Well that’s an interesting way of looking at things. I’m not sure why that makes you a threat though. It sounds like you’d rather opt out and get on with your life. I don’t see how that would make you a threat that needs to be under GCSB’s eye.” The conversation was making Meagan feel uncomfortable.

Terry was quick to respond, “You only have to imagine what would happen to the system and the 1% who benefit from it, if more people thought like me.”

“Or if more people thought at all” grumbled Redstar.

“Yeah, well, most people are so indoctrinated in government schools, brainwashed by TV and fluoridated into compliance. Poor stupid sheeple can’t wake up. You won’t leave the prison if you won’t see the bars. They live in willful ignorance. It’s more comfortable that way.” Terry’s tone was almost forgiving.

The afternoon was cooling off. The “interview” had covered a lot of ground and Meagan wasn’t sure she was any closer to knowing why Terry was on the list but she wasn’t sure how to proceed either. The Town Hall clock struck four and Terry glanced up at it. “I’d better get going while I’ve still got some day left.”

Meagan and Redstar said their goodbyes and thanked Terry for meeting with them, promising to send a copy of the leaked email to Terry and telling him to watch out for the story in Thursday’s paper. They walked together for a while mulling over Terry’s story which was new to Meagan and familiar to Redstar, before going their separate ways.

There wasn’t much point in going back to the office. Meagan could research and write at home more easily and comfortably. She sent a text to Bill as she walked, letting him know that she was on target and would have a story on his desk tomorrow and walked the rest of the way home in heavy contemplation. Every now and then she glanced around half expecting to catch a glimpse of a furtive follower. The afternoon conversation had filled her with unease. She hardly noticed the walk until she found herself in front of her inner city flat. It was an old cottage at the back of the red light district and had a small patch of lawn and white, wooden filigree on the front porch. She glanced at the camera mounted above the streetlights as she walked through the front gate, onto the porch and into the house. As she shut the door behind her she felt a prickle of tension but everything was as she had left it and the feeling soon dissipated.

The night would be a long one – Meagan played the recording of the interview as she prepared a sandwich and poured a glass of win. She made notes on paper as she listened and mentally planned her story. After a quick shower and changing into her favourite sloppy pants and t-shirt Meagan set up her computer at the kitchen table and got down to work. The hours slipped by almost unnoticed sorting what was fact and what hearsay from Terry’s story, writing and re-writing, occasionally returning to the kitchen for coffee and smoking countless cigarettes while she worked. She didn’t notice how tired she had become until she had finally finished the article to her satisfaction and looked up at the dark and silent room. It was just after 4am and time to get some sleep. Pleased with her work and a little nervous at the prospect of submitting it to Bill she decided to call it a night and get some sleep before reading it one last time. Her last thoughts before drifting off were vague and disturbing and her dreams were haunted by kraken-like creatures, enfolding the house and reaching impossibly thin tentacles through the cracks and crevices of the old building, prying and searching and sneaking.

Despite her strange dreams Meagan woke up refreshed and excited about presenting her article. She re-read it, made some corrections here and there, saved the final draft and emailed it to Bill. As she was getting ready to return to the office her phone chirped that she had a text. “Awesome thanks Meagan. I’ve had a prelim read and you’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll tweak it a bit and we’ll publish tomorrow. Check out the Grey Lynn festival this afternoon and take some pics for Sunday’s edition. Good work.”

With a great sense of pride and satisfaction Meagan began to organise herself for today’s mission. Her day passed quickly. She had a blast at the festival, took photos, talked to people and soaked up the sights and sounds and smell. It was late when she returned home. She went to bed brimming with well-being from her first 2 days on the job and her last thought before sleep took her was of seeing her story in print the next morning.

She was awakened early by a dull thump; the sound of the Herald landing on the front veranda having been thrown expertly by the courier as he rode by.

Meagan leapt out of bed and was soon sitting at the table with coffee and a cigarette leafing through the pages of the morning paper for her story. She suppressed some disappointment when she discovered the article on page 17 and proceeded to read the finished product.

GCSB WATCHLIST

The GCSB has come under attack again following the release of another ‘leaked’ email which includes a list of around a thousand New Zealand residents under active investigation. The government agency has an obligation to investigate persons who may be involved with such illegal activities as industrial espionage, cyber-attacks and terrorism. In the current global financial climate these connections have potential to do severe damage to the New Zealand economy. The small number of persons under surveillance are known to have links with radical, international groups worldwide including places of high unrest such as Egypt, Palestine and Syria, regularly express anti-government sentiments and participate in activities detrimental to New Zealand’s interests. these individuals could potentially have severe repercussions on New Zealand’s trade, economic and public safety. One of the recently revealed targets, an unemployed, disenchanted Aucklander, was unsurprised to learn that he was on the list. He openly told our Herald reporter of his involvement with various anti-government groups and activities that would have brought him under suspicion and dismissed this information with a laugh. “I’m not surprised by this – it’s no secret how I feel about the Crown, the Government and its enforcers.”

Meagan finished reading and sat, stunned, while she processed what she had just read. Shame, disappointment and anger made a cocktail of emotions but her rational mind warned her that there was a lesson to be learned from this experience – it would take some time to process just exactly what that message was.

Sweeping The Globe: #MillionMaskMarch Impossible To Ignore

Over 400 cities worldwide demonstrated what a REAL “Wave of Action” looks like, celebrating Guy Fawkes Day (November 5th) by congregating in major city centres the world over, to spread messages of awakening to their fellow citizens and commemorate the growth of the Anonymous movement.

Becoming ever larger with each passing year, the Million Mask March (known as MMM) 2014 marks the first major penetration of the event in mainstream media, who had tried so desperately hard to black-out MMM in previous years.

With this year’s event covered by Reuters and The Guardian, and not just RT, it does seem that the MSM worm is turning.

And as the BBC have now learned the hard way – if you refuse to cover thousands of protesters converging on a major city centre, they may well just bring their grievances to your front doorstep, leaving you little choice but to acknowledge their presence.

Even the alleged (and very familiar) reports of post-event manipulation of Google results could not suppress the massive onslaught of citizen and independent media, as participants have long since learned to become the media, replacing the inauthentic  filtered echo chambers of the past, with their own authentic and untrained voices.

As usual, ex-CIA agent Ray McGovern discussing events on RT, is a total must-watch:

As is this extremely powerful video from London, where the crowds of protesters swelled into the tens of thousands, marching on a half-dozen locations simultaneously, and vastly outnumbering the police present:

Also check out this awesome picture montage video already up on Vimeo. Lovely stuff.

A collection of the best of the event media we have seen so far is below, for your viewing pleasure.

Section 1: Citizen Media (by city)

Auckland, New Zealand:

(There is also 7 short video solidarity statements from Kiwi Anons published in @endarken‘s article about covering #MMMAKL found here: “We Must Never Sanitise Or Homogenise Our Messages Or Our Pain)

Glasgow, Scotland:

Peru:

Belgrade, Serbia:

Halifax, Canada:

Ferguson, Missouri:

Japan:

Detroit, Michigan:

Section 2: Established Media

The Independent: ‘Thousands Gather For Anti-Capitalist Protest In London’

The Dallas Observer: ‘Dallas’ Anonymous Million Masks March’

TruthDig: Million Mask March – The New Face of Protest

The Daily Dot: Inside Anonymous’ Million Mask March

Section 3: Complaints of Media Silence/Bias

Section 4: Other Significant Videos

A section of the Washington DC march splintered off to the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Building – causing some police there to have a complete meltdown before the crowd all put their hands in the air and chanted “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” Ferguson-style.

Elsewhere in DC, protesters made a stop at the Monsanto HQ. Monsanto is of course the pro-GMO corporation widely believed to be responsible for the decline of the global bee population.

And the icing on the cake: a video shot from inside the BBC headquarters in London, with swathes of British protesters massing outside in anger at the BBC’s frequent and famous suppression of anti-government protest events. Not this time, though!

We also love this amazing photo but have been unable as yet to establish where it is from; if you know, please leave a comment and tell us!

Thank you and solidarity to all who participated in the #MillionMaskMarch, around the globe.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

 

Signs Of The Awakening: Occupy Breaks Into The Mainstream

This has been a very, very long time coming: the facts and figures behind Occupy’s economic ideology are finally being broadcast in the mainstream.

This clip is from TVNZ – New Zealand’s “partially-privatised” corporate-backed bank-sponsored mainstream television news service. It validates what Occupiers have been saying all along.

What a year ago they described as “conspiracy theory”, they are describing in 2013 as “Economics 101”

Since Occupy’s inception in September 2011, corporate media have misrepresented, mocked, shunned and outright blacked out the movement.

Individuals spreading Occupy messages have endured unquantifiable hardships to continue doing so. To now see the massive infrastructure that was wielded against us, spreading the messages of the awakening, is intensely satisfying and a huge relief.

These next two Anonymous videos depict the transition occurring. As politicians and representatives of the traditional “left” & “right” are increasingly raising their voices to express the same views and desires for the future of humanity.

As you will see in this video – often now raising their voices LITERALLY and within the halls of power.

It seemed only a week ago that people were celebrating an Anonymous video having 3 million views. At the beginning of Occupy they would get mere hundreds of views, or a few thousand.

3 million sounds impressive right? An exponential increase from its humble beginnings.

Well, check again. There are now 9 million views on last year’s critically-important NDAA warning video – “Message To The American People”.

Yet another important video to recently emerge was this very public remonstration of Obama and his policies. Watch him squirm in his chair as his own people tell it like it is.

One viewer of the above video noted that even Michelle Obama appeared to be in rapturous support of the message and said “this is all going to come down – and fast. Faster than we ever thought.”

We think it is safe to say that the cat is out of the bag.

Change must come.

Change is coming.


To those of us who have given everything to help bring this about; Occupymama says: “We’ve done a fucking good job we have! Fucking good. We can sit back and pat ourselves on the back for a minute now. The world HAS actually changed. There are so many people awake.”

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.”
——————————————————–

Aucklanders Hold Mock Auction Of Prime Minister John Key’s Parnell Mansion

In the wake of legislation passed under urgency to “partially” privatise core state infrastructure assets in New Zealand, and to warm up ahead of the impending #J14 Aotearoa Is Not For Sale National Day of Action, today a group of Aucklanders dressed in their finest and brandishing canes, cigars and top hats, held a mock auction of Prime Minister John Key’s Parnell mansion.

We have been told the highest bid belonged to Kim Dotcom, the ultimate winner of the street theatre auction.

Pics below. For more info on the coming #J14 action please visit the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale campaign website.

MSM coverage: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7239614/Protesters-auction-off-PMs-home


Live tweet of the above event can be found at www.twitter.com/endarken

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!

Wells Fargo Financing & Profiting From Privatised Prisons

Well, well, well, Wells Fargo is behind for-profit privatised American prisons. Just like the kind New Zealand has recently had forced upon us by the National government.

The Excessive Influence Of Lobbyists In U.S. Politics

Video about the White House Visitor Logs that it took litigation to get access to; showing the excessive influence of lobbyists in politics.

What A Tangled Web They Weave; FBI And DHS Involved In Questionable Events In New Zealand

How FBI & DHS Interference In New Zealand Has Brought A Government To Its Knees – Thanks To Their Persecution Of Kim Dotcom & Occupy.

Occupy New Zealand Media sews together the continually unfolding drama of which key players include:

1. Kim Dotcom; founder of Megaupload.com; German self-made multi-millionaire, legal resident of New Zealand.
2. The FBI; who (allegedly without sufficient due process) flew 10,000+ miles to New Zealand to raid Dotcom’s New Zealand residence, confiscate his belongings & threaten him with extradition to the U.S., branding Dotcom a criminal, ala Julian Assange of Wikileaks
3. John Banks; ex New Zealand Minister of Police, Local Government, Tourism, Sport and Civil Defence, ex Mayor of Auckland, current sitting Minister of Regulatory Reform (!!) and Small Business . Also happens to be the elected official for the electorate seat that holds the balance of power in the current New Zealand parliament. His most recent in a string of scandals is the result of doing some “small business” with Kim Dotcom that has landed him in extremely hot water politically.
4. John Key; Prime Minister of New Zealand, leader of the National Party, ruling by a shaky coalition that is a seat or two away from oblivion. Ex Merrill Lynch trader, Bank of America shareholder, ex Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of America.
5. Janet Napolitano; Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and recent visitor to New Zealand. On May Day, to be precise.

It is only characters of the above renown and prestige that could provide a more riveting plotline than any mere fiction could produce. What we report here is a sequence of media events; the progression of the story in the eyes of the New Zealand public and the experience of helping to break the story internationally.

ACT ONE: This entire story runs parallel to the Occupy movement establishing in Auckland and many other cities in New Zealand; and the violent police & private security evictions of them. US Marines establish a 2,000 strong base in nearby Australia, and it is reported in the mainstream media that US marines arrive in New Zealand to train New Zealand Police to use beanbag shotguns and other “less lethal weaponry”. Tension begins to heat up in the population due to a restrictive domestic political agenda of corporatisation, privatisation, austerity and the general bleeding of public assets into private hands. Seemingly out of the blue, the FBI arrive in New Zealand and raid Kim Dotcom. He is held in jail in Auckland Central Remand Prison. He retaliates for poor prison conditions and lack of attention from John Banks who he had financially supported by outing him for corrupt fundraising tactics.

SCENE ONE: April 28: It begins.
Domestic political scandal had been quietly brewing around John Banks for some time, with a high-profile Occupy Auckland activist & anti-corruption campaigner, Penny Bright, openly calling for his prosecution over the signing of incorrect financial statements involving an investment company, Huljich Wealth Management, which was a part of a slew of financial institutions that went under during the “financial crisis” in New Zealand, resulting in substantial losses to public investors. Despite the grass-roots knowledge of his corruption, the corporate media largely bury it as Banks is seen as somewhat of an institution of New Zealand politics, a favourite of Prime Minister John Key and seemingly untouchable. Until Kim Dotcom, from prison, discloses that John Banks had not only solicited Dotcom for campaign contributions, but instructed him to divide sums up into multiple parts, so that he could declare them as… ANONYMOUS!

When this news emerged, normal, every day, middle of the road New Zealand got a glimpse of the common depravity of stalwarts of New Zealand politics that shook them to their roots. En masse, they decried Banks & in the following domestic media flurry that immediately ensued, Occupy New Zealand, through the power of social media, played a major role in documenting & vocalising the outrage of the public.

Courtesy of Occupy New Zealand Facebook: www.facebook.com/OccupyNZ
” John Banks in major political corruption scandal – his conviction could force NZ by-election. John Banks is currently facing a triple whammy situation. Firstly; his having signed off on false financial statements as a director of Huljich Wealth Management; closely followed by the revelation that he received a $15,000 campaign donation from Sky City, who he is currently supporting in having laws changed for their commercial benefit; and now thirdly, Kim Dotcom has come forward with the allegation that Mr. Banks schooled him on how to break up campaign donations so that he wouldn’t have to declare them.

All of this on the back of the now-famous “cup-of-tea tape” where John Banks & John Key tried to hide from the public, the contents of a conversation they had, at a press-conference THEY had themselves called. ”

According to the NZ Herald: “(Banks) said his contact with Dotcom was limited to a total of 20 minutes conversation and he had been to Dotcom’s mansion in Coatesville only once for dinner. But film of the event – Dotcom’s birthday party – showed Mr Banks making a toast to the tycoon. Footage showed Mr Banks raising a glass and saying, “I’m going to propose a toast to Kim Dotcom. Please fill your glasses and stand. Happy birthday and best wishes to Kim Dotcom, Mona and his family.” “Staff at the mansion said it was one of three visits.” So he is lying about the depth of his relationship with Kim Dotcom to distance himself from the charges against Kim? Shady.

“Bodyguard Wayne Tempero was present, as was one of Dotcom’s butlers. His company chief financial officer also attended briefly. “He mentioned the elections were coming up [and] he was raising money for his campaign,” Dotcom said. “He said it was hard to raise money in New Zealand, the mayoral campaign was coming up and he’s trying to raise funds for that. I kind of liked the guy. I said, ‘I’m happy to help.’ I told Wayne to write a cheque for $50,000. His [Mr Banks’] eyes got a little bit bigger at that moment.”
Mr Tempero asked the chief financial officer to come into the room to write the cheque.
“John said, ‘Wait a minute’,” Dotcom recalled last night. “‘It would be good if you could split it up into two payments of 25 [thousand dollars], then I don’t declare publicly who made it’.”
Dotcom said one cheque was made out in his own name, or the name of his company Megastuff Ltd, and the other in Mr Tempero’s name. “He [Mr Banks] called me a few days after the cheques entered his bank account and he thanked me personally.”

THIS, ladies & gentlemen, is a simple example of the thousands of ways per year that our country gets sold out by corrupt politicians. Time to end the ridiculous charade that is the Act Party & get someone into the job who isn’t there just for the $$$$$$$. SHAME ON YOU JOHN BANKS!”

SCENE TWO: April 29: Banks dodges the media.
“According to the NZ Herald, John Banks isn’t returning their calls. Wonder why? Maybe John Key hasn’t worked out what to make John Banks do yet? Surely once the orders come down, he’ll hold a press conference. Hopefully some of the mainstream media at said press conference will ask the hard questions? Or will they just whitewash it? Will you ask him about his directorship of the Huljich Wealth Management Fund, anyone? John Banks signed prospectuses containing false information that resulted in massive financial hardship if not bankruptcy, for many New Zealanders; yet remains in a powerful position in NZ politics.

Now we discover not only has he declared a $15,000 donation he knew full well was from Sky City (Casino) as ‘Anonymous’ – a corporation that he is currently campaigning to have government regulations changed for, for their express financial benefit – but it turns out that of all people, he took $50,000 from Kim Dotcom?

After Dotcom was arrested, John Banks claimed to have barely knew him. So why was John Banks chauffeured around in private helicopters to Dotcom’s palatial estate? Making toasts at his birthday party? Telling him to cut checks into $25,000 “anonymous” pieces?
Now let’s not forget the good old Teapot tapes. John Banks was caught out by media he and John Key had called to a press conference which they turned into a quasi-private bitching session and then went to ridiculous lengths to cover up. Just as they will now try to cover this up.

John Banks isn’t some first term list MP… he is the former Mayor of Auckland and Minister of Police. If he’s managed to pull off all of the above, in only a couple of years; what the hell did he do to our city & country in the rest of his career? That we may never know about. It seems Mr. Banks is entirely symptomatic of an Old Boys Network gone wild – cocooned in their own perceived invincibility, but now getting their world’s rocked by the 99%.
If we can get even one mainstream journalist to actually investigate the above issues further, we are about to be down by at least one corrupt politician. Congratulations Aotearoa!! ”

SCENE THREE: April 30: Right-wing mainstream media burst into defensive action. Occupy New Zealand retaliates via Facebook.

“Listening to NewstalkZB right now – Leighton Smith is in the middle of a full-blown damage-control divert-and-cover-up propaganda operation in defense of John What-Helicopter Banks, whose political future is currently teetering on the edge of oblivion after his being busted for a sequence of dodgy shonky $$$-hungry dealings.

Leighton opens his show by claiming that he doesn’t want to talk about Banks – he wants to talk about anonymous donations. Then goes on to wax lyrical about the many reasons why political donations should be allowed to be anonymous; slipping in a caller or two that say exactly the same thing as he, then conveniently reading several emails he claims to have received (probably straight from Banks electoral office!!) reinforcing the same principles.

“But what about the right to privacy?” Leighton asks. Doesn’t a person have the right to privacy anymore? He draws parallels between donating to politicians and donating to charity – claiming that if the SPCA will let you donate anonymously that you should be able to anonymously donate to politicians.

Well I have news for you Leighton Smith. Read it twice then read it thrice. SKY CITY IS NOT A PERSON!!!!!!!

When Sky City donate a figure that ends in a bunch of zeros to a politician; then that politician (in this case John Banks) runs around campaigning for regulatory change that will enhance the profits of Sky City at the cost to the health and wellbeing of the New Zealand public – the issue isn’t whether they should be anonymous. The issue is when that politician should resign. And the answer to that question is: AT 9AM THIS MORNING.

Instead, said politician is being openly applauded by Barry Soper; who himself is supposedly a political observer & investigative journalist, yet who frequently appears on NewstalkZB bestowing sage wisdom upon shonky politicians who have got themselves in a jam.

Soper’s advice to John Banks on this morning’s program? “If he continues to claim he doesn’t know where it came from then he is within the law.”

Everyone who saw John Banks on Q & A on TVNZ yesterday knows full well he is lying. To see the clip for yourself Google TVNZ On Demand then go to the Q & A program for yesterday, Sunday 29/04/2012.

It is a rare sight these days to see Paul Holmes put in a credible performance as an interviewer; but even Paul was emboldened by John Banks utter refusal to address any question containing legitimate queries about his situation. His answers were obvious diversions from the questions and most tellingly, he refused to contradict anything that Kim Dotcom has said about him to date.

At this point two things are patently obvious –
1. John Banks is a political dead duck in the water
2. National & ACT (foolishly) didn’t see this coming, and will try any desperate undertaking that might either delay the inevitable ousting of John Banks while they frantically scramble to find an equally pliable Plan B for Banks’ ministerial portfolios, for his Epsom electorate, and to hold together their shaky coalition majority, lest this all spiral into them losing the big prize – the Beehive.

While Leighton Smith probably thinks he is doing a stellar job of convincing the last remaining portion of NZ society that doesn’t have access to the freedom of information of the internet – his own diversion tactics & fallacious arguments only show his contempt for the intelligence of his audience; the degree of his own political corruption and the lack of journalistic fibre of the organisation that employs him.

We can do much better than NewstalkZB New Zealand, and in the coming years we will. Thanks to the rising tide of new media eclipsing corporate media; these clowns are on their way out.

**(Shonky dealings known of thus far; Banks signing of Huljich Wealth Management Fund false financial statements; the Teapot saga; failure to declare Sky City donation while advocating regulatory change to suit them; and now finally, sucking up to Kim Dotcom for $50k, getting chauffeured around in his private helicopter then claiming to not even know him.)

ACT TWO: It had been common knowledge for some time that John Key is effectively a Wall Street shill of a Prime Minister; he had sided with Hollywood and bartered New Zealand tax-payer dollars in a union-busting move against a potential labour dispute; but he had sold himself as the poor child of a state home who had made good and enjoyed extremely high levels of public favouritism due to a domestic media grown utterly complacent to the point of negligence. The icy hand of privatisation had reached even the state media organisations, who discovered their staff being cut in all the wrong places, and investigative journalism eventually became purely reporting whatever came off the AP fax or whatever their few meagre crews are pre-assigned by bosses to attend. Although that complacency served the 1% in initially suppressing the size, spread and achievements of the Occupy movement in New Zealand, the lack of ability to get decent coverage forces a new wave of journalism into existence; one staffed entirely on a voluntary basis, by average citizens, ourselves included.

SCENE ONE: May 1: The DHS comes to town for May Day. New Zealand bloggers explode.

” Well surprise surprise. Our Wall Street banker Prime Sinister got his economic policies from… Wall Street, according to this article. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1201/S00050/nz-asset-sales-policy-began-on-wall-street.htm

” From Tumeke – John Banks Must Stand Down!!! http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/mr-key-stand-down-john-banks-or-you-are.html

May 2: ” Pic of Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security & our Prime Sinister John Key, taken today. Cos now the US Marines got done training our police in Oakland/NYPD-style police tactics; she’s here training him.

“02 May 2012. Prime Minister John Key with United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.”

” A RECENT HISTORY OF SUSPECTED AMERICAN FBI & DHS INTEFERENCE IN NEW ZEALAND SOVEREIGNTY. Lets see how long this post can stay visible on the main page for. Drilling aside; immoral as it is. Mining aside; immoral as it is. Has anyone else noticed: (in chronological order)

1. FBI arrive in NZ & raid Kim Dotcom. He is threatened with extradition to the USA.
2. Occupy Auckland’s four 24/7 simultaneous occupations (Aotea Square, 2.0 Queen Street, Te Huinga Waka aka Victoria Park & Occupy Albert Park) are aggressively steamrolled by police and private security forces working together; some of whom are wearing fake badge numbers (at least 3 officers wearing “Z557” as captured on amateur video here (from approx 07:30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rarpSu2Iw-c ).
3. During the evictions police arrest Penny Bright – one of the most visible campaigners for justice over John Banks & Don Brash signing incorrect financial returns as directors of Huljich Wealth Management Services
4. All personal belongings seized during the evictions are transported to a hangar at Hobsonville Airbase for “storage” despite the fact that this is MILES away & there is probably hundreds of closer facilities. This is the same airbase FBI choppers & other air transport vehicles were seen flying in & out of.
5. Shortly after the evictions it is reported that Occupy in New Zealand is over & that the FBI have returned to the U.S.
6. Kim Dotcom, after months of remand time served & having all his possessions & wealth ceased by the authorities, leaks the fact that John Banks is one extremely shady politician, to say the least.
7. After making a fool of himself in the media repeatedly, Banks finally issues semi-denial of the accusations of the content of his phone calls / meetings with Kim Dotcom.
8. Kim Dotcom says the contents of the conversations are on tape.
9. The NZ Herald reports that the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – despite there currently being 135 cities in General Strike in America and massive domestic American police operations ongoing – arrived in New Zealand yesterday (1st May NZST)
10. Late last night it is reported that Kim Dotcom is getting a bunch of his vehicles and stuff back. HMMMMMM……..food for thought. ”

” The clowns we call our political leaders. From left to right – John Key’s lackey, John Banks; George Wood’s lackey, Lesley Opie; George Wood – current Auckland Council member, ex mayor of the North Shore, current Chairman of the Community Safety Board & frequent Occupy Auckland Facebook troll; and finally, John Key. My what a foursome.” “Occupiers and a few others will understand the full significance of this image… ;-)”

SCENE TWO: It emerges the FBI did not follow correct legal procedure & the certainty of Dotcom’s conviction becomes increasingly less likely. The viral Banks-Key-Dotcom memes begin.

May 3: ” And the plot thickens… they never should have arrested Kim Dotcom in the first place. Apparently it was a gross abuse of resources for the FBI to storm on in here & attempt to take everything from him. Wonder where that leaves good old John Banks & JK? http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-prosecution-is-lawless-and-unconstitutional-law-professor-says-120502/

And please enjoy this comprehensive assessment, containing a ton of related information about Dotcom’s notoriety, and the M.O. of National when doing an Allan Hubbard on unsuspecting successful independent businessmen; http://laudafinem.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/kim-dotcom-john-banks-the-invisible-ministers-and-the-unraveling-of-yet-another-national-party-conspiracy/

Reading between the lines of this NZH opinion piece: “Banks took in $520,086 in anonymous donations that year. But Brown, who beat him, also used measures available to local candidates that parliamentary candidates do not enjoy. His return included $499,000 from a trust set up to take donations without revealing the donors.”

So Brown could have had those donations from ANYONE? Say, from donors who were ALSO backing his opponent? Seem far-fetched?

In the USA corporations & rich-listers are well-known for hedging their bets by backing both candidates. Surely that couldn’t happen in little old New Zealand?

Would that explain why Len Brown is about as left wing as sitting Chairman of the Community Safety Board George ‘They should bring in the water cannons’ Wood?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10803057

SCENE THREE: Pretty much every media commentator and freelance journalist in New Zealand jumps in the fray, but as usual Occupy New Zealand Facebook provided the most comprehensive summary of them all, with a plethora of associated links.

May 6: ” We grew up in a New Zealand with ethics. That stood up to U.S. political bullying; that retained our own sovereignty with regards to womens rights, gay rights, military regulation & our environment; that didn’t change our laws to mirror our imperial overlords but to embrace progressive social change. We were taught to be proud of those differences and also proud that such a small country could push back against huge empires. Inevitably, with each initially unpopular stance we took; other countries caught on, and we gained international respect for our geopolitical risk-taking.
Well now we live in a day and age where commentators on both the right & the left are outright saying that we have sacrificed our sovereignty to the Americans over the Kim Dotcom saga. That the NZ Government failed to protect a legal resident & now that a U.S. judge has indicated the case may never go to trial; our government may be found liable in civil court. You have to read Rodney’s Herald opinion piece to understand it. The level of rhetoric has been elevated to an extent where both Rodney, on the far-right, and Matt McCarten, of the left, are essentially saying the same things. Why? Because corruption is corruption, no matter where on the political spectrum you sit.

Rodney’s opinion here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10803744

Matt’s here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10803840

And this tasty morsel: apparently the dodgy dealings surrounding the Dotcom case are not restricted to politicians: the Crown Law office “knew” that correct procedures were not being followed, on the morning of the raid on Dotcom’s NZ rental property. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803433

“I would have thought John Key would be a bit more pragmatic. I think John Key has been entirely out of step with the public.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803602 You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the article to get to that quote, but its truth is undeniable.

John Key says he’d never heard of Dotcom til the raid; then refuses to stand down Banks during investigation? Tops it off with claiming to not know the Wellington Hikoi Against Asset Sales was happening on the very steps of the Beehive?

At this point we’re half expecting John Key to start denying knowing John Banks. Can things really get any more incredulous?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803831

ACT THREE: Due in part to the attention of the global Occupy movement, John Banks, Kim Dotcom and New Zealand go viral for all the wrong reasons. Again, Occupy New Zealand Facebook documented the media whirlwind that encompassed the globe – being carried in countless major corporate publications internationally. Yet astonishingly John Banks, openly protected by John Key, remains in power to this day.

SCENE ONE: May 7: ” KIM DOTCOM RELEASES JOHN BANKS MUSIC VIDEO CLIP!!!!!!! This is the FUNNIEST most utterly HILARIOUS thing we have seen throughout the John Banks saga. Spread far and wide. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6871058/Kim-Dotcom-releases-John-Banks-song

“Is John Key Having A John Howard Moment?” More like John Key is having a John Banks moment… http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1205/S00015/is-john-key-having-a-john-howard-moment.htm

May 9: ” Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee. “I can’t believe Key (and of course, his manipulative media muppet mates) continues to defend the indefensible in the case of that lying dog- Banks. Local body electoral law is clear, any donation over $25,000, cannot be anonymous and donations under this amount where the donor is known cannot be listed as anonymous.
The very reason for this law, is to give the public transparency around what entities are making large donations to political candidates and parties, so that any conflicts of interest can be identified.
What we have in the Banks/Dotcom case is what is beginning to look like exactly what the electoral law is there to prevent- a candidate effectively lobbying on behalf of a donor in return for a large stack of cash.
What it looks like here, is that Banks has said ” Hey Dot, we better break that donation up into 2 lots of $25,000, so that when i lobby my mate Maurice on your behalf nobody is able to see that i’ve been motivated to do so by your generosity, you sly old German sausage.”- and i paraphrase just a bit.
Banks’ position as a Cabinet Minister is now clearly untenable, he may still have the Prime-minister’s confidence but he no longer has the public’s confidence. What’s more he doesn’t have the necessary level of credibility and integrity to hold Ministerial office, if indeed he ever did.
The longer The King of Crony Capitalism, aka John Key stands by his man the more his perceived credibility and integrity will suffer.”

May 10: ” Oh dear… it appears Banks’ corruption & Key’s protection of him have finally hit the international media… *gasp*
Always interesting to see how our leaders are portraying our country to the world. We’ll be posting a selection of these international articles, starting with this one, from the British newspaper The Guardian. Enjoy! http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/07/kim-dotcom-john-banks-video

This one from a little closer to home… The Australian, on dodgy Banks, shonky Key & Kim Dotcom pwning them. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/nz-minister-john-banks-faces-his-own-dotcom-crash/story-e6frg6so-1226350163398

Ouch. From Bangkok to Spain to Britain to the States… ouc Prime Minister & John “What helicopter?” Banks are the laughing stock of the international political scene. http://newspano.com/news/kim-dotcom-donation-claims-rock-new-zealand-coalition

Here comes the right wing P.R. job – always be suspicious of an article that begins with the official corporate apologist soundbyte – and check out who owns the newspaper. This, the most corruption-friendly piece we’ve seen so far, comes from Bloomberg’s “Business Week”. (Yes, Bloomberg, as in, Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, who has just spent seven months having the NYPD beat, taser, detain, falsely arrest, and sexually assault unarmed peaceful protesters). It appears this piece is as good as its’ going to get for our own dodgy politicians. Good question for Key next time one of you journo’s who obsessively read this page (but are too scared to like/share it): “John Key, have you ever personally met Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City?” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-29/dotcom-s-political-donation-up-to-police-says-n-dot-z-dot-s-key

This is the most comprehensive international print article we’ve seen so far, including links to Banks’ appalling media performances & a lot of background information. Never heard of this news site before but definitely one to bookmark. http://www.grab-all.com/news/new-zealand/1129439/maurice-williamson-banks-lobbied-on-behalf-of-dotcom

Oooh fascinating. According to New York Magazine; “Amnesia” is just the beginning. So Dotcom really isn’t done with Banks, Key et al. http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/05/kim-dotcom-working-on-movie-book-and-album.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nymag%2Fvulture+%28Vulture+-+nymag.com%27s+Entertainment+and+Culture+Blog%29

John Key & John Banks even made it into the Hollywood Reporter. For all the wrong reasons. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kim-dotcom-song-amnesia-political-scandal-320970

Wow. New York Magazine. The Hollywood Reporter. The Guardian. And even Radio Samoa!!!! Is there a country left in the world that doesn’t know we are run by morons?To finish up our international Banks & Key scandal print journalism collection, here is two fantastic opinion pieces we came across. The first, cleverly points out:

“I see that Mr Key has been complaining to anyone who will listen about how hard done by he is, and that nobody understands any more. Well let me remind you, John Key, that you didn’t become Prime Minister by accident. You made a lifestyle choice and now you have to live with it, and if you don’t like it any more you should take yourself off the generous taxpayer-paid benefit you’re on and go get a real job. These f***ing government beneficiaries are all the same.” http://www.imperatorfish.com/
*Cheer*!
The second comes at the issue from several new angles & is well worth reading: http://gregroughan.com/2012/05/09/the-dilbert-management-theory-of-john-banks/
Kia ora koutou, enjoy the rest of your evening Aotearoa 🙂

Penny Bright – asking the kind of questions that Leighton Smith didn’t have the guts to ask the Prime Sinister John Key when he appeared on Newstalk ZB today. Instead, they talked about why it is wonderful that the government is accepting bribes from corporations. They called it a “win-win” situation. We call it the death of democratic principles. In the meantime, the unfortunate electorate of Epsom is still under the representation of a political dead-weight while the M.P. for Helensville… doesn’t even live there. He lives on the opposite side of Auckland in a multi-million dollar mansion in Parnell. One of the many reasons they call him Shonky John Key.
Penny says – “The Banksie BRIBERY scandal is still bubbling away ………………..
What hasn’t yet had the MAN ON THE MOON headlines on this issue – is – what is the difference between Taito Phillip Field and John Banks?
Taito Phillip Field was sentenced to SIX years jail upon conviction of bribery and corruption charges, for providing immigration assistance to Thai nationals in return for work on his properties.
John Banks provided ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase assistance to a German/ Finnish national, in return for a $50,000 Auckland Mayoral campaign donation?
perception …. perception …. perception ….
The difference, Taito Phillip Field is ‘brown’ and ‘dodgy’ John Banks has political protection at the highest levels from NZ Prime Minister ‘shonky’ John Key?
(Please be reminded that John Banks and Don Brash have never been CHARGED, let alone convicted, as former fellow Directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, for signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered propectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 which contained untrue statements….)
NZ is the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – according to Transparency International’s 2011 ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – based upon the subjective opinion of anonymous businesspeople……
Penny Bright
‘Anti-corruption campaigner'”
http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/give-a-grrl-a-banner/

SCENE TWO: As the New Zealand public hits the point of political scandal overload, the National Party and John Key begin an aggressive pre-Budget unveiling of draconian austerity measures, cuts to public services and advancement of their “partial” privatisation of state assets. All without so much of an acknowledgement as to the unravelling geopolitical situation and issues with corporate-capitalism, nor of the mounting domestic dissent and protest that is an ongoing backdrop to this saga. John Key gets caught out lying about being unaware of the location of a massive protest march that attracted thousands onto the very steps of his Parliament, involving many political parties, unions and concerned members of the public. His credibility continually erodes in the eyes of the public and the media, now realising that they were no longer solely driving the conversation, begin to shake off the dust and take them to task. For the first time since the establishment of Occupy in New Zealand, some issues begin to get a more open & fair coverage. Despite this, citizen journalism continues to provide a faster response and more comprehensive pool of information than mainstream media can keep pace with.

May 15: ” John Key taking swipes at a corporate media that dares question his intentions and failings. The media are “in a more aggressive and hostile mood towards us”, but Key does not worry about the media “despite what they think”. “I am not that bent out of shape about that – I expected it,” Key said. Although the mainstream media in NZ has a long history in mispresenting “reality” it’s comforting to see them make Key squirm…
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6924197/Key-bemoans-hostile-media  …not to mention the countless bloggers and citizen journalists keeping the pressure on.
Media By Us….Not Media Bias! ”

May 21: ” PROTEST TODAY! ‘Do the ‘Honorable’ thing John Banks! RESIGN! NOW! 12 noon till 2pm outside the electorate office of John Banks (27 Gillies Ave ) calling for his RESIGNATION of – the not so ‘Honorable’ MP for Epsom, because he is not ‘fit for duty’ as an MP – let alone a Minister. Have you seen http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/give-a-grrl-a-banner/ This shows some of the banners we’ll have on display – today! 🙂
How come Taito Phillip Field got sentenced for SIX years for ‘bribery and corruption’, for providing ‘immigration advice’ to Thai nationals in exchange for work on his properties – while ‘dodgy John Banks gets political protection from ‘shonky’ John Key, after giving ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase ‘assistance’ to a German/ Finnish national, in return for $50,000 donated to ‘Banksie’s’ 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign fund? What’s the difference – apart from Taito Phillip Field being brown?
Isn’t it painfully obvious? That this MINORITY National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs – so has no mandate for assets sales. That’s why John Key continues to defend the indefensible, and ‘have confidence’ in the ACT MP for Epsom, who is helping to make New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ and absolute laughing stock, as per Kim Dotcom’s John Banks song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I which has now had over 140,000 hits worldwide.

OPEN LETTER TO JOHN BANKS: left at his electorate office by members of the public protesting political corruption. Full details from Penny Bright:
“FYI – below is a copy of the letter that was pushed into the gap between doors at John Bank’s empty Epsom electorate office at 27 Gillies Ave, today, Monday 21 May 2012.
“OPEN LETTER TO THE ‘HONORABLE’ JOHN BANKS, MP FOR EPSOM 21 May 2012
Today, there is a protest being held outside your electorate office at 27 Gillies Ave, Newmarket from 12 noon till 2pm. The purpose of this protest is to encourage you to do the ‘honorable’ thing, and resign forthwith as the ACT MP for Epsom, and leave the NZ House of Parliament, before you bring it, and this country ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt in the world,(http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results) into further international disrepute. How can you honestly consider yourself to be ‘fit for duty’ as either an MP or a Minister of the Crown? Why is it that former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field got sentenced for SIX years for ‘bribery and corruption’, for providing ‘immigration advice’ to Thai nationals in exchange for work on his properties – whilst yourself, the Minister of Regulatory Reform is effectively getting political protection from NZ Prime Minister John Key, after you have given ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase ‘assistance’ to a German/ Finnish national, in return for $50,000 donated to your 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign fund, and gifts valued at over $500 which you failed to declare? Are you aware that Kim Dotcom’s ‘John Bank’s song’ has had over 140,000 ‘hits’ on You Tube,
in my opinion, helping to make NZ an international laughing stock? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I
It is also of great concern to me, as a fighter also against ‘white collar’ crime, that ACT’s ‘one law for all’ has yet to apply to both yourself and Don Brash, current and former Leaders of the ACT Party.
As former fellow directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, you both signed Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, which contained untrue statements, but you were never charged for so doing. This is a strict liability offence under s58(3) of the Securities Act 1978, but neither the old Securities Commission, the Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) , nor the NZ Police arguably ‘did their job’ and charged yourself or Don Brash.
John Banks, you are now the Minister of Regulatory Reform, yet four different ‘regulatory’ bodies failed to act against you, someone, who arguably couldn’t properly run a Kiwisaver Scheme, yet now has a key Ministerial post and you are supposedly helping to run the country ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt in the world’
(Copies of this correspondence are available on www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz )
Have you been politically protected at the highest levels, because this minority National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs, thus no mandate for assets sales, because there is not a majority of National MPs, so is dependent on your pivotal vote?
Is this why NZ Prime Minister John Key is arguably continuing to ‘defend the indefensible’ and still express ‘confidence’ in you, although former MPs, Richard Worth and Pansy Wong appear to have lost his confidence over a lot less?
Penny Bright
‘Anti-corruption campaigner’’
www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

SCENE THREE: With the impending delivery of National’s budget on May 25th 2012, a budget that Key desperately needs Banks to aid in pushing through, it becomes clear that despite multiple police investigations into Banks and protesters campaigning literally on the doorstep of his empty electorate office, he will not step down. The collateral damage to Key is enormous and the immediate political future in New Zealand, unclear. We will keep you posted. 🙂

What -is- clear to us is that Occupy, social media, citizen journalism, Kim Dotcom and you and I are part of a true emancipation of knowledge, information, shared existence, extra-communication and societal evolution of which few mainstream sources are prepared to acknowledge outside of a monetary context. Nine months ago, the vast majority of citizen journalists were not citizen journalists; the livestreamers were not livestreamers; the Occupy media teams were not accredited journalists who wrote about the DHS, FBI & global politics; we were unemployed students, geeks, stay at home mothers, grandmothers, amateur photographers, just wanting to contribute something meaningful to this unprecedented global movement.

Solidarity to all out there who are doing the same under strenuous conditions and thank you to the international Occupy movement for your amazing support. Much love.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND – OCCUPY AOTEAROA – The Land Of The Long White Cloud