#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

 

Snowden, Assange, Greenwald and Kim Dotcom Speak in New Zealand

New Zealanders burst into spontaneous cheers, stomped the floor until the floorboards shook and gave standing ovation after standing ovation to Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Robert Amsterdam, Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre tonight.

You would not know this, however, from the national NZ media coverage, which appeared as institutionally embroiled in #DirtyPolitics as ever. The Kim Dotcom smear campaign exposed by Nicky Hager’s book remains operational, and complicit elements of the media are eager to continue  to spoon-feed New Zealanders the same tripe, irreverent of, or oblivious to, the public’s awakening.

Our (above) playlist of videos from the night contain countless real stories, none of which are represented by the elitist “yawn” of corporate media, who instead of discussing the multitude of serious issues being raised, instead deemed themselves arbiters of whether or not #MoT lived up to their particular preconceptions based on their own prior wanton and largely irrelevant speculation and in some cases coloured by ulterior motive.

As always however, their complacency and single-mindedness left them wide open to being scooped by independent media. We were there and made sure the whole world was watching.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Our pastebin of event media resources here

Internet Party of NZ Crowd-Sources Candidate Selection – Live!

A mainstream TV outlet recently referred to Occupy NZ Media as “cynical protesters”, yet despite our inherent distrust of electioneering and politicking, we are proud to have been present for the crowd-sourced candidate selection event held by the new paradigm political organisation, the Internet Mana Party of New Zealand.

While outlets like NewstalkZB (which we have affectionately renamed ‘Stratfor FM‘) and other establishment media have seemingly morphed into full-time Internet Mana Party disinformation channels virtually overnight, the rest of New Zealand has been eye-witnessing historic moments in Kiwi politics.

20 crowd-sourced candidates that people can actually relate to packed out the Q Theatre on Queen Street yesterday, and we live tweeted the event on @OccupyNZ. The event was also livestreamed nationwide and internationally, and we were pleased to see a sign language interpreter (apparently a Party Member) present on stage throughout, providing a separate stream for the hearing impaired.

Top Kiwi rapper, friend of Occupy NZ and Aotearoa Is Not For Sale MC King Kapisi gave a rousing speech, hyping the crowd and congratulating everyone for caring enough to participate in active efforts at change rather than just zoning out in front of our TV’s watching sports!

One of the most heartening parts of the candidate selection process was seeing real people that all Kiwis would interact with in their daily lives, making it through to the shortlist.

We were blessed with the opportunity to meet candidate Herena Meteka and her lovely daughters, who she says are her “I.T. geniuses”, that finally convinced her to join Twitter only yesterday!

Alongside the neighbourhood Mum and girl/boy-next-door candidates, was a very familiar face – a fellow Occupier!

Last year our #GCSB hashtag-activism quickly spiralled into a broad-spectrum bi-partisan political movement and apparently it has had a major impact on several of the candidates, who raised #GCSB-related state spying as a significant issue facing New Zealanders.

While many of the candidates mentioned #GCSB as an influence, none did moreso than the very humble and very edifying Chris Yong – an accomplished Kiwi musician, DJ and entertainer that is fast approaching Russell Brand levels of awake.

We were extremely psyched that he accepted our spontaneous interview request and he answered our extremely contemporary and unorthodox questions incredibly well.


After the event we were over the moon to get cuddles with old school wahine toa Laila Harre. Recently announced as Internet Party Leader, Laila is a stalwart of Kiwi activism with legendary roots that stretch back decades.

Many were surprised that the Internet Party chose a woman for its leader but we think it is a brilliant strategic move as Laila’s resolve and diverse support base are perfect for shaking the status quo from their stagnation.

Back in October of 2011, prior to the last General Election, an original member of the Occupy Auckland Media Team said –

“With the upcoming General Election, and what I witnessed yesterday, I have very real concerns that this apolitical occupation’s impact risks being diminished, by political factions seeking to further their own agenda. This is not the place for electioneering.

We are the 99%… not the 5% that supports party X, the 15% that supports party Y, or the 40% that supports party Z, but the 99% that makes up our society, from all sorts of cultural, political & spiritual backgrounds.”

 

This is a very true and insightful statement. And it was on that very basis that after the multiple and quite possibly illegal, co-ordinated violence of the “evictions” of Occupiers that we collectively decided to open our media platforms to use by all of the 99%.

We have covered developments about and actions by the Green Party of New Zealand, the Mana Party, the Internet Party, the Pirate Party(s) here and internationally, the Wikileaks Party, and a handful of other minor parties that may or may not have ever reached threshold to formally establish.

Just as we have covered dozens of actions by social justice and environmental organisations including Greenpeace, Global Peace and Justice Aotearoa, Auckland Action Against PovertyKia Ora Gaza, Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, NZEI, MUNZ, and other Labour Unions, and countless more.

We have amplified, brought attention to and given a voice to thousands of Kiwis, some unaffiliated with any organisation, many of whom no mainstream platform would give voice to at all.

The reason we chose to do this is two-fold. Firstly because all of the above are part of the 99% and we do not wish to discriminate or become access gatekeepers to the platforms which we feel the 99% inherently owns.

The second is because we feel that any and all efforts to effect social change and progress in New Zealand, and any and all actions that attempt to regain our independent status and sovereignty, deserve equal support.

In Roshi Joan Halifax’s “This Is What Compassion Looks Like” essay about Occupy Wall Street, she says;

It calls to mind the words that Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy spoke at the 2003 World Social Forum:

‘Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.'”

 

Therefore we make ourselves available in solidarity and appeal to every New Zealander to set aside the labels, colours and old paradigms which were constructed expressly to divide us, and to instead embrace the reality; that we are all born into the same mess – one which we cannot fix without each other.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

“They Got The TV – We Got The Truth” – Boots Riley Visits NZ

With Boots Riley‘s visit to Auckland last week, we again discovered no matter how much you’ve heard of someone second-hand, it can all become completely irrelevant once you meet them in person.

Despite having a quarter million views on his latest video (featured below) Boots arrived with zero airs and graces, blending in within minutes, as if we’d always known him.

Yet what else could we expect, from the man who rapped:

“They’ve got the TV –
we’ve got the truth.
They own the judges –
We’ve got the proof!”

The gig was hosted by the Mana Movement for the People, in Mangere, and it was The People who turned out for him on the night.

Gig organisers/activists kick it with Boots Riley after the gig

Gig organisers & activists kick it with Boots after the gig

We spent the afternoon with Boots, interviewing him at his press conference and spending time with him before and after the show.

(Our video interview playlist is below: transcripts to follow)

There were plenty of familiar faces on the night, having a welcome respite from the daily grind of putting their lives on the line to fight for human rights and social justice.

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Fresh watermelon backstage

The highlight of the set was definitely this acoustic version of ‘The Guillotine’ – apparently the first time this song has been performed live with just voice, guitar and bongos.

Our earliest memories of Boots related to his participation in the famous West Coast Port Shutdowns of November and December, 2011, where hundreds of thousands of striking members of the public shut down the Ports of Oakland and other ports across the West Coast of the USA.

Shout out to the awesome @nishneb for sending us this nostalgia clip of Boots speaking at the December 12 Port Shutdown II, an event we witnessed live thanks to Occupy Oakland livestreamers.


Video streaming by Ustream

(Click here for our archive of articles about Occupy Oakland)

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Imagine: Kim Dotcom & Mana Movement Mega-Coverage

[Updated with pic captions & conclusion] Strange bedfellows, the kinder critics called them. Hurtling towards mutual self-destruction, media stalwarts assured everyone. Cut from too different a cloth.

Are we referring to Kim Dotcom and Hone Harawira? If you are a consumer of mainstream media, you could be forgiven for thinking so.

Instead we are referencing that which acid tongues heralded as an end to an era of 4-piece perfection: the demise of the Great White Hope – the Beatles.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s relationship became a constant churn of tabloid fodder.

Unfounded speculation and undermining from every facet of the establishment became the standard governmental response to these two iconic maverick soulmates and political activists.

Yet scratch the surface and the universal purpose of the Lennon-Ono collaboration is self-evident in their creation of many timeless treasures, which we now hand down through generations.

Indeed it has become impossible to deny that the union which so many saw as ill-conceived and outside the box, produced incredibly strong musical content, some of which is considered to be amongst the greatest tracks of all time.

For example “Imagine”, which manifested a single, an album, a documentary film, a soundtrack, and was eventually even featured in Rock Band 3. Rolling Stone Magazine placed “Imagine” at Number 3 in it’s Top 500 historically important songs of all time. The song won hundreds of accolades over the years, yet there is not a Beatle in sight on the track. It was entirely written and inspired by Lennon and Ono.

The stark diversity of the Lennon-Ono partnership was one of the keys to its strength and intrigue, but also a primary cause of the general disaffection from the consumerist status quo, who could never quite get over seeing a rich white male with a non-white partner; let alone one that was an accomplished avant-garde.performance artist and activist in her own right, with her own following.

Yet as always, the artistic results of the unfailing unity the coupling produced, eventually silenced the critics, as the music spoke for itself.

What would this world be like if we had never heard the song “Imagine”?

What would it be like if John Lennon had decided that his relationship with Yoko wasn’t worth enduring the constant mud-slinging, and had gone back to McCartney, tail between his legs?

Or ditched Yoko for the first honey trap that came along?

It is impossible to measure the social impact of a song like “Imagine”, with the millions of people it has inspired to reflect and hold with them, the principles contained within it.

It is also impossible to measure the social impact of such a work having never existed.

While we clearly are not intending to insinuate that either entertainment-industry mogul Dotcom or Mandela-confidante Harawira are Yoko and Lennon incarnate, it is a brilliant metaphor to demonstrate that unique creative partnerships can achieve feats that were previously unattainable.

The efforts of combined inspiration and benefits of conjoined resources broaden the horizon of the possible, and what is possible is that the end result, becomes priceless to humanity.

If nothing else, Harawira’s willingness to entertain the possibility of an alliance with Kim Dotcom shows up the common corporate media slur that he is “racist” against white people, for the lie it always was. (As does his accepting an interview from a white female Occupier over and above the several Maori males also waiting to speak with him.)

Dotcom’s willingness to speak directly to indigenous peoples of New Zealand and openly ask for their tautoko, their support, also makes the corporate media smears of him as some kind of amoral capitalist glutton who knows nothing of the plight of poverty, seem equally ridiculous.


We had the pleasure of covering Mana’s Boots Riley show this week and got to spend a few hours with Boots who, within minutes, became like one of the family. We listened to Rage Against The Machine’s self titled album (1992) which includes the song ‘Wake Up‘, which was also featured on The Matrix soundtrack and played during its closing credits.

Zach de la Rocha, Rage’s hyper-politically-aware activist frontman, raps: “Networks at work, keeping people calm. You know they went after King, when he spoke out on Vietnam. He turned the power to the have-nots, and then came the shot.”

He is right that Martin Luther King brought unity to millions of people; united them in struggle and empowered them through peaceful action to achieve monumental social-evolutionary wins for the benefit of current and future generations.

Despite the massive personal cost can there be any greater success than to unite?

To overcome, if even for a moment, a month, a year, a decade…

“Imagine” was a song of unity. The Maori would say kotahitanga; oneness. But as with all Maori words there is much deeper meaning.

“Kotahitanga reflects our physical and spiritual connection to this land, to the world. It reflects a dawning realisation (globally, not just in Aotearoa) that we are simply guardians of this land, that we are obliged to take care of it.
‘Toi tu te whenua, whatu ngarongaro he tangata. The land is permanent, but man disappears.’

Kotahitanga acknowledges that our sense of ownership has been superceded. We exist in Te Ao Marama, the Realm of Being, as part of a whole greater than ourselves.

Kotahitanga asserts that we must let go of any sense of ownership, but that in doing so, we all get to have a share.

Kotahitanga sends a message which reverberates around the world. It reflects an emerging spirit of sharing and understanding in humanity. A world where people of different origins, races and cultures can accept their differences without always understanding them, embrace and celebrate each others gifts and move together along a new path, together as one.

It allows a bright new future to unfold, the one we are destined to fulfill.”

— Excerpt from http://kotahitanga.co.nz

Unity was precisely what we witnessed at the Mana AGM and here is the Mana Wahine waiata (song) to prove that all the corporate media build-up to the meeting was little more than politically expedient hot air.

COVERAGE: Mana Party Annual General Meeting: Saturday April 12th, 2014. 

After a week of having watched both Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement of the People and Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party being publicly scapegoated across the full spectrum of corporate news radio and television stations, we could have been forgiven for expecting to arrive in Rotorua to find a small scale civil war occurring at the Mana AGM.

Yet we didn’t expect that at all, and weren’t disappointed, as the smears of both Harawira and Dotcom have never been of sufficient substance to penetrate beyond the ever-dwindling numbers of New Zealanders who still believe anything their TV or radio tells them.

What we instead found was an unequivocal solidity and political leaders prepared to sit and listen to their people, far beyond anything we’d experienced prior.

There is no more picturesque place for Mana to have held such important discussions, as the shores of Lake Rotoiti in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Here follows some of what we saw on the day. (Note: the following pics were all livetweeted to the hashtags #Mana #AGM)

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^^ The view from the marae at the #Mana #AGM

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#Mana buses brought those who couldn’t otherwise afford to travel or who just want the company, to the Annual General Meeting in Rotorua.

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Hone Harawira’s ministerial car flies the Rangatiratanga (indigenous sovereignty) flag

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Anti-fracking bumper sticker on a car in the parking lot. Fracking causes earthquakes & poisons groundwater with deadly chemicals.

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One free guess as to who that vehicle belongs to!

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The media begin to assemble on the marae to film the proceedings.

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Elders from the host tribe, Te Arawa, listen to Mana leaders speak in their native Te Reo (the Maori language).

Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira

Hone takes a moment to reflect, after the powhiri (welcome).

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People mill around the meeting room that will house the events to follow.

Willie Jackson

NZ radio jockey and long-time politico Willie Jackson addresses attendees.

The absolutely stunning & incredible Georgina Beyer

The incredible and gorgeous Georgina Beyer, the first transsexual member of Parliament in the history of New Zealand, delivers a frank recounting of her time in Parliament. Very interesting stuff and if someone has a video of her speech, we’d love to watch it again. Everything she said was well worth the time to listen.

Kim Dotcom enters the meeting

Kim Dotcom enters the meeting house.

Kim Dotcom speaking at the meeting

Kim Dotcom addresses the Mana constituents gathered to take their measure of him and the prospective proposal for an alliance between Dotcom’s The Internet Party of NZ, and the Mana Movement of the People.

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Kim Dotcom fields questions from each Mana rohi (chapter). Answers in the affirmative when asked by Mana Tamaki representatives if he supports the housing struggles at #SaveGI. Also states that he is against oil drilling and fracking in New Zealand.

Mana Gift BagAfter lunch, pretty much the entire NZ press pack had assembled in a loose horseshoe formation on the marae waiting for Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira to emerge.

By a chance twist of fate we got to him first, and Hone graciously accepted our interview request. To the astonishment of the onlooking corporate media, Hone led us to a quiet spot where we were able to capture the following footage, and cement his participation in our upcoming Web TV series: “Warriors of the Global Revolution”.

Hone’s responses to our questions were inspiring and revolutionary.


COVERAGE: Internet Party #IRLPicnic for a #SwimWithKim: Sunday April 13th, 2014.

On a total whim that arose from the happenstance of seeing a late night release about it, we applied for media passes to the Internet Party‘s first members event, hosted on the ‘Mega’ Mansion grounds.

We were pleasantly surprised when they immediately accepted and issued us press invites.

But never could we have expected what eventuated – while corporate media widely reported that Kim refused all their interviews on the day – once again, we had scooped them. As he had allowed us to question him on camera, and what a question it was…

Here follows some of what we saw on the day. (Note: the following pics were all livetweeted to the hashtags #IRLPicnic & #SwimWithKim)

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^^ The sound stage at the ‘Mega’ Mansion for #IRLPicnic & #SwimWithKim

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The above photo was taken as most people were queued to meet Kim. Other smart people however used the downtime to explore the grounds then slipped into the meet and greet line at the last possible second 🙂

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This, apparently, is where Kim plans his next chess move.

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It was awesome to see St. John onsite in case of any accident or health issue.
Hollie Smith (rocks!)

Accomplished NZ singer-songwriter Hollie Smith blew the crowd away with her incredible acoustic blues set.

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Kim continued to meet with Internet Party members one on one, for over two hours, before finally hitting the stage to give his speech.

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Up Truth; Up Democracy; Up Justice.

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In lieu of an amphitheatre, this perfectly sloped hill provided the perfect natural contour for everyone to have a perfect view of the stage.
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Internet Party members signed this huge banner, commemorating the event.

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Media were present and keen to squeeze out some stories but from what we saw, attendees largely treated corporate media as a nuisance and just wanted to get on with enjoying the days festivities.

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Everyone got a chance to have their photo taken with Kim, though we gladly forewent trophy pics for our video interview with him.

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There was free water, sunblock and a sausage sizzle available throughout the day.

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The pool, which would soon be filled with guests wanting to #SwimWithKim

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The reflecting pool.

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This cute playhouse/guesthouse sits in a quiet corner of the garden.

20140413_130803We were pleased to discover native NZ ferns and trees throughout the property.

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It truly was a family friendly day, with bouncy castles and other activities for the kids.

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The big vege garden was one of our favourite spots. This guy was happy for us to photograph him chilling in it when we told him it was for Occupy New Zealand.

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A necessary addition – his & hers changing rooms transformed the tennis court.

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Custom-made Internet Party signs directed party-goers to the various attractions.
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The car-port? Or, the buggy-port? Lulz…

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Everyone was given a free Internet Party t-shirt and most eventually put them on, creating huge swathes of purple-and-white everywhere we went.

Mega CEO Vikram Kumar

We didn’t realise until after we snapped this shot, but that is Mega CEO Vikram Kumar in the foreground.
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Tech-heads loved the Bitcoin ATM machine in the billiards room.

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Kim by the pool, posing for photos with young supporters.

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As promised, those who wanted to, got to #SwimWithKim.

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‘Mega’ window at the ‘Mega’ mansion.

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The physical impossibility of this statue seems somehow the perfect fit at the Mansion. A place where it is clear that unorthodoxy flourishes!

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Super-size games for guests young children.

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We were amazed to discover the hedge maze was a series of interlocking koru.

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Sign outside the local Coatesville pub mocking #GCSB – (the NZ NSA).


IN CONCLUSION…………..

These photos couldn’t more clearly contrast the width of the expanse between Mana Party and Internet Party constituents. The ‘Key’ question, pun intended, is in what ways they can benefit each other, and us all, through an alliance.

For us, the opportunity for kotahitanga is enough. But for there to be oneness there must first be deep understanding.

At lunch at the Mana AGM, there was a visible difference between those dining for social reasons or out of habit; and those who were genuinely, ravenously hungry.

The only murmurs I heard during Kim Dotcom’s speech at the AGM were when he mentioned his respect for the rule of law.

In this country, institutionalised racism, (the common underpinning thread of all imperialistic empire) has resulted in the same terrible health and social statistics for our indigenous peoples, as are also found uniformly in study of “conquered” indigenous peoples all around the world.

The privileged white rhetoric of the status quo is that “everyone can make something of themselves” and “everyone can choose to overcome their circumstance” but that is a naive view that doesn’t account for the realities of the warped and utterly dysfunctional socialisation afflicted on so many young children in this country and in others.

Very few in our underclasses ever turn their circumstances around. To understand why this is, we must understand the practical realities of their lives.

When we enter a shop, anywhere in New Zealand, the shop keeper is usually pleased to see us. Because we are white. Yet often when Maori friends enter a shop, just purely because of the colour of their skin, they are scrutinised and treated as if they are about to steal something at any given moment.

The old attitudes of Masters versus Slaves still presides in much of the older generations of New Zealand and you can hear a constant trumpeting of such attitudes across many conventional radio stations and other media.

Every person is not born equal in this country and nor are they always treated equally by our state institutions.

Therefore the Rule of Law as it is applied to a white man, with or without money, and the Rule of Law as it is applied to a Maori/Pacific Island man, with or without money, is often very, very different and this is reflected in the experiences and attitudes of many Mana members who have too often been on the receiving end of a very short stick where the “Rule of Law” is concerned.

Only a few days ago we listened to a middle-aged caller on Radio Live demand to know why Maori could not forget past grievances. To which we say: study Parihaka.

We were never taught about it in school. Not one word was breathed, of the children who were stolen. The families who were deliberately estranged by force from each other. Nor what ends they met.

Our education system does not educate us on the REAL grievances, which are beyond even just issues of land or money – but the true history of our country and what really happened to it has been thinly concealed, only to be revealed by the intergenerational narrative of those who bore witness, and who remember.

Even white businessmen may win all the way to the Supreme Court then get screwed, for as Boots Riley says in ‘The Guillotine’;

“They’ve got the TV,
we’ve got the truth;
they own the judges,
we’ve got the proof.”

So what chance does a person in poverty have, in a land of privatised prisons,  and rampant (often unrecorded) crime?

On the flipside everything we’ve heard about Kim Dotcom from those who attended has been positive and even some who were unsure last week have expressed that they are feeling much better about it, post-AGM.

Indeed Willie Jackson nailed it when he recalled the Alliance Party wins of the late 90s and early 00s prior to their demise and pointed out that regardless of whether an alliance has sustainable longevity it can achieve some really amazing things in the meantime.

We are inclined to agree. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and it is going to take a radical new direction to break this country out of its servitude to foreign interests.

It seems in Kim Dotcom and Hone Harawira, we have two radicals willing to set aside ego to build and achieve greater things together than they could alone.

We have long hoped to see a moral left-right alliance to break the media insistence that everyone must fit into either one or the other box. Although the issue is far from decided and no formal declaration of alliance is expected this month, we hope it does manifest itself prior to the Election.

The extent to which our land is now being devastated is flabbergasting and only accelerating in pace. If we are to have any meaningful chance at reversing some of the damage, it is already past time to take that plunge.

To Hone – this is your golden opportunity to use the media’s own false narrative to your advantage. For too many years, racists have gotten away with calling you racist. Yet you have openly and consistently held Mana open to all races and creeds and lent your ear to any and all who needed you to listen.

For as many elderly there are that don’t know a livetweet from a livestream there are abundant numbers of youth who know full well but just don’t realise how easily they can be a part of it. Spread that kaupapa as best you are able. Arm them with technology as it is now the only weapon that counts in the future that is coming to us.

The only thing we’ve ever heard from others and seen from you ourselves is that you are 100% for he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. Please continue to teach others what that truly means. More are listening than you know.

Kia ora to both Hone and Kim for hosting us and for allowing us to interview you. It was without doubt, on both counts, an unforgettable experience. Thank you.


Photo credits: @endarken and @keyweekat for @OccupyNZ

All media contained on this site is copyright @OccupyNZ / @OccupyAuckland, all rights reserved.

Boots Riley To Perform In Auckland Tomorrow

As old school followers of this blog will know we have closely followed Occupy Oakland throughout the years (and vice versa).

One of our favourite ever Occupy moments was watching Oakfosho’s Port Shutdown II footage of the live concert on the back of the soundtruck that included Oakland’s own Boots Riley.

So we were ecstatic to discover he is coming to NZ and will be interviewing him at his show tomorrow night.

Boots Riley Event Poster

Thanks to all who made this possible – full press release is printed below FYI.

OCCUPY NZ MEDIA TEAM


Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland.

Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood!

On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an acoustic performance, at the Metro Theatre at 362 Massey Road, Mangere East.

Pictures, video interviews and commentary will be tweeted on the hashtags #BootsRiley & #Mana . Boots Riley is an American poet, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter, humorist, political organiser and community activist, however is best known as lead vocals for The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club.

Light refreshments will be provided as well as Mana merchandise available for purchase at the event. A koha at the door is appreciated. Nau mai haere mai whanau! Come and support this local event and enjoy what will be a very interesting and entertaining evening.

A press conference will be held at the UNITE UNION, 6A Western Springs Road, Kingsland – 2pm Tuesday, 15 April.

For further information, contact:- Will Ilolahia – 027 6368359

#TPPANoWay – New Zealand’s Message To The World

#TPPANoWay rocked the world this week – spawning solidarity actions in Japan and California, USA and a total of 16 protest actions throughout New Zealand.

#TPPANoWay - Topsy Analytics‘TPPA’ trended throughout the events and messages from supporters worldwide poured in thick and fast, including touching messages from Malaysia, Canada, the United States, and our Aussie cousins!

While many publications and media outlets covered yesterday’s actions, none so far have aggregated the hashtag content so our media team is collaborating to bring together various independent media sources into this one post. (The content featured here will grow over the course of the next few days.)

#TPPANoWay – Auckland Coverage:

#TPPANoWay signThe #TPPANoWay crowd gathers at what was once the site of Occupy 2.0 Queen Street; the 2nd of 4 autonomous occupations of Auckland City.

20140329_13214520140329_132352As usual, Big Brother was an uninvited guest with a bird’s eye view.

20140329_132600While there were a few notable faces…

OMG CELEBRITIES

20140329_133709 …the real celebrities are those who attended the event in such great number.

20140329_13325720140329_13385020140329_13421220140329_13450620140329_13473420140329_132917The march was huge and very exciting, to see so many Aucklanders taking over Queen Street to exercise their democratic rights.

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20140329_13583820140329_140243 20140329_141933Outside the USA consulate on Commerce Street at the bottom of Queen Street, New Zealanders made their feelings known, with cries of “Shame, Shame!” echoing throughout downtown Auckland.

20140329_14213720140329_14214220140329_14231320140329_142317We briefly caught the tail end of Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s speech.


(Note: while Occupy Media around the globe give coverage to ALL political groups who oppose tyrannical Government policies and are consequently & similarly victimised by the corporate media, we do not endorse any particular party for elections as some of the biggest issues we face occur above the political process and are beyond the reach of the Beehive, no matter who inhabits it).

20140329_14271520140329_14304520140329_132746After the final speakers, the crowd began to naturally disperse, drawing a peaceful close to a successful event.20140329_144032#TPPANoWay!For the full event media resources please click here.

FYI: Footage from other actions nationwide will appear here in future updates.

 

#TPPANoWay – Kaitaia Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Kaitaia

#TPPANoWay – Kaitaia

#TPPANoWay – Hokianga Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Hokianga

#TPPANoWay – Hokianga

#TPPANoWay – Whangarei Coverage:

#TPPANoWay Whangarei

#TPPANoWay Whangarei

#TPPANoWay -Whangarei

#TPPANoWay -Whangarei

#TPPANoWay – Tauranga Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Tauranga

#TPPANoWay – Tauranga

#TPPANoWay – Thames Coverage:

#TPPANoWay Thames

#TPPANoWay Thames

#TPPANoWay – Hamilton Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Hamilton

#TPPANoWay – Hamilton

#TPPANoWay – Napier Coverage:

#TPPA - Napier

#TPPANoWay – Napier

#TPPANoWay – Taranaki Coverage:

 

#TPPANoWay - Taranaki

#TPPANoWay – Taranaki

#TPPANoWay – Wanganui Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Wanganui

#TPPANoWay – Wanganui

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay - Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Wellington Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Wellington

#TPPANoWay – Wellington

#TPPANoWay – Nelson Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Nelson

#TPPANoWay – Nelson

#TPPANoWay – Takaka Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Takaka

#TPPANoWay – Takaka

#TPPANoWay – Christchurch Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Christchurch

#TPPANoWay – Christchurch

#TPPANoWay – Dunedin Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Dunedin

#TPPANoWay – Dunedin

 #TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from New Zealand

Solidarity Message from National Day of Action in New Zealand

To our friends on the West Coast of the US who believe that the future belongs to the people, not to the corporations, we in New Zealand send our greetings and solidarity.

To our friends in US who believe that decent work and safe food is our rights, we say your struggle is our struggle too.

To our friends in US who believe that global agribusinesses cannot be allowed to control the nation’s food production, we stand alongside you.

To our friends in the US who see that social responsibility and protection of the environment are giving way to greed and exploitation, we join you to demand that the needs of the people and the planet come before the profits of the corporations.

To our friends in the US who are determined to stop the damage that climate change causes to our communities, we will make sure that our national plays its role.

To our friends whose families and communities are denied affordable medicines, housing, food and the other essentials of life, we are committed to fight against the same injustices.

These are among the many challenges that confront us for the 21st century.

Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and those who promote it stand for a very different vision.

Their vision is a 21st century that is run by and for the major corporations, supported by the major powers.

If they had to show us what they are proposing to sign, the people would never agree. That is why they are negotiating the TPPA in secret.

But the tide has turned in many of the TPPA countries. Yesterday we had mobilizations in fifteen towns and cities across New Zealand saying ‘No to the TPPA’. This is unprecedented. The people have spoken.

We fear that our government will not listen unless there is a groundswell in other TPPA countries that force those governments to listen as well.

When we act together in solidarity, as we are today, we CAN defeat the TPPA.

29 March, 2014
Jane Kelsey, University of Auckland
On behalf of
Participants of 29 March National Day of Action in New Zealand

#TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from Japan

Solidarity Message from Japan

To all the people of the United States of America and New Zealand gathering today,
We are happy to extend our solidarity message to all of you gathering at the nation-wide rallies on 29 March.. We, here in Japan, also will hold a mass rally “It’s time to withdraw from the TPP negotiation!” on 30 March in the heart of Tokyo Metropolitan.

It is important that people of the three TPP countries stand up at the same timing and raise voices against TPP. The USA is the world’s largest power and has been leading the TPP negotiations. Japan is also a large economy and is engaging in the bilateral negotiations with the US.
Other TPP countries are carefully monitoring the negotiations. New Zealand is one of the key players at the end game having a sensitive interest in market access for dairy products into the US and Japan, with concerns about the critical issues of the public health care system and ISDS.
The TPP negotiations couldn’t be concluded by the end of the previous year- and seems to be deadlocked now. But, we should not be off our guard and closely watch the ongoing bilateral negotiations. US President Obama is visiting Asia in April seeking results at any cost because of the coming midterm election in November. Japanese government is anxious to conclude the negotiations as early as possible, as a crucial tool to stimulate economic growth.
Last year, Committees on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the both chambers of the Japanese Diet adopted the resolution to protect present tariffs of the five sensitive farm products, public health care system and food safety, to oppose to the ISDS provision which may undermine the national interests, and to demand disclosure of information on the TPP negotiations. They also resolved that the government should withdraw from the negotiations when Japan cannot protect the five “sacred” farm products.

Japanese civil organizations, labor unions, farmer’s unions, medical groups and consumer cooperatives formed a broad coalition and have been engaged in anti-TPP struggles with international allies to protect lives, livelihoods and local communities. We believe that these struggles contributed to stop the TPP negotiations to be concluded so far.
Our future shouldn’t be at the mercy of global corporations. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that global corporations art trying force their standards and interests on developing countries.
Let us take action against TPP together. We wish the success of your nation-wide campaigns on 29 March in New Zealand and the USA, and the further progress of your struggles.

29 March, 2014
Sponsors and supporters of the 30 March Campaign “It’s time to withdraw from the TPP negotiation!”

#TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from the United States

Solidarity message from the United States

We the people of United States, the citizen activists and organizers would like to express our message of solidarity to the people of Japan and New Zealand. We stand, shoulder to shoulder with you, in your struggle against the TPP.

As a show of unity we will hold a “Stop the TPP Coup” demonstration at Union Square in San Francisco on March 29th.

To fully understand the consequences of TPP, one must look at the consequences of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been in effect for 20 years. NAFTA resulted in the loss of almost 1 million American jobs, the enslavement of Mexican workers and death of Mexican farmers, increase in economic inequality, political instability, lowered safety and environmental standards. TPP has been described as NAFTA on steroids, a hundred times more powerful and more dangerous.

TPP has been negotiated in complete secrecy by 600 lobbyists and corporate representatives. In the United States negotiating trade agreements is legally the responsibility of the Congress. Yet not a single one of these Democratically elected representatives have been allowed to engage in these negotiations. Those who have seen the text have been sworn to secrecy. If it weren’t for the release of the text by Wikileaks we still wouldn’t have any information.

President Obama, requested Fast Track authority from Congress which would limit debate and the ability of congress to change or amend the text and would push it through very quickly. But the public rose against it and after millions of phone calls and emails ordinary citizens sent to their representatives, the Congress and the Senate refused to give him that authority. He may try it again. But we will remain vigilant.

Environmental organizations, all labor Unions and many civil organizations, and farmer’s Unions are against the TPP. But in the United States, all mainstream media, 1500 newspapers, 1100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1500 TV stations, 2400 publishers, are owned by only 6 corporations who will profit from the TPP. So they do not provide the public with information on TPP. In fact they never discuss it. The information circulates from person to person, through activism and alternative media. More and more people are discovering that TPP exists and the moment they do, they strongly oppose it. The opposition is continuously growing.

Through TPP, multinational corporations will force the lowest levels of regulations on all nations involved, regardless of their individual history, culture or tradition. Through ISDS corporations will end Democracy and establish themselves as overlords and masters, enslaving people of the 12 nations.

Corporations are not human beings. They do not have a sense of humanity, they do not have dignity, they do not have honor. But the rest of us actual human beings do. And there is a lot more of us than there is of them. So together we will fight and together we will win.

Let’s keep voicing our concerns and together we can show the government that this is not acceptable.

March 29, 2014 Bay Area Light Brigade in San Francisco

Full House At Kim Dotcom Anti-Spying Meeting; March On #J27 #GCSB

Update 23 March 2014: the below article was never able to be finished due to constant technical interference with our WordPress install and domain. Although our media team has continued to livetweet and livestream events and promote them on various social media platforms in the interim, this blogsite was inoperable and the domain was then taken by “DEA Media” (!!!!) which has reset the share counters to zero on many articles which had in excess of 1000 shares on them. This has had the unfortunate effect of (presumably) breaking tens of thousands of weblinks to articles on the OccupySavvy.com domain. At some point we will update the gap in this blog with archive material from events covered but until we have the resources to do so we will be blogging new material going forward. 

After 2 hours of straight writing, this blogpost had a word count of over 1000 words when we pressed publish. That then changed itself to 0 words and all our text disappeared from the post, all our autosaves disappeared, and the working draft we had been using has also disappeared. (UPDATE: We are slowly fixing this post now so please check back over the course of the next hour)

The entire article was about #GCSB #J27 and all the people in the pics. At 2pm NZST we will be covering the Auckland anti-spying action organised by Kim Dotcom, @CitizenBomber and others, in Aotea Square, historic home of Occupy Auckland. Please keep eyes on @OccupyNZ @endarken @azlancat @keyweekat @TheDailyBlogNZ @CitizenBomber & @Redstar309z

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Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 5: Bella Eiko

Occupy Savvy Exclusive! One of the coolest things about activism is that it doesn’t have celebrities – it has role models. Recently, we put 7 poignant questions to five of the world’s most inspiring women. These women hail from Iceland, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and for their profound actions, deeds, words, generosity, heart, and perseverance, we deem them “wahine toa”.

In Aotearoa, New Zealand, we describe a fearless woman of soul and substance, as “wahine toa”. This very loosely translates to “woman warrior.”

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

wāhine: (noun) women, females, ladies, wives.

toa: (stative) be brave, bold, victorious, experienced, accomplished, adept, competent, skilful, capable.

But wahine toa is even more; to us she is;

kaitiaki: (noun) trustee, minder, guard, custodian, guardian, keeper.

She becomes;

ūkaipō: (noun) mother, origin, source of sustenance, real home.

She is “atua” in the sense of; “a way of perceiving and rationalising the world”.

If it were audible; we could almost hear our ladies blushing through the screen. The truth is; they deserve every accolade we can give them, as they live this wild journey called life to the fullest, inspiring so many of us to follow their path, by discovering our own.

This last couple weeks, you have seen the same 7 questions posted here, again and again. But we saw vastly different answers. All of a unique and immeasurable insightfulness that is a gift, as a reader, to absorb.

Part One saw us publish the heartfelt words of Turtle Island, Canada’s Min Reyes.

Part Two was an exclusive interview with Iceland’s very own Birgitta Jónsdóttir.

Part Three was an introduction to Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Marama Davidson.

Part Four covered Australia’s original “Tentmonster”, Sara Kerrison.

In Part Five, the series finale, we speak with Occupy Oakland livestreaming legend Jessica “Bella Eiko” Hollie.

Bella Eiko

(Photo by @ripperhollow)

Occupy Oakland spawned some of the greatest livestreamers in the world; brave, brutally honest eye witnesses who broadcast their on-the-ground experiences of local activism events, around the globe.

A quick scan of the 45 posts on this website about Occupy Oakland shows that they have endured just about every discomfort imaginable; from blatant state repression and suppression, to financial stresses and resource depletion; to the tear gas, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and other “non-lethal” (in reality possibly-lethal) weaponry sporadically employed by the Oakland Police Department.

Unwitting citizens on the butt end of such brutal tactics might never have their stories told were it not for the efforts of citizen journalists. Through them, we have witnessed corporate news media helicopters LEAVING the scene of protests immediately prior to weaponry being deployed.

We have witnessed ex-Iraq war veterans shot in the head by the police; we have witnessed incidents inside the halls of power that go under-reported, mis-reported or entirely blacked out by the conventional so-called “media”.

Much of what we have witnessed, has been thanks to the superhuman efforts of Bella Eiko.

Bella is part of a new media revolution that is the last vestige of public truth and record. It is impossible to overstate the historic importance of her very existence, or the sheer crap she endures to continue to play her part.

Having seen Bella take us places few, if any, corporate journalists would dare go; to see her as an orator, not just a livestreamer, added a new dimension to our appraisal of her. Watching the below video has made grown women cry. It is the epitome of speaking truth to power. Raw emotion and raw honesty. It is highly recommended viewing.

Don’t miss the last 30 or so seconds of occupiers chanting “the system has got to die! Hella hella occupy!

(We covered the above video in greater depth in a May 2012 article)

From the halls of the Oakland City Council to the “Free Speech Zone” (read: media-confining pen) at President Obama’s visit to Oakland to the Anaheim “riots”, Bella has gone above and beyond to amplify the voices of the people.

As Min Reyes said in Part 1 of this series (paraphrasing); the movements come in waves, each a little bigger than the last, all blurring into each other until the individual banners are meaningless and meld into one.

In Part 2 Birgitta Jónsdóttir described the revolution as an ongoing process; where we needed to abandon ego-logy and embrace ecology.

Part 3 saw Marama Davidson deliver the stark reality; we can no longer attempt to be the human boss of Earth. Such wankery is running us into utter ruination.

In Part 4 Sara Kerrison reminded us that every single thing we require to liberate us exists already within ourselves and on our planet.

Without further adieu, here follows Bella Eiko’s heartfelt answers to the same 7 questions we put to the other wahine toa featured in this series.

Q1. Occupy Savvy: Strong women abound in the Occupy and Idle No More movements. Did you ever foresee that you would contribute as meaningfully as you have, to such momentous events?

Bella: I never expected that my contributions would even amount to anything, I just thought they were necessary. I knew that the Occupy movement would make its mark and during it I got majorly motivated to try and effect the type of change I always talked about. As the movement continues to evolve, I hope that I can continue to help and make a difference. Now more than ever as I come close to delivering my son.

Q2. Occupy Savvy: An ONZ admin says “Activism didn’t radicalise me; the state response to activism radicalised me.” Can you empathise with this statement?

BellaYes I can, as a matter of fact it was the horrible response to political dissidence that made me want to speak out more, to do more. Eventually all people reach a breaking point, I think seeing the state violence that many innocent activists were subjected to made a fire light inside of me unlike ever before.

Q3. Occupy Savvy: Activism messages appear to be increasingly penetrating the public consciousness. What is your experience of this awakening?

BellaI see more of the public buying less of the empty political promises and expressing their anger and frustration towards biased media stories. However, I still fear that being too hopeful and in a rush to believe we are in an actual democracy are still major factors hindering the success of real significant social change. There is also an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Many times we simply don’t know what to do and pass the buck to governmental entities to tax us for “solutions”. This has got to be tackled by real community fueled alternatives. How do we do this? I wish I knew..

Q4. Occupy Savvy: What has been your most satisfying moment of the global revolution, to date?

Bella: Most satisfying is hard. I think at the top of that list is definitely Occupy the Farm. This action was not only positive and giving back to the community, it made a major statement, kept going on, had/has major support from both city officials and the community and was radical direct action! This made me very happy.

I was also pretty satisfied by the continued reemergence of Occupy Oakland, and how the response to the severe oppression in the streets was to defend head on. I loved the shields, and barricades along with the gas masks. Defending our right to protest in various ways & in turn publicizing the brutal means the state will use in an attempt to control.

Q5. Occupy Savvy: In what way would you most like to see the global narrative shift, from this point?

Bella: I would like to hear more solutions for community alternatives at this point. Viable ones that can successfully combat the abusive structure of the current government & economy. We have successfully highlighted many of the issues, lets start focusing on solutions.

Q6. Occupy Savvy: What advice would you give to a woman becoming involved in activism for the first time?

Bella: Have thick skin, be prepared to be vocal and be judged. No matter what, do not get so frustrated that you quit, find ways to fight against all forms of oppression and always keep your voice, not the one that others want you to have.

Q7. Occupy Savvy: In what way have you seen your country change, over the last 18 months? In what way would you see it change, in the next 18?

BellaI have seen my country start to show more and more dissent and attention to the abusive and underhanded tactics of a corrupt government. Although I have not seen the same type of revolts that are happening in Spain or Egypt, I see the people starting to not only understand the injustices but also wanting justice for them. In the next 18 months I would love to see the government held more accountable and the people come together to actively replace this abusive power structure and the economic terrorism that has been unleashed because of it.


That concludes our first web series “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Bella for repping the US of A in this series and for being such a fantastic role model for women in her country.

This site operates on a $0 budget & so if you love what you read here all we ask is that you share the articles with your friends and family. Help us spread the sentiments expressed here, around the world. Thank you to the thousands who have shared this series already. Every reader who gains a new perspective here, makes this all worth it.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM