“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

Humanitarian Libertarianism, Diversity of Tactics and Candidate X

An ‘O’ is a fitting symbol of the Occupy movement, which increasingly manifests itself as a melding of the traditional hard edges of the “Left” and “Right” political paradigms of modern political thinking.

This has conjoined the core principles associated with those doctrines and birthed a new calling to rise above traditional political divides and work to a higher purpose than merely
supporting a given faction.

Any hope for humanity to overcome its challenges, is in building unity.

To achieve it, we must truly understand that which divides us.

Personal privacy and governance issues have long been considered the province of the
“Right”, and Libertarians are considered to be at the edge of it. In the truest sense
Libertarian ideology was to be at liberty from the State. To be at liberty with oneself. To have total privacy and sovereignty over one’s domain, possessions and decisions, without external interference or any impingement upon the rights of the individual at all.

To be the King of your own castle. To be the Master of your own destiny.

Humanitarianism, in short, empathy for others in unjust circumstance, is associated with
the “Left”. Not just the “Left”, but the “Far Left”, for true justice for all peoples
requires massive and significant change. With unionists sitting closer to the
“Centre-Left” and environmentalists just outside of that, it is the anti-war, pro-human
rights activists who are ironically considered the fringe element.

But even beyond the Humanitarians in the “Left” is the anarchists. Anarchists desire to
be at liberty from the State. To be at liberty with oneself. To have total privacy and sovereignty over one’s domain, possessions and decisions, without external interference or any impingement upon the rights of the individual at all.

To be the King of your own castle. To be the Master of your own destiny.

Thus a Humanitarian-Libertarian can be both: someone who desires and respects personal liberty but who is also empathetic to others plight to achieve THEIR desires of
personal liberty and respects others equal right to life.

Combining the importance of the well-being of the self with the importance of the
well-being of others.

Humanitarian-Libertarianism isn’t merely a concept; it is an attitude that has permeated
in the public response to a multitude of current events that have threatened both
personal privacy and human rights.

The current geopolitical situation is equally endangering both – indeed the issues are
all intertwined. When you step back and look at the bigger picture that forms, our
human inclination to be divided into either belonging to one concern or the other, rightly
seems ridiculous.

They say all of Mother Nature has its purpose but our societal understandings of
political norms only seem to serve one manufactured purpose – to divide us.

It is so much easier to sit in criticism than to act in solidarity.

In our society, supporting any new endeavour is considered an act of extreme risk. So
much so that we have coined the term ‘entrepreneurs’ to describe those few prepared to
take it.

Risk that it may achieve an undesired or counterproductive result, or worse; nothing at
all. That it may subject the person lending support to societal ridicule or the loss of
some measure of social capital. Yet while so many sit frozen in trepidation, we celebrate
and reward those who come out on the correct side of the equation – AFTER the fact.

Much can be said of the Occupy movement – what it is or what it isn’t, what it was or what it has become. Even more can be – and is – said about those among it who have taken the leap and committed themselves to a certain direction.

These directions taken are exponential in number and spread like branches across almost
every sociopolitical issue known to mankind.

Revolutionary actions are being undertaken globally regarding food, shelter, water,
economy, war, race and liberty issues just to name a few.

Unless an action is provably violating the liberty or human rights of another, it
should be the sovereign right of the individuals involved to undertake and thus beyond
reproach.

Diversity of Tactics” is a term that has often been used to support the rights of
individuals to undertake actions that are seemingly outside the box or are in some way
controversial.

Yet very seldom is this same principle used to reflect the rights of individuals to
choose to use facets of the existing political system to attempt to achieve awareness
and change.

To an extent not yet fully realised, Occupiers and their all-volunteer Media teams have directly suffered from the corruption of the State. From ground level to the highest halls of
power, agencies have worked to subvert, sabotage and oppress Occupiers.

As the well-established farce of mainstream political process and election media continues unabated – what better person to enter the process and “Shake” things up, than an Occupier?

One of the most telling indicators of the legitimacy of an activist or organisation is
their proclivity for solidarity. To put it bluntly, when the shit goes down, they are
right there kicking and screaming, making sure everyone knows about it.

They act out of conscience and do so consistently, taking risks for others when there is
no attainable benefit to themselves.

Some say there may be a personal benefit to veteran organiser turned Mayoral “Candidate X” Jason “Shake” Anderson, in the theoretical situation that he is elected Mayor of Oakland.

Some have suggested the silence from his Occupy media platforms calls support for him
into question.

Yet the silence has been righteous. Occupy does not and should not endorse political
candidates.

Only their own actions can endorse them.

The reality is, Occupy Oakland Media Team were unceremoniously forcibly disbanded and
media asset stripped in an identical fashion to the Media Teams of countless other
Occupations worldwide.

With the benefit of hindsight (and FOIA’s), it is impossible to deny that. But the real proof is in the outcome of the events. After the asset handover, @OccupyOakland ended up spamming out links to mainstream for-profit advertising networks and the rest of the media infrastructure fell dormant.

Yet even after their very public desecration, the @oomedia team & personal social media accounts all continued pumping out solidarity for actions, movements and causes all
over the world, 7 days a week.

Why? Because they cared. Because they were compelled to give voice to the voiceless.
Because they did not require an official mandate in order to be able to act in empathy,
and for liberty. Because they are legit.

Those who act in constant solidarity and who continue to amplify critical issues even in the face of such daunting resources as have been set against us, are the most likely to have the tenacity, worldliness and integrity necessary to penetrate the power structure like a Trojan horse and to continue planting the seeds of change.

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

Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 1: Min Reyes

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.

These next few days, you will see the same 7 questions posted here, again and again. But you will see vastly different answers. All of a unique and immeasurable insightfulness that is a gift, as a reader, to absorb.

We are kicking this series off with the answers of Canada’s very own Min Reyes.

thegorgeousminMin is described by Wikipedia as a ‘political commentator’ but she has been much more. She was an early participant in the social media blitz that has formed the backbone of the communications networks of the 99% in all its forms.

Without discrimination, she has been a conduit, a voice, for those who without her may not have had one.

From her incredible compositions at her blog 404 System Error, to her 135,000 tweets, Min has experienced – and amplified – the highs, lows, ebb, flow and slow crescendo, of the global revolution.

It is our privilege to call her friend. Without further adieu; our exclusive interview with Min Reyes.

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?

Min: I have had the privilege to meet and learn from great women and men through Occupy and Idle No More movements. I have never really defined myself nor my ‘social and political’ roles based solely on my race, age, class or even gender. While I am not undermining the arguments for feminism nor the efforts of those who day after day are working for social justice for women, I must state that I have tried to maintain a sense of self through the numerous factors that influence my perspectives such as my surroundings and my experiences in their totality. I have learned that choosing one particular aspect to define my role in any given social movement tends to be rather exclusive and thus limiting, often resulting in the creation of an “other”.

In regards to contribution, I do not honestly believe I have meaningfully contributed yet as I am constantly re-evaluating my role in this long journey. As my perspectives and understanding of my surroundings (including social and political spheres) shift, so do my priorities and course of action. I do not believe I have ever set out a specific goal to achieve in terms of “social movements,” but perhaps that’s exactly what keeps me going and evolving as needed.

I am not sure exactly how I would have contributed – if at all – to the larger goals of these movements. But I know that having engaged with them in one way or another has greatly helped me identify and overcome a lot of my personal limitations, assumptions, and shortcomings.

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?

Min: Radicalism has been a concept appropriated by those who are invested in maintaining the current disruptive status quo. I guess in this context, the concept of “radicalism” is not much different than that of “terrorism.” In order to maintain the current system and culture of war, both concepts must remain vague, to potentially apply to none while applying to all.

The only aspect that changes is the increasing elusiveness of the so called “enemy”, by design.

I think a lot of us are responding to radical government policies that undermine human rights and dignity, environmental sustainability, and peace. I myself refuse to adopt the narrative of those invested in criminalizing citizens who are expressing legitimate concerns. Thus I will NOT say that the state or its actions have radicalized me.
Let’s keep the facts straight and simple: money in politics, corruption, and greed have radicalized politicians, the very people who have promised to serve and protect the people. In Canada, even petitions are now considered forms of “attack” by the current government. Who are the radicals here?

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

Min: People are waking up to global patterns of oppression and corruption. We are beginning to realize that there is a much larger system working above the imposed boundaries of geography and nationality, limitations that do apply to citizens though.

I have never considered what I do as activism per se. Many of us shy away from the term activism because it implies we are taking on more than we are required to. We are not only exercising our rights but we are, more importantly in my opinion, fulfilling our responsibilities as global citizens.

In regards to movements I am learning that they materialize in waves. The Arab Spring, Spanish Revolution, Greek Revolution, European protests against austerity, Occupy, Maple Spring, Idle No More, all seem to be manifestations of the same global revolution. And whereas at the onset they do seem to form under banners, the spirit of the revolution can no longer be contained under one specific banner. This revolution no longer belongs under one specific banner… it’s all banners coming from all sides creating a tidal wave. No one owns it, no one can claim it… everyone is becoming a part of it. And I believe it will only grow from here as more and more people become affected by the current broken system.

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

Min: I don’t necessarily have a specific favourite moment… Personally I find that the effects have been cumulative in the sense that global awakening has many faces, many voices, and numerous moments. Each moment, each voice, just strengthens my resolve and belief that we are as a species on the right track.

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

Min: Wherever we look today, narratives are divisive, fragmented, reduced to extreme polarities. This is not only true of politics and mainstream/corporate media but also within social movements and progressive groups. This zero sum game approach dominates our debates.

We seem to lack the willingness to find compromise. What is more important, we seem to have forgotten the merits of meaningful listening. Whether in politics or in social movements, everyone has something to say… but far too few are actually willing to listen to and elaborate on opposing and dissenting views.

I would like to see a global narrative revolving primarily around human dignity; a narrative that is constructive rather than destructive, holistic rather than fragmented, inclusive rather than exclusive. But before we even get there, we need to find a way we can actually build a new narrative based on mutual respect, understanding, and most of all, listening. I guess we need to learn to meaningfully communicate before we even decide what we want to communicate about…

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

Min: Be true to yourself. It is easy to fall trap to group think and confirmation bias. Every so often, remind yourself that this journey of change begins within oneself. Keep an open mind and be, above all, honest to yourself.

Don’t despair when faced with challenges. When tired, take a break. Make sure you take the time to enjoy your life so that you don’t lose sight of what you are fighting to protect. Constantly ask yourself whether the choice you are about to make is driven by love or fear, recognize that these are the two driving forces.

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?

Min: Canada is undergoing some radical policy changes under the current conservative government. But I remain optimistic as more Canadians are becoming aware of the social, economic, and political implications of these changes.

Although Occupy Canada, the Quebec student movement, and Idle No More have been defining movements, there have been many countless other protests and demonstrations that have helped maintain momentum and increased local awareness and engagement throughout Canada.

I have no blueprint for change. All I wish is for Canadians to become a little more aware and engaged especially in issues related to human rights and dignity. I think it’s time for Canadians to take on a greater sense of responsibility on important issues at home but also abroad.


That concludes the first part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We are extremely proud of Min for repping Canada in this series. Keep an eye out in the coming days for our interviews with four other wahine toa; from Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

This site operates on a $0 budget & so if you loved this article all we ask is that you share the articles in this series with your friends and family. Help us spread the sentiments expressed by these ladies, around the world. Thank you!

“Test Their Logik” visit Aotearoa New Zealand

This month, we were blessed to host revolutionary rap artist Testament from Test Their Logik.

Hailing from Turtle Island (Canada), Test (as he is affectionately known) played a series of shows throughout the country, and held a series of talks on the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline blockades – a series of massive environmental defense actions that have spurred solidarity events in several countries.

His fierce live performances were ecstatically received by the NZ activist community and below is some short videos taken at his two Auckland gigs – one at the old SJD pad in Mt. Eden and the other at The Wine Cellar in St. Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland.

Enjoy!

Test gets the crowd to shout-out to Idle No More:

Must-see Test Their Logik music videos: the 1st is a compilation made by Occupy Denver to compliment the song “Red N Black Yo”:

The piece de resistance is this pre-2012 U.S. presidential election release: “Democracy’s Bankrupt”. We absolutely adore this video.

Help Occupy NZ Put #TPPA Under International Spotlight

Occupy NZ have invited Political Fail Blog, CourtneyOccupy & OccupyEye to come to New Zealand and blow the lid on the “secret” TPPA multi-country “trade” negotiations being held at Sky City Convention Centre in early December.

Together, this TPPA Stream Team will broadcast multi-faceted live coverage of the events to an international audience.

Working in concert with both Occupy Auckland and Occupy New Zealand Media, the team will cover the week’s major broad-based Auckland protest actions, also attending the December 4th Wellington action and topping it off with a trip to Christchurch to hear from eye-witnesses of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes; to see first-hand the current needs of the residents and to amplify their voices to the world.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand to show off our beautiful country and the best spirit of all the peoples of Aotearoa who are lifting their voices in protest against the many implications of the TPPA.

Our combined media reach is substantial, and the trip will result in copious amounts of livestream and still video footage, livetweets, blog posts on multiple different major Occupy-related websites, the opportunity to capture historic photojournalism, and the utilisation of Occupy’s vast social media network, across many platforms.

Many occupiers will be opening their hearts and homes to support the team.

You can support them too, by simply sharing this message.

Donating from New Zealand:

PledgeMe have published our trip project here. Please check it out! There is tons of links and further details in it.

Donating from elsewhere:

Please follow on Twitter: @Pfailblog @CourtneyOccupy & @OccupyEye and donate to them here

More info on the dangers of the TPPA:

From N.Z. perspective:

TPPA Non-Transparency Has Hit New Low”
It’s Our Future” website, full of topical info.

This short video is also a must-watch.

From U.S. perspective:

Important note: We have only one week to resource this trip! Please help spread the word!

Thank you! 

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Solidarity With Gaza – Global Peace And Justice – Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland protesters fly Palestinian flag from the U.S. Embassy flagpole!

Yesterday’s Global Peace and Justice “Solidarity With Gaza” march from Aotea Square to the U.S. Embassy in Auckland, New Zealand, was one of the most exciting Auckland actions to date.

The turn-out was huge despite short notice and pouring rain that had us all soggy in no time (causing slippery cellphone syndrome for us citizen journalists!) with as many as 300 or more protesters in attendance.

The march visibly swelled as it snaked its way down Queen Street towards the U.S. Consulate on Customs Street, near Auckland’s Princes Wharf.

Umbrella’s of every colour of the rainbow shielded the crowd from above, while colourful costuming and signs galore provided ample eye-candy to accompany the consistent chanting of people’s voices in protest at the atrocities of the never-ending Israel-Palestine conflict.

The most astonishing and unexpected aspect of the event was the disparate if not entirely invisible police presence. There were in fact NO marshalling police vehicles on the Queen Street march (a first-time experience for us, in every action we have covered there have been police marshalling and/or mustering and/or significant police and private security presence, sometimes into the many hundreds of officers.)

We assumed (the mother of all…) that the police must be amassed at the Embassy yet once we all arrived there, only 2 police vehicles and a half dozen police emerged and were VERY low key about their presence.

At the Embassy the crowd watched in awe and amazement as a Palestinian flag was raised above the Consulate, on their very own flagpole!

Approximately 30 protesters threw old shoes at the Embassy to display their disgust at U.S. foreign policy. There were several speeches from the soundtruck and a song.

That an action on such a contentious topic as this could go virtually unattended by the NZ Police is a massive shift in tactics on their part.

That the events ended naturally with protesters peacefully dispersing of their own accord, entirely unmolested by authorities, makes a pleasant change from the constant brutality exerted against the public at the student’s Blockade The Budget protests, and at the Glen Innes House Defense protests, throughout 2012.

It was certainly nice to see the police film squad also absent. At least, the uniformed ones anyway!

We hope this signals a new focus for police; away from unnecessarily expending resources on suppressing democratic dissent and shadowing activists to instead funneling those resources on fighting actual crime, and surveilling actual criminals.

Video of Palestinian flag flying above embassy: (clarification; we did not see the U.S. flag come down so flagpole may have been empty with no ambassador in residence however Palestinian flag was raised and flown above the consulate!!!)

Protesters throwing their shoes at the U.S. Embassy in protest:

We are still processing pics from the event, and will insert a gallery here ASAP. In the meantime, tons of pics of the event are already published in our online newspaper; The Occupied NZ Herald

Other resources:

Global Peace & Justice Website

Official event press release

Facebook event page

Other noteworthy coverage;

Amazon News Media

Socialist Aotearoa

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

It’s Official, Occupiers Are Rockstars: @OccupySandy

( ***  175 ways/places to help Sandy victims – November 8 2012 NZDT )

Occupy Wall Street are rocking the Hurricane Sandy recovery process. Though still overwhelmed by the work to be done, the Occupy community has pulled together to fill the gaps in the government response to the disaster.

In our Hurricane Sandy mega post, published here 1am October 29th 2012, we put together a large amount of media resources and supporting information. We are endeavouring to continue updating it on an as-able basis. We hope you find it of use.

It has had over 700 shares already and we believe was one of the first articles to show Occupy and Anonymous engaging in support and direct actions for Hurricane Sandy victims. It is a beautiful and poignant moment to show the true heart in our movements.

No longer can we be branded domestic terrorists. The truth is out. We are domestic (and international!) humanitarians.

This New York Times piece is the most moving we’ve ever read from them: for once, even the MSM with all their historical shortcomings, have finally picked up a legitimate narrative.

This great short video says it all. “Occupy Sandy – We Got This.”

We Got This (Occupy Sandy) from Alex Mallis on Vimeo.


“Want to help? OccupySandy.org for the latest volunteer and needs information.” Also check out InterOccupy.


OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Anonymous and Occupy Provide Live #Sandy Updates, Support

This week we have witnessed, in many cases live, the unfolding of one of the largest hurricanes in recorded history.

#Sandy on Twitter has been aflame with live updates from citizens reporting from countless locations.

Major portions of the online communications infrastructure and social media channels of Occupy, Anonymous and other activism movements globally, have been consumed by spreading disaster preparedness and safety information to the unwitting who may be unaware of the extent of the dangers that face them.

Wikileaks supporters got on board, with @Wikileaks_forum posting transit/infrastructure notice and updates.

Some Occupy volunteers set up this amazing tool for other volunteers to register services or request help, and supply a variety of ways for virtually anyone to get involved in any capacity.

In the meantime, “Hurricane Hackers” have developed a variety of web tools to help map the storm and its effects.

A team from Occupy Wall St are working with 350.org on Recovers.org – an online toolkit for disaster recovery. RT reports “Occupy Sandy – People Unite In Wake Of Superstorm Devastation“.

New initiatives are spawning by the minute. It is highly ironic in these times of “Enemy of the State” and “Domestic Terrorism” accusations against activists that when the proverbial shit hits the fan, we step forward, unpaid, to perform civic duties in true demonstrations of patriotism and humanitarianism.

Indeed, these tweets beautifully sum it up.

The below is a collection of media accumulated so far today, though the story is by no means complete as the situation continues to deteriorate, in many areas across the North Eastern Seaboard.

More photos of the NYC blackout

Ongoing situations:

Con Ed Power Plant Explosion: video of massive explosion.

New Jersey Nuclear Plant at Imminent Risk. 16 nuclear plants to be potentially affected.

Coney Island Fire Reports Only A Vehicle

The FDR in Manhattan underwater.

Reports of 50 homes ablaze in Breezy Point, New York with 198 firefighters at the scene

Seawall breached in Massachusetts. Levee overwhelmed in Northern New Jersey.

Ground Zero: A Waterfall

Battery Place is a river.”

Several reports of explosions in various locations, likely due to live wires down.

Haiti devastated by Sandy

Known incidents of injury/death:

110 dead with New York hardest hit

70 dead in the Caribbean

41 dead in NYC, crime down 31% according to Gothamist

43 dead according to Rappler (U.S.A.) (dated)

Wall Street Journal reporting 43 dead, 80 homes burned out, 8 million without power. (dated)

Yahoo say 40 dead (U.S.A.) (dated)

Times of India also say 40 (U.S.A.) (dated)

HMS Bounty crew member dead, captain missing

Aftermath:

What can only be described as apocalyptic photos in the Daily Mail

Shocking aerial shot of roads & homes underwater.

Aerial fly-over of thousands of flooded homes. Including entire burned-out and underwater suburbs :/

Submerged and floating vehicles. Cars adrift in NYC.

Apartment buildings in some NYC boroughs partially submerged

Parts of Breezy Point, New York, reduced to rubble

Dire situation for homeless, left to fend for themselves

People standing outside a closed Starbucks in NYC, for the Wifi access

Downed trees causing traffic chaos.

NYTimes aftermath graphics + pics.

Other media resources:

Updates on the status of Nuclear Power Plants in affected areas

Crowdsourced maps of different areas needing help

This amazing “Wind Map” is a Must-See

Sandy Satellite Graphic. More satellite imagery here.

Coastal communities hit hard.

History of U.S. Weather-related fatalities 1940-2011

The now already-famous shark photo allegedly from Brigantine, New Jersey – UPDATE: apparently confirmed by this 4-pic set of similar sightings.

Warnings about global warming associations

The Daily News tracks Sandy (includes tons of government info links)

Sandy coverage from The Weather Channel

TechPresident on Occupy, 350.org & the aftermath

Theorizing the potential to postpone Presidential election

The Guardian live updates

RT live updates

ABC MSM live updates

Bloomberg

Washington Post photo gallery

Gawker.com & Rawstory.com appear to be down, probably due to reports we heard earlier about major ISP outages as a result of the flooding. Gawker now running a back-up site but live site still down “thanks to Sandy“.

The Daily News tweeted this pic of their newsroom blacked out by widespread power outages.

“Sorting The Real Sandy Photos From The Fakes”

Relevant hashtags in use:

#Sandy #SandyAid (for those needing help) #SandyVolunteer (for those able to volunteer) #Frankenstorm #OWS

Other calls to action/relief projects:

Occupy Sandy Relief NYC Facebook Group for coordinating relief efforts. Also on the web courtesy of InterOccupy.

Red Cross recruiting volunteers

Tweep adventures:

The wonderful @nubspeace caught an insane surfer in this video

This post will be further added to as we can. Solidarity to all involved.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Occupy Oakland: A Phoenix Will Rise From The Ashes #O25 #OO

48 hours out from #O25 Occupy Oakland is in turmoil. It needs our help.

We, who have eye-witnessed on their behalf. As they in turn did for us, during the evictions of Occupy Auckland, here in NZ.

How can we help? By speaking the truth. Fearlessly.

By regurgitating the sum of our knowledge gathered over this past year and trusting in each other’s mutual sincerity enough to ALWAYS keep an open mind.

We who have now, finally, become adept at picking out the true of heart and conscience, from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. For by their actions, they are known.

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The geographic difference between Oakland, CA & New Zealand belies the closeness of the socio-economic circumstances and the pop culture. Listening to the Port Shutdown II soundtruck on Oakfosho’s livestream, we knew (and raucously sung along to) every song played.

Whether it is the ‘Pac connection (revered as a deity in the NZ hip-hop/rap scene) or the fact that I, a white Kiwi woman, can rap the entire of Luniz “I Got 5 On It”; at street level we feel Oakland, like a distant older sibling. “Up in the O-A-K the town; homies don’t play around, we down to blaze a pound…” “Holla if ya hear me!”

Activists and musicians from Oakland have been naming all of our social ills and nailing the root causes of them for decades before Occupy spawned. They, and the newer generations of activists who collectively founded Occupy Oakland do have so much to be proud of.

Proud that people were fed, that people were housed, that people were roused from their slumber and reunited in community. Proud that because of the sheer determination of citizen media; the whole world IS watching.

We will never forget the night the chopper’s cut & ran.

We were screaming obscenities at the @ABC7newsBayArea “refuelling” lies, while watching both the CBS and ABC7 helicopters cut & run SIMULTANEOUSLY… from the livestreams on the ground.

We don’t need to retell that story… it was already done beautifully in this absolute must-read blog post, authored by an Oakland resident who witnessed the same sequence of events as us.

The writer talks of leaping out of their chair and running out of their house to join their community on #O25 ’11, explicitly because of what they witnessed through the livestreams. Yet another testament to the invaluable ability of People’s Media to reach an audience otherwise literally CUT OFF from participation, by the complicity and corruption of the mainstream media.

Witnessing the chopper cut-and-run & the events that followed, instantly turned us into by-proxy Occupy Oakland activists. As with activists the world over, we amplified & collated the media response and from sheer outrage at the injustices, absolutely hammered the public interfacing (read: P.R.) channels of the officials responsible for the debacle.

Mayor Jean Quan’s Facebook page was receiving 14,000 – 20,000 comments per post on her page, lambasting her (to put it politely). ABC7 was forced to pull their twitter feed off their website after it erupted into abuse at their obvious lies and omissions, bailing right as everyone was gassed.

The following are some of the tweets that transpired from our end, within the first 24 hours. (Note: 26th in NZ was 25th for OO)

The reference to “OPD lies” in one of the tweets above is due to the OPD holding a press-conference on #O25 itself stating to the corporate media that they had not used flash-bang grenades against the demonstrators. Once the deluge of citizen media came out proving them liars, the footage of their press conference was removed from the web.

The fall-out was immediate and swift. Mayor Jean Quan’s inner circle soon began to crumble.

Petitions sprang up; including a recall petition. A “Recall Mayor Jean Quan” Facebook page got thousands of likes almost instantaneously. Even, of all people, the police union, got on her case.

Mayor Jean Quan In Big Trouble After Riot” claimed SFGate.com, as the resignations of Quan’s inner circle continued.

Astonishingly, Quan’s response (other than to shirk an appearance at a General Assembly for not being given priority in the speaking order) was to spill the beans about PERF‘s “18-city” eviction co-ordination.

This Oakland Tribune live-blog of O25 tells of the beginnings of the idea to shut down the Port of Oakland as part of a General Strike.

“Protesters are calling for a general strike in the city of Oakland on Thursday and are telling people to gather at 5 p.m. in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. They say their hope is to shut down the city. They’re telling businesses to close their shops and will be going into businesses to promote the idea. Protesters say they are trying to mobilize unions and turn this into a strike movement.”

“An estimated 2,000 protesters are on hand, and they’re discussing the mechanics for a strike on the city next Wednesday. Protest leaders are trying to galvanize unions, students and businesses into taking part. Ideally, protesters want students to skip school, businesses to shut down and hundreds of thousands of citizens to mobilize at the City Center.”

One week later, on the day of the Strike:

You can tell when the 99% backs an action. Because it looks like this.

You can also tell who really backs the 99% and not just their own agenda, by their level of tolerance.

True Occupy Media amplify for all issues and for EVERY faction in a spirit of inclusion.

We cover the religious organisations that support the 99%; even though we do not personally ascribe to any of them. We cover the student movement, although we are not all students. We cover Rainbow Youth & LGBT issues, regardless of our own sexuality. We advocate for the elderly, the young, no matter what our own age.

We cover indigenous issues, because the mainstream media deliberately distort both history and the present, and above all we seek to give voice to those who often go unheard.

We cover the entire 99% to the best of our ability, and strive to strengthen the movement, to decentralise and grow the chorus of testimony horizontally across our society.

But the true mark of Occupy Media is that we never fucking quit sharing movement information. No matter what is thrown our way.

The drive to share the information and grow the awakening outstrips any personal discomforts we are forced to endure. Be it financial through deprivation, or through being targeted for bullying and derision by others.

Those who truly believe – who truly love Occupy – act to grow the movement. Not to pigeon-hole it into one fixed method or ideology.

Thus it was with shock and dismay that we witnessed the beheading of the Occupy Oakland Media team.

Proposals to disband entire media teams were surprisingly common across the movement. There was an asserted drive, especially in Oakland, to:

a) alienate livestreamers – even going so far as to accuse them of being “narks”, while outright ignoring/turning a blind eye to the vastly superior surveillance capabilities of the state

b) control the key infrastructure of the Occupy

c) usurp the resources of the Occupy

d) discredit the Occupiers and alienate the public from them

We suffered the same thing at Occupy Auckland, though by good fortune managed to mass block the destructive proposals to fire our media team and they never passed. Although it poisoned our G.A. process & succeeded to some extent in alienating people from the movement, those who pushed for it have since proven their colours many times over in the wider activist community, and we are now rightfully acknowledged for having, through fierce loyalty and dogged determination, kept Occupy Auckland alive, despite their constant claims that “Occupy is dead!”

To go through that experience immediately prior to witnessing the same proposal actually PASS at Occupy Oakland, was horrifying. On live chat on Oakfosho’s stream, the day of that fateful General Assembly, no less than a half dozen cities were screaming warnings that the same proposal had been made at their occupies. We were all begging Oak to warn the G.A. not to do it. No proposal should EVER be passed which undoes the work of dozens of people who have given so much of themselves and their lives to the movement. Sadly due to the absence of much of the already beleaguered media team and the first-in-history successful use of the word ‘terrorist’ as a deterrent to further investigation… it was all over.

I had a particular memory of said ‘terrorist’, from months prior. Where I had stumbled across a Kickstarter page that successfully fundraised $3,200 for the creation of a definitive “Oral History of Occupy Oakland“. (The project delivery date was January 2012 yet we cannot find any trace of it.)

The page makes the astonishing claim;

“Especially in the earlier period of the plaza, my reporting has been at times, and for most of this period, the only in-depth narrative work done on the camp, and by any estimate the most accurate.”  -Jamie Omar Yassin

It then lists a bunch of links to the apparently WePay-funded blog Hyphenated-Republic whose last update was August 27th, 2012.

However it does have a very active Twitter feed on it – one which is filled with daily hate messages about OOMedia, courtesy of @Hyphy_Republic.

Despite his account’s “protected” status (another sure sign of someone spreading the awakening!) his twitter feed populating on his dormant blog site means his vitriole is able to be witnessed live.

As of 5 hours ago Yassin says;

2 days ago, this bizarre statement:

Which seems to be a vast departure from the story told here most notably, in the comments section.

Ironically, one thing Occupy Oakland definitely DOES have is great websites. Both OccupyOakland.org & HellaOccupyOakland.org have high usability and polish.

Unfortunately the “official” website appears to have no news updates between August 8th and October 22nd. The official Facebook page, which has a huge reach with over 24,000 likes on it, has been dormant for months. Suggesting the “new” media team that “replaced” OOMedia is all but AWOL.

One of Jaime Omar Yassin’s anti-OOMedia Twitter compadres is @OccupiedOakTrib who appears to control the infrastructure of the media teams print publication. (Or at the very least its social media accounts). From which he has made very clear his public position, while continuing to, still seven months later, be snapping at the heels of OOMedia. Despite having personally announced the “Emergency GA” to present a proposal to depose them.

Watching that OO assembly all we could see was ourselves mirrored in it. The same ringleaders. The same stooge saboteurs. The same cat-calling, negativity-cheering, rent-a-mob. The same slanderous terminology slung about to inflate emotions and utterly DISTRACT everyone present from action-planning, instead making them unwitting participants in devolution.

Now, seven months later, the writing is on the wall. As we would say, “the proof is in the pudding”. HellaOccupyOakland is posting exponential articles from around the globe, to every 1 by the Occupied Oakland Tribune. Meanwhile Jaime Omar Yassin is blaming Occupy Oakland for his not having uploaded an audio file to the G.A. archive in forever, despite having gloated over the historical value of it on the Kickstarter page that apparently netted him $3,200.

For all the cries of “transparency” and “accountability” between the two of them; the online record IS transparent. It shows no uploads of G.A. minutes or audio for the “emergency” G.A. that voted to fire the media team. Nor any in the seven months since.

Twitter is also transparent. If you search “OOMedia” in Twitter, with no # or @ in front, what you will find is @oomedia relentlessly sharing and spreading movement info, while being blasted with constant time-wasting trolling, by the same group of people, over and over again.

It quite frankly sucks, but is no wonder, that those actively spreading the awakening are being hated on. By people whose timelines are filled with narcissistic, vitriolic bullshit by comparison.

While others claim credit for actions of the 99%; yet heap scorn upon the founding principles that brought the 99% together.

Non-Violence. Global Solidarity. Local Governance.

Thus the self-styled “Oakland Commune” appears to be a remanifestation of OO that is an attempt to mask the failure of those behind the firing of the media team, at doing any better.

The “O.C.” is now wearing the Port Shutdowns as a badge of honor while showing little interest in the original agreement to “mobilise the unions and make this a strike movement” as per the statement of the Port Shutdown Committee.

They are instead writing angsty teenage revolutionary would-be manifestos, advocating “smashy smashy” and deriding “pacifists” as lesser beings, completely ignoring the roots of Occupy; of Tahrir and the Battle of Qasr Elnil Bridge that turned the tide of the Egyptian Revolution and brought down Mubarak.

As in other examples of recent successful revolution, it was achieved by large-scale acts of non-violence.

We watched it live, thanks to brave Egyptian livestreamers.

It is not possible to claim to be Occupy, or to lay claim to Occupy’s support base, if you do not believe in using peaceful methods to obtain societal change.

You will never convince the 99% to support the use of violence. The second you do, you EXCLUDE the elderly. The young. The disabled. Those with children. The 99%!

The enemy of the 99% is the banks. Not the police, not the Councils, not the Mayors, not the myriad of distracting middle-layers of the pyramid: but the TOP OF THE PYRAMID!

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No-one knows what is coming this #O25 though it is bound to be historic. We will witness, support & amplify regardless. For as was done for us, so shall be done for you.

Two of the final sources for this article are filled with memories for those who ate, slept and truly lived, at Occupy Oakland.

This gorgeous look at the real camp; as it was. A blogpost to treasure.

This comparison of the “Before” and “After” images, pre & post eviction.

——————————————————————————————————–

Bella doesn’t know it, but she made a grown woman on the other side of the world, cry her eyes out. Not just any woman. A woman that had survived years in prison. Who said about it; “they should have just put me in the men’s prison. I would have been better off.”

I showed the woman the video of Bella speaking at #OakMtg. She couldn’t even get through the entire video without breaking down. She got about two thirds the way through then turned it off and made a hasty and teary departure.

And this ain’t no spring chicken; she is a staunch lady. Just like Bella. But the truth rings so true to those of us who have been trying to tell it our whole lives, that to hear your every thought, feeling and wish come out of another person’s mouth, saying all the things you’ve ever wanted to but couldn’t, is a profoundly moving and emotional experience.

The recognition that at our core we all have the same wants and needs, just varying ability to express and achieve them. Within a system weighting itself wholly against our success.

Well that system is formulaic. It isn’t able to apply different methodologies at a micro level, everything must always be centralised and all instruction uniform. That is its inherent weakness.

For it means that with effective communication between the Occupies; we can connect the dots and learn from each others mistakes, with the omniscience of a hive mind.

Knowledge based on experience is our greatest asset, along with each other.

For a year now, OOMedia team have provided us with support and covered issues that were of no direct benefit for them to, other than in pure solidarity for a fellow Occupy.

For that we are so grateful to them.

Solidarity EVERYONE at Occupy Oakland. Wishing you a safe #O25.