Announcement: Auckland anti-#Roastbusters #Rapeboasters rally 2pm TODAY @ Britomart

“Go ahead. Call the cops. They can’t un-rape you” 
– Beraiah Hales, self-admitted serial pack rapist and member of the #Roastbusters rape crew, on Ask.fm

rbpThe NZ Police want us to just accept the fact that they aren’t charging the self-confessed #Roastbusters rape crew – a group of young MEN who boasted online for months on end about how they raped up to 30 CHILDREN (some of whom they stupefied first).

We absolutely do NOT accept that. The fact that serial pack rapists can boast about their rapes and get away with it is a source of international shame and disgust.

So while the cops don’t seem to care enough to independently press charges against #Roastbusters under the Crimes Act, instead displacing the blame saying they need minor children “to be brave” and ridiculously claiming there isn’t enough evidence (despite Auckland University researchers seeming to disagree with that), instead of watching the rugby or relaxing at the beach today, we’ll be congregating at Britomart at 2pm to let Aucklanders know that we DO care about the rape victims and we DO believe they deserve the justice that the NZ Police have deprived them of.

Please join us. And if you can’t, then post the link to this blog and/or the event image absolutely everywhere that you can, tell all your friends and family, and watch the livetweet of the event on the Twitter hashtags #Roastbusters and #Rapeboasters!

For a ton of background information, links and recent angles please read @TheSpinBin‘s latest article which can be found here (international) or at SpinBin.co.nz

Thank you!

Global Peace and Justice Auckland Hold Anti-War Rally

Global Peace and Justice Auckland held an anti-war rally in Aotea Square, Auckland, yesterday followed by a silent march downtown to Britomart.

We were there and pleasantly surprised to see ex Labour leader David Shearer speaking passionately about his experiences in Iraq and in Palestine.

We were also able to snag a quick interview with another ex Labour leader, Phil Goff, about his past experiences in activism and his opinion of ISIS and of Islam.

Despite the short notice (we only heard about the event the night before) and the relentless pouring rain, the spirit of the rally was really good. Thousands of passersby on the city streets stopped to watch the march go past, with several cars tooting their support as we passed, and the event unfolded without any issues whatsoever, dispersing peacefully.

For more pics and commentary on the event please check #GPJA on Twitter.

 

OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

Another Aotearoa

Another Aotearoa?

Walking about my city I see the many faces of the people who share it with me.
We walk, eyes cold – head down, transfixed by our smart device. Deafened by our music.
We rush forward through the streets, the grim march from the halls of exploitation.
Slinking through the smells and rubbish, inhaling the emissions of the cars and buses. Edging forward metre by metre along the corridors of concrete consumption.

We navigate our way towards our home.
Our home we will never be able to buy.
Our home we pay top dollar for from our pittance that is our “wages” and we paint the dreams of our landlord’s lifestyle.

We open the door, we utter a sigh. Switch on the television and settle into another night imbibing the spectacle of infotainment.

Grumbling over the latest dog whistle on the poor/the brown/the rugby/that politician.

We head to the social media vehicle of our choice.
We post a status, share a petition.

Back to the tv – rinse and repeat.

Isn’t it time we try something new?
What happened to us?
Where did our spirit of resistance go to?

Was it the slow and savage deconstruction of every social fabric and support mechanism we had available to us?

Was it the ever-increasing cost of living that has dulled our duty of care to help each other out? To make positive change.

When did we begin to fear the thin blue line, rocking the boat, seeking and acting to create change?

As I pontificate on my broken heart and examine the bleeding cuts, I refuse to engage in the stock standard response that I know only too well.
I own it! I take it deeper. Past the wounds of the most recent and the echoes of two and a bit years of love unconditional and a language known only by us.

I take it to the deeper realms of my broken heart.
The place where my young self lives.
The place of the genesis of my dreams.
Where I saw a future where I would have “all the things” – a house, a career for life, long summer holidays at the beach, good wages, limited debt – the Kiwi dream.

Until the darkness of neo-liberalism stole these from a generation.

I think Naomi Klien explains what and why we feel the way we do with this quote.

“Some of you are familiar with a book I wrote called The Shock Doctrine. It argues that over the past 35 years, corporate interests have systematically exploited various forms of mass crises – economic shocks, natural disasters, wars – in order to ram through policies that enrich a small elite, by shredding regulations, cutting social spending and forcing large-scale privatizations..()
We are trying to organize in the rubble of a 30 year war that has been waged on the collective sphere and workers rights. The young people in the streets are the children of that war.”

We seek to constantly defend our heart. Broken and in tatters.
The heart of that wide eyed child full of hope! Guided by our dreams! Buoyant with the newness of life, our senses garbled by the fluoro trappings and corporate jingles – the sound track of our age. Telling us – a thousand times a day, “buy these things!
Think this way! Seek individual pleasure through the accumulation of stuff!
Block your senses, dull your intuition via a continuous stream of infotainment and the mass distraction! But for the love of God do not, whatever you do, organise to create change that will dismantle the system.”

So we don’t.. And we are all guilty!
From the most radical thinker to the blind masses.

We defend our “world”, our “truth”, so vigorously that any thought of building and organising to enact change in society or ourselves is a step too far. “Wait. Yeah! Nah? Thats too hard!” we say to ourselves as we march through the rain past the same homeless people we see every day. Fuming from the social media battle that means nothing.

“Too big! Too hard! Too scary.”

Give me something I can control!

What have we become?
Will we escape this hellish, cyclical, downward spiral of apathy?

Maybe? Maybe not?

Boots Riley – rapper, organiser, activist, stated it very well in an interview recently.
To paraphrase, when talking on “the struggle” he stated “I have seen it so many times before! When we organise, our movements get hijacked! They get hijacked by a larger goal, a finish line. They get absorbed by that finish line. A anti war movement gets swallowed by electing Obama and everyone forgets the war and shifts focus on getting Obama in. The war continues and Obama gets in and the movement evaporates.

What we need to do is ignore the implied and imposed finish line of any campaign and be ever moving forward and accept that there is no finish line in the struggle until we are free!”

I’m tired of this! Sick to my stomach tired!

I watch the mainstream media and their hyperbolic construction of mass consent. The way they worship the status quo and denounce #Snowden #Assange #Greenwald in the aftermath of the #MomentOfTruth and all the chickens with their #DirtyPolitics come home to roost.

We need to seize their driverless vehicles, careening towards the void of the corporate desolation of Aotearoa that they seemingly so wish for.

We the people, the Citizen Media, must shift and belittle their redundant prose wrapped in the American flag, wiping their mouths with hundred dollar bills.

Their time is done! Let us bury their arcane, media dinosaur bones via streams, blogs, internet radio, tweets, pastes and a social media narrative shift towards amplification and action.

Its time!

#MediaByUs! NOT #MediaBias!

@Redstar309Z
Occupy Auckland Media Team Co-ordinator / Livestreamer

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

Brave #GCSB and #Snowden Journo Wins Reporter Of The Year

When Occupy New Zealand put out a press release telling Kiwi journalists “You Need Not Fear Becoming Julian Assange” and imploring them to participate in a New Zealand mainstream media revolution, we dared not dream one would actually eventuate.

So it is a dizzying pleasure to be able to announce to the world that reporter Andrea Vance, famous for protecting her source over the #GCSB leaks (the NZ equivalent of the NSA), and more recently her Fairfax coverage of First Look Media and Glenn Greenwald‘s Snowden revelations, has won both Reporter of the Year and the Wolfson Fellowship Award at the recent Canon Media Awards, which will see her travel to Cambridge in 2015 to further hone her skills.

Herself a very public victim of Big Brother, Andrea’s stand for freedom of the press has resulted in a watershed moment in NZ political and media history, where attacks on her by elements of the ruling Government spectacularly backfired, inflaming the Parliamentary press corps.

In the not-so-distant past, we would be sorely tempted to write a diatribe about the sorry state of affairs that has led to major NZ journalism awards being corporate functions that are largely restricted to corporate-backed journalists, or to note that the judges of the awards mostly if not all, hail from the executive level of those exact same big media corporations.

However in this instance, that fact actually makes the accolades that are being heaped upon Andrea Vance by her peers and the public for her courage and integrity while under fire, all the more remarkable, internationally significant and newsworthy.

So instead of writing about all the mistakes other Fairfax journalists have made in the past, or how the corporate media has let us down, for once we can say – they got it right, did the right thing and we are grateful for it.

There are many signs in the wider international press that the tide is beginning to turn, and the saturation levels of the free information available at people’s fingertips is at long last producing social wins.

It appears the media is catching up with public opinion and there may be hope yet that we can retain and hopefully reinforce some of the many precious freedoms and human rights that are at dire risk of erosion by the global surveillance apparatus.

So in this sweet moment we laud the victories. Kia ora Andrea, wahine toa.

(Another great article including an 8:58 excerpt of a radio interview with Andrea is linked here courtesy of The PaePae)

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

Occupy NZ interview Sue Bradford at #AAAP Block Party

We were very happy to be able to cover the Auckland Action Against Poverty Block Party in the centre of Auckland, New Zealand.

Occupy Auckland Media co-ordinator @Redstar309z was able to stream the beginning of the event and shortly after dusk we were able to get this fantastic exclusive interview with legendary New Zealand social justice & equality activist Sue Bradford.

The event inspired a walk around the city afterwards, where the truth of the conditions for homeless in Auckland was easily apparent, though so often ignored by the mainstream.

 

For pics and full commentary from the event please search #AAAP on Twitter