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

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

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

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

Enjoy!!

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

Introduction:

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

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

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

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

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

GUEST: It was Bloomberg, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOST:  Like they do in Fergu-stan.

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

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

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

HOST:  That’s a good point…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GUEST:  Thank you so much. Take care.

—TRANSCRIPT ENDS—

 

Anatomy of Repression: Military Tactics And Corrupt Media Used To Destroy Protest Movements

Back in 2011, people (like Naomi Wolf) who said the Department of Homeland Security apparatus was being wielded against the Occupy movement, were scoffed at and undermined by self-important media figures. By 2012, it was proven that not only was Naomi correct, but the scope of the civil violations and/or crimes being perpetrated by the state agencies in an effort to quell any and all dissent, had been grossly underestimated, and that those agencies were in fact coordinating internationally.

Fast-forward to 2014 and the Black Lives Matter / Ferguson movement and 2015 in Baltimore, and independent media, protest organisers and protesters themselves are reporting similar experiences – namely, their lives being dismantled piece by piece at a whole-of-government level and their physical safety threatened as they are stalked and surveilled by shadowy groups of strangers hell-bent on intimidating their targets out of performing their legal protest and journalistic activities.

Democracy, indeed.

Well now we finally know not only that this IS happening, but also precisely how. And the implications for those in the media sphere are astonishing. Due to the for-profit nature of these crimes, which are perpetuated and facilitated by governments and therefore NOT recognised and prosecuted by those governments, the problem is snowballing into a situation where not only protesters and journalists are being stalked and intimidated but even doctors, researchers, scientists, educators, civil servants, and anyone at all who gets in the way of the establishment.

Integrated with the global mass surveillance apparatus, this Stasi-State-On-Steroids is now operational around the globe, and can only be leading us to something even more sinister.

Without further adieu, here is a full transcript of the recent ‘Occupy Interview: COIN’ (COIN being short for \Counterinsurgency) podcast by the Occupy America Social Network.

Host: Terry W. Bain (@TWBainusW)
Guest: Michael Gould-Wartofsky (@MGouldWartofsky)

HOST: Hi and welcome back to Occupy Interview, this is the Occupy America Social Network and we are back on the air! We had a domain hijack. Some of you may have had trouble finding us but, we’re here and obviously you found us so, you’re here… this is Episode 41: Occupy COIN, for Counterinsurgency. Our guest is Michael – can you introduce yourself please, Mike?

GUEST: Sure, my name is Michael Gould-Wartofsky, I was a Day 1 occupier at New York City and ended up writing a book on the movement, it just came out this year, called ‘The Occupiers: The Making of the 99% Movement’, documenting what was going on within the occupations and also between the occupations and the state, the power players, that severely repressed them. I recently came out with a piece in the Town Dispatch which was widely republished in The Nation and elsewhere called ‘The New Age Of CounterInsurgency Policing’. I’ve been studying some of this stuff as a PhD candidate in Sociology at New York University and also just as a rank and file activist and photojournalist, for some time, trying to figure out what was going on, on the other side.

HOST: Can you give us a real brief look at Counterinsurgency 101? What do people need to know about Counterinsurgency?

GUEST: Counterinsurgency emerged as a strategy for control and containment of what was seen as enemy forces in foreign combat zones in the 1960s, as we know, and has really experienced a revival of sorts, a renaissance, since 9/11. It has been deployed in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in other conflict zones around the world, in the so-called Global War on Terror. More recently, we’ve seen counterinsurgency understood as a struggle for control over contested political space, political territory. We see this counterinsurgency strategy imported back to the homeland, back to domestic uses. So the counterinsurgency framework depends on the establishment and consolidation of control over a population and over a given territory through both military means, that is, security forces, in the case of domestic protests, political means, economic means, and then the base of this, is information control, and we can get to that in a second.

HOST: That would be great. We’ve really been trying to find some more information on that. One of our guests on one of our earlier shows, was with Doug Valentine, a historian.  He wrote the book on the Phoenix Program, during Vietnam, and was working with our audience trying to give us a basic understanding of the structure of Homeland Security as actually mirroring the Phoenix Program. Can you elaborate? What are you seeing on that?

GUEST: I think that a lot of the, if we’re speaking specifically about the information control that’s going on, on the one hand it looks like the control of information flowing to law enforcement, that’s one dimension of it, flowing to these paramilitarised forces, and that takes the form increasingly of an integrated series of platforms that spans both the public and the private sector, and one example of this is the Domain Awareness System, which is a program that draws on many, many, many datastreams across New York City, for example. It was created by Microsoft in partnership with the NYPD and the Federal Intelligence agencies to aggregate and analyse these datastreams, to analyse information constantly in real time from tens of thousands of sources. From criminal history databases and closed-circuit cameras to license plate readers to Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) as they call it – that is, information gleaned from social media and people’s everyday communications – so that’s one dimension of it. The flow of information to them. Another, is controlling the flow of information to us.  The information that we’re getting. So it’s not just about the intelligence gathering, not just about the sort of predictive policing, but it’s also about trying to control what data we’re getting about what they’re doing, and a lot of this has to do with cybersecurity, Kilcullen(?) talks about media ops and information ops – there are stories that are planted, there are people who are working in media that are also working for intelligence. The Associated Press recently exposed this – there are FBI agents working as Associated Press. There’s also efforts to counteract the motivations and ideologies of the people on the ground who are trying to protest this homeland security state and on other issues like police accountability. And they involve, basically a constant flow of funding and personnel into the movement itself so you have lots of people embedded within the movement who are actually working for intelligence agencies and spreading disinformation and at the same time, spreading questionable data about what’s going on. And part of this too is to marginalise the protesters, to deny them sanctuary, to deny them sources of support from the larger population. And so we’ll see this in places like Baltimore, in places like Ferguson, they will attempt to associate dissidents with domestic terrorism, they will associate dissidents with violent activity, and they’ll try to split the allies that these movements have, and to divide and conquer.

HOST: In the show that we did with Doug Valentine, he had a question for you, actually two questions. You hear the term counterinsurgency and you hear the term counterterror – what is the difference between the two?

GUEST: Well of course, there’s a kind of slippery slope and a spectrum. But it has to do with the justification that the powers that be give for these kinds of practices I think, more than any fundamental difference in what they’re doing. I think that counterterrorism campaigns traditionally do employ counterinsurgency measures as a piece of them. We saw both counterterrorism and counterinsurgency in effect in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in the Horn of Africa, you can even go back to Vietnam of course, and Latin America. So there’s a kind of dual face of this kind of security strategy. When it’s justified in terms of preventing actual terror attacks, as it has been since 9/11 they call it counterterrorism – when it’s justified in terms of control over a territory that may not belong to you, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ll call it counterinsurgency.

HOST: I guess kind of an elaboration of that question too, Doug wanted to know, do you see any kind of a difference between the way the CIA handles an operation, and the way the military handles an operation, and the way the DHS – the Department of Homeland Security – handles a counterinsurgency program?

GUEST: Certainly. I think the military is certainly best trained and has the most experience in above-ground operations of this nature. So they have to follow very clear protocols, they have to answer for their actions at some level, there’s a very clear chain of command. Of course they’re subject to all the unpredictability and uncertainty that arises in battlefields and of course military tactics have now been imported to law enforcement agencies here but there’s still a kind of, there are military protocols that are followed. With the DHS and CIA it’s much more of a new frontier as to what they’re up to and I think they see much less need to answer to the public, there’s much less transparency around those activities and much of what the CIA has done, we don’t even know the full extent of that and it’s only due to some intrepid journalism and some leaks that we have any idea of what they’ve been up to since 9/11. Of course, they too have been deployed for some domestic counterinsurgency as we saw with some CIA officers embedded with the New York Police Department’s demographics unit and used against Muslim Arab Americans here in New York City so the CIA has definitely expanded the scope of its mission. And the DHS of course is a new creature, one that we’ve only had in the 14 years since 9/11 and DHS is a really vast infrastructure of, it’s hard to talk in generalities about them because it’s really such a world unto itself. But they are actively engaged in applying this domestically so they’re the ones who are thinking about ways to bring counterinsurgency home and are probably the most active in that endeavour right now.

HOST: There was a time when counterinsurgency implied warfare. And if you’re in the continental United States, in Ferguson, in Baltimore, in any of the cities across the country that’s having this going on – we are not at war. I never declared war on my government, why did my government declare war on me? What’s going on here?

GUEST: This is the kind of slippery slope I was talking about between counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. When the US government declared the Global War On Terror in 2002 it was a signal and it was also a green light for this to really get global and that INCLUDES the United States. So they see the battlefield everywhere. If the streets of Batlimore and the streets of Ferguson looked like a warzone that was no coincidence. We look at agencies within the Homeland Security state here, like the DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis – they regularly issue communications to other agencies around the country saying. look out for civil disobedience, look out for civil unrest, and they associate it in some cases with terrorism overseas. There was a memo that came out some time around the Ferguson protests that associated the Ferguson protesters with ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. So they see this as a kind of spectrum of force that can be deployed anywhere at any time against almost anyone. They do see it as a piece of the larger strategy that they’re pursuing in what they do see as a global war that’s being waged on our own shores.

HOST: We’re about 14 minutes into the show. There were reports coming out, and this will kind of begin to get into our next segment here in a second, but you’ve been following what’s been happening in Baltimore, but it looked like from the people who were actually there at the time, it was almost kind of a set-up on a bunch of high school kids. They shut down the transport, they came in with a tank, an armoured car, and a SWAT team in riot gear and they taunted kids, they ended up throwing rocks at the kids and the kids were throwing rocks at them…  a comment that came out it looked like Gaza USA. What do you see there? Can you elaborate and try to give people a better idea? It looked like the cops were just trying to incite a riot? That’s what it looked like.

GUEST: That’s right, and it is actually a traditional strategy for law enforcement – we’ve had those officers known as agent provocateurs of course for over 100 years in this country who’d go and get things going and get people riled up, to start taking violent action that would then justify a counter-reaction which was actually planned all along. [TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE TO READERS: THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED AT D8 TPPA SHUTDOWN 2012]  So what’s presented as a reaction to a violent protest is often part of a preemptive strategy to preempt non-violent protests, as I argued in a piece for the Washington Post two weeks ago. But in Baltimore, what you saw was the Baltimore police firstly engaging in state-of-the-art surveillance of people’s Twitter feeds, of their social media streams and they learned that this group of high school students wanted to protest the case, the killing of Freddie Gray, with a high school walkout and a march to the Mall. The BPD, instead of preparing for a peaceful protest, they armed themselves for war. They suited up in full riot gear, they had military-style weapons at the ready, military-grade weaponry and military-style tactics. And they faced off with these high school students, refusing to allow them to go home. Denying them avenues of exit, denying them the ability to disperse. Of course, given that scenario, it’s almost inevitable what followed. They came at the students with assault rifles, shotguns with lead pellets, barricades, projectiles, military-style smoke grenades. All the things you’re more accustomed to seeing on the streets of Baghdad, were of course seen on the streets of Baltimore. This is the general tendency with empires – the wars always do come home.

HOST: Well the war has come home. It turns your stomach to watch the news every night. We’re 17 minutes into the show and it would be a really good time to take a look. This is the guy that may have given the blueprint for all of the things that are going on right now, the strategy picture anyway. There’s the Foreign Affairs magazine – the former Ambassador to Iraq wrote a piece that’s basically saying the counterinsurgency effort is doomed to failure – that it has always failed – but we’ve brought it back home to Baltimore.

GUEST: That’s right.

HOST: Could you give us a little picture? Of a gentleman named Lieutenant-Colonel David Kilcullen(?) and his three pillars, and that’s built on information control, which we began to touch on that, and I think we’ve just been given a pretty good learning moment for how it works. Can you give us a little picture?

GUEST: Sure. So Dr. Kilcullen elaborated his strategy at the US Government counterinsurgency conference in 2006. There were some questions at the time as to the effectiveness of the strategies that were being implemented in Iraq, strategies in Afghanistan. This was a moment when counterinsurgency really came back to the fore as an answer, as they saw it, to the question, ‘Well how do you actually secure this territory?’ which may or may not be yours. In the case of Iraq it was very clear – but in the case of some of our inner cities there is also a sense that these are occupying forces so I think that this counterinsurgency framework again came out of the military’s experience overseas but then they found it very useful at home. So those pillars that you’re talking about – it’s a visual model that he presents, Kilcullen. It’s a model as a base – three pillars and a roof. The base is information – that’s the information control that I’m talking about and also the messages that are sent with counterinsurgency actions to the population. And then the three pillars are security, political control and economic control. And the roof is the outcome of the control over all of those mentioned, the establishment, consolidation and transfer of the control from an insurgent part of the population to the state that is seeking to control them. So the security pillar is the one that my article was dealing directly with and that goes everything from the military and paramilitary forces that might be in play down to police who then receive the tactical and strategic orientations of the military in this context and then you have public safety officers and the private security sector and what’s called population security. So you have that pillar of control is the one that we traditionally associate with counterinsurgency, but it’s not the only one, there’s supposed to be a balance right, to give you the efficiency, the effectiveness of your operations, but also to give you the legitimacy, which is hard to come by in these battlefields right, where you’re occupying a foreign country. So to get this legitimacy you also need to combine your security forces and your security activities with political and economic efforts so this looks like building agencies of government that are subservient, that are willing to do the bidding of those directly above them, and those directly above them will do the bidding of those above them, answering to the authority that’s claiming control over the territory. And that can be a knotty problem when you’re faced with an occupied country, of course it’s a little bit easier to pull off when its within your own borders and you’re able to buy off politicians, you’re able to depend upon the criminal justice system to fall in line, you’re able to depend on police officers and intelligence agencies to back you up if the political pillar falls, right, but that is a key element, and one that they keep returning to to reestablish legitimacy, is to say, this is lawful authority, you better obey it. And then there’s the economic pillar which is everything from resource distribution to those who might be sympathetic to insurgents or sympathetic to the rebels. Humanitarian assistance, development assistance, and the management of resource and infrastructure. This is really important actually, in the years since 9/11 we’ve seen a real nexus of the public and private sector around the issue of security. So what’s called critical infrastructure by the Homeland Security has special councils that it has designated and given the power to sort of manage, and critical infrastructure, we’re talking about not just things you might assume like power plants, things that people actually need. They also take it to mean banks, they take it to mean large corporations. So the management of the critical infrastructure is also a key piece of the counterinsurgency strategy because those have to be defended at all costs from the threat of disruption, even if the disruption is coming from peaceful non-violent protesters as we saw during Occupy,

HOST: So we’re 23 minutes into the show and those three pillars that you’ve just described, when its operationally used overseas like Iraq, we hear the people in charge of implementing this plan, simplifying it down to Clear, Hold, and Build. Does that kind of fit with those three pillars or is that something else entirely?

GUEST: That fits with the three pillars, the three pillars are of course one way of conceptualising it that has become quite influential in recent years, but Clear Hold and Build of course has a longer lineage. It was developed by the United States Army, the three elements being civil military operations, combat operations and information warfare. So you’re talking about some of the same kinds of operational priorities but you’re talking about something that was designed specifically to deal with a guerilla force and of course that’s NOT what we’re dealing with in this country so they’ve had to adapt it somewhat to domestic uses.

HOST: Then again, that kind of goes back to the question of how do we see some differences when this is applied with a CIA operation like Phoenix operation, or Department of Homeland Security or military, there are certain differences that we’re going to see but there’s a lot of similarities too because when all is said and done it comes back to an occupation, an army of occupation, and it’s interesting to see how many people were observing that this felt to them, like occupied territory. Some of the tweets that were coming out were saying that they couldn’t believe that this was in their backyard, i guess after watching it in Ferguson and watching it all across the country. It does have a strange feeling when it’s, ‘now it’s here’. I guess that’s where we’re needing to get to from here cos I guess there’s a guy called Sun Tsu and he talks about if you can defeat your opposition’s plan then you’ll win the battle without ever taking casualties. So let’s go back to the plan again. We can see the three pillars, the pillars are resting on a foundation of information control, and that would appear to be how to defeat the plan. They have to control that information. And in the age of Twitter it doesn’t look like they’re doing that well. But it does seem to explain alot of the strange things we’re seeing, like we’re seeing tweets of them going into churches, Ferguson, which would be sanctuary I guess, and you can actually see the people tweeting from the areas saying everything short of sanctuary, safehouse. You can see the attack on the media, begins to make more sense.  So let’s zoom in on the microscope here, and there’ll be a picture that we’re talking about. But now we’re looking at the very base, that those pillars and the roof are sitting on. There’s six things there. The first one is intelligence. How does this apply to people having an occupation used on them in Baltimore? What’s going on with intelligence?

GUEST: They have all kinds of ways of gathering intelligence on the population, the target population. The poor black population of Baltimore in this case. They have everything from human intelligence, that is people embedded among the protesters, we saw this to great effect of course for many years, and they also have signals intelligence – they can gather through such newfangled devices as the Stingray which conducts wireless surveillance of enemy communications, allows them to jam cellphone signals, to force cellphones to connect to it, and to collect mobile data without people’s knowledge. And they’ve been using it, this is specifically something that was deployed in Baltimore. They also have Open Source Intelligence like I was talking about before; we think about social media as something that we can use to fight back in this information war but of course it’s also a tool that can be deployed by law enforcement for their own purposes. So in Baltimore you saw real-time tracking of protest events, you saw attempts to preempt the protest events by drawing on social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, to paint a picture for them, gather intelligence for them about where the next protest was going to be, where the next crowd was going to gather. This is the new frontier, this is predictive policing, or PredPol as it’s known and this has a lot to do with counterinsurgency coming to the police, and it’s intended to basically predict where and when crimes or, let’s say, protests or riots are going to happen before they happen and who would be the most likely culprit to participate. And then to send, to basically have a search capacity, where you can send in forces to those targets to stop them before they even happen. So that kind of information control, through intelligence gathering, through predictive policing, is the new frontier when we’re talking about that information control base there. And that gets into information ops as well.

HOST: And that’s the other interesting point about this is it does not seem to be something that’s a simple little picture in a schematic. It’s not just intelligence, it’s how does the intelligence apply to the information operation. Or how does that apply on the media op. And again that goes back to the whole concept of the Department of Homeland Security and the Fusion doesn’t it?

GUEST: It sure does. So alot of these Fusion Centres use these means to good effect. To create a kind of unity of command but also an effort where intelligence can feed into information ops, and media ops, and can then be parlayed into actionable information for them and of course demobilising information – information that is denied to us. So the information ops can take many forms from sort of electronic warfare, you know when I was talking about the Stingray, Hellstorm technology – which is a form of psychological warfare, electronic warfare. Perception operations to disrupt – disruption of political communications on the part of protesters, and the corruption of the decisions that protesters take through this counterintelligence counterinformation campaign. Cos you can’t make informed decisions about what to do, how to protest non-violently if you have imperfect information. So that plays into all six of those pieces of the information control regime.

HOST: Would this apply to where the kids had rocks thrown at them by the riot police, the SWAT team? Was there an information operation probably – I don’t want to get into too much speculation cos we’ll know sooner or later. That’s the good part about this – it’ll all show up in discovery! But is that a form of information op when you put out a ‘there’s going to be an attack, a purge’ on some TV show – and have this complete story pre-made up and the pieces in place, the tank and the armour… I guess what I’m trying to say is, is that an example of an information operation?

GUEST: It’s certainly the product of an information operation – leading up to that of course we had operations already underway by Baltimore Police Department to neutralise these protests from the Saturday before. As to whether the purge was something that came from high school students just acting the fool or came from information ops, is still a matter of speculation.

HOST: Yeah nobody seems to be stepping up to claim where that came from. Which is another pretty good indication of usually a false flag – and I guess, would that be another type of media ops? So once again, this is like another way of looking at the same thing, but then the media operation would be again, I guess, if you had reporters with cameras in place to show pictures of the kids throwing the rocks – and this is a theoretical, this is not what happened in Baltimore because we still don’t have all the data yet – which would be, an information op! [Laughter] Media ops – could you give us a short view on what would be a media op.

GUEST: As they’ve gained quite a bit of control over our media without even having to do it in the name of the U.S. Government of course, they can do it through private corporations, with which they’re working very closely, so you know, somebody like Fox News is going to be there, ready to take pictures of the kids throwing rocks, whether they’re sent there directly by the U.S. Government or not, they’re ready to do it at the bidding of their employers.

HOST: That’s an interesting point to try to get out to people here too, is people want to portray this as, you could never have this big of a conspiracy. The conspiracy itself is driving it, that’s what it’s designed for. Once you set this machinery in place, it’s a go.

GUEST: I would hesitate to call this a conspiracy because just the normal operations of our security and intelligence apparatus would explain this. You don’t have to have a huddle in a back room with people twirling their moustaches for this to work, it can just happen because it’s set up to happen that way.

HOST: Again, Doug Valentine points out that this was created during the Vietnam war, the Phoenix program modelled after Ford motor company used a ‘command post’ system where they would have directors from on high and they had computerised statistics that would tell them whether or not they were meeting their goals or not – again, that’s what it was modelled on so that’s why you’re seeing the similarities. So on the other side of the box, first off do you think there’s a reason why they’ve got these three things kind of set – they’ve got three counters on the other side of the intelligence box – counterideology, countersanctuary, countermotivation. Again they’re all interlinked. What’s in each of those?

GUEST: Sure. So countermotivation, it basically denies people, it’s a sort of way of making it irrational for people to participate and its waging the cost at such a high level, such a high cost, for people to participate in a non-violent protest or a non-violent insurgency let’s say. Countermotivation is basically making it so that it’s almost impossible for people’s motivation to outweigh those costs. So to give people a disincentive to do anything really, to go out of their homes. This can be reinforced by the security pillar – as we saw when the National Guard was enforcing the curfews – but it also can take the form of psychological warfare – where you’re saying, okay, we’re going to expel all these high school students. We’re going to get all these high school students expelled for exercising their rights, for going out and protesting. So that’s a way of countering the motivation that people have. Counterideology is equally important. This was designed during the Cold War when they actually had this War on Communism – now they don’t have the same kind of singular ideological enemy, but they have seen fit to use propaganda, use denunciations of the ideas that people might have, who are out on the streets. You’ve seen this in Occupy, and more recently in the treatment of anarchists, you’ve seen this in the treatment of the Black Lives Matters protesters, portrayed as a sort of, an inherently violent ideology, and attempts to really deprive social movements of their base in the population by saying well ‘this is a foreign ideology’, ‘this is a hostile ideology’, ‘this is a violent way of thinking’. Countersanctuary of course is to deny them places to go, space to be in, just the space to operate in. This can take the form of, as we saw in Ferguson with the church, denying them physical space. They can also deny them their space in cyberspace. In recent years the technologies that are available to them, they’re using to deny people even their ability to operate and to communicate in cyberspace.

HOST: So we’ve got these six things – and again, you’ve really given a clear picture, of how they’re all interlinked, and interwoven with all the other pieces. I guess a lot of what appears to be random, may not be what it appears to be at all. And I guess that might be a really good way of saying that’s what information control is all about.

GUEST: That’s right, that’s right.

HOST: One of the most interesting things to all of this though, with Kilcullen, basically he was credited as doing such a good job in Iraq with this version of COIN which came with the idea that he and Valentine have a worldwide Phoenix program. At the same time, we have the person who was the Ambassador to Iraq who just now came out with the article saying ‘hey this is doomed to failure – it always fails – it failed in Vietnam – it failed in Iraq – it failed in Afghanistan’ – so it’s not like this is some kind of perfectly created machine that’s going to win, in fact it’s doomed to fail. So I kind of guess that brings us to our third section here. With all of this gloom and doom what do you see as the good news, of being able to identify, hey, we’re having counterinsurgency used on us? What’s the good news here? We’ve got twenty minutes to find that!

GUEST: There’s no success here for the counterinsurgency campaign. There can be temporary wins, there can be pacification, they can disrupt and deter people for a time, from going to the street or taking part in protests. All of that – that can look like success, but really in the long term it’s inevitable, it’s doomed to fail, and it’s inevitable that a population will not respond to this by embracing those it sees as occupiers, those it sees as an occupying force. As you said, you didn’t see that in Vietnam, you didn’t see it in Iraq or Afghanistan and you’re certainly not going to see it here in the United States, I think where people have higher expectations of some basic degree of democratic legitimacy, so once they have access to this information, once the information control is broken, then the other pillars are much more likely to fall. We have a crisis of legitimacy in this country right now and part of that is flowing from the fact that like never before – we’re seeing what’s going on, we have access through some of the new tools that we were talking about, to unprecedented information on the kinds of activities that our government is engaged in. Of course there’s much more that we don’t know, that is going on, but the information control I think is much more tenuous than it used to be, as is the control over the population in the sense of legitimacy, because they have power but they don’t have the kind of legitimacy that they’re used to having when they carry out these kinds of operations – you’re not just talking about fighting a foreign enemy anymore, you’re talking about targeting civilians – targeting citizens. So I think it sounds really dire today but there is a silver lining to it in that people I think generally are waking up to this and there have been successful attempts to contain the growth of the security state, there have been successful attempts to reign in some of these programs, some states, ones that you wouldn’t even expect like Montana have passed legislation saying that they don’t want the 1033 program, that is the program to funnel surplus military equipment to law enforcement. We’ve had states like Washington State, where there were drones that were going to be introduced to police protests there and they said no, we’re not going to have drones policing our protests. There have been efforts in New York City and elsewhere, and I think we’re seeing a real conflict over this now, in New York City and elsewhere to stop the over-policing of protests and to actually bring civil and criminal complaints against the police department and in the case of Chicago you’ve even seen reparations that were won for domestic dissidents and other prisoners who were tortured in previous decades and of course Chicago is where we saw that black site during the 2012 protests. So this stuff is hard but there are real local wins, that I think people can take heart that it is possible to put the brakes on this thing, at least at the local level, and if this crisis of legitimacy continues I think we’re going to see some developments at the national level as well.

HOST: We’ve got about 14 minutes left and one of the most crucial things I’ve seen that is good news is how much airtime you seem to have gotten with this counterinsurgency. You’ve been talking to The Nation magazine. The corporate media has actually been paying attention here, to me that’s a big change. What do you see as having driven this, what’s going on here? Why are the corporate media suddenly doing their job?

GUEST: Well I think it’s not that they’re suddenly doing their job, but they don’t really have a choice. This is something that everybody is talking about. It’s something everybody cares about. Everybody who knows about this, who learns about this, knows that it is an issue that is something that is of the utmost importance of their lives, whether or not they’re politically active or whether they’re out there protesting, this is something that’s going to affect all of us, it’s going to affect our children, our grandchildren and so on so forth. I think that there’s simply a demand for it, that there hasn’t been for some time. A demand for information, a hunger for information about this and for some sort of analysis of what’s going on. And I think people feel short-changed by the information that they had been getting previously and they’re demanding to know more.

HOST: I keep thinking back to the scenes in Baltimore, and Ferguson, where you’ve got people telling corporate media, go home. And basically if you’re following it on Twitter and seeing what the people who actually live there are saying and seeing, and seeing what’s going out on CNN, or some of the other corporate media, I don’t want to just single out their bad behaviour… Did you pick up any kind of a change when you’re talking to corporate people who are suddenly covering this story? Do you see any kind of, how do they seem to you? Do they actually seem to be understanding? Or, did they get it before but were just paid not to, or… what’s your impression from talking to the corporate media, what do you see changing there?

GUEST: So my feeling is that nothing fundamental has changed with the corporate media.

HOST: [Laughter] Well I was hoping you had some better news than that!

GUEST: Well nothing fundamental. Though I think at the margins, at the edges, you see some shift. One of the things I think of during Occupy, is actually, even the corporate media became a threat, because to have a camera covering what was going on, to have people seeing what was going on, even that was perceived as a threat even if it was CNN, even if it was the New York TImes. I was out there with a camera at the front lines in 2011 and they were beating up anybody. Including mainstream corporate journalists. So I think some of the individuals in the media have changed their view, and feel that this is a threat not just to protesters but to them, and they’re exercising their rights as members of the press, the so-called free press. There are many people who are questioning what the legitimacy these kinds of tactics have, these kinds of tactics that we see in the streets.  And I think as individuals, they’re covering it differently. I think as institutions, it’s going to take more for them to change in a more fundamental way, and for that you’re going to have to talk about new media, you’re going to have to talk about democratising our media on a more systematic level. But for now, I think there is a cultural shift. A shift in the discourse, a shift in the way that people are talking about these things. There’s a sense among many of the population that if the corporate media isn’t here to tell us the truth then we’re going to need someone else to do that. So I think it’s an existential crisis for them because it really gets down to the role of the media in a free society, and if this isn’t a free society, then what is the role of the media then.

HOST: Good point, got about 10 minutes left and you’ve really kind of touched on some interesting points. For those of us who’ve been around Occupy from basically Day 1, the issues that we’re raising today aren’t exactly news to us. Basically we have, in the former show with Doug Valentine, to a degree, this IS what drove Occupy underground, although that has been overblown according to some of the other experts we’ve been talking to. But it is breaking down. The media is beginning to have to cover this. You were there at the original… were you there at Occupy Wall Street in New York?

GUEST: That’s right. September 17th 2011.

HOST: I’m a newcomer. I didn’t come in til about October. [Laughter]. That’s when the rest of the country started going up for grabs. That was an interesting point in time. We’re still seeing people… are you following Decentralise Occupy down in New Zealand?

GUEST: Yes.

HOST: She’s one of the people who was basically… was never a journalist, never in her wildest dreams she even wanted to be a journalist, but she is a reporter because she saw it wasn’t being covered anywhere else.

GUEST: That’s right.

HOST: You were at the Battle of Boston – I guess that was a couple of months after, was that December?

GUEST: There were several… and the battle of Chicago of course, in May 2012, was really one of the places where we saw some of this new type of policing really deployed in full force. At the North American Treaty Organisation protest (#NONATO), the anti-war protest that Spring. But we saw it from the first I think, they’ve had this stuff under development and they’ve had it in the wings and a lot of the infrastructure I was talking about, the tactics and the weapons I was talking about, they were out there on the streets… they didn’t use them to the extent that they have in the past year. But they had the sound cannons, the long range acoustic devices (LRAD), the less-lethal weapons and all that. All the cameras, that they have, that they were integrating to try to surveil what Occupy was doing, you know I think the groundwork had been laid, of course, long ago and we’re just starting to see the full glory now.

HOST: The credibility is beginning to switch to our side since the other side has been caught lying, the corporate side, so many times. We talked right before we started recording… that a lot of the protesters who had been arrested in the battle of Chicago actually went to the black site that has just now been brought up into mainstream news and reparations even. That’s that same site.

GUEST: Yeah so the black site had been used for many years, to take prisoners of various sorts that the Chicago Police Department didn’t want to, or, didn’t have the goods on yet. They didn’t have the means to bring them up on normal charges so they would take them to this warehouse in Homan Square, in the case of the Chicago protesters, had them chained to a bench, in a wire cage and they apparently ended up charging three of them with domestic terrorism after they sent their own agents to set up this elaborate plot involving molotov cocktails and all this, it was an elaborate act of entrapment that they used to set up some of these protesters who didn’t know any better, didn’t know who they were dealing with. But in a lot of cases you’re seeing the counterterrorism campaigns as kind of having to invent terrorism, or terrorist plots to justify its own existence and Chicago is one example of that.

HOST: And one may well turn into another one, at the end of the day…

GUEST: That’s right, I wouldn’t be surprised to see those black sites turning up in Baltimore either.

HOST: I get the impression that you’re probably dead on target on that one too. In fact what’s really interesting is that when we were talking about this in Ferguson, we found not one but two Fusion centres operating in Ferguson, population 20,000 people. The numbers I keep seeing, it varies all the time. I don’t think there even is a clear picture of how many Fusion centres are operating at this point. That number doesn’t seem to be very realistic. With about 5 minutes left to go, there was something else I wanted to touch on… and I think I managed to forget it. There was one I was wanting you to remind me of…

GUEST: Well I know we were supposed to talk about… Chicago and…

HOST: Oh, that’s it! Infraguard! I was hoping you’ve got something on Infraguard, cos that’s the side of the Fusion centres that’s REALLY spooky. We’re not seeing much on Infraguard.

GUEST: That’s right, and this is actually just one piece of a larger puzzle, which is the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for policing and for Homeland Security. Infraguard is just a link in that chain that the FBI is specifically responsible for. So they have over 55,000 members as of 2012, I’m sure it’s grown since then. But it’s an association of U.S. business, U.S. corporations, and the FBI, to put their minds together basically, to combine information sharing and intelligence functions with coordination and collaboration on efforts to prevent disruption and ensure business continuity as they would call it. But that can mean anything from, disruption can mean anything from an Occupy protest to a terrorist event but they don’t make any distinction, so, they’ve been using Infraguard, they’ve been using other councils like the Domestic Security Alliance Council and some of these advisory councils within the DHS; the Homeland Security Information  Network is another one, like Infraguard, that DHS is anchoring, that allow constant communication and coordination of public and private sectors to respond to what they see as the ‘threat environment’ that they face, as they call it. The threat environment makes no distinction between violent and non-violent activities so you’re seeing the use of these networks and organisations that were developed under the pretext of protecting Americans, actually being turned against them.

HOST: And again Doug Valentine’s observation here is that that basically parallels how the Phoenix program worked out in the 60s and 70s, the Vietnam War version. It’s a pattern that just keeps repeating until we stop it repeating but the difference is that very few people knew what the Phoenix program was in 1973 or 74. I think there’s a significantly larger amount of people who are beginning to get a handle on just how bad this situation is, as far as liberty. It’s interesting to see some of the tweets talking about the left-wingers on this one, but they’re divided from the right-wing. There’s been some observations like where’s the right-wingers on this one, where’s all the liberty people. And another classic example of that would be the Bundy Ranch situation, where the right-wing were there, on police militarisation, but the left-wing wasn’t too much there or showing up for that one. But the 99% – do you have any, in the last minute, how do we get the 99% to hang together so that we don’t all hang separate?

GUEST: Yeah, that’s the million dollar question.

HOST: Trillion!

GUEST: Yeah, trillion. There are some things that still unite us, no matter what the political ideology that might motivate us might be. One of those things is the desire to live our lives, free from constant government surveillance and constant government interference and control of what we do. There’s one kind of freedom that I think the ‘right’ takes for granted there, and that’s fighting for the right of businesses to do what they want, but what about the freedoms of individuals, what about the freedoms of communities like those in Baltimore, to just live their lives. That’s something basic right there that’s written into our constitutional laws, it’s supposed to be guaranteed to us. But I think this is one thing that the ‘right’ and ‘left’ have in common and that’s nobody wants to be followed around 24/7 and be a target of information ops or psychological warfare on their own block, or in their own country. That’s true of Iraqis, it’s true of Afghans and it’s definitely true of Americans. I think that, you know, if there’s one thing that’s going to unite us, in these final years of the Obama administration it’s the realisation that our democracy is under threat, our freedoms are under threat and it’s going to take collective action and some serious pushback to stop it.

HOST: Well, that pushback is underway and I can’t think of a better way to end this show. That pretty much says it all. I want to thank you for being with us, you’ve done a great job of making a really complex situation, by design, a lot clearer for us. Any last thoughts?

GUEST: Well, just, information is power. Whether it’s in the hands of the power players or in the hands of the rest of us. So the more information we have, the better equipped we’re going to be to wage this fight for our freedom. Everyone should be doing this work, this is work that everyone could be doing. Just keep an eye out cos they certainly are.

HOST: Michael, thanks for standing. To our audience: thank you for standing. And if we don’t get blown out of the air again, we’ll be back in another week with another story.

To view the original podcast blogpost including more than a dozen source links please click here.

Listen to the podcast here

[Transcribed by Suzie Dawson [@endarken]. This transcript was live-blogged. Thank you for watching!]

Sweeping The Globe: #MillionMaskMarch Impossible To Ignore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 1: Citizen Media (by city)

Auckland, New Zealand:

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

Glasgow, Scotland:

Peru:

Belgrade, Serbia:

Halifax, Canada:

Ferguson, Missouri:

Japan:

Detroit, Michigan:

Section 2: Established Media

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

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

TruthDig: Million Mask March – The New Face of Protest

The Daily Dot: Inside Anonymous’ Million Mask March

Section 3: Complaints of Media Silence/Bias

Section 4: Other Significant Videos

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

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

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

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

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

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

 

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

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.

#TPPANoWay – New Zealand’s Message To The World

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

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

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

#TPPANoWay – Auckland Coverage:

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

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

20140329_132600While there were a few notable faces…

OMG CELEBRITIES

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

#TPPANoWay – Kaitaia Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Kaitaia

#TPPANoWay – Kaitaia

#TPPANoWay – Hokianga Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Hokianga

#TPPANoWay – Hokianga

#TPPANoWay – Whangarei Coverage:

#TPPANoWay Whangarei

#TPPANoWay Whangarei

#TPPANoWay -Whangarei

#TPPANoWay -Whangarei

#TPPANoWay – Tauranga Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Tauranga

#TPPANoWay – Tauranga

#TPPANoWay – Thames Coverage:

#TPPANoWay Thames

#TPPANoWay Thames

#TPPANoWay – Hamilton Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Hamilton

#TPPANoWay – Hamilton

#TPPANoWay – Napier Coverage:

#TPPA - Napier

#TPPANoWay – Napier

#TPPANoWay – Taranaki Coverage:

 

#TPPANoWay - Taranaki

#TPPANoWay – Taranaki

#TPPANoWay – Wanganui Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Wanganui

#TPPANoWay – Wanganui

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay - Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Palmerston North

#TPPANoWay – Wellington Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Wellington

#TPPANoWay – Wellington

#TPPANoWay – Nelson Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Nelson

#TPPANoWay – Nelson

#TPPANoWay – Takaka Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Takaka

#TPPANoWay – Takaka

#TPPANoWay – Christchurch Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Christchurch

#TPPANoWay – Christchurch

#TPPANoWay – Dunedin Coverage:

#TPPANoWay - Dunedin

#TPPANoWay – Dunedin

 #TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from New Zealand

Solidarity Message from National Day of Action in New Zealand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from Japan

Solidarity Message from Japan

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

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

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

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

#TPPANoWay – Solidarity Statements from the United States

Solidarity message from the United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 29, 2014 Bay Area Light Brigade in San Francisco

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

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

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

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

manatoa msmaudiencebackaudienceaudience2 march techliberty cameras dcfim kdcprofjanekelseyrocksboys

Massive NZ March Coverage – NZEI ‘Stand Up For Kids’

Today, more people than the GCSB could ever perform illegal surveillance on came together for arguably the largest anti-privatision & anti-austerity action we have witnessed to date.

Nearly 10,000 people packed Queen Street & Aotea Square in Auckland Central today, to Stand Up For Kids. Children are the all too frequent victims of poverty in New Zealand and nothing about the current ruling Government’s education policy is improving that.

To the contrary, charter schools are leading us down the same terrible path as elsewhere in the world where their institution has already further devastated struggling communities.

Education should not be for sale. We do not want corporations owning our schools any more than we want them owning our prisons. Some things are too precious to have their integrity teetering on the balance of a profit margin.

Occupy Dunedin also rocked it. A show of force from our Southerner brothers and sisters:

Occupy Dunedin Dunedin Stands Up For KidsDunedin TeachersMeanwhile, in the capital; we were sent this utter GEM of a 1 min vid from Occupy Wellington;

Jai Bentley-Payne said it best. “Austerity is a scam!” But these guys aren’t far off. Asset sales are BULLSHIT!

Congratulations NZ for getting off your backsides and making noise. There are more of us doing it by the day and it is extremely heartening to see.

When people’s rights are under attack; stand up, fight back!

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