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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gig organisers & activists kick it with Boots after the gig

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

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

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

20140415_221002    20140415_181226   20140415_195149 20140415_195511 20140415_195626R   20140415_213632



Fresh watermelon backstage

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

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

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

Video streaming by Ustream

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


Boots Riley To Perform In Auckland Tomorrow

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

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

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

Boots Riley Event Poster

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


Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Test Their Logik” visit Aotearoa New Zealand

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

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

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


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

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

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

“Human Sewage” Mental Health Activist On Day 3 Of Hunger Strike

This is one of the most disturbing things we’ve seen in a long time. Because it is so blatantly true.

There is a long history of NZ government’s cutting mental health services in New Zealand, and of shoddy handling of cases.

There is much more to come on this story, so if you are particularly moved by the words spoken at the end of the video, check back soon.

Update: We have just received this harrowing statement from the activist involved;

I am on hunger strike during the White Ribbon campaign because I object to the government hypocrisy when sexually abused people with life-threatening stress disorders are not getting the care they are entitled to by law and one of the symptoms of Complex PTSD is violence. I can’t get ACC to reinstate the care I was getting in 2009 (professional care I had fought seven years to get) even though I have won two ACC reviews. The care lasted six months, when I had been told it would be 2 1/2 years, before it was cut by John Judge and Peter Jansen against the advice of everybody I was working with- they didn’t consult the psychiatrist at all. I was severely traumatised and almost killed myself, I have had several suicidal episodes since but still can’t access any services. When I turned to mental health the people at the front line kept telling me there were no services, while the people at the top kept telling me there was. My mental health was so bad I was phoning people all the time begging for help, instead of help I was getting the police around here. I have serious issues with trust and communication but all services refuse to accept these impairments, and I can’t get past them because I am now phobic after so much rejection. I have educated myself about stress disorders and my rights to health care and justice services, but when I tried to use this process I found it to be a torture wheel of hell in a red tape war. I know me and thousands of other people are missing out on the care they are entitled to and when they throw the white ribbon stuff in my face it is like being tormented. We have descimated mental health services over the years and everybody knows ACC are appauling yet people who become violent because of mental health issues are blamed for dysfunction they have little or no control over.

Update: November 13, 2012. Day 9 of hunger strike.

Email to Ombudsman regarding a disturbing telephone conversation with Juliette Le Couteur.

I have recently been speaking to Juliette Le Couteur and I am absolutely appauled at the type of ignorant bigots you employ – and they don’t even know they are being insulting and bigoted – it is extremely disturbing.

In a 20 minute conversation about me being on hunger strike and trying to get the care I am entitled to by law all Juliette did was stick up for ACC, mental health and her office? I thought the Ombudsman was supposed to be on my side? The Ombudsman is supposed to protect the people not the authorities!

She was completely devoid of understanding about what the impacts of a stress disorder on personality/behaviour? Told me ACC had offered services and I refused, kept telling me I was refusing care when I was begging for it. When I told her about how degrading and bigoted King Street Artworks staff were she said well you obviously don’t want to go there?????? I said but they are the only ones – there is nobody else I have to go there – what I am asking the Ombudsman to do is hold them accountable for their discrimination, degradation and abuse – isn’t that what you do?

I told her of many times I had been discriminated against by mental health services and she kept saying well you don’t want services then? How can somebody lack so much understanding – I am disgusted. I wish I could afford to buy a recorder for my telephone, the call with Juliette is one of those you want to play a judge, just to prove how corrupt and incompetent they are.

Hunger strike day 9 GOD PLEASE HELP ME



Another update from JR: Day 16 of hunger strike.

Hunger strike day 16 – it does get easier after the second week (just not mondays).

Having majors with my family, apparently I’m weird for blaming the government for turning this country into a shit hole for poor, disabled and unemployed people. For turning ACC and mental health services into a torture wheel of hell in a red tape war.

Just shows you how National party people think.

Oh yeah and taking medication would fix EVERYTHING. Make me calm and not so angry about being persecuted by the authorities for demanding the help I know I am entitled to by law, for being subjected to corruption and lies by ACC and mental health, being degraded bullied and insulted.

Anyway – beautiful day here, another nice day to be in the garden and cleaning out my garage for the garage sale.

The great thing about a hunger strike is it saves you money and you don’t have to really do anything. It is one of the most powerful symbols of protest for the poor. Plus you get protection under international laws – God knows who enforces that protection but I know it is there.


#J14 Auckland Treasure Trove Of Pics – When They Say Noone Showed Up – Show Them This :)

Massive treasure trove of photos from today’s amazing #J14 Auckland event (part of the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale National Day of Action). Incredible turn-out, as is self-evident from the pics.

Aotea fenced by Auckland Council (another $18,000 odd rate-payer dollars down the drain) pre-action; yet again preventing public access to public space.

People begin assembling at Britomart for the Auckland #ANFS action

Front of march begins to form with lead banner reading “Aotearoa (New Zealand) Is Not For Sale”

Got the message yet John Key?

Despite it being the middle of winter, Kiwis of all shades and endeavours came together in force.

Group of hippies smoking pot and playing guitar. Oh, snap… it’s actually not…

New signs emerge as the march begins to come together onto the street.

Elder New Zealanders know full well that asset sales are a corporate rort.

People chilling out talking, waiting for beginning of march.

Sign says it all.

This is exactly what we all have to learn to do.

There is a “Drill And Mine Everything In Sight” agenda coupling the privatisation agenda in New Zealand. In what used to be a globally-admired pristine environment.

The sound truck arrives and sets up in front of the march for King Kapisi’s concert.

The front line grows wider, several banners across.

 Very subdued NZ Police presence; extremely surprising and pleasing. Probably half dozen cops at front & same at back with a few undercover cars. Good to see after the travesty at Blockade The Budget where students peacefully protesting were subject to mass arrests and numerous assaults on students by police were recorded on livestream and by witnesses.

The march numbers begin to swell as the street is taken.

We spot Miriam Pierard, the spokesperson for Aotearoa Is Not For Sale

King Kapisi begins his set, in the middle of the intersection of Queen St & Customs St, Auckland Central; intersection shutdown. His set is amazing – he freestyles over beautiful NZ hip hop & reggae beats, telling John Key exactly what is up and expressing solidarity with everyone fighting against injustice.

The waiata was a major highlight of the action. Didn’t know it before this but man can that dude sing. Got shivers with how real his words were. After King Kapisi’s set we prepare to begin the march.

Amanda from TV3. Mainstream media were out in force today. Actually they seemed a lot friendlier than usual. Maybe even they are enjoying their newfound freedom of being able to cover a broader perspective than the usual government-dictated one. Occupy media is pushing the boundaries & telling MSM in no uncertain terms – if you don’t do your job – we will. Kia ora to that.

By contrast – The People’s Media. @Redstar309z doing what he does best. Livestream the truth of what is happening in Auckland out to the entire world. “Media By Us Not Media Bias” he would say right now.

The Guillotine was brought out as a reminder that it is also Bastille Day and what politicians (and previously royalty) learn the hard way is that what THEY do… the streets can undo.

After a little concert in the middle of the stret… we’re off! The chants begin. “John Key – you’ve got mail! Aotearoa Is Not For Sale!”

Easiest way to keep track of how many people in the march – count the signs. There’s roughly 10-20 people per sign. See how many photos DON’T have the same signs in them, to gauge the size of the protest.

The march from side on. To give some idea of the width. Cool pic, love it.

Can only imagine what the voyeurs got to see on this little piece of surveillance. Wish livestream viewers got paid to watch this kind of footage on work time. Lulz!

Auckland absolutely rocking #J14. Did you hear about this on NewstalkZB? Hmm? No you didn’t. NewstalkZB 5pm news said: “About 200 people marched in Christchurch today” then failed to mention ANYTHING about the other 15 actions nationwide. LOLOL 1ZB. Hilarious. It’s like the NZ radio equivalent of Fox News.

 Students hold a red square in solidarity with the global student uprising.

March approaches Midtown. Love the little old lady. Solidarity! (Turns out she is veteran protester Marg Jones!)

Messages from the people.

Tautoko from Mana Movement, o he tangata.

Labour and Young Labour activists turned out in force, to protest against sale of public assets.

The dude in the bottom right hand corner has a message for our Prime Sinister, John Key.

After a lot of walking backwards I finally approach the end of the march.

The rear banner of the march.

Another sound car with speakers out the back playing hilarious political comedy that sounded suspiciously like Mr Guerilla Media himself Vinnie Eastwood.

An undercover car and a lone marked car at tail of march.

Saw tons of people with these awesome t-shirts on, promoting the petition website, www.keepourassets.org.nz

 Looking back up, by the SFWU peeps.

Love this guy – he even brought a donkey. We have a few of them in Parliament.

Protesters in solidarity with the Urewera political prisoners.

Kia ora to the Greens! The EPMU people also, with the blue banner.

Saw some really creative ways of getting a message across. This is one of them 🙂

At this point you’d have to be a complete moron to cling to the homeless-hippy-drug-addled-hipster-unemployed-anarchist-communist-mass media driven stereotypes cos its patently obvious that these are just everyday normal New Zealanders out there on the streets exercising their democratic rights.

Shot from back of march.

What a gorgeous view down Queen Street as we head up the rise to the Town Hall. Largest street of the largest city in New Zealand; ours.

MrNews Vinnie Eastwood from Guerilla Media was going around the crowd with this poster, pointing to John Key & asking “Excuse me, have you seen this man?” to great hilarity.

With the Town Hall at our backs in this shot – and Queen Street still completely covered in people, Miriam is on the mic setting out the schedule for the speeches and the People’s Assembly.

PLEASE NOTE: for the full live-tweet coverage of this event please check @ANFSJ14 @ANFSMedia @OccupyNZ @endarken @Redstar309z @keyweekat on Twitter or watch the livestream at www.bambuser.com/channel/occupyauckland

RAP NEWS On The Occupy Movement!

This is an incredibly intelligently composed rap/news segment on the global Occupy movement. Absolute must watch if you like good satire!

Graham Nash Video Salutes Sgt Bradley Manning As Hearing Begins

Bradley Manning gains support from a major celebrity civil rights defender, as protesters gather at his military trial.


Occupy Wall Street Video Montage to Rage Against The Machine’s “Freedom”

Take a walk with me down memory lane: Northcote College, 1997 SFC Music end of year final performance exam, I ate breathed & slept with my bass guitar at that time so I put together a band & performed the song “Freedom” by Rage Against The Machine with my childhood friend Dave playing electric guitar. Back then he was the boyfriend of the NZ soul singer Hollie Smith (she was 4th form, we were 6th) & we rocked it for a class that included the only other chick bassist at NC, Maree Thom, most recently of Don McGlashan & the Seven Sisters. Watching this video clip after YEARS of not having heard the song… I still remember every word & every note. We are the 99%.

Source:  Facebook

First Posted: October 1 at 3:22pm

Roger Waters: Official OWS Solidarity Statement Videos

So… this video has been making the rounds… oh yeah I think to myself, someone has made an Occupy vid & put Roger Waters music to it… then I look a little closer; oh look, it’s actually posted on Roger Waters official You Tube channel…. then I look even closer… and I find THIS:

Roger Waters himself, discussing the Occupy movement, expressing his solidarity with it & explaining why.

And his beautiful music…

Source: Facebook

Katy Perry & Russell Brown Visit Occupy Wall Street

Further to the You Tube video removals, Google rankings are also being effected. I can tell you this for sure after discovering a video of Katy Perry and Russell Brown @ Occupy Wall Street supporting it, on the bottom of the 4th page of Google Results about Occupy Wall Street. These people normally SNEEZE and are front page news. Yet their visit goes unnoticed by the entire mass media? Come on now….


And video…

Source: Facebook