Kiwis As Far As The Eye Can See Say #TPPANoWay

Once again, #TPPANoWay has taken the world by storm with a series of protest marches in more than a dozen New Zealand cities, in coordination with other anti-TPP groups worldwide

Trending #1 on Twitter in Auckland, #1 in New Zealand and #2 worldwide, citizens across the globe helped ensure the mainstream media’s virtual black-out of the event was rendered utterly impotent.

Topsy

It is very clear from our above live, unedited video footage of the Auckland event, that the turnout was significant and newsworthy. (To say the least!) Yet, other than misleading and disparaging articles down-playing actions in fringe locations, the mainstream media was mostly silent.

Their usual press of cameras were entirely missing in action, despite the iconic photo opportunities as Auckland, for a day at least, transformed itself into a mass of civil protest on a scale only previously seen in the likes of Lisbon, Rome, Madrid, Vancouver or Mexico City.

Indeed, from the below bird’s eye view posted by The Daily Blog editor Martyn Bradbury it is clear that the media’s reports of “1000” and “2000” attendees at the Auckland action, is laughable.

Meanwhile, the media resources pastebin that we sent to international media contacts got over 1,700 hits and this Greenpeace NZ initiative facilitated over 25,000 anti-TPP submissions to New Zealand politicians.

The #TPPANoWay Thunderclap reached 174% of the required support and a PledgeMe project to fly a banner over the event was also successful.

The OccupyNZ You Tube channel has more than a half dozen videos of the Auckland event and there are hundreds of pictures on the hashtag: #TPPANoWay and on the official event accounts: @ItsOurFutureNZ & @TPPANoWay

All in all we proved several things –

1. The World IS Watching
2. Misrepresentations and omissions by corporate media will not stop groundswell support building, and
3. Together we are unstoppable. Another world IS possible.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

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

 

Passionate Few Create A Massive Voice To Speak Out Against #Roastbusters Rape Boasters

[This post is now complete. Thank you for reading & sharing!.] On four hours notice a handful of passionate Aucklanders got together today to get their feelings out about the catastrophic #Roastbusters scandal and its fall-out.

Some really interesting information was shared and came to light, with the surprise attendance of two young ladies who went to high school with (some of?) the Roastbusters.

They made their feelings known as did lawyer and political reporter Catriona MacLennan, who, flanked by protesters, prepared and delivered this epic speech on live video:

This next video statement is an interview with the protest organiser, David, who absolutely nails it to the extent that we finished the video with tears in our eyes, as one of David’s sons voluntarily came into the shot to hug him in appreciation of strong spirit and his genuine words.

We caught up with old friend and 90s “Nick and Steve” MaxTV host Steve Hassan, (millennials like me were also massive fans of his 95bm Sunday night “Hugh & Steve” talk show with Hugh Sundae back in the day!)  who shared another candid perspective on the issues.

Catriona’s one-on-one interview with us (below) also raises some important points, and the transcript of her speech is absolutely mind-blowing and provides a stark contrast to the official positions of the NZ Police and all involved. We will paste it in full at the bottom of this post, if you would like to follow her on Twitter you can here.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated, who supported us, who amplified & amplifies us, and who is inspired by words like those that were shared today.

This experience demonstrated (hah!) beyond a shadow of a doubt that valuable messages are what it’s all about, not just numbers and crowd shots (like we will see at next week’s It’s Our Future New Zealand nationwide #TPPANoWay rallies!). So many valuable messages came through that we are proud of. At least the victims know we cared. Certainly they will feel heartened to know there are several other non-violent direct actions planned by various groups.

The public will not rest until justice is equally applied for the benefit of us all.


STATEMENT/TRANSCRIPT: By lawyer and political journalist Catriona MacLennan.

Tena koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e leilei. This time a year ago I spoke at the Bust Rape Culture march. That was soon after the details of Roastbusters had been publicised in the media. Then, I suggested quite a few actions the police could have taken and also a number of charges they could consider laying.

Today, we know that not a single charge is to be laid. Not one. About anything that was done.

So, today, I’ve got some questions for the police because I’m a lawyer and I don’t understand why no-one is being charged.

CONSENT
The issue of consent doesn’t arise for girls under 16. Under section 134 of the Crimes Act, sexual conduct with someone under 16 is an offence. Full stop. They can’t consent to it. We know that some of the girls were aged 13 to 15. It doesn’t seem to be denied that there was sexual conduct with them. An offence has been committed. There is no defence of consent. So we need the police to explain why there is insufficient evidence when they contacted 110 girls about this.

STATEMENT FROM COMPLAINANTS
The police don’t need a statement from a complainant to lay charges. At the start, the police put the onus on the victims by saying none of them had been “brave enough” to come forward. Not only was that not true. It’s not necessary in law. Other types of evidence can be used – in all that was posted by the boys on social media about what they did, was there not anything that could be used as evidence for a single charge ?

Here’s some charge that might apply
section 128 Crimes Act 1961 – sexual violation
section 134 Crimes Act 1961 – sexual conduct with young person under 16
section 135 Crimes Act 1961 – indecent assault
section 194 Crimes Act 1961 – assault on a child
section 197 Crimes Act 1961 – disabling (stupefying)
section 208 Crimes Act 1961 – detention without consent with intent to have sexual connection
section 216G – making an intimate visual recording (if pictures were taken)
section 160 Sale of Liquor Act 1989 – purchasing or acquiring liquor with the intention of supplying it to a person under 18.

So I’m amazed that, with all the alcohol, the police couldn’t even lay a charge of purchasing or acquiring liquor with intent to supply it to a person under 18. Obviously that’s a really minor charge and doesn’t at all deal with the sexual assaults but I’m surprised that the liquor charge couldn’t even be laid.

NOT ABOUT ALCOHOL
I want to mention something that Roastbusters is not about. The police said they were concerned about alcohol use by young people. But if boys respected girls, it wouldn’t matter how much alcohol either the boys or the girls had drunk. So, blaming alcohol seems to me to be getting dangerously close to asking about what clothes women are wearing when they are raped.
Alcohol doesn’t rape girls. It’s boys raping girls.

I’m also concerned that the police gave as reasons for not laying charges the age of the parties involved and the nature of the offences. I don’t understand that reasoning at all and I hope the police will explain it further.

WAY POLICE DEAL WITH SEX ASSAULT
The way the police deal with sexual assault offences has been a problem for decades. Louise Nicholas incredibly courageously publicised what had happened to her. As a result, in 2004 the Government set up a Commission of Inquiry. It spent 3 years investigating, before making a report with 60 recommendations. Implementation of the recommendations is being monitored for 10 years until 2017. But what the monitoring reports show is that the police are being woefully slow to make any improvements at all. One monitoring report said they were doing “technical compliance” and another said there had been no major change and some of the people training police were part of the problem.

The police failure to act in this situation once again undermines the trust of women in the New Zealand Police.

ACTION

We’re here today not only to show our anger, but to talk about what to do next. Everyone here can do something to help. And, please everyone, also ask 10 people you know to do something.

Rape is not declining and the way we deal with it is not improving. Please email, Facebook, meet with your MP and tell him or her that you want immediate action. We want change now.

Please also lobby the Prime Minister, leaders of all other political parties and as many other politicians as possible. They will only act when they realise that hundreds of thousands of voters want change. Please ask the new Justice Minister Amy Adams to make it a priority to complete and implement the Law Commission’s work on alternative processes for dealing with sexual offending. Please ask the Prime Minister and Bill English for proper funding for services for sexual violence survivors. Please ask the Government for courses in every school teaching boys to respect girls.

SCHOOL
Let’s talk about the school involved. What has the school done to support the girls ? The girls have been subjected to horrendous bullying and are fearful of making complaints to the police. What is the school doing to change this ? What is the school doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again ?

PARENTS
And parents, what are you teaching your children ? In the words of Beraiah Hales’ mother and sister since the police announced they weren’t laying charges, we can see exactly where these attitudes were coming from. His mother said she was proud of her son. That’s appalling. We need parents to teach boys respect for girls and also to hold them to account when they behave badly – not to support them and teach them that this behaviour has no consequences.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM
This isn’t something that’s happening only in New Zealand. Girls and women are being sexually assaulted in every country on the planet. Wouldn’t it be great if New Zealanders could work together to stamp this out and lead the way for every other country?


OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Global Peace and Justice Auckland Hold Anti-War Rally

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

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

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

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

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

 

OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

#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

Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 4: ‘Tentmonster’ Sara Kerrison

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

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

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

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

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

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

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

She becomes;

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

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

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

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

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.

In Part Four we cover an Occupy Melbourne institution that rightly went viral; an original “Tentmonster” – Australia’s Sara Kerrison.

Tentmonster

The proverbial meat of this article is going to start unconventionally. By making you wet yourself with laughter. In case you missed it back in December 2011, it is our great pleasure to introduce: the Occupy Melbourne Tentmonsters.

If you’ve taken the 4 minutes out of your day to watch the above; you will be shocked by the contrast of what happened next. Apparently the Melbourne Police didn’t get the joke. Their retaliation was swift, brutal and left an innocent young girl who had lightened the world with laughter, an extremely public victim of the self-evident Police State.

tentmonsters

The sickening assault circled the globe. In one fell swoop Melbourne Police did their international reputation irrevocable damage. The grassroots fallout was instantaneous.

Within hours the entire Occupy movement was expressing both their outrage and their empathy with Sara, then swiftly replicating the “tentmonsters” tactic in spontaneous solidarity actions worldwide; spawning “International Wear A Tent For Human Rights Day“.

There were no longer just tentmonsters in Aussie. They sprung up in locations as far flung from Melbourne as possible; including the Occupy National Gathering (2012) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. In Occupy DC… and at Occupy Santa Cruz, California.

There were even tentmonsters in attendance at the famous Occupy Oakland Port Shutdown II. (Pics courtesy of CIAbook) They even popped up on livestreaming legend Oakfosho’s Ustream, the following January.

With these serendipitous events, Sara was unwittingly thrust into the global spotlight. A Wikileaks activist and Bradley Manning supporter, she had fought injustice but never sought to be the public victim of it.

True occupiers have an innate ability to turn attacks on them into personal and societal victories. Sara did exactly that, putting her profile to good use. She is now a co-litigant representing Occupy Melbourne in the Australian Federal Court in Muldoon Vs Melbourne – a constitutional case that is testing fundamental principles of political communication and freedom of expression.

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.

Here follows Sara’s insightful 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?

Sara: Occupy Melbourne was the real catalyst of my participation in social
change. I immediately recognized something in Occupy, some truth in life
and myself that had always been missing and that perhaps subconsciously I
had always been searching for; a sense of community and a belief in my
inalienable right to direct the outcome of my own life. I definitely
didn’t plan to get so involved, but the moment I experienced it I knew
that here is something that EVERYONE deserves to feel! It is moving to be
involved in something much larger than yourself.

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?

SaraI completely understand, we expressed a similar sentiment after our
eviction in Melbourne because we experienced and witnessed some pretty
brutal things happen to the people we cared about and to everything that
we had built. It was this experience that was instrumental in making me
fully internalize the gravity of the situation, what they are capable of
and how necessary it is for us to persevere. But in the end I feel that
more important than what radicalized me is what keeps me going, and
perhaps it was anger and outrage that ignited me, but it was hope that
kept me going.

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

SaraMy personal experience of activism messages being taken on by the public
was when I wrote a short essay about the need for rEvolution which gained
some small notoriety and popularity on the internet. I was grateful that
so many people related to it because it means that many others are having
similar revelations, and realizing the need for us to OPEN OUR EYES!

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

Sara: Even though it is constantly challenging, and sometimes very painful and frustrating, everything about the rEvolution is satisfying, because no matter what happens you know you are involved in such a worthy cause.

Something that particularly touched me was when I saw the videos of the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street. I was so captivated by this group of strangers, so hands on and involved, so organized and dedicated to their ideals, and so willing to confront hard and real truths about life and the condition of humanity. I was taken aback, because this involvement was a totally foreign concept to me. When the camera swept across the crowd and you saw all of the people, there was a look on each of their faces quite unlike anything I’ve seen before, maybe it was renewed hope.

It’s a simple scene but it really moved me, and I keep coming back to that memory, to remind me to persevere not just against the injustice in the world but for all the beauty that is possible.

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

Sara: I see sustainable self-sufficiency as a practical foundation upon which all great global change can occur. So I want to see solar panels on every roof in every city, water collections in every gutter, vertical farms on the walls of every skyscraper and community gardens in every vacant lot! If each person is able to provide for themselves their most basic needs, society itself will be inadvertently changed, because we will no longer see each other as competitors, and we will have the freedom necessary to interact more meaningfully with each other, our communities and our planet.

And really these ideas aren’t that farfetched! Every single thing that we require to liberate us exists already within ourselves and on our planet. We possess the most awe-inspiring technologies; we could make our reality here into anything that we want! But somehow along the way we managed to convince ourselves that we must work a wage for someone else to pay back the debt of our own existence, and to buy back our freedom. Well our lives aren’t loaned to us by the big banks, so why do we feel we have to spend our lives paying them back?

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

SaraDon’t get distracted by small things such as the police and drama of activist groups. I’ve seen too many activists get sucked into the vortex of interpersonal politics, and use up all of the energy that could have been spent furthering their cause on fighting each other, and eventually self-destruction.

The same goes for the police. They can do things that OUTRAGE you, and yes they can HURT you, and make you ANGRY and make you want to FIGHT BACK. But don’t, it’s just getting caught in their trap. So be gentle with yourself, and take breaks because if you burn out you won’t be helping anyone.

Always listen to people who have the opposite opinion to you, there is no point preaching to the choir. Don’t try to be a badass, and don’t get paranoid about governmental implants involved in your business, because they probably are.

It can all probably be summed up by this Dr. Seuss quote:

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot
with your left.”

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?

SaraI haven’t seen my country change nearly enough in the last 18 months! And I wonder to myself why that is, what it is that we are doing, or not doing in our public advocacy that isn’t persuasive?

Grand ambitions aside, the change I want to see is within the protest culture itself, there needs to be a paradigm shift within activism. A transformation from specific issue-based approaches, to an approach that acknowledges the systemic nature of our problems here on Earth.

Problems that are inherent in the very structure of the system our societies are built on, and that permeate to the core of its people and so warrant an approach in activism that also deals with the issues at their very source and encompasses the entire panorama of problems.

It’s something that I’ve been contemplating for a while but can’t fully articulate yet, but I’d love to start throwing around ideas with any and all people who are feeling the same thing.


That concludes the fourth part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Sara for repping Australia in this series and for being such a fantastic role model for women in her country. Keep an eye out in the coming days for interviews with the final wahine toa to be featured in this series; a staunch female activist hailing from the United States of America.

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

Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 3: Marama Davidson

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

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

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

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

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

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

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

She becomes;

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

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

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

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

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.

In Part Three we introduce you to Aotearoa, New Zealand’s Marama Davidson.

Marama - Idle No More

Our first reaction to hearing of Idle No More was that it was a Christmas present from the universe. Stretched to our limits and battered from the endurance race that was 2012 in activism, to see the first nations and indigenous people begin to rise worldwide flooded us with immense pride and relief.

The people’s cavalry, had arrived.

Privately we joked; “they might be able to mess with white kids from the suburbs; good luck to them trying to infiltrate every marae (indigenous community space) in the country”.

Idle No More clearly heralded the beginnings of the public groundswell we had anticipated for so long.

In our small nation (which yes, does have cities with skyscrapers and ridiculous traffic congestion, as well as countryside, mountains, farmland and endless beaches) there is none of our generation more qualified to represent the concept of wahine toa than Whaea Marama Davidson.

Thus it was innately satisfying to see her so avidly answer the call of Idle No More, for the mobilisation of international indigenous nations.

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.

On the other side of the planet, down here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, Marama is cut of similar ideological cloth. Cherishing both history and living culture, she is a heartfelt advocate for kaupapa Maori (indigenous critique), rangatiratanga (heritage), kaitiakitanga (conservation, guardianship) while righteously demanding equality and promoting kotahitanga (unity) in new generations of Kiwis.

A founding member of Occupy Auckland & of Aotearoa In Solidarity With Idle No More; Marama is a high-profile blogger on ONZ admin Martyn Bradbury’s TheDailyBlog.co.nz and a member of Te Whare Porahou, an influential Maori women’s collective.

Here follows Marama’s very gracious answers to the same 7 questions we have 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?

Marama: In the Occupy Movement in Aotearoa, my small contribution was merely to speak up as a Māori woman and for our group Te Wharepora Hou (TWH). TWH is a group of wāhine Māori who support each other to use our voices collectively and individually as we feel the need to. The imperative to speak up recognises that for too long there has been a silencing of the diverse voices and opinions of Māori women, in spite of the incredible staunch wāhine that have been instrumental to positive change in our communities and our nation. Our purpose is to have a say on all issues that impact on the well-being of whānau (family), hapū (extended family) and iwi (tribes) and our natural living system. By this standard we could provide a critique on every issue under the sun and moon but we do what we can when we can. We do not claim to have any mandate to speak on behalf of all Māori but we surely claim our voices as Māori women, as mothers, as grandmothers and as members of our respective whānau, hapū and iwi.

Around the world many other indigenous people and groups were already highlighting the need for the Occupy Movement to decolonise itself. The Occupy philosophy needed to link the very neoliberalism it was opposing to the ongoing colonial imperialism of the indigenous people of each of the lands that the movement was occupying. Indigenous critique was calling for widespread acknowledgement that indigenous peoples had been fighting those very oppressive approaches for hundreds of years. The imperial poison of greed and privilege had now started to negatively impact on almost ‘everyone else’ and it could only benefit and strengthen the movement to accept this. As Māori women, Te Wharepora Hou felt a responsibility to continue that global conversation in Aotearoa and also to support our indigenous relations where ever Occupy was happening in the world. We most definitely saw value in joining in a call to end neoliberalism, but not without the indigenous thought to uphold the truer struggle. And then we realised it was us who would have to provide that very indigenous thought. We did so via blogs, Maori media, press releases, social media interviews, and camping with the movement in Aotea Square. I don’t know if anything we did was meaningful – but it was what we needed to do.

The Idle No More movement however has been one that we have worked tirelessly for to support indigenous uprising and sovereignty around the world through protecting lands and waters. Idle No More is an ongoing strive to decolonise the world and insist on a new way living together that honours our living systems and each other as people. It is the movement that starts with the very critique that we were asking of Occupy. Again Te Wharepora Hou has attempted to raise awareness, provide information and offer a voice while encouraging others to organise their own ways of supporting the movement. There have been many other groups and individuals helping to keep this conversation alive as well, and it is a conversation that needs to go on for decades at the very least.

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?

Marama: As a Māori woman the State response to activism is a stabbing reminder of what lengths they will go to when there is resistance from the ground. Our Aotearoa history is littered with the State flexing its muscles against any uprising that dares question its authority. This has pissed me off since I was a young wee girl when my parents dragged me to watch Merata Mita’s movie ‘Patu’. Observing the violent State response to anti-apartheid protests actually disgusted my young girl spirit. There have been many more moments of such disgust at the State so yes I can definitely empathise with this statement.

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

Marama: I can only hope that progressive messages are indeed planting seeds in the garden of public consciousness. Often it feels like a depressing slow uphill climb but the beauty of the awakening is also finding other kindred spirits around the planet, and indeed unearthing them in my own backyard. In the ongoing development of my own critique this kindred networking has been essential to me having a small role in awakening myself and others. I have had ongoing feedback from so many people, particularly women, who are finding their own morning breath as the world around them wakes up to try and change for the better. My experience of the awakening, is that I am starting to wake up. That is the most important awakening of all for me.

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

Marama: I feel like it is more of a global murmuring still as opposed to a revolution, and this might be the healthy way for it to grow peacefully and sustainably. I am not denying the war and violence that exists across communities of the world however the aspirations to change that existence are coming slowly but surely. My most satisfying moments personally are when ordinary people, people who have felt afraid to speak up – have been inspired to speak up themselves finally. I have had mums, or grandmothers, or young women just come and say “I want to be part of this, even from a distance” and that is a win. We need to be inspiring and stirring peoples’ hearts and minds to want to belong to and own their own revolutions.

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

Marama: It is clear that we need to reclaim our place as one small part of the planet living system as opposed to one dominating human race over it. We have totally lost our kinship with our plants, our rivers, our seas, our forests, our animals and each other as inter-dependent species of an intricate and complex survival system. Instead we want to be the human boss of Earth – how wanky is that? More of us need to stop being wankers.

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

Marama: The bigger your mouth, the more targeted you will be. That can suck but have a good cry and gather your authentic friends and support network around you – dig deep and keep going. And laugh. Never stop laughing.

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?

Marama: The neoliberal narrative is frightening and has become more and more aggressive. We are so sucked into the vortex of blaming individuals and denying the structural and historical contexts to our social ills. This is why the progressive narrative is essential – we all have a responsibility to bat back the lies whenever possible I believe. Over the next 18 months I would so love to see the current deficit stories being flooded by the insightful critique and analysis of voices that have been quiet in the background so far.

There is real joy for me in the community and grassroots initiatives that have been rising up as well. Community strength can do so much for local neighbourhoods and families to shine despite the oppressive structures that surround them. But we cannot rest our work simply on the hardworking communites. We have to destroy the current constructs for those very communities to really flourish.


That concludes the third part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Marama for repping New Zealand in this series and for being such a fantastic role model for women in our country. Keep an eye out in the coming days for interviews with two other wahine toa; from the United States and Australia.

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

Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution Part 2: Birgitta Jónsdóttir

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

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

The Maori dictionary explains it as;

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

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

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

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

She becomes;

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

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

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

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

In Part One we published the heartfelt words of Turtle Island, Canada’s Min Reyes.

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

Birgitta Making A Stand Against NDAABirgitta Jónsdóttir is a POETician and activist (member) of the Icelandic Parliament (since 2009), Chairperson for the International Modern Media Institute, Chairperson for Pirate Party in Iceland. (“These titles mean nothing really for I live by the rule of the circle of power“). She is an independent parent of 3 children, and was the first Icelandic female to develop websites.

A volunteer for WikiLeaks in 2010, she co-produced the video Collateral Murder and was on the Bradley Manning advisory board.

Birgitta is also a member of the International Network Of Parliamentarians On Tibet and an avid supporter of the civil liberties foundations EFF & the ACLU.

She describes her current role as “pretty much being the mosquito in the tent“.

This is the second time we’ve had the pleasure of writing about Birgitta. The first being the most popular Occupy Savvy post to date; last August’s “How Did Iceland Sack Its Government?

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

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?

Birgitta: In my wildest dreams: NO. I am forever humbled by the fact that my actions have somehow inspired others to act, to be changemakers in a world that so desperately needs for people to claim their responsibility of co-creation before it is too late.

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?

Birgitta: I have always been radical, so it didn’t need any encouragement to carry on from oppressive response. I can empathize with this statement for I saw it happen to many of my fellow activists.

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

Birgitta: I define myself as an activist in parliament, the role of activists is to push the threshold of norms; if normality as we know it has become unsustainable and harmful, the need of activists is even greater. I have been told by other parliamentarians that I have changed the parliament by my methods of working there. It says a lot about this change we are experiencing that a person like me is accepted by the mainstream by being voted into the role of the lawmaker. Perhaps that is a signal that the times are changing.

I do at the same time feel that people are losing steam and feel that their activism is not giving needed results of change and feel in some ways that it is useless to engage. Sometimes positive change can take a long time, especially when it means total transformation. I want to urge that we cant give up midstream. We are so many, we have so many great minds, so many visionaries who need to come together in order to draw together the blueprint for the future.

I feel many people understand what is wrong with our societies but I feel we lack joint vision from going from here to solutions. The solutions are all there but we need to draw them together and start to work on them in a joint global effort. It is of utter importance to get people inside the system in order to understand how it works in order to change it.

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

Birgitta: There is not one moment for me, rather the fact that the global revolution is an ongoing process, and the satisfaction evolves around the fact that it is still going on, new countries getting into the loop, new actions, more creativity, to see that many realize it is a long haul.

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

Birgitta: Direct democracy and transparency is key to make the changes we are demanding take root. It is easy to get a revolution going compared to finding solutions in maintaining people engaged and to create social structures based on that engagement.

We need to transform our thought of power and lack of power. Pyramids are not a natural order, the circle of power however is. We need to move from EGOlogy to ECOlogy. Understand that we are all connected and that no individual has all the answers. Move from needing leaders to lead us from the mess and accept that our strength comes from being strong together rather then seeking strong leaders.

We are running out of planet and it is really important to remember that no change starts anywhere except through our own actions.

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

Birgitta: Follow your gut, dont think things too much through. Just do it:)

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?

Birgitta: In 2009 we saw some really impressive possibilities for changes in Iceland. Clear demands for fundamental changes were put forward and adopted by all of the political parties who got voted into office in 2009, except the right wing party. The most important demand was that the people of Iceland would write a new constitution by and for the people.

Those that have held the reigns of power since we claimed our independence from Denmark in 1944 have done EVERYTHING in order to destroy this process of modern democracy, and now it looks like they are winning. We have elections late April and ignorant people seem to think they can entrust the very same people who caused this country to have the world 4th largest financial meltdown in recorded history the power to look after their interests.

We have seen many positive changes occurring that would not have been possible unless we had a good crisis. Perhaps the crisis was not bad enough in order to push the needed fundamental changes through. We have seen similar development in other countries. It leads me to the conclusion we need to know exactly what we want in the aftermath of crisis and implement it very fast, just like bad laws and fundamental changes are imposed during times of shock.

Iceland has been made into some sort of poster child of the revolution, and i guess many feel they need to see prove that activism and revolutions change things for the greater good. The fact of the matter is however, that we are far from a poster child. We are far from having achieved the things set in motion during times of crisis. But if we are fortunate enough to understand when crisis will hit again that we need different approach to democracy, our current system is outdated because of many factors, if we are wise enough to offer alternatives that the common people can rally behind we will change things and transform politics as we know them.

I am a pragmatic anarchist and I understand and accept that many do not want to spend their time as responsible citizens, they want to transfer their power to someone else, thus I want to help create the tools in order for this transfer of power to be truly democratic and revokable. This is why I have helped create a Pirate Party in Iceland, in order to experiment with liquid democracy from our own internal work to the representatives in parliaments.

I understand that the suffering of others is my suffering, I understand that despite the fact I live on an island that we are not islands, but interconnected, and that the fate of humanity rests on those that are willing to accept the responsibility of co-creating our societies.

It is time to zero the dysfunctional self serving systems and create smaller systems that will be crafted from our love for our societies and respect for ecology, and the fact that we are all equal in the circle of power.


To us, the best way to finish an interview with Birgitta is by sharing her poetry. It is the raw narrative of revolution. Once again, she has blessed us with a piece. A living reminder, that some things have no monetary value. Gifts of the heart are priceless. For us this poem is a taonga – a sacred treasure. Thank you Birgitta.

Changes – by Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Something big is happening
Gaia has regained her consciousness
her way of surviving

A picture
growing in my mind

A whole universe of possibilities
to make the invisible seen

Be a part of
this movement
of awakening

Learn to listen to our mother’s voice
through her infinite creations

I keep making the picture bigger
so I won’t lose myself

Earthquakes move through me
volcanic eruptions of insight
as the revolution
of silent changes
begins.


If you haven’t seen “The Mouse That Roared”, a background documentary about the Icelandic Revolution; it is a must-watch. Embedded below for your viewing pleasure!


That concludes the second part of “Women Warriors Of The Global Revolution”. We thank Birgitta for repping Iceland in this series and for all the time she has invested in us. Keep an eye out in the coming days for interviews with other wahine toa; from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

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

High Court Denounces Evictions; Vindicates Occupy Auckland

They say the wheels of justice turn slowly but indeed they are turning.

At long last, some measure of vindication for the countless legitimate protesters victimised by Auckland Council.

At the close of business today March 6th 2013 the corporate media began reporting that the High Court in Auckland has finally found in favour of Occupy Auckland.

The extremely sparse media reports (no more than a few short paragraphs and almost uniform wording across a slew of mainstream news sources) don’t tell you much other than that the violent evictions imposed by the Council despite our pending court appeal “went too far“.

Indeed, lawyer Ron Mansfield suspected as much, when he warned us that the conduct of the Council surrounding the evictions may have breached the terms of their own by-laws. That stealing and storing our belongings in a supposedly “vacant” hangar at the same airforce base the FBI were flying in and out of that very week; miles out of town; may be onerous.

That their demanding private information about anyone who did manage to get out to the airbase to “claim” their belongings; may not be legal.

The human cost of the evictions is impossible to calculate and goes far beyond the dozens of arrests on January 23rd & 26th, 2012.

The evictions crippled the physical presence and daily functioning of the four simultaneous and autonomous occupations in Auckland Central – (Occupy Aotea Square; Occupy Te Herenga Waka at Victoria Park; Occupy Albert Park and Occupy Queen Street)

The occupations created organising hubs for the public to engage in political activism that should be encouraged in any healthy democracy and indeed is enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

From the homeless protester in his 80s who suffered multiple heart attacks and was hospitalised after his heart medication was unlawfully seized by “security”, and the Occupy liaisons who frantically tried to negotiate with the Council for the return of the medication, only to wait 48 hours for a response…

…to the middle-aged grandmother who had never been arrested in her entire life until Occupy, never had a tent or stayed overnight at an occupation, but was named in litigation by Auckland Council and hauled relentlessly through Court, unjustly…

…to the intelligent and sincere young man, of whom images were plastered all over the national media after he was lifted off the ground by his neck by police alongside mercenary corporate private security companies hired by Auckland Council at ratepayers’ expense…

…to his petite girlfriend, trapped outside the temporary fencing Auckland Council erects on a whim at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, screaming with raw fright and fear as she witnessed what was happening to her partner before her very eyes…

…to a little 5 year old boy, who the police and Auckland Council staff alike, left in the middle of Aotea Square; after they arrested his father in front of him, without even noticing the child…

…to the woman who scooped up the child onto her hip, marched into the congregation of police officers outside the paddy-wagon-filled Auckland Council carpark and publicly scolded the Inspector in charge for the display of utter negligence…

…to the uni student, who was one of the first to feel the cold touch of publicly-funded Council-ordered surveillance, so early on in Occupy that he was not believed; surveillance that, although later confirmed by the Council to have been undertaken, escalated until his entire life fell apart around him. Despite being so young, he was forcefully institutionalised and temporarily drugged into apathy… all on our tax dollars… his persecution paid for by our rates…

…those who suffered profound loss because of Auckland Council are too many to be counted on all our fingers and toes. Thousands of people per week became active in their communities at grassroots level because of Occupy and collectively housed, fed, educated and cared for hundreds residing in the occupations.

…to every person who ever learned something because of Occupy; taught someone because of Occupy; fed someone because of Occupy, was fed by Occupy – to everyone who for the first time in their lives saw that we CAN provide for each other and we CAN provide for ourselves…

…to those who were slandered, libelled, suppressed, oppressed, victimised by many of the mechanisms of the state, most visibly, Auckland Council.

The very body that is supposed to represent our interests.

Whether there can ever now be reparation remains to be seen. So much was lost that cannot be returned. Many occupiers may now not even be alive. Many have had such financial pressure and mental stress applied to them that they have lost or are losing what assets and opportunities they had.

Many have been served with questionably legal trespass notices; intimidated out of returning to the CBD or outright threatened in various forms.

Last October 15th, 2012, the 1 year anniversary of Occupy Auckland, protesters performed flash occupations at the original sites and at other places of significance to our movement.

But of course, Auckland Council got a visit.

Occupy Auckland Council As did TVNZ, the national broadcaster who had participated in the corporate media blackout, and then smear campaign against Occupy.

TVNZ, who utterly failed to fairly represent the voices of the people, or to sufficiently educate the public as to the global and viral nature of the movement, found their staff entrance temporarily occupied.

Occupy The MediaBut also on the flash occupation list was the High Court in Auckland.

High Court
Yet this recent ruling begins a process of restoring the faith instilled in us by the human rights lawyers at Occupy Auckland, so long ago.

We DO have the right to the basic necessities of human life even though Auckland Council denied us water, power and the tools of communication.

For we do and should have the right to peacefully assemble. The right to free association.

The right to dissent and the right to seek redress from our systems of Government.

We have the legal right not to be discriminated against on the basis of our political opinion.

We have the right to participate in our democracy. All of us.

And we must. For the viability of the continued existence of our entire planet, depends upon what we do now.

E tu Aotearoa. Stand up and fight back. Don’t let them sell what scraps they have not already stolen. This is our country. It is priceless.

Rise like lions and roar.

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