Occupy Achievements: Proving Unemployment Is An Illusion

Much has been said about the achievements of the Occupy movement – that it changed the narrative both in the realms of political campaigns and at street level; that it awakened, engaged and activated the millennial generation; that it scared the shit out of those in power.

All these things are true but often asserted by those who looked in from outside the encampments, rather than those who were co-habitating within them. Without intending to detract from those externally affected and inspired by it, the experience inside each Occupy was exponentially more insightful as it gave a real-world example of how a different society could function, from within its embryo.

With this new series “Occupy Achievements” we intend to explore and translate, from an insiders perspective, some of the most significant social achievements of the Occupy movement and expand its acknowledged successes to include these major factors.

At the four autonomous occupations born from Occupy Auckland specifically, we witnessed and participated in the creation of new systems of employment, social justice, education, economics and distribution of resources, political representation and media.

These topics and more will be covered within the series, beginning with employment.

Modern Employment and The Great Myth

In modern times, the non-financial benefits of employment are well acknowledged. You feel better about yourself when you are productive and engaged with your peers; when you are active and outdoors; when you are serving others and enhancing yourself, your skills and attributes, completing tasks and achievements.

This is why the conventional concept of unemployment is not only financially crushing but also socially, spiritually, psychologically and even physiologically detrimental to the human condition.

Our countries and their governments are obsessed with unemployment statistics as a measure of economic performance and growth. We are conditioned to believe that unemployment has always and will always exist in some form, and that we’d best avoid it like the plague. Never is it suggested for a moment that 0% unemployment is an achievable goal, let alone one we could attain today, if given the will and the way to circumvent conventional thinking and employ (pun intended) a structural change for all our betterment.

For unemployment exists only so long as we believe The Great Myth that it always must, and fail to engage in what employment really is: service to others for mutual benefit.

The Working Groups (Just Do It!) 

This post isn’t about an idea, or a concept, or a dream. It’s about what has already been done and worked. The backbone of Occupy was its working groups. Dozens of times a day we had curious passersby that stopped to ask questions or just to chat, volunteer for working groups and embarking upon their first shift within half an hour of happening across the encampment. Why the enthusiasm? Simple. It was something new, novel and different sure. But the very nature of the working groups and the way they functioned, was alluring beyond reproach.

It was the easiest recruitment sell of all time. The barrier to entry? None. Required experience? Zero. What was required to participate? A living breathing body, with the desire to do so. Training? On the job, free of charge. Specialist skills? If you have them, use them. If you don’t, we still have a job for you anyway! Uniform? No thanks, we aren’t robots. Just a coloured strip of material or ribbon to indicate which group you were working with. Coordinator positions? On rotation, or as mandated by consensus. Hours? Four hours a day. If you want to work more you may. Everyone is a volunteer after all. If your job is done faster than a four hour shift, sweet. If your job needs more help, flag it so others can step up. Everyone works in small groups or autonomously if they prefer. Don’t like your team mates? Join another working group. You don’t even have to ask permission. Just rub your name off on the whiteboard and write it under another working group. Bingo, you’ve just changed career path. When can you start? Now!

Education programs allowed those with special skills to share them with an unlimited number of interested learners free of charge (this will be covered to a much greater extent in a later post.) But because there were no restrictions on curriculum, it wasn’t only the traditionally educated or skilled who were teachers. Anyone with knowledge about anything could pass it on to others, and only those interested in that knowledge need attend or listen.

The Big Questions

But who cleaned the toilets, you may ask? The people who wanted the toilets cleaned. With our own eyes we saw people who were “unemployed” and in many cases “homeless” transform in a matter of minutes to having shelter (a home), community (friends) and a job (activity).

The effects were immediate. We saw the eyes of people who had arrived in abject misery, light with the promise of opportunity. We watched them flourish, their pride and more importantly their hope, being restored in front of us.

But how can they survive without money, you may ask? Well here’s the thing. You can’t eat money, and you can’t build an effective shelter out of it. However, we can feed each other without money and we can house each other without it. Humans have literally been doing both since the dawn of history. The real human rights are the rights to food, shelter and love, because we had all three before money ever showed up on the scene. That we need money to live is as big a lie as that unemployment is a ‘fact of life’.

“Give What You Don’t Need, Take Only What You Need”

This is the true secret to how the economy operated though we’ll go into this deeper in a later post. It is more commonly known as mutual aid, a form of resource-based economy.

Occupiers emptied their houses, workplaces, friends and families’ places, of all the unwanted junk that is completely superfluous to modern living. No matter what items were donated, there was someone or some working group at Occupy that could put them to good use.

Farmers and fishermen who wanted to contribute something brought food and fish. Orchards brought bags of excess fruit. Anything that someone has in abundance is a cheap donation to them – but gratefully received by those without access to the resource under ordinary circumstances.

Participation in a working group, any working group, or if you saw a need you could even create a new working group, gave you equal rights and access to the resources and services of the occupation as every other participant. Thanks to the wonders of human innovation and collaboration, there was always enough to go around.

And unemployment? 0% baby.

0%.

In Conclusion

People can argue until the cows come home whether resource-based economies are workable, flawless systems or whether they are unrealistic. What they can’t do is deny that the systems we employed really did help people and make a meaningful difference in their lives.

The evictions of the Occupy movement didn’t just rob us of the use of public space, but had a terribly damaging impact on the lives of those to whom we had restored hope and opportunity. As usual, those in the most dire circumstances paid the highest price from the forceful dissolution of the occupations.

Those who were once again left with nowhere to go. No home, no shelter, no community, no job.

The real effect of the evictions was that once again, unemployment would pervade civil society under the guise of inevitability, in open denial and defiance of Occupy’s brand of evolutionary social progress.

But for those of us who remember what was achieved, whose lives were positively affected by the compassion and mutual aid engaged in at the occupations, whose imaginations were ignited – we do not forget. The evictions only served to scatter us like seeds on the wind – seeds that now propagate far and wide, and as the messages of Occupy continue to spread and penetrate, the work continues.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Written by Suzie Dawson (Member)

OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

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

Snowden, Assange, Greenwald and Kim Dotcom Speak in New Zealand

New Zealanders burst into spontaneous cheers, stomped the floor until the floorboards shook and gave standing ovation after standing ovation to Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Robert Amsterdam, Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre tonight.

You would not know this, however, from the national NZ media coverage, which appeared as institutionally embroiled in #DirtyPolitics as ever. The Kim Dotcom smear campaign exposed by Nicky Hager’s book remains operational, and complicit elements of the media are eager to continue  to spoon-feed New Zealanders the same tripe, irreverent of, or oblivious to, the public’s awakening.

Our (above) playlist of videos from the night contain countless real stories, none of which are represented by the elitist “yawn” of corporate media, who instead of discussing the multitude of serious issues being raised, instead deemed themselves arbiters of whether or not #MoT lived up to their particular preconceptions based on their own prior wanton and largely irrelevant speculation and in some cases coloured by ulterior motive.

As always however, their complacency and single-mindedness left them wide open to being scooped by independent media. We were there and made sure the whole world was watching.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Our pastebin of event media resources here

Internet Party of NZ Crowd-Sources Candidate Selection – Live!

A mainstream TV outlet recently referred to Occupy NZ Media as “cynical protesters”, yet despite our inherent distrust of electioneering and politicking, we are proud to have been present for the crowd-sourced candidate selection event held by the new paradigm political organisation, the Internet Mana Party of New Zealand.

While outlets like NewstalkZB (which we have affectionately renamed ‘Stratfor FM‘) and other establishment media have seemingly morphed into full-time Internet Mana Party disinformation channels virtually overnight, the rest of New Zealand has been eye-witnessing historic moments in Kiwi politics.

20 crowd-sourced candidates that people can actually relate to packed out the Q Theatre on Queen Street yesterday, and we live tweeted the event on @OccupyNZ. The event was also livestreamed nationwide and internationally, and we were pleased to see a sign language interpreter (apparently a Party Member) present on stage throughout, providing a separate stream for the hearing impaired.

Top Kiwi rapper, friend of Occupy NZ and Aotearoa Is Not For Sale MC King Kapisi gave a rousing speech, hyping the crowd and congratulating everyone for caring enough to participate in active efforts at change rather than just zoning out in front of our TV’s watching sports!

One of the most heartening parts of the candidate selection process was seeing real people that all Kiwis would interact with in their daily lives, making it through to the shortlist.

We were blessed with the opportunity to meet candidate Herena Meteka and her lovely daughters, who she says are her “I.T. geniuses”, that finally convinced her to join Twitter only yesterday!

Alongside the neighbourhood Mum and girl/boy-next-door candidates, was a very familiar face – a fellow Occupier!

Last year our #GCSB hashtag-activism quickly spiralled into a broad-spectrum bi-partisan political movement and apparently it has had a major impact on several of the candidates, who raised #GCSB-related state spying as a significant issue facing New Zealanders.

While many of the candidates mentioned #GCSB as an influence, none did moreso than the very humble and very edifying Chris Yong – an accomplished Kiwi musician, DJ and entertainer that is fast approaching Russell Brand levels of awake.

We were extremely psyched that he accepted our spontaneous interview request and he answered our extremely contemporary and unorthodox questions incredibly well.


After the event we were over the moon to get cuddles with old school wahine toa Laila Harre. Recently announced as Internet Party Leader, Laila is a stalwart of Kiwi activism with legendary roots that stretch back decades.

Many were surprised that the Internet Party chose a woman for its leader but we think it is a brilliant strategic move as Laila’s resolve and diverse support base are perfect for shaking the status quo from their stagnation.

Back in October of 2011, prior to the last General Election, an original member of the Occupy Auckland Media Team said –

“With the upcoming General Election, and what I witnessed yesterday, I have very real concerns that this apolitical occupation’s impact risks being diminished, by political factions seeking to further their own agenda. This is not the place for electioneering.

We are the 99%… not the 5% that supports party X, the 15% that supports party Y, or the 40% that supports party Z, but the 99% that makes up our society, from all sorts of cultural, political & spiritual backgrounds.”

 

This is a very true and insightful statement. And it was on that very basis that after the multiple and quite possibly illegal, co-ordinated violence of the “evictions” of Occupiers that we collectively decided to open our media platforms to use by all of the 99%.

We have covered developments about and actions by the Green Party of New Zealand, the Mana Party, the Internet Party, the Pirate Party(s) here and internationally, the Wikileaks Party, and a handful of other minor parties that may or may not have ever reached threshold to formally establish.

Just as we have covered dozens of actions by social justice and environmental organisations including Greenpeace, Global Peace and Justice Aotearoa, Auckland Action Against PovertyKia Ora Gaza, Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, NZEI, MUNZ, and other Labour Unions, and countless more.

We have amplified, brought attention to and given a voice to thousands of Kiwis, some unaffiliated with any organisation, many of whom no mainstream platform would give voice to at all.

The reason we chose to do this is two-fold. Firstly because all of the above are part of the 99% and we do not wish to discriminate or become access gatekeepers to the platforms which we feel the 99% inherently owns.

The second is because we feel that any and all efforts to effect social change and progress in New Zealand, and any and all actions that attempt to regain our independent status and sovereignty, deserve equal support.

In Roshi Joan Halifax’s “This Is What Compassion Looks Like” essay about Occupy Wall Street, she says;

It calls to mind the words that Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy spoke at the 2003 World Social Forum:

‘Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.'”

 

Therefore we make ourselves available in solidarity and appeal to every New Zealander to set aside the labels, colours and old paradigms which were constructed expressly to divide us, and to instead embrace the reality; that we are all born into the same mess – one which we cannot fix without each other.

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

“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

 

20140415_194821

Fresh watermelon backstage

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

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

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


Video streaming by Ustream

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

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

#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.

20140329_13543220140329_135718

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

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