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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you!

Global Peace and Justice Auckland Hold Anti-War Rally

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

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

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

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

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

 

OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

Another Aotearoa

Another Aotearoa?

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

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

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

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

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

Back to the tv – rinse and repeat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Too big! Too hard! Too scary.”

Give me something I can control!

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

Maybe? Maybe not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its time!

#MediaByUs! NOT #MediaBias!

@Redstar309Z
Occupy Auckland Media Team Co-ordinator / Livestreamer

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

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

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

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

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

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

Our pastebin of event media resources here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gig organisers & activists kick it with Boots after the gig

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

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

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

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