“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.

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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

Mana Party: “Feed The Kids” – Glen Innes Branch AGM

We were pleased to be invited to attend the Mana Movement Glen Innes Branch AGM last Thursday 15th November at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Puau Te Moananui-a-kiwa in Glen Innes, Auckland.

Having attended and covered many of the Glen Innes Housing Defense protests in G.I. (as Aucklanders call it) it was important to us to have a chance to hear the korero (talk, messages) from the speakers present, many of whom have openly supported Occupy in New Zealand, since our inception.

As with such events, it is the finishing touches that really count, and we were extremely impressed by the organisation and generosity of the members, many of whom were familiar faces from protest actions.

Despite being “outsiders” we have been embraced by the G.I. community, with Mana granting us spontaneous filming, photographing and reporting rights, even allowing us to livetweet the event.

It is, to our knowledge, unprecedented for a political party, to be so open and transparent at an annual General Meeting. We certainly weren’t extended the same privileges at the recent (ruling) National Party Convention!!

What impressed us the most is how down-to-earth the proceedings were. Informal yet intimate setting, combined with grassroots marketing ingenuity; instead of glossy brochures and expensive advertising, hosts furnished the attendees with bags of kai (food) and asked us to make sure it went to people who needed it, if we ourselves didn’t.

That finishing touch reflected the drawing in Parliament of Mana Movement’s “Feed The Kids” bill – a piece of legislation that aims to bring New Zealand in line with other foreign countries by having our public education system be responsible for providing basic nourishment to children within school hours.

Web search “Child Poverty In New Zealand” to read about our appalling track record, with 100s of 1000s of children living below the breadline. Congratulations to Mana for seeking to address this and as they say, truly “Walking The Talk”.

Highlights from the livetweet:

Here is the video interview with John Minto – highly suggest viewing it from mobile phone!! Because for unknown reasons when we “rotated” it to the correct appearance in the video editor it cut the video in half! The conversation is great though and well worth listening to. Kia ora everyone involved in the AGM. You did a great job.