Kiwi Activist Lyn Ny: “It Is Deadly Dangerous To Speak Against The Government”

Occupy Auckland media team member Suzie Dawson recently went public about her application for temporary asylum in Russia. The Kiwi journalist’s documentary ‘Diary of a Person of Interest‘ details how she has been targeted by the New Zealand and United States governments, leading to her becoming exiled from her home country.

In an interview last week, two eye-witnesses to the targeting of Suzie, the media team co-ordinator Redstar309z and Internet Party of New Zealand candidate Chris Yong, spoke out alongside Suzie to verify her claims.

Yesterday, another media team member, Lyn Ny, was interviewed to get her take on the situation.

Suzie cites Occupy Auckland media team as being the start of her journalism and activism. What are your observations of her personal and media career development over the period 2011 til 2015 when she left New Zealand?

Lyn Ny: Suzie was thrown in the deep end. Occupy was a baptism by fire for a lot of us. An introduction to activism and the government’s response to [our supposed] freedom of speech lol! I watched Suzie arrive at Occupy green and immerse herself and take the penalty that goes with it. Her personal life became public and she rose to the challenge and became a fantastic journalist and advocate for change. It drew a big target on her arse!

What significance and impact did the efforts and actions of Suzie and of the Occupy Auckland media team have in Auckland and in New Zealand?

Lyn Ny: I think that Suzie was integral to the media team… it wouldnt have been as effective without her. She made us all more efficient at sharing the Occupy message initially and then continuing to provide real news about topical events and issues that helped to wake up a lot of people to the state of our city, country, world. Those efforts are continuing thanks to ongoing input from the original team together with the new lot that have largely taken over.

What are your recollections of Suzie being targeted? Can you cite specific instances? On how many occasions did she discuss with you the targeting of her?

Lyn Ny: Suzie was definitely targeted… because she was effective. The internet expose springs to mind. Her family home, car and all other details are probably still available on the internet for the world to see thanks to that crap. That definitely endangered Suzie and her family. We were all watched electronically and physically. Some of us were given special attention from Police and Council … any opportunity to make life difficult was exploited against us. I know her car was messed with and we both had road events that were threatening and unsettling. Its hard to say categorically that someone was trying to kill us but someone was certainly trying to tell us they could.

Suzie has claimed that after leaving your home one night, she was targeted by vehicles who tried to drive her off the road. Do you have any doubt this happened?

Lyn Ny: No doubt at all. At the time it seemed far fetched but in light of what happened to Hone Harawira and then later to me in Dome Valley I have no doubt at all. Suzie was and probably still is of sufficient interest to warrant this kind of fear tactic and who knows how far they would go? I dont think they would mind if they ran her off the road and killed her or the kids and I wouldnt be surprised if that was their aim.

Suzie says that the targeting of her continued as she travelled across the world, and she recently revealed that she is seeking temporary asylum in Russia. Do you feel this is justified? Do you believe that the targeting of her was particularly voracious?

Lyn Ny: I cant comment on her travels since she left New Zealand but I can assert that she was targeted specially for her high profile in media in NZ. I know she was because ALL high profile occupiers were given special attention. She was more vulnerable in some ways than me… young kiddies make you more vulnerable. And she was more publicly visible and therefore more effective. This meant more effort went into trying to shut her down… move her out of Occupy or out of town… or, as it turned out, out of the country.

Has the political environment in New Zealand improved?

Lyn Ny: No… it’s worse. Many times worse. Those who are still effective as activists are discouraged by any means possible. It is deadly dangerous to speak against the government.

 

Suzie’s supporters have created the Twitter account @HelpSuzi3D to raise awareness about her situation and this Tumblr account to pool media resources and related information about her asylum application. Suzie is unable to work while her application is pending and donations are urgently required to sustain her young family during this time. Please give generously and share this information by whatever means you can.

Kia ora koutou.

OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

#GCSB FAN FICTION: “Meagan’s First Story” by Kiwi Occupier Lyn Ny

The following is a piece of fan fiction by Kiwi Occupier Lyn Ny. Any resemblance to persons or organisations living or dead, or events, is merely coincidental. Allow your imaginations to run free!

Meagan’s First Story

By Lyn Ny

The room was generic, corporation-style meeting room. A large, fake timber table held sway over a flotilla of small, uncomfortable chairs; a water cooler stood in one corner; windows looked over an ordinary city view. On the small, uncomfortable chairs were an eclectic group of people. There were some in very businesslike suits and ties and others in jeans and t-shirts.

An outsider, Bill thought, wouldn’t instantly know the purpose of this group. They were clearly not physical labourers although Sarah and Joe were starting to show the benefit of their gym sessions. A discreet hiccough brought Bill back to business.

“Right then, that about covers everything except this latest GCSB leak. Another leaked email has surfaced calling them out on the actual number of people being surveilled. It includes a list of 1243 people under active investigation – not the 88 they ‘fessed up to earlier. Now I don’t care one way or another how many people our government agencies are looking at – that’s their job for fuck’s sake. Somebody has to protect us from cyber attacks, industrial espionage and terrorist bomb plots but we’d better print something for the punters. Our official angle should reassure the public that security is paramount for us to compete in the current global financial climate. You wanna make an omelet you gotta break some eggs. Even those in the lens would agree, I’m sure, that the threats to our country, our government and our economy are worth some loss of privacy. Any takers?”

He looked up at his bunch of journalists and was met with a wall of apathy. This was not going to be a rewarding mission. The story and that paper’s stand were a foregone conclusion. One of the effects of mainstream media was to kill any investigative spirit, especially with potentially career damaging investigations into the activities of the government or its agencies.

Tentatively Meagan raised her eyebrows and met Bill’s gaze. “Can I have a crack at it?” she asked. Meagan, who was naturally on the shy side, had only just started working for the paper which was the most read daily in the country. Meagan’s appearance; small, young and pretty, often lead to her being overlooked. Her quiet nature added to her non-threatening appearance and allowed her to get close to people and gain their confidence and trust quickly.

“Sure, why not! I’ll send you the email for background and you can get started. I want to print the story on Thursday so have it ready for editing on Wednesday. It’s a human interest story – the political issues are far too complex for us to cover in any depth and we want to reduce people’s concerns. There are over 4 million people in this country and 1243 is a paltry number in reality. The vast majority of our readers are NOT under surveillance and are unaffected by this information – those that are must have done something to attract attention! Come and see me if you have any problems and keep me posted. And that’s it for today. Let’s get on with it!”

Meagan followed everyone from the room and started planning the first story of her new journalist life. How to begin? The computer on her desk advised her of two new emails – one from her sister and the other from Bill with the leaked list of GCSB targets. Today was Tuesday and she’d have to work fast to get anything juicy to print by the deadline.

The list wasn’t in any apparent order. It looked like any database with name, address, date of birth, phone numbers and email addresses. There was nothing to differentiate one entry from any other. She spent some time on Facebook searching for matches. An hour of that found more than half of those on the list. Trawling through their friend lists netted three who shared mutual friends with Meagan. Another half hour of Facebooking left Meagan in no doubt about why these people had attracted attention. Posts about fluoride, Palestine, Five Eyes, global financial schemes, derivatives, fracking, deep sea oil drilling, HAARP, environmental destruction and political corruption featured large on all three profiles. All three re-posted numerous articles from Al-Jazeera, RT News and Occupy with news from Egypt, Spain, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Syria, US, England, Canada and Australia – extensive coverage of national and international topics, protests, rumours, fact, speculation, opinion and comment.

All three seemed to be a cross between new age hippies and anarchists. Their threads included fruity talk of rising awareness, the masses awakening as if from coma, vibrations, energy, the cosmos, self-sufficiency, unfucking the system.

Meagan picked up her phone and dialled.

Redstar answered almost instantly “Yo!”.

“Hey, Redstar. How well do you know Terry Daniels?” Meagan asked without preamble.

“Well enough – why?” Redstar’s response was tinged with suspicion.

Meagan ignored his question. “Can you get him to lunch today do you reckon?” Redstar demurred and Meagan hastily added “My shout – anywhere you want.”

While Meagan waited for Redstar to get back to her she filled in time by searching the internet for anything related to GCSB. There were dozens of entries. Apparently the more secret a thing is the more it gets talked about. When Redstar phoned back 45 minutes later Meagan had read many articles on the GCSB and had learned surprisingly little.

By chance, Terry Daniels was in the city for a few days and was keen to meet up for lunch at 1:30ish “and bring pot” was Redstar’s stipulation “lubricate his vocal chords – lol!”

Meagan packed up her laptop and got organised for her first real interview. She left the office and stepped into a beautiful afternoon – sunny with a breath of breeze – perfect for walking the few blocks to Father Ted’s.

Redstar and Terry were sitting at a footpath table sipping beer and chatting. Meagan stifled a pang of disappointment on seeing Terry. He was pretty ordinary – 40-ish, average height, a little on the cuddly side, long greying brown hair and blue eyes, in blue jeans and white t-shirt. He didn’t look like a terrorist that’s for sure.

“Hi there, thanks for meeting with me Terry. What’s Redstar told you?” asked Meagan as she pulled out a seat and got comfortable.

“That you’ve just embarked on a career as a mainstream propaganda merchant with the Herald is all” Redstar quipped. “We’re both busting to know what you want with him.”

Meagan had her, almost true, story ready. “The editor wants a story about activists in New Zealand. Nothing meaty but plenty of scope to highlight some issues that get people off the couch and into the streets.”

Terry grinned broadly. “Cool! I love to talk. What do you want to know?”

Before Meagan could answer a slim, smiling young man, David according to his tag, came to take their lunch order. Redstar ordered big – lamb shanks and kumara mash, garlic pizza bread, stick date pudding and a jug of lager. Meagan and Terry ordered less extravagantly and all three reached for cigarettes and settled in to talk. “Are you all good with me recording? It’s more efficient than taking notes.”

“Sure, why not. I’m quite sure you’re not the only one recording us.” He laughed cheerfully as he spoke.

Meagan fought a pang of guilt that she had fudged her real purpose which she covered by pulling a joint from her pocket. Using marijuana is illegal and smoking it in public was risky but fun. Meagan reasoned that if anyone called the Police the evidence would be long gone before (or if) anyone came to enforce the law. She lit up and passed the joint as she set up her Ipad. “So who else is recording and why?” she asked innocently.

“I think it’s more like who isn’t?! I reckon Auckland Transport is a front for the Men in Black for a start. They’ve got surveillance cameras everywhere – intersections, motorways, streets, buildings – fucken everywhere! No need to follow anyone once they’ve hit the auckland motorway system – it’s all on film and they’ve probably got long range microphones and all the whizz bang spy gear. I’d love to know how much of ratepayers money goes to surveillance… or on anything else for that matter. Polly Black may be crazy or a spook but I agree with her that Council should tell us where our money is being spent before we hand it over. The CEO’s $800,000 salary doesn’t appear on their little pie chart! And then there’s the CGSB and the cops and the guys watching the watchers. I reckon that’s real job creation. We gotta pretend we can keep this collapsing financial system running somehow.”

Conversation stopped for a moment as David arrived with their meals and took an order for drinks. If there was a single word to describe Redstar it was gusto. He took to his meal with it and was obviously enjoying this afternoon treat. There’s nothing a conspiracy theorist likes more than the company of another conspiracy theorist it seemed.

“Bloody Polly Black! Merlin was right from the start – she’s a cunt! But she does have that one point – why should we pay rates to a Council when we don’t know what it’s spent on? he added, resuming the conversation.

“Damn straight! And while we’re on Auckland Council – guess who the contractors are for the rubbish, poison water supply and public transport? Redstar – you know this one.

“Yup – Veolia” put in Redstar obligingly.

“And guess who does water and refuse and transport for Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton? Or Paris? London? Washington? Sydney? Tel Aviv? I’m making some of those up” Terry admitted “because I can’t remember how far the tentacles of that particular wheke (octopus) reach – nor do I know if its head is in Israel or France. It’s a bugger having no internet but must make it harder for the heebie jeebies to keep tabs on us.”

This gave Meagan opportunity to get to the heart of the interview. “You sound like you think you are being watched. Why would you think so?” she asked casually.

“Do you want the long story or the short one?” Terry responded.

“I’ve got all day – the long one please.” Meagan was happy that Terry was so keen to talk. And with that Terry spilled forth on the many reasons he could be a target of particular attention. Redstar chugged on through his sticky date pudding with a bourbon on the side. He knew the story and enjoyed hearing it again.

As Terry talked Meagan became more and more amazed at how wrong her first impression had been. Terry was far less ordinary than he seemed.

“I was interwebbing one Saturday when I saw a Herald photo of thousands of people marching up Queen St under an “Occupy Auckland” banner. I was inspired and soon discovered what turned out to be a life-changing movement. I trolled YouTube, hungry for knowledge of the amazing people holding vigil in Zucotti Park at Occupy Wall St. Like mushrooms, Occupy sprung up everywhere. Their message resonated with millions of people globally. The world is being run by and for the 1% who hold the majority of the world’s financial wealth.

I visited Occupy Auckland in Aotea Square that Monday and was in awe of what they had achieved over a weekend. The normally empty, too-perfect lawn was alive with colour and movement. Tents, flags and placards lent a carnival air. People were everywhere and had come from everywhere – Unite, Mana, Socialist Aotearoa, the Nurse’s Union were all there with banners and tents and rosettes and slogans. Notice boards displayed meetings and meals and support groups and tutorials. Movies and music played, throngs of people were queuing for food and working groups were forming to deal with issues peculiar to this unusual form of protest. I was drawn in by the enthusiasm and optimism of this disparate group. I brought food and helped with meals and meetings. Occupy and occupiers became my life.”

Terry stopped talking and all three turned at the sound of a shouted chant from the nearby street corner. “O-C-C-U-P-Y what do we do? OCCUPY!” the disturbance was walking towards them in the form of a man in a black hoody, black jeans and boots, with a backpack. As he drew near Terry gave the man some tobacco and he went on his way. “Sir Occupy Auckland – awesome dude!” he said by way of explanation and he picked up his story.

“Governments and their agents and enforcers couldn’t ignore the Occupy movement and came down with enormous force all over the world to crush it. We lasted about 3 months before the Council got serious about moving us on. I got a call for help early one morning when police and security guards were forcefully evicting Occupiers. The 15 minute trip to town seemed to take forever and the scene that met us was devastating. Fences, security guards and police surrounded the Occupiers while tents and other belongings were being wrestled into trucks. A minister in black robes stood sentinel over the chaos with tears rolling down his face.

A French tourist begged me to help. I fought my way onto the arena, ducking under outstretched arms like a rugby player. By now mainstream media had arrived and the audience bristled with cameras and phones and megaphones. I was taken swiftly by police and locked in a cell for the first time in my life.”

“We filmed everything! Including four cops with the same badge number – Z557. Cunts!” Redstar interjected with passion.

Young David arrived at this point with fresh drinks. “Have you still got the video? Can I see it?” Meagan was skeptical that such a serious breach actually occurred but Redstar flicked open his phone and sent the footage to Meagan.

“There you go. Put that in the piece!” he dared and Terry resumed his story.

“As soon as I was released I went back to the Square. The situation was still horrendous and I did what I could to support Occupiers and frustrate the officials. In the end the CEO of the Council read from his official document that if I didn’t stop camping in the Square I would be arrested for trespass. When I told him I couldn’t stop doing what I’d never done he was unphased. He had the dogs arrest me and I was one of a dozen or so named as a defendant in the Council vs Occupy case and was subsequently found guilty. Of a thought crime! I was a member of the public, a fucking ratepayer, in a public place sharing the same views as the Occupy ‘campers'”. There was a momentary pause as Terry thought broodingly of these events.

“But that was three years ago.” Meagan broke the silence, “Do you still think you’re under surveillance?” Although she knew that Terry was still being watched the Occupy involvement didn’t seem to justify continuing surveillance. There must be more to it.

Terry smiled. “Maybe. New Zealand’s population is small and there are relatively few real targets. The cops and media did a great job of giving me an unjustifiably high profile. apparently my detainment was shown all over the world. One of my friends watched it on TV in Japan! Fuck’s sake! Of course, once Occupy was dismantled in the Square that left me at a loose end. I couldn’t get work in my field because the Council would have been my best employment prospect and they’d never hire me after Occupy. I was too old and over-qualified for most jobs. I became involved with the education protests and the housing bullshit in Glen Innes. I became a target for local police in Auckland Central and Counties Manakau. The cunts began calling me by name when I was out and about. I don’t remember now how many times I was locked up. My favourite arrest involved some real activists from the Springbok days. There were always MP’s floating around putting their faces out there for photo ops in the safer protests but only one willing to take any real risk. Hone Harawira stood up for the Glen Innes community. I was so proud to be arrested with him at G.I.”

“I think the government and cops were getting pretty stressed. They had their hands full of Occupy and Anonymous and Kim Dotcom. They were stomping hard on anyone with a rebellious bent. Still are I think but I’ve been out of the loop for a while. It got too hot for me in the city – became dangerous. The local cops started targeting us. My daughter’s life was endangered after a serious car accident. She was arrested for obstruction after hitting the windscreen of a car that she was a passenger in – denied medical treatment for a potentially life-threatening head injury. Council used a pretext to take our old dog and tried to kill her. I had to take that to the High Court.”

Meagan was finding this story unbelievable. Cops, council and government working together to harass a protester seemed a bit dramatic. She made a mental note to follow up some of these side stories. She encouraged Terry to continue by asking “So you’re not living in Auckland anymore?”

“No. And that’s another story that may or may not have caught the GCSB, or more likely JK’s personal attention, given that it was his mortgage scheme that lost me my house.”

“How does that work – he’s the Prime Minister. What does he have to do with mortgage schemes?” Meagan was genuinely curious.

“He wasn’t always the PM. His background is world finance – Merrill Lynch, Wall St. He devised a system that ensures banks’ continued profit if their customers default. The mortgage documents are all sold so that the banks effectively double dip. It’s known as derivatives or hedge funding or sub-prime lending. Lend money to poor people who can’t service the debt, sell the document and foreclose – win/win for the bank.”

Meagan was even more cynical. Surely that would be fraud. Another lead to follow up. “So you lost your house? How? Because you couldn’t pay?”

“Kind of. I got very stubborn and refused to make payment once the ASB told me that they did not hold my original mortgage document. I told them I wouldn’t pay unless they could produce it… so they began foreclosure proceedings and I had to sell up in a hurry. My wife and I now live over an hour away from the city – and our family and friends. It’s been a very difficult time for us. She’s been diagnosed with PTSD but we’re slowly recovering. Having non-fluoride water helps. We are now in a remote location with no income, no internet and poor phone reception. Can’t pay power or phone or rates so it’s like sitting on a bomb.”

“That begs the question then – why are you still being watched?” Meagan couldn’t help herself from interjecting.

“I don’t know that I am but odd things happen that make me wonder. Cars parked for no reason within sight of the house. Doors open when we come home that were shut and locked when we left. “They” don’t like dogs and I think they try to get rid of them. I have three now – that should piss them off!” This thought obviously gave Terry some grim pleasure.

Redstar looked up suddenly with a strange expression on his face. “Why did you want to meet Terry? I mean – why Terry?!”

It was clearly time to come clean. Meagan found the email from Bill and, without a word, showed Terry the attachment. His face moved through confusion and understanding to…what? Satisfaction? Relief? “I fucken knew it!” He almost shouted. “Bastards! Look Redstar – how many names do you recognise? It looks like our Facebook friend list! I fucken knew it! I’m not surprised by this – it’s no secret how I feel about the Crown, the Government and its enforcers.”

With that outburst Terry picked up his glass and drained it. He looked ready for action. “You want to know what I really think. How I’m a real threat to society? Or Government more likely!” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Somewhere along the way I met up with a freeman and, like Occupy, it seems to fit me like it was made for me. I didn’t sign up to this system. I was registered with the New Zealand Government before I was old enough to object, before I understood the implications of belonging to a corporation registered as The New Zealand Government. ‘We’, the people, are not New Zealand – it only exists as a legal entity. Money is wrong. Jesus died because he was against the use of money and wage slavery. Government didn’t like it then and still don’t. We are born free and have the right to live free. That means without the need to generate money and not as a possession of the Government or anyone else!” Terry’s passion was almost scary and other patrons were beginning to glance in his direction.

“Two questions: are you Christian and how can we live without money. We need to work to earn money to live.” Meagan
was genuinely interested.

“That’s the big lie, right there! We are taught to believe we need money to live but we know it’s not true. We need air, water, food, shelter and companionship – not money, which is nothing. A bit of paper or a number on a screen. It’s not even money – it’s debt. We need to work to live but the money is there so that “they” – the 1% – don’t have to work. Here look at this.”

With that Terry drew a quick doodle on a napkin:

“You see it’s like a tree. The tree lives because it takes nutrient from the soil. We’re the worms making the food (money) for the tree to live. If we stop doing it the tree dies!”

“So how do we live?” Meagan asked the obvious question.

“We live as we should.” He said simply. “We are born with two jobs – feeding ourselves and caring for others. Give what you can and take what you need.”

“How about education, health, law and order. Who does that if the current system fails?”

“Lol! ‘If’! It does and has failed. We take care of it ourselves or we die. It’s time to man up for fuck’s sake. Stop relying on other people. We’re all grown up now. Legislation doesn’t stop bad things or bad people. It just keeps the slaves in line and creates a revenue stream. There’s a lot of money to be made from the ‘justice’ system.” Terry gave a wry smile that contained no humour. “I don’t have the answers but I refuse to support a system that has the world’s human population prostituting itself, working for money to pay tax for governments to buy guns to kill people to steal their resources and sell them to us. Every time I buy petrol I can feel the dead Palestinian babies under my wheels.”

“Well that’s an interesting way of looking at things. I’m not sure why that makes you a threat though. It sounds like you’d rather opt out and get on with your life. I don’t see how that would make you a threat that needs to be under GCSB’s eye.” The conversation was making Meagan feel uncomfortable.

Terry was quick to respond, “You only have to imagine what would happen to the system and the 1% who benefit from it, if more people thought like me.”

“Or if more people thought at all” grumbled Redstar.

“Yeah, well, most people are so indoctrinated in government schools, brainwashed by TV and fluoridated into compliance. Poor stupid sheeple can’t wake up. You won’t leave the prison if you won’t see the bars. They live in willful ignorance. It’s more comfortable that way.” Terry’s tone was almost forgiving.

The afternoon was cooling off. The “interview” had covered a lot of ground and Meagan wasn’t sure she was any closer to knowing why Terry was on the list but she wasn’t sure how to proceed either. The Town Hall clock struck four and Terry glanced up at it. “I’d better get going while I’ve still got some day left.”

Meagan and Redstar said their goodbyes and thanked Terry for meeting with them, promising to send a copy of the leaked email to Terry and telling him to watch out for the story in Thursday’s paper. They walked together for a while mulling over Terry’s story which was new to Meagan and familiar to Redstar, before going their separate ways.

There wasn’t much point in going back to the office. Meagan could research and write at home more easily and comfortably. She sent a text to Bill as she walked, letting him know that she was on target and would have a story on his desk tomorrow and walked the rest of the way home in heavy contemplation. Every now and then she glanced around half expecting to catch a glimpse of a furtive follower. The afternoon conversation had filled her with unease. She hardly noticed the walk until she found herself in front of her inner city flat. It was an old cottage at the back of the red light district and had a small patch of lawn and white, wooden filigree on the front porch. She glanced at the camera mounted above the streetlights as she walked through the front gate, onto the porch and into the house. As she shut the door behind her she felt a prickle of tension but everything was as she had left it and the feeling soon dissipated.

The night would be a long one – Meagan played the recording of the interview as she prepared a sandwich and poured a glass of win. She made notes on paper as she listened and mentally planned her story. After a quick shower and changing into her favourite sloppy pants and t-shirt Meagan set up her computer at the kitchen table and got down to work. The hours slipped by almost unnoticed sorting what was fact and what hearsay from Terry’s story, writing and re-writing, occasionally returning to the kitchen for coffee and smoking countless cigarettes while she worked. She didn’t notice how tired she had become until she had finally finished the article to her satisfaction and looked up at the dark and silent room. It was just after 4am and time to get some sleep. Pleased with her work and a little nervous at the prospect of submitting it to Bill she decided to call it a night and get some sleep before reading it one last time. Her last thoughts before drifting off were vague and disturbing and her dreams were haunted by kraken-like creatures, enfolding the house and reaching impossibly thin tentacles through the cracks and crevices of the old building, prying and searching and sneaking.

Despite her strange dreams Meagan woke up refreshed and excited about presenting her article. She re-read it, made some corrections here and there, saved the final draft and emailed it to Bill. As she was getting ready to return to the office her phone chirped that she had a text. “Awesome thanks Meagan. I’ve had a prelim read and you’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll tweak it a bit and we’ll publish tomorrow. Check out the Grey Lynn festival this afternoon and take some pics for Sunday’s edition. Good work.”

With a great sense of pride and satisfaction Meagan began to organise herself for today’s mission. Her day passed quickly. She had a blast at the festival, took photos, talked to people and soaked up the sights and sounds and smell. It was late when she returned home. She went to bed brimming with well-being from her first 2 days on the job and her last thought before sleep took her was of seeing her story in print the next morning.

She was awakened early by a dull thump; the sound of the Herald landing on the front veranda having been thrown expertly by the courier as he rode by.

Meagan leapt out of bed and was soon sitting at the table with coffee and a cigarette leafing through the pages of the morning paper for her story. She suppressed some disappointment when she discovered the article on page 17 and proceeded to read the finished product.

GCSB WATCHLIST

The GCSB has come under attack again following the release of another ‘leaked’ email which includes a list of around a thousand New Zealand residents under active investigation. The government agency has an obligation to investigate persons who may be involved with such illegal activities as industrial espionage, cyber-attacks and terrorism. In the current global financial climate these connections have potential to do severe damage to the New Zealand economy. The small number of persons under surveillance are known to have links with radical, international groups worldwide including places of high unrest such as Egypt, Palestine and Syria, regularly express anti-government sentiments and participate in activities detrimental to New Zealand’s interests. these individuals could potentially have severe repercussions on New Zealand’s trade, economic and public safety. One of the recently revealed targets, an unemployed, disenchanted Aucklander, was unsurprised to learn that he was on the list. He openly told our Herald reporter of his involvement with various anti-government groups and activities that would have brought him under suspicion and dismissed this information with a laugh. “I’m not surprised by this – it’s no secret how I feel about the Crown, the Government and its enforcers.”

Meagan finished reading and sat, stunned, while she processed what she had just read. Shame, disappointment and anger made a cocktail of emotions but her rational mind warned her that there was a lesson to be learned from this experience – it would take some time to process just exactly what that message was.

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

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

Boots Riley To Perform In Auckland Tomorrow

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

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

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

Boots Riley Event Poster

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

OCCUPY NZ MEDIA TEAM


Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

National Day Of Action Against Welfare Reform #O5

It was our pleasure to attend the Auckland event of the National Day of Action Against Welfare Reform in Henderson today.

Despite the unseasonable rain there was still a good cross-section of the public in attendance and it was great to see some fresh faces – both first-time protesters and first-time citizen journalists, gathered to witness the dissent against the impending cuts.

The cuts are of course an austerity measure, to squeeze the last dollars and cents out of the already-deprived underdogs of society; those with young dependent children, sick, disabled or elderly, who are most affected.

We captured some fantastic video of speakers which we will be editing and uploading A.S.A.P. In the meantime, we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Solidarity everyone!

George Wood: Keeping The Public Safe; For Two Hours Every Six Weeks

Imagine Auckland Council had a secretary of right-wing leanings and associations. Imagine the secretary was known to boast about their aptitude at Facebook and imagine that this spilled over into their work hours, where they periodically got their social media fix on their employer’s time, eventually graduating to trolling the Facebook page of representatives of a political movement, democratically protesting outside the doors of the Council office.

Imagine the secretary used their public profile to deride, demean and harrass the protesters; advocating the use of ‘Alsatians’ and ‘water cannons’ and then climactically gloating in real time during their violent eviction, executed by their employer, paying private security forces and involving the NZ Police.

How would the secretary’s managers respond to this employment matter? The secretary would get fired, right? Facebook on work time? The cardinal capitalist sin?

Now imagine – that it wasn’t a secretary at all. Imagine that it is George Wood, the sitting Chairman of the Community Safety Board. Openly, on public record. On public time. On public dollars.

Which led us to wonder; what exactly is the Community Safety Board? What is the culture of it, if influenced by an internet Facebook troll?

Patching together the tiny scraps of democracy left in the wake of the evictions, we took a look at the public minutes of the Board, and quickly established that it is the local government equivalent of puppetry theatre.

The Community Safety Board:

* Meets every 6 weeks.
* Meeting times range from roughly 1 to 2 hours. Start to finish.
* Has several Auckland Council members and other representatives.
* Latenesses & absences on the part of members are frequent and noted in the minutes.

According to the minutes, every meeting covers off:

* Declarations of Interest
* Confirmation of Previous Minutes
* Petitions
* Public Input
* Local Board Input
* Extraordinary Business
* Notices of Motion

However, nearly ALL of the minutes for every meeting since the establishment of the Board, look like this:

“2 Declaration of Interest: There were no declarations of interest.
3 Confirmation of Minutes Resolution number CS/2012/6 MOVED by Cr Wood, seconded Cr Quax: That the minutes of the Community Safety Forum held on Tuesday, 28 February 2012, be confirmed as a true and correct. CARRIED
4 Petitions: There were no petitions.
5 Public Input: There was no public input.
6 Local Board Input: There was no Local Board input.
7 Extraordinary Business: There was no extraordinary business.
8 Notices of Motion: There were no notices of motion.”

Is this why they only meet for 1-2 hours every six weeks? Is this what it means to be in public service? How much are they getting paid to attend these meetings? Plus benefits/expenses? Transport? Catering??

Fortunately one set of minutes has this helpful snippet for us:

“Declaration of interest:
Members were reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as an elected representative and any private or other external interest they might have. There were no declarations of interest.”

We take this to mean that were Occupy Auckland members to appear in the “Public Input” section of the Community Safety Board meeting that George Wood would have to step down as Chairman out of his private (public!) external interest in trolling Occupy Auckland Facebook pages?

If we were to show up there, apparently this next snippet dictates our rights as the public to contribute to one of these public meetings:

“Deputations/Public Forum
The Standing Orders provide for deputations. Those applying for deputations were
required to give five working days notice of subject matter and applications were approved
by the Chair. This means that details relating to deputations could be included in the
published agenda. Total speaking time per deputation was thirty minutes
The Standing Orders also provide for public forums. Advance notice was not required but
it was expected that those wishing to speak at the public forum would advise the
Committee Secretary prior to the meeting. A maximum of thirty minutes was allocated to
the public forum with five minutes speaking time for each speaker.”

Let’s just check that again. “Advance notice was not required but it was expected that those wishing to speak at the public forum would advise the Committee Secretary prior to the meeting.” Expected? So the law says, the public can attend a public meeting but your secretary, who may or may not be busy trolling a political organisation on Facebook ala your Chairman George Wood, expects advance notice of any future disruption to your completely vacuous meeting? Lest the spotless minutes feature something other than “There was no/there were no/there was no/there were no” from top to bottom?

Is this what they call red tape? Needless bureaucracy? Government for the sake of government? Middle management gone wild? And these are the guys currently privatising our country across the industrial board? Yes, they are..

I only have two words to say with how aghast we are with George Wood and the Community Safety Board, who fails to protect us as members of the public and does a completely insufficient and inept job of representing anyone at all other than themselves.

Here’s our two words.

MIC CHECK!

Disclaimer: Not all members of the Board are as inane as George Wood. Some, have gone on record as dissenting to much of the craziness rampant within the walls of Auckland Council.

That said, be it knowingly or unknowingly, George Wood’s “Community Safety Board” is cowering in the shadow of what a real democracy should provide to our public.

Full minutes for the Community Safety Board can be found here:

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/meetings_agendas/committees/Pages/communitysafetyforum.aspx

C/O OCCUPY AUCKLAND MEDIA TEAM

American Freedom Radio Host Vinnie Eastwood Interviews Member of Occupy Auckland Media Team

Vinnie Eastwood from GuerillaMedia interviews an Occupy Auckland media team member on American Freedom Radio.

Pretty comprehensive hour-long interview covering the 3-week media blackout of & then bias against Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement; the corruption/corporatisation of Auckland Council; the evictions of Occupy Auckland, the surveillance of Occupy members & surveillance methods in use worldwide by corporations against the public.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

2 Apr 2012 Vinny Eastwood Show

 

Occupy Auckland Eviction Arrestee’s Video Testimony #oanz #ows #oo

This is the first in a series of personal accounts taken from the Occupiers present at Aotea Square, detailing the story of the eviction of Occupy Auckland on the 26th of January from the experiences of one of the people arrested.