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Callout for funds for Beyond Resistance, organising after the devastating Christchurch earthquake

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Callout for funds for Beyond Resistance, organising after the devastating Christchurch earthquake


On February 22nd at just before 1pm, a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, and just 10km deep, hit Christchurch, the second biggest city in New Zealand. So far over 160 people have been officially declared dead and that toll is expected to rise to over 200. The earthquake came less than 6 months after a destructive 7.1 magnitude shock, which claimed no lives but saw thousands of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed.

 

In the wake of the February quake, a number of grassroots groups and networks have sprung up across the city to help people access the resources and support they needed to survive. Beyond Resistance, an anarchist group, was heavily involved in providing support in the working class suburbs of Avonside and Linwood, while other members also got involved in the relief effort in other parts of the city.

 

Beyond Resistance need your help! Money is needed to buy resources, to print leaflets and flyers and to organise meetings. Any donations will be greatly appreciated, and can be made to:

 

Bank name                   Westpac
Branch name                Queenstown
Account name              Unite Fund
Account number          03 0675 0423909 017
Westpac swift code     WPACNZ2W

 

For many residents in the hard hit working class Eastern suburbs of Christchurch, aid from the Government, City Council and large NGOs such as the Red Cross was sorely lacking. More than 2 weeks on from the quake, many still have no (or extremely limited) power supplies and no running water. State-provided portaloos and chemical toilets are still far from accessible for many residents.

 

In Linwood, Beyond Resistance members set up a community kitchen in the front yard of two members’ house within hours of the earthquake. From here they distributed meals, gas canisters, water, hand sanitiser, facemasks (huge amounts of pollution and dust were spread by high winds) and other much needed supplies. They engaged in door-knocking around Linwood and Avonside to assess people’s needs and organised bike deliveries of food, water and gas (many of the roads are still impassable by car). More details about the work they have been doing can be found on their website, http://beyondresistance.wordpress.com.

 

Over the coming days, weeks and months, Beyond Resistance members will continue to help provide resources to people who need them. Additionally, they are working to link up the various neighbourhood based support groups scattered across the city. They also plan to organise politically to try to ensure that the rebuilding of Christchurch is done in a way that meets the needs of residents, not business and the state. They will be active in organising against Government cuts to services around the country that use the earthquake as an excuse to further punish working class people (both employed and unemployed) for the benefit of the wealthy.

 

If you have any questions about this fundraising callout, please email the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement, one of the organisations helping to coordinate support for Beyond Resistance from Wellington - info [ at ] awsm.org.nz

Comments

Minutes from first local gathering:-

The Minutes From Friday 11th March Meeting:

15 people attended

Aims -

(i) To discuss how we can help the Eastern Communities.
(ii) How we can organise our own communities
(iii) What issues should we be looking out for since February's earthquake.

Initial Suggestions -

(i) We should reach out to the various grass root groups and organisations that have sprung up throughout the city and invite them to one large hui in the East. The East was once again the hardest hit and ultimately the last to receive help. As a result it is also home to some of the most active and exciting networks in the city. A hui could be used as a place for these isolated groups to share ideas, swap contacts and be the foundation for an alternative response network to any future crises (text/ landline trees, alternative emergency centres and local community hubs created, etc...)

E.g during the hui lessons such as the simple technique of setting up a tea/coffee stand outside your home after an earthquake can quickly create a hub and central focus point for a neighbourhood - proven to have a huge positive impact.

(ii) As the meeting went on it became clear that before a massive hui takes place we should perhaps concentrate our efforts on the local scale.

The idea was tabled that in our local area we deliver in the mailbox small leaflets inviting our neighbours to a "to be created" local facebook group - with the intention of running a follow up meeting in the neighbourhood to those interested. This could be the beginning of setting up local hubs (where resources such as food and water, information and support can be stored at a neighbours house or local church etc...) and where eventually local delegates can be elected.

(iii) Throughout the meeting numerous issues and concerns for the future were raised. The likelihood of further quakes on the scale we have witnessed is uncertain and we should prepare ourselves for the worst, however we can predict more likely events such as:

- A very long, slow and ultimately undemocratic rebuild of the city
- Heating issues, with chimneys down and electric heat pumps in demand the city is likely to freeze in a matter of months
- Rent and Landlord disputes
- Employment and Mass Redundancy issues
- Access to toilets
- Government policy and the likelyhood of rushed legislation in the name of the Christchurch situation

Near the end of the meeting it was agreed that we would use the existing "Action for Christchurch East" facebook group as a hub for further discussion to build on the momentum we all felt at the meeting, we swapped emails and have all been since contacted.

Speed will be needed if we are to make the most of this period of self organisation and the desire to get involved...

Ends.

Waking up now ...

Sounds good.  Bit down at mouth only 15 of you, though.  But that's better than 5.

Considering all the suffering Christchurchers seem a remarkably placid unruffled bunch.  Any talk about why so many died in Pyne Gould?  No finger-pointing, no accusations of criminal culpability?  The building standard was 3rd world, man.  Look at the pictures and understand, you're living in lala land if you think you are free, that corruption is not stinking up around your necks.

Do you think the government is going to bail you out?  No, you don't - I can see that much.  You know they take bribes.  So thank God for small miricles, 15 of you are awake.

 

 

The number shouldn't be a negative...

As a result of the meeting and the subsequent net postings and discussions in the communities some really interesting links have been made.

 

     Keep watching this space - we should see some leaps and bounds very soon

As

As promised....

 

....http://www.indymedia.org.nz/event/79483/rally-christchurch