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Occupy Movement Digs in Around Aotearoa


Update 01/11/2011: Photos below are from the pot-luck picnic at Occupy Christchurch on Sunday 30 Nov. See also More Photos from Occupations in Aotearoa

Labour Day is the next focus for at least two of the occupations around Aotearoa which joined the Occupy Together movement on the Global Day of Action, October 15. Occupy Wellington are planning a day of activities, as are Occupy Christchurch.

Occupations are currently underway in at least 6 centres; Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Harsh weather and internet trolling have failed to keep the occupations from being supported, and many of them are actively growing and developing every day. Response from corporate media has been mixed, mostly following the same pattern as Occupy Wall St, which was initially presented as an incoherent, disorganised rabble - amusing but impotent. But after more than a month, and with occupations spreading across the USA and the world, the concerns of the 99% are starting to break the corporate media blockade.

Online there seem to be two main responses; the predictable "why don't they get a job" and "how dare they use public space in unusual ways" comments, and others expressing support, and encouragement. Photos, videos, and blog posts about the occupations abound, many of which can be found by scraping the FaceBook pages for the various Occupy groups.

I have been spending most of my time at Occupy Wellington base camp, which began on the green space on the City to Sea Bridge, above Civic Square, and has spread down into Jack Ilott Green. Scoop put together some excellent coverage of our first day here. The reaction down here has been mostly supportive, bemused, or interested, although there have also been a handful of challenges from people who don't like the look of us.

Being able to leave the camp and stay with friend on the edge of the city reminds me of how privileged I am, compared to the communities living in shanty towns and squatter camps who live in worse conditions than we are camping in all year round. But our relative privilege pales in comparison to the global elites. Warren Buffet, who is one of hundreds of millionaires who has been asking their governments to tax them at a higher rate than their employees, has an annual salary of US$100,000, more than 10 times the unemployment benefit I live on, and probably 10 times the annual wages of the lowest paid employees in the company which pays his salary.

Today I read a National Geographic article about the rapid deforestation of the Amazon Basin, particularly in Brazil. Much of the forest destruction is the result of transnational agribusiness, which sucks huge profits from massive monoculture production of beef, soy, and other commodities produced on former rainforest land. But significant degradation is also the result of squatters who move into the forest using abandoned logging roads, desperate to eke out a living from land they can't afford to buy.

Permaculture development strategies based on helping poor communities develop environmentally regenerative economies has shown that improving the lives of such people is key to preventing the destruction of wilderness areas - social justice and environmental health issues go hand in hand. But the 1% do not profit from peasant farmers and indigenous peoples, living sustainable, polycultural lifestyles that work with the forest, rather than destroying it. Guns, machines, drugs, and money flow into Brazil, to keep the cash crops flowing out. Activists promoting sustainable development are murdered. Social and environmental goals cannot be achieved only by piecemeal efforts on the ground - the global economic system also needs to be rebuilt to serve priorities other than short-term profits for the 1%. That's why we are occupying. Join us!



Are you prepared for the cops is the question. So often there is no plan. The cops can be dumb but they can also be well organised..and are allowed to use excessive force..are the you ready ?

Pictures from Occupy the Octagon in Otepoti

It's great to see the effect

It's great to see the effect this is having on right-wing twats like Cactus Kate.  She's having kittens. The sheer hatred and disdain spewing out of her is fascinating.

Have alook at this:

What's this all about: "I for one am stuffed if I'm going to sit by and put up with random snotty kids and mindless beneficiaries protesting that they've been hard done by in New Zealand of all countries. As they lounge around with consumables, interest free student loans which most of us Generation X New Zealanders never received, world class education and demands that they want more because "well, you know we are the future of New Zealand and we cant even afford a deposit on a house even though we go to Aussie each year and drink all weekend...."

"Bring on the water cannons and heavy Spring rains and cooler temperature dips in Auckland."

[Don't you just love "the poor wouldn't be poor if they didn't blow all their money on Aussie holidays and booze" line?  Spare me the bullshit, please CK.]

Importantly, though, why should she be so effected by this?  There should be no direct connection between the Occupy movement and her cosy wee "look after number one and everyone else can go to hell" lifestyle.  If she's so secure in her beliefs about the world, society, the economy, why is she so angry?  "I for one am stuffed if I'm going to sit by and put up with random snotty kids and mindless beneficiaries".  Crikey, something's hit a raw nerve.  If people like her are getting flustered something's working. It's taken a few decades of right-wing economists all over the world renouncing finance-based investment capitalism as fundamentally flawed, so maybe the tide is turning - maybe the truth is finally beginning to go mainstream?  If Cactus Kate's been riled like this over "a few dirty hippies" laying about on park benches you know something's going on.  Great stuff, everyone, keep it up.


And more bile from our

And more bile from our hateful young Catherine:

She told everyone she was standing for ACT then said she changed her mind at the last minute, although that doesn't add up.  Truth is Brash didn't want her.  Can you imagine her in Parliament?  A shame really, would've been absolute gold to watch.


The wealth-creation fallacy

Wow, we're really getting the loyal defenders of the 1% rattled. Excellent. We seem to be making the transition from "then they laugh at you" to "then they fight you", which is going to make the occupations more work to maintain, but if we play our hand well, I'm confident we'll make it to "then you win".

Maybe time to define and articulate what "winning" would be for Occupy Aotearoa? Maybe something like what happened in Iceland, where they kicked out the bankers instead of bailing them out, and crowdsourced a new constitution?

Kate, like a lot of ACTivist types bases most of her arguments on the wealth-creation fallacy. Corporations don't make anything. Workers make things. Corporations sponge off that, and pay their upper management and shareholders ("the 1%" - obviously a guesstimate figure) many times more what they pay those workers. That's the real corporate welfare - from workers (the 99%) to "owners" and "financiers", and it is fundamental to the system.

Nobody "earns" wealth by buying and selling currency, any more than they "earn" wealth by betting on horses. Yet such people, like Key for example, control most of the world's wealth - $1, one vote. Political democracy is token without economic democracy.

Yes, and what people like CK

Yes, and what people like CK do is attempt to deflect the real arguments by creating decoy discussions about the detailed make up of the "1%", when the fact of the matter is that it doesn't make any difference - the proof is in the widespread poverty throughout the world, the pockets of vast unearned wealth accumulating in the hands of a relatively few and decreasing number of individuals and how they've accumulated it.  CK and those of her ilk would have us believe the maths behind the 1% is somehow skewed or shonky which means, ipso-facto, the Occupy movement should just shut-up and go home. Notice in both of these blogs how CK, when this has been put to her, has not once addressed the point and just goes off on some champagne induced meaningless tirade.  This bullshit tactic of hers was exposed beautifully by Martyn Bradbury a couple of months ago.  What I particularly enjoy, though, is reading what her sycophantic numbskull mates say when they try to get in on the action, cheering her on with dumb arse statements like: "good point, CK, that's certainly one of your better analyses", and "CK, you've really nailed that one, you acerbic thing, you". It's fucking priceless stuff.

And here's even more from the

And here's even more from the devil incarnate:

Keep going you guys - the more riled the parasitic elite get the more you know you're doing a good job.


You fail to understand that I

You fail to understand that I did that for sport and target practice for half an hour on my holiday.   You are all busting your chops for months on this stuff. I can go back to work and earn more in an hour than you do in a day, even if you have a job.

The reason for this is motivation.

I've got far more of it and had far more of it in my lifetime than you ever will have.


You're so up yourself it's

You're so up yourself it's funny and together with your sense of self-importance there's the making of really great character for a tv comedy.  Bomber's observations on your modus operandi are the most accurate I've read so far. Keep on a bloggin', CK, can never get too much material.

Looks like you've already

Looks like you've already lost your "motivation".  Haven't seen any further bile explosions coming from your direction (not over this, that is).  I'm dissappointed, was really getting to enjoy it. 

No demand is big enough

An excellent summary of what is driving many of those who are participating in the Occupy Together movement: