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The thieves must be stopped


In the last few hours as National pushed its asset sales through parliament activists mounted a picket of Mighty River Power in Auckland, the first electricity company due to be privatised.

On Saturday 14 July we need to get out in the streets across Aotearoa and march against the theft of our assets. This is the winter of dissent. HamiltonPalmerston North, Christchurch and Auckland are organising. Join them.

The lie being repeated in the newspapers and the television from the Prime Minister is that these asset sales are about reducing government debt. This debt lie is at the heart of the austerity programme being bulldozed ahead by National. Beat the lie, defeat the government. The privatisations are rich people stealing the assets and natural resources of the people of Aotearoa.

The majority of New Zealanders are opposed to asset sales. But we can't leave it to petitions and the 2014 election to win this.

It's when thousands of people are marching together in the streets against the government's lies and telling the truth - the government and the rich are thieves - they get the confidence to take the next steps.

The union movement needs to rally its membership on the streets again. Mana, Greens and Labour need to be pushed to re-nationalise stolen assets without compensation next time they are in Government. The ANFS movement needs to consider mass direct action to disrupt the sales.


Welcome to the banana republic

"This aggression will not stand" - The Big Lebowski

The NZ corporate-state put the assets in our public commons into receivership in the 80s, and successive governments (Labour and National)  have been selling off chunks of the commons as "state assets", or worse, investing public money in infrastructure while letting corporate managements suck off massive financial and strategic benefits for them and their private sector mates - nationalising the costs and privatising the profits. Maybe it's time for a democratic revolution in Aotearoa, to take our country back from the receivers and their lackeys?

Iceland is another small island country off the coast of a huge continent. When Iceland went through its banking crisis, it didn't sell of chunks of its natural resources to pay its bills. It fired the bankers and crowdsourced a new constitution that enshrined the rights of its residents, and their collective ownership of the natural resources of their islands and surrounding seas. Here's a mainstream report:

...and a revolutionary perspective:

Occupy Aotearoa was just a mic check. A test of what's possible when groups of people point out the emperor wears no clothes, and refuse to back down. It's time for a massively diverse campaign against these partial privatisations. Some ideas:

* wordpower: stop playing into the government's hands by accepting the language of "state assets". Just as the public squares we occupied are not property of the corporate-councils, these public institutions are not the property of the corporate-state. In both cases those corporate structures merely hold them in trust on behalf of the public. Also they are not even "public assets", they are public organisations, or public institutions, which manage public assets (like dams or wind turbines).

Finally, better to talk about "the government" rather than "National". As far as I know Labour support signing the TPPA, and if they were in power they would be finding a way to justify "strategic asset co-ownership" too. Opposing it now is a cynical ploy to get themselves back in power.

* mass occupations: occupy public land surrounding assets that are part of the public organisations the government are proposing to sell.

* refusal to serve: workers and companies that oppose privatisation could refuse to do business with any member of parliament that voted for the MOM Bill, and with any party that represent. What would happen if government MPs can't get a meal or even get served in the supermarket until they back down and agree not to sell chunks of public organisations?

* mass resignations: anyone who is a member of the National party (eg for reasons of local politics) publicly resign, giving the privatisations as the reason, and either join another party, or network together to start a new one.

Let's take back the commons!

Occupy the National Conference

How about a mass citizens arrest of these people who are fencing stolen goods?

A good idea!

A good idea!