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AAAP: grass roots action. Well done!

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 pm, January 24th, 2014 - 12 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, class war, democratic participation, political education, poverty, unemployment, wages, welfare - Tags:

The Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) is inspiring, as well as doing important work at the grass roots: direct action, advocacy programmes for beneficiaries, education workshops on benefits, capitalism and more, networking with unions, and low waged workers, pickets, street demonstrations, providing information to the media…. a long list of achievements.

On their website, they have video that provides a record of their work and achievements.  Narrated by Sue Bradford, it’s must see viewing for anyone interested in actions against poverty, grassroots campaigning, and direct action.

AAAP: From inception to action: it has been on youtube since November last year:



12 comments on “AAAP: grass roots action. Well done!”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Peaceful and direct civil resistance backed by logistics, artists, culture and creativity. It doesn’t get better than this.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1

      So will you be revising your view expressed on the thread about Pablo’s [defeatist and incorrect] article then?

      “In my mind his analysis about the Left as a spent political force remains spot on.”

      • Xtasy 1.1.1

        blue leopard, in all honesty, I think that CV is rather correct. I have been participating in some of the actions that various activists have taken over the last two years, and AAAP is possible the “creme de la creme” when it comes to beneficiary advocacy and activism. There are a few other groups, and they may also be very dedicated, but really, there is so much resignation and apathy out there, it is damned scary and shocking!

        Some activities by some groups did only get a few dozen people, and that was considered a “success”. It seems that the affected are totally hopeless and do not even try to see the “light” of “hope” there could be and is.

        It is a very grim reality out there, and I am sure, that some contemplate to rather opt out of life, if drugs and else offer no “solution” to deal with the crap they have to deal with. The rest of society largely does not give a damn, ans they are all to o damned busy to survive and cope, or if they are better off, to “live out their aspirations” and “dreams” (e.g. do well “middle classers”).

        AAAP and other groups need support, but they do not get enough, they need more, and I am appealing to people here, take action, do not just sit in front of your computer and consult with your keyboards! Some do, many do not, for whatever reasons. Thanks!

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          My point is, Xtasy, there are people actively working for left issues. You are simply not going to get people fired up by sending out the message that the movement is dead. Sure there are challenges, but please realise that sending out a dispiriting message is not going to get you seeing what you want to see: more active participation.

          New Zealanders are known to be slow to speak up, it is very unclever to go around saying there is nothing going on – when there is and when, as you so astutely point out, those many movements want people to join.

          • Xtasy

            bl – sorry, but I was trying to “appeal” for people to “wake up” a little and question, and listen, and read, and then perhaps take action and make contact with such groups like AAAP.

            It may sound negative, but hey, some people need to be challenged. The “easy goes” is not going to get us anywhere, nor the so sorry and understanding, how hard it is. Of course some cannot come and jump out of their wheelchairs and do magic, I do not expect that.

            But the complacency is fed by bullshit media and brainwashing, and the resignation will not come by what I mention, it comes with being inundated by MSM news implying or telling people, there is “nothing” happening. It is not me that people read up on here, the ones here, like you are alert and informed, it is the masses out there, who do not read TS, and TDB and so, who rely on the daily diet of brainwashing stuff from the MSM, that is the problem.

            How can you reach out, when the majority of media, even social media, do not even report on what goes on?

            So it is not me being negative, I am just saying how it is, and those that read it here, will mostly agree, that it is an uphill battle, but why?! What about a lazy or dishonest Labour Party, we expected more from them, where are they on this, like Stuart Nash having another crack on TDB, but NOT fronting up on criticism?


            Who has confidence, as a beneficiary, or sympathetic person, when they read this ambiguous, slogan crap?

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              Yes, sorry Xtasy, I find you a very passionate and inspiring writer and my criticism is with Pablo’s message not yours – although you agreed with that message so I was trying to put you right! ( 🙂 ) It is one thing to say we have work to do – it is another to entirely trash the work that is being done by saying it doesn’t exist or isn’t ‘viable’.

              I didn’t acknowledge your attempt at motivating people, my apologies for that – but I did attempt to repeat it!

              I have been made aware of and notice the tendency of New Zealanders to not want to speak out – when going to politicised meetings it is quite noticeable that it is the British, the Americans and people originating from other nationalities who are getting up and speaking – New Zealanders may be in the crowd – yet only a very few will get up and speak! Maori are much better at speaking out. I suspect it is a cultural thing amongst white NZers and that means it will take quite a bit of work to really understand what is going on there to work out how to get people active!

              Another thing – it does need to be acknowledged that group work often is …’challenging’. People dynamics are tough – and that needn’t be seen as just something that occurs for left wing groups. There often is conflict in groups and perhaps the resignations could perhaps be seen in that light – rather than something specific to left-wing movements.

              I have worked in groups that function reasonably well and that has always involved a knowledge of group dynamics (things like ‘storming’, ‘norming’) Also setting up a set of guidelines for the working dynamics – such as mutual respect and guidelines to achieve that – this works well when all members have been part of this process of rule-making. Then having clear aims for the group that can be returned to when there is conflict – so that the group can refocus positively. (Political groups will always have the aims, but may not have the guidelines for behaviour) No group I have worked in without this acknowledgement of people dynamics and these processes in place have worked very well at all! And the ones that have – still have issues – it is simply easier to get back on track.

              Getting even more off-topic than I have already but…. yes, I decided to ignore Nash’s latest blog – have been returning to press the like buttons of comments I like! -I think I can see what he is trying to say but he appears to lack skilfulness in conveying things in a way that doesn’t come across as rather condescending. I thought he made a good point re the non voters not being the only focus needed but done so in a clumsy way. (And the title was completely off-putting for a start!) Perhaps he needs to get a bit more receptive and engage with what people are saying across the blogs and slow down on trying to tell us ‘where it is at’?

              • Xtasy

                bl I take all you say on board, and yes, you are right, it is hard work. As for that TDB post by Nash:

                Nash could perhaps do with a good quality dose of “hash”, whatever you read into that, I suppose?! Maybe return to basics, nature and what matters. I think, he is trying, but like many in Labour he is locked into the environment around him and having to try and “appeal”. He need some refreshing time out, to attune to the spirit that matters, and also the basics. At least he could make an effort and give an honest answer, even if he disagrees. I rather have a Labour MP or potential candidate tell me the “tough medicine” than trying to please everyone and with that say stuff all.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  +1 Thanks for the chat Xtasy

                  I agree, I think Nash really does have a desire to be a good representative and is trying to be that – trouble is at times he is proving to be very ‘trying’ in the process 😀

  2. Saarbo 2

    Great work…true hero’s

  3. xtasy 3

    Sarah Thompson is going on leave for a year, I heard, and they have been looking for a new co-ordinator to fill the gap. I hope they get someone who can live up to the role, as she has done. AAAP have been doing a great job, sadly a fair few other advocacy groups have been a bit more silent, and I suspect it is because some also get funding from MSD, and do not want to bite the hand that feeds them.

    MSD under Bennett are not a generous financiers, and they now expect that every service tows the line and does not dare criticising the too much.


    Yes, under Labour they seemed to be more generous and liberal, I believe.

    And AAAP are more independent, as I understand it, and they clearly speak out what mean spirited crap is coming from WINZ and the government presently administering it.

  4. weka 4

    Thanks karol. Both sobering and inspiring.

    The workshop series on economics sounded very interesting!

    Bradford speaking plainly about Labour too, heh.

  5. Xtasy 5

    Is there perhaps not a “slight” resemblance between AAAP’s coordinator par excellence, Sarah Thompson, and historic revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, I dare to ask?


    Maybe a bit daring a comparison, but the spirit may be similar. It takes people of a certain mindset and with commitment, to stand their ground, Sarah has so far done an excellent job representing AAAP and the ones they make their efforts for!

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