Occupy Aotearoa

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, October 17th, 2011 - 137 comments
Categories: accountability, history, International - Tags: ,

The Occupation has reached Aotearoa New Zealand.

On Saturday events were held in six of our cities.  Accounts of numbers vary, but 3News puts the Auckland march down Queen St at around 3000, with about 100 camping out over night in Aotea Square.  RNZ gives lower numbers for Auckland, and estimates about 200 in Wellington at the Civic Square (intending to occupy for a week), and about 30 people in Hagley Park in Christchurch).

Here’s the website for Occupy Auckland, links to the groups in other centers are collected here. Occupy Aotearoa is on Twitter and Facebook, there are videos of Saturday’s events on YoutTube. The Herald sums up:

Anti-corporate protesters raise voices

Thousands of well-behaved protesters occupied city centres around New Zealand yesterday, claiming our country is controlled by corporate greed.  The protest was part of a global movement following Occupy Wall St in the United States, where thousands gathered to oppose economic inequality.

Protests were held in six cities yesterday – Auckland, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill – with the main message being that 99 per cent of communities were controlled by a greedy 1 per cent of people.

Other issues raised included New Zealand’s high unemployment rate, minimum wages, child poverty and the treatment of victims of abuse.

From 3News:

“This is about people being sick and tired of 99 percent of the people who create the wealth, not getting it and it all that wealth going to the one percent.”

It was also about the Rena – there was anger and frustration.  “It makes me very angry. And if we hadn’t allowed ships of convenience to come into New Zealand we wouldn’t be where we are with the Rena in Tauranga,” said one demonstrator. “The government action hasn’t been good enough in that respect,” said another.

Occupy Wall Street started in New York and now nearly 1000 cities in 82 countries are involved including Christchurch, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin – dubbed Occupy Aotearoa, or Occupy Queen Street in Auckland.

The protesters are preparing to set up camp in Aotea Square for the next six weeks.

These New Zealand events are part of a worldwide phenomenon:

‘Occupy’ anti-capitalism protests spread around the world

Thousands march in Rome, Sydney and Madrid as Occupy Wall Street protests go global

Protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and the “Indignants” in Spain have spread to cities around the world.

Tens of thousands went on the march in New York, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Rome, Sydney and Hong Kong as organisers aimed to “initiate global change” against capitalism and austerity measures.

There were extraordinary scenes in New York where at least 10,000 protesters took their message from the outpost of Zuccotti Park into the heart of the city, thronging into Times Square.

This has gone well beyond Liberty Plaza. This has gone well beyond America. We may be witnessing the birth of a social revolution. Anyone who thinks that they know where all this will end is fooling themselves.

137 comments on “Occupy Aotearoa ”

  1. freedom 2

    Regardless of how it progresses it is vital that all those involved with wanting to change the status quo rememeber that this is a NON VIOLENT protest action.

    The media is already doing its best to fan the flames by continuously showing the actions of a few provocateurs who are not even connected to the movement and are simply jumping on the coat tails of We Are the 99 % , as they do for every major protest from No-Nukes to the G20/ G8 Summits.

    As Anthony states so clearly above, nobody can declare they know the endgame. At this juncture this idea must be allowed to freely reach out to everyday people. The simple call for discussion on our current economic theatre must be supported by the will to embrace people’s and hearts minds by calmly and methodically stating issues without resorting to reactionary behaviour. We can all help the message move around the world without the spectre of physical oppression or destruction of private property.

    The goal is about equality, that will not happen if violence is perceived as a tool of the occupiers.

    • William Joyce 3.1

      Fascinating read and good to have it all spelled out. Could the spelling/grammer be tidied up? I wouldn’t want to piss off the pedantic “non-believers” I would share it with.
      That said, it goes a long way to call Key on his squeeky clean image and something more people need to be exposed to!

      • travellerev 3.1.1

        Yes, I should have it checked by a native kiwi editor. English is my second language and I wrote them in rather a hurry before the last elections.

        My first language is Dutch!

        • William Joyce

          travellerev, if you send editable copies to The Standard and ask them to forward them to me I can smooth them out for you.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        “The Secret of Oz” is also an excellent primer on the global banking system and its relationship to the printing of money out of thin air by the private banks.

  2. I’m sympathetic to some of their ideals but I’d like to see some pratical suggestions as to what should be done.

    It’s not feasible or sane to just ban capitalism. Is anticapitalist just another word for communist? They seem to have an impossible nonsensical aim.

    Ok, it’s fine to grizzle about the world monetary and business system but to improve it there has to be doable alternatives.

    • Blighty 4.1

      “I’d like to see some pratical suggestions as to what should be done.”
      there are whole ideologies, whole libraries of books offering practical alternatives from the reformist solutions of the Labour Party to anarcho-syndicalism and a huge variety of other paradigms.

      “It’s not feasible or sane to just ban capitalism.”
      It’s not about ‘banning’ capitalism. Capitalism isn’t something that naturally happens all by itself. It is a political-social-economic system that we have created through our legal framework. Change the framework and you have a different political-social-economic system

      “Is anticapitalist just another word for communist?”
      No. You really need to get an education.

    • Graham 4.2

      Check this out
      “We are not Communists, if Communism means the system which collapsed in 1990. Remember that today those Communists are the most efficient, ruthless capitalists. In China today we have a capitalism which is even more dynamic than your American capitalism but doesn’t need democracy, which means, when you criticism capitalism, don’t allow yourselves to be blackmailed that you are ‘against democracy.’ The marriage between democracy and capitalism is over. A change is possible.”- Zizek

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Democracy is all about the community making decisions rather than leaving it to the dictators. Capitalism is all about the dictators making the decisions.

        The marriage between capitalism and democracy was only that of convenience as it allowed the capitalists to take control during the English Civil Wars. If the capitalists hadn’t promised democracy then the armed peasants presently revolting against the king would have done the same to the capitalists. Now that democracy is starting to win out against the dictators the marriage has pretty much come to its end hence why the capitalists, in the form of their representatives the National and Act parties, are forcing a referendum on the electoral system. They want to cut democracy down and take us back to a dictatorship.

        The main point here is that democracy was never a natural part of capitalism. Capitalism is just another form of the feudal system that we spent centuries getting rid of.

        • Ari

          I still contend that we don’t even have capitalism. In capitalism you have capital owners that do what’s best for themselves and their business in the long term. What we have is a bastardized form of corporatism where the quarterly earnings and CEO profits are the most important indicators a company can have, where bigger is always better, and we’ve lost sight of community and worker rights.

          Capitalists don’t really care about either of those last two for their own sakes, but if the owners of capital really care about their own long-term health, they need to make concessions to community and to workers. And that’s the bare minimum we need to do to reform the system. There are so many more things we could do while still retaining the idea of capital ownership- for instance, we could have labour sit on the boards of corporations, giving workers a voice along with capital owners.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s a hierarchical system that removes power from the many and gives it to the few. It’s had a few different names and a few different quirks but it’s essentially the same system that we’ve had since we started agriculture. And always it’s started off well and then declined as the people at the top forget that it’s the people at the bottom who do the work and start exploiting them by taking more and more of the economy to themselves so as to increase their own wealth and prestige at the expense of everybody else.

    • AAMC 4.3

      “Ok, it’s fine to grizzle about the world monetary and business system but to improve it there has to be doable alternatives.”

      Which is generally created through discussion and participatory democracy, not something evident in our political system.

      This – at least internationally – is the beginning of a process to discuss firstly the problems in the system and to force a discussion about how to change them

      Politicians and media seem to want a single ready made band aid demand, which is why we’re all so cynical about all of you Pete

    • Bored 4.4

      Pete, you really do live and think in the manner you have been taught to. When saying anticapitalist equates to communist you portray the programming of the vast majority of the population: that is an incapacity to conceive anything other than a bipolar world…..black / white…no shades of gray. No alternatives.

      It is lazy thinking, but you are far from alone. There are very doable alternatives that do not involve corporate kleptocracy or corporatist dictatorship from the extreme left or the extreme right.

      So some doable (democratic) things:
      * we might just insist on the rule of law against the corporate criminals.
      * we might just insist on the break up of monopolies and oligarchies that control the media and banking.
      * we might just insist on the divorce of political parties from moneyed interest groups.
      * we might just insist that the state is the only entity entitled to create fiat currency, not the banks.
      * we might just let the holders of debt go to the wall without them being bailed out by the tax payer. * we might just insist that the corporates and the wealthy pay their tax, and at a high rate.

      Thats just for starters. I am sure you can “think” if you liberate yourself from the shackles of conventional wisdom.

      • AAMC 4.4.1

        I’ve been thinking about this “bipolar” world a lot recently. We really are trapped in a cold war mentality, both ideas failed, let’s be grateful we are hopefully beginning to see a discussion which allows us to start talking beyond the reds under our beds.

    • William Joyce 4.5

      The majority of the people in OWS are NOT anit-capitalists – despite lazy journalists and you labeling them so. If you had been paying attention you would have seen teachers, construction workers, students, nurses, retired people, Iraq veterans, parents, grandparents, etc who say that the system & it’s values are wrong and has bred inequality, injustice, corruption, seduced politicians, circumvented democracy, plundered the planet and that there needs to be change.
      For now, their aims are not crystalised but in the first instance it is an expression how the 99% are feeling, letting other like-minded people know they are not alone, and making the presence of the 99% known in way that forces the corporate media to at least give a cursory glance at.
      Being able to stump up with a manifesto from day one says nothing about your value as movement/party eg. United Future has a manifesto and yet it is an irrelevance as either a movement or a party.

      Ok, it’s fine to grizzle about the world monetary and business system but to improve it there has to be doable alternatives.

      In the first instance we should look at all those reforms that FDR instituted following the Great Depression and that the right, who have a pathological hatred of FDR, has spent the last 70 odd years undoing.

    • Colonial Viper 4.6

      Ok, it’s fine to grizzle about the world monetary and business system but to improve it there has to be doable alternatives.

      Frak you mate, maybe you can “grizzle” about your neighbours having their stereo too loud, o some other trivial shit.

      This is about a financial kleptocracy which has destroyed the working lives and futures of tens of millions in the western world.

    • mik e 4.7

      PG your fraudian slip prat talk is Just more boring agree with everybody do nothing Garbage

  3. PeteG
    Most are not talking about “banning capitalism”, just a heavy reorganisation.
    How about these as “doable alternatives”?
    1.  Reverse National’s tax cuts for the wealthy.
    2.  Implement a Capitals Gains Tax.
    3.  Implement a Tobin tax.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      “Implement a Capitals Gains Tax”

      Won’t anyone think of the fonts ?

      • felix 5.1.1

        A punctuation tax could balance the budget in a couple of weeks.

        • Colonial Viper

          Most are not talking about “banning capitalism”, just a heavy reorganisation.

          How about these as “doable alternatives”?

          Add to the list:

          The setting up and protection of democratic business enterprises across the economy.

          Provide capital at 1% pa interest (through a Kiwibank reoriented to be a public utility) to worker owned collectives/co-ops.

          This will enable ordinary workers to start up their own enterprises, or buy out their employer’s business, thereby forming democratic business units across the economy competing head on with private capitalist corporate entities.

          New Zealanders will have a choice of buying their goods and services from democratically and locally owned businesses, or from capitalist foreign owned corporates.

          Workers will have a choice of working for a foreign owned corporate, or becoming a worker-owner in a locally owned and run enterprise.

          Let’s see how much real competition these free market pricks can actually cope with.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Provide capital at 1% pa interest (through a Kiwibank reoriented to be a public utility) to worker owned collectives/co-ops.

            If the government prints the money at 0% interest, which is what it should do, then it doesn’t need to charge interest on it and so it shouldn’t (charging interest is bad). The loan would be repaid in the normal fashion but it doesn’t matter if the business fails and the money is not repaid at all as the money will be returned through taxes anyway. The business repaying the loan just shows that it’s paying its way without extraneous support.

            The “private capitalist corporate entities” should be banned as a matter of course and businesses moved to being worker controlled cooperatives.

            Let’s see how much real competition these free market pricks can actually cope with.

            Capitalism can’t cope with it at all as a free-market has no profit and thus all usury is removed.

    • Maybe I misunderstood this: “organisers aimed to “initiate global change” against capitalism”

      • mickysavage 5.2.1

        The movement acknowledges there are a number of different views of what should be done.  There is no single policy manifesto.  I support them because there needs to be a significant redistribution of resources.  Others support them because they want the capitalist system destroyed.
        Rather than talk about what the movement may or may not want to do what about discussing the “doable alternatives”.
        So do you think there is a problem?  If so what would you do if UF and you find yourselves in Parliament after the election?

      • AAMC 5.2.2

        Laurie Penny speaks here about the success being that the movement has started the debate – you’re talking about the system and it’s faults, before you weren’t.


        • AAMC

          Further to above..

          “This is a global protest, and it seeks to address a global problem: the monopolisation of wealth by the elite and the failure of free-market capitalism to create a liveable future for humanity.”

          • Pete George

            I realise this is just beginning and it has along way to go (probably) but it’s not just how it’s being framed by journalists.

            “it is an expression how the 99% are feeling” is misleading to, because “the 99%” will feel many different things.

            Eg: “I support them because there needs to be a significant redistribution of resources. Others support them because they want the capitalist system destroyed.”

            I (as one of the 99%) feel that’s too much ideology and no practical ideas.

            I’m all for exploring ways of making fundamental changes (that’s why I’m putting myelf forword in politics) but I’m concerned about it being taken over by special interest groups, especially political ones.

            Some of the democracy ideas are very similar to my own and I want to experiment with them at an electorate level to find out what might work better.

            • AAMC

              OccupyLxs statement, sounds like you might have to join Pete, cause it’s talking about news ideas they want too. P.s. I agree, less special interest, but that seems a characteristic of the local branch, not the global one. Perhaps you should follow the coverage more carefully and outside the vested interests of the MSM.

            • mickysavage

              OK Petey so
              1.  Is inequality of distribution of resources a problem or not?
              2.  If so what would you do about it?  What “practical ideas” do you have about addressing the problem?

              • 1. Yes it is a problem.
                2. There is no simple answer. I’d work with as wide a rnage of people as possible to look at ways of improving what system we have, that’s less risky than making major changes that would create different problems. We need to explore ways of solving the major problems with it.

                I think we need some level of capitalism (alongside social policies) – we need a new mixed model , in some ways radically different, in some ways similar to what we have.

                • AAMC

                  You’re sounding like a #occupier

                • Pete with the greatest of respect your response to 2 is vague in the extreme.
                  So would you agree to a change in the tax brackets so those in the top bracket paid more?

                  • There’s far more important things to consider than yet another minor bracket tweak (which would bring back the disparity problem between company/trust rates and salary earners).

                    • Pete well name these important things.  Be brave.  Show that you are part of this “new movement” that will eschew “politics as usual” and move away from the mind numblingly grinding refusal to commit until you can see which way the wind is blowing type of politics that happens far too often.
                      Tell us what you would do.
                      BTW if the same “tweak” was applied to companies and trusts and wage earners the disparity problem would not occur.

                    • Micky, you really don’t understand discussing things and working out common ground using democratic methods?

                      It doesn’t sound like the Occupiers are your sort of people. I don’t think their plan is to be puppet adherents of your choice of political party like you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yes MS, you obviously don’t know how discussions work. Obviously, asking people to explain themselves is against the rules.

                    • Micky, there’s a lot more potential in this than promoting your current favourite Labour election policy. As I understand it, if it’s to become a serious movement it can’t just be a vehicle for pet policies, it’s much wider than that.

                      So no, it’s pointless me naming a few things I want to change. It’s not about me.

                      The biggest problem in New Zealand is that the biggest problems are entrenched overseas and way beyound much of our influence – eg “Wall Street”. What I think we need to do here is work out what is feasible and worth focussing on and trying to change here.

                    • Micky, you really don’t understand discussing things and working out common ground using democratic methods
                      Obviously not.  I thought that if elected you would put up ideas about how to resolve the problem not parrot a lot of pleasant sounding phrases that are designed not to upset anyone.  I want to know what you would do to lead.  Sitting around and hoping that a solution appears by magic is not leadership.
                      It doesn’t sound like the Occupiers are your sort of people. I don’t think their plan is to be puppet adherents of your choice of political party like you.
                      I am sure they are mostly Green and Mana voters and doubt there are any Labour votes there apart from the odd constituency vote.  But I am not doing this for party reasons. 
                      I respect them for making a stand and saying precisely what they think is wrong and what they will do to address the problem.
                      You should try doing this some time.

                    • What stand are they making? exactly.

                      Bryce Edfwards says “The aim and political nature of the occupations are still rather vague. As TVNZ has reported, ‘Critics have slammed the occupiers for being incoherent and disorganised’”.

                      Your choice if you prefer that to taking some time and effort to work out what’s important and what’s possible. If it’s to be a big movement it will take time. We don’t live in an instant solution society, just an instant demand society.

                    • Your choice if you prefer that to taking some time and effort to work out what’s important and what’s possible. If it’s to be a big movement it will take time. We don’t live in an instant solution society, just an instant demand society.
                      Pete you twist and turn like a twisty turny thing.
                      Every member of the 99% movement believe the uber rich have far too much and it should be shared around.  Every single one.
                      You agree with this.  I am trying to get you to say … what … you … think … we … should … do.
                      Don’t be one of those wanna be careerist politicians that are just there for the perks and will say anything to be elected. They are a major part of the problem.
                      Be brave.  Say what you think.  Succinctly.

                    • I’m more interested in the process side of it rather than specific policies. Policies come and go, evolve and transform. Good systems endure.

                      I think the key is to set up better systems of semi-direct democracy so that is my main focus. If we have better ways of informing, discussing and resolving then more representive policies can be developed.

                      If I become an MP I would communicate with any Occupy groups in my electorate with a view to represent their issues in party and parliament, providing it could be determined they had popular support.

                      I know some people prefer the top down policy approach, like our traditional parties. I don’t know if people would prefer a bottom up approach, but I want to offer it as an alternative and see if there is much interest.

                    • Pete you have said exactly precisely nothing.

                      You have acknowledged a problem but come up with no solutions apart from mind numbing political speak.

                      You are using the exact language used by careerists that you claim to despise.  You are part of the problem, not part of the solution. 

                    • Are you acting dumb, or do you just not get it?

                      You are happy to let a few party policy makers set their agenda and you faithfully promote whatever they decree.

                      I am looking for ways to give ordinary people more say, and to give them a stronger voice in politics. The powerful in parties don’t want that – but I suspect your are just a pawn in the middle,

                    • Pete why should someone vote for a politician who will not say what they will do despite repeated questioning.  Open up, share with us the thoughts and ideas that are Pete George’s.  Tell us what you would do about the problem.  Promising to talk about the problem without telling us what you would do is disingenuous in the extreme.

                      And getting personal with me is not a good look doncha think?  I thought you were trying to eschew politics as normal and promote a more civilized way of doing things. 

                      It also makes you look like you are trying to avoid the question.

                      So go on, open up, what will you do to make sure the poor get more and the rich get less. 

                • mik e

                  Changing your policies on the hoof PG thats United don;t know weather their coming or more likely going!

      • mik e 5.2.3

        unfettered capitalism Parental guidance required

  4. Bored 6

    I went down to the Wellington event: we really are in the small league in NZ when it comes to percentage of political participation.

    What I concluded was that the enthusiastic band of occupiers was comprised of the same faces I see at every demo. Good people with the right motives, but all consisting what you could broadly define as marginalised minority viewpoints. I don’t mean to be insulting here, it is just that the Kiwi mainstream are so very inculcated with the status quo, imbued with the neo liberal world view and aspirational politics. Even a large slot of the Left. Greed and aspiration rules still in Godzone.

    Overseas the economic austerity bite has taken hold of the daily life of the lower and former middle classes, they can see their futures becoming bleaker. Here we are still too comfortable. Until the real recession hits we will not see the protest becoming mainstream. Between times they will vote for Key….I fear for our future, we will miss the chance to avoid the rocks of harsh reality. And we will deserve what we get.

    • Carol 6.1

      Actually, I think NZ’s occupy numbers stack up well internationally. As I recall 2,000 marched in Sydney, compared with 3,000 in Auckland. The reports say about 80-100 people are camped out in Auckland. This morning on Al Jazeera they said there are about 250 camped out in London in front of St Paul’s.


      Population of Auckland: 1.5 million
      Sydney 4.5 mill
      London 7-8 mill

      • Puddleglum 6.1.1

        Those figures actually show that the international ‘numbers’ are not particularly impressive, rather than that New Zealand’s numbers are good.

        This morning I was at the Hagley Park ‘Bus Exchange’. The most frequent comment I heard about those camping in that corner of the park was ‘What’s that?’ Even the bus driver asked me what it was.

        I think Bored has it right. New Zealanders are too comfortable; or, at least, they still see that plumping for the status quo is the better option. 

        But far more important than numbers is that this movement has put its finger on the central issue. Everything starts small. So long as you don’t expect instant results but just continue to do what is right, some remarkable achievements can follow (though not always the ones you imagined). So long as you don’t get too earnest, it’s as good a way as any to live a life.

        Two quotes from Vaclav Havel, which seem apt:

        Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.

        Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.

        Or, this Mother Goose rhyme that I read to my 6 year old most nights:

        Good night
        Sleep tight.
        Wake up bright,
        In the morning light,
        To do what’s right
        With all you might” 

        Or, as John Key might put it, “Go the mighty 99%ers!!”  🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          Real strife has not hit most in the bottom 25% of NZers yet, unlike say the US or UK. Key and English have been smart enough to keep money pumping into the economy to stop that happening.

    • AAMC 6.2


      same in Auck!

    • Afewknowthetruth 6.3

      Agreed. NZers have had it too easy for too long. Most are grossly uninformed and are severely deluded, having been bought off by the trinkets of consumerism.

      By and large NZers do not want to hear about anything that will shatter their delusions. Hence, there is a kind of inevitability about the coming crash and the near-total lack of preparedness for it.

      The streets should be full of very angry youngsters whose futures are being ruined by ‘the system’. But they are not because most youngsterws are just as clueless as their parents.

      Another year of disaster-as-usual politics will make a quite a big difference, since we are now on the cusp of global collapse of the corrupt systems that got us into this mess. .

  5. AAMC 7

    take the discussion to #occupyauckland and maybe you can start to motivate a few of the apathetic youth through their networks.. currently it’s being dominated by neo-liberal trolls.

  6. Matt Jones 8

    Kia ora – Some media reported only 30 attended the Christchurch Occupy on Saturday 15th. 200 marched the streets of Riccarton (out temporary CBD) while a further 50 held the fort in Hagley Park. Check http://www.youtube.com/user/OccupyChristchurch#p/a/u/0/FEBdStoeJr0 to see footage of the day 🙂 (This is not the voice of the Christchurch General Assembly – just a humble supporter)

  7. Afewknowthetruth 9

    Peter George.

    ‘It’s not feasible or sane to just ban capitalism’

    On the other hand it’s not feaisble or sane to continue with capitalism. Capitalism is the root cause of all the social problems we now face (along with usary and overpopulation) and capitalism is in the process of rendering the Earth uninhabitable for the next generation.

    Not only that but also capitalism has no future anyway, now that we are living in a post peak oil world and the energy system necessary to sustain capitalism is in decline. Capitalism is doomed, along with all the phoney distactions that capitalism has recently foisted on humanity, such as rampant consumerism, internationalised sport, mechanised mass tourism etc.

    However, I’m sure that ignorance and denial will prevail for a while longer, so rather than seeing an orderly disengagement from the madness, we will witness desperate (and futile) attempts ot sustain the unsustainable until it all crashes in chaos (and probably overt fascism or feudalism)..

  8. Afewknowthetruth 10

    This is where it starts to get interesting: tacit acknowledgement from a mainstream ‘newspaper’ that the game is almost over. (Others have known the game is almost over for years and have been saying so, of course)


    Show Me the Money

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Doesn’t seem to have lasted long after I pointed out that the bosses weren’t taking risks and the workers were…

  9. Aotearoa is no different than any other part of this capitalist world. This is a movement that was kicked off by the great recession and will expand and deepen because that great recession is becoming a great depression.

    Those of us who think that capitalism can be reformed will find very quickly that the most modest democratic demands (lets occupy this square) or economic demands (lets have a job and living wage) will be met by increasingly severe state repression. It will become clear that capitalism and democracy are incompatible.

    This in turn – as in MENA – will produce a bigger movement. At a certain point it will decide to defend itself and as in Russia in 1917 win over the ranks of the state military machine. The revolution will be an armed insurrection. At that point the 1% and their 10% of mercenaries and paramilitary gangs will lose the civil war.

    This is a crisis of capitalism that can be terminal in two ways. If the system wins by dividing and smashing us then humanity (and nature of which we are part) is doomed.

    If we win and overthrow capitalism then there will be plenty of time to fight over what name we call the new society we create. My bet will be that it will be some derivative of ‘commune’.

    Don’t just imagine the impossible, do the necessary.
    Lets say right now. For the masses to live, capitalism must die!


    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1


    • AAMC 12.2

      Lots of small communities please!

    • Bored 12.3

      Dave, If the truth be known the 1917 Coup co-opted the state military machine, the police state merely changed Tsars. State bureaucrats and commissars replaced the aristocracy and bourgeois. A case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss. “Commune” will not be part of the future as a consequence.

      In the past I got caught in the headlights of rationalist thought, in particular dialectic materialism. I still believe Marx’s relationship to production is one of the most useful models of understanding profit and class. The rest is pretty much in line with the spurious assumptions made by the the right wing materialists like Hayek, Friedman and Rand.

      The commonality is that the extremes of both left and right work on a flawed model: there are real people involved, and life is far too complex to be straight jacketed by materialist theory. Both extremes in their attempt to give us the great rational Heaven on Earth offer us only a hollow theism. And both lead to extreme results: the starving repressed poor of the right, and the repressive gulag state of the left. Both have recorded too much blood and suffering to be a viable future option.

      Suggest you read some of Dimitri Orlovs work, he sums up the short comings of the Red state and the USA well, they are mirror images. I for one would happily bin both communism and capitalism as equally piss poor corporatist repressive ventures. Unless you can question your faith honestly it is worthless. It seems the OWSers don’t have a theology, that makes them very dangerous to the theologians of power, both left and right.

      • dave brown 12.3.1

        Bored, its no use talking about democracy unless you recognise that the Bolshevik revolution was democratic. Otherwise you will be at a loss as to what democracy is and how to fight for it.
        Here’s a short primer on soviet democracy 1917-24.
        The February 1971 revolution that overthrew the Tsar was sparked off by women textile workers. Are you going to criticise their motives or denigrate their courage?
        The people rose up on support of the wave of strikes and to end the destructive war in July and were heavily suppressed by the Provisional Government of the bourgeoisie. Again a popular struggle for democracy was opposed by the bourgeoisie but in the process Cossack troops send to suppress the people came over to the people.
        During August the Tsarists attempted an armed coup to destroy the revolution and to reinforce the weak Provisional Government. This was defeated when the vast majority of the ranks of the army and navy came over to the revolution. The coup was defeated with hardly a shot fired. How democratic is that?
        The October revolution only took place only after a majority of the workers, soldiers and poor peasants, voted in the soviets (people assemblies or general assemblies) for “all power to the soviets” with a program of land to the peasants, peace and bread. Do you deny that the soviets represented the popular will and support for these demands?
        The lie that the Bolsheviks merely replaced one totalitarian regime with another fails entirely to recognise the effect of a massive counter-revolution to destroy the revolution, first by the military invasion of about 10 imperialist armies and a three year civil war which laid waste to most of the country and caused a huge loss of lives of the best workers. Despite this huge attack on the new workers state the revolution had survived by 1921 but at a great cost to its future health. The conditions for maintaining democratic soviet rule were largely destroyed however. The only thing that would rescue the revolution was a revolution in Germany. By 1923 that prospect was over.
        Second, after 1921 inside the Soviet Union the soviets were increasingly taken over by petty bourgeois bureaucrats under the General Secretary of the Bolshevik Party Stalin (a man who Lenin did his best from his deathbed to sack from this role). Stalin lead a faction who usurped the democracy of soviet rule and imposed an authoritarian regime which set about locking up, exiling and killing those who stool for real soviet rule. What remained of working class and poor peasant democracy was eliminated under Stalin.
        Those who label the 1917 revolution as a circulation of elites are ignorant fuckwits because they equate the popular democracy of soviet rule with its subsequent degeneration and replacement by a bureaucratic dictatorship without explaining why this happened.
        Further reading: Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution

        • Bored

          Spoken like a true theologian. I suspect that the millions of dead might see it differently. To deify Lenin / Trotsky and lay it all at the feet of Stalin is just too easy. And if you were honest and spoke of the true nature of Lenins state which contained the seeds of Stalinism you would admit that “popular democracy” was not at hand. Then theres the nature of Lenins revolutionary theory of making matters so bad that revolution is fomented, and opposition subsequently eliminated. In totem no democracy.

          I have studied it in depth, communism will always turn into an oppressive dictatorship using oppressive means. Like corporate capitalism it is the dream of ideologues that the people have to suffer. You can keep it, I (and I suspect 99% of the rest of us) have consigned it to the garbage bin of history.

          • Bored

            PS Dave, in case you are wondering extreme leftists (Trots etc) are as good a target for me as extreme rightists. You gents are just far too authoritarian for me even when you claim “democracy” because your dogma tolerates no dissent, and its coercive. Enjoy.

            • dave brown

              Bored. Not wondering. You say that Lenin forced people to make a revolution. So for you people are duped by great leaders and their ideas. I have asked that you consider that actually the people make revolutions but not without fighting wars against ruling classes bent on destroying them. Democracy and autocracy are not ideas but social practices that serve the interests of the working masses and ruling classes respectively. By saying that Lenin was as bad as the Tsar you are proving that you are seriously ignorant of the real processes of the history or revolutions. Anyway enjoy yourself.

              • Bored

                Hi Dave, you miss the point entirely: you cant think outside of your dogma. Its a bit like TS or Gosman, and the material constructs are much the same.

                Then there’s the “facts”: very selective and not accurate in the extreme. Your angelic Lenin and Trotsky skating around orchestrating the Red vision as saints is rather laughable. They championed good undemocratic terms though, like “dictatorship of the proletariat”). Sort of gives the democratic thing a big miss, reinforced by the Party Central being dominant over elected assemblies from which “enemies of the people” were excluded / disenfranchised. Its rather ironic Trotsky himself used the term “dustbin of history” about the Menshoviks against whom he waged lethal repression.

                And the corpses of the dead prior to and after Stalin make a great case against ever going that way again. Ultimately regardless of the rights and wrongs these corpses have sunk the whole Marxist / Leninist dream. (Where the hell did you get Stalin’s operatives being petit bourgeois)?

                Good luck if you want this in NZ. I admire your perseverance.

                • Whatever your think Bored, the way things are going we are heading towards socialism but this time on a global scale and in conditions that can make it work.

                  I would suggest that the current #occupy will go through several stages in building an international revolutionary movement.

                  At first, the 99% will agree that urgent change in the system is necessary to achieve social equality. But they will look for some way of bringing about a redistribution of wealth without getting rid of capitalism. Many will be frightened of what the alternative might bring. Ignorant scaremongering about socialism won’t help.

                  But even that moderate peaceful protest will bring (has brought from Egypt to OWS) about a violent reaction from the capitalist state which will then make many realise that they will have to defend themselves and create a counter-power to the bosses power. Some many call that real democracy, some anarchism, some socialism. Other people will still be saying watch out, mass movements always fall for new dictators of the left without suggesting how to prevent that.

                  But the people will prevail. Why should the need to build their own power to realise their objective of equality be sacrificed to a fear of the alternative? There are ways of preventing popular movements from being mislead by new dictators. Most important is total commitment to democracy. All decisions are made by the people in general assemblies. Local General Assemblies can delegate people to represent their views at other assemblies. If large scale policies are agreed then this process will become national and international. Second, no bureaucrats are allowed. Those elected to perform functions are totally accountable and recallable if they abuse their delegated authority.

                  So the counter-power will not necessarily become an authoritarian, hierarchical power as widely feared. This was exactly the model of power proposed by Marx, Lenin and Trotsky. The term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ was a term coined by Marx to mean vast majority rule instead of a tiny minority in the ‘bourgeois dictatorship’. At this point people will be able to judge with open minds that there is not ‘iron law’ of history that revolutions must turn into dictatorships. They will see that is doesnt follow that socialism is doomed to become autocracy.

                  When it becomes clear from their experience that a socialist alternative to capitalism is both necessary and achievable as the popular will and is not being hijacked by a ‘vanguard’ this will give the movement confidence to overthrow the 1% and their 10% of mercenaries who by now will have identified themselves inside the 90% and so ‘change the system’.

                  I won’t say that this will definitely happen, because if the system and its mercenaries manages to derail, divide and repress the revolution, in the same way that happened to the Russian revolution, then we will have instead a counter-revolution. That counter-revolution will succeed in destroying humanity and, of which it is part, nature. But there are a number of factors that I wont go into here to give us much hope the revolution will win.

  10. AAMC 14

    Another development. Anybody got any local. Redit Unions they can recommend?

  11. And if the all blacks win the world cup, no one here would give a fuck.

  12. Draco T Bastard 16

    Losing Their Immunity

    The answer is: yes, many of the protesters do understand what Wall Street and more generally the nation’s economic elite have done for us. And that’s why they’re protesting.

  13. Carol 17

    This afternoon students occupy Auckland University clocktower & align themselves with the occupy movement:


    About 50 students are currently occupying a clock tower at Auckland University in protest of a proposed fee hike.

    Sarah Thompson, speaking from the tower, said the students had broken into the Princes St building and had taken over an office.

    The sociology student said the protest was against a proposed four per cent increase in uni fees and the university’s refusal to meet with students about it.

    She said police were present.

    The University of Auckland Council is this afternoon meeting to consider domestic fees for 2012 and international fees for 2013.

    A video at the above link shows students entering the office of the meeting chanting We are the 99%

    • If “Occupation” is just going to become a label for the protest of the week then I think it’s doomed.

      All these students need to do is get enough people to vote for UnitedFuture so the party’s zero fees policy can be implemented.

      • Campbell Larsen 17.1.1

        Whats UFs policy on interest on student loans Pete? are you going to committ to interest free to help the generation of students who have already accumulated massive debt as a result of high fees and interest on loans? Or does your compassion only go as far as making promises to a new generation whose naivety you hope to exploit?

        • Pete George

          Not sure what you’re getting at, UnitedFuture don’t have a policy of putting interest back on student loans.

          • Campbell Larsen

            As Nationals poodle UF doesnt have to have a policy for putting interest beck on student loans, the Nats will push that one themselves if given the chance – however it is really a sin of omission that your policy pages do not commit to opposing any changes to the current interest free approach – but please dont hesitate to reassure me – can I take it as UF policy that you will vehemently oppose and condemn any attempts to put interest back on student loans?

            • Campbell Larsen

              Ha – thought not. You really are a politician Pete, and I mean that in the least complimentary way.

            • Pete George

              What the hell are you going on about. It’s stupid to expect any party to have policies on done deals that aren’t being considered for change. If, that’s if, National come up with a student loan interest policy then I’m sure UF will decide on a position on it.

              Instead of wasting time on irrelevant policies UF works on policies that would make a real difference. The UF zero fees policy would “reduce the maximum debt for a first degree to just over $20,000, and the debt of degrees like medicine and engineering to just over $40,000 – figures vastly below current debt levels.”

              Far better reducing the principal substantially than worry about something that there is no indication will happen. Isn’t it?

              • mik e

                You are the only one in the country that United failure have policies where’s your costing Bills English won’t have a bar of it. Quite the reverse they have already signalled that students are going to be paying more

              • Campbell Larsen

                If there is no chance that it will happen then there is no harm in you reassuring me that UF will vehemently oppose and condemn any attempts to put interest back on student loans then is there Pete?
                Go on, do it just for me (and for everyone else that has more then a sneaking suspicion that this is where Nact and the ever cuddly UF want to take us)

              • just saying

                You make me laugh Pete.
                I don’t know why you bother coming to blogs like this to campaign. You must know you are wasting your time.
                You need to concentrate on the politically naive – people who think you are actually saying something with your empty rhetoric. People who might be impressed with phrases like ‘political correctness gone mad’ and endlessly repeating “common sense” and that ‘Maorification’ phrase a-la Brash that you invented. Forget what it was. Alternatively some simple folk might just like Dunne’s hair or something. Dunno. You’re certainly not winning any votes here as far as I can see.

                • felix

                  “Maori Correctness” was the phrase he chucked around for a bit.

                  I’d be tempted to vote for Pete if I were in his electorate and thought he had a shot.

                  • just saying

                    I stand corrected then.
                    But why Felix?

                    • felix

                      I think he’s genuine about wanting to represent people. Whether he can or not is another question of course.

                      And I like stirrers. 😉 But it’s moot anyway because I don’t live in his electorate and I’d never party vote for United Future

                    • That’s the big unknown felix, I don’t know if what I’m proposing is what enough people would be prepared to change longtime voting habits and choose. They may not even want it, or they may not care.

                      But the good thing about our democracy is that anyone can get up and propose ideas and test them.

                      And the really good thing is that:
                      – I have already achieved more than I imagined a few months ago
                      – whatever the result of the election I will keep pushing ideas here and I will be pushing local MPs to pay more attention to their electorates.

                      I originally decided to float the party thing and to stand for Dunedin North as a means of getting a forum to promote ideas and changes. Once I committed myself I decided to push it as hard and as far as I could.

                      You only find things out if you try them.

                    • the good thing about our democracy is that anyone can get up and propose ideas and test them.

                      But Petey baby you do not propose ideas.  I have given you lots and lots of chances to propose your ideas on how to ensure the poor get more and the rich get less and so far you have listed no ideas, not one, not even a smidgeon of one.

                      If elected to Parliament Petey WHAT WILL YOU DO? 

                    • Greg, I’m not sure how to get through to you – I am not a traditional party hack. I’m proposing a different approach to electorate politics. I have some strong opinions, but I don’t think it should be all about me.

                      Get with the future, if you can extract yourself from last century politics.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    Ha! You’re now officially more committed to Pete’s campaign than he is himself. There is still a slim chance he may party vote United Future, but his electorate vote is going to whoever is running second to the Labour candidate, in the hope of an upset.

                • just saying – I don’t expect to win many votes here, that’s not what I am using this forum for. It’s another way of testing ideas, and practising against ideological opposition and abuse. Heckler 101.

                  Blogs and social networks are a myriad of diverse interconnected communities. While there is no way of knowing what many peoople think there are many ways of monitoring what’s happening. Some of the most interesting responses to what I do here don’t appear here.

                  I’m not just “coming to blogs like this”. I’m learning to work a wider network, including MSM which also intermingles online. A researcher from TVNZ emailed me yesterday due to my activities online. It’s a fascinating new world.

                  • lprent

                    The lurker population on this blog are at least 10x the commenting population, and are highly likely to be more than 20x. The only real way to track is IP’s and cookies, both of which have significiant limitations. Which is why the number of ‘vIsits’ and ‘unique visitors’ by stats software vary so massively.

                    We currently have 5 separate stats packages on this system for various reasons and at differing collection levels. They agree on page views within about 10% after they discard the search and spam bots. However they vary on visits and unique visitors by about half of their mean because of their widely varying algorithms. Which is why visits and visitors are not very good measures, and why it is hard to be precise.

                    Most of the lurkers read at least some comments based on their average reading times per post. The only segment with short average reading times are the ones coming in via search engines who read one page. The majority of those are from google images.

                    A significiant proportion of the lurkers are from media.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 18

    The handful of ‘Occupiers’ in the Robe Street park, New Plymouth, were interviewed this afternoon. Presumably there will be a report in tomorrow’s Daily News.

    The weather has not been conducive to open-air activism, so the ‘Occupiers’ have relocated to the Huatoki Plaza, which provides cover from the rain, and also a higher pedestrian count.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18.1

      The weather has not been conducive to open-air activism…

      We want to destroy capitalism but only while the weather is good.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        What, you’d prefer that they get hypothermia?

      • mik e 18.1.2

        ridiculous idiot they are not trying to destroy capitalism they want to make it fairer through raising awareness and by democracy.You and your right wing loonies are trying to discredit these protests at all costs running scared that you might have to pay your fair share of taxes!Democracy is the wealthy individuals enemy!

      • felix 18.1.3

        Whenever there’s any kind of protest going on you can count on a steady supply of people – people who don’t even agree with the protesters that is – telling everyone why the protesters are doing it wrong.

        Ole, why should anyone listen to your advice on what makes a protest action valid? Do you share – or even understand – the motivation of the protesters? Do you want to be a part of this movement in any way?

        If not, then what’s your criticism worth to anyone?


      • Afewknowthetruth 18.1.4

        Gormless fool.

        Oxford dictionary

        gormless = stupid or slow witted

        fool = a person who acts unwisely, a jester or clown

        You have chosen your online name extremely well.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Yes but I think everyone else knew what a gormless fool was before you located the dictionary definition for them, smartypants.

  15. RedLogix 19

    On the phone right now listening to my partner telling me all about her afternoon protesting at Aotea Sq. Sounds like she’s really been inspired by it. Lot’s of young people on the ground because they are the ones with the time… but the really interesting thing is how much support they are getting from all sectors of the community. Not just moral support, but real material support of all sorts.

    Remarkably well organised; these people know what they are doing and are connected globally. The technology and communication makes a huge difference; ‘best practise’ spreads quickly. They are practising what they preach, cleaning up their own rubbish, doing their own health care, organising their food and camping sites and passing on what works and what doesn’t.

    Nobody is standing there saying, “I have the solution”.. there are a hundred people each with their own story and their own thoughts… but first and foremost we are a social species and to thrive as the 99% everyone’s story must be heard. It may feel disjointed and all over the place, but that is real life, organic and messy.

    She ambushed my brother (who is deaf-blind) and took him along as a surprise, and he says he was made to feel really welcome…. something he’s rarely experienced in his life.This alone tells me a lot about the heart of these people.

    It’s raining now, and the young ones sticking it out are earning her respect. This movement is growing and it’s in for the long haul… be there.

    • R 19.1

      wow, that sounds awesome, especially for your brother. Very encouraging (I had my doubts about how well the movement would cope here in A/NZ).

  16. mik e 20

    BBC WORLD economics reporter says this crisis is only going to get worse as countries devalue their currencies New Zealand will have to to compete National would rather borrow than print.Gareth Morgan says their needs to be an Income redistribution, those who are paying no tax should pay and are nothing more than bludgers .I say PG you are part of the problem fence sitting is not a political movement unless of course you don.t use the toilet cos you are full of it and you are bludgeing on someone else’s site when the one man band can’t afford its own!

  17. AAMC 21

    some pictures I took at the march

  18. R 22

    wonderful pics, thanks for sharing.

  19. johnm 23

    The End of growth Uprising by Richard Heinberg

    “It began in Tunisia and Egypt, then spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It spilled into Spain, Greece, and Ireland. It leapfrogged to Wall Street. And this past weekend it erupted in London, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, Taipei, and Sydney. In hundreds of towns and cities around the world the uprising’s refrain is similar: economic misery resulting from fizzling economic growth is leading protesters to question corruption both in governments and in financial institutions, and to demand an end to extreme economic inequality.

    As long as economies grew, inequality was tolerable. And if the rabble demanded perks, governments could simply borrow money to fund social programs. Corruption could fester unnoticed. But now the economic tide is no longer lifting all boats. Bursting financial bubbles have led economies to contract. That has in turn led to falling tax revenues, which have made existing government debts in several key countries unrepayable. Therefore government bonds held by banks as assets suddenly have little value. Which causes the economy to teeter further. The system is broken.

    The universal solution: austerity—a strategy of cutting government spending, government jobs, and government services to the poor and middle classes. Suddenly social safety nets are being withdrawn, and extreme economic inequality is no longer socially tolerable.

    The only thing that could stop the uprising is a return to growth—which would generate new jobs, higher tax revenues, and solvency in the financial industry. But instead the world economy seems poised on a precipice perhaps more dangerous than the one it faced in 2008. This means the protesters likely aren’t going home anytime soon. For governments, there are only two realistic responses: repression or major reform

    Brutal police and military repression of the protests could buy time for politicians, but it would solve nothing. The unrest would go underground and tear at the social fabric, leading eventually to revolution or societal breakdown.

    Reform, if it is to make a difference, must be fundamental. It must start by addressing issues of economic inequality, but then must eliminate the massive debt overhang that plagues not just governments but households and the entire financial sector. In essence, policy makers must cobble together a new economic model that meets human needs in the absence of economic growth.

    Politicians take note: Forces are being unleashed that cannot be tamed. So far, crisis has been dealt with by a combination of denial and delay. Those tactics no longer work. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”

    refer http://www.postcarbon.org

    Again, the global economy is not freed by the free market but on the contrary that same free market has capped growth permanently by the end of supply increase for oil. Well done free market! And we have not prepared for this time at all living in the free market cloud cuckoo land! Nice while it lasted but hell for the Planet and its non human inhabitants.

  20. Afewknowthetruth 24

    Torrential rain in NP at the moment.

    Take good care of yoursleves. And don’t take any notice of the mockers and knockers.

  21. Gosman 25

    I love this idea that this is the start of some sort of global revolution.

    The point being there is hardly any coherent alternatives being articulated by the protesters. Even if we take mickeysavage’s three point starting point we see how insipid and unspiring some of the ideas are. I mean basically it boils down to increasing taxes on the wealthy to fund increased Government spending on social programmes. Wow! What an earth shattering idea that I have never seen articulated before by left leaning political parties.

    It also kind of ignores the fact that many of the protesters in OWS movement seem to think there is some sort of conspiracy involving ‘evil corporations’ who are ursurping the 99%’s democratic ability to influence policy making via the democratic processes in place.

    The solution to this is not clear though. Do you stop Corporations making political donations? If so then could you also not argue that any grouping of people should be denied that ability? The Union movement might have a few problems with that idea. How about banning corporations completely? I’d love to see the mainstream left push this anti-freedom idea. Sorry people but you will be denied the ability to pool your capital with likeminded individuals to pursue your vision for doing something that will hopefully increase that capital amount.

    This movement’s main contribution to the way in which humanity interacts with one another seems to be restricted to how they are effectively using the tools of social media to organise and spread their, (multiple and contradictory), messages.

    By the way is anyone else a little disturbed by the practice of the human microphone? Reminds me of a North Korean mass re-education campaign.

    • fmacskasy 25.1

      “I mean basically it boils down to increasing taxes on the wealthy to fund increased Government spending on social programmes. Wow! What an earth shattering idea that I have never seen articulated before by left leaning political parties.”

      I would hardly call Warren Buffet a “left leaning” individual;

      “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich”

      I would also point out that while you deride the protrestors, you make no counter-suggestion as to what should be done.

      What is your idea?

      • Gosman 25.1.1

        Ummmm… why do I have to offer some alternative. I don’t happen to think the system is broken. Does it need tweaking? Sure but only a few minor ones.

        • Colonial Viper

          Does it need tweaking? Sure but only a few minor ones.

          The introduction of the guillotine, for instance.

        • freedom

          Will you bother to share the minor tweaks required or will we just assume it is the normal pap talking about the need for deregulation of the Free Market, monopolies being fair and that Corporate greed is simply the way the world is so stop complaining and enjoy your gruel.

          The derision that is directed at the social malice you so willingly support may not have the polish of a focus-group driven marketing plan but it has something you will never understand, honest compassion for our fellow humans.

          • Gosman

            I do love a good old lefty getting all morally superior – “I care more than you. This means I’m a better person”. Good for you freedom. I’m sure God will have a special place for you reserved in Heaven and you can go to sleep smug and sound.

    • The solution to this is not clear though. Do you stop Corporations making political donations? If so then could you also not argue that any grouping of people should be denied that ability? The Union movement might have a few problems with that idea.

      Nah cap it.  No more than $100k from business or the trade union movement, no exceptions.

      You RWNJs make me laugh.  Thinking that the EPMU has the same financial clout as Telecom.  Do you believe this?  Really?  Are you kidding?? If you believe this I have a bridge that I really want to show you …

    • Colonial Viper 25.4

      I love this idea that this is the start of some sort of global revolution.

      Actually it started about 2 years ago, in 2009, just as governments started proposing massive austerity programmes targetting citizens, in order to pay off impossible amounts to the banksters.

      Man you are slow.

      • Gosman 25.4.1

        And man you are not very clever understanding economics.

        How much did TARP cost the US taxpayer exactly? What I mean by this is how much money did they pay and not recoup as oppossed to how much they provided in initial funding.

        When you have figured out where to find that information then come back and we can discuss paying off impossible amounts to the banksters.

        I am a little confused though. The current situation seems to be steming from European and in particular German banks lending to left leaning governments in Southern Europe. Now as far as I am aware the Germans are often held up as a prime example by lefties about how society should be organised and that they never deregulated to the degree of the UK and US finance sectors. So how come they are causing us all this heart ache?

  22. Afewknowthetruth 26

    We need a new tab for ‘Occupy’ updates.

    Today’s Daily News item on the NP awareness group attempted to downplay the size of the group (just two when in fact there are many) and to portray the people involved as misguided no-hopers.

    The editorial by Gordon Brown was nothing short of appalling -essentially a whole load of neuro-linguistic programming, social labeling, marginisation, a version of how dare they challenge the hand that feeds them corporate bullshit, followed up with some promotion of off-shore oil drilling and corporate rugby. No surpirses there, eh Gordon?.

    NPDC attempted to get heavy with the group this morning, threatening eviction on the basis of ill-defined breaches of ill-defined regulations. I went to the council offices with a couple of the group today and deflected the bullying tactics, pointing out the ‘Awareness Group’ are not breaching any regulations, whereas the council had been when it authorised certain RWC activities. Needless to say, no surprises at the hypocrisy of NPDC.

    The focus right now is to move away from the ‘protester’ stereotype label and develop an ‘awareness/provider of information ‘ label and point out that these people are raising awareness of issues that are affecting EVERYONE and will affected everyone much more in the near future.

    Andrew Little was well received by the group.

    Jonathan Young (National sitting MP) on the other hand, proved to be a tosser he always is, and quickly ran for cover, avoiding all inconvenient questions -the coward that he is. No surprises there. In that respect he lis just like all the National MPs; happy to parade around town with their minders but when it comes to anything of substance their gone in a flash. Indeed, I’m yet to see any Natioanl MP or district councillors front up to any proper discussion of the issues of our times.

  23. An update on Occupy Dunedin who “may be there indefinitely”.

    I’ve had a quick visit but will need to go back at a suitable time to discuss more.

    I have very mixed views on the myriad of issues being highlighted, but I’m interested in working on a better grass-roots up democratic process in Dunedin to debate issues and measure public opinion, so it’s worth seeing what can be done.

  24. Hilary 28

    DomPost today features two articles on Occupy (one local, one international) as well as it being the subject of the first letter. What is even more amazing is that the featured letter with photo mentions that the emperor (Key) has no clothes. The narrative is slowly and subtlely changing.

  25. Afewknowthetruth 29


    ‘Ummmm… why do I have to offer some alternative. I don’t happen to think the system is broken.’


    Over the past decade we have witnessed a net decline in share market values of around 50% (in inflation adjusted terms): they will never recover and pension funds, Kiwisaver schemes etc. are on the cusp of collapse. We have witnessed a staggering increase in unemployment, foreclousre of millions of homes in the US, total failure to repair broken infrastructure in places like New Orleans, Christchurch, Fukishima…… even Vermont. The system is destroying the habitability of the planet we live on (10 months of severe drought in Texas and counting), meltdown of the ice at both ends of the world, and in NZ businesses keeling over by the thousand. Debt levels have reached the point of being unrepayable in numerous parts of the world, and young peole have been landed with huge debts they will never be able to repay because there is no worthwhile employment. We are past Peak Oil and into energy decline, with no strategies to deal with the collapse of industrial civilisation and the collaspe of the food supply that accompanies it. But the system is ‘not broken’.

    Actually, in a sense you are right. It’s only half broken at this stage, not completely broken.

    The big question is: will we people challenge the system before it completely ‘breaks’ the environment and makes the Earth largely uninhabitable for humans, or will they wait for the system to implode completely and take down the entire planet’s ecosystems with it?

    Presumably you philosophy is to keep supporting ‘the system’ until either it has collapsed completely or it has rendered the Earth largely uninhabitable for humans. I personally cannot think of a more cretinous philosophy.

    However, we do live in a semi-free society, so you are entitled to you dysfunctional perspective, even if by promoting it you destroy the future of every young person on the planet.

    • Gosman 29.1

      Why do you think the market is meant to deliver unfettered economic prosperity for all the people all the time?

      What we are seeing is the inevitable result of 15 – 20 years of solid economic growth around the Western world and in places like China coming to a cyclical end. It should have occured 10 years ago but Western Governments decided to intervene to keep the gorwth going by keeping credit cheap. All this achieved was to delay the ineviatable and make it much worse by encouraging credit and investment bubbles to grow.

      You might like to build this into some Socialist wet dream about the final days of Capitalism but this sort of downturn occurs on a regular basis in a free market system. As for unemployment being high, we have had higher unemployment rates than this in, not too distant, past.

      • fmacskasy 29.1.1

        Why do you think the market is meant to deliver unfettered economic prosperity for all the people all the time?

        Well bugger me, wouldn’t that be a fine thing!!

        We actually had a fair degree of “unfettered reconomic properity” for all in the fifties and sixties.

        What went wrong? Oh yeah – the West went loopy and adopted a free-market ideology that promised much – but delivered very little (unless you were the top 1%).

        And Gosman, don’t you think it’s a bit weird for that question to be asked at all; Why do you think the market is meant to deliver unfettered economic prosperity for all the people all the time?

        Why is the minimum acceptable to you?

        • Gosman

          You are actually quite wrong Frank. The economic growth in the 1950’s and 1960’s equated to about the same timeframe as what happened in the Western world from the mid 1980’s through to the mid 2000’s. However both ended up in economic difficulties.

          The 1960’s ended up in the stagflation of the 1970’s where unemployment rates began to rise along with poverty and the cost of living. Many people learnt the lesson that you couldn’t rely on Government to ensure ongoing economic prosperity as the moves Governments attempted seemed to only make matters worse. In that regard we are better placed than we were at that time.

  26. Izzy 30

    Long time reader but haven’t commented in a while. I’ve been staying at Occupy Wellington at Civic Square for just over a week. Just wanted to let y’all know, there is an event with discussions, workshops, music and a kids zone happening NOW (11am-8pm) at Civic Square, including an assembly and march at 1pm. Hope someone can make it down 🙂

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