Over or Into The Wall?

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, October 15th, 2011 - 38 comments
Categories: activism, class war, community democracy, democratic participation, political education, Politics, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

Does this sound familiar?

We have no official spokespeople. Correspondingly, no single view should be seen as necessarily representing the views of (the movement) as an organisation or of other people who are a part of (the movement). We are many contributors and participators from many diverse constituences and viewpoints. We are many voices.

You might be forgiven for thinking that extract comes from a contemporary leaflet produced on the back of one of the many occupations happening today. But it’s from ten years ago when an attempt was made to build a movement here in New Zealand to counter the government’s support in the  invasion of Afghanistan.

That movement withered. It withered for very definate reasons. And that is what this post is about. See it as a cautionary tale if you will.

When the movement began, it attracted people of all ages from a very wide range of political, religious and cultural back grounds. In the interests of ensuring that matters proceeded in as democratic a fashion as possible, it was agreed that there would be no ‘branding’ of any action or protest undertaken. As such, traditional organisations were excluded from decision making in recognition of the fact that they would bring a power imbalance to the table. Individuals who belonged to such organisations were encouraged to participate as individuals rather than as representatives of their particular organisation. So (for example) unionists were a part and parcel of the decision making processes and took part in actions, but the unions they belonged to and the particular agendas of those unions were not.

No information that was produced (and there was a lot of it!) carried organisational logos and no banners or flags used in actions promoted any specific political organisation.

It was felt, that as well as preserving the democratic integrity of the movement, denying organisations a platform for self promotion would make it easier for people to become involved. People weren’t being asked to identify with anything they might feel uncomfortable with beyond the actual issues at hand.

And it worked.

An ever growing spread of people gravitated towards the nascent movement, drawn solely by concerns over the invasion and connected issues. Where some people might have had initial misgivings about operating in new ways that didn’t involve having the organisational structures they were used to in such a situation (heirachical decision making processes; nominated leaders etc), those misgivings were quickly set aside. People soon found that it wasn’t necessary to have everyone agree on a particular matter to have that matter expressed either in action or as printed literature. (There were considerations beyond mere numbers to be taken into account, but  there’s no need to go into that here) So for example, a presence outside the local MP’s office ‘only’ required that enough people were ‘up for it’ to make it happen. And whereas some had no interest in religion, those who did could (and did) generate a presence that offered a counter perspective at a large prayer congregation held at the time. The Octagon was occupied for three days and nights with food, music and politics on the menu. In terms of literature there was, by way of example,  some that argued for UN involvement in Afghanistan and some that argued against UN involvement. It was reasoned that people could make up their own minds on where they stood and engage correspondingly.

In short,  there was ample opportunity for people to express themselves and their concerns, to getn involved in ways they were comfortable with and free from the shackles that come with majority rule or any insistence that a unified front or voice be presented.

However, the authoritarian left simply couldn’t live with that concept and insisted that their democratic rights were being undermined. By democratic rights, they actually meant the right of their organisation to self promote and the right to elevate their organisation’s particular political prescriptions above all others and to recruit people into their organisation. As such, they would only arrive at any meetings as mouthpieces for their organisation rather than as individual citizens and never offered support to actions emanating from those meetings.

In the end (and awash with irony) it all broke apart and there were two somewhat opposing peace presences in the city.

Finally the same old routine of marches peppered with one organisations logos, and rallies where people were spoken at by people using P.A. systems, rather than where people could enter into conversation with one another and explore ideas,  re-established itself as the norm. A lot of the people who had initially gravitated towards the opportunities presented them by the somewhat (to them) novel organisational structures of the movement, initially participated in the marches and rallies organised by the authoritarian left. But within that framework  they became subject to a dominant party line, no longer had the opportunity to do their own thing and were sidelined from the decision making process. Eventually, disempowered and disgruntled, they disengaged.

As I heard one person observe at the time – why should he, as a Christian, be asked or expected to march beneath banners that espoused a particular political ideology he didn’t ascribe to, and that his very presence would seem to endorse, when he didn’t ask or expect others to march behind or below any religious symbol?

Then, as now, the overwhelming majority of us are used to decisions flowing down from heirachical decision making structures. It’s not that we’re incapable of operating in a different, more democratic environment. In fact, in my experience, people take to it rather fast and readily. The problem is an inability to perceive the danger presented to any budding democratic scenario by heirachical organisational structures.

That’s my reservation when I read of the various occupations happening at the moment, including, the solidarity actions planned today in New Zealand. Eventually, if not initially, organisations with inherently disempowering organisational structures will attempt to involve themselves in what’s going on. They have pre-existing financial resources and organisational structures that would promise short term gains.  But if they get a foot in the door, the vitality and opportunity presented by genuinely democratic modes of organising will be sacrificed to preserve the organisational integrity of whatever organisation it is that inserts itself into proceedings. And I’m not just talking about one of the authoritarian leftist sects here. It could be the unions or any one of a number of liberal organisations that are structured along heirachical lines.

If anything genuinely new is to emerge from the citizen inspired events emerging around the world, then awareness of the pitfalls presented by orthodox organisations, and strategies to deal with them, must be developed.




38 comments on “Over or Into The Wall?”

    • Bill 1.1

      I’m going to give the writer of that piece the benefit of the doubt and assume they wrote down a fair and balanced portrayal of Matt Jones’s manner and attitude. And from that perspective, all I can say is that it’s really fucking depressing.

      If Matt Jones had spoken as an individual (and he should have done and made it very clear that he was) rather than putting himself up there as some kind of spokesperson and tying the whole shebang to unite, then I would have no problem whatsoever with what he’s saying. But instead he appears to assume a right to pontificate on other peoples’ focus and in doing so, not only sanction or elevate certain issues but dismiss others by simple ommission.

      Looks to me as though it’s straight into the old bullshit of manufacturing uniformity and delineating the parameters of possibility.

      • Oligarkey 1.1.1

        I think that’s exactly what the right wants. Individualists who simply view themselves as individuals. They’re much more easily controlled by the big finance/business fascists that run the show in the west. IMO the movement fell apart because there was no cohesive worldview being represented. No collective economic arrangement amongst the participants. But there needs to be something active as well as reactive for a movement to survive. There in lies the problem. In Anarchist groups you get Alpha male types who shout down others anyhow. Ring any bells Bill?

        IrishBill: Take a month’s ban for that comment about the author.

        • Bill

          That’s an ‘interesting’ little go there, Oligarkey.

          So let’s go through it.

          Individualists…or lifestylers, Randists etc…are a waste of space to my mind. Individuals exist within a social context that informs their freedom. I think we agree on that point.

          Big finance, business, government and all their attendant organisations and structures rely on people grouping themselves into heirachical configurations that mimmick their own; that become a part of the environment they dominate. The individual is dis-empowered via his or her affiliations to ‘representative’ organisations. And those organisations are, in their turn, dominated by or subject to the more powerful configurations of government, business, finance etc.

          In a situation where people gathered around an oppositon to the so-called ‘war on terror’ in the first instance, then common or compatable visions of a wider world view could only have eventuated or become apparent after some period of time spent with people engaged in dialogue. Movements grow. Movements develop. Movements do not come as pre-packaged ‘one world’ monolithic visions. You’re ‘represenative cohesive world view’ would appear to be the antithesis of a movement.

          Financial arrangements or financial management were bloody problematic. Orthodox financial arrangements require that peoples’ names are attached to bank accounts etc. And that presents a target for the authorities in the event of them playng hard ball. And you’re right. No adequate solution was found or developed to deal with that.

          The active and reactive was expressed quite clearly by the desire to have ‘freedom to’ and not lmit ourselves to ‘freedom from’. Again, time is of the essence to develop and formulate such matters. And in the end, the movement existed for a short period before being effectively hi-jacked by those who echoed the view you apparently espouse these days – that a cohesive world view had to be represented. (Do I really have to step through all the problems and undesirable consequences associated with representation and ‘many people, one voice’ scenarios?)

          And on to your last wee playing the person bullshit. Never been a member of an anarchist group. But you know that. As for shouting people down. Nah. Passionate? Yes…even strident on occasion. But shutting people down and denying them a voice? No. Impatient with incurable idiots like yourself on the other hand? Absolutely….but even then, only eventually.

          • Oligarkey


            “Impatient with incurable idiots like yourself on the other hand?”

            That’s it. Glad to see the true colors come out. I know more than a few people who have been put off being involved in movements in Dunedin because of your authoritarian behavior. What do you expect from an irritable, nasty little alcoholic prick though. You’re as much in to hierarchy as any Trot i’ve ever met. At least they’re up-front about it. They usually have the brains to occupy the position as well.

            You’re comment is beyond ridiculous. Had your comment not been a day old before coming to my attention, then you might well have earned yourself a ban for being an incurable idiot only capable of indulging in baseless slurs rather than debate. Consider yourself warned.

  1. ak 2

    You’re right Bill. Divide and Conquer is the only tool the 1% has ever needed. It’s why individualism is their constant refrain and why their tools like Nick’s automatic knee-jerk is an instant wedge attempt.

    Unite is the correct word, in its deepest and widest sense: OWS phonetically correct, but perhaps Occupy, Unite, Reclaim Society would be more effective.

    99% OURS: let’s take it back.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Yep, agree fully. The 1% have been taking our society from us so that they could take our wealth for far too long. Time to take it back.

    • Bill 2.2

      There is nothing wrong with individualism when it exists within and is subject to a social context. That’s freedom. Individualism only gets batshit crazy when the Randist type nonsense that denies society as a moderating influence is trotted out.

      And honestly, I think you are missing the main thrust of the post. If we persist in trying to organise a democratic and empowering future whilst similtaneously relying on or utilising anti-democratic and disempowering organisational structures, then we will fail. And almost all of the left today uses anti-democratc and disempowering organisational models.

  2. Tiger Mountain 3

    Bill, the opposition is very well organised via the small matter of the state superstructure-army, police, institutionalised education and religion and msm. The economic system (capitalism) has delivered structural inequality and racism along with high unemployment and precarious employment. Feel good denial of the forces involved is not going to cut it.

    The OWS movement whatever its future has done us all a major service though with ideological cut through via the bold 1%er vs 99%er description of society. The right historically has thrived on creating disunity driven by perceived differences-ethnicity, gender, immigrant/indigenous, town/country etc.
    The OWS ‘broad brush’analysis is inclusive and cuts to the chase as to who the main enemy is for the worlds people.

    • Bill 3.1

      As far as I understand what you are saying, I agree wholeheartedly. Broad brush analysis is good becasue it leaves all the doors of possibility open. And within that space, people can generate their own varied informed analyses, without having to pitch their perspective against the perspectives of others in a battle for ideological dominance.

      But what do you mean when you say “Feel good denial of the forces involved is not going to cut it.”?

      I’m not under any illusion with regards the coercive and oppressive capabilities of the state and the financial/corporate interests that sit at their shoulders.

  3. prism 4

    I think Bill was making a point that amongst the 99% there are organised groups who will attend every protest of size, and be inclined to subsume it and use the vitality of the movement to press ahead to a goal based on the organisation’s viewpoint.

    I have noticed how hard it is to get a mass of people to articulate their ideas and how often only open-ended questions and returning to the points made, which should be written on a whiteboard, will canvass properly those attending. Discussion then will show the problem freshly beyond the usual common sense understandings. But often someone who has had leadership experience will take over and start defining the problem and narrow it down before the others can express all their concerns and reasons and possibly give examples for context. Only then should the group place the ideas in groups which can then be seen to suggest possiblke actions that will deal to their concerns.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 5

    The stablishment will misreport (or fail to report) unity of purpose amongst those who protest, and will attempt to marginalise and ridicule anyone who opposes the establishement. Divide and coquer is a standartd tactic which has proven successful for centuries.

    Consider Mark Twain, who was bitterly opposed to Americal hegemony around 100 years ago. Although he was of high social standing and had much popular support, the system chewed him up and spat him out because he stood in the way of increased profits for corporations.

    Consider Ned Kelly, who was seen as hero by many (most?) of the folk in Victoria. The system chewed him (and his family) up and spat them out.

    Unfortunately, few people recognise the system for what it is, or recognised how the system works, so they think that some kind of partial demolition of the current system is possible.

    Take everything away from the bankers but leave them the ability to create money out of thin air and shortly afterwards they will have taken possession everything again. I forget who said that, but it comes from the nineteenth century.

    Another unfortunate thing is that revolutions always require the spilling of blood. Middle- class America is not ready for that yet.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Another unfortunate thing is that revolutions always require the spilling of blood. Middle- class America is not ready for that yet.

      Blood is already being spilled. Or more accurately, the US middle class is being bled dry. Only the husks of the American middle class dream remain now.

      But I hear what you say about revolution.

      Hence the timing and setting up of a terrorist/assassination ‘false flag’ against Iran. Got to keep the people distracted on and fearful of external enemies.

  5. Carol 6

    In my experience with the women’s movement in London, it was it’s greatest strength that there was no one organisation that represented or organised it.

    • Carol 6.1

      Premature post… no edit button.

      I don’t think you can ignore the external pressures that undermine widespread movements, but others that also enable them to build over time.

      The UK women’s movement of the late 70s early 80s was a loose network of autonomous groups, some of which quickly came and went. These groups were also inter-linked with a variety of left wing groups and organisations. There was always the factions, the bitter in-fighting amongst left wing groups. But generally, on demos etc, my friends and I, who tended to be non-aligned, found ways to avoid associating too much with groups we disagreed with – a mutually agreed kind of co-existence.

      It wasn’t until the rise of Thatcher that she set out to undermine the basis of these left-wing (including feminist) networks in the metropolitan areas by an array of strategies.

      I also don’t think the OWS movement should be seen as an entirely new movement, unconnected with early activities of the globalisation and anti-war activism of the turn of the century/early 21st century. The other movements waned a little, but it was part of a building narrative and developing expertise in organising local-global, digitally connected actions. Once such a movement continues to build it will gain it’s own momentum. The neoliberals-neocons of the late 70s- 21st century was very well organised by right wing power, think tanks and financial power. But now they are losing control of the system they developed, and of the narrative.

      The right may regain control again, but they will have a difficult job to do due to a perfect storm of external factors/pressures/collapses. And once a movement like OWS gains a certain level of momentum, I doubt that any one left wing organisation will be able to take it over.

  6. Hilary 7

    Occupy Wellington a great success so far in that it has provided something for everyone. When I left a little while ago there were several different groups or individuals doing their own thing but with a common theme. There was a large circle of mainly young people taking turns to talk about the serious issues and organisational aspects while another group was doing that less formally with music and yet another group doing the kinetic stuff. Others handing out leaflets to the passersby. The City to Sea Bridge is a great venue with lots of good spaces and even places to gather out of the rain which was quite heavy at the beginning, but also a great view of the waterfront and the Stock Exchange. As an older person I found it very heartening that this is mainly a young people’s movement as it is about their future. But something for all ages, and all afternoon there have been people taking the time to talk to each other about politics, but in a sort of positive way about how things could be better.

    Considering this is a movement that started with a few people only 4 weeks ago in New York, quite exciting really.

  7. I wouldnt worry about the authoritarian left, I would worry about the fascist right.
    As for hijacks, lets hijack ourselves. The voting rule by consensus means that the lowest common denominator will guide this movement slowly through mild robin hood corrections to capitalism, and when these fail, give rise to more radical anti-capitalist actions, and when these fail, revolutionary consciousness will arise, and what once seemed impossible will now be seen as necessary, and we’ll have a popular revolution.
    Then we can look back and say fuck, who organised that not all at once but once and for all.

    • Bill 8.1

      I agree that consensus rule promotes the lowest common denominator (or minority rule). But then, thats only the case where absolute consensus is required. I’ve read a bit on the occupations in Madrid and have to say, it would appear that absolute consensus is being used to arrive at decisions. That’s a mistake in my opinion for a host of reasons including the one you mention. Ascribe it to a curve of learning and developing and refining perhaps?

      Anyway, as I noted in the post, this was not the case in Dunedin at the time and the decision making processes meant that multiple actions could be planned and executed similtaneously. People participated in those decisions they had a stake in to the extent they had a stake in them. eg If a particular action was going to have a negative impact on some of those withn the movement if it was carried out in a particular way and those people were otherwise not involved in the particular action being advocated or planned, then they would come to the unfolding decision and provide input on that basis and on that basis only.

      • dave brown 8.1.1

        Bill, consensus decision making may empower the minority that holds out. But in the actual circumstances we are talking eg resolutions about Wall St, taxing the rich etc etc, the only serious problem is from the far right like the Tea Party and that would soon get the consensus rule watered down to exclude them. We are not back in 2001 or 2003 when the hard left proposals to stop the war were too extreme for the pacifist majority who wanted to pressure governments, and who then quickly got demoralised when their pacifism failed. Time to draw the correct conclusions, the left minority was not authoritarian, the majority was pacifist in the face of imperialist agression.

        Things are much more advanced today. The occupy movement is a predictable response to the global crisis of capitalism and futility of Iraq and Afghanistan. Any progress so far has been through mass responses to massive austerity attacks sparked by individual martyrdoms. These huge manifestations of outrage are not going to be hijacked by right or left unless these succeed in hijacking the movement from drawing the conclusion that capitalism has be be overthrown by means of armed struggle. In other words, when the imagining of the impossible does not turn into doing what is necessary. In Egypt for example the Army is consolidating its rule because of illusions in its neutrality. Those illusions have been tested and are now largely gone. But massive strike action is still needed to split the ranks of the army away from the SCAF regime. In Syria the barbarism of Assad is finally producing an armed response from the defecting military personnel.

        In other words when the occupy movement joins forces with the unions, the organised left, as it has begun to to, and when it occupies the schools, hospitals, universities, factories, call centres etc THEN it can build a general strike that will bring nations to a halt, and with it the capitalist system. But unless it defends itself, arms itself against the cops, paramilitaries, fuckist goons, then it can expect to continue to get smashed.

        • Colonial Viper

          But unless it defends itself, arms itself against the cops, paramilitaries, fuckist goons, then it can expect to continue to get smashed.

          Remember that even 100 years ago, NZ worker protests and union action was often and successfully smashed by violent and authoritarian sanctioned means. Massey’s Cossacks for example.

  8. Why moderate the word ‘fascism’ it’ll be in our face soon enough why not our vocabulary?

    [lprent: Because the word is over-used in out of context situations. Basically it is used as a political swearword (along with many other phrases and words) by some people. Now that I really don’t mind the language, as anyone who has read one of my notes is aware (I like well-crafted insults). However we aren’t after the well-crafted insult people. We’re after the idiots with carriageway ruts worn in their neural pathways.

    It is a very high probability word with certain irritating types of quite stupid trolls. Because it is so predictive (like other words) as a indicator of those trolls, I auto-moderate it so that the human moderators can decide if it was used in context or not. The reject rate was over 95% and is still about 50-60%, presumably because the targets are kind of stupid and incapable of figuring out how we trap them so consistently and kill their messages before anyone else has to suffer reading the drivel. Ummm I saw one complaining the other day while looking at links to us…

    Umm.. Here you go – from the blog of the predictably stupid and his followers.

    frosty talking about this site:
    I posted a response, won’t make it past moderation as usual, but it’s obviously not somebody from the left. Even a P-user wouldn’t stoop so low as to have an affair with a lefty.

    Short (like all comments there) but contains at least two major incorrect presumptions in two sentences. Of course we have a number of systems to trap fools. Anyone who can argue can get past them without any problems – all they have to do is present an argument. If you cannot present one then you’ll have a problem because the really dumb automatics can pick it up and isolate it – and that appears to be this moron.

    So figure out alternatives, because the alternative from your side is a lower standard of idiot to argue against. ]

    • felix 9.1

      Funny thing about that WhaleOil thread is that none of them are outraged by the idea that “the rich deserve more”, in fact many are actively endorsing the sentiment and some want to take the idea even further.

      So what’s the problem? If they believe what they say then they should be delighted that someone else agrees with their views enough to spend time and money promoting them.

      No, they’re just upset about it being said out loud. Cowards.

      • lprent 9.1.1

        Yep. And the pathetic ineffectual whining. Urrgh. I would hate to have to read that pile of no-hopers every day – it is like listening to the lazy adolescents talking about their rights rather than their responsibilities.

        All this over what looks to me to be unsubstantiated rumor, where the gullible fool has been spun a story or just made it up as he often seems to.

  9. weka 10

    Really important post Bill.

    • Bill 10.1

      Thankyou. I just wish there was more widespread discussion on the issues across the entire left spectrum. But then, such a discussion would not be in the interests of the gatekeepers and power brokers within the left. So I’m not holding my breath.

      Also. I’m pretty sure a lot of people just ‘dont get it’; think that the way things are done is immutable and natural and are genuinely blind to the implications of different organising models.

  10. David 11

    Bill, your ‘very definite reasons’ don’t fit with my experiences of the anti-war movement in Auckland and Christchurch.

    During 2002, the anti-war movement became focussed on stopping the impending invasion of Iraq.
    It withered in mid 2003, soon after the invasion took place. The thousands of people beyond the committed ranks of socialists, anarchists and Christian pacifists who made up the core of the movement felt demoralised by this failure and stopped attending protests.

    Its true the initial Auckland anti-war group was damaged by the antics of one small faction, but the new group, Global Peace & Justice Auckland went on to organise very big and broad protests against the invasion of Iraq, and is it still going today. It’s two main leaders are of course those terrible old leftists John Minto and Mike Treen, both now working for the dreaded Unite union.

    In Christchurch, Peace Action Network was similarly successful at mobilising a series big protests. It too involved representatives of unions, religious groups and those I guess Bill would call the ‘authoritarian left’, as well as anarchists and Green Party members. Some participated as individuals, some as representatives of groups, others as something in between.

    I agree that it if members of one group go into a meeting with a rigid and pre-determined position it can be damaging, but the bigger issue in my view is not whether or not people see themselves as individuals or members of a group, but the attitude they bring to working with others.

    • Bill 11.1

      The post was about how unfolded in Dunedin at the time.

      As far as I’m aware, the anti-war presence in Christchurch, Auckland and elsewhere didn’t attempt to develop the same organisatonal structures that were being developed and utilised in Dunedin back then.

      One of the features of that foray into genuine movement building was the awareness that such a movement would have been sustanable over the long term, rather than rising on the back of a single issue and then fading away.

      Had it survived that initial incursion, or assault, of old style ‘top down’ politics, it would have been around and active when GE protests were needed. And it would still be around today.

      That’s one of the marked differences between a movement and a protest. One persists because it is not predicated on a single focus or event and the other has no reason to survive beyond the timescale of the thing it is formed to protest against.

      The bottom line is that a movement will not…can not…flourish if old style top down organisations are allowed to impact on it. As I wrote in the post, it’s not about excluding the people from those organisations (quite the opposite!), but about excluding the organisations and their deliterious effects.

      If a movement is to grow from events afoot today, or from events in the future then, not only the sectarian left, but the likes of Unite and Mana must, as organsations, parties or unions, be removed from the picture.

  11. Carol 12

    A global day of peaceful protests, except for Rome, which in part turned violent. Of course the violence gets big headlines.

    Al Jazeera-Eng TV (on Stratos) are reporting that it was a small faction that got violent. They reported that other protestors were handing some of them over to the police and cheered when the violent ones got arrested.


    Black smoke billowed into the air in downtown Rome as a small group of violent protesters broke away from the main demonstration. They smashed car windows, set vehicles on fire and assaulted two news crews of Sky Italia, the TV station reported. Others burned Italian and EU flags.

    Witnesses said the violence was caused by several dozen hooded radicals known as “black blocs”, who wear black clothing to hide their identities and have been involved in the organising process of protests since early in the movement.

  12. Very interesting post Bill.

    If you want to exclude organisations with specific agendas from being involved in and taking over the process, shouldn’t you also discourage “left” from the discoures too? If it is keep at the level of a mass of individuals to be democratic and representative then political labels and leanings shouldn’t dominate either. There are a lot more than “the left” in 99%.

    Maybe you are just using “the authoritarian left” as an example to be wary of.

    I dropped in to Aotea Square yesterday but was dismayed at seeing some prominent faces.

  13. AAMC 14

    “But if they get a foot in the door, the vitality and opportunity presented by genuinely democratic modes of organising will be sacrificed to preserve the organisational integrity of whatever organisation it is that inserts itself into proceedings. And I’m not just talking about one of the authoritarian leftist sects here. It could be the unions or any one of a number of liberal organisations that are structured along heirachical lines.

    If anything genuinely new is to emerge from the citizen inspired events emerging around the world, then awareness of the pitfalls presented by orthodox organisations, and strategies to deal with them, must be developed.”


    I haven’t got the time now to read the entire thread, all I can suggest is, if people want to grasp this opportunity and to promote real change, rather than let those vested interests have the podium, GET DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL OCCUPY EVENT, participate in the general assemblies. If there can be a growth from people non aligned with existing movements, it can work, as it has around the world. Catch is, the well educated middle class uni leavers aren’t feeling the pinch yet as they are in USA and Europe.

  14. AAMC 15

    Here it is in Spain

  15. AAMC 16

    #occupyauckland being trolled by neo-liberals, the crew down there not engaged in twitter so losing the debate. I’m away for a week, can’t defend the OWS idea alone, get on twitter and have this debate there! The networking on twitter has the potential to make this grow, as it has around the globe, but not while in the hands of the vested interests alluded to above.

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    3 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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    3 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
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    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
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    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
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    4 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
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    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
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    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
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    5 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
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    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
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    7 days ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
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    7 days ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
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    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
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    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
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    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Safety upgrades and certainty for Ōtaki highway
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today welcomed the NZ Transport Agency’s decision to fund urgent safety improvements and confirm the designation of the Ōtaki to North of Levin highway. Safety upgrades will be made along 23.4km of the existing state highway, running along SH1 from the end of the Peka Peka ...
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    1 week ago
  • Playing our part to support refugees in our region and the world
    New Zealand playing its part in Asia-Pacific and globally are behind changes announced today to the Coalition Government’s three year refugee quota policy, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “We are proud to be a welcoming and inclusive nation committed to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable people to rebuild ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting thriving inclusive communities
    Creating thriving regions and inclusive local communities is the aim of the Welcoming Communities programme being rolled out across the country, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today. A successful pilot of the scheme ran over the last 2 years led by Immigration New Zealand and involved ten councils across five regions ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Takahē population flying high
    Takahē may be flightless but their population is flying high with the official count reaching 418 after a record breeding season that produced an estimated 65 juveniles, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “The population reaching a high of 418 is great news for takahē which were considered ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand makes further climate commitments
    New Zealand is today taking action to reduce the potent global warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, Climate Minister James Shaw and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. “The global agreement to reduce these potent greenhouse gases is another step in New Zealand’s commitment to reduce global warming. It is estimated ...
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    2 weeks ago