What’s going on?
On September 17, people from all across the United States joined took action against the blatant injustices perpetuated by the “1%” (economic and political elite) whose actions affect all of us, the 99%. They spoke out, resisted and successfully occupied Wall Street (New York), along with more than 50 other cities in the United States. They remain engaged in non-violent civil disobedience despite many attempts at removal.
On October 15 million people answered a call to action, attending demonstrations and days of actions against social and economic injustice. Following a peaceful demonstration in Civic Square the Wellington occupation began, along with occupations in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and thousands of other cities worldwide.
Why Occupy Wellington?
We face similar problems with our democracy here in New Zealand as people face around the world. Many of our elected representatives no longer represent their constituents – instead, their ears are turned by wealthy lobby groups, whilst the common interests of the people they were elected to represent are ignored.
Inspired by the actions of those striving for democracy in North Africa and the Middle East, and similar demonstrations throughout Europe the United States, the “Occupy Together” movement has grown. While there are no official demands, the movement has been described as a global social movement for real democracy and political participation, and even “a breakthrough in consciousness”. Occupy Wellington is part of this global movement.
What is “Occupy Wellington” ?
Occupy Wellington is a movement made up of people of many ethnicities, genders, backgrounds and political persuasions, who are working on finding common ground with one another.
We all agree that we do not live in the best possible world, and we all bring different possible solutions to the table.
Many of us are physically occupying Civic Square, sleeping in tents and working together on direct action. Other members of our movement are not living at the occupation, but contribute their knowledge and skills towards communication, actions and event planning from off site. Whatever time commitment you can make, whether it is stopping by for ten minutes to chat to the occupiers, helping out with our communications from home, or living at Civic Square full time, we welcome you to join us. We are all Occupy Wellington.
What’s happened so far?
People concerned about social and economic injustices peacefully occupied the public space of Civic Square from October 15.
Some people live at the occupation full time, while others come by to run or participate in workshops, talk to the occupiers, have a bite to eat, or attend open events including our “Free University” community education initiative and the REAL Free Trade Market. Decisions are made by consensus, and the occupation works around a ‘distributed leadership model’ – there is no organisational hierarchy, but individuals display initiative and leadership in their particular areas of expertise.
A large focus of the occupation is around building stronger bonds within our local community, and making use of public space in a way that benefits the public. For example, as a result of discussions and connections at the Civic Square occupation, there are now plans to reinstate the Newtown Time Bank, Education Resource Centre and other community infrastructure.
Civic Square is our square. The streets ofWellington are our streets. They are our home within our home, as we strive for a more equitable democracy, capable of taking us beyond the 21st century.
Will this be a defining moment for the western world in the 21st century? It’s up to you.
Who got this started?
The people of Wellington. Occupy Wellington is not affiliated with any political party, social party, activist group, Anonymous or any other organisation. We come from a wide range of beliefs, ideas, opinions, political ideologies and backgrounds, young and old. Occupy Wellington was inspired by Occupy Together, Occupy Wall Street and Democracia Real Ya (in Spain).
Due to the distributed leadership model of Occupy Wellington the Global Occupy Movement, no one individual can claim to represent the views of the whole. This website doesn’t attempt to speak for all members of the movement, or for the movement as a whole. It is simply a collation of related resources and information from a range of sources. It is administered by a rotating staff from the Occupy Wellington Communications Committee.