Global Day of Action Commences

Today is a big day in the Global Occupy Movement, with coordinated actions taking place across the globe.In New York, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are marking the 2-month anniversary by taking their message to the New York Stock Exchange, and occupying the subway system throughout the Five Boroughs. Tens of thousands of people are expected to convene outside City Hall later today, united under the banner, “Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy.”Occupations across the world are rising up in solidarity with the Wall Street demonstrators, with actions commencing in over 400 US cities, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, and here in New Zealand.The day of action coincides with mass student strikes across the US, Spain, Chile, Egypt, Finland, Belgium, Poland, Nigeria, Austria, Bulgaria, and Serbia co-ordinated by students rights organisation the International Student Movement.

In Greece, tens of thousands are marching to mark the 38th anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising, a massive student-lead demonstration triggered the overthrow of the military junta in 1974.

There’s a lot going on today and the police are doing blocking the media so it is hard to get a clear picture of what’s happening. Here’s some news sources to keep an eye on:

If you’re in Wellington you can come show your support for the global day of action by joining us at noon in Civic Square, where we will be chalking our messages on blackboards and then marching to Midland park to give a ‘people’s mic’ update of the events around the world.

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Occupy Wellington in solidarity with CMP workers

Occupy Wellington expresses the utmost solidarity with locked out CMP Workers in Marton. Please see these two links for more details, please see these two links:

http://bmuc.blogspot.com/2011/11/nz-meat-workers-locked-out.html
http://business.scoop.co.nz/2011/11/04/cmp-offer-cuts-wages-to-the-bone/

“The week before the lockout notice, the company put the workforce on annual leave and used this time to contact workers at home and induce them to sign individual agreements containing the new terms and conditions. In the absence of their union representatives, some 100 workers gave in to this intimidation and signed. These workers were also forced to leave the union before signing the individual agreements.” –

This is a clear example of private profit being placed above the needs of people. This must change.

Joel on 3NEWS

Joel was questioned this morning on 3NEWS.

In the interview Rachel Smalley stated that camping is unhygienic, Joel came back with some magical words.
She was that impressed, she started winking 😉 (see photo) At the end of the video, she clearly gave up being part of the 1%.
Another saved human being. Awesome Joel!

Watch the video here.

Rally in support of Occupy Wall St.

On Tuesday 15thNovember 2011 Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, were evicted by a large police force in full riot gear. The brutal eviction started at 1.20am in the morning and included:

  • Teargassing and pepper spraying
  • Bulldozers
  • NYPD destroying personal items. Occupiers were prevented from leaving with their possessions.
  • Deployed a sound cannon against occupiers
  • NYPD cutting down trees in Liberty Square
  • NYC council-member Ydanis Rodríguez arrested and bleeding from head.
  • Destroyed the Library. 5,000 donated books in dumpster.
  • Brooklyn Bridge closed off , All subways shut down
  • Press helicopters evicted from airspace. NY Times reporter arrested.
  • Press barred from entering Liberty Square

At 6am in the morning Liberty Square had been cleared. The occupiers re-grouped at Foley Square and made the following proclamation “We will re-occupy”. You cannot evict an idea whose time has come. We are here because we too believe a better world is possible. We will push back against anyone who wantonly tramples on proud freedoms: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the freedom of people to peaceably assemble and petition for change. We are the 99%, and we want to live in a world that is for all of us — not just for those who have amassed great wealth and power. NOW is the time to help. If you feel as deeply about the Occupy movement as we do, show your support by taking real steps today! Join Occupy Wellington. We are occupying Civic Square as part of the Occupy Together movement. We are an all-inclusive, family friendly, alcohol and drug free space. For more information come down and see us or check out: Occupy Wellington NZ on Facebook or contact 0226022753

NZ Church Groups unite in support of Occupy Aotearoa

As leaders of Christian community organisations tackling many of the social issues affecting New Zealanders today, we want to express our solidarity with and our support for, the people occupying public spaces in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin & Wellington. We support their right to peacefully protest, their freedom of speech and their right to assemble. We support the fact that they are putting a spotlight on issues that successive governments both here in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world have failed to adequately confront, let alone resolve. We are troubled by the moves to have these people forcibly evicted from the sites that they are occupying and the labelling of them as ‘anti-capitalist’ by the media; a gross over simplification of a complex issue. We ask that agreements are reached that allow for continued peaceful, non-violent demonstration to enable further opportunity to understand the issues being presented. Continue reading

General Assembly – Response to Council letter

Dear Wellingtonians,

This afternoon, Occupy Wellington received a letter (Council Letter) from the Wellington City Council requesting a definite date of departure.

We would like to warmly invite you to a General Assembly at 6pm tomorrow evening in Civic Square to discuss the best way to respond to the Council’s request. It would be great to get as much input from other members of the public as possible, so please bring anyone you think might be interested!

To give some more background on the motivations and goals of Occupy Wellington, please visit https://occupywellington.wordpress.com/about/vision to read our Vision Statement.

If you can’t make it down, any letters, phone calls, or emails of support to the Council would be very much appreciated (emails to mayor@wcc.govt.nz).

In case of wet weather, we will meet in Civic Square then move the Assembly to an alternate location. Please check www.occupywellington.org for updates.

Thank you for your support!

Occupy Wellington

***

Letter to the Wellington City Council:

Dear Mr Poole,

Thank you for your letter.

The Occupy Wellington General Assembly would like to thank you for taking a constructive approach, and maintaining an open and non-confrontational line of communication. The response to your letter was to call a public meeting on the evening of Wednesday November 16th to discuss your concerns and how they might best be addressed. This reply reports the outcome of that public discussion.

Illegal occupation

You state that the Wellington City Council does not support the illegal occupation of public spaces. The legality of the Occupy sites around the country is a contentious issue. While the presence of Occupy Wellington may have changed the traditional use of the public space in Civic Square, we understand that the right to peaceful protest is protected under the Bill of Rights Act, and that this protection cannot be removed by a Council bylaw.

We understand that Council bylaws must be consistent with the rights protected by the Bill of Rights Act, and can only limit those rights in ways that are demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. Legal experts and members of the New Zealand Police have made it clear that this is not currently the case.

The Bill of Rights Act also protects freedom of expression; in the context of the global Occupy movement, this expression takes the form of an ongoing demonstration that is dependent on tents.

We have maintained a positive relationship with the Wellington Police over the last five weeks, and it is our understanding that they have received no complaints related to Occupy Wellington.

Exclusive use of public space

You state that  the Council will not tolerate the “exclusive use of public space by a few people on an ongoing basis.” It is surprising that Occupy Wellington is referred to as an “exclusive occupation”, when openness and inclusivity are at the core of the global Occupy movement. From the outset, Occupy Wellington has been operating as an open community-based forum for public discussion. Great lengths have been taken to ensure this inclusivity, with a 24/7 rotating staff to actively welcome any passersby to participate.

In addition, every effort has been made to minimise the impact of Occupy Wellington on other members of the public using this area. Occupy Wellington have maintained open communication with other groups using the area, and have been extremely flexible in our approach to sharing the space. We have worked hard to ensure that Occupy Wellington activities have not interfered with other events held in Civic Square, moving tents to accommodate Capital E’s Big Halloween celebration and the All Blacks victory parade. We have experienced no conflict with any other group using the area, and have received only positive feedback from these interactions.

Occupy Wellington has organized numerous educational events, all of which have been advertised as absolutely open, free of charge, and accessible to anyone. In the Free University initiative, academics, community experts, church groups, and professionals have donated their time to provide tertiary-level lectures directly to the community. In addition, regular workshops are held, and free meals are regularly provided to the public.

Rather than interfering with the use and enjoyment of this space, we feel that Occupy Wellington’s initiatives have enhanced the enjoyment and use of Civic Square for the wider public, of which we are a part.

If we have failed to adequately communicate the open public nature of Occupy Wellington, we invite any suggestions you might have to extend our welcoming message.

Complaints from some members of the public

We understand that the Council has received a small number of complaints from some members of the public, and a number of messages of support for Occupy Wellington. On site, and online, Occupy Wellington has been inundated with support. If you can provide more specific details of any complaints, we will work to address any issues raised. We welcome any members of the public to come and speak at Occupy Wellington, and can guarantee that they receive a respectful hearing. Occupy Wellington supporters comprise a broad cross-section of society, including academics, students, professionals, businesspeople, and community groups.

Unoccupied tents, on-site washing, toileting, cooking and feeding of pigeons

We appreciate your concerns about these specific issues, and are actively seeking to address them. Because Civic Square is a public space, the Occupy Wellington General Assembly is clearly unable to enforce any regulations on members of the public, but clear guidelines are in place to maintain hygiene standards and care of the site.

A policy has been implemented to remove tents that are not in use or occupied to minimise the impact on the land, with on-site staff in charge of allocating tent space to newcomers.

Meals are cooked offsite at private residences, and washing and toileting on-site are actively discouraged.

In addition, the site is explicitly a drug and alcohol free zone 24/7, and anti-social behaviors are addressed in our Kaupapa and Safe Spaces Agreement.

In response to your concerns, an ‘onsite etiquette’ document will be posted at the camp entrance to ensure this message is clearly conveyed to all newcomers.

Definite date of departure

As an all-inclusive public platform rather than a defined group of individuals, it was agreed by General Assembly consensus that Occupy Wellington is unable to provide a definite date of departure. Members of the public present at the General Assembly felt that it would be irresponsible to close the public forum provided by Occupy Wellington until there is clear progress towards resolving the pressing issues identified in the Occupy Wellington Vision Statement, attached.

We wish to maintain an open dialogue with the Wellington City Council, and hope that you are satisfied with the measures we are taking to address your concerns.

In the spirit of the inclusiveness that characterises the global Occupy movement, we warmly invite you to contact us to arrange a Special Assembly to discuss any further concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Occupy Wellington General Assembly

National Radio Interview

Richard of Occupy Wellington talks on National Radio about the Occupy Movement here.

Occupy Together: Global Citizens weekend

Friday:

11.00am: A minute of silence to reflect upon past warriors of peace

12pm: Permaculture design systems workshop

5.30pm: People’s Parliament

Saturday: Global Outlook

2.30pm: Updates from occupy worldwide

3.30pm: General Assembly

Sunday: Community Day

Free university talks, free trade stores and live music.

Free University featuring a global unity theme:

12.30pm: Adrian Leason from the Ploughshares

2.30pm: Joel Cosgrove

4.30pm: Live music with special guests Sam Manzanza, Tim Key and Jinetero MC.

CloseUp Coverage

As much as TV1’s CloseUp program tried to cast Occupy in a negative light, even the Mayor of Invercargill and Deputy Mayor of Auckland expressed sympathy for the Occupy cause, and respect for the importance of the right to protest.

Cherry-picking footage of someone who has expressly stated they don’t want to be filmed is some pretty questionable journalism….

Rest assured, the featured hand gesture is not endorsed by the Occupy Wellington General Assembly.

We welcome anyone to come and visit to see how things really are!

Tomorrow: Come participate in the ‘People’s Parliament’ public open forum at 5.30pm in Civic Square – come and share your vision for the future of New Zealand!

11/11/11 – People’s Parliament

click for high res. version

The Occupied Cities of Aotearoa invite you to join us at 5.30pm on Friday to participate in real democracy at the first sitting of the People’s Parliament!

In contrast to the Politicians’ Parliament at the Beehive, where a select few make decisions on behalf of everyone else, the People’s Parliament is an open public discussion forum in which everyone has an equal voice and decisions are not made on behalf of others.

The People’s Parliament is founded on respect for all people and equality for all voices. Together we can discuss the problems that face us locally and globally, and together we can generate solutions accessible to everyone.We believe the global problems we face require a global redesign that can only be achieved by the collaboration, cooperation and creativity of all the world’s people. This redesign is happening now in 2,500 Occupied Cities around the world, and we need your input.It is the people, not politicians, that are best qualified to create sustainable, healthy, happy communities. Together we can shape a future that is environmentally, socially and economically just for everyone.Come put your piece into the puzzle; join us 5.30pm this Friday!Auckland: Aotea Square
Wellington: Civic Square
Christchurch: Hagley Park
Dunedin: The Octagon

Click here to download the flyer if you’d like to distribute a few