Occupy Wellington to Host Free Community-Based Tertiary Ed.

Press Release – Occupy Wellington

Despite rumours of Police eviction earlier in the week, the Occupy Wellington group today announced the launch of an ongoing Community Education Initiative, kicking off with a two-day series of open lectures on problems and solutions for economic …FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Occupy Wellington to Host Free Community-Based Tertiary Education Initiative in Civic Square Despite Eviction Rumours

Despite rumours of Police eviction earlier in the week, the Occupy Wellington group today announced the launch of an ongoing Community Education Initiative, kicking off with a two-day series of open lectures on problems and solutions for economic and environmental issues this weekend.

According to the group’s website, this initiative is the first step towards an ongoing community-based platform for freely accessible tertiary educational opportunities. This weekend’s ‘Occupy Your Mind’ lectures will be given by a University-based academics, community experts, professionals, and environmental advocates.

Topics covered in the public lecture series include economic issues such as the proposed ‘Robin Hood Tax’, the contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and the global financial crisis, as well as environmental issues such as offshore drilling, causes and consequences of the Rena oil spill, and ethical food production and consumption.

Speakers include Dr Peter Thompson (Senior Lecturer, School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies, Victoria University) discussing the role of media in the global financial crisis, and Sarah Meads (Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam NZ), speaking about the relationship between social justice, food, and climate change.

Saturday will also feature participatory discussion groups, including a Safer Spaces workshop at 3pm, facilitated by Ian Anderson, Emily Haskell, and Andren Sath. Lectures and workshops will be followed by performances by local musicians, including Seth Frightening on Saturday and the Newtown Rocksteady on Sunday.

Despite eviction rumours, broadening community support for the Occupy camp has showed no signs of slowing down.

“The groundswell of support shown by academics and other experts in the community for the Occupy movement in Wellington has been overwhelming.” says Ben, a supporter of Occupy Wellington. “I’ve received numerous messages of hope that this community education program can be an ongoing thing” Ben says.

It is understood that the Wellington City Council and the Police have not made any moves to evict the group from Civic Square, and that arrangements have been made between Occupy Wellington and children’s organisation Capital E to ensure that Occupy activities do not interfere with the annual ‘Big Halloween’ children’s event on Monday.

Free educational events will continue next week at the Occupy site, with volunteers at the Community Law Centre presenting a public workshop on legal topics relevant to the Occupy movement on Monday evening.

“I’m really looking forward to running our workshop at the Occupy camp next week” says Kate Scarlet (LLB), a Community Advocate at the Wellington Community Law Centre.

“We’re happy for every opportunity to provide legal education to the community” says Kate.

For more information and high quality photographs, please contact: Occupy Wellington Communications Committee Telephone: 0223150958 Email: occupy.wellington@gmail.com

Full schedule for ‘Occupy Your Mind’ event:

Saturday 29th October 11am: Michael Williams (Worker’s Rights Campaigner): Rena – Causes and Consequences. 12pm: Mike Smith (Environmental advocate): Economics, Oil and the Environment. 1pm: Grant Brookes (Tax Justice spokesperson): Introducing the Robin Hood Tax. 2pm: Bill Rosenberg (CTU Policy Director): The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its Likely Effects. 2.45pm: Dr Peter Thompson (Senior Lecturer, School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies): Media and the Global Financial Crisis. 3.30pm: Sarah Meads (Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam NZ): Food Justice – Social Justice, Food and Climate. 4.30pm: Seth Frightening and Special Guests

Sunday 30th October

11am: Dr Andrew McGregor (Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences): Ethical Food Choices. 12pm: Mary Bryne (Fluoride Action Network NZ:) Hazardous Waste in the Water. 1pm: Jimmy Green (Generation Zero): Youth and Climate Change. 2pm: Miles Thompson: Understanding Money in the Social Network. 3pm: Newtown Rocksteady Unplugged with Special Guests Sam Manzanza and Matiu Te Huki.

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