The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 2 Saturday 29th October

Article – Occupy Wellington

The one month anniversary of the beginnings Occupy Wall St has passed. A movement that came from such small beginnings has become an international explosion of discontent. Despite all expectations, our movement has held its ground and continues to grow.


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 2 Saturday, 29 October 2011

By the Occupy Wellington Comms Committee


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 2 Saturday 29th October
PDF Download – 342kb

Earlier Editions:
The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 1 Monday 24th October
QUOTE:

“As a start they could stop beating their wives and kids, get proper, 40-hour-a-week jobs that don’t depend on funding from government social agencies, and stop intimidating their neighbours. They could even join social organisations of a different sort, say, the local Rotary club, and give up their spare time to help build facilities for the communities they have, till now, preyed upon.” Dominion Post Editorial 30.09.2008

LEAD:

Occupy the World

The one month anniversary of the beginnings Occupy Wall St has passed. A movement that came from such small beginnings has become an international explosion of discontent. Despite all expectations, our movement has held its ground and continues to grow.

It’s important to focus on the positives.

It is, however, equally important to be aware of other events.

In Oakland, California, the Occupation has been violently broken up by police. Amidst clouds of teargas, masked police officers advanced on the camp swinging their truncheons and evicted the inhabitants with extreme force. They fired projectiles into the unarmed crowd, causing injuries to dozens of protesters.

One case, however, stands out from the rest.

Scott Olsen is 24 years old. A former US Marine, he returned from two tours in Iraq without injury and became involved with veterans groups that oppose the war. He now lies in hospital with a fractured skull and swelling to his brain, and all his injuries were received at the hands of the Oakland police force. During the protests he stood face to face with the cops, in his old Marine jacket, and as they bravely attacked unarmed demonstrators with chemical weapons he stood his ground. A policeman shot him in the face at point blank range with a teargas canister.

It gets worse. As he lay unconscious and bleeding on the ground, a small crowd of fellow demonstrators rushed forward through the gas to try and help him. The police had made no moves to even see if he was still alive. As the crowd crouched by his body and prepared to lift him to safety, a masked cop moved forward out of the ranks and casually tossed a flashbang grenade into their midst. This is not an allegation.

This is documented fact. This incident was captured on video and is all over the internet – search “oakland police explosive” on youtube and see for yourself.

The police in Oakland have denied that they used excessive force. They have even denied that they used flashbang grenades, despite widespread eyewitness and video evidence to the contrary. The Mayor has attempted to distance herself from the violence, but nonetheless has given the police action her approval.

Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Chicago have also been violently evicted by police, but despite the usual violence they apparently managed to do it without shooting anyone in the face. Commendable.

“They’ll be back, and in greater numbers” The Oakland authorities appear to have underestimated the resolve of the Occupy movement. After 150 protesters were violently evicted, some 3000 people marched to retake the square, and they have vowed to march every day until they are able to rebuild their presence.

These do not appear to be empty words – the following resolution was passed at a General Assembly in which 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against.

“We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more.

People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.”

EDITORIAL:

Whatever People Say We Are, That’s
What We’re Not.

This is the second edition of the Occupied Dominion Post, and it comes out less than a week after the first. We gave away over one thousand copies of the first issue and the PDF has spread all over the internet.

In Wellington and around the world, things are moving fast. In Melbourne, Sydney, Oakland (US) and other cities, police have cracked down hard on the Occupy movements.

The authorities appear to believe that the longer these movements are left to their own devices, the more dangerous they get. Perhaps they are right – the question is, dangerous to whom? The justifications used so far by authorities vacillate between an apparent concern for the health and safety of protesters and a general contempt towards freedom of expression. We are to be given a token two to four weeks to exercise our democratic rights, before we go back to being quiet and taking the beating that the recession has doled out to the working poor.

In our last editorial we made reference to the slogan “…this movement has issued no demands. It is not a protest. It’s an occupation.

Rebellions don’t have demands.” People have taken that to mean that we are against any concrete statements or that we are for nothing.

That is not the case. The point is that when the media and the politicians say we ‘have no demands’, what really bothers them is that we are not begging the same people who caused the problem to solve it for us. We started this occupation with no policy platforms or impressive powerpoints, because we don’t claim to have the answers. What we are seeking to do is ask the questions and start the discussions.

We have done this. It would appear the system has not yet collapsed, but all across Wellington, New Zealand and the world people are talking about us and why we are here. That is a victory in itself.

There has been a discussion led by university academics about the declining role of the University as a centre for critical thinking in society.

Many other workshops have been held and many other ideas discussed – permaculture, fractional reserve banking, a critique of using conspiracy theories to explain the problems inherent in capitalism.

Arguments are happening, ideas are being developed. We are learning to agree to disagree and still work together towards common goals.

Just because you can’t see an immediate manifesto doesn’t mean we aren’t thinking, just because you can’t see immediate change doesn’t mean things aren’t changing. We’re thinking bigger than that. We want to make new mistakes, not the same old mistakes that have been made time and time again. We want a new kind of movement to confront new forms of oppression, inequality and injustice – the old movements failed.

We believe the system itself is the problem. This is about more than just bad people doing bad things.

Our movement is not about opposing one particular government policy, or one bad employer, or one dodgy bank. If you put your clean clothes in a filthy wardrobe, before long they need a wash. We’re here to build a laundry.

If there is to be a fundamental improvement in the way we engage with and relate to each other, it will not be initiated by those at the top.

Real change will come through the efforts of those who don’t have an investment in the status quo. Real change will come from those of us who have nothing to lose but our chains – our debts, our minimum wage, our lack of a future – together we can make it happen. – Alastair and Joel


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 2 Saturday 29th October
PDF Download – 342kb

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