The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 3, 9 November 2011

Column – Occupy Wellington

Friday 11.11.11 is the first sitting of the Participatory Peoples’ Parliament at 5:30pm. It’s about democracy for the people, by the people. So join the G7 Billion!


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 3, 9 November 2011

By the Occupy Wellington Comms Committee


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 3, 9 November 2011
PDF Download – 735kb

Earlier Editions:
The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 1 Monday 24th October
The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 2 Saturday 29 October

QUOTE:
“That some who cannot spell, let alone write, think that the world is gagging to know their business is as presumptuous as tweeters who think everyone is interested in their self-absorbed lives.”
Dominion Post Editorial 13.01.2010


Participatory People’s Parliament on Friday 11/11/11

Friday 11.11.11 is the first sitting of the Participatory Peoples’ Parliament at 5:30pm.

It’s about democracy for the people, by the people. So join the G7 Billion!

Followed by a weekend of:

Saturday
2:30: Global Occupy Rundown
3:30: General Assembly
5:30: Music

Sunday
Real free-trade
11am: Revolution in the Middle East (Tali Williams)
Midday: The Situation in Africa (Yilma Tasere)
1pm: What is the 99% (Joel Cosgrove)
2pm: Occupied Europe (Paco)
3pm: Music

EDITORIAL:


Trans-Occupy Express

By Alastair and Joel

Last week we wrote of the need to make new mistakes, not the same old mistakes. The act of doing something new involves, in its essence, breaking with the established ways of thinking. We learn through thinking, discussing and acting, and not always in that order.

Occupy Wellington started three weeks ago and there has been an occupation in Civic Square right through that time. Isn’t that an outrageous idea? Two months ago, we could not have imagined that this would have happened. That it could happen. That we’d be putting out a newspaper with thousands of online reads and a current printing run of 1500 copies per issue. Those of us behind putting this paper out couldn’t believe it ourselves, until we had the first PDF in front of us.

The occupy movement globally has often been characterised by its break with the established routine of protest and bearing witness. Our movement poses a set of sharp questions, and our methods have made us impossible to ignore. Who is capable of imagining something new? Who can’t see beyond what already exists?

We started in Wellington with a protest, something that felt little different from those of the past. There is a rhythm within the order of things that allows an easy co-option, especially with a clear start and end time. Those in power, the capitalists and their loyal servants in the police, had struck a deal with the people a long time ago that was never written down, or spoken out loud, but was no less real for it. You may protest – march, shout, wave placards, hand out leaflets and so on – and we will not stop you as long as you do so within a certain framework, both legal and in terms of your own conscious thought. We will not only tolerate you, but so long as you stay within that framework, we will ignore you, and so will everyone else. Whether we knew it or not, we signed off on this deal. Those in power made us the agents of our own irrelevancy.

The point at which we put tents down and stayed was the point where we broke with the status quo.

We broke the deal, we tore it up and burned it, and now they are scrambling to figure out how to respond. A quick look at the confusion in Dunedin, with council and police unable to even figure out the legality of their own eviction notices, shows how confused the 1% have become.

The process we embarked upon has been difficult, but we are not alone. We are linked around the globe with Occupy Wall Street, Oakland, Lisbon, London among many others. We’ve joined an international Occupation newswire for sharing and facilitating content from around the world.

The aspect of coming up with new ideas, this vague idea of “for the 99% by the 99%” has been difficult at times and not just for us. The growing pains are something being shared around the world. We have been passing on experiences and receiving experiences from around the world.

Over the past week we’ve had to face some tough questions. Is this occupation helping our outreach to the rest of the 99% or is it holding us back? Into that discussion comes the point we need to address, that this occupation, this movement, needs to be based on mass participation. We can’t sit on the work of a few as emblematic of a wider mass of people. This is the ultimate question. How big can this get, how wide can it grow? The reality of that is that it is up to each of us to stand up and take this responsibility, we can’t just nod our heads and pass the buck. Initially we’ve seen an endorsement of a collection over the weekend in support of the locked out CMP meatworkers. These are ordinary working class people. Trade union members trying to defend their livelihood.

People who just want a decent wage, the ability to feed their families, to defend the conditions and rights the previous generation of working class battlers fought for… and they have been locked out for not agreeing to a 20% paycut. The bosses are trying to starve them into submission. When class war breaks, the 99% stands 100% behind the workers.

You don’t have to be physically in the camp to take part. There is a lot of work that can be done off site. The dissemination and discussion of the ideas is essential. We need internet warriors! If you have ten tabs about the occupy movement open but haven’t come down to Civic Square, don’t feel disheartened or unworthy. We need you. Post on Facebook and Twitter in support of the movement.

Study, read, share. That’s how this all began and it’s how it will continue. This is not about a tent city – this is about a movement that ultimately will need to involve a lot more people before our talk of revolution can become reality.


Occupy Wellington Safer Space Policy

To build a conscious and inclusive movement, we need to be aware of power structures that exist within the 99%. While in capitalist society the richest 1% hold the bulk of resources and power, there are hierarchies within the global majority.

We have no illusions that Occupy Wellington is free from all threats. By occupying this space, and participating in political debate, we take risks including state violence and monitoring.

Though no space can ever be completely safe, we can still work towards creating an environment where people are both comfortable with challenging, and encouraged to challenge, oppressive behaviour.

This requires a conscious approach. It is difficult to establish and easy to destroy.

• -To oppose all forms of oppression, we cannot tolerate views that openly support oppression. This means members of hate groups are not part of our movement.

• -Sexual violence and harrassment is not acceptable anywhere, and will not be tolerated here. We must respect physical and emotional boundaries, gaining active consent when engaging with people.

– Support survivors of abuse, believing them and keeping the space safe for them.

• -People communicate a lot without intending to. Each speaker must take responsibility for messages they communicate, intended or otherwise.

• -Responsibility to educate on the nature of oppression, and to point out oppressive behaviour, is collective. It should not be left to queers to challenge all queerphobia, women to challenge all sexism and so on.

• -Facilitators should place priority on speakers from marginalised groups, or those who have not spoken before.

• -Occupy Wellington is an alcohol and drug-free space.

Anyone not respecting these principles may be asked to leave the occupation.


The Occupied Dominion Post – Issue 3, 9 November 2011
PDF Download – 735kb

***ENDS***

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