Press Release – Occupy Wellington
After 58 days of camping in Civic Square, Occupy Wellington today announced that the movement is entering a new phase, focused on engaging with the wider community from a more permanent indoor base.Occupy Wellington Looks to the Future: “It’s not just about the tents”
After 58 days of camping in Civic Square, Occupy Wellington today announced that the movement is entering a new phase, focused on engaging with the wider community from a more permanent indoor base.
According to the group’s website “The Civic Square camp has provided an incredibly successful vehicle to open public discussion about economic inequality. But the global Occupy movement is about much more than a collection of tents. The next phase is about moving forward to more effectively engage with the enormous support shown in the wider community”.
“The camp was never intended to be permanent. Because so many supporters of Occupy Wellington have jobs and other commitments, we’re focusing on activities that allow the participation of people who are not able to physically camp”.
While tents have been one of the most obvious symbols of the Occupy movement to date, a large number of Occupy camps around the world have shifted their activities to more permanent indoor locations.
In London, a group of Occupy supporters have publicly “repossessed” an abandoned UBS Bank building, setting up a “Bank of Ideas” to promote the non-monetary trade of ideas to help solve pressing economic, social and environmental problems.
Discussion about the next phase of the Occupy movement is taking place globally. Occupy movement supporters in New Zealand are actively participating in web-based conferences between Occupy sites around the world to discuss the next phase of “Occupy 2.0”.
The Occupy Wellington group has put a call out for an indoor space for long-term activities.
“Plans are underway to set up a community resource centre to continue hosting public discussion forums, open lectures, community markets and function as the Wellington base of the Occupy movement” says Darcy, an Occupy Wellington supporter.
Although the Occupy group has departed Civic Square, a small number of tents remain.
“During our time in Civic Square the Occupy Wellington camp became a support network for an increasing number of people who are marginalized in society, some of whom are without homes,” says Joel Cosgrove, a supporter of Occupy Wellington who has been involved since it began on October 15th.
“Seeing the human consequences of the structural inequality in our society has strengthened our resolve to focus on the root causes of the problem” says Cosgrove.
The gap between New Zealand’s rich and poor has widened more than in any other developed country during the past 20 years, according to an OECD report released last week.
Occupy camps have also been established in other places around Wellington in the last several weeks, including at the evicted Pomare state housing community in Lower Hutt.
For more information, please contact:
Occupy Wellington Communications Committee