Thursday, July 26, 2012
Small victories adding up
If we truly lived in George Orwell's 1984 then there would be no point fighting for a better world. Orwell's dystopian novel portrays a cowed and submissive working class afraid to even think a subversive thought and constantly monitored by Big Brother. In such a world the possibility of resistance, let alone revolution, is reduced to nothing.
We know we don't live in 1984 because not only are there workers' struggles and community protests; sometimes they win.
In the last month we have seen a temporary concession to the state house residents in Glen Innes who have been fighting tooth and nail against the privatisation of HNZ properties and the gentrification of their neighbourhood. Some eight months after the first protests against evictions began.
We also saw community protests stop the closure of maternity services at Whanganui hospital. 24/7 maternity care at the town's hospital is not negotiable, says the health board.
Gay marriage and fair adoption laws are finally on the agenda in Parliament with the drawing of Louisa Wall's Private Members Bill and has the strong support of Hone Harawira and the Mana Movement.
This morning Te Whanau a Apanui captain Elvis Teddy had criminal charges dismissed for his role in disrupting preparations for deep sea oil drilling off the East Coast. The dismissal of charges means when the oil exploration vessels come calling in our seas there won't be much the police can throw at protesters.
A Labour Party bill to 'mondayise' and ensure 11 public holidays a year passed its first reading and will go to select committee even with the National Party against it. So too did a Green Party bill to regulate and provide transparency around corporate lobbyists in Parliament
Next week students around the country will play host to a leader of the Quebec student movement fighting fee hikes.
These are small victories but they confirm the power and importance of opposing austerity and fighting for a better world. All of these victories would never have happened without hundreds of people participating in protests, supporting meetings and building local campaigns. These are the payoffs for the energy and time invested into the protests that made up the winter of dissent.
Small victories add up, they encourage us to keep up with the struggles and campaigns we are involved in.
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui.