Sunday, February 28, 2016

People Power at the TPPA blockade a Taste of Revolution

At the beginning of 2016, on February 4th, Aotearoa woke up. On that morning, one of the largest crowds this country has seen in recent decades assembled in Auckland’s Aotea Square and in other parts of the country, to protest the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
New Zealanders were concerned about the TPPA’s unknown effects on the country and its potential attack on their sovereignty. It is now a matter of record that on the day an amalgam of the Left created the biggest non-violent direct action in NZ history.
Underneath the TPPA issues are a raft of other closely related subjects  that helped to unite the people and galvanise the actions that unfolded. For many, the government’s blatant disregard of public opinion in ramming through this hugely unpopular trade deal is symptomatic of National’s treatment of ordinary people. The destruction of state housing, rising child poverty rates, attacks on beneficiaries and other attacks on the working class have all stoked people’s anger. Just last November more than 32,000 marched nationwide to protest against another issue that defines all our lives: climate change. And as socialists, our slogan on the day was ‘System Change Not Climate Change”.  
Because while Socialist Aotearoa has been proud to get involved in organising and building protests and direct action against this shameful government, and to march alongside Kiwi families and workers to show John Key and his cronies who has the power, ultimately we believe all of these issues must be attacked at the root. It is capitalism itself that must be challenged.
More than 150 years ago, Marx talked about “the irreparable rift in the interdependent process of social metabolism” created by capitalism – in other words, the tendency of capitalism to produce ecological crises. He wrote of the assault on the planets’ resources created by human labour, and the corresponding breakdown of the dynamic and complex relationship between us and nature.
Just like his ideas on ecology, much of Marx’s writing remain as relevant as ever.  Because in a world gone mad, where profit comes before people – giving rise to treacherous deals like the TPPA - and economic austerity is the prevailing ideology, where time and again the same tired rhetoric is used to justify atrocity toward all life on this planet, where tens of millions of our fellow human beings are starving to death whilst the rest of us grow fat and diseased on sugar and salt, there has never been a better time to investigate the ideas of Marx.

I look forward to the Revolution, to the Great Transition to a fairer more equitable world where we define ourselves as human by the depths of our demonstrated attempts to de-construct Capitalism, heal the rift between ourselves and the natural environment and build a world-wide humane society based on the ideals of Socialism.

Gem SA

Sunday, February 14, 2016

TPPA - After the Marches and Blockades - where now for the Movement? WORKERS VOICE RADIO

Workers Voice - Joe Carolan talks to Treaty rights activist Helen Te Hira, Real Choice Blockader Benjamin John and Socialist Stephen Hassan.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

John Key booed off stage at the Big Gay Out- LGBT against the TPPA

Adored leader, John "Nicolae Ceausescu" Key, made a speech to the adoring masses today. Expect a hole in his flag anyday soon.

LGBT against the TPPA - John Key booed off the stage at the Big Gay Out. ‪#‎BigGayOut‬
 LGBT Resistance To The TPPA

Friday, February 05, 2016

Against this System, a Real Choice rises.

Despite the doomsayers on the Right, Left and in the Media,  the city of Auckland was shut down by non violent direction action on February 4th 2016 as the TPPA was being signed.  A strategy of tension, predicting "violence" and condemning radical groups such as Real Choice, did not deter a movement of 2,000 or so people from marching on Skycity and blockading the TPPA ceremony.  The support given to the Blockade from a wide spectrum of activist groups shows there is now a vibrant, extra parliamentary, radical movement in Auckland searching for streetwise strategy and a stronger, anticapitalist politics.  The canny and creative activist leaders of Real Choice are to be applauded for their superbly coordinated action on the day. 

This is not the time to forget those who attacked this movement and wished it ill. Chris Trotter wrote-

"Real Choice’s stated intention of “shutting down the surrounding area and stopping entry by blocking some surrounding roads – effectively creating a TPPA free zone” completely ignores the fact that the signing of the TPPA, featuring the representatives of twelve nations, is already the subject of a major security operation. The idea that anyone is going to be permitted to block roads or stop entry is simply delusional."

He then went on to say-
"This will be done not because the group represents an actual threat to the signing ceremony, but simply because, through its actions, Real Choice has provided New Zealand’s security apparatus with a golden opportunity to “test drive” its new powers and resources. (Always assuming that Real Choice is not what’s known as a “false flag” operation: a group set up by the security services themselves - often to establish a case for government to give them even more powers and resources!)
Real or fake, Real Choice has delivered to John Key exactly what he was hoping for by staging the TPPA signing ceremony at Sky City. In doing so it has placed at jeopardy all of the work done by Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates at “It’s Our Future”. Entirely parasitic to the mass movement others have created, this tiny group has embarked on a course of action that threatens to undermine what tens-of-thousands of New Zealanders have researched, argued, organised and marched for."

Today, he quotes Mario Savio, radical 60s student leader-
" Tribute is also due to Real Choice. By their extraordinary actions throughout the morning and afternoon of 4 February they proved just how sterile theoretical debates about tactics and strategy can be. Somehow, in growing older, I had forgotten the words of the young student activist, Mario Savio, spoken 50 years ago on the steps of Sproull Hall at the University of California’s Berkeley campus. In my teens and twenties I had sworn by them, and, to my older self, they certainly bear repeating:

There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

 No, Chris, not this time. You deliberately stoked the Strategy of Tension and lied about people you knew. The French would generously call you a Soixante huiter.   Some in Auckland may now call you an 81er. Take your apology and go slither back under a microbrewery rock.  And here's a quote for you when you next ponder infantilism on the left.
 "It is not difficult to be a revolutionary when revolution has already broken out and is in spate, when all people are joining the revolution just because they are carried away, because it is the vogue, and sometimes even from careerist motives. It is far more difficult—and far more precious—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, really mass and really revolutionary struggle do not yet exist."

the Real Choice Blockade marches on the TPPA signing in Skycity
Hundreds of activists from all walks of life take direct action and put their bodies on the line
Inersectional politics-  all major junctions in the City Centre shut down.