Thursday November 3, 4pm
Commemorate Parihaka on the 5th of November with Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch
The 5th of November is an important date in the history of Aotearoa as it marks the day that Parihaka was invaded by British soldiers in 1881. This Saturday is November the 5th so Occupy Ōtautahi Christhurch will host talks on Parihaka to remember the movement and learn valuable lessons on passive resistance.
In 1867 Maori prophets set up a peaceful community at Parihaka to protest against the illegal land confiscations of the colonial British empire. The community thrived and grew to more than 2000 people until it was stormed by 1600 British soldiers at the dawn of the 5th of November, 1881. Soldiers were greeted by hundreds of children skipping and offering kai, but destroyed the camp, arrested hundreds of nonviolent protesters and raped wahine. Parihaka is an important event in the history of this country and must be remembered.
Come down to Occupy Corner in South Hagley Park (opposite the hospital) from 10am on Saturday for Parihaka workshops, kai, music, and a free market where people can drop off their unwanted possessions and find new treasures. Workshops will focus on the spiritual component of the Parihaka movement, models of passive resistance and Parhaka’s relevance to the Occupy Movement today. These talks will begin from 11am and finish by 1pm when we will travel to Hornby to picket the ANZCO offices in support of workers locked out of their jobs at Canterbury Meat Packers. Following that we will return to Occupy Corner around 6pm for a free dinner, General Korero and Guy Fawkes celebrations.
Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch has been based in Occupy Corner at South Hagley Park for almost three weeks. In support of the Occupy Wall Street phenomena the group hold open daily general assemblies and ‘free markets’ as well as community events each weekend. They have been busy networking with community groups and organisations, and supply free kai and coffee to the public.
More information can be found at www.occupychristchurch.org
Thursday November 3 2011, 1pm
Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch plans solidarity picket for locked-out CMP workers
At 2pm on Saturday the 5th November, Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch will unite with workers, unions, campaign groups and local solidarity networks to take to the streets and bring some much needed attention to the plight of the 111 locked-out Canterbury Meat Packer workers up north.
“For almost 2 weeks the unionised workforce at CMP’s Rangitikei’s lamb plant near Palmerston North have been locked out by their bosses. Their crime? Not accepting a pay cut of up to 30% and an increase in work rate. The 111 workers and their families are now being starved out until they either accept the deal or, with the support of the people of Aotearoa, beat these disgusting acts of corporate pressure!” Stated Union Organiser and participant of Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch, Matt Jones.
This Saturday, the ANZCO Foods Australasia & New Zealand Meat Marketing Office on 100 Carmen Road in Hornby, Christchurch, will be the stage for an act of solidarity as well as an opportunity to gather some much needed funding for the struggling workers. CMP is a subsidiary of the multinational corporation ANZCO which supplies New Zealand meat throughout the world, as well as McDonalds here in Aotearoa New Zealand.
An urgent fund has been set up for the families and money is beginning to pour in – “however with so many mouths to feed there is still much work to do,” continued Mr Jones. Details for the fund:
KiwiBank account Name: Disputes Fund.
Account number: 38--08.
Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch has raised $200 to go towards the families effected. This money has been raised internally within the occupation and from donations from the public specifically for the cause.
“International pressure on this group will also be paramount for the future of our brothers and sisters in Rangitikei. Large corporations who put profit before people and hold entire communities to ransom can be overcome by networking and united campaigns from the Occupy Movement, unions and solidarity groups. These bullying tactics from employers must be put into the history books.” Concluded Mr Jones.
Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch has been based Occupy Corner at South Hagley Park for almost three weeks. In support of the Occupy Wall Street phenomena the group hold open daily general assemblies and ‘free markets’ as well as community events each weekend. They have been busy networking with community groups and organisations, and supply free kai and coffee to the public.
On Saturday the 5th of Novemeber there are also workshops planned to commemorate Parihaka from 11am to 1pm and Guy Fawkes celebrations planned from 6pm at Occupy Corner. A press release will follow for the Parihaka commemoration. More information can be found at .
Friday, 28 October 2011, 10:00pm
An Open Letter from Occupy Christchurch to our Mayor, our Police District Commander, and our Prime Minister.
We would like to make it known to our community, our national authorities, and our local authorities, that the occupation currently residing in South Hagley Park, Christchurch, is a political statement. We are exercising our continuing right as citizens of this democratic country to peaceably assemble and protest the injustices facing our society. This right is codified in our Bill of Rights, Section 16, which reads: “Freedom of peaceful assembly; Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.” This right is also codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 20.(1), which reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”
We are also exercising our right to employ an occupation of tents as a political statement. This right is codified in our Bill of Rights, Section 14, which reads: “Freedom of expression; Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.” This right is also codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, which reads: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
We would also like to make it clear that we are not a disorderly assembly, based on Section 5A(3) of the Summary Offences Act 1981 No 113, which reads: “This section shall not apply to any group of persons who assemble in any public place for the purpose of demonstrating support for, or opposition to, or otherwise publicising, any point of view, cause, or campaign.”
We are conscious that we are potentially in violation of some local by-laws regarding freedom camping in public spaces, but we want it to be made very clear that our actions are not those of freedom campers, but of citizens exercising our right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression. We hope that the current good will that has been shown towards us will continue until we are satisfied that we no longer need to actively exercise these rights.
We stand here in solidarity with all our brave friends who have been denied these rights in countries that New Zealand considers Friends and Allies. Over the past week we have watched as citizens in the cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Atlanta, Oakland, Denver, and Boston, were forcefully evicted through violent means from their occupations. We also stand here in solidarity with all our friends in other occupations throughout New Zealand who are currently having these rights questioned. Out of respect for the society of which we are a part we are committed to remaining peaceful and lawful. Furthermore, we would like it to be known that if such events begin happening here, we too are prepared to defend our rights through techniques of non-violent resistance. We love our country and hope that we will not be forced to such recourse.
A weekend of protest, celebration and a ‘real’ free market – it must be Occupy Christchurch!
Saturday, 22 October 2011, 1:28 pm
Press Release: Occupy Christchurch
“Occupy Christchurch is celebrating two and a half weeks of ‘Occupy Corner’. Answering the international call on the 15th October to support the Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy Christchurch set up camp and we have been busy ever since. SO far we have seen mass rally’s and marches, organising committees and daily general assemblies in the evenings – “the camp is a hive of activity”.
This Sunday, 30th October, Occupy Christchurch is hosting a massive picnic in the park. From 11am food, live music, performance, discussion and workshops will be provided by the bucket load. We warmly invite everyone to bring their spare kettle or old mirror and take part in our ‘free market’. Swap, share, meet and discuss, we are offering the space to express our hopes and desires – something our city has so desperately needed in recent times.
While the economic system has left one in five of our youth in poverty and the country remains the third most unequal in the Western World we shall continue to struggle, create and celebrate. Join us this weekend to witness and participate in this truly international movement. The event is an alcohol and drug free space – “why not bring your tent?” – we can’t wait to meet you.
Occupy Christchurch – Labour Day March
Saturday, 22 October 2011, 1:28 pm
Press Release: Occupy Christchurch
On October 15th people around the world responded to the international call to occupy their cities in support of the month-long (and counting) occupation of Wall Street, New York.
The message is simple: The People have had enough of the power corporations hold over our government’s and our day-to-day lives.
Our public lives have become dominated by private interest; so, we are beginning to take our communities back. The New York occupation now has over 20,000 protesters and to date over 1900 cities worldwide host active occupations.
The Christchurch Occupation is one week old today. Since our 300-strong march along Riccarton Road on Saturday we have experimented with and refined our decision-making processes and delegated workgroups. We have kept busy talking to the friendly passers-by and holding General Assemblies each evening. All decisions are based on principles of direct democracy , ensuring everyone has a say and everyone participates.
The camp is immaculate, and the atmosphere is abuzz with ideas and people getting stuck in.
On Labour Day, Occupy Christchurch has sent an open invitation for all, to join us on a peaceful and respectful march around the CBD cordon. We wish to commemorate those that lost their lives, acknowledge those that continue to suffer both physically and emotionally in our city, and celebrate the day for workers. The march will begin at 11am, at Occupy Corner: South Hagley Park, near the bus exchange.
The issues closer to home are the issues that cities around the World also share. Our beaches are covered in oil; politicians are attacking workers rights while ignoring correct democratic processes; twenty nine miners remain in our soil; our public services are being stripped while early child care is being blamed for public debt.
Here in Christchurch we are bearing the brunt of a privatised rescue plan, where the biggest bidder gains the contracts and then scrimp and save on the final product. The result: a community with no clear idea for their future; and CERA which has pushed aside our democratically-elected body ECan; and private insurance companies which are bailed-out in excess of a billion of our tax paid dollars.
How much longer can we accept this attack on democracy and stand by while private pockets soak up public wealth?
Occupy is not a formal group. Most of us have just met in recent days. Our ideas are as broad and diverse as our beautiful city, yet we are united in our resolve to foster and create something new that is relevant to us all. While the top 1% of this country hold 16% of the country’s wealth, and one in five Kiwi children live in poverty, we shall remain.
We are the 99%. Join us.
Wednesday 19 October 2011
Labour Day March to be lead by Occupy Ōtautahi-Christchurch
Kia ora e te whānau,
Occupy Ōtautahi-Christchurch has been going strong since Saturday 15th October.
The momentum of this movement both nationwide and worldwide is awe-inspiring. Our camp numbers here have levelled from the three hundred on Saturday’s march to a solid forty over the last few days.
We host two General Assemblies each day at 10am and 8pm when we discuss pressing issues and form consensus on process, actions and positions. Direct democracy is at the core of this movement, as are direct participation and non-violent protest. A huge range of ages, ethnicities, sexual preferences, vocations, students, beneficiaries and parents have been involved in establishing an incredibly tidy and cohesive camp.
Our statement of purpose and initial press releases can be found here: http://occupychristchurch.org/
Minutes from some of our General Assemblies, as well as photos, statement or purpose, and agenda can be found there, too.
The initial days have been spent working out our own processes. Now we’re beginning to shift our energy towards more creative endeavours.
So the question is, what’s next?
This coming Monday 24th October is Labour Day: A day to celebrate the workers in Aotearoa, to remember the difficult year we have experienced, and to celebrate everything that the Occupy Movement has achieved on a local, national and international scale.
“Occupation Corner” – South Hagley Park near the Parkside Bus Exchange, across from Christchurch Public Hospital
11am – Greetings and live music
12pm – March around the cordon. This shall be a quiet, respectful march.
- Lay a wreath at the bridge of remembrance.
- Proceed to the Art Gallery plaza.
- Short speeches the Art Gallery from builders from the CBD, Red Zone residents, University Lecturers, Students, and Young Workers.
2.00–2.30pm – Return to Occupation Corner for refreshments. (Please bring what non-alcoholic refreshments you can.) Live music, performances, and a celebration of what we have achieved as we look to our future.
*This is a child-friendly, drug & alcohol free event*
We can’t wait to see you all there!
Facebook event: http://j.mp/labourdaymarch
Monday 17 October 2011
For immediate public release:
Welcome and haere mai,
This is the first official public statement of Occupy Ōtautahi-Christchurch, released by the consensus of our General Assembly. Our official statements will always be exclusively released through our website, http://www.occupychristchurch.org.
We stand in solidarity with the growing Occupy Wall Street movement, and other occupations taking place in over 1,500 cities around the world, including Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.
Our intention is to create a society of true equality. We are acting to educate ourselves and the wider community about pressing issues that face our world.
The drive for profit has outstripped basic human and environmental needs, such as education, healthcare and the simplest of things like food and clean water. Excessive corporate influence has degraded our political system into governments composed of weak or corrupt representatives who support profit before people and planet.
We intend to release statements in future which discuss local, national and global challenges, with these factors in mind.
Our gratitude goes out to the lovely crowd who came to our opening rally on Saturday October 15th, the day called “United for Global Change”. Approximately 300 people peacefully marched down Riccarton Road in solidarity with our friends across the world, before returning to Occupation Corner for a great evening of music, dance and discussion. We would also like to thank the local authorities for recognising our peaceful intent and interacting with us in a friendly way. We hope that Christchurch recognises the importance of opening up channels of communication to help our city, our world and its people return to their feet.
We make our decisions through consensus in daily General Assembly meetings at 10am and 8pm, where everyone is encouraged to speak in an open and welcoming setting. We encourage you to join us for a meeting and participate in an inspiring true democracy. During the day we hold discussion workshops and welcome passers-by to join us in thoughtful exchange.
We respect the area where we have chosen to base ourselves, and we are doing everything we can to minimize our environmental impact. We clear the wider area of rubbish each day and regularly move our tents to protect the grass. We also seek to engage with local residents through daily activities in art, culture and sport. We are a safe and child-friendly occupation!
Our diverse group includes people with a range of jobs, education, ages, family and friends just like you, and we are thoroughly enjoying engaging with a group of friendly and forward thinking people.
Come say hi—we’d love to see you.
— OCCUPY OTAUTAHI-CHRISTCHURCH
12 October 2011
In our initial two meetings we agreed to have a few media delegates to speak on behalf of the whole group, and request that anyone else who is interviewed makes it clear before the interview that their views do not necessarily reflect those of the entire group.
If you would like to feature an appearance from one of our media spokespeople, either post a message below or contact us on our facebook page. Kia ora!