Tag Archives: 99%

Sol Fed Victory, Independent Media, Mass Protest & EQC’s final straw…

Developments are coming in thick and fast –  our friends in the UK secure a massive victory, Aotearoa Independent Media produce a wonderful perspective on the latest beneficiary bashing and we may now be witnessing the next wave of opposition to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Association  and Earthquake Commission – it’s all go and we wanted to spend a moment to summarise the latest:

The Solidarity Federation in the UK is a long standing revolutionary union affiliated with the International Workers Association. The organisation practices many of the same tactics and ideas as O.S.N and have secured numerous victories over the years. Check their site and make sure you read the latest issue of Direct Action – a long established paper that has offered a fresh perspective on this mad World of ours.

The Solidarity Federation’s latest victory is against the British Government’s recent austerity measures. Known as “Workfare”, the scheme is essentially forcing beneficiaries to work for free. Workfare is what we would have once described as slavery and it appears to be alive and well on British shores. Sol Fed and their supporters took to the streets and picketed ‘Holland and Barrett’ a large retail chain that was taking full advantage of the scheme. The chain fell to mounting pressure and have now pulled out of the scheme! Check out the full story here: www.solfed.org.uk

     “You know I can’t have your ghost chips jobs”. Aotearoa Independent Media have just put out their latest release. Entitled “No jobs, just harassment” the authors have looked at the official numbers and shone light on the dirty games played by Government’s past and present. Beneficiaries have always been a favourite for the right to justify their nastiest policies, Key and Bennett are no different. Their latest scheme is to introduce the Job Seeker Support scheme –

Penalise the poor

There has been a concerted campaign by the right to demonise beneficiaries. Since the days of Ruth Richardson, the environment of Work and Income (formerly Social Welfare) has been very punitive. It is likely to become increasingly so with the introduction of these new benefits. People will be forced into long stand-down periods before they can receive a benefit, attendance at pointless courses, required to report in, and subjected to birth control advice from case managers.

The mass media has contributed significantly to constructing a paradigm in which beneficiaries are depicted as lazy and deceitful. The stereotype of the DPB mum is even more viciously constructed: it is a racist, woman-hating portrait that bears little resemblance to the average DPB recipient’s life. It is in this environment that punishing the poor for being poor becomes widely acceptable.

Full article can be found here: www.indymedia.org.nz

March Against Asset Sales- Across the country huge protests have been taking place. Video footage from Auckland shows 1000’s taking to the streets yet mainstream media have remained dormant. For anyone following the Occupy Movement this should come as no great surprise – millions globally have taken a stand against what has been daubed the age of austerity and the silence from so-called ‘journalists’ has been deafening. In Christchurch a march has been planned for Saturday July 14th from 2pm. Meet at intersection of Deans Ave and Riccarton Road, to rally and march up Riccarton Road – ending at Shand Crescent park. Otautahi Solidarity Network will be there in support of the nationwide day of protest. There facebook event page can be found here: Stop the Theft

The Goal Posts Change Yet Again?! Home owners could have to pay as much as $115,000 up front for earthquake repairs because the Earthquake Commission has changed its payment rules. If you refuse to accept the EQR/Fletcher’s deal (putting you into the black hole of unreturned calls, endless red tape and uncertainty) you now have to put your money where your mouth is. The system before this latest announcement allowed home owners to get a quote from a builder, have it verified by EQC and the money would be put to the builder. Now the home owner is left to fend for themselves with no idea when the money may be reimbursed. Who has spare cash like that?!

“My mum is 80; she’s never going to get a mortgage for $50,000. Elderly people and most families can’t afford the repayments, and if they could, who’s going to pay the interest?”

Main said she had heard of poor workmanship from Fletchers and had a good repairer lined up to do the work.

“With Mum, I though it would be nice to get it sorted out in her lifetime. I don’t want to go to Fletchers and I’ve been mucked around by them before. I plan to battle the Government on this one.” Full story here.

Yet again it is the most vulnerable that have been thrown to the lions. Reaction to this latest development have been steeped in anger and disgust. Fresh protest and pickets are on the cards and O.S.N will be at the forefront of supporting individuals and communities prepared to take a stand. Our contact details can be found at the top of the blog page.

Let us know your thoughts…

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CMP Picket, CERA office Occupied and a new email list!

It’s been all go, O.S.N can’t take all the credit, but many of the team are directly involved with the Christchurch Otautahi Occupy movement which has been leading the way.

The distinction between the two group’s rest firmly with class and our analysis of it. While Occupy claims to be for the 99% O.S.N recognise that within our community there are far more snakes, vipers and enemies of the working class than an arbitrary 1%. However the Occupy movement is offering a space for people completely new to direct action to explore their idea’s and take them closer to their natural conclusions. It is also allowing those in the previous year, who have begun to push their comfort zones, to take more of a lead role within the group.

The results of this relationship speak for themselves:

Last Saturday, November 5th, Westmeat on Blenheim Rd received the wrath of a rowdy picket who were there to highlight the battle that is being ignored by the mainstream media. Canterbury Meat Packers have been locked out for almost 3 weeks. The 111 workers and their families are being starved out unless they agree to a 20-30% pay cut; Occupy Christcurch and members of Otautahi Solidarity Network brought some much needed heat to the businesses supplied by this company.

Full video here: Solidarity with CMP workers

The day before saw a small team pace the newly opened Cashel Mall. Despite a difficult crowd we came across some good folk, union delegates that hadn’t heard of the CMP issue, old activists who were grateful to see some young blood picking up the baton and to top it off a very irate Operations Manager. After telling a number of the crew he would call the police, he was told to ‘go ahead’, his bluff was roused and he stormed off with his beefed up security guard in tow. Never doubt your right to protest! We raised some attention on the situation and gathered some much needed funds for our comrades in the North.

Monday 7th November we attended a Rally in the city to condemn the demolition that is taking place in the CBD. The Heritage Trust had gathered a number of politicians and councillors to remind us of how bad it all was and that the ballot box will bring a halt to the wrecking ball. A few of us picked up on the growing sense of frustration among the crowed. Before long 100 of us split from the rally to take a message to the CERA head office, before we knew it we were in the lobby of the HSBC building shouting to bring the demolition to an end and to OCCUPY! Within minutes 30 of us were on the second floor  demanding answers. It was an exciting crowd of young and old, a cross section of our community, willing to take a stand and bend the rules to get the message across.

Full video here: CERA office Occupied

Further article here: Aotearoa Indymedia

As a result of this action, organisers of recent public rallies in the Red Zones approached members of O.S.N and Occupy – we are now in touch with them, hoping to help coordinate the biggest rally the city has seen since the initial September quake. The 19th November promises to be a massive day (more news expected shortly)
This is what it’s all about, through direct action, networking suddenly becomes a very real and urgent necessity. Various groups and individuals begin to realise there is more in common than not. Otautahi is promising to be an incredibly exciting and dynamic city to be.

Wanna keep in touch? A discussion email group has been created and we invite you to join us on it!

Simply email otautahisolidaritynetwork@gmail.com with the title “sign up” and we’ll make it happen.

We hope to have our next O.S.N meeting time and date sussed soon – keep your eyes and ears peeled 🙂

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