Occupy Auckland

Occupy Auckland is a prominent feature in New Zealand news headlines these days.  It’s a “leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders, and political persuasions”. The group considers itself “the 99% and believes in people and the planet before profit and will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%”.

Occupy Auckland shares solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and all the Occupy movements around Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.

The group is occupying Aotea Square in Auckland and has been there since the 15th of October encouraging the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

This is an account of the protest written in a local New Zealand newspaper:

“It is about 25 days since the encampment began on October 15.  Among the 100 or so tents in rows on the grassy knoll bordering Aotea Square children play, parents lounge in the sun on deck chairs, and a couple of fluffy dogs in a small pen eagerly greet anyone walking by.

The atmosphere is like a summer holiday camping ground. Except for the perimeter mesh fence festooned with placards which suggests perhaps a refugee camp. Some of the inhabitants – scruffy neo-hippies with matted hair – suggest the same. Other group members dressed in more conventional attire disrupt perceptions that leaders of  the “occupy” movement are hard left activists.

This is a place littered with contradictions. The fence, originally separating Rugby World Cup fans from the occupiers, is now partially removed. Despite the welcome signs, most passers-by linger at the perimeter.

Inside, the weekday 6pm General Assembly or “GA” has begun. This camp, like about 2300 occupied zones around 2000 cities worldwide, has developed its own language.”

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