Friday, 7 October 2011

more occupation

i've had a couple of posts up at the hand mirror in the last couple of days - one on how much i hate "the x-factor" and another on the sidelining of people and their concerns by categorising them as "crazy".

and keeping with the "occupy wall st" theme, as soon as i'd finished my previous post, i found that we are having an occupation of queen st on 15 october - you can find the facebook page here. and as has been pointed out in comments here, there are similar events planned for wellington and christchurch. so at least i'll have some chance of being part of the revolution!

reading around about the american occupation, i notice various concerns by people of colour. there's this experience of a person who has been involved with the protest. and something much more militant here. (hat tip to my facebook friends). i was looking through the "we are the 99% site" a couple of days ago, and two things struck me. first that there were so few people of colour posting to the site. second, and probably related, is how many of these stories relate to people from the middle class who are now experiencing poverty.

this is a protest of the well-educated and formerly comfortably well-off - or at least it started that way. to be a successful movement, it does need to be a lot more than that. i'd like to see them connecting with those people who never had the chance to get a decent education, who haven't just been struggling recently but have struggled all their lives. real and meaningful change has to be inclusive of the needs of those who started off at the bottom, not just of those who have ended up there because of the poor government policies and hugely unethical and often illegal behaviour of big business (and particularly the finance sector).

does that movement include me? a reasonably well-off, educated, and employed member of society. the changes i'd like to see happening in society are unlikely to benefit me personally - in fact they are more likely to see me worse off. but that's only a matter of perspective. i personally think i'm worse off in a society where a man feels he has to throw himself off the balcony at parliament to get any kind of attention to his problems. i'm worse off in a society that doesn't provide opportunities for everyone and take care of the vulnerable and the struggling. just because i might be able to make more money now doesn't mean i'm better off. there are things which are so much more important than money.

the only place i have at this protest is one of solidarity and support. i'm not the one who should have a speaking part, other than to say "what they said". i should be there to swell the numbers, and to show that there plenty of people who care and who are demanding change. so, i hope to be at the auckland occupation, and i also hope that the movement here will be much more inclusive of people of colour.

another protest i hope to be at is on tomorrow. the hamilton one is at civic square (behind garden place), organised by young labour to protest against asset sales. you can get more details here.

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