Thursday, 27 October 2011

some random thoughts

just some random thoughts today:

we have a broken gas pipeline that's costing millions of dollars in lost economic activity each day. there are points to make regarding the privatisation of core infrastructure. which is not to say that this kind of thing would never happen if the state was in charge. it would mean that the state would be more likely to spend on maintenance, since there wouldn't be the commercial pressure to reduce costs. it's possibly more likely that there would be insurance for losses.

of course these things would only be likely if there was a government that believed in putting the money into maintaining strong and dependable infrastructure, rather than pushing for constant tax cuts and reduction in the size of government. in order for public ownership to work effectively, there needs to be proper investment and proper monitoring of that investment. yes, it all takes money. but i wonder if all those businesses who are directly suffering massive losses right now wouldn't much rather have those losses spread over several years in the form of higher taxes? surely that seems more sensible that the current mess.

but more important than this is the sight of millions of litres of milk being dumped. i hate to see the pictures, knowing there are so many on our planet in desperate need of basic nourishment. i know that there is no alternative, there is no way to get this milk to the people who most desperately need it. knowing the facts doesn't help with the emotions though.

labour's savings policy is certainly a bold one. i'm hating the raising of the retirement age mostly because i'm ready to retire right now. the thought of having to work for another 20 years before i can collect my pension is bad enough. adding another 2 years to that does not help. however, there is no doubt that something needs to be done given the changing demographics of society and the longer life expectancies. so even though i'm hating it, i can see the necessity of it.

the compulsory retirement savings and investment into the cullen fund are all good and entirely necessary. most people earning over the average age will have some kind of retirement fund anyway. it's the ones at the bottom end that will struggle, but i thought david cunliffe's explanation on check point was pretty good: that labour's other policies around the minimum wage & the first $5,000 of income being tax-free will more than balance the costs. really, in order for savings policies to work, incomes need to rise.

more violence around the occupy movement, this time in oakland. there is no doubt that as the movement becomes more successful, the state is much more likely to intervene. it's interesting, in a sad and rather pathetic kind of way, that ultimately the state response to popular protest is beginning to look similar in both the middle east and the west. in fact, egypt and tunisia fared better because the army and police were largely on the side of the protesters. we're not seeing that in western countries though - the security forces of the state are very much doing as they're told. i wonder if there will come a time when they too decide to disobey. maybe when it's their own friends and family involved in the protests, their own loved ones who are being gassed and shot at with rubber bullets. i really hope it doesn't come to that.

the waikato district council has decided to establish two maori seats for the 2013 elections. who would have thought? this is the council that decided to take the "environment" out of "environment waikato" (hence they have gone back to "waikato regional council"), the same council who has been chided by the auditor general for not adequately managing discharges into our waterways. i would never have picked them for being so progressive, but i'm very happy to see it. we certainly need much more diversity in our regional councils, and if that diversity has to be forced then so be it.

it's the official launch of the "keep MMP" campaign tomorrow. wish i could be there but i can't afford the time off work. not only is it an extremely busy time of the year for us, but i've used up a lot of my annual leave this year with the taku manawa training and a trip overseas. i'm wishing them all the best - sounds like it'll be a great launch.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011


yesterday was a good news day for community radio hamilton. after years of trying, we've finally been allocated an FM frequency, and some time next year will be broadcasting on 89FM. this is a huge shift for the station, which is currently broadcasting on 1206AM and on low-power 106.7FM.

the AM broadcast actually has a much wider reach than the FM one, in terms of geographic location. but the problem is that not many people listen to AM any more, and many devices these days don't even offer an AM option. so while the new FM signal will be limited to hamilton and surrounding areas, it will hopefully reach a wider audience.

community radio is a key component of public broadcasting. we have a wide range of community groups able to have a media voice, to discuss their issues, provide programming in their own language and play music that you'd never get to hear on commercial radio. it really is the voice of the community, and i really enjoy my part of making sure it continues to provide that space, particularly for marginalised groups of all kind.

the shift is going to cost money. for the size of our organisation, a significant chunk of money. so the next few months are going be a concentrated fundraising effort, as we try to drum up the cash for all the technical equipment and a rebranding of the station. if you're interested in helping out, i'll put up more information in a few weeks. in the meantime, for those not in hamilton, you can listen online here and find the schedule of programmes here.

and finally, a big thanx to our station manager, phil grey, and his team for the hard work they've put in to secure the frequency. we've been turned down before, so it's great to finally be successful.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

on not being bought by fonterra

so fonterra threw a party yesterday, in several places around the country. there were free concerts, handouts of free food, and a general good time to be had by all. particularly well-timed given the RWC vitory. they were aided and assisted by farmers.

i didn't attend, on principle. given it was a blatant PR exercise, trying to counter the bad publicity they & the farming sector have been getting regarding the price of milk in nz. possibly trying to bridge the gap between town & country.

it's not that i have any problem per se with a PR exercise. i do have a problem with it when the underlying situation hasn't changed. i resent the implication that a free ice cream and a free sausage is supposed to make me forget about:

1. the high prices of dairy products;
2. the lack of policing of dirty dairying - see the auditor general's report here:

Based on my detailed monitoring data, I conclude that Waikato Regional Council and Environment Southland are not adequately managing the causes of non-point source discharges in their regions. In both regions, significant intensification of land use (dairy farming) has meant more pressure on freshwater quality. The current regulatory and non-regulatory methods, and how they are being implemented in these regions, are not enough to reduce the known risks to freshwater quality. Both councils are trying to tackle the challenges of non-point source discharges and their cumulative effects, and there are some signs of improvement, but there is still significant work to be done.

but most damaging is this:

With regard to enforcing compliance with regional rules and resource consent conditions, I was concerned to note that councillors in all the regional councils had some involvement either in deciding whether the council should prosecute or in investigating a case once the decision to prosecute had been made. There are strong and longstanding conventions against elected officials becoming involved in prosecution decisions. All investigation and enforcement decisions on individual matters should be delegated to council staff for an independent decision.

3. the fuss federated farmers are making at the idea of having to pay a fair price for their water usage,

4. and the constant push by the agricultural sector to have the taxpayer pay for their carbon emissions. they've been particularly successful with this under this current government, putting off their entry to the emissions trading scheme until 2015.

what is consistent is their expectation that the public of this country pay the environmental costs of their business while they personally reap the benefits of the high prices. or as the saying goes, socialise the costs, privatise the profits. i really don't see how throwing a party is supposed to make us forget about all of that.

a quick link: you really should have a look at this.

Monday, 24 October 2011

a labour day post

just as i was musing about violence in relation to political protests, the police in melbourne were busy perpetrating violence on peaceful protesters. here's an account from someone who was arrested, and i can see no justification for this.

the monarch is in australia just now. we hear not a peep from her. not a single word about police brutality, about the right for people to protest and to be treated with dignity. but of course, she doesn't meddle in internal politics. she has nothing to say about the abuse of human rights in any country of the commonwealth, because the welfare of people in her realm are of no concern to her. or at least, not enough of a concern for her to speak publicly about it. to have a position such as hers, with the level of free publicity she gets for her every move, and to keep silent seems unconscionable to me.

that same lack of courage filters down to the institutions of the commonwealth. the leaked report on human rights abuses highlights just that:

“There has been growing criticism that the Commonwealth does not take a stand, at least in public, on violations of its values by member states, other than in the case of the unconstitutional removal of governments,” says the in-depth analysis commissioned by Commonwealth leaders two years ago ...

In a scathing chapter titled “Silence is Not an Option”, the report criticizes behind-the-scenes diplomacy between the Commonwealth Secretary-General and member states, even during the overthrows of legitimately elected governments.

“Often the Secretary-General’s ‘good offices’ role is deployed without any public statement of concern because of the risk of compromising this behind-the-scenes activity. This had led to a void in communication . . . the absence of such information has led to skepticism about the Commonwealth’s commitment to its own values.”

while the occupy protests in australia regroup, i hope that they are able to find a way forward with the protest. so much for freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to congregate in public spaces. if you haven't seen it yet, this video clip of naomi wolf talking about her arrest covers the issues really well, particularly in light of the american first amendment:

yes, i know there was a rugby match on last night. i even tried to watch it, just as i tried to watch the semi-final with australia. but i just find the game boring, so i end up reading blogs and various links, only looking up at the tv when the commentators start getting excited. still, very happy with nz's win, though i never expected anything different.

i was actually on queen street before the match, from 5pm to 6.30pm. the atmosphere was great, and there were so many, many people. it kind of reminded me of the hajj, mostly in terms of the crowds and the enthusiasm of the people. it was just missing any spiritual aspect, but still, a lot of fun. went down to aotea square to see the occupy people. many of them were out with signs, and i thought it was great that they were getting their message out in the midst of everthing else going on. loved one of the signs that had steps for something or other, which started with 1. win the RWC 2. ban corporate greed. so we've done the first, let's hope we get some progress on the second.

and today, in amongst all the celebrations, let's not forget that over 1,000 have just died in an earthquake in turkey - close to ten times the number that died in christchurch. another disaster, another community that needs our support.

and let's not forget it's labour day. a day when we should be acknowledging rights of workers and the protections they still desperately need. the battles that were fought by those so long ago, which need to be fought all over again. the right to fair pay, the right to health and safety standards, the right to adequate leave, the right to freedom from discrimination, the right to reasonable working hours, and so much more.

the nz health and safety statistics were out on 19 october 2011, and they are pretty grim reading:

Key annual statistics for 2010
  • 75 workers killed at work
  • 5,945 serious harm notifications
  • 89 cases where an employer or employee was successfully prosecuted for breaches of health and safety legislation.
and here is list of workers killed in this current year. as pointed out by helen kelly, mostly male & mostly in the agricultural sector. on labour day, let's take a moment to spare a thought for those who have died at work, and for their families.

Friday, 21 October 2011

a bloody end

like many of you, i heard about colonel gaddafi's death this morning. the news did not fill me with joy, just sadness. then i saw some of the pictures on the 4.30 news and i just felt sick. it's an awful end, and a terrible thing to happen. the fact that it happened to someone is who is almost universally regarded as a terrible man doesn't make it any better.

i don't feel the need to rejoice. i can't bear the thought of rejoicing over someone else's death. and i know that i personally did not have to suffer because of this man and his government. i didn't have to live under his rule, and neither myself nor my family have had to suffer the consequences of political dissension. so i understand that it's not my place to judge those libyans who are rejoicing, and feeling as if they have won their freedom today.

but i feel how i feel. and what i feel is that there is no mercy or compassion left in the world. i feel achingly sad that the images we are seeing today are the results of hatred and a desire for revenge.

this evening i attended a prayer for world peace at the main catholic church in hamilton, at the intersection of grey st & bridge st. there were 3 other members of the waikato interfaith council present, at this service organised by the catholic church. it was a welcome time of reflection for me, and i couldn't stop thinking about libya and the arab spring. the number of lives lost because of regimes trying to suppress protests. the destruction of infrastructure in libya. the violence erupting between faith communities in egypt.

it seems impossible to me that peace can grow out of all this violence. the protests that have been an expression of anger and frustration, that have tried to be peaceful but haven't managed to remain so. the violence has moved to europe, into greece, england and rome. and will possibly escalate if the occupy movement protesters are forcibly evicted by the use of state authority.

we prayed for peace, but i really am afraid that things are going to get a lot more violent. i wish it wasn't so. after all these centuries, milleniums even, on this planet and so much history to learn from, you would think that human beings could come to some kind of consensus on how to organise ourselves into a just and prosperous world.

the thing is that most of us have a vision of the kind of world we want. one where no-one goes hungry, everyone has a safe and secure home, people can earn a decent living and work in a field they find fulfilling, health care is freely available for those who need it. a world free of discrimination, where everyone person is valued and cared for. these things are not contentious. yet we can't seem to make it happen.

and so colonel gaddafi is death. a death without dignity, without justice. yes, it's the kind of death he has inflicted on others. but that doesn't make it ok. i wish i could adequately express the wrongness of it all, but i really have no more words. inna lillahe wa inna ilaihi raji'oon.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

middle class movements; and a fishing industry going bad

i'm going to put up some links i've picked up from here and there. firstly, a couple of good pieces from people of colour re occupy wall st (and other places).

- this is an interesting experience of pushing for change and being heard.

- i liked this post about images of native americans used by the movement.

i also loved this tumblr, which parallels the "we are the 99%" one. but it reminds me once again how much of a middle class protest this is. as with the arab spring. when doing some research for the arab spring, which started in tunisia, i found this piece which discusses the factors that started the protests in that country, causing movement across the whole region. it started with the suicide of one young man, whose despair was echoed across the country:

The recent suicide of an unemployed 24-year-old man in Tunisia -- who electrocuted himself by touching a high-voltage electrical pole after shouting "no for misery, no for unemployment" — and the ensuing unrest are signs of the frustration and despair felt by the country's youth as Tunisia's economy slows.

Even as the level of education among job seekers in Tunisia has improved, the government has failed to make policies guaranteeing enough job creation to absorb new entrants to the labor market, especially among those with university degrees.

As a result, Tunisia has one of the highest levels of unemployment among Arab states: more than 14% overall and 30% among those between age 15 and 29.

...the demand for highly skilled labor has not kept up with the increased level of education in Tunisia. Over the last decade, the proportion of job seekers with higher education rose from 20% of the labor force in 2000 to more than 55% in 2009.

this is so similar to the stories on the "we are the 99%" site. for so many years, young people have been told to work hard and get an education if they want to succeed. the neo-liberal creed that failure is simply a result of laziness was taken to heart, and young people around the world have taken to higher education in the hope of achieving financial security. except, as shown with the tunisian experience and mirrored in so many other countries, there's no point in getting an education if there aren't the skilled jobs available in the first place.

thinking anxiously about the future of my own girls, i wonder what is going to be available for them even with their very expensive educations and hefty student loans. unless the government invests in creating jobs and thereby growth, there's not much hope. austerity measures will balance the books but leave the majority without a sustainable society.

an article in stuff papers finished with the line "But support for the anti- capitalist protest movement was light in Asia." yet this article from CNN states that there were protests in tokyo, hong kong, jakarta. there were also protests in manila, and looks like there are moves to occupy mumbai on oct 29 (if you can believe twitter). even so, the movement clearly isn't as strong in asia as it currently is in europe & america and has been across the middle east. perhaps because some asian countries are still experiencing growth, and the middle classes aren't feeling quite so hopeless and helpless yet?

in other news, this submission by the seafood industry council to a ministerial inquiry just makes me angry:

New Zealand's fishing industry needs more cheap Asian labour not less, the Seafood Industry Council (SeaFIC) told a ministerial inquiry into the use of foreign charter vessels.

FCVs, flagged in mainly Asian states, operate New Zealand's deep sea fishery with around 2000 low wage crews from Third World countries. SeaFIC says New Zealand-flagged fishing boats cannot get local crews and they now want to import low wage labour as well.

Despite high unemployment it was hard to get New Zealanders to work on fishing boats. New Zealanders did not like being at sea for weeks at a time, working in uncomfortable conditions and living in an isolated and enforced alcohol and drug free environment.

as I/S points out, the solution is surely to pay higher wages. i'd add that they could also improve working conditions. comfort can be increased if companies are willing to put the money in. if they think they can't be profitable by paying higher wages and improving conditions, then perhaps they shoudn't be in business. the answer certainly isn't to find impoverished people elsewhere in the world to exploit.

and seriously, pointing to other firms that behave badly as justification is pathetic.

the colour of poverty

i feel like i have more to say on the topic i raised yesterday. mostly about why i felt so uncomfortable with the way "harry's law" was set up, in terms of the racial divide and the power dynamics between white and black. in terms of who were the helpers and who were the helped.

one of the sources of my discomfort is the advertising campaigns on television by agencies working with the impoverished, in order to relieve the burdens of the severely impoverished. those ads bother me, not because i don't want to be confronted with those pictures - so the "please don't change the channel" line is particularly patronising and annoying.

what bothers me is that the poor are always, and i mean always, people of colour. and those helping are always white. the power structure is so clearly laid out, in terms of who has the power to help, who is magnamious, charitable, caring; and who are the takers, the needy, the receivers. whose hand is on top and whose hand is below. clearly defined by colour.

we never get the image of wealthy people of colour giving aid to impoverished white folk. why is that? are there no impoverished white folk who are in need of assistance? there surely are. have a look through eastern europe and the former soviet states. there is significant poverty and hardship, and people who definitely are deserving of our help. but they are never in the picture.

look through the united states, europe and britain. again there are white people who feature amongst the impoverished, the destitute and the homeless. but they are also never in the picture as the ones in need of help.

i understand that some of the worst drought and death from starvation is happening in africa. there's a lot of it in asia as well, sure. but how come these agencies never, ever advertise for impoverished white people at all. do they think the audience won't react positively to such images, will refuse to donate? do they anticipate there will be howls of outrage? i can't imagine it's because they think those people aren't worth helping, so i can't think of any other explanation.

we never hear of people like petra bagust or other famous white people travelling to parts of europe in their charitable endeavours. not george clooney or angelina jolie. they could visit the impoverished parts of bosnia or chechnya, and have pictures of themselves doing wonderful charitable deeds. but no-one ever seems to. maybe it isn't as good for the public image if the charity isn't directed to people of colour. i wonder what it would be like if samuel jackson or denzel washington started putting out publicity shots of themselves giving aid to impoverished white people. would it increase their popularity? somehow i doubt it.

so this is one of the reasons for my gut reaction to the programme yesterday - that internal feeling of more than just discomfort, probably closer to anger and frustration. i'm sick of the way this power dynamic is constantly reinforced by organisations that are apparently charitable in purpose. and i don't enjoy it being further reinforced by television programmes appealing to a mass market. i hate that it goes unnoticed by the majority of people who are watching. i hate that the messages are internalised and become part of the way we view the world. it's not going to change just because i stop watching either, so exhortations to use the off button or the remote are a complete waste of time.

we need to change the picture. i just don't know how.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

legal drama

i'm a sucker for a good legal drama. it started with LA law back in the 80s, along with the paper chase. then there was ally mcbeal & the practice. never could quite get into boston legal - captain kirk got on my nerves too much.

more recently, i watched most of the second series of the good wife, though the out-of-court drama tended to be more interesting than the actual legal cases. but i loved that there were strong female characters, and loved the character of the indian girl.

so, when i saw a programme called "harry's law" screening on tv1, of course i had to have a look. not having seen any promos, i had no idea what it was about or who "harry" would be. so yes, nice trick for it to be short for harriet, played by kathy bates. on the plus side, it's great to see a drama series with a woman in the lead, and and older woman at that. and good to see the show is dealing with issues around poverty and race.

on the down side, too much preaching and not very realistic. too obviously trying to push the emotional buttons. but what i hated most was the old narrative of white people coming into the neighbourhood to save the black people. i just couldn't get past the colonial set-up of the whole thing. i guess it was good to have the black people as sympathetic characters and "good people", and we even got a black judge.

but seriously, it would have felt a lot better if the male lawyer was black, or even the female lead was black. and they were "saving" some white people for a change. that would be... different. but instead we get the same old same old. and yes, i know the reality is that black people feature much more highly in both poverty and crime stats. but the reasons for that are more structural and historic than anything else.

anyway, i'll try it for a couple more weeks. maybe things will improve. in any case, having strong female characters is a thing that needs to be supported.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

minister suddenly realising the virtues of the RMA

like the rest of the country, i've been watching events in tauranga with a sinking heart and a lot of sadness - especially for the birds, fish & other animals that are getting caught up in a growing environmental disaster. that the government has been much too slow to act is a given - they should have been doing much more much earlier, and i can't understand what exactly they were thinking last thursday and friday.

but the thing that really touched a raw nerve with me today was hearing nick smith say that he was going to use the full powers of the resource management act to take action against the shipping company. that would be the same resource management act that national promised to gut. that would be the same law that was decried as "bureacracy" and "red tape", leading to reduced productivity and hampering economic growth and general prosperity?

that would be the same resource management act that a waikato group placed detailed ads against, for weeks on end prior to the last election? the bane of farmers, property developers and the like? this is the same act that was "streamlined" by the government in september 2009.

so to hear this particular minister calling on the RMA just sounds like the deepest, basest hypocricsy. having said that, i hope the shipping company is required to reimburse the nz government for the cost of the clean up, as well as having to pay punitive damages. and i expect that the relevant crew members will also be held personally accountable. but let's not forget, we also have to hold this government to account for failing to act quickly and decisively.

the other point that is absolutely clear: failing to invest in decent public services means that the systems weren't in place to deal effectively with disaster early on. when you cut back that thing you call a "bloated bureacracy", you end up with a lack of capacity at the times it really counts. but somehow these people never seem to learn.

Monday, 10 October 2011

a reluctant bring-back-bomber post

another hectic weekend. got some good exercise from campaign activities on saturday, attended a multi-cultural council event saturday evening, had a shama board meeting on sunday & then rushed off to a dinner in auckland at the langham hotel. and i managed to tidy my room - still haven't recovered from my teenage years in that regard (nor in any other regard really), and so have a major burst of tidying activity every couple of months.

like many others, i'm pretty annoyed at bomber bradbury being banned from the panel on radio nz, after he criticised the PM. not that i'm a particularly big fan of mr bradbury, and particularly not after his rather silly criticism of julie's post at the hand mirror, wherein she was analysing potential women's representation in parliament after the election and got unfairly targetted by the herald on sunday on the basis that she was a "labour wife".

but it's not only that. there have been a few pretty sexist posts up at tumeke, not necessarily done by mr bradbury but certainly not condemned by him either. in particular, i recall mr selwyn positing that journalism in nz had deteriorated because there are now more women journalists working for the MSM. pretty stupid call really, and really reinforcing the fact (as if it needed reinforcing - looking at you, mr trotter) that lefty men are often just as sexist as the righties.

so yeah. not much of a fan. but also really hating the shutting down of criticism of the PM. it's not like mr bradbury made any racist comments, used any offensive language, made any personal attacks on mr key's appearance or demographic characteristics, or even told any untruths. there's no basis that i can see for the ban, and if you want to listen for yourself, the standard has the audio here. the comments were pretty harsh, but i really can't understand how it breaches fairness and balance when mr bishop provided some balance straight after mr bradbury had spoken.

this kind of silencing is appalling. i'd have thought we'd be hearing a lot from the free speech advocates - you know the ones, who always tell people to harden up and/or get a sense of humour, to stop being so PC, to just switch stations if we don't like what we're hearing. where are all these people? where is their, in this case, very justified outrage at this attack on freedom of speech? i certainly haven't heard them, and i was certainly waiting for them to speak up in support of margaret mutu, but they were pretty silent then as well. actually no, they weren't silent, they were mostly calling for her to be fired and complaining about how very racist she was.

for those of you who are actually outraged at this incident, the email address for complaints to radio nz is there are more contact details here.

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.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

occupying wall st

i haven't managed to get back to the blog for a while. mostly because i haven't had any free evenings nor weekends to myself for the last few weeks. i had enforced rest the last couple of days as my body protested all the activity and decided not to function very well. i'm thankfully feeling better now, let's hope it lasts.

one of the interesting experiences i had over the last week was recording a radio commercial. no, i'm not going to be a radio star - it was in hindi, to be played on community radio, and was for my place of work. it took me 3 times to get it right, which is not too bad. but i don't think i'll make a career out of this, or at least not until i get paid the big money to do it.

speaking of radio, here's the clip from radio nz's asian report this week (afternoons, 15.34), which features the waikato muslim women & girls, and has a bit from yours truly. i thought it was put together really well.

in other news, i'm really wishing i had the courage to quit my job, travel to amercia and join the protesters occupying wall st. they're finally getting some MSM coverage, though not much. but hey, they managed to get into the "world" section of the waikato times, so they're obviously getting big enough to no longer be ignored. the mass protest over the weekend probably didn't help, especially with the questionable police tactics which were quickly glossed over by the new york times.

but if you read nothing else today, you should absolutely read the declaration of the occupation, put up a few days ago. as they say, there is so much more to be added to this list - particularly about the exploitation of workers around the world, and migrant workers within their own country. both these groups are comprised largely of people of colour, a majority of whom are women.

so here i am sitting in front of my computer when i'd much rather be part of the revolution. one of the things stopping me right now is my family commitments. when i no longer have that excuse, i really hope i'll have the courage to join in.