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Occupy 2.0 Ōtepoti


Due to atrocious climate change in the southern capital on Sat 13 Oct, the Occupy Dunedin FaceBook group called for a noisy rally in the Octagon at midday on Sun 14.

We must have missed it, coz when we arrived at half past there was no sign of anybody. Not to be put off, we proceeded to announce to all and sundry by means of chalk that Occupy still lives and breathes, foreshadowing a resurgence of activity over the coming months. Two homed activists and one homeless activist (who contributed the tag style additions to our agit-prop) represented today. The longest campaign of direct action can start with a single chalk tag.

"You know, if one person, just one person does it

they may think he's really sick and they won't take him.

And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,

they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.

And if three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out.

They may think it's an organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,

I said fifty people a day walking in singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it's a movement."



Update: Apparently a tent has been erected in the Octagon. Remember the Alamo. Free the Urewera 4!

DCC Occupies Octagon, Excludes Public


Another period of occupation took place in the Octagon yesterday afternoon. The weather was punishing, and the group packed up just before dark, vowing to return for another crack. Meanwhile a huge orange fence still surrounds the main lawn on the Octagon which is apparently closed for "renovations". Who's keeping the public from using the Octagon now?

The situation we find ourselves in is described brilliantly by Starhawk in an interview with Transition Culture

"The Transition concept is sometimes criticised for its focus on positive solutions, with people saying that given that it is not actively involved in confrontation, it must therefore not be based on any coherent critique of the global situation. What are your thoughts on the balance between those two things?

I think that we need both kinds of actions. We desparately need things that allow people to make positive steps towards a future that we want. Otherwise if we are just focused on confronting and complaining, then people just go into a downward spiral of despair and ultimately apathy. We need to be building the solutions, that is where people find hope and inspiration.

I think we can do that without losing sight of the fact that there are real vested interests that are invested in keeping the system as it is, and ultimately that might take confrontation. I think we are going to be standing on stronger ground if we have solutions we can point to, when we’ve got alternatives that we can point to. Its very hard if people are going to confront, let’s say, the industrial agriculture industry, the biotech industry, if they are utterly dependent on that industry for their life! That will limit the amount of confrontation they can do.

If they have alternatives, other ways to eat, then in some sense there is a form of non-violent direct action that is about withdrawing co-operation from unjust systems. When we can build these other alternative systems and gradually withdraw support from the ones that are invested in the status quo, then we are a lot stronger in our ability to confront them."