Thousands protest against Christchurch City Council CEO’s pay rise

Kelly Pope is a Workers Party member in Christchurch who took part in the February protest for democracy in Christchurch. On our website we’ve already published a smaller article about the protest which was also written by Kelly.

One of the largest protests Christchurch has seen in the past decade took place on February 1 in response to lack of democracy and transparency within the Christchurch City Council. News sources estimate that up to 4000 people attended the midday demonstration held at the site next to the council offices where the St Elmo Courts building stood prior to earthquake damage and demolition. Protest organisers arranged for music to be played from the temporary stage and speaker set-up from 10am, and many people arrived early, having lunch in the empty lot.

When the protest got underway, people expressed their outrage, calling for the resignation of Mayor Bob Parker and council CEO Tony Marryatt as well as Autumn elections to select new council representatives. From the middle of the space where people gathered it was impossible to tell how far back the crowd stretched in any direction. A large number of people held banners and signs and the frustration was audible as people chanted and cheered. [Read more...]

Kony 2012: Or, how not to do charity

Founders of Invisible Children, which produced the Kony 2012 video, posing with the Ugandan army.

Originally published on Scoop, this piece by Anne Russell looks into the problems with the Kony 2012 campaign which has spread virally online, advocating US intervention in Uganda. The Workers Party opposes all Western imperialist intervention in the Third World.

Like many, I only recently heard of Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa. The LRA was founded in Northern Uganda in 1987 by a group of militant Christians, but its ideology is unclear these days, as it seems merely determined to maintain power. The LRA’s atrocities, committed over the course of 25 years, have included rape, and the kidnapping and use of child soldiers. Although their power has waned in recent years, social media has brought them back into the spotlight. The charity Invisible Children Inc recently released a documentary called Kony 2012, designed to make Kony infamous, encouraging concerted efforts to arrest or kill him. The wonders of the information age have worked equally well in the two directions; the video has gone viral, and criticism of the documentary and its makers has rapidly sprung up in response, prompting discussion on the nature of benevolent racism, charities and foreign aid. Watch the video below. [Read more...]

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