Christchurch Labour Day March

The Occupy movement in Christchurch has organised a march for Labour day. The occupation has being going since October 15th, an an initial march attracted 300 people. A statement on the group’s website reads “This Monday is Labour Day. A day to celebrate the workers in Aotearoa, to remember the difficult year we have experienced, and to celebrate everything that the Occupy Movement has achieved on a local, national and international scale.”

MEET AT: Occupy Christchurch – South Hagley Park (next to bus exchange & hospital)

TIMETABLE:
11am – Greetings and live music
12pm – march around the cordon
– There will be short speeches the Art Centre (builders from the CBD, Red Zone residents, University Lecturers, Students, Young Workers )
2.00 – 2.30pm – return to Occupy camp for refreshments (please bring what non-alcoholic refreshments you can), live music, performances
and a celebration of what we have achieved and look to our future.

Organisers have requested that the march not be used to promote any political party and stress that the event is drug and alcohol free.

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Comments

  1. Jared Davidson says:

    Yeah, but check this out from the CHCH minutes:

    “Labour Day march: no political party may have their flags or any of their advertising on our peaceful march; nor at all, anywhere near our camp site, including unions, AT ALL! :) CARRIED.”
    http://occupychristchurch.org/general-assembly/

    No union flags on a Labour Day march?

  2. I’m really disappointed that ended up in the minutes, I was at that general assembly and argued in favour of having union flags, many (if not most) agreed with me and no vote was taken on the issue.

  3. I believe it was a mistake by the minute-taker and is being fixed as I speak :)

  4. Veiled anti-democratic manipulation has been the steady norm from OChch “administration”, in my experience. At least this time it is on public display. They have a lot to learn if they want their protest to grow and survive. A mass movement requires principles – any principles! (Like trenchant advocacy of free speech.) Please.

  5. Ian Anderson says:

    As a supporter and participant in Occupy, my impression from Wellington and online is not so much deliberate manipulation as Tyranny of Structurelessness (or atleast loose structure.)

    http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/tyranny.htm

  6. Jared Phillips says:

    Real socialists have to have real arguments every day. Good work Byron.

  7. Mike Walker says:

    Oh yes Jared. And you are obviously the “chosen one” when it comes to deciding who are the “real socialists”

    For anyone interested the facebook event for the March continued the theme that was raised. Pasted Below, but a Labour Day march with “No Politics”, no political signs, an apolitical zone! Singing and periods of silence are acceptable! What a load of shite.

    Kia ora te whanau,

    This Monday is Labour Day. A day to celebrate the workers in Aotearoa, to remember the difficult year we have experienced, and to celebrate everything that the Occupy Movement has achieved on a local, national and international scale.

    MEET AT: Occupy Christchurch – South Hagley Park (next to bus exchange & hospital)

    TIMETABLE:
    11am – Greetings and live music

    12pm – march around the cordon – note: this is intended be a peaceful, respectful protest. No chanting please.
    – Please keep signs and slogans positive, non-slanderous and non-political. Stay shanti :-)
    -Singing and periods of silence are acceptable.
    -Individuals may carry bunches of flowers if they wish, to place at an appropriate memorial (TBA)
    – short speeches the Art Centre (builders from the CBD, Red Zone
    residents, University Lecturers, Students, Young Workers – ‘real
    people’)

    2.00 – 2.30pm – return to Occupy camp for refreshments (please bring
    what non-alcoholic refreshments you can), live music, performances
    and a celebration of what we have achieved and look to our future.

    *This is a child-friendly, drug & alcohol free event*

    *More importantly, this is also a POLITICS-FREE event*
    –That means we ask you to leave your political party badges, hats and banners back at campaign HQ. We want to hear and support YOUR ideas and principles, not those of your party.
    We also ask that you save your opinions on the voting system, too.

    Occupy Christchurch is a declared “APolitical Zone.”

    We can’t wait to see you all there!

  8. My experience is that “politics” in the Occupy movement refers to parliamentary politics – which actually is how it’s largely defined in wider society. And I’m sure we’d agree that how they’re defining Labour Day is inherently political. Of course we in Wellington push for a wider notion of politics, as I’m sure Byron and others do.

    Clearly the Occupy movement has all sorts of blindspots that need work, but it does represent a radical break in a significant chunk of the population, and that can’t be ignored.

  9. So what are you going to do Mike?
    We’ve seen similar stuff in Wellington. If we’re not there to make the arguments, then it is not challenged. Have a look at the Occupied Dom Post (which I put together at the last minute.) #1 and #2 (out on Saturday).
    From what comrades have said about Christchurch, there is as much positive as negative. Clearly Byron and Rik have outlined administrative struggles going on. If you just read what’s going on, on the internet, then quite rightly you’ll come to the conclusion that the ‘movement’ is a reactionary deadzone.
    But clearly comrades are saying that there’s more to the occupation than the the ‘official’ minutes.

  10. I have visited the Occupy Auckland camp site a number of times. It is well-organised.

    At the entrance there is a meet-and-greet table, and there is roster of occupiers who take it in turn to staff the table. The greeter talks to visitors about the project, takes donations and hands out flyers.

    The literature table is divided in half: one half for Occupy Auckland’s flyers and the other for flyers or papers which political groups or parties have deposited there. The greeter explained the distinction to me. There were leaflets from Communist Worker, Socialist Aotearoa, Communist League election campaign, Kia Ora Gaza, Auckland Action Against Poverty and American Free Press (which critiques the financial system).

    There are also a variety of political signs / placards around the perimeter of the camp, including flags featuring the Socialist Aotearoa fist.

    The camp has a kitchen, which I am told, was inspected by the city council and given an “A Grade” hygiene rating.

    Despite what Occupy Auckland’s literature says, the camp really *does have leaders*, who have a great deal of experience in activism. Penny, for example, has a great deal of experience in demos and in negotiating with the council, which is crucial to this sort of demo. Joe is also experienced in demos occupations and in trade union organising. It is precisely because the camp has leaders that it is well-organised.

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