The movement arrives in New Zealand...
Often a humble blog cannot keep up with the pace of events and I think this is one of those times. In just 24 hours the Occupy movement has swept around the world. There are demonstrations occurring in over 80 countries and over 900 cities.
Ordinary people are taking their rightful place at the centre of politics. They are no longer prepared to accept that they are merely passive bystanders while the politicians canoodle with the banks and corporations to protect the vested interests of the capitalist elite at the expense of everyone else.
One of the fundamental attractions and strengths of this movement is that it represents a fundamental break with 'politics as usual'. Throughout the world spokespeople for the movement have explicitly stated that the established parties have not only failed them - they have betrayed them. This is a movement that will not be diverted down a political no-exit called 'working within the system'. This is a movement that will not go away and 'organise a petition' to present to the politicians. This is a movement that will not go away and let the commentators in the corporate media tell them what they should or shouldn't do.
This is a movement that is demanding fundamental change and that means a whole lot more than voting for a political party every few years.
For the corporate media, this movement represents a real problem because it is raising real issues that the corporate media has done its best to either blur or has simply ignored.
These are fundamental issues like who should own and control the economy and about what democratic participation really means. This is a movement that is questioning the entire legitimacy of a economic and political system that has enriched the few at the expense of the many. The corporate media,very much a part of 'the machine', would like to keep these issues off the political agenda.
In New Zealand thousands of people marched throughout the country yesterday, including 3000 people in Auckland. There were also marches in New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. Camps are also being established, including one in Aotea Square in Auckland.
The sheer presence of the movement in New Zealand raises all the issues that I mentioned above - and more besides. It is particularly timely given that there will be in general election in just six weeks. (Although if you were to believe the counsel of Labour Party apologist and commentator Chris Trotter, its 'not yet' time for this movement in New Zealand.)
The desire of the politicians and their lackeys in the corporate media is to conduct this election campaign like all the campaigns that have gone before.
In other words, the politicians and the media commentators will joust in the bourgeois political arena while the rest of us are expected, as usual, to passively watch them from the grandstands. And we might even be able to ask a question or two, if we behave.
Then we can vote for whatever set of neoliberal politicians we want. The parliamentary politicians are all singing from the same neoliberal song sheet so you don't get a real choice.
And that'll it be it for another three years,
It is up to the movement to say that this no longer acceptable. We want our country back -not just a vote every three years and nothing ever changes.
We want social and economic justice and we know that 'politics as usual' cannot deliver it.