The following interview was conducted in the mid-2000s via email between Spanish anarchist website Alasbarricadas.org and Omar, an Aotearoa Anarchist of New Zealand who is involved in Indymedia Aotearoa and the Auckland Anarchist Collective. We reproduce this article for reference only, and readers should take the contents with a big pinch of salt - see comments below for more information about the interviewee.
ALB - We'd like to know at first, if there is something we could take as an "anarchist movement" in New Zealand. Which is its nature? I mean, is it a popular movement, class struggle, community, counter cultural... ?
The 14th issue of Solidarity, free newssheet of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement. Download the .pdf below (1.12MB), or visit the AWSM website to read the contents online.
Tragically, a major earthquake hit Christchurch on 22 February. Much of the city has been destroyed, including about one-third of the Central Business District. At the time of writing, sadly 166 people have been confirmed dead, with the death toll expected to rise to 200. The quake has caused massive damage, estimated at somewhere between $10 to $20 billion. Possibly 10,000 houses need to be destroyed and 100,000 need to be repaired.
These distressing details have been covered extensively by the media in a sort of spectacle-driven frenzy. But it hasn’t captured so well the human cost – in destroyed lives, homes, lost jobs, and widespread trauma – costs which cannot be measured. Further, it has neglected how the quake has hit, and will continue to hit, working class people the hardest.
Summary of a public assembly held in Christchurch, New Zealand, to organise the direction of recovery after the February 22 earthquake and in response to draconian changes in city power.
Today (April 2nd) was a good day to be in Christchurch, at least if you attended the Rally for Christchurch Community Assembly.
Between 80-100 attended and went away inspired, energise and motivated to organise in their Communities, building on the solidarity and links made in the weeks following the quake.
On February 22nd at just before 1pm, a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, and just 10km deep, hit Christchurch, the second biggest city in New Zealand. So far over 160 people have been officially declared dead and that toll is expected to rise to over 200. The earthquake came less than 6 months after a destructive 7.1 magnitude shock, which claimed no lives but saw thousands of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed.
In the wake of the February quake, a number of grassroots groups and networks have sprung up across the city to help people access the resources and support they needed to survive.
On October 15th, 2007 an estimated 300 police raided houses all over Aotearoa New Zealand and arrested people based on warrants issued under the Terrorism Suppression Act. Lives were turned upside down as the police searched for evidence of ‘terrorism.’ This book is a collection of oral history interviews of people affected by those raids and the aftermath: defendants, friends, family, supporters and other people subject to the state’s coercive powers on that day.
The case is the first ever attempted use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, a piece of legislation enacted in response to the 9/11 events in New York and Washington DC. The terrorism charges were not brought, but the people arrested continue to face a long journey to freedom as the state seeks to punish political activists and to reinforce the status quo.
Industrial Unionism is a pamphlet with two local articles on the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) in New Zealand, from Rebel Press.
The History of the the I.W.W. in New Zealand, written by Peter Steiner, details the activities of the I.W.W. around the turn of the 20th Century, the prominence of the union during the famous 1912 Waihi miners strike, and their decline as a result of the ensuing repression during the Great Strike of 1913. The article also includes information about recent attempts to set up the I.W.W.
Pike River Mine on the West Coast of New Zealand is said to be one of the most advanced mines in the country, yet workers still bear the brunt of the drive for profit. On Friday 19th November the mine suffered an explosion due to methane gas. 29 workers are still unaccounted for.
Friday's explosion at the Pike River Mine, and the unknown fate of the 29 miners still below ground, has been the catalyst for a number of emotions. Compassion and love, between members of the effected community; hope, for the families and friends of the workers; and anxiety, of that which is unknown.
After protests in Auckland and Wellington, and further planned protests outside Burger Fuel fast food stores across the North Island and in Sydney, Burger Fuel has recently backed down and agreed not to use the 90 day hire and fire legislation in its franchises.
The protests were against the sacking of Joanne Bartlett from her job in an Auckland Burger Fuel store on the 89th day of her 90 day trial period. She was fired just after asking for more than one 10 minute break during her eight hour shift. No reason was given for her dismissal.