Community Assembly in Christchurch (NZ): the fight back begins

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.

Submitted by Jared on April 3, 2011

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.

What was special about the day was the absence of politicians and officials speaking at people, but really not saying anything at all. What was present was ordinary people verbalising their experiences and concerns, sharing their thoughts and issues freely, in an open forum.

Serious concerns that were brought up and discussed included issues around sewerage, housing, heating, public transport, health and majorly the authoritarian nature of the Government and CERA.

Those present will be going back to their respective communities to hold assemblies, talk, organise and plan for the struggle ahead.

The next mass community assembly will come back together on Sunday 17th April, same time, same place, weather permitting, with a wet whether venue organised if needed.

What is most certainly building is a movement rooted in the struggles of those most affected by the quake in the predominately working class suburbs of the east.

Expect the frustration and anger to boil over. Protests, pickets, occupations and civil disobedience undoubtedly lay ahead.

Solidarity will be needed across the country and we must link this to the wider issues of austerity measures, cuts backs in the public sector and the most recent attacks on workers through changes to the ERA and Holidays Act.

Whether its recent uprisings in the middle east, Europe and most recently London or the struggles of the people of Christchurch, one thing is the same. It’s Capitalism and the rising tide of resistance is one thing that links us all.

Beyond Resistance

PS The attached flyer on Community Unions was given out, and was very well received.