Monday, July 16, 2012
All roads lead to the Nats conference
Four thousand people marched on Queen Street, a thousand in Christchurch, 200 in Wellington, 70 in Dunedin and in ten other centers around the country marches and rallies were held against asset sales. Timaru to Raglan, Napier to New Plymouth it was a wintery blast of protest sweeping the country on Saturday.
Every protest, every action is important in building peoples experience and confidence in resisting the Nats. Protests like last Saturday's that bring new people onto the streets are important. Protesting is the first thing people want to do when they are angry and it's where we rally and inspire them to take the next steps.
Next weekend sees the National Party bring their conference to SkyCity Casino to rally their support for another year of selling out Aotearoa and ruining our country. Plotting more attacks on Aotearoa and quaffing champagne while we suffer.
This week students flood back into the lecture halls for Semester 2, and next Saturday will flood back into the streets to protest the attacks on education. The journalists say the opposition to asset sales is eating away at the Nats electoral support. That's great but there is an even greater prize. Continuing protests could push over the wobbly coalition between the Nats and the Maori Party. If the Maori Party walks and John Banks finds himself in court and out of Parliament on corruption charges John Key's 'mandate' to ruin the country will be over.
National Party conferences at SkyCity were the focus of union protests in 2010 and Occupy Auckland protests in 2011. Out of the 'Battle of SkyCity' in 2010 at SkyCity against the 90-day fire at will law came nationwide stopwork protests - the biggest combined union action in twenty years. 2011 protests saw the young, minimum wage workers joining forces with unions and the Occupy Auckland movement to sit-in outside the conference. The conference protests are a focus for resistance and a springboard for more action.
Key plans to float Mighty River Power in September, but Spring is typically protest season in Aotearoa. If Key buys a fight with Maori over water, a couple of hearty bridge blockades and dam occupations, could ignite an Aotearoan intifada. When Aotearoa is Not for Sale was born on Waitangi Day, people wanted to know how we could protest privatisation together. There is still a decent chance the Nats will get their privatisations through but the Aotearoa is Not for Sale protests are slowly improving our chances of stopping the asset sales. The question now for activists is, 'What actions do we need to take to win this fight?'
Join the students on Saturday marching on the National Party conference on Saturday at 1pm from Britomart. Details are here.
On Sunday @ 11.30am join Auckland Action Against Poverty's protest during John Key's speech to the Nats conference focusing on jobs, welfare and poverty. Details are here.