M17 Public Planning Forum
May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
A Public Planning Forum has been scheduled for May 17.
Dubbed “ANFS Phase II”, this is the commencement of the next round of opposition to the sale of our national assets.
The ANFS Campaign began in the manner of most modern protests, with large street demonstrations. However this campaign is now showing signs of becoming something altogether different. Because unlike many purely political protests of the past, this campaign has shown deep resonance with the culture of Aotearoa, uniting Maori and Pakeha in ways seldom seen before. This new unity is forcing us to reexamine our understanding of the ways in which New Zealanders organise themselves and communicate mass opposition to government policy.
“We are learning. And in the process, we are sensing a new power rising. Through this coalition, we are discovering new ways of relating. We are finding our common voice.”
In recent history, the strategy has been to mount huge street protests to demonstrate public displeasure on particular issues. This was especially successful in the case of the Anti-Mining Protests of 2010. Conducted by Greenpeace, the government was quickly convinced by the massive crowds who came out to shelve their plans.
However, the campaign against Asset Sales is a very different proposition. The past can instruct us, but it should never define or limit us. The reality is, the issue of Asset Sales is much broader and more complex than the issue of mining. It calls for a different response.
Unlike mining, which was a single issue confined more or less to a single industry, our opposition to Asset Sales is in a very real sense a direct challenge to globalisation itself.
We are not just protesting one Minister, we are protesting the central policy of the National Government, which is, in a word, “Austerity”. This now discredited policy has powerful supporters who have planned and worked toward this end for many years. They will not be put off. To be very clear, street protests by themselves are NOT going to deter or even deflect the government’s intention.
“As demonstrated repeatedly in Greece, Spain, Portugal and many other European countries, government leaders have shown time and again that they are more afraid of upsetting a tiny group of international bankers than they are of angering millions of voters. Why is that? One reason only; because the Bankers are organised, while the People are not. But if Bankers can organise, then so can the People.”
This is what we hope to remedy in Phase II of our campaign. We are already organised in part, as a consequence of Phase I. Now we need to expand. We need to capitalise on our massive numbers to swiftly, firmly but peacefully convince the government that the people are solidly and implacably opposed to Asset sales.
This new mobilisation requires a new strategic plan, one which respects the new culture of unity and inclusiveness, and which maximises the power of new methods, such as social media. Street protests are just one of many peaceful protest tactics in our toolkit. We need well-organised, well-coordinated opposition in-depth, on a national scale, in every electorate in the country. This is the essence of Phase II.
We are ready to begin. The ANFS Campaign has already formed a broad coalition, marshalling support from across the entire spectrum of the Left in New Zealand, and in every major population centre. It’s time.
Find out more on M17, at our Public Planning Forum. Join us, and participate with us in making New Zealand history