Keith Locke

Citizen engagement at Occupy Auckland

by Keith Locke

I got a buzz out of visiting the Occupy Auckland camp again this sunny afternoon. Seventy tents have mushroomed on the grass in Aotea Square  right next to the Town Hall. Hopefully the Auckland Council will continue to tolerate the camp as a venue for citizen engagement with politics. It’s not just the ‘occupiers’ discussing how to make our society more equal and just. Many Aucklanders are also stopping by for a chat. The camp is like a little village with special tents for food, first aid, social media, information and meetings.

There is a lot of learning going on to find out the causes of the problems we face, and some of the solutions. The gross inequality between the top 1% and the other 99% is an overriding theme – as it is around the world – but the daily general assemblies and the workshops are picking up many other issues.

The mood is positive, with signs like “Awake with the dreamers” and “The beginning is nigh”. Others have a good turn of phrase. I liked “In oil we lust”. Drop down and see the folks sometime. Or check out their website at www.occupyauckland.org.