Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Protesters Visit Thai Consulate

Today members of the Burma support group conducted a protest at the Thai consulate, delivering a letter to the Royal Thai consulate general and informing embassy staff of the Thai government’s complicity with the brutal Burmese dictatorship. The protest was in response to Thai support for two mega, hydroelectric dams on the Salween river - mainland Southeast Asia’s longest undammed river. The dam would displace entire communities and displace villagers who currently practice sustainable methods of farming as well as fishing for some of the 70 species of fish found in the river. The Burmese military is well known for its brutality displacing hundreds of thousands of people in the area, burning villages and torturing civilians. Protesters handed out leaflets to passers by in an attempt to draw attention to this unreported and largely ignored issue.

Worldwide dams are one of the largest and most visible symbols of environmental degradation, trapping silt and often engulfing sensitive and beautiful areas. Dams prevent normal flooding cycles starving areas downstream of nutrients and destroying habitat for fish species – many of which are on the verge of extinction. The answer to the world’s problems is not more expensive centralized infrastructure such as hydroelectric dams – which require strong and armed governments to build, defend and maintain them. Environmentalists and Human Rights activists must not accept the choices laid out by our governments between coal and dams and must instead work with local community’s to help provide micro generation and to minimize consumption of fossil fuels.

The need for electricity is a manufactured need and ultimately it is unsustainable. The people who currently rely upon the Salween river deserve our support. To get involved contact nzburma@xtra.co.nz

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Disconnection

I came across a quote in the culture of make believe from an interview by Derrick Jensen with an environmental activist. The quote sums up my thinking really well.

“International trade and the whole corporate stare are based on a set of delusions that have been institutionalizing and hemming us in for the past six thousand years. We weren’t always so destructive. But for some reason maybe six thousand years ago we began to see ourselves as separate from the world, separate from-and set against – other tribes, other cultures, other species: others. How you behave depends on how you see and feel your self. Once we see ourselves as separate from the rest of the world, we start to se every other being as a mere thing, and we begin to believe that we can get away with working our will on the world, that their wont be negative consequences for attempting to do so, for pretending we’re separate but … ignorance or denial of ecological law in no way exempts us from the consequences of our actions”

The dominant culture tries very hard to and manages very well at divorcing us from the reality of our actions and through its economic, legal and “moral” systems makes it all but impossible to live a sustainable life. This planned and deliberate alienation from anything but our cultures reality, combined with systematic indoctrination that this system is the only system makes our own beliefs, feelings and intentions largely irrelevant. A purposeful objectification of our surroundings, of the plants animals and peoples we come into contact with allows for us to partake in the genocide of all life on earth including human life while still retaining a sense of our own morality and righteousness.

When the our forests, oceans and people became objects it becomes possible to engage in its purposeful destruction still go home sane. Because the animals in factory farms are objects we can torture them all day and go home to our pets which we love so much. The purposeful objectification and standardization of reality into an assembly line shape allows for the greatest atrocities to be committed and for us to not see them, and indeed for them to not exist. The dichotomy we are taught to hold allows the factory owner to be friends with a worker and still exploit them, allows the murderer to kill while still maintaining regular social relations, allows the farm worker to brutally kill animals and the cop to beat unarmed civilians when ordered to. This is only possible through the objectification of our surroundings and a complete disconnect with all life.

This is what makes it so hard for us as people who care about the environment, the public can completely agree with us, they can profess to love the environment and no doubt some do. But while this disconnect occurs, while people can not hear the voice of the land an animals they will continue to participate in destructive behavior and not feel or connect with the suffering of others. This disconnect also makes it stupid to and indeed impossible to rely on the humanity of those in power because to those in power the ongoing destruction of the environment let alone humans does not exist.

This is why so much effort is made to try and make things real to the public, to try and break through the wall created by society. As activists we are not only fighting to stop destruction but have the added burden of trying o make people care about something that has no meaning to them. If from birth you have been taught that animals plants and the land do not have unique voices do not have feelings and do not need to be respected then you can not harm them. To defeat this culture we need to reawaken our own ecological consciousness and the ecological consciousness of those around us we need to come to see all life as sacred and to see our place as one of many not the only one.

I am not advocating heroic doses of mushrooms – though that may work for some, I am advocating a respectful openness to the world around us and a purposeful effort to connect with our surroundings. For me I find this easiest to do where I live, garden and in areas where weeds are fighting against our cursed city’s. For others this connection may be easiest to find through meditation or wild unspoilt landscapes.

Until we transcend the dominant cultures experience of reality we will be doomed to repeat over and over the same abusive relationships with the land, animals, and each other. When the barriers between ourselves and our environments disappear we come to realize that we are fighting for our own freedom that the fight for the land is our own fight.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Activists assaulted while CEO Lies




Today activists stormed into the Sky City Convention center running past security guards and up escalators to where Don Elder CEO of state owned enterprise Solid Energy was talking about the "sustainability of coal". The activists played a game of cat and mouse with security running up then down escalators finally ending up outside the conference room where they screamed "Blood blood blood on your hands" in reference to the third world victims of climate change. And "S.C.U.M what does it spell SCUM!" to remind Don Elder of his complicity in human induced climate change. When cornered by security I was thrown against a metal lift repeatedly. I told the security guard it was assault and he told me that "Its my F**king building I can do whatever I want!" and proceeded to slam me into a metal column. After being thrown to the ground I decided to stay there chanting and making a racket while the security guard screamed “Get up!” eventually manhandling me to my feet. I was keen to leave at this point having made my point and with ever increasing numbers of security guards arriving and kept telling the guards that I did not want to keep trespassing. Inside an elevator on the way down the head of security said " There are no cameras in here I can do what I fucking want!" and telling me as I left “iI I ever see you in this building I will kick the shit out of you!”

Meanwhile another activist who had been playing cat and mouse with me was cornered, thrown to the ground and put in a head lock leaving scratches from the nails of the security guard. Media quickly came out of the conference room and the talk was abandoned while the activists were removed. This is a first for Don Elder in Auckland, now he will know that wherever he goes in New Zealand there are those that are willing to put their bodies on the line to stop his bullshit.

Outside the street reverberated to a noisy demo with whistles, a siren and chanting disrupting the talks inside. The voices of the screaming activists shattered the central city with public and tourists informed of the corporate bullshit going on inside. In the words of James, a protester present at the demo, "Solid Energy has shown contempt for human life, animal life and the health of the planet" saying " Coal can never be sustainable, and Solid Energy can never be allowed to continue! " and that "The time has come to take our resistance to climate change to the streets and to the mines". Another protester, John called on the government to "put its call for sustainability into practice and prevent Solid Energy from further fuelling climate change" saying that "Any government that allows coal mines to continue and the climate to warm is immoral and should be resisted".

Solid Energy is a government owned company that is currently mining coal on the West Coast of the South Island. This coal is then burnt overseas releasing millions of tons of carbon dioxide annually and further fueling climate change. Solid Energy has plans to mine Happy Valley, a pristine alpine wetland in the Waimangaroa valley near Westport. The valley contains kiwi and several threatened species which would be decimated by mining. Environmentalists and members of the public have been occupying Happy Valley for over a year now in New Zealand’s longest running environmental occupation. Activists have begun camping near the active Stockton mine. Recently Solid Energy has deliberately triggered explosives within several hundred meters of the camp – a clear breach of New Zealand law, needlessly endangering human life.The public are urged to come to a street party against climate change at 3pm this Saturday the third of March in Auckland city meeting outside St Kevin’s Arcade and then taking K road.

To find out more visit http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz/ or http://www.indymedia.org.nz/ for ongoing climate change updates.




Friday, February 23, 2007

Awesome Video's







Im doing a few talks this year about permaculture and organics as well as hosting at least one field trip in april at my garden. Dont underestimate the power of working with the earth to heal things.
My street

I just called the cops on some of my neighbors, I was in the garden about to go in because it was getting to dark to see. I heard a couple of the teens walking rapidly down the road talking aout how they were going to "jump" some guy. After following them a few hundred meters down the road I saw my 13 year old neighbour standing with a baseball bat sweat runnign down his face while another kid knocked on the door primed to sprit off when the guy opened it. I jumped in front of my neighbour thinking he was about to bash another kid.The kids had heard a domestic dispute going on and thought the guy was about to kill his wife. They didnt want to call the cops so they had jumped the back fence to see what was happening, when they saw knives being thrown and the kids terrified hiding under a blanket and then running outside.

So they went home to get a baseball bat. I called the cops with my cellphone and through the fence saw things flying across the room, things went quiet and all I saw was the guy crouched over wiping something up. I started yelling at the guy and trying to find out if the lady and kids were ok I thought at that stage he was cleaning the walls of blood. The garage door opened and the women and two kids drove off, she looked upset and the kids looked scared. A minute or two later the cops turned up they went in and talked to him, he was huge - the cop was taller than me and this guy was a head taller than the cop. He was only wearing underwear and the two cops were talking to him in the garage.

The kids explained that this happened every week - that she had "the crazy disease" another said "bipolar" and that they saw knives being thrown. The whole time kids were playing on the street throwing balls to one another only stopping to let the cop car through, familys were sitting in their garages parents were leaning near cars. No one apart from this gang of kids seemed to have any interest in the fact that a murder could be occuring one or two houses down. And the kids had a false bravado about it, they were terified when they were about to confront him with a baseball bat but a few minutes later they were joking about it.

The cops had got her cellphone number but it was on answephone, they didnt know where she was going and after taking my details and statement they said they would pass the details on to their family unit because they could not do anything. Im sure most of the kids on the street have grown up with the same thing, and their distrust of authority is such that they would rather take on a guy with a knife than call the cops. Im going to try and talk to one or two of them to try and get them to call the cops next time something happens but I dont know if I will have any luck. No one else on this street seems to care about whats going and its probably only a matter of time before this street becomes another statistic.

The boys joke about rape, break stuff for fun and replicate their parents abusive behaviour towards each other, we've called the cops on them before and last week one of them stole one of our bikes. They are aimless young people, looking for respect and something to do - frequently asking to borrow one of our dilapidated kayaks or a net that hasnt been used in a decade, building forts and wandering round in groups. Unfortunately they have been exposed to violence, abuse and have been told that they will not amount to anything.

I dont really know where im going, im just upset that the only response available is the cops and by the time they have arrived it will be to late for the next generation. These are not problems that can be solved by welfare cuts, they require time, support and for someone to help these kids.
The most fucked up headline ever.

"All Black great backs Rickards' evidence" I walked round town fuming today as I was repeatedly confronted by the New Zealand herald heading that clint rickards was supported by an allblack. The only connection between the two is a male dominated culture which espouses violence, alcohol and abusive treatment of women. Gah this society makes me mad. You can read the article here

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Awesome end times parody

Just saw the funniest end time video



or here

Monday, February 19, 2007

Political blogging - nah

So instead of doing some witty political blogging heres some photos of a bee :) Unfortunatly the friggin photos are not staying in the center of the page.

Their have been quite a few meetings lately, hopefully some cool action in Auckland will result over the next couple of months

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Camera

I bought a new camera last week and im slowly getting to grips with using it, here are a few photos i took yesterday. Im hoping this will greatly improve the quality of photos I take on protests especially due to its decent quality zoom.











Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Biodiesel?

I must not be the only one to see the irony in the latest publicity around biodiesel, in that we will be using a by product from one of the leading causes of climate change in New Zealand (Meat production) to power cars which are one of the other main causes of climate change. And somehow this is supposed to save our environment How???? Not only is this so called solution to climate change completely stupid and inadequate it will it seems require government funding. So this solution will help a climate change causing cruel and barbaric industry allow motorists to continue driving for a tiny bit longer and will be state subsidised. Sounds like a fairly typical capitalist solution to things.

The governments announcement that 3.5% of our fuel supply will need to be made up of biodiesel or bioethanol by 2012 is a completely inadequate step when weighed alongside recent reports on climate change and the reality of peak oil. Already some European countries are using mixes of 5% in their fuel supply and some public transport fleets are using 100% biofuels. The downsides of bio fuels however are significant, often food crops are used to make oil out of (eg soy beans and rape seed) and around the world biofuels are one of the leading causes of deforestation (particularly for palm oil and soy beans). To produce substantial amounts of these crops further over fertilisation, irrigation, and degradation of land through industrial farming would need to occur while at the same time continuing our addiction to the automobile.

Overall biofuels are overrated and will never replace more than a tiny amount of the worlds fossil fuels, for New Zealand to invest in them without significant public discussion and debate is not a good idea. At best these fossil fuels are carbon neutral uses for waste products, at worst they further the frightening destruction of the land around us and fund the very worst of the worlds companies (fonterra, monsanto, big oil, etc).

The only high speed transport we need :) seen at work.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Pictures of the future
I came across a really stimulating post here, a transcript of a speech by a permaculture teacher/writer etc to the soil association of britain (I presume) in which he describes the need to power down our communities in response to peak oil. Its a highly readable pragmatic and realistic response to peak oil and fits in with many anarchist ideals of community control and energy independence. Whats particularly inspiring is that he has already started working with a town to bring about some of these changes and several other towns inspired by their example have followed suit.

Anyway it got me thinking of my own peak oil moment which would have occurred in early 2004, somehow i had come across this idea that the world oil supply was likely to peak in production in the next 10 - 15 years. Since then the time frame has become less concrete in my mind but the idea that the world is nearing an energy decline has only become more fixed. During the 2004 youth parliament I remember pestering various green mps (probably just Nandor) as to what response the greens had to peak oil an event which even back then I realised would alter the worlds ability to feed itself and dramatically reshape the geopolitical balance of the world.

To my recollection at the time the green mp's had a limited grasp of the issues and effects of peak oil and certainly had no vision as to what sort of response should occur. I think this is a symptom of the wider environmental movement if it can be called that, a focus on campaigns and the issues to hand forces us to be reactive constantly defending one thing after another. This leaves little time to spend envisioning how the kinds of societies we profess to be working towards would work or look like. I think this is a strategic mistake as it make it harder for people to connect with our various causes and to identify with our struggle. I think bold visions of what alternatives would be like would not only keep the fire burning inside ourselves as activists and give us hope and direction but would also prove appealing and understandable to a wider audience.

Within our lifetimes we will have to start living in a society reacting to dramatic climate change and energy decline. What these sorts of societies might look like and how things may play out are unknown but I believe educated guesses largely drawing from the past may give us some idea as to where to start with the changes that need to occur. I think stepping outside of the current day to day struggles against civilisation and thinking and talking about the future could be useful to all of us. Any comments on this issue are welcome

Sunday, February 11, 2007

System change?

Something I have been thinking about lately is the left’s calls for immediate cuts in carbon emissions moving to a 90% cut in emissions in the near future. This level of cuts would slow climate change and would hopefully prevent many key tipping points in the climate change saga from being passed.

What I’m interested in is the effect a 90% reduction in emissions would have on our economy. How would sectors such as agriculture and transport survive if 90% cuts were enforced and how would industries such as tourism survive any major cuts. The answer would probably be a major slowing of the entire economy and widespread job losses as entire sectors dissolved. It is highly likely that any form of large scale cuts in emissions would trigger a wide spread recession – that due to the permanent nature of the cuts would likely never end. Individuals would have to come to accept dramatic changes in lifestyle as widespread meat consumption and motorized private transport become a thing of the past.

Due to the completely interconnected nature of the global economy with each part need to prop up each other part a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions could well trigger an industrial collapse. It would reshape our entire civilization and result in changes which unimaginably to the middle class affluent west.

If 90% cuts will cripple the economy what government can be relied upon to bring these cuts about? What industries would happily go along with being phased out? How would the public react to mass job cuts and a move back to an agrarian centered economy? The reaction would of course be negative – the social upheaval caused by 90% cuts would be large enough to question the commitment of even self declared greenies. And these kinds of cuts would require massive changes in the way we live, work, and produce. Nothing as simple as a change to socialism or any other such system would be enough.

How does this affect our tactics and our strategy? I don’t know. I know that relying on the government won’t bring about any meaningful change. I also think that relying on the public to dramatically drop their standard of living would be foolish. And the kind of direct action necessary to even remotely affect our emissions would result in huge state and public sanctioned repression.

Realistically I don’t think we will see change until the public must confront climate change in their day to day lives and by this stage it will be too late. The left are being incredibly naive or deliberately misleading in their campaigning on this topic in their call for 90% cuts by not mentioning the effects of this change. We must realize that 90% cuts effectively means the collapse of industrial civilization and we should shape our strategys accordingly.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cartoon I had a few things I wanted to write about but I have been quite sick, so instead I will post this cartoonfrom xkcd

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Really interesting blog

A really interesting blog is stanselen everythingn is written really really well

It was after a short time of this that I really began to notice something. Something being that the trees or one in particular – a very large one in front of my view, except from a light rustle of wind and birds and insects stood so still and calm and peaceful and this struck me as a beautiful comparison to the people, scurrying around bothered and hurried about by all the everythings they fill their lifes up with and the more I looked back and forth between the tree – graceful, gentle, large, accepting and wise and the people – tense, busy, loud and plundering on, I saw these huge comparisons. I guess this could sound a little judgemental but I could also see this human ’smallness’ in me as well, like how stressed out little things can get me. Unlike the tree, who just accepts all those insects living around, beneath and within it, whilst I freak out over the flies in my home like they’re poisonous or something.
I felt blown away looking at this tree, I was mesmerised by its serenity, that something so big can be so still and just living to grow and be and breathe and exist and we are so small and ignorant and foolish compared. After this experience I started to take trees seriously again, to try to be more tree-like, (when I remember to). It replenished my belief that all living things have souls and trees are much more than just scenery, they exist to show us a better way of being, and are so much more evolved than us silly little people

A quote from a critique of the zapitista struggle that I liked

"Up until now the revolutionary principle has struggled against this or that established order, that is to say it has been reformist" - Max Stirner

The critique was interesting and had some really good points, questioning the nationalistic and top down aims of the army. It concluded that what the zapitista's wanted a return to old style nationalism in which capitalism and individual ownership were goals of the army. It also focused on the use of symbolic assemblys and referendums by the EZLN's leadership to justify their undemocratic nature.

Mercer bay – Near Piha


Before heading up to Waitangi I spent a few days at Piha with friends. It was nice to get away from everything for a few days, no laptop, cell phone, internet, politics etc. I found that I wasn’t as reliant on caffeine as I thought I, was drinking very little coffee over the weekend. My friends are studying engineering for the most part and the lack of political discussion was a bit frustrating. The blatant sexism displayed by the guys that were with us was pretty disturbing and I challenged people on several occasions during which they tried to turn it into a joke and change the subject.

On one of the days we visited a beach called Mercer bay, to get into the bay meant climbing down a several hundred meter high cliff. The route in and out is near vertical in places and ropes had been put in place to aid the climb. The bay was stunning, a flat open beach surrounded on three sides by towering cliffs and with the ocean on the other. It was a completely different experience than any man made environment I have ever been in.

One of the expedition, diretly behind him is where we climbed down


Through one of the cliffs was a pitch black cave filled when the tide is full, in which literally no one could see their hand in front of their face. The cave was lined with sea weed in places and the roof dropped and rose without warning. The cave came out into the ocean and a swim/paddle was needed to get to the next opening in the rock. After splashing our way around with the tide almost completely out we walked into one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, a natural cave the size of a huge fatory with a circular opening at the end about 50 meters wide and rising several hundred meters to blue skys. It was like a cathedral but far more beautiful with birds circling throughout the cave.

The sides of the cave near the water were lined with multi coloured bivalves such as clusters of mussels and the occasional oysters. Crabs easily the size of my hand hid in crevices and starfish attatched themselves to walls. The diversity and abundance of life was beautiful and indicated that not many people know about or come to the cave. I kinda wish I had been able to get a camera to the cave but at the same time I doubt pictures would have done justice.

Portugese Man Of War - Dead

Strangely Like War

I picked up a few cool things from the freedom shop stall at the indymedia conference including Strangely like war: the global assault on forests. In it Derrick Jenson describes how civilization has as it as spread devoured every forest in its path. Reaching back in time to the cedars that once covered Lebanon, the forests of Israel, the forests of the Arabian Peninsula the Forests of China and Britain etc. All of these forests are now either a memory or for most people completely forgotten. He then describes how the last remaining forests are being destroyed for profit and how the system that destroys these forests for profit works.

One quote that derrick jenson uses is “Forests preceed us and Deserts dog our tails” this really struck me, particularly with the imminent threat of climate change. A potential solution to this problem is found here a including video on the side bar about how permaculture can be used to restore deserts. The video is stunning and includes geoff lawton saying "we can re green the middle east, we can re green the desert any desert" for inspiration on the posibbilities that are still open to us I would highly reccomend this.

He talks about how the way we view the environment affects how things shapes how we act, using the line by a Canadian forester “when I see trees I see dollar bills” He argues that as long as we view the trees, rivers, people as resources we will exploit and destroy them. This when tied in with the growth of cities and peoples results in a situation where we cannot even comprehend the environment as having intrinsic value and at the same time we are forced to destroy our surroundings to survive.

It’s a powerful book and at 150 pages covers things succinctly and clearly I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Waitangi a Personal Perspective

This is written from the personal perspective of a group of activists for whom Waitangi was a new experience. When we arrived at Waitangi we were felt out of place and had the feeling that we were spectators, unsure of our role in the day’s events and overwhelmed by the strength and power of everything that was going on around us. One of the events during the day that helped us to clarify our place occurred when a small group of flag carrying marchers reached the main flag pole.

A kuia standing in the crowd of tangata whenua and vibrant flags called out to those around to those in the back to join the march. She challenged the police and those hanging around the flag pole saying: all you who consider yourself from Aotearoa “come and join us or go back to where your from and sort out the problems in your own backyards.”

After finishing her piece a visitor approached her and asked her what the symbolism of the many different flags behind her was, she explained saying that the flags represent guests of this country and Maori as tangata whenua are their hosts. That if you come to New Zealand because we are the people of this land you need to ask us for a piece to borrow. If you come here you must be willing to share and if you just want to take our land for corporates go away. All these flags here represent those that are guests here in our country So we look after or take care of them. She then asked the guy what was his country’s name, he replied new Zealand, she said no if you consider this you home learn to say the name ao as in I hurt my foot, tear as in crying roa as in raw meat. Now say it together Aotearoa, roll your rrs roa. She said that if you are of British descent that you are our partners.

Until that point as pakeha and as visitors we had felt out of place and unsure of whether we should stand back or if we should engage in the day’s confrontation. The kuia above helped us clarify our position on this – that as part of the partnership we have a responsibility to join in.

A heavily tattooed protester captured the feeling and intensity of the experience at the flag pole saying “We are the oppressed people and our independence is just around the corner” for this moment and in this setting there was no doubt that what he was saying was not a prepared slogan – this is reality.


When the main delegation arrived they circled the flag pole, their own myriad of flags blowing in the wind. As they approached the marae they were formally welcomed by a kuia. Nearing the marae a spirited haka began, as a protester I was overwhelmed by the feeling in this haka, nothing I have ever seen or heard on a protest has affected me in the same way and the response by the main delegation shook me. These photos and text come nowhere near to capturing the anger and pain in the voices of those present at Waitangi.

The main march was lead by rangatahi – symbolizing the transition of the protest movement that this will be an issue that will be fought for by another generation. The rain was driving and most were soaked water running down their faces and clothes, despite this they lead the march with honour, heads held high chanting in maori, holding a banner “honour the treaty”. To see young people engaged in protest like this was inspiring and their presence reflected the powerful nature of the entire day.

I was surprised by how few people were present for such a significant and powerful event I was expecting to be struggling through vast crowds like a culture fest or gig in a park. The few thousand people present were fully committed but their relatively small numbers perhaps reflect a naïve faith in the parliamentary process. Im not sure why it was so small, perhaps weather played a role perhaps because its not an election year perhaps because we have lost touch with the need to struggle.

The police as representatives of the violent and coercive nature of the state were present in very high numbers, monitoring the activity of the marchers and the splinter groups. Van loads of police were shunted around Waitangi and it was made obvious that if the resistance against the state ever became threatening that the police as agents of the state would resort to violence. Maori police predominated, I would not be surprised if this was a deliberate tactic to force the protesters and police to fight each other driving a wedge through maori.

Throughout the time we were there the Maori at Waitangi were incredibly welcoming, interested to hear where we were from and glad to have us here. This warmth was surprising and really stood out considering the nature of the day. We felt honoured to be allowed to be their, the openness and genuine warmth we were shown cut through any racist bullshit about maori separatism or elitism – it was apparent that these are people are fighting for justice, and the honour and restraint with which they conduct this struggle is amazing.

One of the things we went away with was a feeling of the sheer power of the day, getting chills on several occasions such as the roar of the crowd during a haka. I can only compare the intensity of experience with environmental destruction in areas I have connected with. It is this feeling that has driven me to fight and to be at Waitangi and experience the same feeling reaffirmed for me the link between the willful destruction of indigenous peoples around the world and the land to which they belong.

For me it was probably the most powerful protest event I have ever been involved in, I was left feeling hopeful as well as awed and shaken. For the time I was there it felt like I was part of something far bigger and more significant than the mere reality of every day life. For a few moments I had moved into a different reality, the faces and voices present held meaning far deeper than our words or photos can show.

I plan to go back next year grateful to all those that welcomed us today and hopeful for the future.