Monday, November 7, 2011

Statement in Support of the March and Rally against Poverty and Structural Oppression

As Asian tau iwi living in Aotearoa, we recognise the past and present injustices against tangata whenua.

We also recognise that through British colonialism and the theft of Maori land, the Pakeha-dominated political system has created wealth and a nation that provides "opportunities", "standards of living" that have become available to new migrants, old settlers and their descendents. These benefits and privileges we get from living on this land created and maintained by colonisation do not justify the violent process of colonialism.

We support calls to decolonise the "Occupy" movement and the 99%. Many of our homelands have been 'occupied' by colonial or imperialist forces in the not too distant past. The violence and destruction caused by imperialism has left a legacy in many parts of Asia and continues as an oppressive force through neo-liberal globalisation. The gap between the rich and poor is growing globally and the root of the problem includes colonialism, patriarchy and racism. The effect of poverty is racialised and gendered. It is no coincidence that 1% is mostly white men, and the most impoverished are people of colour. As a global movement seeking to address economic inequality, the "Occupy" movement must also address the roots of this problem instead of perpetuating further injustice by ignoring or sidelining the struggles of indigenous peoples.

We know that as Asian tau iwi living in Aotearoa, racism exists everywhere. Racism not only works to disadvantage ethnic minorities and tangata whenua, but it also works to divide us through negative racial stereotypes.

We choose to seek paths of justice that do not simply partake in further colonial injustices against tangata whenua.

We choose to look at social justice and our tau iwi responsibilities, not solely from a Western/Pakeha perspective, but from ancestral perspectives where our elders have experienced colonisation, imperialism, and perpetuated these injustices also, which continue to have impacts on sections of the Asian population.

We do this so we don't have to hand on legacies of grievance and injustice to our children and grandchildren, as has been handed to us as Asian tau iwi settlers, migrants and citizens.

These are the reasons we support tino rangatiratanga and encourage other tau iwi/migrants/refugees to join this march and rally!

March and Rally against poverty and structural oppression in Aotearoa!

18 November · 17:00 - 21:00

Britomart bottom of Queen St to Aotea Square

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Rise up and Decolonize Global Action Day: Lets get free!

Decolonize Aotearoa demands global and local economic justice. Indigenous peoples of the world Unite Together!

An action by indigenous peoples and movements and non-indigenous peoples and their movements throughout the colonized world who have always been part of the 99%.

We express our solidarity with those peoples who have lived under colonial and continue to live under neo colonial occupations.

This rally has been organised to claim space as indigenous peoples and peoples of colour within the Occupy Movement. When we imagine decolonization, we do not make demands of those in power or those who are behind Occupy movements; we create power and frame the alternative.

This event is organised by a coalition of Maori movements who are not part of the organizing body of Occupy New Zealand or of any the Occupy movements around the world. Because this land has endured colonial occupation and domination at the expense of Maori, we cannot promote or endorse the concept of occupation. Our engagement with Occupy movements or attendance at their demonstrations serve the purposes of claiming space for Maori and articulating the movement to decolonize on a local and global scale.

We continue to observe brutality in the legacy of capitalism, a system that relied upon the enslavement of African and Caribbean peoples, the genocide and displacement of Indigenous peoples, and the violent seizure of lands for colonial profit. Economic exploitation of labor and resources is only one process of continuing colonization that disproportionately impacts Maori and other indigenous communities and third world peoples.

We envision intersectional and comprehensive social justice that extends beyond limited narratives of class conflict. Struggles for self-determination have been waged for centuries by our ancestors before us, and will continue through the descendants who follow us.

In the strength of “making our own power”, we have organized our own international Call to Action titled “Rise & Decolonize! Let’s Get Free” on November 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm. We invite all those who have a genuine willingness to engage and listen to attend our solidarity rally and become an ally in continuing the work of decolonization.

This global action also supports the local and global occupy movements of the world who have bravely put themselves before the might of police states throughout developed first world countries in the pursuit of justice and freedom from capitalist imperialism's exploitation and control of the worlds wealth and resources in the hands of the elite few, the 1 percent. Nga mihi ki a koutou katoa!

We therefore invite you to share this event with us, tena tatou!

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook here!

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