Trotter on Occupy NZ

Chris Trotter mocks Occupy:

In this context, the Occupy Movement’s New Zealand off-shoots never really managed to rise above their one-off novelty value, nor to overcome the unflattering comparisons between their own tatterdemalion derivativeness and the heroism of the American original. While the Kiwi occupiers did battle in provincial courtrooms with bemused and increasingly frustrated mayors, Occupy Oakland was laid waste by multiple police agencies hurling stun grenades and firing tear gas canisters into the terrified protesters tents.

And nowhere, among the Kiwi Occupiers’ interminable “General Assembly” attempts to reach an ontologically impossible “consensus” between anarchism and socialism, was there ever a mobilising image to match that of the burly University of California campus cop nonchalantly pepper-spraying the faces of kneeling, non-violent student occupiers.

New Zealand’s Occupy Movement has fizzled for all of the above reasons, and more, but its single greatest failure has been its refusal to transform its manifestly untrue claim to represent 99 percent of the New Zealand public into anything resembling reality. When even New Zealand’s conservative prime minister confesses that most Kiwis are socialists at heart, an appeal for greater equality should have been the easiest of sells. But aside from the excitement of the initial occupations, and the potent resonances of the borrowed American slogans, this never eventuated. Afraid of soiling their ideological purity through contact with the unenlightened majority, the New Zealand occupiers, like a collection of Antipodean Achilles, refused to come out of their tents.

Beloved communities arise out of the open and collective struggle for a better world, not from muddy encampments, or the ineffectual fluttering of consensual hands.

If Occupy can’t motivate people like Chris trotter to embrace their ideal, whatever they are, then they are rooted. The reality is and was that they were nothing more than a collection of imported bumper sticker slogans and silly sound bites pounced on by useful idiots like Martyn Bradbury who watched with bemusement from his downtown apartment.


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  • Anonymous

    Two good mocking videos of the Occupy movement –

  • I wonder if Trotter ever makes the connection that our Occupy rabble are what you end up with when you place State coerced and State enforced equality, over property rights and the freedom of individuals to pursue their happiness unhindered by bureaucrats.

    And there is almost a yearning in his piece for some good old fashioned police brutality, like elsewhere, to create the ‘beloved community’ – or am I imagining that? Finally, what the above quotation misses is at the start of his article how he speaks of the ‘freedom riders’ as if they are his intellectual kin, whereas his philosophy and politick make him the enemy of freedom.

    Just musings on a muggy Tuesday afternoon when I should be working …

  • tas

    Ignoring the occupy movement has crushed it in NZ. I support the actions of our various councils and the police in doing next to nothing. The occupiers would love the attention that a confrontation with the police would get them.

  • Kiwihammy

    The story of occupy… “The only thing worse then being hated is being ignored. At least when they hate you they treat you like you exist” – unknown

  • Blair Mulholland

    NZ Occupy was so lame they couldn’t even attract the rapists and thieves of their American counterparts.  FAIL.

  • Thorn

    This movement is a magnet for the mentally-ill.

    • Guest

      It is unfair to say that mentally ill people have been involved in Occupy Auckland.

      it would be more accurate to say that whiny, pseudo rich-kid wannabes and middle class revolutionaries armed with Telecom T-Sticks and blackberrys went camping during the university holidays.

    • Anonymous

      Grossly unfair on the mentally-ill, they at least have an excuse.

  • EX Navy Greg

    While I respect anyone’s right to protest, after 8 or so weeks , how about they respect my right to use the park which as a central city ratepayer, I’m fucking paying for. How many of them are central city ratepayers ?  They never “made their point” because in NZ it is not relevant, Chris hit the nail on the head.

  • Peter Wilson

    I see that Matt McCarten paraded the fact that TIME selected “protesters” as their person of the year. He then went on to compare protesters in the middle east with our own 99%, putting them on the same level.

    He hasn’t realised that he makes his protesting mates a laughing stock when he makes such amusing comparisons.