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Traditional Values: Housing & Direct Action
aotearoa / pacific islands | community struggles | opinion / analysis Wednesday November 15, 2017 11:06 by AWSM - AWSM
This brief article advocates a return to traditional values of solidarity and direct action to tackle the housing crisis in Aotearoa.
In the recent election, the issue of homelessness and the availability of affordable housing, were prominent issues. The new government has its own ideas about how to deal with this. They are motivated in part by a xenophobic approach to ‘foreign speculators’ snapping up properties and an ideological commitment to working with ‘social partners’ including the private construction companies and employers. Before just resigning ourselves to this approach, it’s worth remembering that the problem of housing is not a new one in this country and that other methods exist for dealing with it.
“In Auckland an Anti-Eviction League was formed, whose members occupied and barricaded houses under threat of eviction, rallied neighbours for support, and prevented the bailiffs gaining access. In a number of cases these tactics were successful in saving a family’s home, or at least gaining a respite. The climax of the campaign came in October 1931 at 21 Norfolk Street, Ponsonby, where 15 armed defenders faced the combined strength of police and bailiffs.
The use of this old technique of direct action and a return to the traditional value of solidarity amongst those of us at the bottom, is something just as valid today.