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aotearoa / pacific islands / anarchist movement Thursday December 11, 2008 00:36 by International Secretary
A new organisation has been formed with the aim of building a serious revolutionary anarchist-communist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand.The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Wellington, Christchurch and a few smaller towns across the country.
[Deutsch] [Italiano] [Français] [Ελληνικά: Ανακοίνωση και Αρχές και Στόχοι]
In New Zealand, hundreds of fast food workers waged an innovative campaign called Super-Size My Pay during 2005-06. This is one worker’s overview and analysis of the campaign. This text is taken from the December 2006 issue of the Industrial Workers of the World Australia’s newsletter, Direct Action. The campaign, run by Unite union, was named after Morgan Spurlock s popular documentary Supersize Me, which had cost the McDonald s millions by re-branding their food as unhealthy and dangerous.
Super-Size My Pay aimed to re-brand fast food management practices as anti-worker, based upon super exploitation and poverty wages. One of the key tactics of the campaign was attacking the brand s identity. The campaign was also based upon short but sharp strikes, flying pickets and community support from outside the union.
From 1984 onwards, Aotearoa/New Zealand experienced one of the most brutal impositions of neoliberalism seen in the "advanced" capitalist world. Most commentators claimed that working class people were passive in the face of a devastating assault by capital and the state. This pamphlet argues otherwise. Focussing upon the 1990s, I outline the massive demonstrations, strikes, occupations and other working class activity against the further imposition of neoliberal reform. I look at three major movements against neoliberalism in order to learn from their successes and defeats: the 1991 general strike that wasn't; the movement against the benefit cuts of 1991; and the land occupations movement by Maori in the mid 1990s.
The main aim of this article was to prove that the imposition of neoliberalism in Aotearoa was resisted. Far from being passive in the face of devastating neoliberal reforms, many working class Pakeha and Maori struggled against their imposition. Even if it is true that the majority of Pakeha did not overtly attempt to resist neoliberalism, a significant minority did. The features of this resistance was that it was mainly working class and grassroots based; it was generally autonomous from political parties and the left; it was extra-parliamentary; it was often community based rather than workplace based, especially after 1991; and it was often co-opted, whether by the left – as with the union bureaucrats who suppressed the movement for a general strike in 1991 – or by neotribal capitalists.
The story of the I.W.W. in Aotearoa cannot be told without considering the wider labour movement. The Wobblies weren't a small sectarian group isolated from the tumultuous events of those times. Often they were at the centre, and the leading spirit within the militant workers movement.
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