Auckland occupation : capitalism?…no thanks, burn you loser john banks


  auckland occupation : capitalism?…no thanks, burn you loser john banks


Several members of Auckland’s Class War Youth Anarchist Organisation were involved in the planning and execution of the successful open occupation of 33-59 Beresford Street (a block of empty pensioner flats) on Feb 27-28. The following is text from the leaflet of which several thousand were distributed:

open occupation

Giving John Banks the message33 & 59 Beresford Street, Ex-pensioner houses, Open Occupation. Auckland is under a housing crisis, but the housing crisis is not something that affects the well to do, but affects students, the unemployed and pensioners. John Banks has no solution to this crisis, in fact he is hellbent on privatising low-income homes or simply bulldozing them and replacing them with apartments for the upper crust of Auckland. Banks and his Council don’t seem to give a damn about either tenants or ratepayers (owners of public assets) and what we want done with these houses. Banks is happy to sell these homes off to investors or to simply have it turned into yuppie apartments so the poor of Auckland are forced to move further from the central city making it more viable for the rich. This is why we, the working class citizens of Auckland are taking direct action to let Banks and his minority upper class support know that we have had enough of being able to start our own homes. PLEASE SUPPORT THE OCCUPATION.

The occupation hardcore was made up of commies, C.W.Y.A.O. and local Iwi and residents. The occupation ended the next day and most participants ended up at the second meeting of the John Banks council. Which was subsequently cancelled due to unforeseen direct democracy eg: the council chambers were filled with pissed off people protesting by holding placards. The issues involved were: no aerial spraying; against censorship of Ike Finau; against water privatisation; pensioner housing; and against privatisation of public assets. As a reaction against Banksian despotism, moderates (together with some radicals) have launched a coalition & lobby group with the patronising name “Wake Up Auckland”.The only known photo of the elusive Te Aro Biotic Baking Brigade This is mainly made up of GE FREE NZ members, well known for their “confrontational” slogans like “keep it in the labs” (sic!), although it also contains some more radical groups like Water Pressure and the Council Housing Action Group. Wake Up Auckland are mostly liberals whose concept of protest equates to a slap in the face of the capitalist class with a soggy popularist media savvy. The next council meeting however saw the moderates take a back seat and the radicals stand up. After interjections and several awkward questions to Mayor 18% Banks, members of Water Pressure, C.W.Y.A.O. and a S.W.O. member were assaulted by security guards and handed over to the police. No charges were made, and the 17 were held for a couple of hours and released. We are now pursuing police complaints but since we are “complaining” to the same state organ that did the injustice to us in the first place we don’t hold out any illusion that justice will be done. Banks has now reinstated the submission section of the council meetings and also catered for the large crowds that now attend meetings. We don’t accept this as anything but token gestures as the council still holds most of their meetings in secret because of “commercial sensitivity!” In the time Banks has been in power he has complained of being constantly seig hailed on the street, receiving hate mail and being sexually assaulted in a public toilet, all of which he blames on protestors!

– Anthony (taken from



Wellington, New Zealand : repression against a “reclaim the building” action


  Wellington, New Zealand : repression against a “reclaim the building” action


Press Release [May 3 2002 : aotearoa / new zealand : wellington]

The WCC-owned building formerly known as Stagecraft Theatre was renamed the Te Aro Community Centre when it was peacefully occupied on Wednesday 1st May at about 5.30 pm. Over 70 people attended a Reclaim The Building party and gig in the community centre that evening. Performers were DJ Imon Star and anarcho-punk bands Hell Fuckin Rumble and Dead Vicious.

Around 7 pm security guards, who had not attempted to obstruct the occupation, issued a trespass warning which was ignored by most of the occupants. Two police officers turned up about half an hour later and issued a five-minute warning. After they left, the front door was barricaded by occupiers and some chained themselves to parts of the building.

The five minutes stretched to about 40 minutes and no police reinforcements arrived. After lengthy negotiation with the two police officers over whether they should be allowed in through a window or the front door, they were admitted via the door and told all occupants that they could remain in the building until 9 am on Thursday 2 May. This was conveyed as a decision of the city council.

The party continued after this interruption and some people stayed overnight. Others left and returned next morning before 9 am. Shortly after 10 am a goon squad of 20 officers, dressed in full riot gear with long batons, helmets, face masks and riot shields, effected a forced entry after a front window on the ground floor had been smashed in. They were later joined by acting inspector Paul Berry.

At first the riot squad adopted aggressive stances with batons extended, as if expecting to be attacked, while some of them searched the upper and ground floor of the building. This took a long time because of the numerous hiding places in the building. A large trapdoor in the main room was lifted and the hole searched. This required a ladder and took 10-15 minutes. Acting inspector Berry offered some occupants the opportunity to leave. Three or four people did so. A city council lackey was brought in to issue trespass warnings. Most of the occupants had handcuffed themselves to parts of the building and were in the main room. One person handcuffed himself to the roof. All were arrested in turn and their chains were cut with bolt-cutters. They were handcuffed and taken outside singly. Eight people were arrested, three women and five men, and charged with wilful trespass. They were taken to Central Police Station at about 11.30 am and processed. The last one was released at about 3.30 pm.

Publicity was extensive and one of those arrested was speaking to the media by cell phone before and after the police break-in and up to the time of being arrested. The occupation and arrests featured on lunchtime television news and the 6 pm TV One news, as well as on RadioActive, National Radio (up to and including the 5 pm news) and as a front-page item (with picture) in the Evening Post (the picture was updated in the second edition). E. Post billboards were about the bypass protests and arrests.

Those arrested have been charged to appear next Wednesday morning 8 May at 8.30 am in the District Court. They were also issued with trespass notices warning them to stay away from named premises for two years or face a fine or imprisonment. The properties/land named were 1-3, 2-4, 5,6,8,13 Tonks Ave, 274 Cuba Street and 13,15,17-19 Kensington Street.

All windows in the Te Aro Community Centre, including upper story windows, have been boarded up and locks put on the front door. The place now resembles a tomb and is likely to remain so for months and probably years while Transit NZ and the city council continue their futile bid to push through the Te Aro ‘bypass’ project.

The Wellington City Council used to be an organisation focused on service to the people living in the capital. It has become a monetarist corporation supported by a bureacracy whose main focus is council business and the collection of rates. Services have been largely contracted out.

Many councillors share this antisocial view of the people and community they are supposed to serve. Every three years they cynically attempt to get support from voters to continue as councillors, but less than 40 per cent of those eligible to vote actually do so. The current mayor was elected with about 20 per cent of the total vote, and thus is supported by about 10 per cent of the city’s adult population.

The Te Aro Community Centre in Tonks Avenue is owned by the city council and was bought with money derived from the citizens. Legally it belongs to the council but morally it is the people’s. Therefore occupying the building was legitimate, particularly as the aim was to restore a neglected building and make use of it after it was vacated by the Stagecraft Theatre Company at the beginning of the year.

These and other points will be made in any subsquent court proceedings, in defence of the occupation of the Te Aro Community Centre.

For more info phone Mark on PH3856728

“wellingtonimc” <wellingtonimc [at] hotmail [dot] com>