Sue Bradford’s Kotare School works with a wide variety of groups all over NZ and abroad. Below are excerpts from their Spring 2005 newsletter to give an idea what they’re up to. Much of it sounds quite innocuous, harmless even. However think of the damage that UNITE and Sue Bradford’s youth wage campaign will do to our vulnerable young. Think of the damage the Happy Valley campaign and others like it have done to the livelihoods of West Coasters.
What I am trying to illustrate here is the depth and breadth of Kotare’s networking. These people are training hundreds of people in Marxist techniques to covertly “change” our society in a socialist direction. This is what used to be called, in more honest times, “subversion”
Do we want hundreds more radicals trained by Sue Bradford and Co, at our expense, unleashed on our country?
My comments are in bold.
Twice during 2005 Kotare has taken workshop participants to visit Puatahi Marae and met with whanau from Ngati Rongo. It has been a privilege to take our participants to this awesome marae and to hear the stories and challenges faced by this hapu. We look forward to building on this relationship and acknowledge this gift to our organisation and education programmes.
A little “white guilt” never hurt an aspiring revolutionary.
In May 2005 a range of community development workers came to Kotare to discuss the thorny issues of leadership in groups. We were very fortunate to have Julie Foreman and Ella Hogan with us from the Sydney Community Animation Project who are Freire based workers in grassroots housing campaigns and other issues. There are practical and ideological issues around leadership which Kotare is keen to keep exploring. The Community Animators from Sydney brought a fresh analysis and perspective to the workshop!.
Kotare networks with other Freire based, or Marxist “schools” including several in the USA.
Catherine ran a workshop at the Tairawhiti Youth Workers Symposium on using skits to explore issues with young people. The theme explored in this session was the disappointment of youth workers when young people did not respond to projects designed for them not by them, and the associated power issues; the drama tools were very well received
Always focusing on the young and the gullible.
Sustaining Our Activism Sustaining Ourselves June 05. Shona, Gordon and Catherine facilitated this workshop with some inspiring younger activists in Wellington. Many of these people had been fighting the motorway bypass and/or global capitalism at international protests. The most valuable activity was a discussion of burn out using a story telling process. It inspired us to schedule an intergenerational dialogue process at the Summer School in January 06.
This of course refers to the anarchist, neo Maoist and Green anti motorway agitators of the Campaign for a Better City.
Quentin Jukes came to Te Tairawhiti and facilitated a very useful day for the Tairawhiti Beneficiary Advocates Group, which is a group developed from Kotare’s work on the poverty issues of the East Coast. It was great for the volunteer advocates to have some creative time with Quentin to affirm the value of individual differences in styles and a common commitment to justice based advocacy
Teaching beneficiaries that the answer to their problem lies in screwing the taxpayer for every cent possible. That’s what socialist “empowerment”, is all about.
Shona and Kay led the annual junior youth program at the Centre in early October, As usual the young people kept us on our toes and it was really great to have presentations from young activists Frances Mountier and John Darroch. Frances is part of the anti mining campaign fighting to protect Happy Valley from Solid Energy and John is active in Radical Youth and organics in Auckland. The group was also privileged to visit Ngati Rongo at Puatahi marae and learn about the realities of colonisation and Te Tiriti from the flaxroots.
Holding two teen age radical ratbags up as heroes to an even younger bunch of aspiring Che Guevaras. Bloody disgraceful.
Sewage Activist Workshop November 17-19. Gordon and Catherine will be leading this workshop for activists based in coastal hapu and communities. The workshop is to assist these people and their groups to share effective strategies to challenge institutional pollution of the food basket and the environment. A range of groups from around the country will be represented and we hope to build solidarity as well as share technical and practical solutions.
Women Studies Conference. Catherine and Karen are planning to offer a workshop at this Auckland Conference for women in community groups. The issues of social change versus social service work is a possible theme.
Social work should be about helping people to better themselves. Social change involves no personal responsibility-society has to change, not the individual. Libertarians want a society where people are free to change themselves and their circumstances. Socialists want to change society so that everyone conforms to their view of reality.
Kotare Summer School “Sustaining Our Activism” January 21, 22, 23 2006 3 days of dialogue, strategising and relaxing with activists from many different campaigns and experiences. We invite people of all ages to attend this opportunity to deepen our connections. There will be intergenerational story telling and dialogue, chilling out on the deck and radical vision brainstorms, plus good food and guitars!
Making bloody revolution fun!
Activist Skillshare – “The Change Agency” In March 2006 Sam LaRocca and James Whelan from the Australian organisation The Change Agency are coming to spend time with Kotare. We are planning an activist skillshare and educators training workshop with them. We would also like to put them in touch with groups around the country interested in their work (see web site www.TheChangeAgency. org). This will be an exciting opportunity to share ideas and techniques for social change work, so if you are interested register with Kotare now for either the activism skillshare or the educational techniques workshop.
Networking, networking, networking….
Disabled Activist Strategy Workshop Some disabled activists including from the DPA are is interested in a workshop with Kotare to look at some of our tools for analysis and campaigning in relationship to their goals. Gordon Jackman of Kotare is also a DPA member and would lead the process. This is an exciting new area of solidarity and coalition building potential for Kotare Trust. .
Disabled people are now a big target of the organised left. The recent move to make deaf sign languague an official language has big implications, just as making Maori an official language has. Only ACT’s two MPs were smart enough to see this and voted against it.
Deep South Community Building. The South Coast Environmental Society from Aparima (Riverton) have invited Kotare to return to run another community development workshop in their region in March. We look forward to returning to this great community working towards their own environmental and economic sustainability.
Is this a front for the Rriverrton Rrevolutionarry Arrmy?