Part 2 here
Aotearoa Educators kept up their international links by participating in the 3rd Global Conference of Peoples’ Global Action in Cochabamba, Bolivia, September 16 – 23, 2001.
Locally however they were actively networking with Maori radical groups and building ties to the anarchist movement.
Aotearoa Educators and the anarchists both drew inspiration from the Mexican Zapatistas and both supported Maori self determination, so it was logical they should work together.
Wellington anarchists mainly worked through the Committee for the Establishment of Civilisation (CEC) and its ‘zine, The State Adversary.
Aotearoa Eduators and CEC met in Wellington in March 2001 to plan the New Zealand branch of People’s Global Action.
From the anarchist ‘zine Thrall
On March 18 Aotearoa Educators (AE!) and Wellington anarchist group the Committee for the Establishment of Civilisation (CEC) held an open meeting to discuss setting up a New Zealand branch of Peoples Global Action (PGA).
A diverse range of activists attended, representing Tino Rangatiratanga, animal rights, anarchism, socialism, trade unionism, and the peace movement, to name but a few.
There was discussion on whether we needed a PGA Aotearoa. It was explained that the PGA is not an organisation, and so PGA Aotearoa would not be involved in recruiting members and swallowing them into some broad activist bureaucracy… It would also put us in contact and in sync with the anti-globalisation movement around the planet.
Attendees expressed support for this proposition. It was agreed that those present were committed to the PGA Aotearoa and working towards united actions. Setting up a PGA Aotearoa may take a lot of energy, so we agreed that Wellington based groups would come together and work on global resistance for May Day as a first step towards working together under a PGA umbrella.
In November 2002 members of Aotearoa Educators and CEC again met in Wellington to firm up plans for the New Zealand branch of People’s Global Action.
Peoples Global Action is a worldwide network that works towards a durable, peaceful, social, borderless and directly democratic alternative to capitalism and all systems of oppression. The Wellington Anti Capitalist All-sorts (for want of a better word to describe the informal Wellies networks) are calling on the different Aotearoa movements who have an affinity with the networks hallmarks to converge on Nov 8th -10th here in Wellington.
In Aotearoa PGA was initially picked up by indigenous Tino Rangatiratanga collectives, firstly with Foundation for an Independent Aotearoa in 1998 culminating in the indigenous Hikoi against the MAI, (Multilateral Agreement on Investment -and then in 2000 when [AE!] Aotearoa Educators took up the kaupapa. Non-indigenous involvement in PGA, in Aotearoa, began when the Wellington CEC independently and autonomous of the Tino Rangatiratanga movement, picked up the PGA callout for May day and organised the first Carnival against Capitalism in 2000.
The Aotearoa People’s Global Action Convergence was held at Victoria University, Wellington and was hosted by Te Mana Akonga (the federation of Maori student organisations) Ngai Tauira (the Victoria University Maori student’s organisation, Wellington Indymedia (anarchist news site), Aotearoa Educators, Anti-Bypass
Action (anarchist lead anti Motorway group) and the Committee for the Establishment of Civilisation.
The gathering discussed the Hallmarks of PGA
1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive globalisation;
2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds. We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social movements’ struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples’ rights, as well as the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism;
5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
In an invitation to the November 2002 convergence, leading Aotearoa Educators activist Teanau Tuiono made clear the Zapatista inspiration behind PGA;
People’s Global Action (PGA) is a worldwide network working towards a durable, social, borderless and directly democratic alternative to capitalism… It encompasses farmers, squatters, indigenous peoples, anti-capitalists, anti-roads campaigners, radical ecologists, anarchists, communists, peasants, free movement groups, media activists, workers, students and much more – all fighting for a better world, taking on the evil empire of multi-nationals, their state puppets, and the international mafia rackets of the WEF, WTO, World Bank and IMF.
Inspired by the Chiapas popular uprising in 1994 and the meeting of 6000 activists hosted by Zapatistas in Mexico in 1996, PGA held its first gathering in Geneva in February 1998…
Several of those arrested or questioned by police in the October 15th 2007 anti terror terror raids were active associated with PGA New Zealand
Part 4 here