From Te Whaainga Wahine:  A national organisation of grassroots Maori Women with a membership of over 2500.

Like your selves, we are opposed to capitalist imperialism and the concentration of the world’s resources and wealth in the hands of a minority ruling elite. We stand in solidarity with you and your organisations on this point of commonality.

However we must indicate to you in the strongest possible terms our objection of the use of the word ‘Occupy’.  For almost 175 years there has been in this country of ours the forced occupation of Maori lands, coastal and internal waterways, resources, culture and society, our language, our people, our women and children, by first the imperial powers of England and subsequently by the colonial settler and neo colonial New Zealand governments that followed.  Over this time a vast majority of the ’99 percent’ have been well served by these arrangements a small part which includes Maori have not.

The concept of ‘Occupation’ as a construct coinciding with colonial history also alludes to another justification for colonisation which was not just about taking our lands, resources and wealth from us but stemmed from the belief that colonisation anywhere in the world whether here, Australia, America, Africa or elsewhere was justified on the grounds of ‘racial’ inferiority – the racist ideology of the colonisers.  Our perception is that the majority of New Zealanders already occupy not just Aotearoa but also a powerful ideological space where structural oppression and structural violence against Maori is maintained and reinforced in perpetuity.

Worldwide the ‘Occupy’ movement has emphasized its opposition to those in the top 1 percent of the world’s income distribution and financial sector. In Aotearoa/NZ the pattern set is no different.  In recent decades the 30 year experimentation of the 1980’s of Rogernomics and neo colonial approaches to race relations in their dealings with the disenfranchisement of Maori, while a wealthy elite have developed and have drastically increased their share of the country’s wealth and resources.

But the emphasis on the 1 percent has meant that many other societal tensions and grievances that have traditionally been associated with left-wing analysis and affiliation, such as that of Maori independence and self determination and other racial minority conflicts have not been a significant focus of the ’99 percenters’.

In addition we also wish to express our solidarity with other Native indigenous peoples and movements around the world starting with our native brothers and sisters of Aboriginal Australia, our Polynesian relatives of Easter Island, Tahiti and Hawaai and those of the Pacific Ocean seeking Peace Justice and Freedom from their current colonial occupations. Also to our brothers and sisters of Great Turtle Island the first nations peoples of the Americas.

In conclusion we wish you well with your aims to see justice delivered and the breakdown of the global infra-structure of corporate greed, I therefore leave you with this poem by an unknown first nation’s person of Great Turtle Island.

Nga mihi

Whaitiri Mikaere

You say occupy I say umm…

Your occupation is nothing new,
you’ve been occupying since 1492.

So now that you’ve found something to occupy you
answer this, zhaaganaasheg*, who’s occupying who?

native roots of resistance are deeper than the streets,

and aren’t fed by the marginal soil these movements give us,
what keeps us comes from within, direct line to the deep heart
of us, power comes from the land, not these castles of sand.

If we expected the white middle class to struggle on our behalf,
and turn their organizational ship 180 degrees toward decolonization,
we might as well just ask them to turn that ship
right back to europe but hey, at this point,

That’s like asking someone who shit all over your living room
to just leave, instead of telling them to clean up the mess that’s left.
and down on wall street, bay street, main street we the 99%
saw the 1% step on this turtle’s back and call their own what can’t be owned,
and it’s at that point the games began.

not when they started foreclosing your homes cos believe me,
they already foreclosed ours and that’s exactly what keeps making it possible
for them to pull the same moves, what they did to us, they’re doing to you.

You say you want a revolution…

But the game won’t end if the rules stay the same, and the number one rule is
“ssssshhhh…don’t talk about revolution too loud..the Indians will hear you..”

Because we have thoughts of revolution too, and they don’t involve any
further occupations,

cos we have dreams beyond colonization. but you don’t want to hear about
that.

so this is not our movement, and the roots of biskaabiiyang* go miles
further down
than today’s pounding of feet on pavements, whose streets, our streets,
the words
jarred my nish ears and jammed my nish heart, whose streets indeed.

so stay out in the streets, fight the power and keep it real
this ain’t a call to pull back or a bid for inclusion
but a revolution turning a blind eye to genocide is a revolutionary illusion

so fuck white power on wall street, and the border pigs too
cos the earth and her movements are gonna get you.

Your occupation is nothing new,
you’ve been occupying since 1492.

So now that you’ve found something to occupy you
answer this, zhaaganaasheg*, who’s occupying who?

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