'Only the hood can change the hood'
Justice and freedom in education, health, poverty wages and justice were the key themes of a march by 2000 Pasifika people in Auckland city this morning.
To the beat of Cook Island drums under the flags of Pacific's many nations thousands of Pasifika people protested unaffordable education from ECE to varsity, institutional racism in the justice system, a minimum wage you can't live on and a health system not working.
Speakers at the march celebrated the struggles of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa and beyond like Samoan independence and halting the dawn raids of the 1970s.
There was anger at the National Government and also at Len Brown for ignoring the problems of Pasifika people. 'We scrub the toilets and work on the factory floor. We give this city it's colour. We helped build this city and yet we can't afford school uniforms for our kids.'
The march stopped outside Auckland University to protest fees and discrimination. It stopped under the shadow of the Skytower to rally against pokies.
There was lots of dancing and singing and even a group gymnastics to start the march followed by chants of 'Hey Auckland listen up! Pasifika people are standing up!' and 'When Pacific people are under attack, stand up fight back!'.
'Our people did not come to Aotearoa to die of Type 2 diabetes!' yelled Efeso, one of the main organisers to the crowds of people who had come in mostly from south and west Auckland. There was good support from Labour, Greens, Mana, Socialist Aotearoa, trade unions and church groups for the demonstration.