Showing posts from June, 2013

Harry - Like a P pipe in the dark?

Harry lit up the underbelly of the "P" or methamphetamine trade in Auckland like a "P" pipe in the dark. Brightly illuminating the trials police and criminals face in their daily war with each other but obscuring the wider social reality in which the pipe gets lit. Through six episodes, this TV3 series led us up the drug labyrinth from street dealers through cooks and importers as it wound its way around Auckland's suburban streetscapes. The critics didn't like him but Oscar Kightley was perfect as the lead detective (Harry Angelsea) and Sam Neill in his role as Kightley's boss gave the show a solid feel. The acting throughout was superb as was the tempo of the main storyline unfolding, as most crime shows do, through autopsys and apprehensions. By the end of the series however one could sense something missing. Unlike the American drug crime show The Wire, TV3's  Harry never came close to dealing with the political economy of the meth tra

Brazilian Revolution - The writing's on the wall

Brazil is currently experiencing the most intense and widespread protests for a generation. The mainstream media has been largely silent over the last week as street demonstrations have grown in response to police attacks against peaceful protestors.The state has deployed huge numbers of riot police using rubber bullets, tear gas and batons in an effort to intimidate protesters and drive them off the streets. This strategy has backfired, on Monday night the protests swelled to hundreds of thousands of people in eight major cities including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte and Salvador. Sources even  saying that there are over million people  on the streets across the country. Commentary, videos and photos have exploded across social networks such as Twitter and Facebook and finally the international media has sprung into action.  The  Guardian  is reporting that the protests are 'some of biggest the country has ever seen' and  Reuters  claiming that th

The Guillotine by The Coup - A revolutionary anthem for our times

All great art is ideological weaponry. The song 'The Guillotine' by 'The Coup' is a perfect example. A mixture of funk and hip-hop, it is explicitly an attack on the ruling class and can be comfortably categorised as both a 'text of resistance' and 'authentic subcultural activity'. The radical ideology that is integral to the cultural content of the song is both feminist and anti-capitalist. The characters in the music video are taken from 'The Wizard of Oz', allowing for pre-established symbolism to be used to express meanings and ideas to a greater extent than would otherwise be possible. The artists, through an independent record label, have used the internet and social media to reach a mass audience whilst being in active opposition to the 'culture industry'; thus breaking free of the material control and ideological 'hegemony' of the capitalist media corporations. The song is accessible to an audience of politically aware

Behind the Silicon Curtain

“Mister Obama, Tear Down this Wall!”  Linda M. an IT professional and SA member discusses the recent revelations about US internet spying. Peaceful revolution ultimately brought down the Stalinist surveillance states of Eastern Europe and tore down the Iron Curtain. Now the challenge is to pull down the Silicon Curtain. In a flurry of articles recently published by the Guardian and substantiated by the Washington Post, it has been revealed that the United States Government has been operating a massive surveillance program targeting US citizens and foreign nationals, without warrant, and without discrimination. Further reports exposed the stunning extent of the partnership between corporate America and the government in spying on innocent individuals, and even journalists. No less than nine of the largest Internet and telecommunications companies in America have been implicated. These companies, which include Microsoft, Google, Apple, YouTube, Skype and Facebook are accused of

Istanbul is not for sale

Who will control the cities of the future? We will. Istanbul. Cairo. Athens. Barcelona. Dhaka. Beijing. Montreal. Buenos Aires. London. Auckland. Humanity is flooding into the mega-cities of the world at an ever increasing rate. Millions are migrating looking for jobs, housing and a future. But every new day brings fresh signs of revolt in the sprawling urban jungles. In Gezi Park a small group of people stood up to the developers and the government in defence of their park. The police crackdown ignited a wider rebellion. Now hundreds of thousands are on the streets – workers, professionals, students, the unemployed, Kurds, Muslims and football fans. Straddling the junction of Europe and the Middle East the revolt in Istanbul poses a serious challenge to the austerity governments in Europe and breathes new life into the revolutions of the Arab Spring. In Auckland or Istanbul people are worried about the same things. What kind of cities will we live in? A planet of slums

The rage after Rana Plaza - Kmart you're next!

Update 7/6/13: Kmart have now signed the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord. A last minute phone call from Cotton On's Geelong Head Office to Socialist Aotearoa narrowly averted a picket at their Auckland stores last week. On the night before the picket Cotton On informed us they would now intend to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accord after clarification of the details of implementation. It's a big win for human rights and so we took Friday's protest to Foot Locker. Foot Locker are a global giant who source a significant amount of shoes from Bangladesh but who have so far refused to sign the Accord. A dozen students and workers drew a crowd of around fifty as Foot Locker's flagship store echoed to chants of 'Blood, blood, blood on your shoes!' Last week Auckland University Students' Association, New Zealand's largest student union also passed a motion calling for corporations to sign the Accord and sent letters to the CEO's of Foo