Sunday, 19 April 2020

COVID-19: NZ vs SWE

By Peppertree

If the fight against the virus was a football game, we would find ourselves in the typical first 15 to 20 minutes. There are two typical strategies for that phase. One is to throw everything forward to score an early goal in order to demoralise the opposition and provide a buffer to take a breather. The other is to not do anything spectacular, but to focus on a solid defence, check out the opposition’s weaknesses and to build up the game.

NZ has chosen the first strategy and it seems that the early goal has been scored. New infection numbers have dropped to mostly single digits and the number of fatalities is very low, although still increasing. But now the big question is what to do next. Just like the full-on attack mode in football can’t be kept up beyond 20 minutes, the level of lockdown we have can’t be sustained much longer.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Small revolutions


"I stopped by Commonsense Organics on the way home and a woman in the queue - desperate for a conversation with someone other than her husband - started chatting from 2 metres away. At one point she leaned in and said 'You know, I'm not even wearing a bra. Because no one cares anymore.' Small revolutions happening every day."

Friday, 10 April 2020

COVID19 - We’re not all in this together

By Peppertree

There is plenty of writing out there that stresses how the COVID19 pandemic is different from other disasters because “it affects everyone”. Even on the left, people are writing about how the compliance with lockdown is an example of what we can achieve if we all pull together and put human life before profit. They then build a picture of how this crisis can lead to a revolution of sorts that results in a different economic system that doesn’t leave people in poverty and the planet in ruins.

That is a nice thought but unfortunately it’s based on a lie, just like any other time when the privileged claim that “we’re all in this together”.

Because we’re not. For some, mainly middle class white people like myself, the virus threat and the lockdown has been an inconvenience. I still have my job, I have a home that I can work from, I have access to communications technology that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family. I am reasonably healthy and am not reliant on help from others to get through my day. Yes, not being able to see people who are close to me sucks and I hate standing in the queue at the supermarket. But that’s pretty much it.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

The future?

We usually leave the crystal ball gazing to our resident astrologer, but extraordinary times call for extaordinary measures. Here is prediction of what will happen by another member of the collective who says "I'm cautious about making predictions while everything is in a state of flux, but this is almost certainly what is going to happen". If you have a better prediction, send it to us at freedomshopaotearoa@gmail.com.

Probable timeline
May 2020 – Lockdown extended. Ardern condemns panic buying and praises mutual aid groups for keeping communities functioning.

June 2020 – Ardern condemns mutual aid groups and issues plea for people to panic buy in order to keep businesses afloat.

August 2020 – Economy collapses.

September 2020 – Wave of collectivisations sweeps country as businesses fail.

January 2021 – Financial Times newspaper changes name to 'Mutual Aid Times'.

August 2021 – NZ military called out, but return to barracks saying people were being mean to them.

November 2021 – Massive environmental recovery as industry and farming decentralised. Dolphins sighted in Waikato River.

December 2021 – Hamilton man killed and eaten by dolphins in Waikato River.

March 2022 – Remaining capitalist enterprises demand government support and are referred to the Historic Places Trust.

April 2022 – Ardern's re-election campaign founders on small turnout and emergence of footage showing the PM shooting a yeti with a machine gun while on a family holiday in Nepal. Winston Peters becomes Prime Minister, according to report on page 19 of 'Teen Vogue'.

September 2023 – Unicorns discovered on remote Indian Ocean island. They have rainbow manes and tails and are highly tolerant and accepting of non-unicorns.

December 2023 – Simon Bridges and James Shaw referred to mandatory community gardening work after a punch-up when both attend a 'Fridays for Getting Government Back' vigil on the former parliament lawn, now a wheat field.

April 2027 – Calls for more history teaching in community skill shares after survey reveals 62% of teenagers don't know New Zealand once had a government.


Friday, 3 April 2020

Reading for the COVID-19nz Lockdown

Why Reject the Treaty
When the lockdown is lifted, do you want the focus to be on building roads or would it be better to start building homes? Build a quality healthcare system? Abolish prisons? Kick capitalism into the gutter?
The Shop is shut but here are some zines to help you plot and plan your way through the lockdown and envisage the communities that can come after the lockdown.

The Myth of Passivity by Toby Boraman
Prison Abolition

Annette Sykes 2010 Bruce Memorial Lecture
Anarchy by Sam Buchanan
Are We All NZers Now by Ani Mikaere