Why I'm at Occupy Queen Street

I guess I've been a bit critical of the various 'Occupy' movements that have been going on lately. And yet here I am sitting in the sun at Aotea Square listening to the first Public Forum of OccupyAuckland. I guess I owe some sort of explanation. 

I still have my reservations about some of what this movement is trying to achieve. I still have my doubts about how effective it will be. And I still have some problems with the way they're organised. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't have the chance to say their piece. 

As has been said many times today (including in the mainstream media), 1% of New Zealanders own 16% of this country's wealth. There's a problem there. These guys have something to say about it. 

There's a much overused quote out there that says "I may not agree with what you have to say; but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it." I might not fully support the OccupyAuckland cause, but I'm happy to do what I can to help them be heard. The more people lend their support the more exposure this issue is going to get. There were legit news media covering the march up Queen St this afternoon. If my presence (as nothing but another number) helped to lend some credibility and attract more coverage, then it was worth my time. When numbers are everything, just being there is a contribution. 

Conversation has an inherent value. I'm sitting here now marvelling at the importance that this group put on openness and debate. That's what this country needs more of. If the silent majority is not prepared to facilitate a conversation then I'm happy to help the noisy minority do it instead. 

Let's give these people a chance to show us what they can come up with. Nobody else seems to have any ideas.


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