Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friends Garden

Here are some photos from a friends garden I took yesterday. Gardening continues to expand in popularity amongst my friends and now virtually every one of them has a garden. Its also expanding amongst normal people as well. I walked into the office kitchen today to see the head of production for the factory swapping garden produce with the head of sales both of them bubbling with excitement about what they were growing and what they were planning to grow over the winter period.

In the UK apparently the government is encouraging businesses to reduce employees hours to four or even three days a week rather than outright laying them off. Hopefully this extra time and all the new unemployed will find solace growing zucchinis, tomatoes and potatoes. Its a bit late to plant summer crops so for anyone starting a garden at the moment start thinking about autumn as it could be right around the corner.

Anyhow heres the photos.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Phtos from Community Garden

Here are some photos I took at the Kingsland Community Garden yesterday. The gardens don't have any real water supply so everything is looking pretty parched apart from a few plants being hand watered. As a result a lot of the stressed plants have gone to flower so I ended up taking a lot of photos of flowers.

It was encouraging to see bees about and I spent a bit of time trying to get some good photos. All the gardeners I have talked to have noticed the drastic drop in bee numbers since the Varoa mite arrived in Aotearoa. In a couple of years people probably wont notice and in twenty or thirty years we will tell disbelieving kids about how lavender plants used to be covered in bees.

Colony collapse disorder may or may not have reached New Zealand yet but the sudden loss of pollinators is sure to have a massive long term effect on what we grow and eat. It is also one of the signs of a catastrophic breakdown in ecosystems. When something as fundamental as bee's disappear widespread collapse of entire ecosystems is guaranteed to follow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Symbolic Action at Weapons Manufacturer

Yesterday around 200 people protested outside Rakon, a New Zealand company that manufactures guidance systems for missiles including those being used to bombard GAZA. The protest was held in opposition to the ongoing invasion of GAZA by Israel.

As part of the protest one activist a christian peacemaker climbed onto the building and painted kills in front of the Rakon sign. He was arrested whilst still on the roof. His explanation of why he took the action can be found here

Several other protesters threw eleven water balloons full of red paint at the front of the building to symbolise the eleven hundred civilians killed so far in Israels latest invasion. So far none of these people have been arrested to my knowledge.

After feeling powerless at last weeks march it was awesome to see some direct action being taken. The cops were taken completely by surprise and these two acts of civil disobedience were taken despite the building being surrounded by cops and private security guards.

The action got widespread TV coverage on all the news channels here and got decent radio and Internet coverage. I'm not sure if the print media have really picked it up.

In a similar overseas action activists attempted to shut down a UK weapons manufacturer causing large amounts of damage. Mainstream coverage here. Alternative news coverage here

I put together a rough video with some of the footage from the action

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Free Gaza Rally

Here are some photos I took at yesterdays march in Auckland to oppose the current massacre of Palestinian people. Over 600 people turned out for a rally and march.

However I couldn't help but feel disempowered by yet another march down queen st to the US consulate and back to Aotea square. Throwing shoes at the embassy was a welcome break from the usual stage managed show off political dissent. Aside from this and the chanting in Arabic the march was like any of the other marches against violence towards the people of the middle east we have seen over the past eight years. Perhaps it was just me but I was suprised that people weren't angrier. Quite a lot of the people there seemed unable to muster genuine outrage at what is going on in palestine. As a result I didn't really have the energy to run round trying to get good photos so these ones aren't the best.

Regular posting

I hope to resume regular posting on this blog. For ages I have been avoiding putting stuff about me online because I was worried about my privacy. I'm not so worried any more so hopefully regular posting will resume on a wide range of political and social issues.