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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Green MP's "School" Teaches Activists How to "Control Stories" About "Urewera 17"

Here's an interesting piece from the latest Global Peace & Justice Auckland newsletter.

Friday Feb 15 to Sun Feb 17, Kotare near Wellsford

STORY TELLING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE SUMMER SCHOOL co-hosted by Auckland WEA and Kotare Trust; Feb 15 - 17 at Kotare, near Wellsford. Ruth Greenaway will lead a number of sessions - Ruth is a specialist in story telling for social justice. Christine Herzog willl lead on the ethics of story telling Rod Prosser will share some "documentary as story" ideas....

Kotare is Green MP Sue Bradford's Marxist training school. Herzog and Greenaway are what I would describe as professional "change agents".

Prosser is known for his leftist films covering the Maoist organisations like NZ's Progressive Youth Movement and the Philippines New Peoples Army. He is also involved with the Maoist front organisation, the International League of Peoples Struggles.

"Story telling" in this context, is what most of us would call propaganda, or indoctrination.

It is the art of creating a narrative or "story" to influence people's thinking to bring about some kind of desired change.

From the Change Agency

Story telling is increasingly recognised as a particularly powerful medium for making and strengthening our commitments to social justice; so this will be the focus of a summer school hosted by the Auckland Workers Educational Association and Kotare Trust.

The programme will depend both on what particular interests people have and what skills people bring, but the kinds of sessions we are thinking of relate to:

*How can we use stories to support social justice?
*Why are stories so important in social change and social justice?
*What forms and mediums create powerful social change stories?

This concept derives from the work of Brazillian Marxist "educationalist" Paolo Freire, on whose theories Kotare's programmes are based.

From Freire theorist Jane Field

Paolo Freire promoted the benefits of dialogue, conceptualisation and storytelling when working with disadvantaged and marginalized people; developing theories of 'critical consciousness' and 'popular education'; highlighting the power of language in shaping thoughts and actions.

Most interesting to me was this snippet;

John Darroch and others will offer a session on "controlling the stories" - "the Terror Raids"...

This obviously refers to the October 15th 2007 anti terror raids that netted the infamous "Urewera 17".

John Darroch serves on Kotare's youth advisory committee. He is a close associate of one of the "Urewera 17", Omar Hamed, and is a leading light in the Save Happy Valley Coalition, with which several of those arrested were involved.

I believe Darroch is talking about what most of us would call "spin."

Seventeen people were arrested, sixteen of them accused of participating in clandestine "quasi military" training camps.

This was hugely damaging to the radical left, as it exposed the dark, violent side of the Maori sovereignty, "peace" and environmental movements.

To mitigate the damage, the radicals have had to tell "stories"-what you or I would call "lie".

They have to make the public believe these people were harmless-the police overreacted-the cops are racist-Tuhoe were victimised etc etc etc.

The radicals are trying to "spin" their way out of trouble.

They are trying to "control the stories."

That this is being taught from a "school" run by a sitting Green Party MP, Sue Bradford is cause for major concern.


Anonymous Redbaiter said...

That this is being taught from a "school" run by a sitting Green Party MP, Sue Bradford is cause for major concern.

Yup, it should be cause for major concern. In this country it apparently isn't. Which tells you so much about the government, the opposition and the voting citizenry. ..and all of this in turn tells you one thing above all, and that is that the hard left have this country completely by the throat. Unless there is real opposition to the Gramscian strategies of these people, unless there is some kind of real and powerful resistance, we're done.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If ACT gets in power will it shut Kotare down?

8:04 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

It is not the job of political parties or governments to shut down private organisations.

It is however government's job to make sure organisations run largely on government money (as Kotare partially is) are using that money appropriately.

The media should be leading the charge to investigate Kotare's activities, so the public may know that their tax money is being used to train radical activists.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Woops-leave out the "largely" in above post.

Should read

"It is however government's job to make sure organisations run on government money (as Kotare partially is) are using that money appropriately."

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only assume these trusts never get audited or else their crimes would be discovered.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What these people are doing is training up another generation of radicals to create a future tide of left-wing activism while watering down the terror styled crimes of their comrads. This has got to be stopped!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actaully I would disagree that the raids have been hugely damaging to the left - maybe the liberal left who are fair weather friends at best to the radical left anyway.

The raids have caused a great deal of people who had dropped out of activism to get back involved and it has refocused many on the radical left to the importance of supporting the Tino Rangatiratanga movement.

There's a lot more people who consider themselves anarchists or at least sympathetic than at any other time that I can remember

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and there is military style camp run by Richard at The Ureweras , I saw him wearing a camouflage pants and a balaclava but his odour for God's sake I could smell it from a mile. he surely been sweating up there with terrorist.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Second anon back-perhaps i should have said to the "image of the left"

I've no doubt it has galvanised the anarchist movement, but it doesn't help the peace movement for its leading activists to be nabbed with pistols etc.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps if they had let the Urewera idiots get to the stage of letting off bombs and throwing molotov cocktails it would have galvanised New Zealand into crushing them.

8:17 PM  

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