The face of peaceful protest to protect New Zealand's economy, environment and way of life. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

The face of peaceful protest to protect New Zealand’s economy, environment and way of life. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

I don’t often photograph people, but did feel compelled to document last weekend’s protests against our government’s secret negotiation of TPPA (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement).

Shoulder to shoulder. Protesters on Auckland's Queen Street. #TPPA protest. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Shoulder to shoulder. Protesters on Auckland’s Queen Street. #TPPA protest. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

For some time now, New Zealanders have been voicing concern about the possible impacts of such an agreement on our health system, environment, economy and indeed our sovereignty. There is also very real concern that the whole negotiation process is being carried out in secret. Effectively we’re being asked to sign up to a wide-ranging and long-term agreement sight unseen.

Thousands gathered in Aotea Square, Auckland, to protest @TPPA. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Thousands gathered in Aotea Square, Auckland, to protest @TPPA. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Despite wide-ranging concerns, the mainstream media has consistently underplayed and ignored the issue. For that reason, it is important that ordinary people document the protests which were held in towns across New Zealand. These attracted many thousands of people of all ages, backgrounds and socio-economic group.

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#TPPA protesters on Auckland’s Queen Street. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A face in the crowd. #TPPA protest, Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

A face in the crowd. #TPPA protest, Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Protesters; march against secret negotiations of #TPPA, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Protesters; march against secret negotiations of #TPPA, Auckland, NZ. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.

 

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Politics and protest: not really black and white

41 thoughts on “Politics and protest: not really black and white

    • I was reminded of Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, for the people” the other day, and got depressed thinking how far our politicians have come from even paying lip service to that.

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      • Too right! Our Labour politicians are threatening to sabotage the results of the leadership election if, as expected, the candidate of the Left wins. Who cares, said one spin doctor, about the grassroots? Unbelievably undemocratic. I despair.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I’ve been reading about Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy with real interest. I remember him vaguely as an MP from when we lived in the UK, but am really impressed by what I’ve seen of him in the leadership election. I can barely follow British politics these days (too complex for a bear of little brain on the underside of the world), but you seem to be in a similarly dire situation to us with every last bit of democracy being jettisioned. I despair too.

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  1. Agreed ! – the MSM are hopeless an unreliable: it’s the bloggers like you on whom the burden rests. The whole TPPA thing has to be feared; for if it isn’t fearful, why are they cloaking it so absolutely ?

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    • True. I realised at the weekend that I went on my first protest march (down the same street) at 18, and for a few years (homosexual law reform, Springbok Tour, nuclear-free NZ), I probably walked down the middle of that road chanting slogans, more often than I used the pavement!

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  2. As Anabel says we’re in a similar fix in the UK with the US/EU TIPP secret negotiations. David Cameron saying it will make the UK 10 billion a year or some such. But isn’t this all about corporations doing more of what they like and more easily, when it’s bad enough already. Soon (if we aren’t already) we will be subjects of a global hegemony of Big Corp(se). These entities are always under our radar, and the media do much to distract us from noticing this. Which reminds me, yesterday there was a prog on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme about American-French poverty activist, Susan George (How the Other Half Dies). For decades she has been telling us to look at where the source of this poverty lies – with the rich and with vested interested. At 81, she still has a lot to say about things like TTIP. Climate Change is her other big issue. She says if governments are in fear of migrants now, they’ve not seen anything yet.

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    • So true; it’s amazing to me that only now are people here beginning to ask whether past agreements have actually benefited our economy — given we’re being “sold” this one as an economic godsend. Turns out, surprise, surprise, that the answer is “not so much.” Thanks for the link. I think I can download The Food Programme as a podcast. I’d love to hear Susan George — a wise and wonderful woman.

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  3. These are really wonderful photos, Su. And so heartening to see people in action. I have signed so many petitions against the U.S. version of this same trade deal. If it’s such a great thing, why are the negotiations secret?

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