It didn’t take long before the political pushback arrived and it came through information operations. The media was the channel.
We were mortified when a complete and utter bastard defaced the Symonds Street Jewish Cemetery with Nazi symbols. Even more mortified when the media started reporting he was an occupier. Those of us who were on Occupy daily had never seen or heard of this guy.
If, in Occupy Auckland, we had caught the guy who defaced the Jewish cemetery, he would have quickly met an unpleasant fate.
But that’s how it started. “Occupying Auckland is neo-Nazis” has become the mantra, weaponized against us.
This was coupled with “Occupy Auckland is disorganized”. “Occupy Auckland doesn’t even know what it wants”. And most disgusting of all, after Auckland Council removed our Port-A-Loos without notice and then cut off the Occupy water supply – “Occupy is unsanitary and has excrement on the floor.”
I never saw a single species of excrement on the floor at the Occupy, but that didn’t matter – those stories held up against the protest movements don’t tell the truth. It is about realizing political agendas.
It’s the same old playbook. But this time it’s not just coming out of the mouths of the power elite and their stenographers.
It comes from the left.
The same left that has been targeted by these same tactics since time immemorial.
Long before I ran the Internet Party (in a 2017 campaign that was almost completely blacked out
by the media); before starting to develop software tools like Panquake; before becoming a very public defender of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; before writing in-depth investigative articles on the GCSB or studying the Snowden files live online; I was just a secular, single mom and activist, using photojournalism and live-tweeting to document our protest actions at a time when live-streaming was so new that we were lucky if we had a no one in the crowd doing it.
I covered over 50 protests on the ground in New Zealand before persistent extrajudicial targeting by New Zealand police and private intelligence and security contractors finally drove me out of the country.
I remember this period of my life very well, as it has impacted every facet of my life ever since.
During these 50+ actions, I met a ton of people, interviewed a whole bunch of household names, and made lifelong friends. The kind you know will support you when you’re David fighting Goliath.
Fast forward to 2022 and half of those friends are in Wellington supporting the protests. The other half use social media to decry, attack and denounce those attending the Wellington protests.
A few very good friends of mine have done a pretty incredible job of identifying and exposing some of the true white supremacists who infiltrated Wellington’s convoy.