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The Siege of Troy: Interview With a Sex Worker

By |June 25th, 2013|

In recent decades the NZ economy has been restructured away from a basis in primary production, towards the service sector. This trend has been combined with labour laws taking collective protections from workers. These conditions along with other alterations in the economy have meant frequent changes of job for many people. It is becoming rarer for somebody to remain within the same kind of work, let alone with the same company for their entire working life (assuming you aren’t unemployed). For some, this has required doing more than one job simultaneously and in disparate fields. This includes those kinds of work once seen as ‘off-limits’, illegal and/or dangerous. Below is a slightly edited version of an interview with AWSM given by Troy, a male sex worker. The interview gives an insight into the experiences of someone who has changed his decisions in light of today’s economy.
AWSM: Thanks for agreeing to talk. Can you start by telling us about yourself?

Troy: I’m Troy. That’s my working name you understand. I’m in my late 20s. I’m from a small town in the North Island but I don’t want to say which one because it was so small. Everybody knows everybody, you know what I mean? My family is small, just an ordinary bunch of people. Dad went to work, Mum stayed home, that sort of thing. I went to school there, and got through it ok, even though I wasn’t a great student. I went to university for a couple of years but didn’t graduate. I kind of got bored there and also my finances weren’t great. I’ve had different regular day jobs but my main job is in the sex industry. I’ve been doing that a few years now.

AWSM: Ok thanks for that. So, what got you into sex work?

Troy: You know at school they make you write those ‘What I want to be when I grow up’ essays? Well I don’t think anyone writes ‘prostitute’ do they?! For me its always been the money, pure and simple. I needed money and working for minimum wage in a convenience store just wasn’t going to bring in the sort of cash I needed to pay my bills. And maybe I’m just not good at taking orders anyway [laughs]. It wasn’t the first thing that came to mind and I spent a long time thinking it over before I made the choice. I had a friend who I found out was doing it, so some of our discussions helped take me in that direction too. My first experience of it was positive. I got paid well and it worked out ok. Maybe if it had gone differently I would have made another choice. I don’t know. […]

Double struggle in Brazil

By |June 23rd, 2013|

Brazil has seen strong economic growth, although this is slowing. In 2010, the economy grew by 7,5 percent; in 2011, the IMF ‘s estimate is 2,7 percent. Short-term slowdown is supposed to be followed by stronger growth in 2013, although, with IMF statistics, you can never tell. However, the parallel with Turkey, also a strongly growing economy moving in to slowdown but not quite in recession, is striking. Economies like Turkey, Brazil are becoming quite an important force in the world economy. What happens there, matters. Better watch out, and better be prepared to extend the hand of solidarity.

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Revolutionary Anarchists Call for International Solidarity

By |June 13th, 2013|

For Ongoing Public Revolt Against State Terrorism

Last week a group of protesters started guarding action after some trees were taken down illegally in the name of urban gentrification projects. In the second day of the protest, very early in the morning, the police attacked the protesters heavily with gas bombs, pressured water and plastic bullets and wounded many protesters. A spark began against this event of state terrorism and spread across the country turning into a massive action and organized the big revolt. The public organized against increasing attacks, state terrorism and police violence and have been turning the streets into the area of resistance. This public revolt has been streaming for four days and is constantly spreading.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters have resisted in Taksim, where the government blocked the entrance and police violence peaked; finally they occupied Taksim Square, building barricades around the square and taking control of Taksim. Protesters in Ankara took to the streets in solidarity with Istanbul and building barricades in important places in the city, expanding the revolt. Hundreds of protesters in Izmir, another big city, have burned the ruling party’s building. […]

Rotorua: Anti-Monsanto March

By |June 12th, 2013|

Rotorua is not known as a hotbed of political activity, but on May 25th it became the first of over 400 cities worldwide to hold a march in opposition to the giant multinational Monsanto, which produces genetically modified food and seeds.

Around 150 people braved cold conditions to march from the lakeside to the town centre, where speeches were made by organisers and participants. These included a wide range of people, including environmentalists, indigenous rights activists, members of political organisations and concerned whanau. Below are photos from the day… […]

Movie review: “There Be Dragons: Blood & Country”

By |June 11th, 2013|

There are few English-language movies that have the Spanish Civil War/Revolution of 1936-39 as a major backdrop to their narratives. Due to the wide-scale involvement of anarchists in that conflict, the opportunity to see a film that does mainly take place at that time, is naturally of interest to anyone with those politics. It would be nice to say that There Be Dragons lives up to the expectations its rarity of subject matter leads you to hope for. Not only does this movie disappoint in its portrayal of politics, but it fails in most other departments too. So much so, that the only up side to take from it, is that it is just as possible to learn from a negative example as a positive one.
So what are the details of this mess? The movie begins with a brief written synopsis of the Civil War in Spain. In itself this isn’t necessarily a bad strategy for drawing in the casual viewer with no previous knowledge of the subject. The trouble is, it reads more like a poor Year 9 Social Studies essay, complete with a misspelling of Hitler’s first name. Less excusable is that during the next couple of minutes a leading character tells us more or less the same information. […]

Rotorua: Homelessness Debate

By |May 26th, 2013|

Approximately 80 people attended a debate in Rotorua on May 24th on the subject of homelessness. The debate was framed around the topic of “Joining the Homeless is a Great Lifestyle Choice.” Speakers included two current City Councillors Merepeka Raukawa-Tait and Charles Sturt, ex-MP Steve Chadwick, Rev Tom Poata, Cliff Lee, Kingi Biddle and Barney Jewell. Proceeds from the debate were to go to the Rotorua Community Night Shelter Trust. […]

The Plague of Monsanto

By |May 25th, 2013|

Under the pretence of ‘feeding the world’, Monsanto – t […]

Up A Mighty River Without A Paddle?

By |May 23rd, 2013|

During the last election the centre-right National Party lead by multi-millionaire John Key, said it would partly privatise certain state assets if re-elected. Its main losing rival was the Labour Party, at the time lead by the uncharismatic Phil Goff, who had been one of the architects of the privitisation push in the 1980s. National has now decided to press ahead with its threat. The power company Mighty River Power is the current focus of attention, with other goodies up for grabs in the future. What will the effects of greater privatisation be? What options exist for workers in Aotearoa/New Zealand? […]

Revolting Kitchens – The Red Chef’s perspective on the food industry

By |May 22nd, 2013|

– by The Red Chef (member of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement)

It seems that over the last few years the chef has become a rather in vogue character following the rise of some notorious TV chefs like Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Marco White and others. Here in New Zealand the weekly show Masterchef displays the extent to which many individuals would love the ‘opportunity’ to enter the hospitality industry and work in kitchens. Having worked in hospitality for many years now, and more recently as a chef in a trendy Wellington restaurant, I am writing this article in order to clear up some misconceptions about the supposedly glamorous life of the chef that the celebrity bigwigs would like us to believe. The reality of life working in kitchens is one of brutal exploitation, pure and simple.

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