Just a place holder, don’t use this

Interview with a beneficiary advocate: Miles Lacey

By |March 4th, 2015|

By guest contributor Pink Panther

Recently, I contac […]

Movie review: Jimmy’s Hall (2014)

By |December 30th, 2014|

Ireland has a long and difficult history. It is hardly […]

Book review: Radical unionism (2013)

By |December 20th, 2014|

R Darlington, Radical Unionism: The Rise & Fall of […]

Ward, C., Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction

By |October 1st, 2014|

Ward, C., Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford […]

Book Review: The Trigger (2014)

By |September 3rd, 2014|

The Trigger, Tim Butcher (London, 2014)

2014 is […]

Review: Aotearoa Anarchist Review (and Golfing Handbook)

By |June 11th, 2014|

The Freedom Shop has just published issue one of a new periodical titled ‘aargh!’ (which apparently stands for ‘Aotearoa Anarchist Review and Golfing Handbook’).
The 16-page publication claims to “maintain the proud tradition of anarchist publications in Aotearoa. Which in the last ten years include Snap!, Imminent Rebellion, Dissident Voice, The Wildcat Annual, Aotearoa Anarchist and Solidarity.” We agree!

The Freedom Shop Collective is Aotearoa’s longest running anarchist group. Founded on 1st May 1995 in Wellington, the shop is currently situated in the Opportunity for Animals op-shop at 162 Riddiford Street, Wellington. The shop has had its ups and downs, which included a stint of homelessness a few years ago. The collective has never produced much material themselves but tended to order books from AK Press and re-produce pamphlets and zines from around the world.

While the cover of ‘aargh!’ doesn’t match the design aesthetics of Rebel Press publication Imminent Rebellion, the content is superb. From the opening stanza of Airini Beautrais’ poem about Whanganui police computer bomber Neil Roberts to Sam Buchanan’s film review (‘Rebellion – L’ordre et la morale’), ‘aargh!’ is a jolly good read! […]

Movie Review: ‘Sedition’

By |July 7th, 2013|

The dominant narrative on World War II has New Zealand standing alongside the mother country, in defence of freedom and democracy against evil dictatorships. While some have recoiled at the economic deprivation that prevailed and were shocked by the deaths of family members, few have questioned the rationale of the war itself. The documentary Sedition looks at the experiences and motivations of the extreme minority of people who did resist the war. This is done through a combination of archival footage and interviews with participants and academics. […]

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. […]

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. […]