communique from the catechresia collective
may 1, the minellium plus 2 ace
dearest the several quarter acres of people living in aotearoa new zealand
on this day of autumn light fading, as our sisters, fathers, mothers, brothers & elders trail through yet another day of debilitating regimes & routines, a diverse group of people have come together.
on this MayDay, 1st of may - which is also all hallows’ & international workers day & a day of carnival resistance to our old enemy capitalism - we have come together to cut loose the washinglines of sorrow drawn tight in our many hearts. to voice the refusals that many more of us have felt welling up, but then swallowed down out of disbelief that the world might be any different.
this group is diverse and multiple. it is small and yet it is larger than we could possibly have imagined in the dearest dreams of our beds. it is both a beginning and a continuation:
a beginning for some who are gathering their heartstrength to overcome the disability of cynicism or the low ceiling of hopelessness.
a continuation for the dear & many few who have fought, argued & struggled, resisted, disagreed & died, all the while refusing to accept that the flat tires of our spirits were beyond repair.
so many and so few are here; our sisters, mothers, brothers, children, fathers. the shadowbreath of our ancestors. our families and whanau, tangata whenua and tau iwi. men and women in a diversity of relationships with themselves and others. environmentalists & unionists, socialists & anarchists. animal activists & peace advocates. people in paid formal work, those un- & under-paid. librarians & labourers, the street eloquent & the university educated.
& a multitude of others who will always be excluded from lists like these, not through desire or ignorance but because of the logic of such lists.
& what of we numbered few, who are writing to you now? what titles, positions and authority would *we* gather up & clothe ourselves with, to nimbly assure you of our sublime importance?
our answer is exactly this: none. hore kau
we are not spokespeople. we will not and cannot speak on behalf of those who are not speaking now. we merely speak & write alongside the collected voices and sharpened pencils of those around us.
nor are we Leaders, for we take our times following and walking hand-feet beside. we have no titles or positions of structural power to bludgeon you with.
nor do we desire any. for we seek not the continual circulation of Power among Elites, replacing one with another, but rather the diffusion of every type of power in all directions.
what we *do* have are sub/sets of demands, evercircling on the bloodmoon of our tongues...
we who are writing this demand that today & all days & nights following, there be an end of the following hateful ways of being with/in the world:
exploitative & competitive work, whether paid or unpaid, formal or informal;
impositions of authority, the violence of batons, the brutality of abuse;
corporate domination of our communities & media & the dreadful homogeneity of franchises;
cultural imperialism of the hegemonic west & the ever continuing loss & repression of local & indigenous cultures everywhere;
the proliferation of Things for which we have no need;
the everincreasing wealth of the few & corresponding poverty of the many;
the valuing of trees for their marginal profits rather than as subjects of a biodiverse world;
cruelty, suffering and death visited on non-human animals;
the continual dis-honouring of te Tiriti by many pakeha & the wilful ignorance of racisms that quell and skewer us all;
war & terror both, as well as the mongers who fund & revel in, support & profit from it.
government, with its illusion of democracy
instead we seek:
diverse, co-operative, ethical work that comes to be valued & rewarded equally for all its incommensurability;
conflict without recourse to weapons, the abolishment of power over, & an end to state repression;
enterprise that is local & heterogenous, that offers items that we have need for, rather than manufacturing a desire for the superfluous;
resources and spaces that are always public, that cannot be sold or distanced or stolen from us, that are places where all can go, without the need for asking permission. that are objects that we can use without needing to pay a fee;
a fair distribution of income always & Wealth to be abolished and for all to recognise that it is only through extraction & exploitation that financial wealth is possible;
a clothlunged awareness of the beauty and necessity of living *with* this planet we share rather than against or in spite of it;
food grown in the places where it is eaten & the flowering of refusals to justify killing & exploiting other creatures, when we have knowledge about & access to other ways of nourishing ourselves;
a cupboardful of minor & sustainable technologies that rely on human models to solve human problems rather than punishing other creatures for them;
a way among ourstories of aotearoa new zealand suffused with pain & suffering, one that offers tino rangatiratanga & self-determination for maori as well as for all the diverse peoples that inhabit this place;
a belief in the vibrance & variety, flawful beauty & diffusion of our local cultures;
federations, networks & local bodies, which are fluid, which enable & empower & are abolished once they cease to do so.
we make these demands to contribute to an echo that might turn itself into many voices, into a network of voices that, before Power’s deafness, opts to speak to & for itself, acknowledging itself to be equal in its desire to listen and be listened to.
we will continue to demand these and other things & act to see that they arrive. simply because, when faced with the immaculate difficulty of our situation, it is skinedge imperative that we do.
from the hillclimb of dunedin - otepoti
the catechresia collective