MSD Occupiers Appear in Court, Remanded until April
This morning, 4 members of Auckland Action Against Poverty appeared in court to defend against charges of willfull trespass for their occupation of the Ministry of Social Development on September 18th.
The 4 activists involved were remanded until next April when the court case could be heard next. "For such a basic charge, we are a bit concerned about the amount of time we have to wait; hopefully the police come to their senses and drop the charges", said Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Chris Zack.
"We also wonder if this backlog in court may partly be a result of police increasingly charging activists for engaging in civil disobedience."
AAAP's actions were a direct response to the government's announcement of the second wave of welfare reform introduced to Parliament.
"Our occupation in September was a concerted attempt to directly challenge some of the horrendous welfare reforms National is currently implementing. We strongly believe that these policies amount to punishing people for being poor rather than focusing on the real task of creating decent jobs and opportunities for people."
AAAP aims to continue momentum with an event next month in Onehunga. "We plan to host Auckland's first ever Beneficiary Impact on December 10th, 11th and 12th. What this means is that we will be working with advocates throughout the country to provide streamlined beneficiary advocacy so people can get what they need, right before X-mas.
For those wanting to support our Impact. We are have a Recession Buster Rally on December 11th from 12:00 to 2:00 across the street from the Onehunga Work and Income.
More information can be found at www.aaap.org.nz