Wgtn Public Meeting & Fundraiser – After the quake: community responses in Christchurch

March 30, 2011

After the quake: community responses in Christchurch—— PLEASE FORWARD THIS THROUGH TO FRIENDS, FAMILY AND OTHER NETWORKS ——

Public Meeting
7pm, Friday April 8th
Upstairs @ Thistle Hall (cnr Cuba and Arthur Streets), Wellington
Entry by koha

Following the devastating earthquake in Christchurch on February 22nd, a number of organisations sprung into action to help organise and coordinate support within the community. In many parts of Christchurch, aid and communication from Government and large NGOs was virtually non-existent for some time after the quake, and it was left up to pre-existing organisations, neighbours, families and friendship networks to ensure that people were able to access the resources and information they needed.

3 speakers will be talking about some of the work that went on in the period immediately after the earthquake, and on some of the challenges facing Christchurch residents over the coming months.

Allister D from Beyond Resistance will talk about the work that his group was involved with in the Linwood and Avonside suburbs, providing food, water and gas to hard-hit communities. He will also talk about likely challenges that working class communities will face during the rebuilding phase.

Matt Jones from Unite Union will discuss the situation for workers in Christchurch. After the earthquake in September, Unite organised protests to pressure employers who were refusing to pay workers. Now, many thousands of people are out of work in Christchurch (some temporarily, others permanently) and Matt will talk about the issues they face.

Ros Houghton from Women’s Refuge will explain some of the challenges faced by Women’s Refuge in Christchurch after the earthquake, in which much of their local resources were destroyed. She will talk about the work that Refuge is doing to support women and children who have affected by sharp increase in domestic violence since the earthquake.

There will be a raffle with prizes and cake for sale so please bring money to donate.

All funds raised will be split 50/50 between the Christchurch Women’s Refuge Earthquake Appeal and Beyond Resistance, whose callouts for funds were the driving force behind the organising of this meeting.

The venue is BYO so feel free to bring a drink for yourself, but please respect the speakers.


Callout for funds for Beyond Resistance, organising after the devastating Christchurch earthquake

March 11, 2011

On February 22nd at just before 1pm, a devastating earthquake, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, and just 10km deep, hit Christchurch, the second biggest city in New Zealand. So far over 160 people have been officially declared dead and that toll is expected to rise to over 200. The earthquake came less than 6 months after a destructive 7.1 magnitude shock, which claimed no lives but saw thousands of homes and buildings damaged or destroyed.

In the wake of the February quake, a number of grassroots groups and networks have sprung up across the city to help people access the resources and support they needed to survive. Beyond Resistance, an anarchist group, was heavily involved in providing support in the working class suburbs of Avonside and Linwood, while other members also got involved in the relief effort in other parts of the city.

Beyond Resistance need your help! Money is needed to buy resources, to print leaflets and flyers and to organise meetings. Any donations will be greatly appreciated, and can be made to:

Bank name Westpac
Branch name Queenstown
Account name Unite Fund
Account number 03 0675 0423909 017
Westpac swift code WPACNZ2W

For many residents in the hard hit working class Eastern suburbs of Christchurch, aid from the Government, City Council and large NGOs such as the Red Cross was sorely lacking. More than 2 weeks on from the quake, many still have no (or extremely limited) power supplies and no running water. State-provided portaloos and chemical toilets are still far from accessible for many residents.

In Linwood, Beyond Resistance members set up a community kitchen in the front yard of two members’ house within hours of the earthquake. From here they distributed meals, gas canisters, water, hand sanitiser, facemasks (huge amounts of pollution and dust were spread by high winds) and other much needed supplies. They engaged in door-knocking around Linwood and Avonside to assess people’s needs and organised bike deliveries of food, water and gas (many of the roads are still impassable by car). More details about the work they have been doing can be found on their website, http://beyondresistance.wordpress.com.

Over the coming days, weeks and months, Beyond Resistance members will continue to help provide resources to people who need them. Additionally, they are working to link up the various neighbourhood based support groups scattered across the city. They also plan to organise politically to try to ensure that the rebuilding of Christchurch is done in a way that meets the needs of residents, not business and the state. They will be active in organising against Government cuts to services around the country that use the earthquake as an excuse to further punish working class people (both employed and unemployed) for the benefit of the wealthy.

If you have any questions about this fundraising callout, please email the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement, one of the organisations helping to coordinate support for Beyond Resistance from Wellington – info [ at ] awsm.org.nz


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