Monday, November 26, 2007

On Monday, November 19 a book on the history of anarchism in New Zealand was launched at the Auckland anarchist social centre where one of last month's Urewera 17 was arrested, says author Toby Boraman. The book has the subtitle 'A History of Anarchism in Aotearoa/New Zealand From the Mid-1950s to the Early 1980s'. Monday, November 19th, 2007 was also the 25th anniversary of the death of anarchist punk rocker Neil Roberts who died while placing a bomb outside the Wanganui Police Computer on November 18th, 1982 in a protest against the creeping fascism and police state of Muldoon.
But Boraman says that the launch was not going to be a celebration of Roberts' protest act- which harmed no-one else- and that the book clearly argues that Roberts' act of property destruction was completely ineffective in challenging the system. "Anarchists are not terrorists, but instead aim for a society organized without coercion", he said. "Anarchists in New Zealand have never purposely maimed, injured and killed people to create a climate of fear and far from the mythology of the mad bomber anarchists have played constructive roles in a number of protest movements."
Boraman says anarchists were prominent in the anti-nuclear, ant-Vietnam War, anti-US military bases, commune, unemployed and peace movements in the 1960s and 1970s. The book captures some of the imagination, audacity, laughs and wildness that animated may of the social movements of the time, he says. During this times, particularly from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, an astonishingly broad-based revolt occurred throughout the country. Thousands of workers, Maori, Pacific people, women, youth, lesbians, gays, students, environmentalists and others rebelled against authority. Innovative news styles and anarchistic methods of political dissent became popular.
Boraman says that it will interest not only anarchists and richly-details a much neglected anti-authoritarian leftist current in New Zealand history. The book is a paperback, 154 pages and retails for $30-$35 RRP. ISBN 978-0473-122-997. It is illustrated with historical photographs, posters and leaflets. To read the introduction to the book and to order go to or go to Katipo Books. A portion of the book sales will go to the defense fund for those arrested in the recent "anti-terror" raids in New Zealand.

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