Auckland Action Against Poverty is a direct action, advocacy and education group mobilising against the neoliberal agenda on jobs, welfare and poverty.
We were set up in late 2010 with the initial purpose of doing everything possible to expose and oppose National’s agenda on welfare, as expressed through the recommendations of the Government’s Welfare Working Group.
AAAP has engaged in a number of direct actions such as pickets, demonstrations, street theatre and occupations, as well as taking any opportunity we can to make media comment and speak to groups who may be interested in our kaupapa.
We have also submitted and presented a number of submissions and, as of December 2012, we have been running a Direct Action Casework advocacy program from our office in Onehunga working with people from across Auckland.
We are a small but growing organisation committed to working in the interests of beneficiaries, low paid workers, students and others who we believe should not be paying the cost of the current crisis in capitalism.
Anyone who supports us is welcome to join.
Our core beliefs:
- Everyone should have the right to participate fully in the economy and society. Social security is a human right.
- Unemployed people and beneficiaries should not be blamed and stigmatised for their situation and should be treated fairly and with respect by state agencies.
- Benefits should be enough to live on with dignity.
- People on the DPB, sickness and invalids’ benefits should not be coerced into paid work.
- Volunteer work in the community and caring work in the home and elsewhere should be valued.
- Government should play an active role in helping to maintain and create good jobs across all sectors: private, state and community.
- Everyone should have the right to appropriate education, training, income support and housing.
- Low wage workers, unemployed people and beneficiaries should not have to pay the cost of the crisis in capitalism.
Our core goals:
- Engage in campaigns, actions and other activities which challenge the neoliberal agenda on jobs, welfare and poverty, and which promote constructive alternatives.
- Advocate, educate and inform people on these issues through public speaking, media work, forums, workshops, web-based outreach, and other forms of information sharing and networking.
- Promote political involvement and activism by unemployed people and beneficiaries, unions and low paid workers, students, church and community sector allies and others who support our beliefs and goals.
- Develop and maintain our group through good decision making processes based on modified consensus, mutual respect and trust, accountability, and a commitment to supporting each other to work for long term organisational sustainability in an often difficult external environment.
How our meetings and spaces work:
As an organisation looking to grow and be inclusive, AAAP meetings and our office aim to be welcoming, engaging and supportive spaces that are family and child friendly. It is very important that we, as best we can, maintain a safe space without violence, abuse or oppression. This oppression includes, but is not restricted to; sexism, racism and homophobia. In addition to this, due to the diverse political and religious backgrounds of members of AAAP, we aim to be a non-sectarian group. This means our debates and discussions focus on specific ideas, not someone’s political or religious affiliations.
In order for our spaces to be safe everyone must take responsibility for their actions, language and behaviour and the effect that this may have on others. At the same time, we should support each other in responding to oppressive behaviour as well as work with those who have acted inappropriately in a constructive way.