"Merata Mita's Patu! is a remarkable protest story told in the face of adversity, and a monument to a time when New Zealand was torn in two by the 1981 Springbok rugby tour. You were either for or against. And Patu!, with its highly-charged images of violent clashes between police and anti-tour marchers, is firmly sided with the later. It is passionate, activist film-making at its most compelling.
The Springbok rugby tour to New Zealand was seen by some as endorsement of South Africa's separatist government. When the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and the NZ government ignored calls to cancel the tour, the NZ anti-apartheid movement planned peaceful protest marches to attempt to sway the government's decision.
Once the tour started, sports grounds and suburban streets became battlefields, as clashes escalated between police and the highly-mobilised protesters. Filmed over the winter of 1981, several camera operators (including industry heavyweights) contributed their time free of charge and became foreign correspondents in their own country, capturing on-the-run footage of the tour clashes.
Due to the mass of cinema verite style footage, Mita and editor Annie Collins had to examine many hours of footage, collected from several different sources (including 16 field camera operators). But the effort pays off.
The completed film, now 110 minutes long, was a record of heroism for the liberal left in New Zealand. For many young people taking to the streets, it was their 1968. Māori and Pākehā, children and grandparents, gang members and clergymen, in a moment of rare consensus, stood together to affirm shared values. Patu! was also a morale booster for the African National Congress.
Patu! is a landmark in New Zealand's film history."
(Mihi Murray, 30.08.2008)
"In order to understand and expose the underlying global social hierarchy today, it's imperative for researchers to trace back its historical roots. Obviously this is an overwhelmingly daunting task to say the least, for the problem of racism is almost as old as Humanity itself. Therefore, we must at least try to trace it back to a more immediate past in order to comprehend the racist quagmire encompassing the world today. Now we can attest to the fact that Historical Global European Imperialism / Expansionism / Colonialism has had the most impact on reshaping the world in the last several centuries. Clearly, it has had the most influence, by far, in the world of politics, economics, education, commercialism, you name it. Furthermore without European Imperialism, "America" as you currently know it would not exist. In addition to that, had it not been for European Imperialism, White institutional control would not be so globally pervasive."
(changabula, Chinadaily BBS)
[A sensationalist (and somewhat anti-North American) but interesting perspective on the representation of East Asian people in popular media.]
"Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day ..."
(anonymous text message, circulated between 5-10 December 2005)
Fig.1 Sydney Morning Herald's Photographer Andrew Meares captures the fury of the Cronulla riots.
[The use of mobile telephone text messages to incite racial hared at North Cronulla beach in Sydney, Australia is a prime example of what Howard Rheingold calls 'Smart-Mobs'. Although it is clear in this case that the content of the messages has very little to do with the idea of being smart - the fact that groups of individuals are able to self-organise in this way is. Such technology allows individuals to form groups in an ad-hoc manner (in this case, groups of foolish red-necks), which is interesting give the centralised nature of most other communication avenues.]