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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 19. 3rd August 1972

More Resistance — or no Shop

page 6

More Resistance — or no Shop

Ripped off for the Nth time, Burgled for the third time in twelve months. Resistance is a centre for those who have reached a position of alienation. This is manifest in the torn carpets, broken shelves, fish and chip papers, and tobacco stubs that form the first impression on entering. At any time there will be some dispiritied people lounging there sustained by acid reflections and rock music, hard to come easy money in Wellington and flour and water up the river at Jerusalem. All those rejecting bourgeois values and the present culture do so for personal psychological reasons which produces varied social sub groups e.g. 'revolutionaries' 'hippies' 'criminals' etc. Resistance is run on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation and hence is very open to attack by the criminally (those who accept Capitalist ethics but not capitalist rules) maladjusted, who are on the fringes of the other alienated groups associated with general awareness for change among the integrated members of the present economic system. Change comes from those who have no feeling of reward from the present system therefore any radical organisation has to build a nucleus from the consciously alienated and then work out to the mass of the people. What Resistance needs is to develop not only feeling, but an understanding among people of why the system works as it does. Then there will be more people willing to work for practical radical ends and less people hanging around for the sole purpose of picking up the vibes and the loose cash.

We have lost the following amounts in the last six months. $60 burglary January, $60 rip-off April $70 burglary June, $7 burglary July - the smallness of the amount was due to the fact that Resistance has now negligible amounts of money left on the premises.

The money loss while not crippling, because it can be absorbed by the low overheads, has great ly restricted the intended expansion of stocks. The fact that such large amounts were available to be stolen, is due to organisation incompetance that can best be explained by examining the background of the present shop.

History: The shop was a product of the Wellinton PYM (1970) when its meetings could muster 60 or more people, and when the righteous indignation of the alienated youth of Wellington, led to a running series of demonstrations, paint-ups, effigy burnings, sit-ins, and other manifestations of harmless left-wing adventurism. Financed by individual P.Y.Mers. the shop was sighted in Cuba St with a kitchen and flat above. Gloomily lit, it sold little but emanated vibrations of anarchy, apathy, and sedition, modelled on Auckland Resistance. It's activities were sustained by its reputation as a meeting place, crash-pad, and by its frequent parties. As a centre for radicalism it was eliminated by a suspicious fire that gutted the place in November (despite police failure to find evidence of arson the insurance company was convinced enough not to insure the reopened shop).

The present shop set up with the insurance money in March 1971 next to the YMCA in Willis St. lacked the potential for success that the old Resistance had. It has been run by a series of financially self-sufficient people with a general policy arranged through-out by the nominal manager. The result has been a mish-mash of uninformed people and individualistic policies. Because of general apathy and the failure to organise an allocation of tasks little has been created but a camping ground for the mentally unrelated and a specialist book shop something that is of only minor importance to the Wellington radical groups (that is in comparison to what Auckland Resistance has achieved) Resistance, Wellington however has the following attributes-a meeting place, distributor of pamphlets, information, complete (within capital available) range of radical literature, and an expanding range of imported posters, magazines (dependent on import licenses application refused for the third time, any assistance to overcome this form of censorship would be more than welcome, and Comix (90 out of 120 of the last shipment were seized tor obscenity and will be referred to the indecent publications tribunal.)

What is to be done, Why;- The primary inhibition preventing Resistance from carrying out its radical activities is the lack of money, secondly lack of competent people.

What must we do to win cartoon

The following changes depending on the above are desired;
1.New premises-shop front, permanent residents, meeting-room, printing space, food-coop and other social services. (Interested to hear from individuals, groups who would be willing to share cost of premises)
2.Printing press - regular publications and regular leaflets.
3.Possible appointment of a fulltime paid manager, if expansion justifies it. - or if present volunteer system craps out.
4.Enlarged stocks-particularly from overseas. To encourage participation and financial contributions the, shop is now run as a non-profit making Limited Society-Richard Suggate, Chairman, George Rosenberg Secretary. To become one of the individuals who owns and runs the shop all you have to do is buy any number of the two dollar shares of the Cuba Bookshop Society Ltd 154 Willis Street.

Radicalize cartoon

At present we are going to issue a booklist, manual and newsheet and are approaching other groups for ideas on how more effectively we can function. The most important point is that Resistance is not personally owned or operated but by those who wish to take part in it. Its organisational strength is only an indication of the amount of involvement of those who support its vague aims.

Cartoon drawing of a man in prison

The present issue as interpreted by Tim Shadbolt on mobilisation Friday 14th July, is whether there is room for two or more radical bookshops in Wellington. There is no reason why in this dog eat dog society any individual should be constrained from disposing of 'their' money in any way they think fit, including investing in the 'Alternative' book Selling Business. However there is room for consultion where those with professedly similar aims are attempting to carry them out with different and conflicting methods. The similar aim is the distribution of socially disturbing literature. While the existence of a profit orientated enterprise along side Resistance in the expanding market will not cripple Resistance and will in fact greatly increase the amount of alternative books read, there are two points about methods to be clarified;
1.If there is radical capital available why cannot a proportion of it be diverted to Resistance which needs a minimal amount of money to enable it to provide a complete range of overseas publications and other services.
2.Why have a profit orientated radical bookshop? In Auckland the proliteration of Radical Book Shops has been related to particular groups which attempt to change society e.g. Progressive Books(Communist Party) Resistance, P.Y.M. Book Shop, Black Panthers. Selling any product in itself affects no personality change it can only reinforce the affects of real events hence no executive is going to be converted to socialism by what he reads, especially when the book is brought as if it were a trendy product (consumerism is the essence of capitalism)-(the only good executive is a dead one). By basing any organisation on profit motive, on increasing capital, size of company, sales, and employees for an end that involves self aggrandisement is reformist no matter who is involved and what is sold. The medium necessarily corrupts the content. This is not to say Resistance in method is a shining example of involvement with the people, but the work load and decisions are shared by a group and any others who wish to contribute. All that is necessary to satisfactorily provide a radical centre and sell the neccessary supporting literature is, more capital, more time, expert advice and assistance. The people at present involved with Resistance would welcome any critisism, aligned to the achievement of such ends, especially from the presently established radical groups.

Groovy Tines bookshop cartoon

Regular Saturday meetings to discuss the above, the shop, and any other disruptive activities, at Resistance at 1pm.