chapter  8
17 Pages

Disabled People and the Politics of Partnership in Aotoaroa New Zealand

In the four decades since Bob Dylan wrote A Hard Rains A-gonna Fal4 a social movement of disabled people struggling against the oppressive conditions under which they are forced to live has emerged throughout the western world. Written at the time of the Cuban missile crisis (1962), the closing stanza quoted above could easily have been written as a recipe for that struggle upon which disabled people were about to embark. Of the ingredients listed - passion, pride, fearlessness, a clear analysis, tenacity in the face of huge odds and continual setbacks - perhaps the most important is that of having a clear analysis as this is the precursor, the vanguard of struggle. Unless the pride, passion and tenacity are focused by a clear understanding of the problem, all this energy will scatter and dissipate. In other words, a social movement for change must be underpinned by a clearly articulated and agreed upon analysis and strategy for change if it is to succeed. Most importantly, the analysis will give a sense of right and justice to the cause, elements so necessary in sustaining the self-belief, fearsomeness, tenacity and sheer hard work throughout the campaign.