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Copenhagen violence

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, December 18th, 2009 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, police - Tags:

Copenhagen-arrested

Photograph: Christian Charisius/Reuters

Earlier in the year there was a lot of media attention on the police tactics at the G20 Summit in London. How depressing to see the same heavy handed approach being deployed in Copenhagen. A reported 100,000 protesters marched in a mostly peaceful event last Saturday, and further marches and events followed over many days. Stupidly, depressingly, a minority attached to the legitimate protesters are reported to have engaged in some vandalism and confrontation. Stupidly, depressingly, police tactics were confrontational and heavy handed:

Almost 200 people were arrested late last night after protesters set fire to street barricades in a central Copenhagen neighbourhood. Protesters hurled fire bombs at riot police who responded with tear gas, officers said. But pressure is growing for Danish police to account for their tactics, after four days of demonstrations have seen the controversial “kettle” tactic used three times, and more than 1,500 arrests, with 200 official complaints already filed.

One eyewitness reported:

We’ve long had a problem with preventative policing in the UK it is something I have been subject to, and have campaigned against. However, the level of repressive policing displayed in arresting more than 1,000 people at the weekend in Copenhagen far exceeded anything we have experienced in this country.

I joined the march as a police observer, my aim being to monitor events and compare how the Danish police treated protesters. I was near the back of the march. There was a large contingent of people wearing black hoodies, some anarchist flags were waving, but where I was, there was no trouble. The atmosphere was good, and my friend and I commented on how lovely it was to see so few police officers on such a large demo.

The change came suddenly I saw some people running forward, and in the time it took to turn round to see why they were running, the police had used the grid system of the roads to kettle the march into several sections by driving vans through it, and deploying riot police to stop anyone leaving. The kettle was tight, and it was an effort to walk from one side to another. The mixture of people ranged from parents with children, Hare Krishnas, socialists and anarchists. All had one thing in common they had done nothing other than join a demonstration.

We tried to leave the kettle through an open apartment block. However, this led only to another road full of handcuffed people sat in lines. As soon as the police saw us watching this scene, we were also grabbed, thrown to the floor and arrested. We later learned that all the people in the kettles were also arrested. …

Another account from a young Swedish student:

There were 12 people in my cage, and we probably had one square meter of space each. A while after I arrived a disturbance broke out. A lot of people started to scream loudly in anger and some even tried to break out of the cages. When this happened, many police in riot gear rushed into the hall. When the disturbance didn’t end one of the police men started to spray pepper-spray into the cages. Me and three or four of my cage-mates were sitting quietly on the floor during the screaming, but because we were close to the door the spray went in our direction and I only just had time to hide my face. I got pepper-spray on my clothes but fortunately not in my eyes. This made me feel very scared of what might come next, since they were using such violent tactics on people who were just sitting quietly down on the floor. I was released 11 and a half hours after my arrest without charge. …

I don’t know who to be more angry at, the minority who used the events as an opportunity for foolish violence (thus tainting the legitimate protest), or the Police for their disproportionately violent tactics against perfectly innocent people. My heart goes out to the protesters, I wish that I had been there with them.  In my opinion they speak more for the peoples of the world than the so-called leaders inside the conference.

66 comments on “Copenhagen violence”

  1. lukas 1

    R0b, serious question…. what is the appropriate response when you are having a fire bomb hurled at you?

    • felix 1.1

      Um, violently and systematically arrest 1500 people who have nothing to do with it?

    • felix 1.2

      It’d be like, for example, if you were to kick in the windows of the A&E and the police turned up and arrested everyone in the hospital.

      • lukas 1.2.1

        funny man felix. Do you think its appropriate to hurl fire bombs at people?

        • felix 1.2.1.1

          No, unless you really want a war. That’s no excuse for the state to inflict violence on anyone else though. I didn’t expect you to support such authoritarianism, lukas.

          • lukas 1.2.1.1.1

            so what did you want the Police to do felix? sit by and watch as protesters run rampage through the streets, hurling fire bombs at people and lighting fires?

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re purposefully ignoring the point aren’t you?

              • lukas

                DTB, can I have your street address so I can through fire bombs at your house tonight?

              • felix

                Come on lukas, stop wasting time. What do you think might be an appropriate response?

                Hint: it might be somewhere in between “do nothing” (which only you have suggested) and “bring the full power of the state down on everyone in sight”.

                Come on lukas, you can do it if you try.

              • Draco T Bastard

                @Lukas

                Can I have yours so I can call the police and have them arresting you for threatening me? And while they’re there they’ll also beat up and arrest your family and your neighbours.

                Subduing and arresting the person throwing the petrol bomb is a reasonable response – beating up and arresting everyone else isn’t.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Especially when they didn’t even arrest the person throwing the alleged petrol bomb.

  2. ben 2

    I am sad and angry to see this sort of police behaviour. It is a phenomenon happening around the world, perhaps a response to 9/11 where police stop being willing to apply common sense and assume you are not a terrorist when you point a camera at them or march.

    Of course, I think the protestors are deeply misguided in what they believe, but that is completely beside the point. I will defend their right to the death to say what they want to say.

    Protestors should not have the right to destroy other peoples’ property, there is no reason at all why that sort of thing is necessary if the goal is to have your say. If they do cause damage they should of course be punished. Sadly it sounds like the police took a few idiots and used them to crack down on the other 99%.

  3. infused 3

    You only have the protesters to blame. Setting fire to barriers etc? You answered your own question.

    • roger nome 3.1

      what exactly are you infused with? Got any idea what is meant by the term “targeted response”?

  4. gitmo 4

    This whole Copenhagen event is a fraud, a fiasco and gigantic wankfest, I thought so from day 1 and had it confirmed when Charles Windsor and Arnie turned up to bask in the media spotlight.

    What a fucking joke.

  5. Lukas & Infused, it’s a moot point whether the kettle tactics & use of spray etc, or anarchist violence were causes or effects.

    There is a pattern of action and reaction that extends beyond these particular events in this particular place.

    The stifling of informed debate by the self-interested via puppet-media will not lead to a defusing of these issues. The last century was marked by repressive actions which inflamed opposition and proved self-defeating.

    Robt Kennedy Jnr broached the issue of malign media influence when interviewd on Campbell Live last night. Check it out.

    • gitmo 5.1

      It’s a moot point whether you’re retarded or not.

    • lukas 5.2

      Serious question Galeandra, what is the appropriate response to having fire bombs thrown at you?

      • Richard 5.2.1

        stop, drop, and roll?

      • felix 5.2.2

        lukas are you going to spend all day making the same banal observation that firebombs aren’t very nice? No-one suggested they were appropriate. You’re arguing with yourself there.

        Let’s see you turn that critical faculty of yours to the police response, eh?

        What is the appropriate response, lukas?

        • fizzleplug 5.2.2.1

          Destroy all humans?

        • lukas 5.2.2.2

          felix, detaining people is more than fine with me if they have been hurling fire bombs at people.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.2.2.1

            1500 fire bomb throwers eh? You’d think there’d be a lot of footage available.

          • felix 5.2.2.2.2

            lukas,

            You don’t seriously think the police arrested 1500 bomb-throwers, do you? Do you realise how ridiculous you look saying so?

            You can get out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself by simply saying the police over-reacted and arrested a bunch of innocent people.

            (Which is obvious to anyone reading, even those without a communication degree or a history of violent protest.)

            • lukas 5.2.2.2.2.1

              Felix, where did I say that all 1500 were fire bombers?

              the fire bombers were obviously in amongst the crowd and the police had to hold 1,000 people out of the 100,000 according to the article to get the culprits. I have no problem with that.

              What do you think is an appropriate reaction Felix? you still have not managed to answer that.

              • lukas

                Here you go Iprent,

                http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1024841/1/.html

                “Police faced demonstrators’ petrol-bombs as they moved in to tackle the blazes, as ministers from all over the globe gathered nearby to hash out a deal to tackle climate change. ”

                Police with dogs entered the Christiania squat, detaining 210 people, police spokesman Henrik Suhr told AFP.

                “We entered Christiania to pursue individuals who had built the barricades, set alight the fires in the streets and threw fire bombs at our police officers before taking refuge in Christiania.”

                Those arrested were quickly placed into busses and taken to the special detention facility outside Copenhagen set up by police for the summit.

                You can not still seriously deny that there were fire bombs been thrown without losing all credibility. I know it may mess with your world view of all protesters being nice friendly likable chaps, but, like all groups in society, they have some fringe nut jobs.

                I have clearly stated that I think it is fine for the police to detain a 1,000 out of 100,000 to arrest a few who have fire bombed streets. I don’t think it would be appropriate all of the time to detain that many people, but this is a pretty serious crime!

                Would you seriously have the police let everyone go?

                Here are some pictures for you too… http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-49785.html

                [lprent: Indeed. More information. Did you read it? And the comments on the photos.

                We entered Christiania to pursue individuals who had built the barricades, set alight the fires in the streets and threw fire bombs at our police officers before taking refuge in Christiania.

                The police don’t claim that it was protesters from the conference.

                Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood with about 850 residents. The place has been a source of controversy for the last 40 years, and its residents often clash with the local authorities.

                Police arrived soon after rioters erected a flaming barrier in the middle of the street to block the area. Monday night’s detainments bring the total number of arrests since the beginning of the climate negotiations last week to 1,500.

                etc… Sounds to me more like a local dispute that has bugger all to do with the conference. I think that you are a credulous fool who doesn’t bother to check your prejudices before trolling my site. ]

            • felix 5.2.2.2.2.2

              Arresting firebombers good.

              Arresting innocent people bad.

              • lukas

                ok, and if the firebombers are in amongst a rather large crowd, would you prefer that they let them go, or detain some of the crowd so they can ascertain who the culprits are?

                [lprent: Offer some proof that there are firebombers rather than just reiterating the same statement over and over again. Something more than hearsay. You’ve been requested to do so several times.

                I’m putting you in auto-moderation because it appears to me that you are simply trolling. ]

              • Rob Carr

                lukas do you imagine the march of people that they kettled was just randomly lobbing fire bombs at passers by on the street or something? was it the people in the cages who were tear gassed? You do not arrest 1500 people who clearly were nowhere near the fire bombs to find a suspect.

              • felix

                Rob, you do if you’re an authoritarian.

                lukas is quite keen on the heavy-handed use of the power of the state to crush dissenters.

                He’ll say he disagrees but he won’t offer any commentary that suggests otherwise.

              • lukas

                Iprent, are you an idiot or just unable to read? I suggest you read the post above where they talk about the fire bombers.

                [lprent: Interesting isn’t it.

                There is one report as far as I can see from google when I checked this morning and later this afternoon, the one quoted by rOb from the Guardian and a couple of other news articles obviously from the same source. In each case they were quoting an unnamed police source. There have been no arrests for it. In fact there is nothing I can see that says it happened apart from that one source. Try this search and you’ll see what I mean.
                http://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&lr=&tbo=p&tbs=qdr:w&q=copenhagen+fire+bomb&start=10&sa=N

                This was pointed out to you by a number of people, including me. Yet you persisted in making a number of comments that the substance of which appeared to be to repeat the word ‘firebomb’ as often as possible. You were asked to substantiate your accusation. You didn’t, but carried on in the same vein, and didn’t discuss it with any of the people who were saying that it didn’t seem to have happened.

                That behaviour makes you a fool who is trolling on the site. You know what I do to trolls. ]

          • lprent 5.2.2.2.3

            I just did a scan of the news media. What firebombs?

            Look a bit like they are mythic to me.

        • gitmo 5.2.2.3

          Taser them until they start smoking ?

  6. Bill 6

    This violence that emanated from the protesters? Any video coverage? Any photographic evidence? I have watched various clips of Copenhagen. Lots of police violence. Absolutely no retaliation.

    I’m going to punt that there was no violence coming from anarchist protesters because every single person there (agent provocateurs aside) wanted the conference to succeed more that delegates at the conference did.

    This was not a WTO ‘shut it down’ meet. This was a Climate Change ‘get your shit together’ meet. So why, as a protester, mete out violence?

    Anyway. Guys in cow costumes being accused of throwing bricks (don’t know how efficient it is to throw a brick out a cow’s arse). People in polar bear suits being arrested because they were wearing masks.

    Due to the lack of any evidence at the moment r0b, I find it disappointing that you seem to have exhibited that age old liberal knee jerk reaction to the mention of anarchists and violence…. swallow hook, line and sinker and help perpetuate a nice distraction from the real secondary issue of police attempts to subdue and suppress democratic expression ( the primary issue being our government’s failure to act on climate change.)

    (As an aside. Wonder how long before liberals deny the empirical evidence of Copenhagen and join the denialist camp as a contingent which claims that government hasn’t failed and if we just lobby then everything will be a-ok?)

    • gitmo 6.1

      Yes your logic is sound the Copenhagen police department are just using the Climate Wanfest as an excuse to beat people up……….they have been planning it with John Key and the VRWC for years now.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Nah gitmo.

        It’s simply that without the police suppressing and discouraging it, there may well have been an outpouring of democracy. And that can’t be allowed because it would delegitimise the coterie of clowns (officials, MPs, negotiators et al) that comprise government.

        • gitmo 6.1.1.1

          I’ll garee with you on the coterie of clowns (officials, MPs, negotiators et al) that comprise the Copenagen fiasco the whole things an absurdity that would go down well as a script for Yes Minister.

          • Bill 6.1.1.1.1

            So we agree that our government is akin to a Big Top that attracts all the usual circus acts and is therefore not much use to us.

            And so I wonder what you’d propose in its stead?

            Genuinely curious.

            • Rob Carr 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Criminal sanctions on being a rubbish leader 😛 That might fix things.

              • gitmo

                There would be no “leaders” left in the world … and the NZ “leaders” of the last 20-30 years would fail as well.

                Depends on what you view as a leader … most of the time I just want govt’s to take a softly softly approach as most of their interventions have a habit of blowing back in their face.

    • Bill 6.2

      From the Guardian article linked in the post

      “Protesters hurled fire bombs at riot police who responded with tear gas, officers said

      then, in same article,

      “All but 15 of the people arrested have now been released. Those still in custody face a variety of charges including vandalism, assaulting a police officer, and disrupting the police in the course of their work.”

      No charges of arson in spite of all those fire bombs and burning barricades?Onepolice officer assaulted..in spite of all those fire bombs? 15 people charged on fairly inconsequential matters.

      The acts of these 15 people ‘stupid and depressing’? Whatever happened to ‘critical reading’ or does that flee your liberal sensibilities at the mention of anarchist?…assault can be resisting arrest…disruption can be simple obstruction….vandalism can be breaking a truncheon with your skull…..

      • gitmo 6.2.1

        Yes I suspect there were actually no protesterss there and the police beat themselves up rather than go home and watch TV…….as for the fire bombs these were actually the ancient Danish tradition of blue flaming on the 9th night before XMAS

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          What beaten up cops? What fire bombs?

          There would be video footage and photographs.

          Thee doesn’t seem to be any though. Doesn’t that strike you as odd in this day and age?

          The info the Guardian uses didn’t even come from a police spokesperson….just a cop. The rest of the article flows from that and is basically an exercise in innuendo.

          Nothing more.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2

          the police beat themselves up rather than go home and watch TV

          I wouldn’t be surprised – governments do have a tendency to violence and sending in covert officers to stir up trouble is a known tactic that has been used before.

  7. roger nome 7

    No need for a tinfoil hat lukas – you obviously have a bit of reading to do though, so here’s a list for you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag#Notes

  8. Scribe 8

    r0b,

    Can you link to a story that has the crowd at 100,000? I’ve had a quick look at a handful of stories from major media outlets and your number seems grossly exaggerated.

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Before the Copenhagen event even began police were given new powers to detain people without charge. This is why statists who are continually asking the state to intervene in this or that should be careful about the erosion of their civil liberties as the state becomes ever more invasive. I myself see just a slight tinge of irony in the whole thing.

  10. prism 10

    ‘guys’
    Hey let’s be a little sensible here. The police worldwide take courses in how to deal with crowds. They are issued with batons and hard riot shields. There is a busy and no doubt profitable market for police gear which includes guns, tasers etc as well as uniforms and flak jackets.
    There are possibly destroyers amongst the protesters asking for better policies and these people operate from this cover. The crowds go wild after soccer matches with young thugs and this is after a simple sports match.
    If people get together to protest, they have rights but crowd control and the fear of assassination must always be there for police. The USA is supposed to be a civilised country but hasn’t been able to stop such actions – worldwide, police and security are on edge at these times.
    Police personnel are not usually the philosophical type who talk about political hegemony and what democracy means to the little guys etc. They are law and order people and are ready to take action. We had the Red Squad not feeling entertained by dress-up clowns in NZ etc so have experienced the force of reaction literally.

  11. r0b 11

    Bill and others, I agree that there doesn’t seem to be any good evidence for “firebombs”, and that the reports of protester violence may well have been inflated by the police etc.

    But there is evidence that a tiny minority did use tactics which were designed to provoke confrontation, including the use of fireworks:

    http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20091213/world-news/violence-mars-copenhagen-climate-change-protests

    http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/12/15/street-battles-in-copenhagen/violence-overshadows-un-climate-summit-as-200-rioters-arrested.html
    (use arrows to see slideshow)

    What makes me angry about this is that it provides, in the eyes of the authoritarian crackdown and much of the media, “justification” for the aggressive police tactics. I would very much rather that no such justification existed.

    • Bill 11.1

      You really have to be shitting me r0b!

      First link.

      A you tube video shows fireworks going off in a cleared piece of road. Commentator gets positively damp suggesting that “The anarchists are rioting!”….cut to a brick on the road….cut to a single broken van window.

      And all sponsored by Timberland earthwatch….a retail outlet jumping on the environmental bandwagon.

      Second link.

      The Times of Malta has a photo of somebody casually launching a firework as they wander in the opposite direction. Not running from anyone. Not confronting anyone. Wonder how the Chinese authorities react to all those firecrackers getting thrown around the show in large crowds at NY eh?

      Third link.

      A slideshow from somewhere (nothing linking it to Copenhagen) that Bild produced. According to Wiki, “Bild’s nearest English-language stylistic and journalistic equivalent is often considered to be The Sun in the UK”…a bastion of accurate reporting and integrity then.

      Fifteen people were charged according to your initial link. Fifteen. And nobody was charged with arson or anything beyond a minor misdemeanor.

      I reckon you, like a whole lot of other liberals, simply knee jerked to the notion of anarchists and violence. You were meant to. The stories in the press were written for ‘you’ because ‘your’ predictable reaction dilutes and distracts from issues arising from the real events and helps construct the justification for police brutality.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    Before the Copenhagen event began police were given new powers to detain without charge. Chipping away at civil liberties – statists should beware…

  13. prism 13

    BTW the Blair Peach killing in Britain is an example of violence within a protest situation. A report was supposed to be issued about possible police responsibility for this but its issue has been deferred last I heard.

  14. hu 14

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Also distasteful under another psuedonym. You’ve been banned for your previous comment. ]

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    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago

  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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