An email from a reader:
“A friend and I were putting up some Vote with Both Eyes Open posters on Lambton Quay the other night. We had just put some up around the intersection by Parliament and crossed the road when a senior National advisor came up to us with one of our recently pasted banners scrunched up in his hand. He handed it to me and said ‘one of yours, I think’. Way to stand up for free speech, National.”
If you walk down around Wellington, you will see quite a number of posters from Both Eyes Open and other groups but you’ll also notice, particularly on Lambton Quay, many corners of posters that remain where the body of the poster has been torn down. I’m told that what happens is as soon as National finds out a poster-run is happening near Parliament, they dispatch a group of Tory-boys, eager to prove their worth, to rip them down. Since people usually poster in the late evening, the Tories must be working late into the night in a desperate bid to make sure ordinary Kiwis don’t see the message when they head to work in the morning.
I just can’t understand the mentality of putting all that effort into tearing down posters. Why don’t they just put up some of their own? That would be the competition of ideas eh? That would be the exercise of free speech so vital to democracy. Maybe they just don’t have anything worth saying.
Of course, the Right has tried to silence us for generations, often employing far more brutal methods than this. But Kiwis won’t be silenced. As the popularity of the Campaign Hub shows, Kiwis are determined to have their voices heard.