Police fail to incite riot

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, June 2nd, 2012 - 142 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags:

The police have a number of different strategies for dealing with protest marches. Each has its own known likely result and the police choose their strategy depending on the desired outcome. Yesterday’s mass arrests were not the police responding to something they did not expect to happen. They went into it with a plan to shut down the protest and they had the numbers and infrastructure they needed to achieve that aim right from the outset. Even paddywagons and the larger police trucks to transport prisoners were ready. It will be interesting to read the police briefing documents when they are eventually available through the Official Information Act. Unfortunately the police well know that by the time they are forced to hand them over the story will no longer be newsworthy.

In 2004/2005 Senior Sergeant Willie Taylor was in charge of the Auckland Team Policing Unit (TPU), the unit concerned with policing big protest marches. During that time the TPU had one consistent strategy for dealing with protest marches, especially anti-war marches. During each march, peaceful up until this point, the TPU would single out who they considered to be the protest leader, usually the person with the megaphone. Half a dozen police officers would brutally jump on and drag this protester away. The end result was always the same – a protest march that was prior to this point peaceful would immediately turn into a mini-riot and clash between protesters and police. Many people would be arrested but to my knowledge there were never any convictions in court.

After the first brutal arrest the mood change in the crowd was always so sudden. People would get angry at the injustice and a sort of mob-mentality would ensue. While I don’t even in these circumstances condone any violence from protesters, it has to be said that the police knew exactly what they were doing and what reaction they would provoke. This was their desired outcome every time.

Around 2006 Senior Sergeant Willie Taylor was promoted to Inspector and transferred to a different police unit. The following years displayed a marked shift in police strategy when dealing with protest marches in Auckland. All of a sudden you could go to a protest and march up the road without any conflict or confrontation. This didn’t meant that the police would just let protesters do anything – they would often control the crowd effectively using a number of different methods, including:

  • Directing the protest to only block one side of Queen Street instead of both sides.
  • If a protest march stopped marching for too long to have speeches in the middle of the road, police would gently start nudging the protest to continue marching and therefore clear the road a bit sooner.
  • Warning anyone who behaved in a way likely to endager safety or incite violence. Arresting anyone who commited a specific offence (quite different from just targeting the leaders).

It is a rarity for protesters to bother getting a permit. It is pretty normal for police to be notified of a protest in advance by the organisers. It has been shown (by the lack of charges or convictions for blocking a road) that neither a permit nor police notification is actually a requirement.

One protest I helped organise was the march against the ACC cuts to counselling for sexual abuse survivors in 2009. We didn’t notify police in advance and were halfway through the march when they finally arrived. The police were immediately really helpful in directing traffic and making us feel safe. The Sergeant in charge that day spoke to me and requested that we notify police in future, but admitted that it was not a requirement. I explained to him that if the police could be trusted to consistently behave the way they had that day then we would have no qualms about doing so in future. When police behave as they did yesterday it should be no surprise when protesters are reluctant to ask for their help.

Over the last year or so I have wondered if the Auckland TPU leadership has changed once again. Up until last week the police seemed to have adopted a new strategy of just leaving the protesters to it, even if there was trouble. After the eviction of the Occupy Camp from Aotea Square there was a march up Queen Street. John Darroch reports that the protest group was pretty small and they were clearly looking for trouble.

Protesters were confronting members of the public, attempting to block intersections without enough people to make it safe, running into banks and yelling, knocking over the fences in Aotea Square and generally causing mischief.

Through the entirety of the protest police in small numbers just watched on. They didn’t even warn anyone for disorderly behaviour.

At the student protest last week police managed and directed traffic but otherwise didn’t intervene in any way. There was a police motorbike up the front blocking the intersection. There was one senior officer and two constables standing near the protest just watching on and communicating with headquarters.

That night there was a protest outside Mt Eden prison after the sentencing of the Operation 8 defendants. Around 40 or so protesters were chanting with placards in the small private road leading into the prison. As the protest went on police started turning up in such huge numbers that the protesters were scared enough to call the protest off.

Yesterday’s student protest began at 3pm and began marching up Symonds Street. They stopped at the Symonds Street overbridge for some speeches on the megaphone. A sociology lecturer was addressing the crowd. All of a sudden police started moving in and made it clear that they intended to shut down the march and get protesters off the road. In response the protesters sat down as it makes it more difficult for police to move people or drag them away.

I’ve heard many complaints in the comments on this blog that protesters were blocking a busy road during peak hour traffic. If police had not attempted to shut down the march it would probably have been all over by peak hour. If not, police had a range of options open to them for how to move the protest along.

The police targeted protest leaders and photographers. I have no doubt that police expected and intended for the crowd to fight back. I’m really proud that the protesters remained peaceful while at the same time standing their ground. In none of the footage I’ve seen is there any violence on the part of the protesters, despite the excessive force used by police in arresting people.

Once the road had been cleared the protesters converged on a grassy area off the road opposite the business school and were kettled in by police. Omar Hamed addressed the crowd on a megaphone from within the protest. He was calling on the protesters to continue the march but to keep moving up the road so as not to continue to block it. All of a sudden a separate squad of police, not part of the ring of police surrounding the protest, barged their way into the crowd pushing people over as they went, and grabbed Omar Hamed and dragged him out of the crowd and arrested him. I have no doubt that the police, like when Senior Sergeant Willie Taylor was in charge of the TPU, intended to incite a riot. The protesters showed incredible restraint and, while still chanting and holding their ground, did not retaliate.

[TVNZ raw footage originally showed an amazing view of this scene from across the road at the business school, but has since been cut out of their online video. Here is another amateur video from within the crowd showing the shock and surprise at how quickly the police squad moved in, but it doesn’t capture the overview of what happened in quite the same way.]

Due to police actions, the protest continued on for over 5 hours moving around the city, taking over various roads, and even blockading the Auckland Central Police Station for a while. 43 people were arrested and released without charge, suggesting that even the police know that nothing about their behaviour was unlawful.

I can only speculate on what the police motivations were yesterday. They had a number of strategies available for how to deal with the protest and the one they chose should only ever be used as a last resort. There was no attempt to negotiate with the protesters to get them to take a different route or speed up the march. One thing I do know for sure is that news footage of police clashing with protesters will always distract from whatever the protest message was orginally was.

On an unrelated note: To the idiot targeting us on Facebook and Twitter:

Since you’re attempting to identify us I’ll give you a hand. I am Rochelle Rees and my partner is John Darroch. We are the parents of an 18 month old who John had at the protest yesterday. There is nothing wrong with taking a child to a peaceful protest. John was taking photographs and staying out of the action. Police threatened him with arrest for kneeling in a drain taking photographs. John then backed off because the baby was with him. I will restate that the only threat at any time to the baby was from the police. John actually left the protest early because the baby was bit scared after the police yelled at them.

Now you have our names, please feel free to go off and make your complaint to CYFS or whomever. Please stop invading our privacy and remove your threatening posts from the internet.

142 comments on “Police fail to incite riot ”

  1. Nick K 1

    It’s a nice day outside in Auckland. I’m soon going for a 10k run. My advice to you is to do the same. Breathe the fresh air and relax. Take a break. Chill. It’s okay to do that.

    • George D 1.1

      I’m not sure if this is meant to be patronising or kind.

      But if it’s in any way suggesting that upset over the violence and trauma involved in being aggressively arrested (well beyond the level of force required) and then detained is unjustified, then I suggest you look at yourself and consider whether you’re worthy of living in a peaceful democratic society.

    • North 1.2

      10km what……plenty of time to conceive more apologia for “Let Them Eat Cake” Key !

      • prism 1.2.1

        Nick K
        You can run but you can’t hide. The problems that people make the sacrifice of their time to publicly protest about are about important matters to them and also to us all These will multiply as the wealthy wish to retreat from a participatory democracy and use their political endeavours to serve the top 20 per cent (probably the rough guide to proportions of 80:20 would apply).

        What a shame that you and your family are being harrassed Rocky
        and perhaps the cyber bullying bill will shut this down this behaviour.

  2. George D 2

    Great context and reporting Rocky, an excellent rundown of the issues involved, and why things happened the way that they did. It’s easy for those without awareness to simply assume that everything is spontaneous, and that the police don’t plan and strategise. The awful reporting on TV1 last night pretty much took that line, assuming that arrests occurred as naturally as rain.

    To the idiot threatening Rochelle and John and their kid (my nephew) – get a life.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Rocky, was the protest legal?

    From what I can see, events, including protests require a council permit in Auckland. Also, they require a traffic management plan if they are on the road. And, under the plan, road closures require advertising.

    I couldn’t see any evidence that a traffic management plan was in action, and I am not aware that the road closure was advertised.

    Also, it is an offence to block a public way.

    Therefore, it seems to me the police were entitled to take action. You might not like the level of action they took. However, it is difficult to see how they could have cleared the road in a less forceful manner, given that the protesters were clearly not in a mood to be shifted.

    I don’t know the few protesters that have been charged have been charged with. But I suspect charges such as breaching the peace would come into play given that many were resisting the police, and creating a substantial fuss about complying with the law.

    • lprent 3.1

      Ah there is no such thing as a legal protest or an illegal one. The right to assembly is in the bill of rights act and other legislation. The police are able to lay charges for unlawful acts like jaywalking on public roads. However because of the bill of rights the police are usually unable to get a conviction in the courts. And regardless, the police are always responsible for their acts in making an arrest.

      Perhaps you should actually look at the law rather than trying to invent it. And you are silly for asking something that is so evident.

      So what is your opinion on some moron attacking my niece, her partner, and my great nephew? Personally I will restrain myself from demonstrating how you intimidate on the net. But I do urge everyone to use the complaint button on the Facebook page.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        1prent, as I pointed out, there is an approved process for organising this sort of thing. If that is done properly, then protesters don’t put themselves at risk of infringing on various laws such as “blocking a public way” that the police will be required to act on.

        If the protest is organised properly then you will have the police as guardians, not opponents.

        If this protest hasn’t been permitted, then I blame the organisers of the protest, not the police.

        • lprent

          You are completely incorrect. There is no “approved” process. There is merely a process that the council and/or police would like followed because it makes their job easier.

          There is no legal requirement to follow it and quite a lot of legal argument about if such requirements are even lawful to have on the council bylaws because they violate the BORA legislation. Furthermore there is no requirement that forces the police to honor any such agreement. They could arrest people for conforming with an agreement after getting a permit to protest for conforming exactly to it’s requirements. The whole idea of permits to protest is a sham. It also makes it quite pointless going through the effort in my opinion. A failure to bind either party makes it meaningless.

          Basically it is a myth that there are such legal requirements. Such myths are prevelant amongst people like yourself who just don’t look at what the legislation actually says.

          It would be possible to put legislation in. However to do so, they’d have to tear out large chunks of the bill of rights legislation including the right of association. This has been done for legislation on industrial relations and terrorism. However neither are very effective bits of legislation and spend more time being challenged than they doin working effectively. Trying to extend the same undemocratic rules about association to the wider population wil be deeply concerning to most of the public.

          • tsmithfield

            Do you agree though, that following an approved process, leaves protesters much less vulnerable to breaching other laws during their protest, though.

            For example, as pointed out above, blocking a public way is an offence on the statute books. But following an approved process, such as getting a traffic management plan in place, etc makes it much less likely that charges will arise due to blocking roads.

            • weka

              tsmithfield, did you even read what Rocky wrote? She explained clearly how protests have been working in Auckland, including when they go well and when they badly. The common denominator is not the presence or absence of a permit.

            • McFlock

              The legal system is full of instances where one section takes precedence over another. BORA is like the straight flush of legislation. Deal with it.

            • lprent

              …leaves protesters much less vulnerable to breaching other laws during their protest…

              No. All it takes is a simple difference of opinion about what is agreed. In the case of the police there are frequently several different units involved and they frequently have quite different ideas.

              Just ask anyone who has been at a peaceful protest with the usual Auckland central police doing their usual competent job, and where the team policing unit turns up and changes the rules in the interests of their adrenalin addiction.

              …blocking a public way is an offence on the statute books

              And it still is even with a traffic plan or whatever. That appears to come from your fundamental level of ignorance about the legal position. That the police choose to ignore arresting people is simply a matter of their discretion. It has no basis in the law. It will also not bind them from changing their mind and there is absolutely no comeback for them doing so.

              Basically you’re arguing from a basis of complete ignorance and more on the basis of wishful thinking than reality.

        • Jackal

          Are you really serious about requiring protest organizers to wait for six months before the Council decides if it will issue a permit to allow people to assemble in a public place?

          Blocking a public way is a fineable offense… It’s a misdemeanor and therefore people cannot be arrested for it.

          You really are a deluded git tsmithfield.

        • prism

          Easy for you to protest – from your bottom in front of the computer where you sit in stern judgment on sincere (mostly, if they aren’t secret spies from government as in recent USA disclosures) thinkers on blogs. These people are discussing ideas for a better world through better practices?

          And what would you be protesting about if you did get out and join in or start public protests? Putting surcharge on the old age pension misnamed superannuation? Or bringing in CGT? And perhaps what connects with the upper classes, class materialistic values and unthinking obedience to all the social ways of the self-obssessed upper class.

    • Blue 3.2

      As several people have already tried to tell you repeatedly, there is no permit required to protest. The relevant authorities would prefer to be notified, but it is not essential.

      Everyone, everywhere in NZ has the right to protest in a public place without notifying anyone.

      However, it seems that the students did notify the police that they would be protesting:


      The students were not being violent or threatening harm to people or property. They were causing disruption to traffic, and the police obviously decided that the needs of holiday weekend commuters outweighed the needs of the students to protest. They don’t actually have the right to make that decision though. The right to protest outweighs the rights of frustrated commuters.

      Which is why the protesters were let go without being charged. The police know that what they did would not stand up in court.

      The use of force by the police is disturbing to watch, particularly the footage of the girl being grabbed around the neck and dragged to her feet. That is not the sort of thing you want to see in a democratic society where the right to protest is enshrined in law.

  4. Nick K 4

    Patronising or kind? Maybe both. Your “being aggressively arrested (well beyond the level of force required) and then detained is unjustified…” is unproven and entirely biased and subjective. It means nothing. If you don’t want a fight with the police, don’t break the law. And don’t expect me to look at the “footage” that is posted, becasue it too is entirely biased, selective and subjective.

    I understand your passion for protest. But spending long amounts of time writing about it on the internet is unhealthy, IMHO.

    • George D 4.1

      Nick K, it isn’t subjective. The courts have repeatedly found against the police in very similar circumstances, and compensation has been awarded.

      And I stand by my earlier comment, which you’ve proven. Thinking that the acts of a goon squad are the appropriate response to peaceful protest causing minor disruption, I think you’d fit in really well in modern day China.

      (As far as blocking Symonds goes, it was meant to be downgraded from an arterial after the CMJ Beach Rd extension opened. There are serious (unimplemented) plans to reduce its carrying capacity, since it does actually go through two universities with 70,000+ students and a large residential area. Get your facts straight.)

    • lprent 4.2

      It is one of the reasons she has a author login.. Perhaps you should get a life that is less meaningless than your apparent permanent state of complete self adsorption.

    • McFlock 4.3

      Well that’s just retarded.
      Arrest without charge (let alone conviction) = “breaking the law”.
      Complaint about excessive force in that arrest = “unproven and entirely biased and subjective”. Oh, and you refuse to look at the footage in case you change you mind.
      Can’t help but note a wee bit of bias, there.

      • lprent 4.3.1

        I rather suspect that Nick K is either police or ex-police (the former is more likely in my opinion).

        Who else other than military and marathon runner goes for a 10k run? Military tend to be somewhat less daft than members of the police about question of civil liberties.because after all that is what they go and fight for. Sports people are usually too into their sport to bothered with politics.

        The particular type of group double standard about what the police do compared to everyone else is rather unique to police. Whatever anyone else does it a crime, but whatever we do is justified. They get indignant that anyone might hold their actions up to scrutiny. Police have a garrison occupation force mentality of entitlement that often leads to some interesting views about civil actions, which is what rocky is referring to in the post..

        Nick K shows a lot of the police attitude symptoms. But that is just my guess.

        • Anne

          I imagine psychopaths and sociopaths would find the police force an attractive career. All that power and control over other people – especially students.

          Just a query. Who makes the ultimate decisions on what strategies they use? Is it only the local police boss or does it go up the chain to the top of the tree and even beyond…?

    • Dr Terry 4.4

      Nick K, have you ever in your life had a passion for principle? If you had (which I doubt) you might well have had a passion for legal protest too.

    • North 4.5

      Thank you Dr Phil…….I go for patronising IMHO.

  5. KJT 5

    Rather than repeating myself, again!



    And. If any Government puts in place laws restricting peaceful protest, or the police are allowed to unjustly shut down peaceful protest, then we have a duty to get those laws overturned.

    In fact we can question whether a Government that tries to shut down dissent is democratic, or even, legitimate.

    • tsmithfield 5.1

      Look at my comment above.

      A permit is required for a protest. A traffic management plan is required on the road. And, blocking a public way is an offence. So, what you say is not accurate.

      • KJT 5.1.1


        Don’t you see what is wrong with that statement?

        Requiring a permit from the Government to protest against them?

        From the people who prattle on about individual freedom!

        Mind you, the only individual freedom the right wing are really concerned about is the freedom to appropriate societies wealth.

        • tsmithfield

          A permit from the council, actually.

          A permit is required so that it can be ensured that the rights of others aren’t overly impinged on by the protesters. Seems fair to me.

          • lprent

            There is no requirement to have a permit.

          • weka

            I don’t know if tsmithfield is dimwitted or merely a troll.
            As far as I can tell AC require a permit to hold an event on council owned land. That’s not a requirement to have a permit to protest, and tsmithfield is conflating the two things. Lprent has given a clear explanation of why the permit requirement is not enforceable, including for marches on streets.
            What I’m curious about now is if that applies to all events – do you know Lyn? I assume it does, otherwise various Occupy sites would have been cleared much earlier.

            • lprent

              ts just believes what he believes. Frequently it is incorrect..

              What I’m curious about now is if that applies to all events – do you know Lyn? I assume it does, otherwise various Occupy sites would have been cleared much earlier.

              Yep. There are others who can go through it in more detail (and accuracy). But essentially like most of the public access arguments it isn’t about absolute rights or requirements. It is the balance between various peoples rights.

              Doing damage, preventing maintenance or normal usage of the assets, preventing others access, or just intimidating others from their access to public assets will all tip the balances in the eyes of the courts. But basically the courts have to weigh up your rights against those of all others with the BORA giving a extra weighting towards it’s provisions. Essentially BORA says that certain things are good for society as a whole. It actually takes some considerable levels of stupidity to go past their protection in the eyes of the courts.

              They could have cleared the occupy protesters at pretty much any time. But leaving it made a better case for overcoming the BORA protections by showing that it was overriding the rights of others and making it stick against reoccupation.

              • tsmithfield

                I accept what you are saying about BORA.

                However, if you read those links to the council website, I think it is fairly clear that the council want protesters to apply for a permit for protesting. Permits are required for parades, which are held on the road. Since the same page lists protests alongside parades, it seems clear to me that the council wants people to apply for a permit to protest on the road, given that it is in effect not a lot different than a parade, I assume along with traffic management plans and the works. However, I accept that under the BOR, those regulations may not apply.

                So far as BORA applies to this situation, do you not think that factors such as protesters preventing access to the road would bring factors such as traffic management, and laws about blocking access into play here, given that it is inconveniencing a lot of people?

                My understanding is that in the case of the occupiers, they weren’t physically stopping people going about their day to day business, so the BOR tended to come down in their favour.

                • felix

                  Bill of Rights Act trumps “the council would like”. Deal with it.

                  • Luva

                    The Police are going to side with mainstream kiwis and ensure our public ways are cleared of rope headed ‘students’ (how many were students) who all looked like they need new clothes, a shower and a makeover. DEAL WITH IT

                    • McFlock

                      So the police decide to assault people and we should all just “deal with it”?
                      What’s your cut off line about where it’s reasonable to protest, rather than quietly dealing with it? Summary executions?

                    • Flynn

                      …who all looked like they need new clothes, a shower and a makeover.

                      Wait, so you think they have cause to protest not having decent livable allowances, then?

                      New clothes, hot water and… a makeover? Seriously? Those all cost money. If your objection is that they looked nastily poor then, uh, doesn’t that just prove they have something to protest about?

                    • shreddakj

                      Actually damn near everyone there was a student, and those that aren’t students were there in solidarity for student causes.

                • What the council would like is immaterial. Protestors will inform the police when the police demonstrate they can be trusted, or the protestors wish to generate good will. In this case, the latter happened, and police abused that trust and good will.

                  BORA applies to all laws and all situations when any of its provisions are denied- it is simply that sometimes one right in BORA conflicts with another, and the government may pass a law to prioritise one right over another.

                  Unfortunately for your empty shell of an argument, there is no right to unobstructed use of public spaces- if there were, traffic jams would be illegal. And yes, in the case of Occupy camps, their eviction was completely illegal and spitting on the principle of the BOR.

                  It is considerate if protests don’t block others use of public spaces, but their political rights are the thing that are likely to be the basis of any charges that actually make their way to a court in terms of protestors being arrested.

              • weka

                What about councils charging for events to happen on council land eg fees for having markets? Does that have no legal backing? And people could legitimately set up stalls and sell stuff as long as they weren’t interfering with other people? Or say run a public meeting in a town hall? Or use a park for a party? None of that needs a permit?

            • felix

              “I don’t know if tsmithfield is dimwitted or merely a troll.”

              weka, those are not mutually exclusive propositions. Is anyone counting how many times he’s repeated the lie about requiring a permit in this thread and the other one?

              As I said the other day there is no limit to what he’ll find acceptable from authority, which he went on to prove by saying the victims of the assaults ought to think themselves lucky they’re not in China where they really know how to deal with uppity citizens.

              As far as he’s concerned if you have the power you do what you like.

              Might is right.

              Ugly as fuck.

          • KJT

            It seems to me that they were marching, not blocking a public thoroughfare ,until the police stopped them!

            • Pascal's bookie

              I’ve heard that too. They were marching, the police blocked them, so they sat down.

      • Dr Terry 5.1.2

        Smithfield, I find you yourself and your lamentable opinions, a very large offence indeed. Go on, gather all your bloody permits and take them to the bathroom with you.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The cops are the biggest gang in town, and you forget or challenge that at you peril. Iwould guess the cops were not happy at the first protest (I imagine they were deluged with calls from terribly nice middle class authoritarians who had popped a blood vessel at having their commute home delayed) and decided the people on the second protest would get a dose of intimidation and deterrence from the big gang in Vincent street. The police will assume that for every person they enrage, four will be frightened off protesting again.

  7. Barry 7

    It is a deliberate tactic to divert the protest from the grievance onto police tactics.

    Why are we talking about police brutality instead of the Education cuts? because that is the intention of the police response. A lot of people see an unruly protest and don’t see the message.

    Good that the protesters stayed peaceful. Good that they don’t give in to intimidation.

    Look for agents provocateurs in future protests. If the protest stays peaceful then the focus is on the government and they don’t want that.

    • Bill 7.1

      I kind of agree that I’d rather substantive discussions were unfolding regarding the object of the protest.

      But having said that, I can understand why people focus on the more immediate case of the protest itself. And that’s legitimate and could be very useful too if tactics were explored with a view to developing some things that appeared to work and abandoning others.

      Banging on about the police being bully boys is, well….we already know the police can be bully boys. And I’m not saying that meaning to undermine or dismiss anything Rocky, or anyone else who was there, is saying.

      But the result of that conversation is that everything devolves to a game of ping-pong on whether the police were justified to act as they did; on whether the protesters were justified to act as they did…

      As I said on another post on yesterdays protest, better to find instances where the police portrayed themselves as clowns and highlight that rather than just picking up on their violence. A fair few people will think twice aboout involving themselves in a protest if they think the police are simply thugs. But if they think they are essentially clowns with a penchant for ‘losing it’, well….it’s a better mind set to promote imo.

      • We are capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time, and the actual issue of the protest is getting plenty of coverage on the Standard so far, so I don’t see anything wrong here. Can’t speak for the TV news, as it’s terrible and I’ve stopped watching.

    • Dr Terry 7.2

      Exactly, I have been waiting and longing for someone to take us back to the point, without wasting time on the petty legalisms of pharisees as Smithfield.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The idea you need a permit to protest is an oxymoron which I would have thought every liberty loving right winger would denounce – prising your liberty from your Cold dead hands and all that other stuff you hear ad nauseum from the freedom loving lectern lictors of the right.

    Of course, when actually called to account to defend ancient liberties and rights in a free society, our righties always disappoint, revealing themselves as petty minded authoritarians obsessed with fussing over the detritus of process as a hollow substitute to defending what they hypocritically spout on every other occasion.

    • Murray Olsen 8.1

      Well said. All they know is how to spout slogans without any understanding of the content.

  9. seeker 9

    To Rochelle- very well said. I saw John and your beautiful baby on the news last night and thought how clearly and informatively John spoke about the pretty shocking turn of events for everyone. I was also saddened that it was not possible for him to continue to be at a peaceful event with your little one because it had ceased to be safe for your child – thanks to the police! Unbelievable.

  10. weka 10

    Thanks Rocky for the clear and intelligent reporting of this situation. It’s so important to have these accounts, esp for those of us far removed. Sorry to hear you and your whanau are being harassed.

  11. Nick K 11

    Is it obtuse of me to point out that this story is now *not* about “education cuts”, but about a very small minority of far left extremists who have a bone to pick with police? It was the same with the tennis protest. That protest was legitimate, as this one probably was. But then the same people turn up; get arrested and shout from the rooftops; and then spend the next two years fighting about *that* in the courts. Not the tennis courts, the criminal courts. The actual topic of the protest is long forgotten. Nothing is achieved. You make no gains. And there appears to be no change in the way police behave, so your actions there are also just a waste of time.

    But it allows you to write about it on the internet while the sun is shining outside.

    Speaking of shining sun, I’m off for my run.


    • Rocky 11.1

      The right to protest has to be defended. You know we won the tennis protest case in the High Court right? Re-asserting our right to use megaphones while protesting. Same issue here – it’s a shame it diverts attention from the protest message, but think it through… If we lose our right to protest we also lose the ability to get our message across.

    • ropata 11.2

      How marvellous that you have the ability to read and write (snobby garbage but apparently you did learn something in school), the ability to run around in public without being mugged, the good health to enjoy a weekend, the provision of public roads and footpaths for your superior Randian feet

    • McFlock 11.3

      Yes. It is obtuse of you.

  12. “Please sir can i protest”
    Lol,just imagine this overseas in greece, according to English our students
    need to take the lead of those people and protest with vigor and in numbers,
    isn’t this what the students did?,
    NZ’ers have more than enough to protest about, perhaps English wont
    taunt anyone anymore, i guess he is still learning.

    • joe90 12.1

      Coming soon from a legislature near you: Bill 78.

      • seeker 12.1.1

        Well that would cheer tsmithfield, Nick K and probably Pete G.etc up,while Bill English could provoke and clamp down at the same time..What a world

  13. The wider political context is missing from the article. 04/05 was still part of the political hysteria gripping Labour under pressure to join the War on Terror. Despite that the police were pretty low key, because the protests were low key. In the big ones I was involved in they only acted when called on by the US Consulate or the ASB banks to remove protesters from their private property, i.e. when protesters were ‘trespassing’. There was no fundamental crisis yet to threaten the regime.
    We are now in a global economic crisis forcing austerity on the masses. The student fightbacks are growing around the world – despite 20 years of neo-liberal attacks that largely succeeded, they have ultimately failed to prevent the inherent fall in the rate of profit and in their current death agony are provoking big fightbacks globally.
    We have to expect capitalist governments in NZ to react like any capitalist state to suppress opposition to ‘reforms’ that are imposed to solve their crisis. If you are Keynesian you will see these as the result of greedy capitalists imposing ‘wrong’ economics on the masses. So that street protests are part of reclaiming democracy in a sort of Chomskyan anti-capitalism to clean out the corrupt institutions. If you are a Marxist then the cause of crisis goes deeper, anti-capitalism mean ending capitalism.
    If you are a revolutionary you will see use and defence of democratic rights as tactics subordinated to building the revolution. While resistance can operate openly, street protests, occupations etc are in order. When the state repressed them heavily you know in advance that other tactics are necessary. In Syria the non-violent resistance has armed itself for its own self-defence. In Greece, direct action against fascists, and pickets to defend strikers and demos are used alongside what remains of parliament. The object is to prove to workers that the crisis cannot be solved in parliament which is after all a talkshop for finance capital, but in their own organisation – councils, militias etc – that can take power and defend it.
    When Bill English asks the students to learn like Greeks, he probably didn’t have this in mind. He won’t be able to get his head around the reality that defending bourgeois democracy means overthrowing bourgeois democracy.

  14. Te Reo Putake 14

    All power to you and yours, Rocky. Having been part of many marches in Auckland myself, a few of which involved ‘illegal’ tactics, can I just say I concur entirely with you that the protesters showed incredible restraint in the face of pretty obvious provocation.
    In regard to the pedantic whining about getting a permit, POAL didn’t need a permit to attack their staff, AFFCO didn’t need a permit for their racist lockout, CMP didn’t need a permit to starve its workers. When we need a permit from the oppressor to protest, we have already lost.

  15. Chris Glen 15

    43 arrests, and 5 people were charged with Obstruction Omar included.

  16. the protesters showed incredible restraint in the face of pretty obvious provocation.

    All one sided provocation?

    There has been suggestions it was little more than an extension of Socialiast Aotearoa’s “Occupy” tool to promote their cause

    Can anyone categorically confirm it was s student protest organised by students and done by students?

    If those championing a legitimate protest want to be seen as credible and build support they need to be open and honest about who is involved and what their intent is.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Damned socialist insurgents, corrupting our precious bodily fluids.

      • Pete George 16.1.1

        From: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7031348/Students-arrested-at-protest

        Joe Carolan of Socialist Aotearoa …
        – prominent in Occupy, unions and socialism in NZ.

        Protestor Thomas Dykes…

        Craccum Editor Thomas Dykes may lose his position next week following a petition from 20 members of the Auckland University Student Association (AUSA) which calls for a motion of no confidence against him.

        The petition claims that Craccum (Auckland University’s student magazine) has been overtly political, offensive, and unrepresentative of all students under Dykes’s editorship.


        From http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/211638/police-break-student-protest

        Senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Campbell Jones…

        As the Occupy movement grows in New Zealand and internationally, many are starting to see that this is not a movement of incoherent and unrealistic dreamers. This movement is connecting with progressive thinking globally and now showing what practical steps we can take together to change the world.


        Obviously people like Carolan and Jones have as much right to protest as anyone. But the public has a right to known the whole story about who is behind things like Occupies and protests.

        Claims that the protest was just about the budget look very thin, especially alongside a number of commenst made by people involved.

        • McFlock

          You really are a mccarthyite prick, aren’t you.
          What’s your point? That some people who don’t like a zero-hope budget that advances the neoliberal agenda might have socialists tendencies?
          Maybe socialists shouldn’t be allowed to protest? Maybe students shouldn’t allowed to protest? Maybe socialists shouldn’t be allowed to be students? Maybe police should be allowed to detain socialists and/or students without charge?
          You’ve got an interesting combo there, Pete – a bland exterior with a vicious, bitter little authoritarian underneath.

          • Pete George

            It’s not me being vicious here McFlock. And it’s not me trying to be authoritarian, I have no authority over anyone here. I just say my pieces and watch the lack of counter argument and variety of attacks.

            Socialists and students have a right to criticise whatever they like if they don’t break the law. And I have a right to say what I want to about them, don’t I? Or is protest only allowed for people you agree with?

            • Colonial Viper

              And it’s not me trying to be authoritarian, I have no authority over anyone here.

              Being disingenuous again?

              There are plenty of closet authoritarians out there with plenty of trumped up attitudes about how others should behave. That’s you.

            • McFlock

              Hmmm. Did you get a fist to the ribs and detention without charge, petey? People are allowed to protest, you’re allowed to be a spineless, vicious little jerk, and I can call you on it.
              But only one lot were arrested.
              So fuck you for thinking you’re the aggrieved party.

              • “you’re allowed to be a spineless, vicious little jerk,”

                Who is showing their vicious jerk side here? Is it spineless to stand up to your over reactions to sharing a bit of information?

                I haven’t claimed I’m an aggrieved party. I’m free to speak and free to protest, like anyone else. Even here (subject to the blog owners’ tolerance). I think it’s you displaying a bit of grief at something – like me speaking freely.

                • McFlock

                  I haven’t claimed I’m an aggrieved party.

                  cf (my emphasis):

                  I just say my pieces and watch the lack of counter argument and variety of attacks.

                  Play me a violin.

                  I think it’s you displaying a bit of grief at something – like me speaking freely.

                  So you’re allowed to speak freely, but I’m not allowed to disagree with what you say? Tool.

                • Criticising you for being an authoritarian who doesn’t understand democracy, free assembly, and free speech is not attacking free speech, it’s exercising it.

        • Murray Olsen

          What’s your point with all the names, Mr George? Perhaps you want a central register of protestors, with one well defined issue that they are allowed to protest about? Maybe you could set up a Committee on Unkiwi Activities to interrogate each protestor to see what their main issue is? Or maybe you could just stop posting shit? As you’ve told us, we cannot trust what you write anyway, as you write different stuff on each site.

          • Pete George

            You haven’t backed up your accusation with anything. I haven’t told “us” anything about not trusting, you must be making that up.

            Of course I write different things on different sites, different audiences. Nothing to do with lack of trust. I believe I’m more open and honest than most people on blogs.

            • Murray Olsen

              Ok then, following on from your view that Joe Carolan’s presence at the protests was dubious because he’s also interested in other issues, you should choose only one blog to post on. I vote that it not be this one.

              • That’s not my view. I said he had a right to be in a protest if he chose.

                I was pointing out that it wasn’t just a student protest about the budget, there were others involved from other organisations and it was also about wider issues.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  That’s what you were implying, but you’ve not offered any reason to believe it.

                • McFlock

                  Tell you what – I’ll support your call to call the protest a mostly with a few exceptions student protest mostly about the budget but with maybe a couple of related other issues, if you consistently refer to yourself as a two-faced fuckwit. Just so as everything’s labelled minutely accurately, you see.

                • If students are the majority of the people involved, it is a student protest no matter who else organised it or shows up. How obtuse are you trying to be?

        • Puddleglum

          Hi Pete George,

          Thanks for highlighting that there are a few people in New Zealand who have a coherent and cohesive understanding of how various seemingly ‘isolated’ issues actually are interconnected.

          As anyone with any conceptual framework worth talking about would agree, these seemingly unconnected events (budget, ‘occupy’, etc.) have clear symmetries and similarities.

          I imagine you posted your comment to underscore how important it is that New Zealanders develop a coherent understanding of how fleeting ‘media issues’ may, in fact, be part of an overarching pattern. ‘Pattern recognition’, as our PM opines, is an important political skill. Obviously you have it.

          Useful comment. 

        • shreddakj

          Thomas Dykes is still the editor of Craccum after an overwhelming majority voted for him to retain his position at the Special General Meeting.

          Campbell Jones is a lecturer at the university, why are you surprised that he was there?

          Joe Carolan and the members of Socialist Aotearoa (many of them in fact students like myself) were there to protest the budget.

          I can assure you of this because I know them.

    • KJT 16.2

      Like NACT is open about imposing disaster capitalism on NZ, you mean?

      Can’t we re-ban Pete. His unthinking support for the “haters and wreckers” in Government just detracts from grownups trying to find solutions.

      I can see why he wants to be a politician. So many words to say so little.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.3

      “Can anyone categorically confirm it was s student protest organised by students and done by students?”
      Waffle much, Pete? Who cares who organised it? Is there some sort of prize for the purity of the organising based on the internationally recognised Pooter George scale? Is the MP for Ohairiu’s barnet organised by United Future and Dunne by Peter? Can anyone categorically confirm Peter George isn’t a bore?  
      Confused? These and many more questions will not be answered by PG in his next apologia for the Tories.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.4

      There have been suggestions that Pete George isn’t honest about his beliefs. That he says the things he says with an unstated and unexamined motive, that he joined a political organisation not out of any commitment to it’s stated policies and recognised personalities but rather as a means of ‘fasttracking’ his own personal political programme, a programme that he chooses not to articulate clearly.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.5

      “If those championing a legitimate protest want to be seen as credible and build support they need to be open and honest about who is involved and what their intent is.”
      Does that also apply to MP’s seeking re-election, Pete? Say, for example, you are being asked to define your position on controversial legislation, should the MP be open and honest and state what their intent is? Or should they try their hardest to avoid saying anything, barring just the one accidental slip in a minor internet forum?

    • shreddakj 16.6

      I can categorically confirm that it was a student protest organised by students. I can say this as a student who was involved in the organisation of the protests.

      • Pete George 16.6.1

        Thanks shreddakj, I think it does help to know it was driven by students. I asked a question, and it’s good to get a straighforward answer. The attacks and diversions muddied the water, you’ve cleared it up.

  17. Sanctuary 17

    “…Can anyone categorically confirm it was s student protest organised by students and done by students..?”

    Only after you provide categorical confirmation you have stopped beating your wife.

    • Seems like there’s a bit of sensitivity to some of this information. That’s quite a weak attempt at diversionary provocation Sanctuary.

      Interesting to see who pops up and tries to shut down voices they don’t want out in the open.

      • KJT 17.1.1

        It is you who is happy for the police to shut down voices you don’t like.

        Private citizens right to free speech does not depend on whether you agree with who is behind it.

        Though I would like politicians like Key to have to wear a shirt with the names of their sponsors. So we are aware he is a frontman for Goldmen-Sachs.

        Pete could have a disclaimer. “Supporter of everything that right wing fuckwits, do regardless of the destruction they cause”

        • Pete George

          I’ve already challenged you on that sort of claim, so repeating this sort of attack suggests you may ignore what I say or are deliberately lying. Or can you explain it another way?

          • Colonial Viper

            PG loves it when young citizens get shown who is in charge of this society.

          • bbfloyd

            oh no… not you again little pete…… wasting everyones time making bitchy allegations that have nothing relevant to add…. then spend your time playing the innocent victim when you get called on it…..

            you have to be, along with that other serial nit picker TS, the most pointless, and therefore, irritating space wasters who come in here….. i am led to assume your tactic is to bore people away from the site…..

      • ropata 17.1.2

        Why are you posing moronic questions about motives of protestors when it is clear as day.
        Perhaps you need to direct your searing insights toward international bankers like JKey and their class war wrapped up as austerity?

      • Pascal's bookie 17.1.3

        Pete, you haven’t actually presented any information. You’ve insinuated some stuff and said that people should be asking questions or whatever, but it’s just smearing.

        You’re a hypocrite Pete, and that’s what people react to. You’re unrelentingly dishonest stupidity is aggravating.

        • Pete George

          And next you will claim everyone else here is honest about their motives and connections?

          Some more information (I’ve posted more relevant information than anyone has)…

          (Occupy) Protest spokesman Thomas Dykes says the group felt its occupation would be compromised if they moved.


          I’m not trying to stop socialists from protesting. It’s not me trying to induce bans on people here, is it.

          It seems that some are a bit sensitive to open information here. Socialists are free to protest, so they should also welcome freedom to post of any information about the protests. Shouldn’t they?

          • ropata

            They are kids FFS Pete! The only (attempted) information suppressed was police thuggishness.
            The only thing we learn from your flailing about is how pointless UF has become.

            As a former student of Auckland Uni and member of AUSA and participator in student politics and reader of Craccum :
            I confess … that AUSA embraced other student networks, feminists, communists, and all sorts of smelly hippies. Also that drugs alcohol sex religion and politics were all over bFM and student life. It’s called a “university” for a reason. Look it up.

          • Pascal's bookie

            But you are not presenting info about the protests Pete. You are saying so-and-so was part of occupy therfore umm the protest isn’t what it seems. It’s just bullshit smearing. ‘Poke and provoke’, and you know it.

            you keep blathjering on about wanting to communicate openly, as if butter wouldn’t melt in your arse, while at the same time putting out these smears and trying to deligitimise other people. It’s obvious, boring, and shows far more about you than about any of your targets.

            • Pete George

              I’ve posted quotes with links to published information. No one here has disputed that information. Instead there’s been a dollop of diversion and attempts to discredit me – with no facts, just baseless accusations.

              You’ve accused me of bullshit but provided nothing to prove it. Who’s smearing? Who’s trying to poke and provoke? If you don’t get that ask Sanctuary to explain.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Pete, what is the relevance of the information you have posted? How does it show us anything? What is the point of it, other than to smear and try and deligitimise the protest?

                Those questions aren’t diversions from your point, they are requests to find out what your point is.

                And I have supported my claim that your posts are bullshit smearing.

                here’s the syllogism;

                Pete posts some things and claiming they show there is something going on with the protests beyond what the protesters say.

                He offers nothing to support that implication, or even show that the data is relevant to the implication.

                ergo, Pete is engaging in bullshit smearing

              • McFlock

                What information have you poster? That some of the students protesting about the budget aren’t national voters?

              • weka

                “No one here has disputed that information.”
                That’s because there’s nothing to dispute. I have no idea what your point is in all this, other than to tie up yet another thread with lots of useless posts. And I’ve completely failed to understand the relevance of the links you have posted, probably because they are in fact irrelevant.
                Yes, activists go to protests that are organised by other groups. So what?
                Yes, there are connections between student protests against the budget and anti-capitalism. So what? 
                Neither of those things bothers me. I think it’s normal and healthy. You have a problem with them, and instead of just posting that, you, again, ‘poke and provoke’ because that’s the only way that anyone here would bother discussing something that is not worth discussing.

            • True Freedom is Self-Governance

              “…and shows far more about you than about any of your targets.”

              That’s the important point to remember. I visit this blog almost every day and enjoy reading the (mostly) reasonable discussion that follows the articles. There are always ‘those people’ claiming to be keeping things balanced, but really just being selectively nitpicky and trollish. Often the things they say are either infuriating or laughable, and the urge to poke fun or react angrily is strong, resulting in me having to slap my own hands away from the keyboard and focus on what the positive posters have to say instead.

          • kiwi_prometheus

            When was the last time right wingers ever protested/demonstrated? Once in a while Team Jesus gets a bee under their collective bonnet and hits the street, but that is about it.

            Right wingers don’t really do protests, they are too conformist, too controlling. Protest goes against their very nature.

            That explains why P G and T S are on here fussing and nit picking and just not getting it.

            • Pete George

              a) I’m not right “winger”.
              b) I’m not a conformist, that’s one thing that gets up a few noses here
              c) I do a lot ot protesting

              But that doesn’t make me a “left winger” either. You don’t have to be a lopsided chook to be actively seeking change.

              • Socialist Paddy

                So Pete what do you believe in?

                I have read your comments for a while and I can’t figure out if you are  actually confused or a RWNJ just trying to disrupt threads. 

      • North 17.1.4

        You magnificent Everyman PG, you man on the Clapham omnibus.

        The world so needs you lol.

  18. ochocinco 18

    The question is this… does the protestor’s right to protest (and he/she has one) outweigh my right to the Queen’s Highway (and to not be unreasonably detained, which having a road blocked is).

    It’s an intriguing point. I’ll also point out some flaws (and please note I am completely supportive of the students’ message, just not their method)

    They are freaking BASED AT AUCKLAND CENTRAL
    Which is all of a kilometre away

    Also when a sexual predator like Omar Hamed is in your group (See the Hand Mirror), you lose all legitimacy in my eyes.

    • ropata 18.1

      Well obviously that gives the police a mandate to bash peacefully protesting students and for you to run them over on the way home to your Parnell palace.

      • ochocinco 18.1.1

        Mate, I don’t have a Parnell palace. I just realise that we aren’t going to bring in a socialist tomorrow by fucking off Mr and Mrs Joe Average Kiwi by blocking roads at 5pm on freaking Queens Birthday. A lot of socialists just dont get it: MOST PEOPLE AREN’T LIKE US AND YOU DON’T CONVERT THEM BY PISSING THEM OFF.

        However everybody’s rights are equal. And yes I disagree with the closing of roads for private profit (Hamilton V8s) as well. I don’t think construction companies/private builders should be able to close roads (e.g. when you build your house) unless you compensate everybody you harm.

        And, my friends, delaying 10,000 people for 2 minutes is the same as detaining 1 person for about 14 days (from a utilitarian perspective, which every good socialist should be)

        • Richard Christie

          And, my friends, delaying 10,000 people for 2 minutes is the same as detaining 1 person for about 14 days (from a utilitarian perspective, which every good socialist should be)


          and traffic engineers who program the city's traffic lights should be put away for a few years.

          Doctors never keep to f-en appointments, thumb screws for them.

    • weka 18.2

      I felt conflicted about the naming of Omar Hamed in this article. I don’t know the situation other than what I have read, and was unsure if linking to the Hand Mirror was useful.
      Re the Queens’ Highway, it’s not any different than any other group that uses the road and disrupts traffic eg parades, sports races etc.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.3

      “and to not be unreasonably detained, which having a road blocked is”

      No it isn’t. It’s just to be inconvenienced, which is a very common price to pay for living in a moderately open society

      • McFlock 18.3.1

        I loved the slide from being “detained” (i.e. put in restraints and then a paddy wagon) and “detained” (it took 2 minutes longer to get where one was going).
        The Hamed thing I actually have a bit of time for, but I’m intrigued that such sensitivity is shown by someone who misunderstands “detention” so readily…

      • weka 18.3.2

        Not to mention the price one pays for living in a city with traffic.
        It’s quite a strange idea, that we have a right to drive on any given road at all times. I get annoyed when they close the roads here for sports events. It didn’t occur to me that my rights were being infringed upon and that that meant the sports event shouldn’t happen.

        • ochocinco

          Actually, I do think your rights are being infringed upon.
          Unless the total benefit generated outweighs the costs to you… and even then they should compensate you (e.g. Eden Park should have to pay people who live nearby for the inconvenience of game nights)

          • weka

            Interesting. I’m ok with sharing I guess. And not having to quantify that monetarily. The quid pro quo is that other people also get to occasionally block some roads for a bit eg protestors.
            People who are blocking roads for financial gain, that’s a different story.

            • ochocinco

              I was probably a bit over the top myself
              I just think that Friday, 5pm, on a long weekend is about as disruptive as you can get

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                I just think that Friday, 5pm, on a long weekend is about as effective as you can get.

                • Effective in what way? The budget hasn’t been changed since, so it must be something else.

                  Effective at annoying more people than otherwise perhaps. It may have annoyed some of the police more than usual if they were due a weekend off.

                  It was effective at attracting attention, but with many people going away for the long weekend it may have had less impact.

                  I guess time will tell if it was effective at achieving anything tangible.

  19. Gavin 19

    The TVNZ footage hasn’t been cut. I’m not sure what you’re trying to suggest by saying that, but it’s incorrect.- http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/raw-video-police-clash-protesters-4906662

  20. Hulun Phallis 20

    [Bunji: banned commentator]

    • McFlock 20.1

      A guy stands on the street taking photos.
      This is “riotous behaviour” for which he should lose his kids.
      Tories really scare me sometimes. It’s something about the combination of extreme stupidity and their visceral hatred of anyone failing to conform to their own paradigm.

      • kiwi_prometheus 20.1.1

        It’s nonconformity in itself that Tories fear and loath.

        That’s why they consistently fail at Democracy 101.

    • Jim Nald 20.2

      Isn’t this troll banned for good back on 23 May 2012?


      [Bunji: yes, need lprent to get a little less busy at work so he can do some more permanent weeding]

      [lprent: Looks like the hardware (and my software) is finally shipping out on Tuesday. I will get the phallus clipped when I’ve had breakfast.. ]

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 20.3

      Sickened by scum inciting Nanny State violence against individual citizens.

      Losing WWII was such a disappointment for them I guess.

    • Hateatea 20.4

      So, Hulun, in your world, nobody who has a child with them is allowed to take photographs OR anyone taking photographs is a rioter OR people who protest are not allowed to take photographs or have children OR people shouldn’t allow children to be part of protests or any combination of the above?
      Let’s try this – people with nicks like Hulun Phallis should crawl back into their cave and spare the rest of the world their ignorant rantings

  21. xtasy 21

    Although I fully support the students’ actions, I must admit that there are bylaws and rules that protesters must meet. It appears to be ignored or treated in a cavalier fashion by some here. The Bill of Rights Act is valuable and ensures certain basic rights, but that does not give a free licence to block roads, to protest without announcements and so forth. Ignorance is wide spread in NZ. I would rather have the ones running this website tell the truth and actually advise prospective protestors on how to go about it effectively and legally.

    But then again, who am I? I dare not to bother too much with the Standard anymore.

    Best of luck, students. By the way, where was your solidarity on Mayday and for the beneficiaries facing benefit cuts? Where was the now so widespread uproar amongst teachers and parents re education reforms resulting in larger classes, while beneficiaries get a whipping?

    Maybe chill out, rething and rejoin the common lines of protest?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Oh of course! Protests by citizens against the actions of authorities should meet all the requirements and regulations set down by those same authorities.


      • xtasy 21.1.1


        Having been to a number of public protests, where hardly a dozen or more of left and other similar backgrounds bothered to turn up:


        I feel that this hyped attitude is a new thing, and that is for sure a GOOD thing, but we have had minimal turnout on other protests for years.

        Maybe the complacent ones realise now that their security is screwed?

        Even National Party parents now complain, Ohh, ohh, please do not put our kids into mass education, while we cannot afford private schools.

        Get the whole shit society here turned upside down, please, it is overdue, not pleasing a few selected priority interest voters.

        I have NO time for middle class burgeoisie!

      • xtasy 21.1.2

        CV: I have been on protests! I have been arrested, charged and persecuted! I know the bloody game! I learned the hard way but also smart way and got the cops fixed, but not always. Even that stupid IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority) or whatever it is called now is a total fake BS outfit. I know that if the cops get away with it, they will by covering each other, knowing there is no other witness (after beating someone up inside the station)!

        That is the reality. Do not tell me that a Labour government will do any better, because under their rule some of what I know happened. BS, BS and endless BS, that is Aoteaoroa NZ, the land of the long white lie! I have some time for Tame Iti though, guess why?!

    • eating worms 21.2

      “Where was your solidarity on Mayday and for the beneficiaries facing benefit cuts?”

      We were there. We have links all over the country with workers’ unions and anti-poverty groups. We regularly support the actions of groups like Auckland Action Against Poverty, as they do ours. Last year, we protested with TEU lecturers and put pressure on the university management to change their intent to do away with crucial working conditions for lecturers, changes that would have constituted a real threat to academic freedom and which were averted in the main. We picketed with the ports workers, we stood in the way of the house-removal trucks in Glen Innes, we road-tripped down to the meat workers’ lock out. We went to Tauranga and cleaned up oil with our bare hands. On 22nd March we organised a rally in solidarity with low-paid workers on campus and their unions, followed by a march from the university to the ports in solidarity with then-recent developments in their lock-out. We are signees of the SFWU-led Living Wage Campaign pledge, launched last week in Auckland. We’ll be participating in the protest against increased class sizes at 9:15am on Monday morning. Old Government House gardens, if you’d care to join. Didn’t think so.

      Have a think about what you know you know and what you don’t know you don’t know before just saying whatevs next time, eh?

      Love from Students.

  22. xtasy 22

    I could give some of yours some real education about real life, about a real resolute action against this government, and for that sake also an alternative Labour government, which will not be much better after all, so get some worker’s rights and basic human rights enforced.

    But the sad thing is: We are dealing with lobby groups on both sides, mellowed down leaders, nobody really taking AnY real action, so the same crap keeps going on and on and on!

    The students at least, at least some of them, have dared to take resolute action and that is commendable. I see little in the way of main party support, apart from pandering for the supposed “middle ground” of a corruptable consumerist society. So we may have another government afte 2014, but what is going to be really different for workers, students and society as a whole? I see no prospect for real change.

    It is pander and buy into middle ground, make promises or none o f relevance, be vague, say nothing much and carry on with a capitalist, environmentally corrupt system as it is now.

    I see Key getting warm with Norman. How does the co-leader feel now?

    NZ is screwed and needs a real revolution. Hopefully some student organisations can start setting it off.

    Otherwise this will remain to be a Key Dictatorship!

  23. Carol 23

    One of the oldest play in the right wing playbook (internationally), is to respond to a protest by saying that the protesters aren’t who they claim to be, and that outside agitators (usually from some already smeared allegedly pariah group) have stirred up the action:

    The first instance I remember is when claims were being made that the trigger for the 1981 Brixton riots weren’t really locals/Afro-Carribean people with a legitimate complaint against police actions, but white communist/socialist group agitators from outside the area. A member of a shared flat, where a friend of mine lived) was arrested in a dawn raid for being one of said outside agitators. She was a photographer and happened to be on the spot (central Brixton shopping area) when the riot erupted, took some photos and they were published in a local left wing mag. In the end, the charges were dropped through lack of evidence… what a surprise!

    Same I hear happened with the occupation of Bastion Point, back then. The claim was made the occupiers didn’t really represent Maori but the whole thing had been stirred up by white left-wingers (comun1sts, I think the claim was).

    T’is always the same line to try to discredit strongly held protests. Right-wingers seem to have little imagination when countering a protest and, jast aim to smear and deflect from the case the protesters are making.

    Power to the students and all their non-student supporters! A democratic, sustainable and liveable NZ needs a fair and accessible, quality education for all!

    We are all students now!

  24. RedBaron 24

    Well I think that a large chunk of NZ owes a big thank you to the students.
    As far as I can see most people, who aren’t completely disenfranchised, rely on mainstream media for the brief overview on “how the country is going” and don’t have the time, inclination or energy to dig any deeper. There they are fed a continuous diet of “poor brave little Johnny doimg his best in terrble circumstances” and even if they feel discomfort or disquiet based on their personal or community circumstances, they would tend to blame themselves not the wider world.

    When we get students protesting and such a reaction from the police that it makes the news this is a big contra to the main message. Hopefully some of these people will stop looking at themselves and start looking at wider society. If only a few dozen people rethink their attitudes it’s a few less wound up in right think attitudes.

    I also wonder if some of the more moderate cops, fed up with being used as a political police force, let the gungho types have their way hoping that the ensuing mess would be a “big political embarassment” so it doesn’t happen again. There’s nothing like paying out the rope………..

  25. Adam 25

    Obviously some differences, but I’m sure the boys in blue are picking up something from their US brothers in all the fraternising they do:

  26. Simple Math 26

    A shame that this protest was not planned properly or approved by the council. The purpose of it was to demonstrate to the government the we as students do not accept their budget proposal. What it has turned into is Police brutality. Completely OFF TOPIC, I think if this was organised well, we would have more power (in numbers) Police on our side and a clear message directed to the GOVERNMENT. Police were NOT in the wrong. They did what they needed to do and had every right to move people.

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