From Sue Bradford:
Aucklanders – the fight back against the worst recommendations in the Rebstock report starts now. Join us – Auckland Against Poverty – in a picket, 2pm today outside Work & Income, Sel Peacock Dr, Henderson.
Sorry for the late notice. I will write more about this after the protest, but for now, the NZ Herald predicts a Bombshell on way for beneficiaries.
Update 7.15pm: I wasn’t going to post anything this evening as I’m rushing around trying to get footage and photos of everything that happened today. The events at the protest have unfortunately very much distracted me from the real issues in the WWG report, on which I have a half written post at home. So first, a brief demo report, and tomorrow I’ll write about the WWG report.
The protest marched from the Henderson WINZ office up to Paul Bennett’s office, where two men climbed a ladder and displayed a banner from the roof. While there was nothing unlawful about their actions (they hadn’t been trespassed), it probably wasn’t unlawful for the police to arrest them when they came down. When they decided to come down, a bunch of protesters surrounded them to protect them from the police. The police shoved through – they actually shoved through Liam & I to get to them, even though we were on the edge pretty much out of the action. While all this was going on, the police started blocking anyone who was filming or taking photographs. I looked up and saw that John Darroch had been detained for taking photos. I walked up with Liam in my arms to challenge them for detaining him. All I did was ask the police officer detaining John if he was arresting him. The cop said he didn’t know but he had been instructed to detain him. I told him it was unlawful for him to detain John if he wasn’t arresting him. Then another cop walked up and starting shoving me. I didn’t fight back at all as both my arms were around Liam in a protective hold. Despite that I got shoved really hard all the way around the back – they had no regard for Liam whatsoever. I was really scared, but Liam & John & I are all ok. While I didn’t fight, I did try to stop them getting me around the back of the building as I was terrified that if they got us around there they would take Liam off me and delete all of John’s photos showing what happened. The police formed a line preventing anyone from getting to us. They had police intentionally blocking anyone with a camera.
The police then had the nerve to tell me I was mistreating my child and they would be referring me to CYFS. Fortunately the photos show everything that happened, and it looks like someone else may have filmed the whole thing through the fence next door, and it was witnessed by many people including Sue Bradford and a senior social worker who has given us his details in case CYFS do show up.
I’m not putting photos up yet as we need to make an action plan and work out how to deal with the whole thing.
I will note that had the police actually arrested John I would not have challenged them – I would have met them at the police station with our lawyer. However I get annoyed at unlawful detentions such as this. Likewise, if the police had trespassed us or asked us to leave the property, we would have. If they’d even tried to push us off the property rather than around the back of the building, I would have co-operated. However I was not going to go round the back with the police where no one could see whatever would happen.
As I understand it, 5 people were arrested, including the two men who climbed on the roof. The police released all without charge. When we were waiting outside the police station, I had two officers walk up to me and ask me for my details as they wanted to refer a complaint to CYFS. I told them if they arrested me I would give them my details but otherwise I had no obligation to. The police officer decided he wouldn’t arrest me, but that they would identify me from the photos and refer me to CYFS. I told them that was fine, as we have plenty of evidence of what really happened. Also, all our photos from earlier that day show Liam was happy and enjoying the radical cheerleaders and all the attention from many different people.
Here are some photos from John Darroch’s Flickr stream, but they don’t include what happened with me.