Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, August 3rd, 2018 - 190 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, International, pasifika, Politics, racism, workers' rights - Tags: lauren southern, racism, stefan molyneux
A night of protests against the visit of Canadian racists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux begins at 5.30 tonight in Aotea Square, Auckland. The hate speech tour, promoted by old white men Don Brash and Chris Trotter, rolls into NZ after violent demonstrations in Australia.
This is a battle in the ongoing class war. We are told that we are all middle class now, but the reality is that increasingly we are all really working class. The working world is further away from economic freedom than has ever been. Inflated house prices and credit card debt are not a sustainable basis for optimism.
Unions Auckland spokesperson Joe Carolan nails the class aspect:
“There is an agenda here and that is the 1%, the rich in this country, are terrified of our unity, therefore they want to create a far right party to divide our class”.
Don’t think that’s likely? With ACT no longer a useful coalition prospect for National, the rich right will be considering alternatives. A NZ version of UKIP or France’s Front Nationale has got to be an option. Certainly, the old white men behind the Hate Speech Coalition must be wondering if there’s a kiwi Nigel Farage out there. Mike Hosking must be itching for the call.
There are multiple groups involved in the anti-fascist action and it’s likely that there may be swiftly changing protest priorities throughout the night. Obviously, once the venue is known* direct protests are likely to happen outside (and possibly inside).
Sina Brown-Davis, spokesperson for Tāmaki Anti-fascist Action (TAFA) says
“Members of Auckland’s diverse communities are uniting against racism and the politics of hate … Together we will stand up against fascism and to celebrate the power and strength of diversity and tolerance.“
I’m not so sure about the tolerance; fascism must be fought. Tonight could be Auckland’s best opportunity to publicly oppose racism since 1981, when the apartheid rugby tour invigorated a new generation of activists.
The Migrant Workers Association NZ and the Pacific Panthers, who are dovetailing their protest with the Aotea square rally, have said they will do something unusual so that “racist speakers will not be able to deliver the hatred speeches”.
That sounds more like it.
The MWANZ/Pacific Panthers people are meeting at the offices of Unite Union, 6A Western Springs Rd, Kingsland at 5 PM before heading into the city.
If you have any doubt about whether you should turn out to protest, here’s some sound and sensible advice from NZ’s National Front:
“Commies, antifa and other despicable creatures considering protesting this event, you are absolute traitors to this nation and your people (unless you are not of European or even Maori decent)! You protesting this event shows me that you want us to be China’s bitch, you want Sharia law, you want us to be completely overrun by foreigners and you want the remnants of this nation still owned by actual New Zealanders to be sold out and given away to foreigners.”
So, there you have it, you Chinese loving, Sharia worshipping Free Speech haters, get along tonight and make yourself heard.
If you can’t make it, please consider donating to help cover transport costs for others. There’s a givealittle page here.
*The venue should be known later today. The post will be updated accordingly.
UPDATE: The venue is the Powerstation in Eden Terrace. However, the owner has apparently cancelled the event, possibly because it’s too late to change the signage to the more appropriate White Power Station.
UPDATE 2: And this on the promoter’s page:
Due to circumstances beyond our control tonight’s event in Auckland has been cancelled. All ticket holders will be refunded within 14 days. Further details and announcements will be made as soon as possible.
UPDATE 3: While it was reported on RNZ that the Powerstation owner Peter Campbell was saying that he stood by the initial decision to host the racists, another owner, Gabrielle Mullins, has indicated that the venue didn’t initially know what the event was.
“I understand it’s all about freedom of speech, but it’s the content of the freedom of speech that I found offensive.”
Mullins apologised to “all who have supported the Powerstation and who we may have offended”.