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The Freedumb Protesters give protesting a bad name

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, November 10th, 2021 - 58 comments
Categories: community democracy, covid-19, democracy under attack, health, human rights, Peace, poverty, racism, racism, uncategorized - Tags:

Advantage has written this very principled post on how as a matter of protection of an important principle the freedom protesters yesterday should be respected.

I agree as a principle that the right to protest is important.  But my view is that the tolerance shown to them by the forces by the state is more than fine, in fact overly generous.

I have been on many protests in my time.  I agree that the right to protest is necessary and important.  The ability to broadcast generally unacceptable messages has changed humankind’s history for the better.

I watched the live feed yesterday.  It felt very familiar.  Impassioned speeches using the rhetoric and phrasing and passion of many protests I have been on.

But instead of protesting against apartheid or nuclear war or global warming or poverty they were protesting against the expectation that to decrease the spread of a deadly virus they wear something flimsy on their face and they get jabbed twice with something which has worked and is remarkably free of side effects.

They plagiarised progressive messages such as “my body my choice”.  They talked about rights as if they are an absolute and not a feature of a civilised society which together with a number of other features, such as necessary health measures and minimum levels of pay and benefit support, are required to keep our society functioning.

And there was the frankly bat shit crazy stuff.  Refusing to be vaccinated because a US billionaire has snuck computer chips into the vaccine should attract the attention of your health provider.  Claiming that the Italian Army is going to invade or that this was all part of a UN sanctioned global takeover by shadowy forces is bonkers.  Thinking that the Governor General is going to intervene is bizarre.  Thinking the media are puppets of the Government and calling them terrorists is completely overblown.

And the threats of violence deserve an official response.  The events of January 6 in Washington show what happens when you let deranged rhetoric circulate for too long.

The organisers are cruel grifters who prey on the disillusioned and the misinformed.  People like this guy who took part in the Auckland protest and then a few days later tested positive for Covid.  If he cannot understand how risky it is to have super spreader events using concentrated numbers of people who have not been vaccinated then he has no right to organise anything.

By all means there should be respect for freedom of speech although threats of violence should not be accepted.  And I similarly have the right to express my strongly held view that the protesters are completely wrong and the organisers should be ashamed of themselves for plagiarising the language of the left for their own tawdry purposes.

58 comments on “The Freedumb Protesters give protesting a bad name ”

  1. Hunter Thompson II 1

    "It's all the government's fault"

    There you are – a reusable protest banner suitable for every occasion.

  2. lprent 2

    Pretty much my view – especially the grifter part.

    What gets me with the protests and in a large part with the post by Advantage is that they seem to assume that viruses and pandemics are susceptible to being diverted by human preferences.

    When you read any history at all about the course of infectious diseases in human populations, this is a theme that pops up over and over again. And again and again it has been shown that praying from relief from an infectious disease is of no therapeutic value. Taking arbitrary nostrums seldom yields significant clinical results apart from a lot of faked results by someone hoping to profit from them.

    It is a slow grind killing off epidemics and it is invariably done by social restraints of preventing bags of water, some protein, and a bit of calcium from acting as part of the breeding cycle of an organism too small to see without a microscope. There are few to no shortcuts. Which I suspect is the primary issue for this particular group of protesters.

    They are too lazy to do the hard grind to control this pandemic. As a group it appears that the only thing that they would prefer is that a virus breeding in humans would obey the power of their collective dislike of change and just go away. Plus they really don't seem to give a shit on how many other people that will infect, maim or kill. It was noticeable that none of the clips I looked at even referred to the potential victims of their ‘policies’.

    Consequently, they aren't going to get listened to. Certainly not by me. I prefer workable plans and polices that have some grip in reality. And not ones inspired by grifters.

  3. ianmac 3

    The range of different "causes" during the protest is a bit reassuring. In the same way the Groundswell "protest" lacked identifiable cause. And in both cases it seems that dark forces are capitalising on the unease of the anxious in order to undermine our democracy perhaps.

    But why?

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Had a prolonged catch-up by phone with a friend who's 69 now, currently antivaxer due to conspiracy theorising. We explored the various dimensions of the issue from the perspective of being part of alternative Aotearoa since the 1960s, knowing that the state has always been the enemy of progress.

    Couple of lines from him indicated the general mindset: `it's just like another flu' and `the hospital wards are mostly empty'. Like me, he's a university graduate. His professional career was electronics engineer and lecturer.

    The stats are interesting. Some who are antivax in principle are allowing themselves to be coerced into getting the hit for the common good, I suspect.

    Antivax sentiment seems to run at 20% of the electorate in western countries, but google won't validate that easily. I just had a look at a couple of reports of poll results in other countries and was bemused by their failure to cite the actual stats. Instead they tried to distract readers via a focus on how the poll supports the majority view. No wonder hostility to the media is escalating!

    https://www.cp24.com/news/irresponsible-and-selfish-new-poll-finds-rising-tension-between-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-canadians-1.5601596

    https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/81121

    https://www.salon.com/2021/06/08/millions-of-americans-view-being-anti-vaccination-as-a-part-of-their-social-identity-poll/

  5. Pete 5

    Hostility to the media can escalate a million fold. That still won't explain or justify the limitations in thinking of your friend.

    The comment, "The hospital wards are mostly empty," as an indication covid is nothing special and certainly nothing to worry about is just plain dumb.

    It is likely people use that reasoning in lambasting the Government for its handling of the pandemic.

    "The Government did everything wrong, see, thousands didn't die, the ICUs are not all full, the hospitals are not in crisis."

    Let's use that logic, "See, the hospitals coped in a so-called crisis situation, therefore we don't need to put more resources into hospitals. If they could handle the 'crisis,' they are fine."

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Hi Pete, you know you could have used the reply button? Anyway I agree with your reasoning. My response to mostly empty wards point was `yeah but overseas hospitals are overwhelmed with patients with Covid'.

      What you tend to get with folks addicted to a world-view is slip-sliding away from any evidence to the contrary. Seems a natural tendency of human nature to be unwilling to change one's mind. I don't argue with folks – just explain why I have a different view. Sometimes they go away & think about it. When you next discuss the issue they've adopted your point of view & have forgotten that they ever disagreed! laugh

      • Pete 5.1.1

        That someone who has had to use thinking in his working life demonstrates such inability to think logically or past the surface, is astonishing.

        I appreciate that positions are often taken because of politics and appearances. Logic is purposefully benched.

        I've posted before about the Texas Immunization Requirements for Schools. People there accept those requirements but there is mass demand for choice with the covid vaccine. Compulsion is not acceptable. (62% have had one dose 54% had two doses.)

        Unvaccinated Texans make up vast majority of COVID-19 cases and deaths this year The political position of freedom of choice and 'my body my choice' is prevalent.

        To cap it all of course there are dictates counter to that when it comes to abortion: "Your body, our choice."

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          That someone who has had to use thinking in his working life demonstrates such inability to think logically or past the surface, is astonishing.

          Doesn't astonish me. I spend a lot of work time with hardware engineers of various types. I notice two things about them as a group.

          Fundamentally don't seem to understand the concept of deliberately falsified information – it is foreign to the ethos. Mistakes in data sheets – yes. Absolute bullshit no. So they often treat crap information with the same weight as being approximately the same as solid info. For me I find this rather weird because I started in science – where outright scepticism about other peoples results is the culture. I seldom believe anything until I test it myself.

          Hardware engineers aren't particularly good at dealing with pretty standard human behaviours. They seem to have an ideal world built into their genome – and especially when designing for human behaviours. A predisposition against hardening.

          I started in production management, and eventually moved to writing software with frequent excursions into installation and support. I learnt to defensively operate as if every human is a dangerous innovator. Because that is how they destroy systems.

          Humans invariably work out an easier way for themselves to operate anything – which usually means that there is a monumental fuck-up coming around the corner with the impetus of unexpected consequences.

          Trying to explain this to hardware engineers when you're looking from the perspective of how to reduce downstream support levels is an interesting exercise in mutual incomprehension.

  6. dottie 6

    We have a small number of NZers who choose to be ignorant.

    • roy cartland 6.1

      This.

      It's like a white-hot defiance of being asked to use logic and reason. Now they're telling us to think, what are they, the thought police?

      'My right to think (and by extension say, and do) whatever the hell I want' to is the ultimate refuge of the continually oppressed.

    • Peter 1 6.2

      We have a small number of NZers who choose to be ignorant.

      Yes and they vote national.

      • Herodotus 6.2.1

        Not sure taht the Mongrel Mob, Nomads and Head Hunters or Destiny Church would vote national or that they would be a target sector that would be catered for. I thought Destiny Church had Vision NZ as an option.

  7. Gezza 7

    Judith Collins, interviewed by Corin Dann of RNZ on the protest – & other matters – this morn, babbles on, sounding non-committal, vague and waffly, as is her wont & normal modus operandi. National's policy (on vaccine mandates, I think) is being announced this morning.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018819903

    If Ardern blows it now & loses the country's support over their frankly bewildering traffic lights and step level "freedoms" system, still hard for me to envisage Collins' party garnering enuf votes for HER to become PM. Woman's a fruit loop, imo.

    • Patricia Bremner 7.1

      Hi Gezza, Yes Him indoors said the same. Plus, "Judith does not have to do anything, just sound like she could do better" "Could she?' His answer, "No, just NO"

      • Gezza 7.1.1

        Him indoors is clearly not slow. 👍🏼

      • Gezza 7.1.2

        I might add, Patricia, that when Collins was elected leader, I thought, as a non-politically tribal voter, that this was perhaps finally her chance to demonstrate that she had the goods, could be a great PM – that she has always had hidden depths which she could now openly display.

        Turns out Judith has only hidden shallows, & those are what she openly displays.

        • woodart 7.1.2.1

          'hidden shallows" comment of the day!

          • Gezza 7.1.2.1.1

            ☘ Shot bro! 🐧

            Thank you, woodart. ❤️

            Wish I could claim it’s original. But a phrase I purloined from a late good lady friend who absolutely & definitely would’ve used it for Judith. 😀

    • Tricledrown 7.2

      Collins supports mongrel mob, bike gangs and Brian Tamaki's protests .

      New less aggressive attitude from Collins but she hasn't the message .whinge whinge whinge.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    This is 2021. I thought we would have moved past using ableist language and describing people with offensive disability terms. They are terms that have historically been used to label people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    For someone who preaches how understanding and inclusive the "progressive" left is, it would be great if you could be consistent, and think about the way you use language to describe those people you disagree with.

    • woodart 8.1

      hard to be consistent describing a group,no, collection, no, a rabble of people ,who arent consistent with their messages, or aims. do a little bit of homework and you can see that many of these people actually disagreed with each other! a proper? protest has similar gripes, but yesterdays mob was all over the place. possibly should have been forced to spend the night together to exchange conspiracy theories and argue amongst themselves.

      • Enough is Enough 8.1.1

        Just don't use offensive disability terms, in the same way you don't use offensive racial or gender terms.

    • Macro 8.2

      I call them "anti-vaccination pricks" – which is what they are.

    • Peter 1 8.3

      A fuckwit is still a fuckwit no matter how you put it.

    • mickysavage 8.4

      Apologies but I completely lost the urge to be polite.

      • weka 8.4.1

        the problem isn't not being polite, it's the ways language use impacts on people outside of the context the word is being used in.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Substantially agree with Micky’s take on this.

    Yes, freedom of assembly, speech and association is a big deal and it does have to be supported to a large extent even for a pack of wankers like yesterdays motley crew. As well as the mislead there seems to be a handful of dark manipulative types involved given the claimed Trump links, Eftpos Christians, and the well worn tactic of co-opting dissenters from bona fide existing movements.

    The nexus of neo nazi, green, conspiracists, “Crystal Karens”, alienated Māori, Tractor mob, “gen. never vaccinated” and ACT NZ types, while interesting for politics fans is unstable to state the obvious. COVID is an immediate existential problem for human society and this lot are not helping.

  10. francesca 10

    Absolutely agree Micky

    The recent protests are miles away from the protests I marched on

    These recent ones were a collection of nutty individualistic mantras, spoling for a fight, a muddle of complaints and Qanon type tall tales , as well as the quite genuine complaints against the vaccine mandate.

    Who is trying to gain ground with all this ?Has Tamaki joined forces with some dangerous wannabe like Steve Bannon?

    • SPC 10.1

      We have all probably seen pamphlets in the mail box quoting the Outdoor Party leader Sue Grey about "vaccine" safety and as a lawyer about your rights. They organised the gathering at Waitangi to connect the issue to the one of sovereignty (not just Maori, but anti-UN agenda and the sovereign citizens movement).

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/sovereign-citizens-movement

      • francesca 10.1.1

        libertarianism/anarchism courtesy of the USA

        They'll be invoking the second amendment next.

      • lprent 10.1.2

        We have all probably seen pamphlets in the mail box …

        Hard for anyone to get to my mailbox. It has been in the foyer of locked up apartment block for most of the last few decades. NZ Post and some courier companies have access. No junk mail unless someone pays NZ Post to deliver it.

        When the mailboxes were outside, we used to have to clear a full rubbish bin next to them at least once a week for the 60 mailboxes. It was a bloody relief when we moved them inside away from the mailbox stuffers. These days we're unlucky to get more than 2 bits of mail in a week.

        • woodart 10.1.2.1

          bizarrly enough, I have been getting hand written one full page ,signed letters from a member of the local doorknocking religion(dont ask which one ,because I dont take notice). mentioned this to a n other and was told it was a combination of dog fear(I dont have any) and covid , so these serial pests have gone back to sending letters!addressed to occupant. phew,

  11. UncookedSelachimorpha 11

    Wanting to have all your rights without any thought to responsibilities isn't freedom – it's adolescence.

    • Gezza 11.1

      Got a grin from for that one. Damn straight! 💪🏼

      I had to wonder whether there were quite a few overdue, underdeveloped cerebral cortexes on display in that rather disturbing chaos of a event yesterday.

      • Gezza 11.1.1

        🙄 *from me for that one

      • woodart 11.1.2

        go back and have a look….large amount of mature females … ." you may think what you like ,but I couldnt possibly comment" francis urquhart .

        • Gezza 11.1.2.1

          Just heard on 1ewes at 6 that the four people killed in a dreadful car crash at Levin yesterday were ALL teachers from Devon Intermediate School in New Plymouth – my turangawaewae.

          They were returning home from the day’s big messy antigov protest in Wellington.

          Both teaching staff & pupils are being provided with as much support as the school & authorities can muster.

          So bloody sad. Such a fking waste! Makes me both sad & angry in equal measure.

  12. JO 12

    Watching the online Stuff video of the throng's brave walk behind their Harley marching band, I wished I was there with a very loud megaphone. You only need the beat and the vowels for that chant, it's an involuntary pantomime chorus after that.

    'Wodderya Got?' ('Freee-dum!')

    'Wenuvyer Got it?' ('NOW!')

    If we don’t have a clue, William James gave us this: The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

  13. DukeEll 13

    You might be right about the protests yesterday mickey, flipside of that is some of those people felt that your protests were juvenile, unenlightened and consisted of nothing more than lay-about rent-a-mob activists who'd protest the opening of an envelope if they felt someone listened. I guess those are the dice you roll when you feel protests en masse is a viable option

  14. observer 14

    I encourage everyone to read Toby Manhire's comprehensive coverage in the SpinOff today.

    This is not yet another idle keyboard reckon, it is a collection of evidence based on what these people themselves say and do. It is not good enough to just look away any more. If you don't know what is happening on Telegram and Facebook, there is no excuse not to know. It is only a click away.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/10-11-2021/protest-covid-vaccine-wellington/

    • woodart 14.1

      two conflicting thoughts . protesters re-arrecting barriers. second thought, S.I.S. would have been watching and taking photos. good. GOOD! phuck, Ive joined the thing I hated all my life! conflicted… .nah

    • Anne 14.2

      Thanks for the heads up observer. TM is not exaggerating. It is indeed a profoundly ugly turn of events.

      I saw a photo today of Jacinda Ardern stepping out of… what looked to me like a large bullet proofed SUV. So sad to see it come to this.

      The SIS and the Police have got their work cut out for them. I sincerely hope they succeed in their endeavours to keep people safe.

      • joe90 14.2.1

        Nice to see Matt's getting a bit of a flogging over this.

  15. observer 15

    On the lighter side, they really do keep up with the news …

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    You're on the mark Mickey – and I'm not only disappointed at the danger to our democratic system from the thralls of fourth rate demagogues, but I am disappointed in the quality of wingnuttery. No mention of the orbital mind control lasers or the robot sea monsters! What's wrong with these people? We need better moonbats.

  17. barry 17

    Apart from the lunacy of the message, it is the anger that gets me. I have been in lots of protests in many countries with some very committed people, and I have never seen anything like it. I think the government is right to take precautions, some of the crowd could easily be worked up violence.

  18. joe90 18

    You used to be someone, Naomi. What happened?

  19. Corey Humm 19

    This happens to every second term govt key had the same exact crowd of "rent a mob" burning effigies of him in his second term. Clark called them "haters and wreckers" when they did it to her.

    Bolger/Shipley had people burning effigies of them and much larger protests over austerity and union cutting.

    Everyone protested Lange in his second term

    And everyone protested Muldoon (but he would show up and punch them over)

    Like the TPPA yesterday was less to with the actual issue and a motely crew of assorted groups whose only similarity is they all hate the incumbent.

    Look at the crowds outside parliament yesterday vs the crowds outside parliament for tppa. Look at the signs apart from a couple Trump flags is the same rent a mob of haters and wreckers.

    All it is is a good old fashioned bugger the establishment tantrum. When this anger is channeled against the Tory's the Tory's say it's a bunch of "far left anarchists and Commies" when it's channeled at us we cry "facists"

    All it shows is were in the second term of a govt and that governments no matter how popular initially don't last forever, people get sick of whoever's in power.

    Four years in is where people start to get sick of you. Doesn't mean they won't begrudgingly give you a third it just means you don't excite them and they are "keeping options open" fortunately for labour, there's not a lot of options.

    It's no big deal and yes the glory days of this govt are over but the govt is not, it's now time for Ardern to start giving mp's who came in from 2017/2020 elections cabinet experience, so that when the time comes in 2026 there's a lot of mp's with ministerial experience in opposition, the current cabinet is the old guard and most will resign when the govt changes , we do not want a situation like in 2017 where we have next to no mp's with cabinet experience.

    • observer 19.1

      Sadly, that is exactly the kind of complacent "nothing new here" response that is the problem. Plenty of links to these people and their aims and actions have already been posted here. Inform yourself.

      If you don't want to examine them more closely, that is of course your right. But please don't presume to dismiss those of us who have made the effort to find out what is happening. The concerns are based in reality – the one you choose to avoid.

      Social media in its current form did not exist for the previous governments you mention. No Facebook, no Telegram, no 4 chan etc. It simply is not the same world. The Christchurch massacre should be all the wake-up call anybody needs. Online misinformation and conspiracies kill.

      • Anne 19.1.1

        And let me add to your excellent response:

        I don't recall Muldoon, Lange, Palmer, Moore, Bolger, Shipley, Clark and Key being chauffeured around in bullet proof vehicles.

    • roblogic 19.2

      Whoosh!

      That is the main point of this post going completely over your head. This protest is not like the others.

      They are neo-fascists colonising the language of progressive movements like Rangatiratanga, in order to legitimise their batshit insanity.

  20. georgecom 20

    any freedom protestor might like to take up the option of a one way ticket to china and experience how parts of that country are handling a covid outbreak and try and organise some marches there

  21. Ave Helios 21

    A little story from my personal scrutiny regarding some of the perspectives mentioned in the article above.

    While quarantined at the boarder I phoned the lab at Grafton Hospital, inquiring what they would do with my swab sample. The second time I phoned, reception was vacant, and a lab scientist answered. Having gained some detail on the testing method, I was able to confirm the test methods here in NZ where not comparable with results and methods used in Europe. This correlated with my European nursing family who where saying, "significant false positives – hospital quiet now with elective surgery cancelled." Meanwhile the nations hospitals did look very busy on TV news that evening, but that footage was being broadcast internationally, and later confirmed to be from a hospital in another country.

    These personal experiences and others have opened me to alternative perspectives which often differ from the official understanding as directed by the state. The last 12 months have been challenging and self-reflective, a journey of healing, as I have gained awareness of the confliction between my emotional and cognitive responses. Where ever you are on your personal journey, best wishes and God's blessings.

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