The right to protest

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 am, February 13th, 2022 - 131 comments
Categories: blogs, covid-19, Deep stuff, facebook, health, human rights, Media, Social issues, trevor mallard - Tags:

Over the years I have been on many protests.  Springbok tour, climate change, anti nuclear, Pro Palestine, Maori wards for Tamaki Makaurau, anti mining, even those against the TPPA.  They all are similar but different, good ones have some common features.  Witty intelligent signs, a feeling of unity, the meeting of long term contacts and friends and regular catch ups with hard core protesters such as Penny Bright, god bless her.

Music is often important, I can still recall vividly Herb’s French Letter being played at an anti nuclear protest in the early 1980s while someone sporting a huge Robert Muldoon head mask danced.  And there is so much relevant music, a desire for a better planet and a desire to create beautiful music appear to go hand in hand.

And a purpose and agreed goals were important, whether it was education of the general population or symbolic disruption of specific events such as Springbok tour games.  When Nelson Mandela thanked the anti tour leaders and said “You elected to brave the batons and pronounce that New Zealand could not be free when other human beings were being subjected to a legalised and cruel system of racial domination” it really brought home to me how important the Springbok protests were.

Like many of you I have been following recent events in Wellington.  At one level it feels so familiar, Tracy Chapman’s talking ’bout a revolution booming out, ordinary people raging against the machine, and a collective response to a perceived injustice, part of me almost wants to be there in support.  Almost.

But dig further and sympathy evaporates.

For a start who would bring their kids onto a protest which is designed to be confronted by the authorities?  And abusing teenage girls for wearing masks is not the sort of behaviour that a public relations expert would recommend.  Nor threatening harm or worse to elected representatives and the media.

And stuffing up the city’s bus network?  Disrupting ordinary people’s ability to travel is not high on the list of actions designed to endear your movement to others.

As for their complaints about the police’s behaviour all I can say is that as a Springbok tour veteran who had the misfortune to witness the Red Squad at its worst the current police approach is remarkably restrained.  Senior police officers talk about the need to respect the right to protest and this is exactly what they are doing.

There have been some very good pieces written on the protests which I invite you to read.

Morgan Godfrey in the Guardian said this:

In normal circumstances protesters arrive in the capital with a concrete demand whether it’s ending student fees, repealing the Foreshore and Seabed Act, or opposing the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. But the “freedom” convoy came to town as simple catharsis. There were the anti-vaxxers and anti-mandates types, who range from American-style conspiracists to misguided anarchists, but alongside those familiar archetypes were evangelical church leaders, Steve Bannon-backed Counterspin media “journalists”, and people calling for tino rangatiratanga (Māori sovereignty).

Like the Occupy movement, the group was leaderless. But not out of principle or ideology. It’s just the convoy couldn’t agree on anything because most of them were in Wellington to pursue their personal fantasies and grievances. That meant negotiation was impossible. The government was in no position to meet their demands because they were endless and, frankly, psychotic. An end to paediatric vaccinations. The execution of journalists. An end to vaccine mandates. The execution of academics. An end to mask mandates. The execution of health workers. It felt vaguely Trumpian in that a good number of the convoy were clearly taking pleasure in the spectacle of it – the threat of violence, the collective thrill of causing a scene in the most temperamentally conservative of countries.

Bernard Hickey in Spinoff said this about the protest:

They flew Trump flags, spouted QAnon conspiracy theories about global elites running child trafficking rings and demanded “freedom” to spread a deadly disease and paralyse a health system that is barely able to deal with the illnesses of the 96% of their fellow adult citizens who got vaccinated and wear masks in public. They threw eggs at students for wearing masks.

They demanded their “right” to opt out of the social contract to try to look after those around us in exchange for protection from bigger threats, under democratically agreed laws, to get on with our lives in peace, health and safety. We pay taxes and vote for governments and laws with the understanding we’ll be protected from external and internal threats to life and liberty.

That’s the deal, and for the past three days these protesters have broken it repeatedly, aggressively, violently and without any sense of empathy for those trying to go about their daily lives and jobs. And without consequence. Protestors happily sat and blocked traffic and pedestrians for hours on end. They harassed and abused others without a police officer in sight on Tuesday. By Wednesday, the police in their high vis vests were there, but only after loud and repeated threats of a plan to “storm” parliament. Even yesterday, the police were playing rock, paper, scissors with protesters on the front line. Some kind soul even arranged for portaloos for the protesters to do their own personal business in peace.

His description of the causes is prescient:

… a significant portion of the population get most of their information and have most of their public debates in online landscapes of misinformation, disinformation and hyper-emotion. These debates are often purely performative demonstrations of tribal fealty and rarely become genuine attempts to understand and come to some new joint position.

This is no accident. The algorithms developed by Facebook and Google’s YouTube are designed to amplify the most engaging comments, news and videos. The ones that attract the most likes and shares. The most hate and love. The most extreme positions. Since the widespread distribution and adoption of smart phones, public debate has become ever more extreme.

Apparently normal, functional people who would seem rational colleagues and family members appear to slide down holes into plainly wrong views about politics, health, technology and science. It is a collective descent into madness, that often goes in tandem with, and can worsen, mental illness.

And Mark Daalder in Newsroom provides this disturbing description of the background forces at play.  He notes that the Canadian Trucker’s convoy was traced back to a Q Anon activist.  Some people only want to see the world burn.

His article says this:

Hattotuwa said the Covid-19 misinformation pages he tracks on Facebook had more interactions on Thursday than the mainstream media pages – and nearly as many video views. The leading misinformation page, run by anti-vaxxer Chantelle Baker, garnered more video views with five posts than the leading media page, the NZ Herald, got with 73.

“I don’t think people realise how consequential Thursday was. Not so much for what happened in front of the Beehive, though arguably that’s what people are most fixated on. But it’s the informational landscape. It’s extraordinary,” he said.

“Chantelle Baker is, with five videos, generating more video views than 73 videos put out by NZ Herald in the same 24-hour period. There are dynamics here that are unprecedented. You are talking about a small misinfo/disinfo community who are pushing out real-time footage and coverage and framing about something that is happening that is fundamentally different to what the mainstream media is putting out.

“And they are being engaged on parallel and par with the mainstream media who obviously have a larger following. There’s something going on here that’s actually quite disturbing in terms of splintered realities and the lack of a shared narrative.”

These splintered realities risk setting us on the course towards splintered societies, Hattotuwa said.

“There are three different ways the convoy is being perceived and I cannot stress that enough. There is nothing that remotely connects what Counterspin is putting out about the convoy, in real time, to what the convoy’s chatter on Zello is, like for example at the start of Thursday. It’s totally disconnected.

“This is hitting, hard, social cohesion right now. It’s a very sophisticated playbook. It is not original because it has been played out in developing countries like mine and also on both sides of the Atlantic, but here, it’s playing out right now.”

If you want to see how bonkers some of the beliefs are check out this powerpoint which was highlighted in David Farrier’s blogpost.  The legal advice offered is of the quality displayed by Brett Power in his High Court application to have Andrew Little arrested.  It reads like someone was on a Coromandel Gold bender.  The application was uncerimoniously thrown out by the High Court.

The protestors have some really way out there ideas, have threatened politicians with detention, bodily harm and worse, abused and threatened the media, and have disrupted a major city.

The right to protest is important but it has limits.  Actual threats of harm are normally on the wrong side of the line.  And having a rational debate with them?  The level of removal from conventional thought processes displayed is normally cause for medical intervention.

Trevor Mallard upped the ante last night by, checks notes, playing Barry Manilow and the Macarena at full volume and turning on the sprinklers.  Some have interepreted this as a full on attack on the right to protest and an invitation to insurrection.  I think a certain amount of reflection, and well as a giggle, are more appropriate.  If the protestors are willing to take symbolic action then Mallard is perfectly entitled to do the same.

Hopefully this protest peters out.  If not it looks like we have a viable Trump like movement for who reason and understanding are not in their playbook.  Putin must be grinning from ear to ear.

Update:  Here is the list of the protestors’ demands.

131 comments on “The right to protest ”

  1. Ad 1

    I don't mind the incoherence. I don't even mind the foreign influence. I've seen sufficient incoherence and foreign ideological influence on most leftie marches.

    Maybe with less mud and it never involved tenting with children in the rain.

    This government has suspended or controlled too many civic rights for too long because the COVID crisis has gone on too long. Ardern knows it which is why you saw her rolling back many controls just last week.

    We need this government to show us how life will improve not just how they are managing us.

    The polls show they are running out of time to do so.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      How would you compare the Government's performance to that of Australia, the US and the UK and China? I appreciate we have had to endure severe disruption but this is not a situation that we can just ignore.

    • lprent 1.2

      Ardern knows it which is why you saw her rolling back many controls just last week.

      Complete self-serving bullshit. I'm aware that you have some crazed idea about 'freedoms' and NZBIORA that isn't shared by either the Health Act or the NZBORA Act (perhaps you should read them some time)

      The controls you're referring to were due to be rolled back in December as the delta cases dropped back. They were retrained because it was pretty obvious that the we were going to get the omicron wave, and the MoH were anxious to get the booster campaign going to deal with the possible fading responses to omicron. Turns out the T-Cell responses weren't affected as much as feared. They appear to not look at the spike protein – explains a lot about it.

      We need this government to show us how life will improve not just how they are managing us.

      Unfortunately virus pandemics don’t obey polls, governments, or even stupidity except as an opportunity or impediment to spreading. If you want to see instances of all three providing opportunities for spread, then look back to the political history of 1918-1922 influenza pandemic. 

      Life will improve as we get a better societal response to the pandemic. Looking at the complaints of the hospo industry over the last few weeks, I see some cause for hope. Most voters are sensibly avoiding risky situations.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        Ardern made substantial changes just last week. Did you miss them?

        New Zealand border will open in stages from end of February, Jacinda Ardern announces | New Zealand | The Guardian

        If the government can manage a pandemic over two years, it can show what New Zealand will look like in the transition out of it. It has done so with every single other communicable disease we've had since the 1930s. So you are flat wrong.

        [link and formatting tidied up a bit]

        • lprent

          FFS: Did you miss this on 21 December 2021?

          “To slow the rapid spread we have seen overseas, we are pushing out the start of non-MIQ travel until the end of February 2022”, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.

          That in itself was to change a previous plan for a border opening in January when it was anticipated that the delta wave would have probably been controlled.

          So you're somehow claiming that a postponed border opening is a new policy – not just implementing the existing policy?

          • Ad

            It wasa big change and put to bed huge political pressure that had built up for weeks.

            You don't get to decide whether a protest is worthy or not. Thank God.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              It was a 'big change' that was decided months before , and wisely and 'abundance of caution' was shifted in time scale ( from Mid Jan to Mid Dec)

              24 November 2021 beehive.govt nz

              • Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022

              Just saying you got it wrong is fine

              • lprent

                I knew that there was an earlier one. So pretty much a shift of 6 weeks or so for Omicron. Far better than the political stupidity that Morrison did in Aussie – and which appears likely to bite him in the election in May. This was a good summary of the political costs of political pig-headed stupidity at the end of Jan.

                It is strange to think this could have been day one of a federal election campaign.

                If things had panned out much differently over the summer, Scott Morrison might have spent Sunday having morning tea with the Governor-General and holding a press conference in the Prime Minister's courtyard, after firing the starting gun for a vote on March 5.

                In that scenario, the writs would have likely been issued today and the party leaders would already be indulging in made-for-media campaign stunts in the most marginal electorates.

                Instead, some backbenchers who serve those seats are now nervous, after waking up to a Newspoll in The Australian newspaper showing support for the Coalition has fallen to its lowest levels since 2018.

                On a two-party preferred basis, the government trails 56-44.

                It's not entirely unexpected.

                The government had hoped for something of a reset over Christmas and early January and, to state the bleeding obvious, it did not go to plan.

                Completely unlike the government here who looked at the situation, bit the bullet and did the required changes to combat a shifting pandemic. The November plan got shifted forward 6 weeks until the government was reasonably sure that they had covered the most vulnerable with a booster shot campaign. If you read these constraints, they are pretty much the same as was have been just announced. Only the date has changed.

                24 November 2021 beehive.govt nz

                “For details around when travellers can enter New Zealand without going into MIQ:

                • Step 1 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current settings from Australia from 11.59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days)
                • Step 2 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from all but Very High-Risk countries, from 11.59pm Sunday 13 February.
                • Step 3 – opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals (possibly staged by visa category), from 30 April onwards

                “Our dates for opening of borders logically follows the bedding in of the traffic light system, the lifting of the Auckland border, time for regions to get their vaccination rates higher still and for booster shots to be rolled out.

                “Further details on how self-isolation will be implemented will be made available in December, and include guidance on how people can travel from their arrival airport to their location of self-isolation and requirements for the places where they can self-isolate.

                “This does not mean the end of MIQ as a system, which was always intended to be temporary at this scale and has served us incredibly well – with more than 190,000 people brought home since our borders closed in March 2020.

                “There will continue to be role for it in the foreseeable future.”

                Frankly a few people waffling about freedom against a virus that just treats it as an excuse to breed more is hardly a political trade off. The primary facet was that the role of government in a pandemic is to safeguard the whole of population rather than make everyone happy.

                They are there to safeguard the freedom from dying of getting injured by a frigging virus. The balance is against the freedom of association where by a virus can spread.

                Almost everyone, apart from some with an unbalanced view of what freedom is, is aware of that balance.

                The biggest problem as I alluded to in my original reply is that most of those who have these strange ideas about freedoms and human rights simply don't read the legislation.

                The Health Act 1956 and the Pandemic Response Act 2006 have a series of measures in it that were learnt the hard way back in 1918 and later epidemics about constraining the spread of viruses.

                NZBORA 1991 doesn't override existing legislation. It provides a way to evaluate the new and updated legislation and has guidelines to guide courts when unusual events not considered in legislation show up.

                Sure the Supreme Court has now started started the process of being able to push NZBORA questions back to parliament

                Andrew Geddis and Sarah Jocelyn: Is the NZ Supreme Court Aligning the NZBORA with the HRA? – UK Constitutional Law Association

                That hasn't made it into our legislation yet. It was inevitable that the inequities of the 3 Strikes legislation was going to force that to happen. But it will make the first major change in the use of NZBORA for 3 decades. It looks like a good constraint on the power of parliament.

                • Poission

                  Morrison changed tack on headwinds in WA with both significantly low polling,and a quiet word from his sponsors (the mining companies) and said they were right to maintain a hard border in WA.

                  The village idiot in NSW ( of which they seem to have as a prerequisite for becoming premier) having lost 3 out of 4 seats in yesterdays by elections denied that his governments approach on the pandemic was a factor.


                  • lprent

                    ScoMo was mouthing off about the WA border, and then stopped. I thought it was the liberals from there wanting retain their seats. Mind you that is probably the same thing. The border in WA makes perfect sense for mining.

                    …having lost 3 out of 4 seats in yesterdays by elections denied that his governments approach on the pandemic was a factor.

                    I saw that. It does appear to be pretty delusional.

        • Poission

          50 % more Kiwis still want enhanced border controls,removing miq is against public opinion.

          International holidays are not a fundamental human necessity.

        • Alexander

          You will find that lprent specifically addressed your points about the announcement last week.

          Maybe you missed it because you didn’t bother to read it. This is simply the detail for the rescheduled reconnecting NZ framework from last year now we have an idea about omicron.

          the government was unable to tell the country the exact timeline for covid-19 in March 2020 when it first hit our shores. And the virus won’t listen to our instructions about when it has to die out.

          When on a population equvalent basis we are sitting here with deaths in the 50’s vs deaths in the 11,000 range (US or UK rates applied to our population size) I feel the government has (in general) made the right calls to protect kiwis. The response act has a subset clause requiring confirmation by parliament to continue and even if the government has a majority the opposition can use their access to media to raise a huge stink if they think the act doesn’t need to be continued.

          good luck with your reading.


          • Ad

            You guys call it "simply the detail" of a previous announcement.

            Whereas most of New Zealand saw it for what it was: both Hipkins and Ardern making a significant alteration to previous plans following two weeks of intense media scrutiny and another fall in the polls.

            You need less reading and more education in politics.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              I see , so its only you can read the tea leaves properly and now speak for 'most of NZ'

              You speak only for your deluded self

              • Ad

                If Ardern wasn't aware of majority opinion she would not have altered the dates. She understands majority opinion well.

                Labour's polls have dropped 15% in a year.

                Ardern can count.

                • lprent

                  Sure she can. They are flawed indicators and best read for trends. The problem is that you're comparing a poll taken off a election just won, and a an opposition that was (too put it mildly) chaotic. It is cherry-picking to suit your narrative.

                  The left-right balance of the polls for parties liable to get into parliament is basically the same as it was 3 years ago.

                  How did the subsequent election go?

                  That is probably even more valid a cherry-pick. The main difference is that National currently don't look as hopeless as it did in Feb 2021.

                  The electorate tends to look at the choices available close to election time, based on the overall performance in the previous year. They are interested in who they trust to carry the country forward. This is particularly the case in NZ with MMP where total vote above the threshold counts more and where we have less of a marginal seat problem like Australia.

                  Your problem appears to be to have a very short-term focus on current polling mid-term when polling traditionally shows grouchy voters – rather than how the electorate actually votes coming into an election.

                  I'll take a bet that neither the NZLP nor National (now that it seems to pulling itself together more) will be taking the same mistake. Which is why there has been a notable lack of interest in any party in parliament supporting the current protests. There are few votes in it and most of them will flock off elsewhere at a moments notice. It is hard to win an election with that kind of support – it puts other voters off.

                  There is a reason why NZ First and Act have a massively fluctuating vote over decades, whole realistic political parties like the Greens, NZLP and National have far fewer swings. You don’t win elections with protest voting.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            And the virus won’t listen to our instructions about when it has to die out.

            Yep – human exceptionalism at play – no stupid virus (or politician or public health service) is going to tell me what I can and can't do. Problem is viruses are stupid (can't reason with them), and COVID-19 is (also) exceptional – if it could think then it would certainly be cheering the 'protesters' on. Yes, many people are tired, and yes, many millions are dead. How easy we choose to make things for the virus from now on will determine many outcomes.

            The Omicron wave appears to have peaked globally, with the number of active cases just beginning to decrease from a new maximum (76 million), so expect daily deaths (at a local peak of ~10,700 (average)) to stabilise and then decrease gradually. I do hope this is the last variant of interest that the global community faces during this pandemic; but the virus doesn't 'care' about human aspirations (political and otherwise), so my hope will be accompanied by prudent health precautions for the foreseeable future.

    • georgecom 1.3

      not really dude. some individual rights have been curtailed and some requirements have been imposed on people, for sure. it hasn't been for "too long" though. With no actual threat or concern it would be "too long", however with covid continuing it's merry way such measures were necessary. We can debate about the extent and limits of some of them, a bit more of this and a bit less of that. 10 days home self isolation vs 14 days, kiwis from Aus being allowed to return 1 feb or 1 march 2022 without MIQ.

      The long slow Delta grind and second half of last year and the arrival of Omicron have rendered the debate amongst the sane and reasonable as being around the edges rather than the requirement for curtailing rights and imposing restrictions. I would predict that in 10 or 20 years into the future, should we return to some semblance of normality reasonably soon, history will treat such debates as fairly minor details. MP's such as Chris Bishop will be seen as the "Opposition Spokesperson on Straining the Gnat".

      As for your comment on hope, yes, everyone is looking and wanting some hope – that saying from Norm Kirk that people need a place to live, food, clothing and something to hope for. That's in the hands of covid as much as anything else though. And some of that hope rests in how the ongoing mutation of the virus works its way out.

  2. Visubversa 2

    I see someone waving an "Alex Jones" sign. Infowars etc. Sheer Trumpery.

    • Shanreagh 2.1

      And the Gadsden flag was there.

      "In the 2000s, the phrase became associated with a variety of libertarian, conservative, gun-rights, or far-right political groups as way to express their beliefs.


      In the 2000–10s, don’t tread on me—and the broader symbolism of Gadsden flag—became increasingly politicized. It was adopted by conservative and libertarian groups, including the Tea Party in 2009 in their platform for small government and lower taxes.

      Because some supporters of these groups have been accused of racism, their critics view the flag and motto as an expression of bigotry. In 2014, for instance, a Black US federal employee felt discriminated against by a coworker who wore a hat with the Gadsden imagery. The employee wrote that Christopher Gadsden was a “slave trader & owner of slaves,” and that his flag had become a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.” "

      They are us……indeed not.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    The problem is protest is usually a very elaborate ritual, where each side understands the anticipated actions of the other. As long as each side understands what the boundaries are for it, the other side respects it, then this becomes an ongoing part of the political process. There is symbolism involved, and there is a response involved.

    People calling for engagement with these protesters don't grasp this ritual element to democratic protest. When these ritual elements are disregarded then suddenly all bets are off and the chance of violence goes sky high – especially as the state has the de jure and de facto monopoly on violence, and violent resistance to the state is therefore literally rebellion by definition, and rebellion is met with crushing violence. Hence, the violence of the Springbok tour – although even then, anyone who was there will know significant ritualised behaviour in confrontations instantly recognisable to any anthrpologist who has studied tribal warfare took place.

    That is why engagement with the protesters in futile. they are not there to partake in the eleaborate rituals of democracy and protest. Their demands are ludicrous and pompous abrogations of the states power which are not amenable to sensible discussion except in terms of some kind of coup. Given they are being egged on by a fifth column of (usually) marginalised traitors who explicitly seek to challenge our democracy and this refusla to engage in the normalised behaviours of a protest, the potential for this to suddenly turn into a violent riot remains high.

    • mickysavage 3.1


      As an example I do not understand how dialogue with Brett Power would work. He thinks that the vaccine is a genetic altering serum and wants to arrest and detain Andrew Little. The prospects of a respectful dialogue with him that results in mutual education appear to be low.

      • Poission 3.1.1

        The protestors who are there,look like a normal section of NZ society.

        Their reaction to childish pranks from a well known villan,will bring more support not less ( everyone likes to support the underdog)

        • CrimzonGhost

          They looked like a bunch of white trash bogan "lumpenproletariat" with some labour aristocracy/semi-self employed (tradies/contractors/small traders) thrown in, washed up gypsy ex hippies, druggies/methheads and Maori hoodwinked by a "religious" charlatan. NZ has 30% obese but I reckon at least 50% I saw obese. Hardly repping most of NZ.

      • weka 3.1.2

        As an example I do not understand how dialogue with Brett Power would work. He thinks that the vaccine is a genetic altering serum and wants to arrest and detain Andrew Little. The prospects of a respectful dialogue with him that results in mutual education appear to be low.

        Don't dialogue with Power, talk to the people who are being exposed to his ideas for the first time, the ones who feel better from listening to him. Calling them in before they get radicalised is the task.

      • lprent 3.1.3

        The crown and the police should use the strategy of happily letting him use a private prosecution and frivolous cases for as long as he likes.

        Then when he inevitably loses because basically he is legally stupid, bankrupt him for unpaid court costs.

        I see that unlike Alp, he has never been bankrupt here. Perhaps it is time that he should be.

        That sounds like about the only useful ‘conversation’ to have with a ‘sovereign person’. The one about responsibilities and of actually paying incurred debts

    • Ad 3.2

      Is it a requirement they bring rectangular cucumber sandwiches with dill, before you deign a wee chat?

      It's Mabo. It's the vibe.

      • Matiri 3.2.1

        Proper cucumber sandwiches should be triangular not rectangular.

        • Shanreagh

          I agree, we shouldn't negotiate with ruffians who don't know this. Also to be accompanied by tea in fine china definitely not coffee in mugs.

          • Matiri

            Made with loose tea, none of those non-compostable tea bags. The ruffians of the composting world.

            • Shanreagh

              Oh definitely loose tea and a pre warmed teapot.

              My aunt (bless her) used to have a jug or matching hot water container (depending on which teaset she was using) and she would go around the company saying 'More hot? More Hot?. And small shy people going round offering the sandwiches and cakes…….

              So we need an Aunty person to do that as well, not sure about the small shy people.

              Actually good manners in an unexpected situation will often disconcert. wink

    • Ross 3.3

      Their demands are ludicrous

      "Ensure there is fully informed consent required by parents and guardians…"

      You could at least take the time to read their demands. And then read section 20 of the Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994, which states that everyone has the right to be fully informed before choosing a health care procedure. The Act states that “no health care procedure shall be carried out without informed consent”.

      The protesters are wanting something that is enshrined by law. Madness, I tell ya! The nerve of those protesters.

      • mickysavage 3.3.1

        I did. That is why I posted the list. Let's see …

        "End all restrictive traffic light systems …"

        "investigate any public service misconduct"

        "reinstate and compensate those who have lost their jobs"

        "revoke all Covid-19 related Government legislatures/acts"

        This is pie in the sky stuff and is basically arguing for no public health response.

        As for your claim about the HDCOA it prescribes what the Commissioner should put in his code. It does not create a right. For that you have to go to the NZBOR. The Courts have looked at the mandate in various cases and upheld the Government's policy each time.

        There is no legal requirement to be vaccinated. There are public health measures being taken to minimise the spread of the disease however and people who are not vaccinated may find themselves on the wrong side of the line there.

        • weka

          I wasn't asked for informed consent both times I was vaccinated. I doubt that most people are for children either. Not that this is unique to vaccination, but it is still a problem in NZ despite having clear informed consent guidelines. It gets treated as a nice to have by the health system.

          • observer

            There is a checklist, they went through it with me. And I've never heard of anyone not having that experience.

          • Shanreagh

            I had to sign that I consented all the times I was there……

            • weka

              Again, not everyone, and signing a firm isn’t informed consent.

              • Shanreagh

                I think we have had this convo before. I was sent a swag of info about the vaccine in the mail before the appointment along with a sheet it had to take in. before I even applied for an appointment I looked on line at the pro/cons of being vaccinated. Once I knew when the vax was I looked up the side effects and also carefully checked that I was able to have it with the meds I am on. Got to vax centre, went passed several people who asked me various things and then to a person who asked me if I was happy to go ahead, had I any questions, I did and asked it, signed the form then waited…..had injection then left. This was repeated for the second one though they specifically asked whether I had any concerns about the first one, said no…….

                This falls into what I call informed consent. Between the info leaflet, my questions and my Googling the meds and side effects I felt I had more than enough info on which to make a decision.

                • weka

                  are you honestly suggesting that your personal experience can be extrapolated to the whole country? Are you saying that you don't believe informed consent is an issue in NZ healthcare?

          • Patricia 2

            Weka – did you willingly go to into the vaccine centre / doctor ? Did you give them your name / NHI number ? Date of birth ? Why did you think you were at that place ?

            I was asked what I was there for when I first gave my name and NHI number. Then asked again by the vaccinator.

          • mickysavage

            Turning up to a vaccination centre is probably deemed as consent. I anticipate you did not get a vaccination from your doctor?

        • Ross

          This is pie in the sky stuff and is basically arguing for no public health response

          That couldn't be further from the truth.

          Hundreds of people die from the flu each year. We have a vaccine for the flu that is available each year. (We also have COVID vaccines.) I wouldn't classify that as no public health response. Of course, we don't lockdown the country or introduce mandates or passes to combat the flu. We accept that hundreds will die. We also accept that there is an increased risk of heart attack and other serious side effects from the flu.

          You ignore the point raised previously that the Government's response seems to have been predicated on the Health Ministry's pandemic plan (2017) which stated that 38,000 people would die over 8 weeks. That was never going to apply to COVID because the case fatality rate was much lower. And even on the basis of 38,000 possible deaths, the Health Ministry never argued for mandates, vaccine passes or lockdowns.

          When the facts change, I change my mind. If only the Government was so open-minded.

          • mickysavage

            The UK and US experience suggests that the death count would be over 10,000. Does this make a difference? 38,000 not acceptable but 10,000 ok?

            • Ross


              It isn't clear where you get the figure of 10,000 from. Remember the 50,000 cases by Waitangi Day? You shouldn't believe the hype.

              You've ignored the costs of the Government's policies. Up to two million fewer expected life years, increases to surgical waiting lists (thank goodness for morphine), mammograms deferred, harm to mental health (especially of young people), soaring Crown debt, etc, etc.

              In other words, the Government's policies have seemingly imposed significant costs. Meanwhile, the benefits of lockdown seem to have been exaggerated.

              Chaudhry et al. (2020), in an exploratory analysis of data on COVID-19-related deaths across 50 countries, find no association between the degree of lockdown and death rates. Similarly, in the only empirical assessment of its kind to date that takes the endogeneity of policy responses into account, Born et al. (2020) use a synthetic control method to suggest that Sweden’s decision not to lock down society did not contribute substantially to its death toll. They thus question the widely held political belief that lockdowns must have effectively suppressed the spread of the virus. A similar question is raised by, for example, Atkeson et al. (2020) and De Larochelambert et al. (2020), both of which find no difference in mortality development across different mitigation and lockdown strategies.

              The lockdowns in most Western countries have thrown the world into the most severe recession since World War II and the most rapidly developing recession ever seen in mature market economies. They have also caused an erosion of fundamental rights and the separation of powers in large part of the world as both democratic and autocratic regimes have misused their emergency powers and ignored constitutional limits to policy making (Bjørnskov and Voigt 2020). It is therefore important to evaluate whether and to which extent the lockdowns have worked as officially intended: to suppress the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 virus and prevent deaths associated with it.

              Comparing weekly mortality in 24 European countries, the findings in this paper suggest that more severe lockdown policies have not been associated with lower mortality. In other words, the lockdowns have not worked as intended.

              The New Zealand Government should have the maturity to admit its mistakes and to rescind vaccine mandates and passes. At the same time, it should acknowledge that lockdowns did not work as intended and will not be used again. An announcement of this sort tomorrow should quickly see the end of the protest in Wellington. Alas, our political leaders will continue to ignore the science and will, for political reasons, continue to demonise the protesters.




              • McFlock

                An announcement that unicorns exist might have a similar result, but that wouldn't be true, either.

      • observer 3.3.2

        So you believe that the vast majority of front line health workers in NZ, including GPs, nurses and so on, are violating the fundamental principle of informed consent.

        They are administering the vaccinations.

        When I got mine they went to great lengths with a set of questions to ensure I gave informed consent. And then I did. Didn't you?

        • Ross

          You were told about the trial results showing that there was a possible risk of Bell's Palsy?

          The following appeared appeared in The Lancet, a British medical journal.

          “Publicly available data from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine trials suggest an imbalance in the incidence of Bell’s palsy following vaccination compared with the placebo arm of each trial. Combining data from both trials, among nearly 40000 vaccine arm participants, there were seven Bell’s palsy cases compared with one Bell’s palsy case among placebo arm participants. … the observed incidence of Bell’s palsy in the vaccine arms is between 3·5-times and 7-times higher than would be expected in the general population. This finding signals a potential safety phenomenon.

          If you choose not to be informed, that is on you. But informed consent is a legal right to which everyone is entitled.

          And what about the Norwegian expert findings into premature deaths among vaccinated people in rest homes?

          The Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine is “likely” to have been responsible for at least 10 deaths of frail elderly people in nursing homes in Norway, an expert review commissioned by the Norwegian Medicines Agency has concluded.

          The review reported on 19 May and concluded that a causal link between the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and death was considered “likely” in 10 of the 100 cases, “possible” in 26 cases, and “unlikely” in 59 cases. The remaining five were deemed “unclassifiable".

          That sounds like information that elderly people here might have found useful. Why would we want to withhold iimportant information from health consumers?

    • Shanreagh 3.4

      A key point Sanctuary is that in protests then negotiations of old, both sides knew the ritual. And negotiations was a key part to a protest and knowledge of the steps that were adopted by both sides.

      'That is why engagement with the protesters in futile. they are not there to partake in the eleaborate rituals of democracy and protest.

      If they do participate who they put up as negotiators and who they leave behind, filling the adviser role is important.

  4. gsays 4

    I have just finished John A Lee's book Simple on a Soapbox.

    In the last chapter, there is a couple of lines that may help some of the more bewildered here, when, thinking about the activists at Parliament, wanting to know why?

    Why are they in the wind and rain and mud?

    "The odds are on the side of God even if Lucifer has a soap-box. The story of David and Goliath is an exaggeration, a David rarely wins; but his actions fertilise, leaven, sustain movement, cause Goliath to pause."

    All of that plus the uplifting effect that coming together, organising, singing, eating can give. Dear I say it, demonstrating socialism.

    • Ad 4.1

      Oldie but a goodie.

    • Andrew Miller 4.2

      I understand why you’d like to project that onto what’s going outside Parliament right now, but the reality is it isn’t and that will remain the case despite whatever self serving way you choose to spin it in your own head.

      It’s patently obvious that this has nothing to do with anything a decent left should have a bar of, but apparently that doesn’t seem to stop some choosing to project there own reality onto it.

      Some truly odious people see this an opportunity to significantly advance their repugnant agenda and when you’re that committed, what’s getting a bit wet…

      • observer 4.2.1

        But hang on, we all learned in school that a true socialist expresses solidarity by going into the Vic Uni bookshop and berating the staff for wearing masks, in such an obnoxious and threatening manner that they are forced to close …

        Comrades, stand together against those exercising their freedom to wear masks in a pandemic, for they are the running dogs of imperialism!

  5. tsmithfield 5

    I think the protesters are going to get, at the very least, grudging admiration from most of NZ society if they can last there in the extreme weather at the moment.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Admiration? No, I wouldn't say 'admiration,' tsmithfield. I wouldn't say that at all.

    • Blade 5.2

      Yes, I agree. Although how much admiration is hard to quantify.

      I know people, myself included, who have had to admit some admiration for John Minto. He wasn't a flash in the pan. He saw his protest through till the end.

      And he had the honestly to say the South Africa he fought for isn't the South Africa we have at present.

  6. Reality 6

    Whatever they are protesting about it does not give them any right to vandalise property, create a health hazard with their mess, totally disrupt legitimate movement by local citizens, to demand they get their wish to infect others, and for the government to do whatever they demand. They are concerned about their "rights" but show zero interest in their responsibility as a member of society. The photo of a toddler crawling on the ground in the wet and mud says it all.

    • DukeEll 6.1

      Christ, remember when climate action blockaded auckland motorways? The fawning adoration of some on here about denying people the legitimate right to move around freely was fine, if only those same people recognised others could then do the same.

  7. dv 7

    Have most/all of the signs gone?

  8. An interesting list of demands from "the people of New Zealand".

    I am picking that they erred there and should have put "from the 2%ers of New Zealand.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Tip of the iceberg they will say.

      When its really just flotsam

      • CrimzonGhost 8.1.1

        Right on scum floating to the surface after being stirred up by Russian and Chinese Bots and paid provacateurs in social media.

        • Macro

          Many troll farms in Macedonia

          According to an internal Facebook report written in late 2019 and leaked to MIT Technology Review, troll farms were reaching 140 million users every month. Three-quarters of these users had never followed any of the pages: they’d had the content thrust upon them by Facebook’s engagement-hungry content-recommendation system.

          “Our platform has given the largest voice in the African American community to a handful of bad actors, who, based on their media production practices, have never had an interaction with an African American,” wrote the report’s author, a former senior-level data scientist at Facebook. “Instead of users choosing to receive content from these actors, it is our platform that is choosing to give [these troll farms] an enormous reach.”

          And from the Review linked to in the quote above:

          • The troll farm pages also combined to form:
            • the largest Christian American page on Facebook, 20 times larger than the next largest—reaching 75 million US users monthly, 95% of whom had never followed any of the pages.
            • the largest African-American page on Facebook, three times larger than the next largest—reaching 30 million US users monthly, 85% of whom had never followed any of the pages.
            • the second-largest Native American page on Facebook, reaching 400,000 users monthly, 90% of whom had never followed any of the pages.
            • the fifth-largest women’s page on Facebook, reaching 60 million US users monthly, 90% of whom had never followed any of the pages.
          • Troll farms primarily affect the US but also target the UK, Australia, India, and Central and South American countries.
  9. Ad 9

    Time to arrest people for being scruffy, wet, and bringing dirt into the House.

    • Andrew Miller 9.1

      Yes, of course that’s the worst of what’s gone on…

      The abuse of children, workers and the public going about their business and threats up to an including death threats, destruction of public property, prevention of people going about their lawful business is all an invention of the lamestream media.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Have people been arrested for any of that?

        • Andrew Miller

          Sadly probably not, but what exactly is your argument? That any/every protestor should be allowed to pitch a tent on the lawns of parliament and refuse to leave when issue with a trespass notice or that there’s something special about this protest and that the normal laws shouldn’t apply?

  10. swordfish 10

    I can still recall vividly Herb’s French Letter being played at an anti nuclear protest in the early 1980s

    I can still recall vividly watching a small cabal of anti-nuke protesters with precisely zero discernable acting talent inflict horrendously pompous Street Theatre on other protesters & innocent passers-by. They knew they had a captive audience & they were determined to make them suffer.

    Still have nightmares about that … it was brutal … they were like a bewildered mix of Rik from The Young Ones & the sort of New Age fantasists that spend enormous chunks of their weighty inheritance on crystals in order to channel some sort of mysterious "universal energies".

    Witnessing massively over-indulged Upper-Middle proto-Woke Hippies in Marcel Marceau face paint do that sort of damage to the emotional wellbeing of fellow protesters & innocent members of the public was beyond tragic. Few of their victims fully recovered.

  11. Ross 11

    Here is the list of the protestors’ demands.

    They seem remarkably restrained. So, for all those who say it would be a waste of time if the PM spoke to the protesters, on the contrary it would be a win-win-win-win. But of course she would have to acknowledge the Government's mistakes. And saying sorry is anathema for some politicians.

    • Grey Area 11.1

      They seem remarkably restrained /sarc.

      I think you left off the /sarc tag.

    • Andrew Miller 11.2

      Yes, of course that’s the worst of what’s gone on…

      The abuse of children, workers and the public going about their business and threats up to an including death threats, destruction of public property, prevention of people going about their lawful business is all an invention of the lamestream media.

    • Andrew Miller 11.3

      Your willingness to simply take the printed demands at face value is nothing if not cute.
      The reality is there’s nothing the PM could say which would appease them and addressing them would simply encourage them to go nowhere and up the ante, as if they’ve gained that concession with their intransigence who knows what they could achieve…

      If you want for whatever reason to project a rationality on their agend you’re welcome to, but please don’t expect anyone else to be that naïve.

      • Shanreagh 11.3.1

        Also those with experience in negotiations would never bring their big guns out first off. Especially when the demands are really off the wall, I am aware also though of the adage 'aiming for the moon you may get the stars'.

        These are people with an unpopular cause who do not speak for the rest of NZ or even a significant minority

        The govt's negotiators can afford to wait a while, look for something tiny they can agree to and take the items off that the Govt should not or could not influence ie the consideration of the complaints to the Medical Council about anti vax Drs (who said this was about mandates again?.

        It is always infuriating to protestors if say something major happens in Govt policy and instead of announcing it as a result of protestors demands it is announced as a new Policy.

        So at the end of the week we could have a new set of policies called say For the future' and then as a part of that there may be a paragraph about mandates.

        • Shanreagh

          It is always infuriating to protestors if say something major happens in Govt policy and instead of announcing it as a result of protestors demands it is announced as a new Policy.

          So at the end of the week we could have a new set of policies called say For the future' and then as a part of that there may be a paragraph about mandates.

          Sometimes known as 'spiking their guns'.

        • Andrew Miller

          We of course know the present arrangements aren’t for ever and will change as circumstances dictate.
          If the Government does announce change that amount to a slackening of restrictions then certain people will claim it was a response to outcry/protest/public opinion, the fact it may well not be and is entirely coincidental is nothing the government can do anything about it (they’ll have some leeway to make not appear completely knee jerk but it’s limited).
          A clever opposition would call for things they know the government are pretty likely to do soon regardless and then spin it to argue the policy change was a response to their pressure/government is behind the curve look how we’d already called for that (Sensible timing be dammed).

          • Shanreagh

            We of course know the present arrangements aren’t for ever and will change as circumstances dictate.

            We know that any and all restrictions were based on a clear and present threat that has not yet gone away. We know that we are just beginning to see the effects of Omicron here in NZ.

            If we know this how come the protestors don't?

            Rhetorical question really as we know often the real world is not present when life is viewed through a social media lens.

            I find this deeply sad

            • Andrew Miller

              Yeah, peoples reasons for what seems to the vast majority a reasonable and rational consensus view, based on our government’s attempts to navigate a major global crisis are I’m sure many and varied but social media plays a huge part.
              I have no issue with the idea that we should look to engage with those who aren’t pushing a truly odious agenda. My problem is when that sends people down a rabbit hole of relativistic mush.
              Even if this protest hadn’t clearly been hijacked by appalling elements, it’s perfectly legitimate to say even if I can understand your concerns and respect your rights to express them, that doesn’t mean I have to respect the manner you’ve choosing to express them, bugger off home or get arrested!

  12. weka 13

    Trevor Mallard upped the ante last night by, checks notes, playing Barry Manilow and the Macarena at full volume and turning on the sprinklers. Some have interepreted this as a full on attack on the right to protest and an invitation to insurrection. I think a certain amount of reflection, and well as a giggle, are more appropriate. If the protestors are willing to take symbolic action then Mallard is perfectly entitled to do the same.

    Mallard isn't there to express his entitlement and it was a stupid move. One, if you have people on an edge of violence do you really want them sleep deprived and noise stressed as well? Two,

    • Blade 13.1

      Trev isn't the brightest…he's just nasty.

      So, how would I clear the protesters?

      I would tell protesters a bug is sweeping participants. I would then explain the symptoms and suggest those with said symptoms go home and rest.

      Next I would quietly turn on a infrasound canon. All protesters would be gone quickly. To stay risks a complete mental breakdown or death.

      • KJT 13.1.1

        So. You would be actually, Nasty?

        Scratch a RWNJ, find a wannabee Red Squad member!

        Why am I not surprised.

        • Blade

          Of course not.

          But it beats pepper spray, tasers, batons and physical restraint.

          ''Scratch a RWNJ, find a wannabee Red Squad member!

          Why am I not surprised.''

          Update on Ross Meurant. He now makes dream catchers and talks to dolphins.

          Before you troll, actually engage your brain…and do some thinking. At least try.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Didn't know about Meurant's dreamcatcher dolphin dabblings, but he's not shy when it comes to cashing in on a pandemic, so possibly very pro-COVID-Vac.

            During the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand, Meurant joined several businessmen and former politicians including former National and ACT leader Don Brash in establishing a company called Covax-NZR Limited to import Russia's untested Gam-COVID-Vac (also known as Sputnik V) vaccine into the country.

            It's heartening to read accounts of people escaping the prison of paranoia.

            The Origins of Corporate Iwi
            The 1987 parliamentary maiden speech of Ross Meurant (Hansard, Tuesday October 6th, 1987), who until then had served twenty years in the NZ Police rising to the commissioned rank of Inspector, laid out in great detail the paranoia and fears of Maori terrorism in the police at that time. He named names and organisations, and described how they were funded. He also alleged that Maori had terrorist links with Libya, the PLO, Vanuatu and Fiji. This information and its paranoid interpretation was sourced entirely in police intelligence gathering. To his great credit Meurant, having educated himself and broadened his mind at university and in the real world outside the police and parliament, has since recanted and explained that the allegations arose out of a police culture of paranoia that he called “Deep in the Forest” in which he had been immersed for twenty years.

          • KJT

            Ross did some thinking after he left the police and turned into a thoughtful human being.

            An example you would do well to follow.

            • Blade

              You started all this, KJT – not me.

              I called Mallard nasty… and I'm not the only one who thinks that.


              I also stepped up with how I would move protesters on with minimal harm.

              I didn't just yap, give considered opinions, and suggestions. I offered a hard tech solution.

              It's you who needs to examine your attitude. And consider whether it's worth engaging me if I have such a profound negative affect on you.

              • KJT

                You "give considered opinions".

                No. You parrot the usual bullshit we have seen on here many times.

                So often that it gets tiresome.

            • aj

              Ross did some thinking after he left the police and turned into a thoughtful human being.

              You are quite correct KJT. It was like a different person emerged.

              Reminds me of Rob Campbell who has spun like a top over 40 years.

              After joining the union movement in the 1970s and rising to senior leadership roles, he became a member of the Labour Party executive.

              He then embraced the business world and was accused of being a 'class traitor' but in recent years has declared he still has 'socialist instincts'



              “If you think everything in the world is basically okay and that all we need to do is to return to previous behaviours and increase our GDP as much as we can and increase the individual profitability of our business as much as we can and increase your personal income as much as you can, then I think you’re quite at odds with the way I see the world,” he says.

              • Blade

                Correct. I said too much of the Right think all that matters is how many chickens they can get in the pot.

                Unfortunately the Left are inclined to take the pot over and redistribute the chickens to whom they deem are more deserving.

                We have an unfettered welfare state and its allied problems to see how that is working.

    • KJT 13.2

      You are assuming the protesters have enough brains to have "mental health issues".

      From observation, it appears that they are mostly a collection of the stupid.

      Who are less liable to mental health issues, because they do not put their brains under the burden of thinking for themselves.

      • Blade 13.2.1

        I forgot. You wouldn't have a clue what infrasound is.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          This "infrasound canon" you would turn on sounds like a formidable ‘weapon’ laugh

          • Blade

            I have one at home for home defence.

            Setting 1 – unease, nausea and brain fog.

            Setting 2 – vomiting, loose bowels and near complete mental break down.

            Setting 3 – bad news. No one really gets that far. Setting 1 was enough for me.

            Not all cannons are formidable. Some have set settings that only cause minor symptoms.

            The nearest I can get to the feeling is running your fingernails down a black board, except worse.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              I have one at home for home defence.

              Can see why it makes you feel safer – have you ever had to use it defensively?

              Setting 2 – vomiting, loose bowels…

              Is it directional? Could it be used to treat constipation? Asking for a friend wink

              • Blade

                ''Can see why it makes you feel safer – have you ever had to use it defensively?''

                No, but we once had a car load of ferals break down near my home, One got on the phone, I assume to call for help, while the others brought out a tray of booze. They started drinking and being loud.

                I used a portable lead to point a speaker in their direction. They started getting agitated and the talking died down. I heard one say the chips hadn't gone down too well. Unfortunately their tow arrived, so I didn't have a chance to see what would have ultimately happened.

                '' Could it be used to treat constipation? Asking for a friend wink''

                Lol…no doubt. If my experience is anything to go by on setting one, your friend would have a full and frank evacuation.

                I'm thinking about inviting KJT over for a nice cuppa and a chat.devil

                • KJT

                  "Ferals"? And you knew that how?

                  Were they brown?

                  They were not attacking you.

                  So. Why the need to harass them?

                  I find asking the hoodrats politely to make less noise, so they don't wake the grandkids, works fine.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I used a portable lead to point a speaker in their direction.

                  So directional then. What sort of range – i.e. how far away were the raucous "ferals"? Were you targetting them from a well-concealed and/or secure location, albeit within earshot?

                  Pleased for you that no-one was injured – bet those particular “ferals won't be breaking down near your home again in a hurry!

          • joe90

            This "infrasound canon" you would turn on sounds like a formidable ‘weapon’

            Yeah, but it requires a formidable imagination, too.

            Activists planning protests at the forthcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver are wary of a police weapon they refer to as "Crap Cannon." Luckily for them, it doesn't exist. Fox News filed this report:

            Also called “Brown Note,” [the cannon] is believed to be an infrasound frequency that debilitates a person by making them defecate involuntarily.

            Mark Cohen, co-founder of Re-create 68, an alliance of local activists working for the protection of first amendment rights, said he believes this could be deployed at the convention in August to subdue crowds…

            Cohen, who described Brown Note as a “sonic weapon used to disrupt people’s equilibrium,” cited eyewitness accounts of its use during free-trade agreement protests in Miami in 2003…

            His group is preparing against a possible attack by Brown Note and other crowd-control measures by dispatching street medics at the convention trained in treating injuries in demonstration situations.


            Fox also turns to Mythbusters — specifically Dr. Roger Schwenke, an acoustician who appeared on the show's "Brown Note" episode — and concludes that "there is no scientific evidence that proves such frequencies cause involuntary defecation."

            You might argue that Mythbusters is not right there on the cutting edge. For that, you need look no further than Dr. Jürgen Altmann of the Bochum Verification Project, who carried out the definitive review of all available literature on the effects of acoustic weapons:

            Evidence for bowel spasms and uncontrolled defecation is even scarcer. Among all the literature surveyed for this article, the only hint found was one on “digestive troubles” observed during experiments with a strong 16-Hz siren. These were, however, not specified at all, and the explanation immediately following talked of objects vibrating in clothing pockets.

            In the low frequency exposures up to 150 dB no bowel spasms were observed.
            The same holds for low-frequency animal experiments. Here it is noteworthy that also in reviewing vibration experiments no mention was made of bowel spasms or uncontrolled defecation.


            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Maybe Blade's a ninja – got quite close to his raucous "ferals" undetected laugh

              • Blade

                No, behind a orange tree, Einstein.wink

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  behind a orange tree laugh

                  Such 'creative' writing. You "used a portable lead to point a ["infrasound canon"] speaker in their direction" from "behind a orange tree", and the "ferals" "started getting agitated", then "unfortunately their tow arrived".

                  Daytime, dusk or night-time? Town or country? Setting 1, 2 or 3? Did you aim through the orange tree, or angle the speaker around its trunk? How close did you get to these (at least 3) unsuspecting apparent "ferals"? About how long did it take for their tow to arrive? Apologies for being so curious but, as I said, it's a ‘creative’ story.

                  Anyway, good to know that you've only used your "infrasound canon" on a group of "ferals" who had the misfortune to "break down near" (presumably quite near) your home – sounds like a solid acquisition. Did you source your "infrasound canon" from a commerical source (perhaps online), or from a private arms dealer? Or perhaps build it yourself?

                  Maybe you could lend the NZ police your "infrasound canon" to disperse the 'protesters' as you suggested @13.1.

                  Ah Blade, if not a ninja then at the very least "The man with the sonic gun" – loving it.

            • Blade

              I have one. Although I haven't used setting 2. I would bet it would happen.

              The warnings are well set out in the users manual

              You are relying on priori information, not personal experience.

              Dr. Roger Schwenke, is full of shit.laugh


      • weka 13.2.2

        this is easily the stupidest thing I have ever seen you say KJT. It's also incredibly ableist and regressive.

        • KJT

          No Weka. I think you misunderstand

          The opposite!

          I am sick of people downing those with mental health issues, by conflating them with the merely stupid, or criminal.

          I am responding to the too often, stereotypical and harmful characterisation of people who have a mental illness.

          I have objected many times here when someone conflates being mentally ill with criminality or stupidity.
          Some of the most intelligent, interesting and capable people, I know, have been treated during their life for mental health issues.

          About as far from the bunch of deluded and mislead idiots, in Wellington than you can be.

  13. Corey Humm 14

    I disagree with what they are protesting but think anyone who considers themselves vaguely liberal and respects tolerant liberal societal values must agree they have the right to do it.

    The world is already on a slippery authoritarian slope we don't need to add to this by liberal democracies using brute force to shut down protests.

    The protesters are incredibly diverse with very large numbers of Maori and Pasifika in their ranks, media and politicians calling this mob a bunch of white supremacists are out of their minds.

    This is a bunch of angry unwashed masses who don't feel like part of the team or 5 million. Proving them right by using force on them is going to make them more sympathetic.

    Do people think there would be this level of anger had COVID not made the poorer poorer and the rich richer, through govt policy one of the greatest transfers of wealth has happened. Do we think people would be angry if they were feeling their living standards weren't going backwards, that their bills weren't getting higher and higher that they could ever get ahead or that their kids could have a decent future ?

    I don't, yes there would be angry people but not this many. Not this angry and certainly not this dedicated. More dedicated than most protests in my life time.

    Covid has made all the problems of our neoliberal state far worse and govt policy has enriched the few. Sure some of it helped the bottom keep the lights on but like always when there is a crisis labour and national help those at the top first who are fine and give crumbs to the people drowning.

    Many of these people probably worked in essential services like trucking, factories, cleaning, supermarkets while the rest had the luxury of staying home who was delivering, trucking and making the supplies we had delivered. They weren't part of the team of 5 million then or now.

    It's not the 1980s it's 2022. Everyone has a high def camera that can instantly broadcast police brutality to the world.

    If the state uses force to remove this many protesters who like all protests are peaceful outside some outliers you're gonna see women and children and peaceful people getting seriously hurt and your gonna see it shared constantly around world media and the public will see in those protesters their crazy aunt and sympathize with the protesters over the state.

    Just ignore them and let them burn out on their own and since they all disagree with each other, they will burn out quickly.

    It really does seem more like a professional managerial class who can work form home and have everything delivered is outraged that some members of the uneducated working class unwashed masses aren't listening to their betters.

    It really does feel classist. I've seen middle class people call them everything from terrorists to racists (the protests are incredibly diverse the public have eyes) to murderers to alt right to Nazis I mean honestly…

    Just ignore them. The media and govt are encouraging this it's like they want it to get bigger and bigger..this is a coalition of people who all disagree with each other stop giving them a common enemy and they'll fall apart in a couple days.

    Lastly, since when is protest not about disruption? Disruption is the point of a protest. Disruption to peoples daily lives it's the whole point.

    I never thought I'd see the day where so many on the left take the side of using brute force of the state to squash protesters but I never thought I'd see the day the left abandoned class for woke consumerist capitalism, fight against free speech and for blasphemy laws, sexual liberation for moralistic pearl clutching, and condemn artists for controversial art.

    Are we sure we're the left? We sound more like Thatcher era Tory's.

  14. mac1 15

    I pity the poor police having to listen to out of tune recorders. Mind you, it's what some school teachers do for a living. Spare them the ukelele accompaniment, though.

  15. Poission 16

    Trevor Mallard upped the ante last night by, checks notes, playing Barry Manilow and the Macarena at full volume and turning on the sprinklers. Some have interepreted this as a full on attack on the right to protest and an invitation to insurrection. I think a certain amount of reflection, and well as a giggle, are more appropriate. If the protestors are willing to take symbolic action then Mallard is perfectly entitled to do the same.

    The Police have moved to significant damage control,and distanced them selves from the convicted felon.

    The decision to blast loud music and turn on the sprinklers in an attempt to deter protesters from Parliament’s front lawn was not one made by police.

    Speaking to media on Sunday evening, Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell confirmed police didn’t give approval to Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard to employ the tactics.

    “It’s not a tactic we would encourage,” he said. “It is what it is, it happened.”

    The social distancing from the stink,would have been to deescalate the problem under a significant number of complaints to the PCA .

    and the old dog,moved from in front of the fire , sniffed the wind and smelt blood and opportunity.

  16. Ad 17

    Alberta and Saskatchewan have dumped the vaccine passports, Ottawa is preparing to do so and Quebec is considering it.

    Protesting works incoherent or not.

    Alberta and Saskatchewan Ending Vaccine Passport System | Complex CA

    Doug Ford says plan in works to remove Ontario's vaccine passport system | CTV News

    • Shanreagh 17.1

      Of course, they are further along in their Covid journey than we are.

      I think many of us would have been of the view that these would be removed when they were not needed any more. I actually never doubted, and I still don't doubt that they will be removed

      PM said the same.

      I see no need to look at other jurisdictions……we are still to deal with Omicron. It would be foolish to give up on our public health measures because somewhere in the world is giving up their's.

  17. Peter 19

    Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell said a secure place had been set aside for any vehicles that might be towed, with the aim of freeing up public roads.

    A secure place? Close to Parliament? It costs an arm and a leg to park in that area. And you get slammed if you over park.

    Maybe he meant some secure place elsewhere. How far away? How much to park there? Can I park there too during this week? Secure? Does that mean the police will be babysitting the cars so that scummy mongrels don't interfere with them or steal them?

  18. Muttonbird 20

    Perhaps a counter protest is in order…

  19. Heather Tanguay 21

    As a long time protester, I agree with all you say. All the former large protests you mention, all had a common outcome wanted, that people came together to support. This is a rabble, being directed by, who really knows?

  20. solkta 22

    Micky, do you have a link for that list of demands? Is the bottom of the image cut off where it might say what group or groups this is from? I've been following RNZ, stuff and the Herald sites and none have reported this which seems strange given Ardern said that the protesters were demanding the removal of all restrictions in her presser yesterday.

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