Editor Alan Tristram went to a demo yesterday and came away a changed man.
He says: I was impressed by the sharing (free food and drinks), by the communal spirit and by the range of ordinary Kiwis making great sacrifices to be there. The conditions looked relatively clean and tidy — the children happy and well looked after. This is the real NZ too!
It is time the PM cast aside her PR folks and got herself engaged.
Disregardilng that great boor Trevor Mallard would help. He has already disgraced himself and Parliament.
My wife Helen and I wandered through the grounds and we treated courteously and helpfully everywhere. And we had our masks.
People I spoke to had travelled long distances to make theri point.
Robin (75) from Marton, had been there several days — and her husband was going to join her.
A young man from Tāranaki had got up at 2am that morning to travel down.
A young immigrant Chinese woman from Auckland made the point she’d seen enough of authoritarian rule.
What should the Government do?
In a word, listen.
Secondly, engage. Get some of the more able MP’s out into the grounds.
These are your people too, remember.
Jacinda Aredern should get a Task Force on to this now. They could invite small groups of protesters into Parliament to talk — and perhaps get action.
The Police are in a bind: If they use strong-arms tactics, I predict more and more protesters will roll into town.
This movement is growing and spreading as we see from protests in other parts of New Zealand.
I had a strange feeling of deja vue – this was like the Greenham Common protests.
Veteran protester John Minto puts it is this way: ‘Overwhemintgly it is an expression of frustration and anger at decades of workers struggling at the margins of society.
…’These people have been going backwards economically and socially for 40 years under successive Labour and National governments while the country has been run for the wealthy.’ (Dompost report)
‘The big majority of people at the protest are decent working-class New Zealanders, despite a minority shouting all sorts of derenged things.’
I agree absolutely.
Engage, engage, engage
If Jacinda Arder can empathise with Islamic folks in Christchurch, and elsewere, if she can rush off to the latest trouble spots (Eg:civil defence emergencies), sure she can get off her high horse and talk to her own people.
It’s time for all good people to get out of the Ivory Tower and onto the lawns of Parliament.
My wife and I are fully vaxxed and boosted — and support the health programmes.
But we’re concerned about Labour’s attempts to cast the protesters into outer darkness and get rid of them.
The way out of the rabbit hole
Over the years, and often at great cost, Aotearoa has come out on the right side of protests — think of the Springbok Tour and the anti-nuclear movement.
Now is our chance to add another shining star to this list — dealing fairly and properly with widespead civil disobedience and protest.
We must listen to the message behind the protests.