Urban protest has a long history in New Zealand and especially in Wellington, being the capital and all that. I’ve been on a few myself over the years, and the point of them is to make a point, hopefully change someone’s point of view, and then go home for tea and see if you can spot yourself on the telly.
The march for Climate Change a couple of years ago was a good one – masses of people, lots of chanting funny slogans, the ability to experience Lambton Quay from the centre, instead of the sidewalk, and a great sense of camaraderie. No one realistically expected that someone would pop out from Parliament, say “You’re right, let’s do that” and that the whole thing would be resolved within the hour. A good time was had by all, except for a few disgruntled drivers who had an hour’s delay getting into town that afternoon. No one was hurt, nothing was changed, but the point was made.
I didn’t go on the Destiny Church march to Parliament a few years ago, and I can’t even remember what they were marching against, except that they were Very Serious and all had matching black T-shirts and thought that Brian Tamaki was a good thing. We will have to disagree on that – he’s just a bog-standard religious fraudster and a fascist and deserves to be locked up for stealing money from gullible idiots. Was it a protest against Gay Rights, or Gay Marriage, or just Against All Homosexuals and Jews like so many dubious dickheads before him? Supposedly, it was called Enough is Enough, which might have usefully been a march against beating up your wife, but instead I think was about Enough of this liberalisation of values towards gay rights.
But at the end of the day, they went home in time for tea and watched themselves on the telly.
The Springbok marches of 1981 were a bit different and are fading into memory now, but that really split the country in two, with all the rugby-playing farm boys on one side and all the thinking, intellectual townies on the other side, and the police as a bloody force to be recognised in between. The Battle of Molesworth Street was indeed a bloody mark on NZ’s history book – I wasn’t there, but I don’t think that Red Squad would have let the HART protestors get on the grounds of Parliament, let alone camp there and destroy the gardens for a week. I was up in Auckland getting my helmet battoned at the protests up there – nothing quite like have your head bashed with a Modanock PR-24 to instil a life-long respect for the police and their abilities to whack you with impunity!
I personally learned to march in step, arms locked, and we practiced our quick forward, quick reverse, and quick left turn manoeuvres for a few hours before Biko took a bite out of Red Squad. I had the dubious privilege of getting punched in the head by a nameless Springbok who almost broke my jaw – then we all went home in time for tea and watched the whole thing again on the telly, with my head still numb. And of course, with the benefit of time, we can bask in the reflected glory of having helped destroy apartheid and brought down an entire regime of fascist government – truly fascist government. And indirectly, the joy of Nelson Mandela meeting the Spice Girls.
But this pack of idiots partying down at parliament this week seem to be having it easy. Not a single one of them has had a baton whack them on their head as yet, despite immense provocation to the police. There’s nothing quite like watching from the third row of a march, as the police batons rain down on the helmeted heads in front of you and you can see the splinters of fibreglass go flying and everyone up front is screaming to go into reverse, while the rear are still screaming to go forward…. Sorts your priorities out pretty quick that way.
I’m wanting to free up for these conspiracy-theory wackos the joys of experiencing true police brutality first hand and having their head battoned, or perhaps having water-canons deployed instead of just Parliament sprinklers. I watched their protest online for a while in the weekend and even I had to leave due to the primary-school recording (on a recorder) of “My Heart Must Go On” – truly horrible.
They’re dedicated, I’ll give them that, but nothing more. They’re just truly deranged and rather than calling them tragically mis-guided by far-right conspiracy theorists, I’ll just call them as they truly are: They’re stupid. Plain and simple, is the description – plumb dumb and stupid. I’m still laughing over the hysterical nutty woman who has left her husband because he got vaccinated, and she is convinced he is going to die as a result – a woman too dumb to have passed 3rd form science.
I have a couple of former friends in there, protesting, as thick as a plank of wood. Proudly unvaxxed, proudly proclaiming their conspiracy nuttiness, calling Jacinda a fascist etc. That idiot who wanted to arrest Andrew Little and charge him with murder, who in reality is just completely deranged and off his meds. The many Maori / Brian Tamaki supporters who are adamant they want their chance to catch Covid or to ride their Harley and do burnouts on Parliament grounds – I’ve no time for you.
Go Home, the lot of you. There’s a pandemic spreading rapidly, and you’re not helping anyone.
Post-script – This woman sums up what I am feeling, and puts it into words beautifully and rather eloquently: