On 6 January 2021 thousands poured into Washington DC to protest (peacefully) to protest the conduct of the 2020 presidential election. However at some point an over-enthusiastic protester, or agent provocateur, led a few people into the Capitol building where they filed past the complacent security guards, took some selfies, and did little or no damage. This little prank enabled the corporate media to rebrand the whole protest as an attempted coup. (The same media treated far more kindly the BLM/Antifa riots of 2020 in which people were murdered, property vandalised and goods pillaged).
A similar thing is happening with the protest now taking place in Wellington. There is no evidence that the protest is intended to be anything but peaceful, with speeches, music and hanging out. The only aggression has come from the police, who on Thursday decided to resolve the matter by force, arresting 22 people, often with unnecessary violence (see also Appendix, below). The following day, Friday, the police backed off – TV One News reported: ‘it’s been a comparatively quiet day without the flurry of arrests that we saw yesterday’. A different story, however, is being peddled by the media and the politicians.
In an email sent yesterday to constituents, Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor, described the overwhelmingly peaceful protest in Wellington as ‘one of New Zealand’s worst cases of disorder and mass law breaking’. Protesters are compared with ‘the mob [who] invaded the Capital [sic] in order to overthrow a legitimately elected President’, and to armed insurgents in Somalia. The word ‘mob’ features six times in O’Connor’s email.
O’Connor also refers, rather oddly, to Timor-Leste. On 1st September 2020, the Timor-Leste Defence Forces commander threatened to arrest the leaders of a newly formed movement which had planned a peaceful march to call for the resignation of President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo after he refused to swear in several members of the largest party in the 2018 elections. Is O’Connor suggesting that organisers of peaceful protest be arrested?
Earlier reports from media and politicians initially labelled protesters as anti-vaxers. There of course, protesters who are especially focused on the vaccine mandate. I spoke to a woman from the Philippines who hates Pfizer with a passion, because of children who died in the Philippines after being given the Pfizer dengue vaccine.
However many protestors are opposed to the establishment of what seems to be a permanent state of emergency and a permanent suspension of civil rights, with little or no justification, and not just the specific manifestations of vaccine and mask mandates. An alleged disease which has governments around the world padding out statistics by recording deaths ‘with the virus’ is NOT a pandemic. A disease repeatedly described by Bloomfield, Ardern and co. as ‘CAN be serious, especially if you’re old or sick’ (#savegrandma) is NOT a pandemic. In any case, as former ACT Party leader and Minister in the National-ACT Government from 2008 to 2011, Rodney Hide has said:
I don’t agree with you that my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are extinguished by a government declaring a pandemic. To me those rights are absolute. (I support the protest 100%)
When the overseas press inconveniently revealed that the issues are broader than some knee-jerk anti-vax position, the message had to be changed. O’Connor dishonestly describes protesters as the ‘anti-vax, anti- mask, and the anti-everything mob’ – anti everything good, he means – thus camouflaging the more specific issue of government overreach.
‘Kia ora All,
‘I’m sitting in the debating chamber in Parliament on a Thursday afternoon, while my ex Police colleagues are out the front of Parliament dealing with one of New Zealand’s worst cases of disorder and mass law breaking for many years. I speak of course of the anti-vax, anti- mask, and the anti-everything mob who have taken over the area and streets around Parliament.
‘As I have watched my old mates putting up with abuse and assault while they step up on New Zealanders behalf, I feel an anger and concern within myself that these people are prepared to leverage the goodwill and decency of our democracy in an incredible act of selfishness and self-entitlement that has impacted on businesses, workers and everyday citizens here in Wellington.
‘Mob rule is where those who operate outside the agreed rules and mores of society overwhelm those who are tasked with upholding those rules, our authorities. Recent examples are Somalia, Timor-Leste and others where the ability of the state to keep its citizens safe and structured society operating for the good of the majority was overwhelmed by groups and individuals who, by force, put their own interests ahead of everyone else.
‘The leaders of such disorder use their ability to attract and organise the angry and disaffected to swell their ranks sufficiently to make policing them difficult, especially when those tasked with policing them rightly operate under and obey the rules that same society has imposed. The ability to demonstrate against and criticise government decisions and strategy is a healthy part of our democracy.
‘Destabilising that same democracy is not. We haven’t quite got to the stage the United States got to in January last year when a mob, not dissimilar to the one out the front of parliament, invaded the Capital in order to overthrow a legitimately elected President. However, but for good policing, it could have happened a couple of times here. We are actually a pretty caring society, which is why the response to the mob at parliament has been measured. The presence of children, and a determination to prevent injury or worse inevitably governs the response of the Police.
‘The abuse those on the front line endure without responding is a tribute to their professionalism, and shows why those who make up these mobs should never get the power they are demanding. If the gathering becomes the super-spreader event it is feared it will become, those same officers are incredibly vulnerable.
‘The lesson to be learned is we are only able to enjoy the democratic and economic freedoms we do because we accept that we must follow the agreed legal framework which enables society to function. Overwhelming or ignoring that framework puts it all at risk. Some media commentators who use their platforms to daily destabilise public confidence in those elected to operate and uphold that framework, combined with an ungoverned internet, contribute significantly as well. […] ‘
In other news:
‘My committee […] had Maritime New Zealand, Transpower, and Auckland City Rail Link in by Zoom to essentially explain how they have spent their money, as they are Taxpayer owned.
‘That is how democracy works, not through mob rule.
Interview with the young 14YO brutalized by NZ Police yesterday (it seems he might be 17, not 14, still to be clarified).
New Zealand’s Shame: Account of protester Jeanette Wilson:
‘This is me- front line – before I was assaulted by WPC. You can see the gathering was peaceful, good-humoured.
‘The WPC initially had her elbow on my windpipe -I told her she was hurting me – she moved her elbow then to my sternum – and I again told her very clearly you are hurting me – she said get your hands off me – I was linking arms with the people either side of me and told her this- she increased the pressure and the pain was unbearable. I felt something “break” in my sternum. I started to collapse, I felt faint and my legs just went under me – the people either side of me were holding me up and then agony as more police dived in pulling up my arms and injuring me further ignoring my screams that they were hurting me- I was already at a 10 for pain (!)( – unbelieveable -I was left on concrete on my hands and knees not able to breathe properly and in agony for about an hour before they called for an ambulance – the ambulance said they were there within 25 mins of the call – and you can see from this footage I was attacked around 1:30 pm.
‘I got to hospital around 3pm. Photographs have been taken of my injuries and I will be pressing charges against the WPC concerned. I am still in HUGE pain not able to talk / breathe deeply without extreme pain and breaking down in tears at this violent assault by another woman, who, along with her colleague is supposed to UPHOLD THE PEACE. […]’
4 thoughts on “NZ Labour MP Rebrands Peaceful Protesters as ‘Anti-Vax, Anti-Mask, Anti-Everything Mob’”
So much simpler to call it Anti-Labour.
Excellent post Barbara, will share 🙂
Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!