Big up the Auckland police. Seriously. For closing a couple of lanes for a couple of hours to allow a couple of thousand protestors to hikoi across the harbour bridge. For upholding the rights of citizens to lawfully gather and protest. Let’s not forget, the Court of Appeal found that the Crown never acquired rights to the foreshore and seabed in law. The protestors are essentially taking a conservative view on the issue, following the ruling of the court. Given the bitching from Pakeha extremists like Helen Clarke and the mayor of North Shore (who sounded like a complete redneck on National Radio this morning), the police deserve some respects for taking the stand to allow this thing to go ahead (even of they were probably doing so for totally pragmatic reasons).
The foreshore and seabed issue appears to be evoking a particularly emotional reaction in Auckland, a city which, from afar at least, appears to be controlled by conservative Christian fundamentalist money. The people who asked us to donate money to their America’s Cup campaign. They love to crow on about how everyone should have the right to sail their launches around Auckland Harbour. What happened to everybody having the right to live under the rule of law and not have the government arbitrarily push through legislation extinguishing their rights for political reasons?