by Geoffrey Churchman

When we first saw the announcement on Newshub on Thursday evening about a new protest in Wellington that would last 14 days we wondered if Newshub had been the victim of an April Fool’s prank. But it transpires that there actually is a small group using the name ‘Unite’ of whom about 40-50 apparently showed up outside the Pukeahu National War Memorial site on the other side of town to Parliament yesterday.

The Jacinda government clearly got into a tizz and off went members of her Coster Mob “to keep an eye on events.”

Not only the Jacinda government; RSA National President B.J. Clark is reported on the TV One website as saying he’s “very angry” about Unite protesters using the Pukeahu National War Memorial as a gathering site. “We do not want to see these protests or these speeches held at memorials which were constructed to remember those that have served.”

Um, perhaps it might be that everyone who wants to protest against the Jacinda government outside Parliament is well aware of what can happen to them now? Mr Clark is reported as continuing with: “The memorial was put there for those that lost their lives that made the sacrifice for New Zealand and it’s a place of peace, it’s a place of remembrance, it’s not a place of protest.”

They made a sacrifice for what, Mr Clark? To end totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, Japan, North Korea, North Vietnam etc. which denied freedom of speech and expression to their citizens and forbade peaceful assembly to express contrary views to those of these regimes? Is not that exactly what you are doing now?

TV One continues: “Police on Friday confirmed they were aware of possible protest action, and extra security was also put in place at Parliament as a precaution. The grounds at Parliament were closed to the public and staff have been asked to work from home.”


I attended a protest against the incarceration of journalist Julian Assange outside the U.S. Embassy and the British High Commission in May 2019; there were likewise about 50 people there, but no police. A TV One cameraman showed up, but I don’t think his video was used.

Things are sadly quite different now.

This old soldier stood outside his property in Feilding for 2 hours saluting the Freedom Convoy as it went past on 7 February. Clearly, he and Mr Clark of the RSA have quite different views.