After the photo’s were taken, back’s patted and a ‘job well done’ the Prime Minister, the National Cabinet, Bob Parker and Councillors were sieged by a crowd of 70 angry residents outside of the Copthorne Commodore Hotel in Christchurch.
For the first time in 16 years the cabinet met outside the confines of the Beehive. The Government used the one year anniversary of the 7.1 earthquake to seal the official line that the nation has received since the early days. According to almost everything read in the papers and shown on our screens – ‘it’s all under control’, ‘that despite a few people falling through the bureaucratic cracks Christchurch is on the mend’.
Beyond Resistance together with Unite Union, Action for Christchurch East and a barage of supporting workers, beneficiaries, students and delegates from the Maritime Union, NDU and TEU made sure that the media bubble, for three and half hours on the 5th September 2011, was burst. With honking horns of supporting traffic, flags and banners flying the crowd were loud and fiesty. Passers by shook hands and cyclists rang their bells.
The police levels were incredibly heavy and extremely trigger happy. At one stage pushing a young child from the lawns of the hotel, despite being 50 yards away from the protesting crowds.
As the politician’s left in their luxury cars they had a healthy dose of abuse and obscenity’s screamed at them. Bob Parker was seen scampering off down a back lane, too scared to repeat his earlier mistake of driving past the crowd. The media also felt the sting of the protesters tongues. Political commentators, Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiener showed their faces only to be heckled and reminded of the shoddy job they have done this past year.
The messages on the placards and the chants were varied from one person to the next. Some telling us to vote Labour while other’s were clearly anti-capitalist, with no love for any party. The speeches helped to tie all of the issues together under the umbrella of striving to create something far more dynamic and tangible – much more than simply casting a vote in a ballot box – in order to heal our city. With tens of thousands still uncertain of their futures, others being paid out but a a fraction of their home’s value, workers facing penny grabbing bosses and tenants battling landlords that are taking full advantage of the situation, the problems are vast but we are more than capable of tackling them if we all work together!
Further protests are taking place in Avondale Community this Sunday:
2pm Sunday 11 September
Avon Riverbank just south of the munted Medway Street Bridge
Riverside Community Group in east Richmond is calling for a mass rally.
We will not accept the offers from CERA or Insurance Companies until:
- Insurance companies honour Full Replacement policies for homes that are due for demolition in the red zone
- RVs are reviewed where there is significant and demonstrable undervaluation
- Measures are taken to improve availability and affordability of relocation options so that home owners can move on without losing equity or increasing their debt burden
- There is certainty and clarity about the future use of the red zone lands
A Public Meeting has also been called:
Public Meeting – Community Organising
Linwood Community Arts Centre
– We have endured one of the coldest winter’s in decades. The sun is now beginning to shine and as the land begins to warm so does the people’s passion and desire to take back our streets. This is just the beginning, the frustration and anger felt in the city is rapidly turning into a mass movement!