March for Democracy
An estimated crowd of more than 4000 packed Auckland’s Queen St yesterday to protest against the Government’s refusal to back a citizen-initiated referenda over the so-called anti-smacking law where 87% of people’s vote was ignored by the government.
It was a great atmosphere with drummers, parents with children, and placards.
Colin Craig, who funded the march which cost several hundred thousands of dollars said, “We’ve made a brilliant start and I’m waiting for the next step,”
The placards slogans said “Warning: Police State” and “We’ve been 2 Hell ‘n’ Clark” and the people chanted messages such as “John Key listen to me, we want democracy.”
Among the speakers was Act Party MP John Boscawen. “It’s a huge crowd, it’s fantastic,” he said.
He said Prime Minister John Key was “not listening to 1.4 million people”, and said he ignored them “at his peril”.
Former Green MP Sue Bradford, who drafted the original bill, said future New Zealand societies would look back in amazement at people marching for the right to hit their children.
She was not surprised by the turnout because of the money spent on it. But she said the money would have been better spent elsewhere.
A spokeswoman for Key said the law would be changed if it was not working. “We have seen no evidence it is criminalising good parents,” she said.