The Freedoms & Rights Coalition
“Saturday’s events across the country were highly successful,” says The Freedoms & Rights Coalition. “Early headcounts in from around the country reveal we had approx. 30,000 people turn out in various towns and cities. This is a phenomenal result considering we’ve only been operating for a couple of weeks. These numbers have doubled from our last events held on Saturday 2nd October 2021.”
In Auckland, The Freedom & Rights Coalition report approximately 6,000 people were in attendance at the Auckland Domain. Everybody in attendance went to great efforts to socially distance and wear masks, enjoying picnics with their families, despite the untrue headlines that mainstream media will try and spin to the general public. This could be down to the media in attendance at Auckland’s event today not being warmly received by Kiwis, and there was a lot of crowd outrage directed at the media personnel due to the propaganda they continually spread.
The general feedback from the public in attendance is that they have had enough with the appalling job that this government is doing. Many teachers, doctors and employees have said this past week has been a real wake up call as to the realities of how many of our freedoms this government has stripped from us.
One teacher said, “I have felt incredibly alone this past week since the government’s announcement they were going to strip my career away. But coming out today seeing thousands of people in unity to protect our freedoms, it’s really encouraged me, and I can see that I’m not alone in this fight. I can not give up.”
One healthcare worker said, “So many of my fellow healthcare workers are being harassed, and many doctors are fearful they are going to lose their practices and careers. We know and fully understand the complexities of the science behind the sweeping and dangerous medical decisions being made, better than this government ever will. But they don’t respect our professional opinions. Coming out today has emboldened me for the fight ahead.”
The liaising police on the ground at the Auckland Domain are also on record as saying to those involved after the event, “Thank you for your cooperation.” “We experienced no issues.” “Your MC is doing a fantastic job with saying ‘keep your mask on, keep your bubble safe’. Keep it up. Thank you!”
The Freedoms & Rights Coalition have come to understand that the NZ Police are very ‘two-faced’ in their dealings, bending to media pressure to backtrack on agreements they’ve previously made with the coalition. The Coalition has openly engaged with the NZ Police before all events showing their intent to abide by all restrictions in place, and they have followed all advice the Police have given them, like encouraging mask-wearing. On the ground, Police have never at any point expressed any concerns with the activities of the day. The Police have also actively acknowledged that the community have a Right to Protest if they adhere to the current Alert Level standards.
The Police have repeatedly expressed their biggest concern is that the protests would become unsafe, and even aggressive and violent like those witnessed in Australia, but so far they have been appreciative that The Freedoms & Rights Coalition have safely conducted their protests, and through a lot of hard work the coalition has kept everyone peaceful. “We have provided a safe, peaceful way that people can vent their pent up frustrations with this government, and everyone should be thanking us, otherwise you could be seeing riots taking place in our streets. We are currently displaying an example to the world of how to peacefully protest. For that, we should get some credit.”
“Yet, it’s highly likely that the Police will again backtrack on their advice and try to prosecute people they deem to be organisers. The problem is, there are over 1,000 organisers involved, and more will continue to step up if others are side-lined due to prosecution. That’s because this is the people’s movement that is not led by one or two leaders but by a groundswell from amongst the public. Of the people, by the people, for the people. The coalition is a collection of thousands of everyday Kiwis, from all sectors of society.”
One of the organisers said, “Even if a lot of us stepped back from being involved, this movement would keep going, and people would still continue to turn up in droves across the country, with or without us. This is the people’s movement, that can’t be stopped.
The coalition also denies any offending. “We have a right under the NZ Bill of Rights to peacefully assemble. We also have a right to freedom of expression. In exercising our rights to peacefully protest we have also taken all and every reasonable measure possible to encourage mask-wearing, remaining in bubbles and social distancing.”
This Auckland event comes off the back of Jacinda Ardern and her government dropping the Auckland Alert Level to 3, stage 1, where she stated that picnics are okay as “the natural ventilation outside makes it harder for the virus to spread.”
“So what is really the problem here? Is it that she dislikes the public protesting because they are angry with her,” one organiser said.
The coalition further states, “We expect that the police should be applying consistent levels of policing across the entire city where people gather in mass at parks for sports days, at local beaches, other protest events earlier this week, and even at these mass vaccination events today where social distancing is not being adhered to. There should not be one rule for The Freedoms & Rights Coalition picnickers and another rule for the rest of Auckland. That smacks of discrimination and political interference if there is an inconsistency of policing occurring.”
Amongst the variety of speakers today, Brian Tamaki also was invited at the last minute to take to the microphone. “You are building a people’s movement. A movement with a mission.” His entire speech was met with roars of applause and cheers across the whole of the Auckland Domain, a response, unlike anything any of us organisers could have ever predicted.”
The coalition further states, “We are very encouraged to have the support of community leaders like Brian Tamaki, at a time when very few leaders are prepared to publicly stand due to the fear of the hatred and vitriol they will receive. Yet, Brian Tamaki still continues to stand. He must be immune to the hate or something. We are finding that his courage is building courage in many others to also publicly stand. Who knows where this could lead?”
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