#N3 was amazing. The Street Party Against Privatisation shutdown of K’Road by ‘Aotearoa Is Not For Sale‘ (#ANFS), ‘Socialist Aotearoa‘, Occupy and others, closed down the main block of the 2nd most famous street in New Zealand for approximately four hours.
The most famous street – Queen Street – was already shut down on July 14th.
It started out terrifying – with S.A., ANFS & Occupy all posting on social media pages that the NZ police had declared the event an illegal gathering & had threatened to mass arrest everyone.
In transit to the city, we cursed the fact that there was not a single radio station even mentioning what was unfolding, in the middle of the city.
Sure enough, upon our arrival we realised things had got heated really fast, with one cop in particularly shoving several people and one arrest (veteran Kiwi activist Malcolm France), during several scuffles between the cops and the public.
This is a short video of the battle of the pagodas – initially the police were successful at removing stuff from the street but after this a bunch of people grabbed hold of all the poles of each one and had a brief and bizarre tug of war with the police.
Then a group of marchers bearing a huge banner came around the corner towards us, and the police ran off to try to intercept them and the second their backs were turned, everyone piled into the middle of the street and within seconds the entire carnival was firmly established.
Everything from front and rear road cones and barriers/banners/signs, the children’s tents, all the activities, chalking and face painting, was going within minutes of the police confronting the other marchers.
People power prevailed! The party began.
(To see that and more, check out @Redstar309Z’s livestream footage. Note the cops with NO BADGES DISPLAYED at 20:40 on his stream)
Our favourite moment was after the fracas had subsided and the speakers were finished, when this amazing band (with three female vocalists) really got the crowd going. We captured one of their songs on video and it’s well worth the watch.
OK photo time. There was lots of Chalkupy goodness. Will update all the captions when we can.