[This post is now complete. Thank you for reading & sharing!.] On four hours notice a handful of passionate Aucklanders got together today to get their feelings out about the catastrophic #Roastbusters scandal and its fall-out.
Some really interesting information was shared and came to light, with the surprise attendance of two young ladies who went to high school with (some of?) the Roastbusters.
They made their feelings known as did lawyer and political reporter Catriona MacLennan, who, flanked by protesters, prepared and delivered this epic speech on live video:
This next video statement is an interview with the protest organiser, David, who absolutely nails it to the extent that we finished the video with tears in our eyes, as one of David’s sons voluntarily came into the shot to hug him in appreciation of strong spirit and his genuine words.
We caught up with old friend and 90s “Nick and Steve” MaxTV host Steve Hassan, (millennials like me were also massive fans of his 95bm Sunday night “Hugh & Steve” talk show with Hugh Sundae back in the day!) who shared another candid perspective on the issues.
Catriona’s one-on-one interview with us (below) also raises some important points, and the transcript of her speech is absolutely mind-blowing and provides a stark contrast to the official positions of the NZ Police and all involved. We will paste it in full at the bottom of this post, if you would like to follow her on Twitter you can here.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated, who supported us, who amplified & amplifies us, and who is inspired by words like those that were shared today.
This experience demonstrated (hah!) beyond a shadow of a doubt that valuable messages are what it’s all about, not just numbers and crowd shots (like we will see at next week’s It’s Our Future New Zealand nationwide #TPPANoWay rallies!). So many valuable messages came through that we are proud of. At least the victims know we cared. Certainly they will feel heartened to know there are several other non-violent direct actions planned by various groups.
The public will not rest until justice is equally applied for the benefit of us all.
STATEMENT/TRANSCRIPT: By lawyer and political journalist Catriona MacLennan.
Tena koutou. Talofa lava. Malo e leilei. This time a year ago I spoke at the Bust Rape Culture march. That was soon after the details of Roastbusters had been publicised in the media. Then, I suggested quite a few actions the police could have taken and also a number of charges they could consider laying.
Today, we know that not a single charge is to be laid. Not one. About anything that was done.
So, today, I’ve got some questions for the police because I’m a lawyer and I don’t understand why no-one is being charged.
The issue of consent doesn’t arise for girls under 16. Under section 134 of the Crimes Act, sexual conduct with someone under 16 is an offence. Full stop. They can’t consent to it. We know that some of the girls were aged 13 to 15. It doesn’t seem to be denied that there was sexual conduct with them. An offence has been committed. There is no defence of consent. So we need the police to explain why there is insufficient evidence when they contacted 110 girls about this.
STATEMENT FROM COMPLAINANTS
The police don’t need a statement from a complainant to lay charges. At the start, the police put the onus on the victims by saying none of them had been “brave enough” to come forward. Not only was that not true. It’s not necessary in law. Other types of evidence can be used – in all that was posted by the boys on social media about what they did, was there not anything that could be used as evidence for a single charge ?
Here’s some charge that might apply
section 128 Crimes Act 1961 – sexual violation
section 134 Crimes Act 1961 – sexual conduct with young person under 16
section 135 Crimes Act 1961 – indecent assault
section 194 Crimes Act 1961 – assault on a child
section 197 Crimes Act 1961 – disabling (stupefying)
section 208 Crimes Act 1961 – detention without consent with intent to have sexual connection
section 216G – making an intimate visual recording (if pictures were taken)
section 160 Sale of Liquor Act 1989 – purchasing or acquiring liquor with the intention of supplying it to a person under 18.
So I’m amazed that, with all the alcohol, the police couldn’t even lay a charge of purchasing or acquiring liquor with intent to supply it to a person under 18. Obviously that’s a really minor charge and doesn’t at all deal with the sexual assaults but I’m surprised that the liquor charge couldn’t even be laid.
NOT ABOUT ALCOHOL
I want to mention something that Roastbusters is not about. The police said they were concerned about alcohol use by young people. But if boys respected girls, it wouldn’t matter how much alcohol either the boys or the girls had drunk. So, blaming alcohol seems to me to be getting dangerously close to asking about what clothes women are wearing when they are raped.
Alcohol doesn’t rape girls. It’s boys raping girls.
I’m also concerned that the police gave as reasons for not laying charges the age of the parties involved and the nature of the offences. I don’t understand that reasoning at all and I hope the police will explain it further.
WAY POLICE DEAL WITH SEX ASSAULT
The way the police deal with sexual assault offences has been a problem for decades. Louise Nicholas incredibly courageously publicised what had happened to her. As a result, in 2004 the Government set up a Commission of Inquiry. It spent 3 years investigating, before making a report with 60 recommendations. Implementation of the recommendations is being monitored for 10 years until 2017. But what the monitoring reports show is that the police are being woefully slow to make any improvements at all. One monitoring report said they were doing “technical compliance” and another said there had been no major change and some of the people training police were part of the problem.
The police failure to act in this situation once again undermines the trust of women in the New Zealand Police.
We’re here today not only to show our anger, but to talk about what to do next. Everyone here can do something to help. And, please everyone, also ask 10 people you know to do something.
Rape is not declining and the way we deal with it is not improving. Please email, Facebook, meet with your MP and tell him or her that you want immediate action. We want change now.
Please also lobby the Prime Minister, leaders of all other political parties and as many other politicians as possible. They will only act when they realise that hundreds of thousands of voters want change. Please ask the new Justice Minister Amy Adams to make it a priority to complete and implement the Law Commission’s work on alternative processes for dealing with sexual offending. Please ask the Prime Minister and Bill English for proper funding for services for sexual violence survivors. Please ask the Government for courses in every school teaching boys to respect girls.
Let’s talk about the school involved. What has the school done to support the girls ? The girls have been subjected to horrendous bullying and are fearful of making complaints to the police. What is the school doing to change this ? What is the school doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again ?
And parents, what are you teaching your children ? In the words of Beraiah Hales’ mother and sister since the police announced they weren’t laying charges, we can see exactly where these attitudes were coming from. His mother said she was proud of her son. That’s appalling. We need parents to teach boys respect for girls and also to hold them to account when they behave badly – not to support them and teach them that this behaviour has no consequences.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS A WORLDWIDE PROBLEM
This isn’t something that’s happening only in New Zealand. Girls and women are being sexually assaulted in every country on the planet. Wouldn’t it be great if New Zealanders could work together to stamp this out and lead the way for every other country?
OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM