Anti-stadium demonstrators make their way way down George
St today. Photo by Peter McIntosh
Stop the Stadium protesters nailed a list of demands to
the front door of Dunedin's Municipal Chambers at the
conclusion of a large anti-stadium march through the city
The defiant act was the work of anti-stadium protester Dave
Witherow, and came at the end of a protest that saw up to
1300 people chanting as they marched along George St to
attend a rally in the Octagon.
The written declaration nailed to the door by Mr Witherow
threatened Stop the Stadium's planned rates revolt, beginning
on February 10, unless the Dunedin City Council pulled its
support for the "scandalous" $188 million stadium project.
Earlier, about 900 people set off from Dunedin's Dental
School, on Great King St, at midday, but the numbers swelled
to about 1300 by the time the march reached the Octagon,
according to an Otago Daily Times count.
Police escorting the procession estimated the number of
marchers at up to 1000. Stop the Stadium officials said the
march started with 1100 people and numbers grew by their
count to 1500.
Protesters of all ages - but many of them older residents -
joined the march, with a pipe band and protest leaders
carrying a large "Stop the Stadium" banner at the front.
Following along behind was a sea of colourful signs,
including a large white elephant mounted on a van and several
smaller versions on poles.
One banner read: "This is the biggest swindle of ratepayers
money that Dunedin has ever known".
Another simply said: "No".
The procession was met with applause and some heckling as it
made its way down the city's main street.
Addressing the crowd that gathered in the Octagon, Stop the
Stadium president Bev Butler said the march "sent a clear
signal to our local councillors to end this stadium now".
"The debate has ended. It's now decision time, and the
decision is clear to the people - no, no, no to the stadium,"
Speaking to the ODT afterwards, Ms Butler said she did not
yet know the size of the crowd, but believed the "good
turnout" was larger than the 600-1000 that marched against
the stadium project in August last year.
Police were generally happy with the crowd's behaviour, but
arrested two men - a 25-year-old accused of offensive
behaviour and a 27-year-old accused of offensive language -
after the pair unfurled a large banner containing foul
language directed at Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman
The pair were expected to appear in the Dunedin District
Court later this week, Senior Sergeant Bruce Ross said.