Freedom and Rights Coalition march outnumbered

Counter-protesters in the Octagon demonstrate against a march by the Freedom and Rights Coalition...
Counter-protesters in the Octagon demonstrate against a march by the Freedom and Rights Coalition. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A march opposing government control, Three Waters and vaccine mandates was outnumbered by counter-protesters in Dunedin.

Supporters of the Freedom and Rights Coalition (FRC) marched down Princes St at 11am on Saturday and were intercepted by over 100 supporters of AntiFascist Ōtepoti.

The FRC is known for being associated with Voices for Freedom and Destiny Church. One of the leaders is Derek Tait, a Destiny Church pastor.

Counter-protesters took the top of the Octagon, while supporters of the FRC claimed the bottom half.

Ahead of the event, AntiFascist Ōtepoti spokeswoman Sina Brown-Davis said the march did not represent the values of the wider Dunedin community.

Mr Tait was close associates with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, she said.

The group was intending to hold a positive and peaceful demonstration to show that the politics of hate and division were not welcome in the city.

Mr Tait denied the allegations that the group were alt-right or fascist.

He said the claim that the group were racist or white supremacists was ridiculous, as he was Māori.

The FRC would focus on conducting a safe, orderly and peaceful march. They would focus on their own message rather than worry about what AntiFacist Ōtepoti were doing, he said. 



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter