'He is throwing a tantrum': Counter protest to Brian Tamaki's planned rally

Protesters on the streets of Christchurch last November. Photo: NZ Herald
Protesters on the streets of Christchurch last November. Photo: NZ Herald
A counter-protest supporting democracy is planned to go head-to-head with a rally led by Brian Tamaki's Freedoms & Rights Coalition in Auckland this weekend.

Counter protest organiser Mark Graham said it was a spur of the moment decision to show up and "save the nation's democracy".

"The coalition and Brian Tamaki are not calling for freedom and rights, they want things to be done the way they want. That's just selfish.

"He is throwing a tantrum because he is not getting what he wants. This is not democratic."

Graham said their group was building in numbers since last night's decision to head to Auckland Domain on Saturday.

"It is an important issue for us. We do not like what the coalition is doing, it is just not right.

"We hope more people will show up to save our nation's democracy."

Police have confirmed they are in talks with organisers of this weekend's anti-Government protest in and around Auckland Domain, which organisers threaten will be "impactive".

A similar demonstration is also planned for Christchurch the following weekend.

A police spokesperson said they were discussing potential routes and plans with the group.

"Police recognise the lawful right to protest. We also recognise the rights of the public to go about their lawful business.

"We will monitor and respond to the situation accordingly to ensure public safety and to make sure any disruption to the public is kept to a minimum."

A call has been made on social media for people who oppose the anti-government sentiments to gather as a counter-protest, with some saying they would block motorway entrances to prevent any attempt by demonstrators to disrupt traffic.

he rights coalition stormed the Southern Motorway last month.

The group, led by Destiny Church's Brian Tamaki, are calling Saturday morning's protest a "Kiwi Patriots Day and March".

The group revealed it was also planning a major demonstration at Parliament grounds in a few weeks

Details of this weekend's march route have not yet been shared with the public.

It has said it would not be the same as the previous protest but would be "impactive".

Newmarket Business Association chief executive Mark Knoff-Thomas said it hoped the protesters would respect the business owners' right to trade.

"The last one caused major disruptions to our trade. We saw an immediate impact as Newmarket was cut off from the public so shoppers could not come in.

"Saturday's our busiest day and in these times we need all the business we can get."

Auckland Council says it has concerns about potential health risks posed by the event and protestors desecrating consecrated ground around the area of the Cenotaph and Court of Honour.

Director of customer and community services Dr Claudia Wyss said the proposed activity could result in "damage to the Domain, interruption of public enjoyment, prevent access to the Auckland Museum, and disrupt scheduled sporting activities".

And given the high level of Covid-19 in the community, there were health risks.

"It is important to note that the proposed activities require prior approval from the council, and that an application for the relevant event permit and other associated trading permits has not yet been received.

"Events and activities held in a public place without prior approval can result in enforcement action."

The council had written to the organisers making their position clear, Wyss said.

"We are in touch with the police and will support them in any action they deem necessary on the day to prevent a breach of the law or damage to public property."

The group claims the upcoming march will be an "opportunity to unite freedom fighters across the North Island and rally the public for the coming events ahead".

Police yesterday said they were still making inquiries about the last month's protest, and no charges had been laid.

-By Akula Sharma

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