New Zealand: Wellington Anti-Nazi Demo Report
On 28th October over 200 anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators successfully blocked the gates of parliament in Wellington, in opposition to a provocation by fascists and Alt-Right. The latter had threatened to march into parliament grounds and had been issued an official permit to do so.
The anti-fascists arrived first and assembled outside the main gates. After about 30 minutes, with the crowd still growing, speeches were given by various activists and representatives of concerned groups. These included Teanau Tuiono of the Polynesian Panthers, Golriz Ghahraman who is a newly elected MP and the first in NZ who came here as a refugee, Arama Rata, the Māori spokesperson for Migrants and Refugee Rights Coalition, and Karam Shaar, a Syrian refugee and student.
With the speeches over and no sign of the fascists, it almost looked as if they had given up without even trying. This would probably have been a better option for them, as it turned out. A handful finally surfaced at a nearby bus shelter. Seeing themselves heavily outnumbered, they tried to enter the grounds by a side gate. Anticipating this a small group of anarchist anti-fa broke away, got to the gate first and slammed it locked behind them before the fascists got to it. Once more supporters arrived, militant members of the crowd trickled over the low wall next to the gate, in order to confront the Nazis. Minor tussles resulted but the presence of a plain clothes cop who was accompanying the Nazis and the rapid arrival of uniformed police, meant further exchanges were mostly verbal. This included highly intellectual contributions from veteran Nazi Colin King-Ansell and the Fuhrer of Masterton, Vaughan Tocker.
After a few minutes the fascists, who were now with a loose police escort, were pressured by the crowd to move away from parliament and towards Wellington Central Station, about 100m away. Laughter broke out at one point when they reached a zebra crossing and an anarchist heckler called out “Don’t forget to only stand on the white stripes”. At this point the classic fascists of Ansell, Tocker et al were joined by 6 younger Alt-Right types. They sported Richard Spencer haircuts and dressed more in the modern Hugo Boss style than the classic one. All were pursued to their waiting trains.
About 10 minutes later the small number of remaining fascists, were also escorted away in another direction. The crowd celebrated a job well done, having put the old anti-fascist slogan “They shall not pass” into full effect, and gradually left.
To sum up the day, it was a complete success. The fascists had a permit to speak on parliament grounds but never got close to doing that. They were outnumbered 10:1, had trouble coordinating themselves effectively, couldn’t maintain the ‘reasonable’ façade they had initially tried to present to the media and never held the initiative at any point. Based on this, it seems the NZ far-Right is in disarray at the moment and will stay this way if pressure continues against them.