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Protestors Could Learn from the French


christchurch protest by new zealands public sector union

These guys just walked past my office, heading along the freshly laid tram track of Christchurch’s Cashel mall.

The rally was organised by New Zealand’s Public Sector Union and supported by the Green Party. Sue Kedgley, Green Party MP, said in a speech to the rally:

The disability support workers, who are on strike today; the hospital orderlies, cleaners and kitchen staff, also on strike today, who earn as little as $14.62 cents an hour; Parliamentary services workers, clerical workers, school support staff, teacher aides and librarians, who are also taking protest action today and marching up Queen street tomorrow. Many support workers are working with the most vulnerable children in our schools, doing God’s work, yet they earn as little as $12.94 cents an hour -barely above the minimum wage. It is obscene.

Now I hate politics with a passion but thought that this particular subject was worth mentioning. Sue’s after raising the minimum wage from $12.50 an hour to $15 and that sounds fine to me. Good to luck to you all.

I always wonder about the effectiveness of these protests though. The French protest absolutely everything. Better transport? Shorter working days? Better garlic presses? Bring on the flags.

New Zealand though … we could do with some work on our protests.

For one thing, their chant had a serious lack of rhythm. I think the first half of the procession were chanting one thing and the second half were chanting something completely different. Although most of the chanting consisted of just saying “hey hey, ho ho” over and over like it was off to work they go with a bucket and spade and a hand grenade.

About 3 minutes before these guys drew level with my window, an overly enthusiastic flag-waver “leading” the group pointed to a man to stand up and join them. The man pointed behind her and said “I think you’ve lost your supporters”.

At that, the flag-waver turned around, realised that she’d left the group a good 100 metres behind and sprinted back to join them. Talk about keen.

Within a couple of minutes, the whole group had walked the length of Cashel Mall, packed their flags away and left. Not a single picture of a parliamentary leader was burned. Not one car was tipped over.

I wonder if these guys will get any results or any media attention. I kept an eye out for John Campbell but couldn’t see him anywhere.

By the sound of things, The Chasers War On Everything agrees with me. Check out Craig Reucassel trying to “french-up” some Aussie protests:

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