More protests to come - students
Fri, 01 Jun 2012 10:36p.m.
By Jenny Suo
There was mayhem on Auckland's busiest streets today as angry students once again protested budget cuts in the tertiary education sector, and the students warned there are more protests to come.
Watch extended video of the protest
Almost 50 people were arrested after the group marched through the central city, holding up commuters trying to get home for the long weekend.
The demonstration was in response to a comment made by Finance Minister Bill English after last week’s protest - that students needed “some Greeks to show them how to do it”.
Hopes of a peaceful protest were dashed right from the start as the group of around 100 once again blockaded Symonds Street - they had planned a teach in, but one by one they were arrested.
And some condemned the police for being too heavy handed:
“I was sitting right down in the front before,” said one protester. “What police are doing is grabbing people who are sitting down and forcefully pulling them out and shouting at them ‘if you resist, you’ll get a conviction’.”
The crowd then moved off Symonds Street and headed towards Queen Street, creating mayhem for commuters.
Dozens of police officers blocked the road but before long they were scrambling again to catch up when the group decided to head for the police station.
“We’re here to support the people who have been arrested during the protest,” said a protester.
After almost four hours and almost 50 arrests protesters left for the night, but they warn this is not the end – but next week they are to begin planning a nationwide protest.
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22/06/2012 12:42:11 a.m.
I used to wonder why so many people distrusted the police.
8/06/2012 3:15:27 p.m.
What the HEll ?!?!?!? Students definitely have the right to do this! Police are just doing things for the sake of it.
5/06/2012 7:54:47 p.m.
A protest by supposedly educated brats. Wake up, you have one of the best deals in the world, and the way you show your gratitude is by inconveniencing the taxpayers who fund you. Grow up, you are only a big deal in your own little world.
5/06/2012 3:38:35 p.m.
The whole arresting process is a shame of the police and democracy of NZ.
3/06/2012 2:31:05 p.m.
I am a student doing a five year degree and I don't get student allowance, I get living costs which I have to pay back in full. And I'm not complaining, I'm just grateful that I can get my education paid for in the time being. I think these students have no right to complain, if you're studying to be a doctor or a lawyer or are getting a post grad ( all of which are over 4 years) you are going to be earning plenty to be able to pay of your loan after you graduate. This policy isn't being put in place to punish those aspiring to do well. It's aiming to prevent people staying at uni to 'study' and claiming money for it, only for them to come out with a useless degree where they can't pay their loan back. It will make people think twice before deciding to do a random degree. So if you are doing a 5 year or longer degree and are able to claim (the free) student allowance and then have to get one year of living costs, be thankful you only have to pay back one year instead of five like me!!
2/06/2012 11:59:13 p.m.
Adam unfortunately your day to day life is not as important as the health of the entire population, our society! not only do they have jobs but they are enducating themselves so they can go on to contribute as much as they can to the whole, like adults. Your family and job (tax) is only part of your commitment to this society Adam, as an adult your required to act as one at all times. Educate yourself on being a man, stop verbaly abusing and take a chill pill cause your not the only one who matters mate!!
2/06/2012 9:33:42 p.m.
How come it's more important for people to get home to see their families right on time than for the children they're going home to see to have a chance to become doctors or lawyers, should they wish to, when the time comes--irrespective of their parents' level of wealth? Adam, I guess you're lucky that whatever it was you chose to study only took four years to do. And what makes anyone think these students don't have jobs? The only students who can afford not to have jobs are those with parents willing and able to support them--and there's probably fewer rather than more of them protesting.
2/06/2012 5:16:12 p.m.
I agree with Chris and Katrina. Students get a good deal in this country - I should know I was one for 4 years. I worked for the money I needed to survive and am paying back my student loan (which thanks to the tax payers is interest free). Quit your whining and get a job! Or at least let the people who have got jobs get home on time to see their families rather than causing traffic jams. IDIOTS!
2/06/2012 5:06:39 p.m.
Its great to see that democracy is still alive and doing well in New Zealand. its also great to see these students are upholding democratic rights to demonstrate. Too bad their are a minority that would prefer that democracy was abolished in NZ. eh Chris.
2/06/2012 3:47:07 p.m.
These students don't think stopping traffic and blocking roads is okay, under normal circumstances. Of course not. This is what's called a protest march, and protest marches always involve some level of disruption (i.e. road closures). It's thanks to people who bother to stick their necks out and protest for things they believe in, such as an egalitarian education system, that democracies remain democracies. Good on them.
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