Protestors claim police wore same badge number
Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:45a.m.
By Angela Beswick
Protesters are planning to march on Mayor Len Brown’s office, after council staff and police retrieved camping equipment and vehicles from four Occupy Auckland sites this morning.
Police and Auckland City Council staff are meeting to decide their next move in the protest saga, after moving in on the Occupy sites at Aotea Square, 360 Queen St, Victoria Park and Albert Park, serving occupiers with notices regarding to breach of bylaws which prevent camping.
During the operation, two people were arrested and charged with breaching the peace.
They were held in a police van – under heavy police guard – where they could be heard loudly banging inside.
A third protester was also arrested and charged with breaching the peace, although it is unclear where the arrest took place.
There were scenes of anger and retaliation as occupiers tried desperately to keep their property. Protesters said they were confused and had no warning that their belongings were meant to be gone by today.
Protestors also claimed up to four police were wearing the same badge number - Z557 - to avoid being identified as they made arrests.
A Fairfax media photograph appears to partially confirm this with two different police officers wearing luminous yellow jackets with identically numbered epaulets.
They are now planning to occupy Mr Brown’s office and say they will march there at 5pm.
In a statement released to media, Auckland Council said its actions were consistent with the recent Auckland District Court decision that protesters cease residing in Aotea Square and remove various illegal structures.
“Auckland Council’s position is that people have a right to freedom of speech and protest, but not the right to camp indefinitely.”
The council says it will not allow illegal camping in Auckland’s public spaces, “which its citizens want returned to them”.
A council spokesman said the focus was on removing camping equipment from the public spaces.
“We’re removing their gear… we’re not removing them.”
Meanwhile, veteran protester John Minto, who was one of the first to pitch his tent in Aotea Square, says the council is being too “heavy-handed” on the peaceful protesters.
“The council sees them as a thorn in its side, but in fact they’re not interrupting the life of the city and in fact providing a vibrant element to it,” he told Newstalk ZB.
He says he is unsure what the protesters will do from here.
The move to evict the protesters comes just two days after they marched up Queen St to mark 99 days of occupation.
More than 100 protesters chanted and carried banners and balloons as they made their way up the central city street.
Occupy Auckland organisers said the march was to draw attention to injustices and inequalities in New Zealand, including the sale of state assets and the mining of national parks.
Before Christmas, Auckland Council was granted an injunction in the Auckland District Court to have the protesters leave Aotea Square, after Judge David Wilson ruled that the occupation breached a council bylaw.
The council had issued a trespass notice saying the protesters breached a bylaw banning camping and building structures in a public space without a permit.
Some protesters chose to remain in Aotea Square despite the court order, while others moved to another site across the road or to Victoria Park.
The Occupy Auckland group began their camp-out in Aotea Square on October 15, alongside other groups in Wellington and Dunedin, as part of a global protest movement which started in New York's Wall Street in September.
3 News / NZN
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24/01/2012 2:08:52 p.m.
I am a University Student in CHCH and I am struggling to find work but instead of plonking a tent out in Hagley Park and demanding someone pay for me and to give me a 'share' of their hard earned money, I instead work for a temping agency, getting work whenever some pops up. When I get a job it can be anything from a one day deal to a month, it just depends.
Yeah I struggle to pay the bills each month and yes I am very quickly racking up a massive student loan but in the long run I am being pro-active about my future. Instead of sitting on my bum, whining about the government while taking their money and doing nothing towards a future, a job or a way of life - I am instead working towards something I hope that will better me and make me enough money to live on.
I don't understand how they can claim that they deserve a 'share' of other peoples money, when they cannot even go out there and get a job or even temp work like me. Its rude and its a waste of our socio-economic resources having to deal with them. I admit things are tough at the moment but people need to knuckle down and grit their teeth and do something about it or wait it out. Not go on an all out dramatic protest....
24/01/2012 1:28:57 p.m.
Pity they do not use the same powers of observation in noting and in claiming all the police badge numbers were the same.They could put this power of observation to good use when next in wins, looking at the notice board of available jobs and jobs in the local paper.
24/01/2012 11:35:46 a.m.
@ Jer: Actually what is ludicrous is assuming that those who obtain vast sums of wealth actually earned it by putting in proportional skill and effort or taking risks.
Many people do put in proportional skill and effort or take risks to make big money but those obtaining over a million dollars a year generally don't. For example company executives are often brought in after the company has already overcome the major risks and firmly established itself. Their personal risk is negligible, they work no harder than a person in the factory and their greater skill and investment in education alone certainly does not justify dozens to hundreds of times more remuneration.
23/01/2012 11:17:38 p.m.
Ron Paul for New Zealand.
23/01/2012 9:46:40 p.m.
@ James: What determines a fair share? Because to me, I personally feel that if you work hard at school, get a student loan and work your butt off at uni, then start at the bottom with your own company and work your way into large profits, you deserve the money that you make. To insinuate that somebody who makes themselves successful through the fruits of their own hard labour is not entitled to their own profits, regardless of the amount, is ludicrous. Surely if everyone determines to do the best they can with opportunities awarded to pretty much all New Zealanders (educationally), then we'll all be better off. Giving others a 'share' when they have not earned it is what people call 'communism'. Don't have a chip on your shoulder when others are successful, especially on their own physical cognition.
23/01/2012 6:19:23 p.m.
Its not people currently out of work or suffuring from serious injury or even lazy people that create poverty it is greed that creates poverty. If you want to work hard and get some where in life it does not give you the right to have more than your fair share, because that is childish and self absorbed. if you work hard and do more then your fair share for your society then bloody good on you and you should be respected and appreciated by that society you contribute to, but we can not take more then our fair share! and yes all able people should be contributing too but thats not always going to be through supplying "money". Many developing countries cant even gain some of the luxuries' we enjoy because we people have taken more then our fair share of copper! Probly wont slow them down they'll just use the more modern technology's we've spent our money, effort and time on to create just because we have to have it all and not change our ways and keep looking to the future. Big coporate's will always slow us down because it is in thier best interest to because thats where thier money is invested (old tech, old ways), its called "good business". and thats where this protest comes in, we must find a way to stop corporate greed because it is the number 1 thing slowing and destroyiny modern western countries! how cant we all see this ??? its not rockets science now is it?
23/01/2012 5:45:22 p.m.
"If these smelly bums got jobs"
Part of the point of the protest is that *people have no jobs to go to.* The idea that unemployed people are just lazy is fundamentally ridiculous - you used to be able to count the number of unemployed in the country with your fingers. Did people just get lazier over the past few decades, or did the economy change?
The economy changed, and changed to the detriment of the vast majority of people (including most commenters on this article and site) to benefit a tiny minority.
23/01/2012 5:34:13 p.m.
Andrew Harris wrote:
Hmm @chris what actions do you believe determined these protesters to be labelled as socialists and why do you believe you are a capitalist? Lets discuss critical thinking and the essence of your little rant as a perceived 'capitalist'.
Are you aware that over 60 billion NZ dollars in mortgage bonds are secured offshore to lever NZ Government borrowing or are you too busy on the stock-market?
You my friend are what is considered the proletariat, one of the neo-conservative sheep that will conform to pursue a life of material values, self-interest and debt. In contrast, those you jibe at are capable of critical thinking, they care about our changing economic landscape and welfare of others.
I suggest you consider why these individuals are indeed protesting as clearly your blinkers are on.
PS. The word 'society' is a socialist phrase as is 'community" as both are altruistic in nature.
NOW go read some books.
23/01/2012 4:56:59 p.m.
Dirty un bathed people, got bust with drugs and living in parks for free, while us TAX payers are paying for there benefit every week. Every person who was camping in the park should have there benefit taken away.About time the workers get a say and kick these campers out of our city that we pay the up keep for.
23/01/2012 4:34:59 p.m.
Michael Begley wrote:
On the topic of police wearing same badge numbers, this has happened to me before in Christchurch when a large riot took place some years ago. 3 police officers wore the same badge num and arrested myself and a dozen friends at a party, we were arrested and discharged from all charges in court following a number of appearances at court.
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