National Front rally largely ignored
By Charlotte Shipman
Two of New Zealand’s far right-wing groups have labelled the Jewish headstone vandals cowards.
Both the National Front and the Right-Wing Resistance have been accused of playing a part in the graveyard attack and say they're offended.
Fewer than 40 marched onto Parliament's grounds in support of the National Front. Among them were members of the Right-Wing Resistance. Both groups deny any involvement with the vandalism of Jewish graves in Auckland.
“We have nothing to do with that,” says Right-Wing Resistance national co-ordinator Kyle Chapman. “We believe in standing up for what we are. We are right here on the street with our faces. Why do we need to do something cowardly like attacking graves of people that can't stand up for themselves?”
“I condemn the people who desecrated those graves,” says Colin Ansell of the National Front movement. “And I feel something for the Jewish people because graves are something sacred.”
Mr Chapman even suggested a Jewish activist may have done the damage to create attention.
“That's all they use those symbols for, is for attention – to say ‘hi, look at me, I'm a dick’.”
It was a lack of attention the head of the National Front was lamenting at its annual rally.
“It seems to have mellowed out,” says Mr Ansell. “We can't even get the opposition to come out and play anymore – bit disappointing. I get sick of talking to the converted.”
Kerryn Frost and her mother Sharon are far from converted.
“It seems very racist – just racist. I don't agree with it, no,” she says.
The movement says it stands against high taxes, crime, homosexuality and immigration.
“They are against foreigners, against us,” says pedestrian Kim Mensing. “Oh no, we are okay,” she says sarcastically. “We're not from Africa, Asia or the Middle East, so we are okay.”
Mr Ansell says his group's biggest problem is maintaining its transient membership and getting them to pay their $15 a year membership fee.