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Anti-Bypass Demonstration This Wednesday

WHEN: Wednesday 12 June 12.30-1.30pm
WHERE: Outside Wellington City Council offices, 101 Wakefield St

Anti-Bypass Action, a group which aims to stop the bypass through direct action, has organised a demonstration against the bypass outside Wellington City Council offices, 101 Wakefield St., on Wednesday 12 June from 12.30 to 1.30pm.

This demonstration has been organised because the Wellington City Council are the silent partners in Transit’s inner city bypass project. The bypass will cost a whopping $32 million and yet will not provide any real lasting solutions to the problem of traffic congestion in inner city Wellington.

The protest is also in response to the WCC authorising the use of riot police on anti-bypass protesters on May 2. On that day, Wellington City Council sent in the stormtroopers: a 20-strong goon squad armed with long batons, riot shields and helmets, to evict peaceful protesters occupying the former Stagecraft Theatre in Tonks Ave.

The Stagecraft building is in the path of the bypass, and is owned by the WCC. The occupiers were attempting to turn the disused building, which is a beautiful historic mansion, into a free community centre – The Te Aro Community Centre.

“This was to show what community oriented uses dwellings in the path of the proposed bypass could be put to rather than be trashed for a useless road” says Anti-Bypass Action spokesperson Emma Goldman.

Eight people were arrested on May 2. It was the first time in many years that riot police had been used on a political protest in Wellington. Those arrested were charged with trespass and have appeared in court. Many have pleaded not guilty and will defend their actions later in the year.

Emma continues “The actions of the WCC and police on May 2 were disgraceful and over the top to say the least. Why use riot police on peaceful Wellingtonians occupying a building which is supposedly owned by the public of Wellington?

“Why is the WCC letting community buildings rot, choosing cars over communities, evicting tenants and stripping houses in the path of the proposed bypass?

Adds Emma, “why is the WCC involved in the inner city bypass project, a road that virtually everyone in the local community (Te Aro) doesn’t want? How democratic is it to impose a dirty smelly expensive road on a community that neither wants it or needs it?”

“The Wellington City Council is acting more and more these days like an unaccountable corporate dictatorship.”

Anti-Bypass Action calls for the WCC * to pull out of, and oppose the bypass project

* to condemn its authorisation of riot police on anti-bypass protesters on May 2

* to re-tenant the buildings it owns along the proposed bypass route. Priority should be given to tenants who wish to use the buildings for uses that benefit the community, rather than their own selfish profit.

* to upgrade the buildings it owns along the proposed bypass route to a level fit for human occupancy. At the moment, the WCC has run down these buildings to a disgraceful state.

* to call off contractors stripping heritage items of the historic ex-Stagecraft Theatre. These items should be returned to their original historical location.



MEDIA CONTACT: for more information, ring Phil on 029-934-1223.

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