Concerned Citizens Ban Invercargill Residents
“Concerned Citizens Ban Invercargill Residents from Parliament Grounds”
A nationwide group of more than 60 artists calling themselves ‘Concerned Citizens’ blocked Parliament grounds this morning with large cardboard ‘checkpoint towers’ bearing the face of Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
Politicians were forced to provide documentation proving that they were not from Invercargill before they were granted entry to the Beehive, because the Concerned Citizens do not recognise Invercargill as a legitimate city.
“We refuse to recognise the legitimacy of any politicians from Invercargill.” says spokesperson Ben Knight.
“It’s clearly not a real city, so how can people from there be expected to represent us in Government?”
MP Keith Locke was dismayed to be refused entry due to a lack of proof of address.
The group has made it clear that Invercargill residents will also be banned from the ‘Unrecognised’ series of human rights photography exhibitions in Auckland, Hamilton, Whanganui, Wellington and Dunedin, opening tonight at 5pm. The exhibitions seek to draw attention to Murray McCully’s upcoming vote in the UN General Assembly in September, deciding whether or not New Zealand recognises Palestine as a state.
Knight says “the checkpoint towers have Mr McCully’s face, because he has taught us that sometimes it’s hard to recognise whether or not somewhere is a real place, even if most people think it is.”
The ‘Unrecognised’ exhibitions commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Springbok tour anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand, and contributors include veteran human rights campaigner John Minto, highly acclaimed South African photographer Omar Badsha (co-founder of the influential Afrapix photography collective), prominent Israeli/Palestinian photography collective ActiveStills, activist Tame Iti, musician Imon Starr, and South African film-maker Mark Fredericks, as well as more than 50 photographers/artists from around New Zealand.
The ‘Unrecognised ‘ exhibition will also be showing at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in East London, South Africa.
‘Unrecognised’ opens in Wellington at 5pm at the Garrett Street exhibition space tonight (Friday August 19th).
Article about ActiveStills in the Jerusalem Post:
Coverage of Concerned Citizens’ previous events:
Mail and Guardian coverage of Afrapix: