May Day: Mike Moore Burns
After forcing the closure of KFC and Star Mart - which avoided an occupation by closing for stock-take before protesters arrived - Wellington May Day protesters, moved to Midland Park, disrupting traffic in Willis Street and Lambton Quay.
Police escorted the protest group, estimated to include around 200 very noisy people, several small children and at least one dog, and brought up the rear with a paddy wagon in case of arrests.
Protester on loud hailer at Midland Park: “I reckon if we have anything to be ashamed of it’s that someone from this whenua, this land, [Mike Moore] is heading the World Trade Organisation.”
Chant: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Protesters have lollipop scramble.
Loud hailer protester: “There’s got to be a law against lollipops, there’s a law against everything else. [Sarcastically] You ate Food not Bombs – shame on you.”
Colin Cross, Libertarianz counter-protester and teacher: “Why do you always see yourselves as victims?”
Protester: “We want to change society.”
Colin Cross: You can’t even change yourself. Why do you want to change other people?”
Colin Cross: “I used to teach – I’m appalled that these people are literally teaching people to be victims. The richest man in the world today isn’t rich because he owns property. He’s wealthy because of the efforts of his mind, and he’s made other people rich through his interaction with them. These people make out like its some kind of accident.”
Loud hailer protestor: “What do we think of capitalism?”
Voices from group: “Capitalism sucks! Fuck capitalism! Fuck America! Fuck the American empire!”
Protester: We believe in free speech. Libertarianz, this is what we think of your pamphlet! [burns pamphlet to cheers from the crowd]”
The protest group proceeds down to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade, passing the Beehive.
Police escort the group, redirect traffic, then protect the entrance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Chant from the crowd outside MFAT: “Human needs, not Human Greed. Down with free trade.”
Protester: We’ve got nothing from free trade. Free trade means fifty more Star Marts, 50 more McDonalds.”
Protestor, speaking against Hong Kong free trade agreement: “We’re not against the people of Hong Kong or the people of China. We are against the corporations that exploit those workers.”
Protester in giant Mike Moore suit: “[Ironically] Capitalism’s great – look at me, I’m rich! Why don’t you go get a job you bunch of no hopers!”
Mike Moore is ritually beheaded. His head is put on a flag pole.
Protester: “Bring me Mike Moore’s head on a stick!”
Chant: “Smash the IMF!”
Mike Moore’s visage is burned.
Chant: “Down with free trade!”
Protester: “Today isn’t the end of it. We’re not going to stop the Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement by coming here and shouting. We need to work through our organisations, social organisations, unions.”
Music begins, some dance.
Scoop May Day coverage ends around 4.30