Letter Of Complaint To Race Relations Commissioner
CAP'S Reaction To Bob Harvey's Letter Of Complaint To Race Relations Commissioner Re: Margaret Jones And Cap
(Mayor Bob Harvey's letter to Mr de Bres, Race Relations Commissioner follows public statement. CAP obtained this letter through the Official Information Act)
PUBLIC STATEMENT Despite being made aware of Margaret Jones's reasons for displaying a sign with swastika equals WCC's written on it at a picket and occupation of Waitkaere Council offices demanding a fairer water charging system, Bob Harvey has now sent his letter of complaint. Margaret who has campaigned against fascism and racism for decades was ringing warning bells about the implications of depriving the right to freedom of speech. She was protesting about anti-moth spray protester Helen Wiseman Dare being trespassed off WCC offices for two years. Margaret more than anyone has earned the credentials to make such a statement. Meredydd Barrar CAP spokesperson says:-
"Bob Harvey is lowering politics to those of the gutter. Margaret was simply ringing warning bells about what can happen when freedom of speech is deprived. Harvey is trying to turn this into a racial slur. He claims he wishes to appear quote "on behalf of my council and the people of the city" (Harvey's letter to Joris de Bres), but does not even send his fellow councillors, apart from Deputy Mayor Stone, a copy of his letter (see cc at bottom of Harvey's letter). A vote has never been taken by WCC on the issue. Are Team West Councillors going to allow Harvey to talk on their behalf without even seeing the letter?. It is about time they stated their position. Councillors like Penny Hulse and Denise Yates have implied they wish no part in these proceedings. He ignores his own councillors but sends a copy of the letter to the Zionist society and similar organisations (see cc at bottom of Harvey's letter). CAP believe Harvey is whipping up racial hatred in an attempt to discredit political protest. This is dangerous and should be condemned by all civic minded people including WCC councillors themselves".
Waitakere Councillors should inform Joris de Bres in writing that Bob Harvey is not acting on their behalf, if that is the case. Meredydd Barrar (CAP spokesperson)
Waitakere City Council
Office of The Mayor, Bob Harvey 28 July 2003
Mr Joris de Bres
Race Relations Commissioner -Human Rights Commission . P.O Box 7651
Wellesley Street AUCKLAND
Dear Mr de Bres, I wish to formally lodge a complaint against the Auckland based protest group known as Citizens against Privatisation and the veteran protester Mrs Margaret Jones.
The reasons for doing so are as follows
During a protest outside the Waitakere City Council chambers on the July 2003 from 11am -3pm, Mrs Jones and the group displayed a sign, which incorporated the Nazi swastika, fully aware of its implication and message. When asked to desist she continued to display the sign (photograph enclosed).
At the public meeting held by Citizens against Privatisation at the Kelston Community Centre Thursday 11th July, the sign was displayed on the public platform and despite objections, was displayed until turned face down by Waitakere City Councillor Penny Hulse.
Both Mrs Jones and the group were made well aware of my grave concerns. On both occasions the group was asked not to display this symbol as it was considered to be in appalling taste.
This council employs Jewish, Dutch, Yugoslav and Croatian men and women, who found this action abhorrent.
I wish this group to be prosecuted under the human rights act and I wish to appear on behalf of my Council and the people of the city.
Waitakere City and the former Councils that have made up the west have had a long history of racial harmony, renowned as one of the most tolerant areas in New Zealand. This is a matter of pride for us all.
A large number of our community are of Dutch descent, coming to New Zealand in the 1950's. Many of these immigrants were survivors of the holocaust and of Nazi rule and have lost whole families under the symbol displayed by the group and Mrs Jones.
Another large and respected section of Waitakere City are of Yugoslav and Croation descent, whose histories were likewise deeply affected by the terror of this symbol.
Waitakere City's Waikumete Cemetery contains the largest Jewish burial ground in New Zealand and contains a national memorial to the holocaust victims. This cemetery also holds the greatest number of war dead in New Zealand, the majority of whom lost their lives in WW2 fighting for freedom against the Third Reich and this symbol.
I am not of Jewish descent, but am very troubled by this display, which has no ground for display by any group or individual. I want to start the process for your office to prosecute this matter. I do so both as a citizen and as Mayor of Waitakere city.
ROBERT HARVEY JP,QSO MAYOR WAITAKERE CITY
Cc Harry O'Rourke-Chief Executive Waitkaere City
Council Councillor Carolynne Stone-Deputy Mayor Waitakere
City Council Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence-Auckland Hebrew
Congregation Rabbi Michael Weiser-Beth Shalom Mike
Natahan-Zionist Society Wendy Ross-Jewish Council ___