Auckland: An estimated 35 thousand people thronged Queen St today calling for the extension of the moratorium on genetically engineered (GE) crops in what is being heralded as one of New Zealand's largest ever marches.
"Today made history much the same as the nuclear free protests in the eighties" said Greenpeace GE Campaigner, Steve Abel.
"We have a nuclear free New Zealand because the government listened to the people and the government must listen to this huge expression of public feeling and extend the moratorium."
"It was an overwhelming turnout and the message today is that the people aren¡¦t going to go away, we want New Zealand to remain GE free and parliament must listen."
The massive turn out is certainly one of New Zealand's biggest marches ever and is the biggest of the three GE Free marches in Auckland (previous marches numbered 15 and 10 thousand). Marchers from as far a field as Wanaka filled Queen Street from Customs Street to Aotea Square in a wash of banners, costumes, placards and chants.
The march was organised by Greenpeace, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering and the Auckland GE Free Coalition and was promoted thanks to the work of dozens of volunteers.
The march started at
the bottom of Queen Street and ended in Myers Park where the
crowd were entertained by performers and speakers including
scientist Dr Elvira Dommisse, Allanah Currie and maori kuia
Del Wihongi. Performers at the March included: Don
McGlashan, Anika Moa and Mikey Havoc.