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Auckland City Centre Residents Opposed To Proposed 'Freedom Protest' Planned For This Weekend In Central Auckland

  1. City Centre residents are opposed to the proposed “Freedom Protest” planned for this weekend in Central Auckland.
  2. In light of the dramatic spike in covid-19 cases yesterday (29 September) City Centre residents are extremely concerned a mass gathering of this nature poses a serious threat to the health and safety of thousands of local residents.
  3. “We’ve heard from building managers, residents and from body corporate representatives and they’ve made it clear they don’t want this anti-vaccine protest” says CCRG spokesperson Antony Phillips. “Given we share hallways, lifts, lobbies, footpaths and other confined spaces with our neighbours it is imperative we hold our nerve and remain vigilant” he says.
  4. Auckland City Centre is the most densely populated residential community in New Zealand. Comprised of high rise apartment buildings, there are more people living in the city centre than in many provincial centres.
  5. “Our community of apartment dwellers don’t have the outdoor spaces our suburban cousins enjoy, there’s a premium on the few public spaces we do have which are well-used by locals and a vital necessity – especially during a lockdown” Antony adds.
  6. The CCRG defend the right to protest. We have watched and participated in many over the years - Waihorotiu Queen Street, the heart of our neighbourhood has played host to some of the most significant protest movements in our history. However in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, this is about health and safety and respect.
  7. The protests we have seen in Australia and the spike in cases today in Victoria are alarming and we need to do everything we can to avoid their example. “All citizens have equal rights in our democracy and all citizens are required to respect that – no individual has more rights than another. In a pandemic, as in a civil defence emergency, we have to respect the limitations governments put in place to save lives. No individual has the right to behave in a manner that puts other lives at risk. To do so is not an exercise of democratic right but a statement of self-entitlement. says CCRG Chair, Noelene Buckland.

The Auckland City Centre is home to some of the most vulnerable in our society and a groundswell of illegal gatherers coming from outside the area has consequences for us all, especially those most vulnerable. We need our spaces for us and condemn this perversion of democratic purpose as anti-social, selfish and outright cruel. The CCRG call on Police Commissioner Coster, Deputy Commissioner Haumaha and Auckland City District Commander, Superintendent Malthus, to do whatever necessary to protect our communities and our simple message to the organisers: please. not here and not now.

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