Protest: "March for Democracy" in Christchurch
Hundreds of protesters from a range of civil society organisations including NZ Council of Trade Unions (CTU), Public Services Association (PSA), FIRST Union, Greenpeace, 350.org, Oxfam New Zealand, SAFE for Animals and It’s Our Future, came out on the Riccarton Road in Christchurch on September 10, for what they called “a Day of Action that will affirm our democratic rights and support initiatives to build a fairer and more sustainable society”.
Barry Coates, national coordinator of It’s Our Future explained the motivation behind the rally: “This is a time when families are struggling with high housing costs, insecure work and stagnant wages. Our rivers and seas are being polluted, our native species are being wiped out and we are failing to curb climate emissions.”
Gen de Spa, also from It's Our Future Christchurch, when asked about the need for an anti- TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) rally given the uncertainty surrounding the impending US elections, said, “While it's true that both Trump and Hillary have taken an anti-TPPA stand, we believe that they will change once they assume office.” Meanwhile, Rachel Thomas – a well-known activist – after the protest rally, announced her plans to march from Christchurch to Wellington. “Starting October 15 and finishing on the Guy Fawkes weekend which is also the anniversary of Parihaka, a significant day in our history which inspired Gandhi to peaceful protest,” she informed.