The right to protest

Marika Hill at Stuff reports:

says “redneck” racism is to blame for the last-minute cancellation of a lecture he was to give in Auckland today.

The Mana Party leader was due to speak about the foreshore and seabed at  Auckland University Law School.

“All of the rednecks at the university decided to create such a ruckus that the Law School cancelled it. In 2011 we’re still being pushed around,” Harawira said. …

Asked why this was an example of racism, Harawira said there were only Pakeha involved in the protest planned at Auckland University.

“A lot of people think that racism is dead and buried but clearly it’s not. I’m a Maori MP and I should have the right to talk to Maori law students.” …

Law student Charlotte Summers said the Faculty of Law cancelled the lecture on the basis of “there may be a breach of the peace”.  

She said the Young Nationals organisation  was behind the protest.

“How is it fair that the Young Nats decide to be disruptive, threaten to be disruptive, and then an entire event is cancelled because of their choices and what they threaten to do?”

“There is a time and a place for protest – an academic lecture is not that time nor place.”

However, the Young Nationals denied any involvement in the protest.

President Daniel Fielding said although some Young National members were planning to attend the protest, it was a cross section of students involved.

Oh poor little Hone. Who knew he had such a thin skin. The man who had led dozens of protests, whose family have often assaulted people at protests, can’t handle a few students protesting against him.

And of course it is racism, if one protests against Hone. What else could it be. Couldn’t possible be related to him comparing people to Hitler, and highlighting how Osma’a family saw him as a freedom fighter.

But don’t you love the reaction of the law school, and the quoted law student. They cancelled the lecture because people may have protested.

This is in the same week that the Supreme Court upheld the right of someone to burn the NZ flag on ANZAC Day (a decision which I actually agree with). So it is okay to burn the NZ flag on ANZAC day, but it is wrong and racist to protest against Hone Harawira.

The Facebook page about the protest is here. Having had a brief look I don’t see any suggestion they were going to go into the lecture and shout Hone down. They were going to protest outside, and they specifically said that if any go inside, “we will give Hone a chance to speak, we will listen and we will ask constructive questions while expressing our displeaure in his racial hatred and gutter politics”.

Isn’t there anything more hypocritical that a veteran protester who whines about how awful it is when people protest against him.

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