The anti-mandate protests

People have a right to protest peacefully, especially against government decisions that directly affect them. Some people protest against or about wider issues that don’t impact them directly (such as an overseas conflict), and some protest on issues that have directly impacted them (employees wanting a pay rise etc).

It is hard to imagine a group more affected than those who have lost their jobs, maybe their careers through vaccine mandates. Also they have been affected by being barred from numerous public and private facilities. Their lives have been massively impacted, so it is no surprise at all they wish to protest against this. If you don’t protest against a law that has forced you out of a job, what would you protest against?

It is also important to understand that not everyone at the protest convoy is anti-vaccine. Many are, but some any merely anti-compulsion. I’m massively pro-vaccine and are tripled dosed, but I am sceptical of the vaccine mandates in force outside the health and education sectors. I think NZ should do what Biden did, and allow people in non essential industries to get regular testing as an alternative to a vaccination.

So I’m all for the right of those who protested this week, to have done so.

But there is a difference between peaceful protest and disruption. Those who engaged in violence against the Police should be prosecuted, and those who refuse to leave the grounds of Parliament after being trespassed should be removed forcibly. There is a difference between a protest rally and an occupation.

So the authorities have acted appropriately, in my view, in trying to remove those people still at Parliament.

However there is a huge double standard. Why are the protesters at Shelly Bay still there after many months of illegal occupation and trespass?

If the standard is that the authorities move in after 48 hours of occupation, why is this not applied across the board?

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