National Front driven out of Wellington

From the Herald On Sunday:

National Front marchers clash

Sunday October 22, 2006
By Keith Ng

National Front members clashed with protesters as they marched on Parliament yesterday, shocking tourists but leading to only one arrest.

Around 30 members of the National Front were in Wellington for their annual rally to “celebrate the New Zealand flag”. National Front Director Sid Wilson attacked multiculturalism, describing it as “genocide” and “holocaust” against white and Maori New Zealand.

The rally was met by an 80-strong counter-protest.

Parliamentary security was tight after scenes of chaos and violence in previous years. Two dozen police officers escorted the National Front members as they marched. One protester was arrested after an altercation involving a Soviet flag, but was later released without charge.

Senior Sergeant Marty Parker said police were happy that there was no injury or property damage, but it has been a drain on police resources.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to protect the public and we have to do this sort of thing.”

The confrontation also made its way to the Hutt Park Holiday Park, where National Front members were staying. The park’s details were posted on the internet, and it is has received abusive phone calls about the National Front’s stay. Others at the park said that they were not told of the group’s presence and some were worried about safety.

Park management declined to comment.

And the Sunday Star Times:

Message to National Front: peace, love, spit and shove
22 October 2006
By RUTH HILL

Anti-racism protesters demonstrated their message of peace and reconciliation by spitting, shoving and shouting at National Front members who marched on Parliament yesterday to mark the 137th anniversary of the New Zealand flag.

One protester was arrested and charged with breaching the peace.

Twenty National Front members, mainly shaven-headed men in their 20s, some women dressed in black and a girl of about 12, marched from the railway station to the Cenotaph, where they had intended to stage a rally.

When they found the war memorial already occupied by about 100 peace activists and anarchists, they turned up Parliament’s drive and gathered at the statue of Richard Seddon. A wedding party there decided to leave.

After waiting for the protesters and media to regroup, National Front leader Sid Wilson announced his party would one day run the country.

“One day the National Front will be the government and we will be in that building and we will take the country back to where it should be: a place of peace and happiness,” he said.

In his speech, which was drowned out by chants of “Nazi scum, on the run”, he called for a halt to immigration and foreign investment.

One protester, who clambered up the statue and refused to get down, was hauled away by two police officers.

Protesters, mostly disguised in masks and scarves, jostled the group during the short walk back to the railway station, where police formed a barricade on the platform to let the group board the train.

The National Front gathering coincided with its annual meeting, which is being held this weekend at a Hutt Valley motor camp.

News brief · 22 October 2006