Chris Trotter on the dopey protestors

Chris Trotter will probably be reefed from his bed in the dead of night, tarred and feathered and chained to a lamp post on Mt Eden road for his latest post, daring to queston the wisdom of protesting the Defence Industry when all those nasty pieces of war gear are currently rescuing people and assisting with relief efforts after the Kaikoura Earthquake.

[F]aced with poll results indicating that a very substantial majority of New Zealanders are positive about the rapprochement between their country and the United States, reasonable progressives would have been disinclined to organise a protest against the participation of a US destroyer in the New Zealand Navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

That disinclination would have been vindicated entirely by the events of the past few days. Far from being seen as a symbol of American imperialism, the USS Sampson – now on its way to assist earthquake victims stranded in Kaikoura – is being welcomed by the vast majority of New Zealanders as a symbol of American friendship and solidarity.  

Those same New Zealanders are unlikely to look with any sympathy upon this morning’s protest action on the Auckland waterfront, and the core messages of the protesters themselves are unlikely to be received. Indeed, they are almost certain to be misinterpreted and/or disregarded.

Hemmed in by police and sneered at by an unsympathetic news media as “the usual left-wing suspects”, the viaduct protesters view of themselves as a prophetic minority bearing witness against a corrupt and violent world will undoubtedly be reinforced. Their hearts and minds will remain pure.

Unfortunately, the hearts and minds of the rest of us will remain unwon.

Most people think they are daft, smelly, filthy hippies who could do with a good dunking in the harbour.

You may be sure those same filthy hippies would be the first to cry a river of tears if a disaster was to strike Auckland and they would welcome with open arms any assistance from someone in uniform.

 

-The Daily Bog

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