Time to turn the tables on violent protestors

Professor Jan Thomas is Vice-Chancellor of Massey University.

Jan Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of Massey University didn’t tell the whole truth about her reasons for shutting Don Brash out of a student planned political debate. The blog YourNZ’s transcript of the radio interview reveals the following response to two of Larry Williams’s questions: Quote.

Larry Williams: What were the reasons for cancelling?

Jan Thomas: The reason we cancelled was because the students who had booked the venue and had agreed to terms of use had come to us and identified their concerns around their ability to maintain security at the event, and so on the basis of that we took another look at things and based on some things we were observing on social media I became concerned that there was a genuine threat to the safety of our staff and students and members of the public.
And so unfortunately it’s a really tough decision and I don’t like making these decisions but based on the safety of our community I chose to cancel the event.

Larry Williams: Was this more about your personal views though, you don’t like Dr Brash?

Jan Thomas: Ah, I made the decision on the basis of the safety of our staff. […] End quote

The real reason was that Thomas considered Brash a very real threat to the Maorification processes she is advancing at Massey University. The same thing is happening throughout the education sector and across many government institutions. Proof of this is evidenced by Thomas’s emails in Cam Slater’s post, Massey University busted. Quote.

email from Jan Thomas re Brash on Maori and Maori seats


email from Jan Thomas

Thomas didn’t tell the whole truth when she told her Board and the media that the reason for cancelling was the threat of violent protestors at the event, saying a gun had been mentioned. We have no way of knowing if this statement is true because it hasn’t been revealed in her emails released under the OIA and no evidence of the threats have been provided to the media.

Thomas said the police confirmed they did not have the means to deal with a violent threat, and could not promise to keep Brash or anyone else at the event safe.

Let’s assume for argument’s sake that the threat was real and violence was planned by the protestors, but the police knew they could not control it.

How should we respond to such threats of violence from protestors or anti-protestors?

Photoshopped image credit: Technomage

We should not roll over and let them get away with it because this is a sign of a weak and corrupt society that tolerates bullying and instead punishes the victims.

It is not in the interests of freedom of speech to allow terrorist threats to close the door on an open forum. It also encourages would-be terrorists to indulge in idle threats to simply close down discussions they don’t want aired.

We need to have resources available to quickly deal with such threats. We need to treat all threats seriously and prosecute recidivist offenders with harsher penalties.

Resources need to be available to track these cowards down. We need to beef up our police force to remove the excuse that the police can’t manage a threat, and have the armed forces on call for immediate backup.

People who abuse our freedoms should be held to account, not pandered to.  The level of antagonism and disruption is increasing. Let’s put measures in place to warn off would-be violent behaviour before it gets even more out of hand.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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