First pics from the Wellington anti-anti-smacking rally
Lindsay Mitchell has more of Perigo's attention-grabbing speech.
Around 500 placard-waving protestors vented their spleen outside Parliament after a march from Civic Square. They say the proposed law robs parents of their rights to discipline their children. One placard sent a clear message to the MP's "represent your voters or lose them", which is reflective of opinion polls which have consistently pointed to around 80 percent of voters being opposed to the law change.
Libertarian Lindsay Perigo raised spectres of a police state, saying police will become the Gestapo and New Zealand will become a nation of snitches if the bill goes through.
Following Helen Clark's shot at what she described as "fundamentalists" yesterday, the debate has become increasingly personal. Former WINZ boss and current child campaigner Christine Rankin took a swipe at Helen Clark for ignoring public opinion, saying "the childless Prime Minister thinks she knows better than the public".
Ms Rankin also lambasted the bill's sponsor Sue Bradford, saying comments the Green MP made last October that men opposed to the bill are sexual perverts who get a kick out of hitting children "says it all".
In Christchurch an estimated 2,000 protestors braved a wet, wintry lunchtime in Christchurch today to march from Victoria Square to the Cathedral Square.
UPDATE 2: Scoop has more pictures, and a frankly sneering,report by Kevin List, topped off with an inaccurate headline: Libz, Bible scholars and Nats fight S59 repeal - Scoop
Why inaccurate? Because as David Farrar explains, Bradford's Bill doesn't repeal the section, it simply fills it with mush. See Lies, damn lies and more lies - Kiwiblog.
UPDATE 3: Robin Thomsen provides this report:
Today's Anti-anti-smacking March in Wellington was a great success, around 500+ protesters turned up carrying placards, including many children [wouldn't you expect these kids to be counter-protesting? :-)]. There was a crew of Libertarianz there, as well as members and supporters of Act, Family First, Destiny Church etc, all united (this time) against Nanny State.RELATED: Smacking, NZ Politics, Libz
There was a small and weird looking group of noisy Anti-anti-anti-smackers, but this gathering possessed little imagination and the limit of their counter-protest was blowing a whistle loudly and trying to chant, unsuccessfully, over the main protest.
Once the march had arrived at Parliament, Lindsay Perigo gave a rousing speech, followed by ACT's Heather Roy, United Future's Larry Baldock, National's Chester Borrows, Christine Rankin and Family First's Bob McCoskrie. None of the Anti-smacking Bill's supporters spoke or dared to get close, possibly fearing a public spanking.
We understand several other marches around the country had also been highly successful, with several thousand marchers protesting in Christchurch. [Newstalk ZB reports 2,000 (see above)]
Good on Mitch Lees for kicking off this successful protest.