i went; someone had to.
my first impression was; cor, there’s a lot of them; and there was. it was a big demo; but ya gotta keep in mind that that was about it.
all the new age churchs were there, and destinys came from all over the country for this ; their big day out. that helps put the numbers into perspective.
some anti-march people succeeded in holding up proceedings for a satisfactorily long time at the corner of queen and wyndham. (their best placard read “gis a ride on your bike, bro”)
i have to say the police were civilised in their treatment of the anti- marchers.
it was a strange march; they were all packed into the street, and you could have fired a machine gun up the pavements; there were virtually no spectators.
the destys just marched past in a grim, almost sullen silence. no singing, no chanting; just marching through this ghost town. (carrying their mass produced signs and wearing their mass produced tshirts carrying a variety of slogans; “it aint over yet”(i think), was the most aggressive). the whole thing had a rent a mob feel about it; none of the eccentricities and individuality of your standard demo.
as a tourist next to me commented to her mate; “wow, it’s kind of surreal”
the shop keepers were pissed; all the shops were empty; everyone had stayed out of town.
workers in smith and caughey had dropped all pretence of being on duty; there was no need.
some humour was to be had from the employees of a queen st record store who put on frankie goes to hollywood, (relax), at very high volume for the marchers. i think it would have gone right over their heads in more ways than one.
frankie was suddenly cut off in mid-warble. (maybe the boss is a closet desty).
so up to the park; disturbing images of a praetorian guard dressed,this time, in white boiler suits.
some demonstrators had made it up to the park; and this large group of families, children and all, cheered when one of the anti-marchers got roughed up by the destys security.
that was disturbing.
so then there was the big walk to the stage by brian and his crew., flanked by his praetorian guard.
then they had the national anthem; sung enthusiastically in english; then virtually nobody sang along to the maori version; (and they weren’t even trying to mumble along after a fashion; just sort of looking around, waiting for it to finish.)
this from such a brown gathering puzzled me; having been at other meetings where the maori language anthem was greeted and sung with such passion, as to bring tears to the eye.
and i still haven’t got my head around it. (suggestions please; i have half formed ideas of reactionary anti-maori maori, but that’s about it.)
then there were the speechs; strangly anti-climatic after the theatre leading up to them.
someone got up and banged on about rising up, referring to revelations.
tamaki waffled on about families, homosexuality, the usual stuff. oh, that’s right, he went long and hard on his god given right to belt his children; that got a roar of approval from the crowd.
without being unkind, i should note that there were a lot of large people there; and one of the largest was sitting right in front of me.
at the exact moment tamaki was introduced, she reached into her bag and pulled out this roll/sandwich of gargantuan proportions. she then proceeded to work her way through this sandwich/meal; every now and then pausing to nod vigorously and wave her arm in the air at something tamaki had said; that also was kinda surreal; this combination of orgiastic eating and religous fervour.
tamaki then introduced the leader of the destiny political part, and boy, does he need media/speaking training. he has one of those squeaky, choked off, voices. decidedly uninspiring. he’s going to be eaten up during the election campaign.
and that was about it.
my final thoughts were that this lot is going to split the reactionary christian vote, which will be bad news for peter dunne; so i guess every cloud has it’s silver lining.