Monday, June 4, 2012

Students Are There To Learn

The clash between students and police in Auckland's CBD on Friday was...illuminating, to say the least.
Behavioural Science:101???
A protest over budget cuts got way outta control. Students barged into SkyCity casino, chanting "fuck the casino", as staff tried to remove them. Protesters yelled "free all political prisoners" outside the Central police station (wasn't aware we had any political prisoners): some officers were wrestled to the ground amidst jeering crowds. Then the future leaders of our country sat on Queen Street blocking traffic, chanting: "Bill English, we're all Greeks" (after earlier student protests, Finance Minister English had said they "need some Greeks to show them how to do it". The chant was a response to that flippancy: no complaints from the Greek Govt yet).
Everyone blames their parents.
The Blockade the Budget protests come after the Govt outlined changes to student loans. One protester moaned: "We planned a peaceful protest... we were going to rise above English's incitement to riot." (incitement to riot??!!) "But now the police've attacked people. They're the destructive party in all of this." Oh, grow up! As oft happens in large groups of immature sheep youth, the 'mob mentality' took over. The 43 arrests were a direct consequence...
So, let's analyse this, like good students should: this was a Blockade the Budget protest, right? But students chanted at the Central police station: "free all political prisoners". They chanted at SkyCity: "fuck the casino", and chanted in Queen St.: "We're all Greeks". See a pattern? Shades of the Occupy Wall Street protests - many agendas; everyone bitching about something but no cohesion, just a rabble. Likewise Friday had no coherant focus, just an intention to disrupt, be anti-social and juvenile pains-in-the-arse!
Sure, cutbacks do hurt - ask any working family. Life ain't easy right now. But during my recent uni studies, I found lots of students thought their degree would instantly deliver a 250K job!
Welcome to reality. Students aren't forced to go to university. They voluntarily choose to further their education. Obviously many of them have not learnt a damn thing yet.

04 June 2012 - Interesting post on The Standard, advising students to pick their battles very very carefully indeed...
05 June 2012 - Alf Grumble ponders students' ability to string together a coherent press release.


Madame48 said...

Well said!!! I despair of our country's future based on the behavior of these immature idiots who seem to think society "owes" them. These so called future leaders and professionals haven't yet earned any respect or gained sufficient life experience in the real world in order to qualify for the right to have something to protest about. They're just kids seeking attention and testing the boundaries. Sadly in this very P.C world those boundaries that we grew up with seem to be virtually non-existent these days. My only glimmer of hope comes from the fantastic organization, hard work and empathy shown by our student volunteer army who were truly amazing following the Christchurch earthquakes...well done to those guys, they certainly earned my respect & restored my faith that there is some hope for the future generations.

Anonymous said...


You missed out a crucial part of the casino chart, I note you have gotten your facts for the Herald so please try read other sources before writing stuff that instantly condemns the protest. The casino chant was actually "fuck the casino, education is important". In regards to the skycity deals that John Key has been negotiating. As for their security trying to hold people back, there was none of this. The group went into the skycity complex for about 1minute max (They foyer) and walked out through the door onto a different street. I personally high fived a security guard who was very bemused by what was happening. The political prisoner chant was in regards to our peers who had been unjustly arrested (as you can tell by the fact that there were 39 arrests and only 3 have been charged with anything). Please don't compare this moevment with the Occupy one. We have very clear intentions, we are protesting against all changes in regards to education in the proposed budget cuts- not just tertiary but primary, high school, even kindergarden funding. The protest aimed to be peaceful, there was never an intention of going to Queen street but obviously things took an unprecendented turn and the police managed the whole thing quite terribly. I'm sure if they had just left us in Symonds Street it would not have had as much media attention/disruption to central Auckland traffic.

"We're all Greeks" it was a tongue in cheek approach my dear. The idea was to stage a learn in, if you actually read any of the initial plans for the protest we had lecturers scheduled to speak and people explaining how the budget cuts would affect students.

Students are not forced to go to university, the voluntarily DO choose to go. However, the changes that are proposed means that those from disadvantaged backgrounds will not even be able to make this choice.

Just food for thought before you go calling us immature sheep. And if you going to do a proper "analysis" please look at all reports. I would recommend reading the press releases that we sent out (one is on Scoop I believe) that showed our general aim.

Kind regards,
A protester ;)

Anonymous said...

Seriously, grow up and stop expecting everything to be served to you on a silver platter. The government has a limited amount of money just like you and I.
If you spent more time studying and less sitting on the road you would realise there is more to running a country than giving money to everyone who asks for it.
Furthermore, instead of targeting a few million dollars in education, why not focus on the twenty something billion that goes to social welfare each year, then again you probably support that as you'll need it if you continue on this path to righteousness.

A student who isn't deranged.

KJ said...

Our message was incredibly clear. Here is a small sample of the things we were chanting over the course of the 3 hours we were protesting:
"No ifs, no buts, no education cuts."
"Quebec, to Auckland, we fight for education."

Many of the people there also support other causes, but that doesn't mean they aren't related. For example we chanted "Banks get bailed out, we get sold out." Referring to the huge amounts of money spent by our government bailing out failed financial institutions like South Canterbury Finance, while they progressively cut back at education.

You say the mob mentality took over. Things did get heated yes, but we stayed steadfast in our non-violence, despite violence being directed at us from the police.

Anonymous said...

"We stayed steadfast in our non-violence, despite violence being directed at us from the police."
Give it a rest! The press photos show otherwise!
Looks like a good excuse to 'have a go' at the law. You're damn lucky you're not at Kent State University in 1970!!!

KJ said...

Really? Photos show students being violent towards police? I'd like to see those because nothing I've seen so far (including being there to begin with) indicates that in the slightest.

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

In reply to "A protester ;)":
(a) Whatever you chanted at the casino, no Key/SkyCity deal FORCED you to leave your Halls Of Learning and squat on the street.
(b) Despite your perception of the arrests, the rabble-rousers were NOT political prisoners. Their arrests were for breaches of society's rules.
(c) You say that if the police "had just left us in Symonds Street it would not have had as much media attention/disruption to central Auckland traffic". But why do you think you have any RIGHT to block ANY street? No-one does! Ergo, police attention.
(d) If your "protest aimed to be peaceful", or was meant to be a "learn-in", why was it not held on university grounds or in a park? Answer: because attention was sought. Well, you sure got that.
(e) Thanks for pointing out that one chant was tongue-in-Greek: I did get that. So too was MY comment about "no complaint from Greek govt yet". Do you REALLY think Greece gives a damn about some students in NZ? Seriously?
(f) Yes, any changes WILL make it harder for those, short on $$$, to choose to go to uni. But if they're determined enough, nothing will stop them. And if, by "disadvantaged backgrounds", you mean maori/pacifica, just SAY so. THEN examine the ethnically-skewed selection criteria in NZ universities...and try rewriting your argument.
(g) Finally, it would be of little value to read a press release showing what you had INTENDED, because your intentions did not translate into ACTION.

It is therefore not surprising that many people (in a dangerously generalistic sweep) now regard Auckland students as larrikin sheep. I note the herd intends to gather again for more public stupidity this coming week. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that your perception of events is heavily colored by your own political standpoint.
I see you write a Socialist blog: your diatribe there (and the ravings on the other Socialist blogs you read) is straight out of Communist manifestos from the Cold War!

KJ said...

Well aren't you a cynical old bastard? Everything you've written here just shows your own ignorance.

a) We weren't forced, we did it of our own volition because we care.
b) Arrested without charge? Trying to dismantle a political movement by taking out what the police saw as 'leaders'? Sounds pretty political to me.
c) Actually blocking the street is not illegal for a protest march, the Bill of Rights gives us the freedom to do so. There were hundreds of us, and we were entirely within our rights.
d) Correct, attention was sought. I elaborated on the reasons behind this on my own blog post, not that you'd bother reading it.
e) I know that the students protesting in Quebec give a damn about us, and I don't find it hard to believe that many of those protesting in Greece would stand with us in solidarity.
f) Think whatever you want, we're fighting for all students.
g) We had non-violent intentions that did translate into actions. We tried to hold the teach in where the police had boxed us in, but they stole the lectern and the amplifier.

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Replying to KJ:
Well, Oh So Learned And Clever Future Leader, you are so very wrong about the Bill Of Rights. Read it.
Section 16 gives everyone the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
Section 18 gives everyone the right to freedom of movement.
NOWHERE within this document is anyone given the right to block a street for a protest march.
Back to tutorial for you, methinx!

KJ said...

You see, while trying to showcase your masterful understanding of everything while maintaining that furrowed-brow of disapproval and cynicism you proved that you are just talking out of your colon.

From the Bill of Rights Act 1990:
"18 Freedom of movement

(1) Everyone lawfully in New Zealand has the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

(2) Every New Zealand citizen has the right to enter New Zealand.

(3) Everyone has the right to leave New Zealand.

(4) No one who is not a New Zealand citizen and who is lawfully in New Zealand shall be required to leave New Zealand except under a decision taken on grounds prescribed by law."

The Freedom of Movement doesn't really have anything to do with traffic.

The wiki page for Freedom of Movement says this:
"Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect. It asserts that a citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in, and/or work in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of others, and to leave that state and return at any time. Some immigrants' rights advocates assert that human beings have a fundamental human right to mobility not only within a state but between states."

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

And your point is...???
You wrote:
'Actually blocking the street is not illegal for a protest march, the Bill of Rights gives us the freedom to do so.'
I pointed out that the BoR does NOT give anyone freedom to block a road (as you think it does).
You reply with a cut-and-paste from the Font Of All Knowledge, Wikipedia!
Nothing you posted supports your claim of being allowed to block traffic. Your own masterful understanding of the BoR appears rather flimsy.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Comrade KJ-ski:
From your own blog (yea, I read it) -
"We realise that blocking a road does inconvenience motorists, so we had actually made a banner to put up across the road that read something like "Sorry for the inconvenience". Since we never made it to our destination we were never able to erect the banner.
Couldn't we just protest without disrupting anyone's day? Well technically we could, but it wouldn't be much of a protest then would it? Does anyone, besides those who already strongly support a cause, pay any attention to a protest that has no public impact?...on the other hand, our two blockades made headline news on both of the main news channels."

By your own words, the intent was to block a road, to protest and disrupt people's days.
And then somehow make it all better by apologising for the inconvenience???
This completely undermines any claims of passive intent.
And BTW, murders, car accidents, fires, plane crashes - they all make headlines. Whatever item looks most interesting is what leads the news, not whether your protest has any validity.

Mike C. said...

KJ wrote that the Purple Writer is talking out his colon!!!
You can tell she's a Biology student, can't ya!! LOL