MARTY SHARPE / Tips
Hundreds of people gathered at the Hastings A&P Showgrounds for the Groundswell Howl of a protest event.
About 800 vehicles passed through Hastings on Friday as part of the “Howl of a Protest,” part of a nationwide event hosted by the local organizer in relation to the 1981 Springbok tour, claiming the country was on the point of “having a socialist hold withdrawn.” hole”.
Morale was high among the protesters – humans and canines – as they gathered on the outskirts of town before slowly making their way to the A&P Showgrounds. The combine that had arrived had a top speed of 15 km / h, which ensured that the progress was not fast.
Protesters and barking dogs had one thing in common; they weren’t happy. Some were more sure than others of what they were not happy with, others were there “just to support the farmers”.
Some were not sure the protest would make a big difference. “No, it probably won’t make a big difference, but what can you do,” said one, who declined to give his name.
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The convoy, which included around 800 vehicles, was led by Hastings Groundswell organizer Chris Miles, who said there was nothing annoying farmers in Hawke’s Bay.
“There is nothing specific, but if you want to generalize, it is these unenforceable regulations. It depends on which farmer or trader you are talking about, ”he said.
“The ‘ute tax’ is Ardern’s ‘shower head moment’. Do you remember Helen Clark saying “you use too much water, so we’re going to put on these restrictors”? It was, bang, you left Helen. This could be Ardern’s shower head moment, ”Miles said.
“This could be the biggest protest in New Zealand history. It could be more important than the Springbok protests of 81, ”he said.
When the convoy arrived at the fairgrounds, nearly two hours after departure, and the crowd had a chance to eat sausages in bread, there was a “bark” from the assembled dogs.
Miles told the crowd, “This is just the start. We can’t stop now. We are on a roll. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but you can rest assured that the Groundswell group took it by the throat and that’s just the start.
He said he was “crazy” that the government “is attacking the very people who are the backbone of the economy” and said the country was “at a crossroads politically as it is not. has never been before ”.
“Imagine trying to explain this to our fathers and grandfathers who fought in two world wars, many of whom gave their lives, to make sure their children and grandchildren have the freedom and a good life in what they are. ‘they call God’s property … If we’re not careful we’ll end up like Zimbabwe or Venezuela.
“Our actions from today could be a turning point for New Zealand. Let’s all be a part of this.
After Miles’ speech, the crowd and vehicles dispersed in an orderly fashion.