Protest against TPPA reaches steps of Parliament

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Report by NewsroomPlus.com

Contributed by Olexander Barnes

It was a standard Wellington day, gray with the threat of rain. Yet Midland Park was bursting at the seams with people, all preparing to march against the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement.

There were a few speeches that included an anti-TPPA song, before the protest made its way along Lambton Quay towards Parliament.

The march was lively, led by chants that included the standard “TPPA, No Way” chant. Over 1000 people took part in the march and it wound the entire distance from Midland Park to the gates of Parliament.

Once at Parliament the protesters drew up in front of the security barriers. These barriers had been placed in a new layout. Unlike previously when speakers would speak at the top of the steps in front of the barriers, now the barriers formed small square alcove for speakers to talk, as well as extra barriers running up to the sides of parliament buildings itself.

Several speakers took to the microphone including journalist and child poverty campaigner Bryan Bruce who spoke about how the TPPA would prevent people accessing cheap medicines.

There was even musical entertainment provided by Darren Watson who played his now infamous ‘Planet Key” song.

Darren Watson performing “Planet Key” © Olexander Barnes

The protest was beginning to wind down and Darren Watson began to perform his new song “I got your office right here’ when a group of children made their way through the security barrier to dance in front of parliament and others quickly followed suit.

Soon all parliamentary security could do was form a line on parliament steps to stop people pushing up them. One woman was detained by security and police for running up the steps of Parliament.

The protesters remained peaceful but did not back away from the steps and soon around 20 police officers arrived to provide extra security.

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Police and Parliamentary security preventing protesters reaching the top of parliament. © Olexander Barnes

The standoff lasted about 20 minutes with people making speeches on the available megaphones, after which time people filtered away on their own accord.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues.
Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia’s FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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