Many New Zealanders know and loathe Wilson Parking for the utterly extortionate rates they charge at their pop-up car parks and garages. However, the Wilson corporate portfolio extends into far more nefarious business than $9 an hour car parking fees. Wilson is implicated in the Panama Papers and linked to one of Hong Kong’s largest corruption scandals.
Moreover, Wilson Security has been running the deplorable detention centres set up by the Australian Government in the remote offshore locations of Nauru and Manus Island. Despite contortions to suppress the truth emerging, the world has been learning of ongoing horrific human rights abuses at the Nauru centre, which houses approximately 440 people, including children.
The Australian public has been slow to demand the closure of the camps (the Nauru facility was initially open from 2001-2008 and then reopened in August 2012) and of their political parties, only the Greens are proposing closure. However, the tide may be starting to turn as evidenced by an editorial advocating closure published in the Age on August 20th.
The Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance has scheduled protest action throughout Australia on Saturday, September 3. As a “Merchant of Misery” Wilson is being specifically targeted with a call for a boycott on their parking facilities. Wilson presently holds over $478 million AUD worth of contracts with the Australian government.
Auckland activist Julia Schiller believes once Kiwi citizens are aware of the connection between Wilson Parking lots and the ongoing barbarism in the detention centres they will be induced to boycott Wilson garages. “If enough private corporations like Wilson know the citizenry of Australia and New Zealand won’t stand for them profiting from despair, the Australian government will be forced to close these unaccountable offshore camps and assume its rightful responsibility for processing asylum seekers in a transparent and humane way.”
Schiller has launched a Facebook group called Boycott Wilson NZ, which invites concerned citizens to gather with placards for a protest rally on Saturday, September 3 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm at Lumsden Green, a public park at Broadway and Khyber Pass in Newmarket, just down the road from one of Wilson’s many parking garages.