Somehow Trotter feels they were mistimed, apolitical and unhelpful because he feels the public weren’t ready for the message.
If New Zealanders in the past had taken his argument seriously we would never have protested against rugby links with South Africa; against New Zealand involvement in the Vietnam War or ANZUS; in support of a nuclear-free New Zealand; in support of gay rights or any such campaigns.
Public protests are always the spearhead for important campaigns where the aim is to provoke community reaction, build public awareness and ultimately shift public opinion to a majority view.
On this basis the Auckland protests should be celebrated by us all.
I suspect it’s Chris Trotter who is not ready to protest US imperialism rather than the public at large not being ready to consider it.
So congratulations to everyone protesting this week in Auckland – all strength to your arms. There are excellent reasons to engage in stroppy protest.
Represented in the war flotilla is the US – a country currently bombing seven countries and using extra-judicial assassinations ( ie murder) through drone strikes as a policy tool.
The US even murdered a New Zealand citizen – Daryl Jones – in Yemen in 2013 but our Prime Minister said it didn’t matter.
The so-called “defence industry” with their war-mongering expo on at the same time is an affront to all of humanity. Their profiteering from human misery, death and destruction makes them arguably the most depraved human beings of all.
In the last day we have seen US sailors helping out in Kaikoura in a public-relations opportunity they will relish. It helps take attention away from their real job – slaughtering their way around much of the rest of the world to keep it safe for US corporations.
Opposing US imperialism won’t be a popular message for many but getting people to think more widely is critical and public protest the best vehicle to do so in the meantime.