GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Solidarity forever

“you have made a death threat against me, so I will not be towing your illegally parked vehicle today” Said no Tow truck driver ever.

Besieged and surrounded by right wing protesters, It’s time for the Left to show solidarity with the Ardern administration.

In the struggle between the Labour government and the conspiracy theorists  and right wing anti-vaxxers, the Left are sitting on the sidelines as onlookers.

We have been told that the Wellington City Council towing contractors won’t tow the anti-mandate protesters illegally parked vehicles. The Council’s towing contractors have claimed that they are too scared of these protesters to do this work.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster needs to remove the registered approved council towing contractors from the council register of contractors and put the job out to any towie not easily intimidated by gangs or criminals or violent protesters?

An injury to one is an injury to all

If Wellington Mayor Andrew Foster truly can not find any tow truck drivers in the Wellington region not scared to tow these protesters cars, (Which I find hard to believe), then Auckland’s Mayor Goff in an act of solidarity with the Wellington City should have sent tow truck drivers from Auckland to Wellington in a ‘Save Democracy Convoy’.

It could have been the last shining act of his Mayoralty.

Now I admit this sort of action is unlikely from a career politician like Phil Goff, even to go to the assistance of his own party and government.

So where else can we look to for support for the government from the Left?

There is power in the union

The anti-vaccination, anti-mandate protesters are scabbing on this country’s collective covid response. These scabs are threatening to undo all our collective hard work and sacrifice..

Simpley put, Trade Unions are Left organisations  which believe in collective action and hate scabs.

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The Maritime Union of New Zealand Munz, represents the Ports Of Wellington workers. The wharfies have a proud history of standing up to bullies and scabs, and are not easily intimidated.

The wharfies and other unionists have a culture that values collective action, that individual owner operators like tow truck drivers and the right wing antivaxxers don’t.

If the Wellington Council towing contractors won’t tow the protesters cars, the Ports of Wellington should. The ports of Wellington workforce load and unload cars all the time at the port. They have the machinery and the expertise. Working with the Mayor’s office MUNZ members can remove all the cars to the wharf or other nearby secure facility until the protesters pay their parking fines and agree to disperse.

MUNZ Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison is the union leader in a position to offer the union’s support to the Wellington City Council to remove these vehicles.

Give us the tools and we will do the job.

Wellington City Council Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow is the Council executive with the power in a position to sign off on an operation to release the low loaders and industrial sized Fork Lifts at the Port for a joint operation with the MUNZ members. With a police escort MUNZ members have the expertise and the ability and if given the tools can safely and swiftly remove all the protesters illegally parked vehicles and take them to the port or other nearby secure area, and keep them there until the protesters pay their parking fines and agree to disperse.

Wellington Mayor Mayor Andy Foster needs to reach out to the trade union movement and Munz for their support.

The Left need to stop being sideline spectators.

That’s not us.


Pat O’Dea is a unionist and human rights activist.


  1. It is easy to say the tow drivers are cowards but in the same story you reiterate they are individuals. This means easy to pick off one by one . Unions are strong due to their togetherness and size and even unions can be sidelined if they are small this was the reason unions had their power to enlist new members taken from them. These anti vaxxers have some powerful friends and while they are a small percentage of the population they are fringe dwellers that do not follow the laws and niceties that control most of us

  2. Solidarity is best used against the powerful, not against the people, otherwise this vaunted concept becomes forever tainted.

    This protest is not fighting for right-wing values – less government, less tax, so on and so on – this protest is fighting for universal values headed by freedom, choice, freedom to choose.

    Don’t automatically believe what the servants-to-power-media are spinning, my friend, and even more importantly, don’t rally the people – against the people! The corridors of power do a fine enough job dividing us at it is, we don’t need a Union person/human rights activist, adding to the already bloated ranks of the powerful.


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