Rosemary Penwarden locked up – Simeon Brown on the loose…

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On Tuesday this week Rosemary Penwarden was arrested in Wellington for using quick-drying cement to fix her hands to a major roadway in Kilbirnie. It took the police a while to chip her and two others off the road.

She is part of the Restore Passenger Rail group which has successfully kept public attention on climate change for weeks on end with disruptive protests which have blocked roads and demanded serious action on climate change. Their courage has been in the finest traditions of peaceful civil disobedience protest.

Rosemary has done a short video which is on the Restore Passenger Rail facebook page.

Rosemary was charged with “endangering transport” – a charge which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail. (Unfortunately, there is no charge of “endangering the planet through greenhouse gas emissions” for the likes of SUV drivers, trucking company CEOs or airline chief executives)

It’s not the first time she’s been arrested in Restore Passenger Rail protests but the first time the police have opposed bail and she has been remanded in custody to her next court appearance on later in September.

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By elevating the charges from obstruction of a roadway to endangering transport and by keeping people locked up the state forces hope to break the group and deter anyone else from daring to repeat these actions.

Rosemary’s situation is a reminder that progressive change, even change desperately needed to prevent an existential crisis for humanity, will always be vigorously opposed by the 1% and their political representatives. The great machinery of state which is geared to siphoning off vast sums of unearned income into the pockets of the corporate and the comfortable must be allowed to continue unhindered.

For this reason most political responses to the Restore Passenger Rail protests have been hostile. National’s transport spokesperson Simeon Brown for example has attacked the group for “disrupting ordinary citizens trying to go about their lives” and says the protests are “doing more harm than good” to the cause of climate change.

Simeon Brown’s self-righteousness is a bit rich for a party which is raiding funds from all future Emissions Trading Scheme revenues for its tax cuts policy. Those funds are currently earmarked for fighting climate change but that will no longer be the case under National. Does it get any more appalling than that?

Doesn’t that cynical abuse of the Emission Trading Scheme’s income underline just why the tactics used by the Restore Passenger Rail are essential if we are to get any meaningful action on climate change?

And while I’m at it, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been told that breaking the law with non-violent civil disobedience protest action would “undermine the cause” I’d be very rich. The simple truth is that the opposite is the case.

We need a lot more Rosemary Penwardens – thousands of them – are you up to it?

Rosemary Penwarden is sand in the gears of free-market capitalism. All respect to her courage and her quick-dry cement.

49 COMMENTS

  1. Leave them glued to the road while people inconvenienced by their actions piss on them. If the author truly believes in their mission he should get out and glue himself to a road.

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    • Brom – Spot on…never support Eco Terrorism…it just gets worse, ie burning down people’s homes to make a point/protect the environment

    • Seriously? That’s your standard for intelligent engagement about serious issues facing our civilisation? With such a childish attitude, it’s no wonder Aotearoa is in such a poor state. I blame the State education system myself. People like Brom apparently lack the capacity to think critically any more. Plus they have amnesia: it’s because of protestors throughout history like the RPR activists, that Brom and his ilk are even able to enjoy the human rights and freedoms that people enjoy today. How easily people forget that.

      • Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn – Seriously? That’s your thinking? Just wow…Play stupid games, win stupid prizes…word of advice, do not try this in South Auckland.

  2. Its not the 1% her and her fellow activists that get held up on motorways Mr Minto, it’s the 99% who work for a living, heading to work…going to hospital appointments etc
    No one has a problem in people protesting, just don’t stop people going about their daily business while your protesting.
    She deserves what she gets, she knew what she was doing when she cemented her hand to the road.

  3. “No one has a problem in people protesting, just don’t stop people going about their daily business while your protesting.”

    Just like the parliament anarchy protests. They got what they deserved albeit many here disagreed with the governments response.

    • National are squeaky Not really. The Parliamentary protestors looked as if they were starting to dissipate before Mallard escalated the situation, whereupon hundreds descended upon on Wellington from all over the country.

      The subsequent social and economic and health impact upon innocent parties, was massive. And I mean massive. Persons were injured and hospitalised, including cops, with whole police teams getting covid infected, young families re-quarantined, kids missing school again; businesses dislocated and closed down, adolescent schoolgirls harassed. As usual, the politicians stayed protected, and incredibly, Trevor Mallard was rewarded.

      This lady, whatever the rights of her cause, has been selfishly negligent about the impact of her protest on ordinary everyday people just trying to go about their business, they’re the ones who are impacted, not the politicians hidden in the Beehive. “ I’m Right” is right for once, and if Minto thinks it’s ok messing up other people’s lives, then I suggest that Mr Minto is wrong.

      • Good lord, can you hear yourself, the group that descended on parliament were anarchists, they didn’t need a reason, that’s why it’s called anarchy. This “woman” was not selfish at all, this woman has just cause and is most certainly no anarchist.

        Now you don’t think for a minute that Wellington businesses and commuters weren’t affected by the anarchists? Blame Mallard all you like but they were no protestors.

        • National are Squeaky Clean – Right, got it … if you support them, awesome protesters, if you are against them…anarchists…yeah, nah

        • National are Squeaky Clean. Whoever or whatever the Parliamentary protestors were, they were still entitled to freedom of speech.

          The Labour, National and Green political leaders should have done them the courtesy of listening to them, instead of skulking around pretending to ignore them, like naughty children, which was how, possibly inevitably, some behaved.

          The ball was in the politicians’ court, and most of them blew it.

  4. Due to a number of factors, I have no choice but to travel to work by road. Either public transport or car. Being late to work means that I don’t get paid, childcare commitments means that I was unable to make up the time. So my pay is docked equals less to eat next week, my children will be fed, I just eat less. But at least I can pay the power bill and stay warm.

  5. You silly silly people. Have any of you ever marched on the streets for anything ever. You are part of the human race and need to start taking responsibility around Climate Change. The government is doing squat and the next government will be even worse.

    I fear this blog space has been taken over by uninformed or plain ignorant people who think their rights are supreme. Meanwhile the planet burns.

  6. Disrupting commuters is pretty annoying but definately focuses attention on climate. Trouble is its unlikely to be personally affecting the 1% in helicopters and private jets.

  7. DO TELL
    Have any of you ever marched on the streets for anything ever.

    or are you just waiting for other people to put their hands up?

    The endless gutless governments we have could do something about private jets….

  8. Jesus! The pro natzo confederates are out in feeble force today aren’t they? Your working girls and coke buddies still sleeping it off then?
    Good on that woman. She’s brave and focused. Like Simeon Brown-nose. When he’s alone in his little gimp suit locked in his mother’s wardrobe.

  9. Kilbirnie, that bastion of engineering that is the mighty rail hub of Wellington on the uplifted isthmus. If they’d have done this in thorndon, the departing passenger trains would have contradicted the message. So they ground to a halt the buses that domicile overnight in kilbirnie instead. The absolute stupidity on display, combined with mintos tumescence at any and all misguided protests is vomit inducing

    • Vomit inducing? Nothing like arriving late to work in a govt dept and trying to explain to a bully girl manager that the buses were late, or being a child late for school and unable to articulate why.

  10. Thanks John!
    Everyone who cares about the future that their children and grandchildren are facing should join Restore Passenger Rail now!

      • She couldn’t stand up Michal her hands were flat to the ground and stuck. If she had been run over she would have been a left wing martyr – remember the woman in Christchurch of perhaps not? But martyrs cease to be counted protesters when they are dead.

  11. Just a liitle bit of fact based comment.

    She was remanded in custody because she broke the conditions of her current bail after being arrested already and told to stop disrupting traffic.

    She was not remanded in jail because she randomly protested.

  12. Seriously? That’s Brom’s standard for intelligent engagement about serious issues facing our civilisation? With such a childish attitude, it’s no wonder Aotearoa is in such a poor state. I blame the State education system myself. People Brom (and people like Brom) apparently lack the capacity to think critically any more. Plus they have amnesia: it’s because of protestors throughout history like the RPR activists, that Brom and Brom’s ilk are even able to enjoy the human rights and freedoms that people enjoy today. How easily people forget that.

    • Like Bob, Catherine, Brom’s clearly clueless but that’s because they enjoy the euphoria of planet Key.

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