Setting a match to democratic freedoms

It has been astonishing to watch the Christchurch City Council try to set a match to democratic freedoms in the city.

The proposed council charges for traffic management during protest marches involving Destiny Church leaders are a breach of the Bill of Rights and a fundamental attack on the civil and political rights of every Christchurch resident.

One can only presume the mayor wants to apply this new policy to all future protests in the city. In other words, public protest will be reserved for those who can afford tens of thousands in council charges. Is this what she intends? 

If not then why do Destiny Church leaders face these charges when to my knowledge the council has never before charged anyone at any time for traffic management associated with marching through city streets? 

In an earlier time, the “race” of the organisers would have been a sensible guess but surely not in 2022. Or is it just that the mayor dislikes the messengers and the message?

The mayor’s action in supporting these escalating charges, for several weeks now, is in line with autocratic regimes around the world but never in a democracy. It is a cringing embarrassment to find them here in Christchurch. 

If these protests have breached the law or covid regulations then it is over the police to take action but not the mayor or public employees.

Please indicate by return email that these traffic management charges will be withdrawn.

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