I received a request from a friend to write in my objection about the police action against peaceful protestors in the capital.
I read about the police action in the One News website. (https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/02/10/unprecedented-for-nz-police-respond-to-parliament-protest/)
If you read the news item carefully, you can pick up a slightly different narrative. For instance, you might want to read about what they mean when they say police have been hurt. I digress.
Anyway, because of the request to write in an email complaint, I had to give the matter some thought. This is what I finally came up with.
I would like to express how deeply disappointed I am about the recent police action against protestors in Wellington.
I am someone who is generally very pro-vaccine and I have even written about it in my blog (https://couragetotremble.blog/2021/08/18/vaccination/). I have groaned when people have been swayed so easily by conspiracy theories. I still do. And I have had to face criticism from some anti-vaxers for my opinion, and that is OK. The freedom to express one’s thoughts is a precious one, and as a nation, let us treasure it.
I have a vaccine pass, being someone who is double-jabbed and boostered. It is difficult for people like us to put ourselves in the shoes of those who do not have the vaccine pass, for whatever reason. We recently holidayed with someone who, although vaccinated, had not downloaded their vaccine pass, as an act of solidarity with those who do not have the pass. During this holiday we were able to see first hand the restrictions that the lack of a pass presents at every turn. Isn’t it sad that we are punishing those who think differently from us, instead of encouraging them and coming up with workarounds to make their life a little bit easier?
While I have a high regard for scientists and the medical consensus about vaccines, this is not to say that questions do not still remain. And many of the so-called experts are also looking back over the way the world responded to the virus and questioning responses. Just listen to US Senator Ron Johnson speaking recently to a number of world-renowned doctors and experts.
At a time when we should be open to different viewpoints, why are we discouraging protests? If people had better avenues to express themselves, you would see less protesting. In New Zealand, we seem to be intolerant about anyone who is of a different opinion to ours. I am so disappointed, even more so now, because of the police action.
(I sent the email to the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the National Manager of Police Professional Conduct.)