A walk across a bridge

They say that revolutions start with small actions. Today the people of Auckland started a transport revolution by walking over a bridge.

They refused to be intimidated by the NZ Transport Agency and walked and rode across their iconic bridge on its 50th birthday.

It was small thing – 10,000 men women and children strode and rode over a bridge on a beautiful fine day.

But what a day. I am still alive with the feeling of it. So many smiling cyclists, pedestrians, kids. Everyday New Zealanders who said enough is enough. The bridge belongs to the people not the NZTA and for a little while they took it back.

We need a revolution in transport in Auckland. We need to move into walking, cycling and rapid mass transport. We’ve had enough investment in cars and oil and construction companies.

We’ve had fifty years of brain-dead transport policy. It hasn’t worked. Let’s try an alternative approach.

203 thoughts on “A walk across a bridge

  1. Do the Nats support the Bainimarama ‘Government’ (given their lifting of sporting sanctions) if so why?

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  2. Because

    “In order to understand the present situation, it needs to be recognised that the Fijian population is not homogeneous, but is distributed into regional groups with well-defined territories, and headed by chiefly families with hereditary titles of “ratu”.

    Subsequent to a period of inter-tribal warfare, there has been a recognised ranking of the territorial units and their ‘Ratu’.

    Possibly the most senior territory is Bau, which is home to the Cakobau dynasty, followed by Lau, with the Tui Nayau (the king of Lau).

    Ratu’s (and possibly other dignitaries) are accorded an extraordinary level of respect.

    In my first year at the Central Medical School in Fiji, in 1955, I hired a laboratory technician, a young Lauan who had been educated at Queen Victoria School.

    But every time I entered my office, where he was working, he fell to his knees.

    It took some time to wean him from such behaviour.

    But the background to this act of deference became clear when I visited the chiefly village of Lakeba, the home of the Tui Nayau, and observed the effects of the Tui Nayau emerging from his bure.

    Everyone in the village fell to their knees and remained there until he went back inside.

    In the village, Fijians were required to wear a sulu; shorts and trousers were forbidden.

    All turtles caught in Lauan waters were the property of the Tui Nayau, and three large turtles were propped up against his bure.
    The Indo-Fijian community developed from labour imported to work in the sugar cane industry, and is now almost as large as the Fijian population.

    But as most of the land in Fiji is owned communally and cannot be sold, Indians had to lease suitable land from Fijian groups in order to grow sugar cane.

    As the sugar cane became established, Fijians would be hired to weed and harvest the cane, so this relatively small industry contributes to both the local and regional economy. What could be important is that the Indo-Fijian community was politically independent.

    In 1987, when the late Dr Timoci Ulivuda Bavadra was elected prime minister on the voting strengths of the Indo-Fijians and Fijians who ignored their voting instructions from the Great Council of Chiefs, via the turanga ni koro, he was quickly deposed in the first coup led by Sitiveni Rabuka.

    About six months later, after a second coup, the Republic of Fiji was formed.

    This action led to the expulsion from the Commonwealth and criticism from the United Nations.

    The resulting constitution in 1990 was so heavily loaded in favour of Fijians it was quickly discarded.

    Subsequently, in 1997, a constitution formulated by Sir Paul Reeves, a Fijian and an Indo-Fijian was adopted.

    But again, there was a balance of power in favour of Fijians, as there was constitutional recognition of the great Council of Chiefs, which had the power to elect the president and appoint 14 of 32 senators.

    So once again, there was divergence from true democracy.

    Therefore, it can be anticipated that under Bainimarama’s watch, a new constitution will be produced which will provide for an elected president and a fully elected senate.

    Although his mode of action has been a cause for criticism, it seems Bainimarama will persist with his vision to introduce democracy into Fiji.

    http://www.fijidailypost.com/opinion.php?date=20090508

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  3. jh, please don’t threadjack. There was a General Debate thread posted earlier today where it would be much more appropriate to discuss that issue. This thread is about transport.

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  4. I thought it was relevant Toad as when biking across the harbour bridge comes up as a topic I wonder why and where those things sit with policy.

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  5. biking across the harbour bridge comes up as a topic I wonder why and where those things sit with policy.

    Funny!

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  6. Getting things back on topic. What a fantastic morning that was walking across the Harbour Bridge! Great to finally meet you Russel and have a quick chat.

    What a stuff up by NZTA to not plan this properly and have to close all the northbound lanes – I hope Wayne McDonald gets the sack for his stupidity. Two northbound and two southbound lanes could have easily handled the light traffic at that time of the day, and still allowed two lanes of space for people walking across the bridge.

    I hope this is only the beginning for the move to open up the Harbour Bridge to walking and cycling. If we did this every Sunday I’m sure NZTA would have to change their mind and give a little money to something other than roads.

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  7. - “The bridge belongs to the people not the NZTA and for a little while they took it back.”

    This is very confusing.

    You keep enlarging the state, taking away more freedoms from the people and making them mere privileges to be granted or revoked by government as it sees fit, and having it tax the workers more and more in order to pay for your authoritarian distopia; yet now you say that “the people” have “taken back” a bridge from this very organisation of yours.

    Presumably, disrupting the state rail system would be another example of “the people” “taking back” what belongs to them. Or disrupting the state health service or occupying a state school?

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  8. wat dabney said: You keep … taking away more freedoms from the people…

    What about the freedom to walk or cycle across the bridge wat? Or doesn’t that one count?

    Why don’t you mount a one-man campaign “taking back” the rail tracks by walking along the Britomart to Newmarket track at peak hour wat. Now that would be interesting!

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  9. If there were a rail bridge that didn’t have any parallel pedestrian link then we may well protest against that. If there were hospitals that you could not enter except for by car we’d protest that, the same with schools.

    I don’t get your point wat.

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  10. toad,

    – “What about the freedom to walk or cycle across the bridge wat? Or doesn’t that one count?”

    No, it doesn’t.

    If it were private property, the owner could dictate its function. As it is, your state owns this bridge and, as its owner, gets to make that choice. This is a bridge for vehicles.

    Do I have the freedom to “take back” designated cycle lanes and drive my car down them? Should I choose to “take back” the operating theatre of the local state hospital and keep pigs in it?

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  11. Well in this case we think the state has got it wrong, and so we’re protesting it. It was absolutely fantastic to walk across the bridge today – everyone greatly enjoyed themselves and I am sure many Aucklanders who see what happened today on the news tonight and in newspapers tomorrow will be kicking themselves they missed it.

    Good thing there will be more protests in the future then: http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/5591215

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  12. Did Russell pay his $2 toll like all those car drivers did for 22 years. This bridged has never been owned by the people of Auckland, it’s not their bridge until they buy it off it’s legitimate owner. Until such time as that happens it must continue to be operated by the state in the best interests of those who were, and still are, prepared to pay for this now vital transport link.

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  13. wat – it was a symbolic act. Are you planning to keep pigs in an operating theatre, or are you just talking symbolically?
    You say the Greens ‘keep on enlarging the state..taking away more freedoms from the people’ but I think you give too much credit to a party that hasn’t been and isn’t in, government.

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  14. jarbury,

    You are overlooking the following:

    – “the bridge belongs to the people not the NZTA”

    This, from someone who has done more than most to extend the powers of the state over everyone’s life.

    For this statist thug to now try and present himself as a champion of the people against the mindless government behemoth he helps to perpetuate is just hilarious.

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  15. Do you all feel good?

    Did it feel like you gave “the man” a bloody nose today?

    Will it achieve anything?

    It was a complete waste of time and effort, nothing is going to change just because you gathered together every left wing loser in Auckland (well those who were not at home bashing their kids to death) and enticed them to walk over the bridge.

    Really, you could have spent this time far more productively.

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  16. THE BLOWCRASTINATOR said: Will it achieve anything? and answers his own question.
    No one got a bloody nose and those cyclists and walkers didn’t look like ‘kid bashers’ to me!
    The right-wing spinners and stirrers had the Trucker’s Protest near the end of their campaign, the left has the walkers and cyclists at the beginning of theirs. It bodes very, very well for Democracy, Blow, and that I suspect, is what has made you feel sooooo uncomfortable!

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  17. Is it official Green party policy to endorse civil disobedience?

    If it is where will they draw the line?

    Is every law break acceptable? Or only “approved” ones?

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  18. Gerrit said: Is it official Green party policy to endorse civil disobedience? If it is where will they draw the line? Is every law break acceptable? Or only “approved” ones?.

    I’d draw the line at anything involving violence Gerrit.

    I think today’s protest was great, even though it caused inconvenience).

    The truckies’ protest last year was great too, from a principled perspective about protest (even though I opposed the political aims of it).

    But roll on the people taking some power back from the lawmakers. Some protests will be for what you support, some against. As long as they don’t involve violence and intimidation, protest builds a healthy democracy.

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  19. fly

    I am not uncomfortable at all, in many ways you have done the nation a favour, most of the left wing low life who accompanied you were no doubt in desperate need of some exercise.

    I am extremely comfy Fly, the left are on the opposition benches, the world is turning away from the climate change con and Red Russ is about to get his backside kicked in Mt Albert.

    When you add to this the upcoming budget I think the next few weeks are going to be a lot of fun, hopefully we will see a savage attack from Key and English on waste in the public sector and in my wildest dreams they would also take the knife to long term unemployment beneficiaries and DPB bludgers, either way watching you lot go into melt down mode is going to be hilariously funny.

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  20. “But roll on the people taking some power back from the lawmakers.”

    Hmm, not a comment I can remember you making in the last few years Toad.

    You seem to have recovered your voice now that you are no longer labour’s lap dog.

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  21. # greenfly Says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    biking across the harbour bridge comes up as a topic I wonder why and where those things* sit with policy.

    Funny!
    …………..
    * Keth Locke sort of stuff. What relevance to green issues?. Green is firstly about about survival and protecting the biosphere. Why let a small minority view steal the agenda.
    BTW this is what Republicans lament about the way the party used to stand for fiscal conservatism etc but got taken over by the christian right.

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  22. Big story on both TV networks then. Funny how they called it “chaos” though. From my perspective it was anything but chaotic in terms of how the protestors behaved themselves – really calm walking and everyone behaved themselves once we were on.

    I’m certainly looking forward to the next protest march if NZTA don’t change their attitude towards a walking/cycling link across the harbour. People now know it’s possible so many many more will turn up next time.

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  23. Another big story on Sunday re the Bradford Smacking Law*.

    All the Green clones are for it.

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  24. Blow – is your tv wide screen and distorting people’s physiques? Those walkers and cyclists looked fit, healthy and out-doors-y types to me!
    Tomorrow’s hikoi is going to have you spitting again Blow! Uppity folk, on the march, only a day after the ‘chaos at the bridge’! What’s the world coming to?? Why don’t they just take what Hide is so selflessly offering them???
    It’s truely mystifying.
    Do keep in touch over the next week or so Blow. I’m very keen to hear your
    ‘blow-by-blow’ version of events.

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  25. Top marks, I say, to those who marched across the bridge today. I celebrate their direct action and wish I had been a part of it.

    Now that I’ve been disenfranchised after the Greens signed their MoU with John Key, direct action is the only avenue for political action I have left available.

    Anyone taking part in the hikoi tomorrow?

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  26. jh Says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    > * Keth Locke sort of stuff. What relevance to green issues?. Green is firstly about about survival and protecting the biosphere. Why let a small minority view steal the agenda.

    Air pollution from cars is one of the threats to the biosphere, most significantly through greenhouse gases. Transport networks that force people to go by car by making it impossible to get past certain barriers by foot or on a bike clearly contribute to more pollution from vehicles, so they are a core environmental issue.

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  27. Fly

    Tomorrows “march” will be just as pointless, you seem to struggle with the fact that your lot are no longer in power, deal with it and move on.

    The Auck’s are going to get a super city, that is what the majority want, and frankly it is what the country needs, first Auckland, then Wellington and Christchurch ……..it’s called democracy.

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  28. Of course they are core environmental issues but as issues why group them with policies the Socialist Unity party would be proud of?

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  29. THE BLOWCRASTINATOR said:
    Tomorrows “march” will be just as pointless..
    Then you have nothing to worry about. Sweet dreams Blow.

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  30. I’ll be there tomorrow BLiP. I can’t pass up the opportunity to walk across the Harbour Bridge one day and then up Queen Street the next.

    I imagine there will be more bridge protests to come!

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  31. Anyone taking part in the hikoi tomorrow?

    Sorry, BLiP, six Green MPs will be taking part. You wouldn’t want to be associated with those traitors, so you’ll have to find something else to do.

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  32. Valis said: …six Green MPs will be taking part.

    And a hell of a lot of Green supporters too, including me (from Manukau City at 7.15am).

    Here are the arrangements, for anyone who has missed them:

    East/Central Auckland – 8.30am at Bastion Point–Orakei Marae; Park cars on the reserve and surrounding streets. 9.30am leave by walking along Tamaki Drive and Quay Street to the bottom of Queen Street.

    South Auckland – 7.15am meet at Manukau City Council; 8.30am leave by car convoy via Motorway. Parking is in the Auckland Domain internal roads. Reassemble at the foot on the Grandstand side of Pukekaroa (the hill with the fenced memorial on top of it). Leave the Domain by foot by 10.30am for Queen Street via Grafton Bridge, Symonds Street and Anzac Ave and Custom St East.

    North Auckland – 8.30am – meet at Awataha Marae, 58 Akoranga Drive, 9.15am – leave by car convoy; 10.30am re-group at Victoria Park then walk to bottom of Queen Street. Parking is at Pier Z Westhaven Marina Drive.

    West Auckland – 8am -meet at Te Piringatahi o Te Maungarongo Marae, 19 Luckens Road, West Harbour; 8.45am – leave via Motorway to Nelson Street, to Wellesley to Victoria Street West to Halsey Street and drop off passengers at Victoria Park. 10.30am – re-group in front of Cricket Club at Victoria Park then walk to bottom of Queen Street. Parking is at Pier Z Westhaven Drive or on nearby streets.

    For more information about the issues behind the hikoi, go to http://ihiaotearoa.wordpress.com/

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  33. big bor said: first Auckland, then Wellington and Christchurch ……..it’s called democracy…

    Um, no it’s not – far from it. Your use of language here reminds me of this poem by Martin Niemöller big bro:

    Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Kommunist.
    Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

    Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
    habe ich nicht protestiert;
    ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

    Als sie die Juden holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Jude.

    Als sie mich holten,
    gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

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  34. toad,

    The Greens have been at the forefront of the assault in New Zealand against invidividual rights, so your anti-Nazi rhetoric is mere grandstanding and self-deception. Even now, on another thread on this very blog, you people are getting irate about people exercising their freedom of speech.

    As the saying goes, apart from the Holocaust and the invasion of Poland, your soft fascism policies are remarkable precisely because of their similarity to ’30s Germany. There was nothing undemocratic about the Nazis, and every evil was justified on the grounds that it was “good for society” (sound familiar?)

    You should remember that poem every time the Greens call for bans on this and restrictions on that. Maybe it will stir you to reject fascism, rather than embracing it.

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  35. toad,

    you say all civil disoberdience is acceptable PROVIDED there is no violence.

    Hence boy racers are OK, burning NZL flags is OK, tagging is OK, ignoring red lights is OK (provided you dont have a collisions), ignoring minimum wages rulings are OK, ignoring minimum worker safety standards are OK (provided no one gets hurt), polluting the atmosphere is OK (no violense there), feeding kids unhealthy foods is OK, selling liquor to minors is OK, etc, etc.

    Your boundary of violence being a step to far, are a little to broad toad, because virtual every civil law can be breached by your standards.

    Enjoy your march tommorow, for while I’m totally against the super city (big bro, your assumption that most people are for it is not my experience), the hikoi must follow the law. Otherwise you are no better then the people forcing (without referendum) the super city on us.

    And that means not walking across the harbour bridge, blocking motorways, etc.

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  36. You should remember that poem every time the Greens call for bans on this and restrictions on that. Maybe it will stir you to reject fascism, rather than embracing it.

    Standard disclaimer applies. Remember that whenever wat speaks to you of fascism, dear reader, that he almost certainly considers you also to be a fascist, unless you are among the small minority of Objectivists/Libertarians as is he.

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  37. jarbury – fyi – I’m busy this evening organising a walk across our bridge tomorrow (it’s not on the scale of Auckland’s but it is on a State Highway and it flew the Tinorangatiratanga flag on Waitangi Day!) Fret not, gerrit, we’ll keep within the letter of the law, in as much as is humanly possible.

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  38. I suppose the problem of protest for a libertarian, is that this is a function of a democracy (continual change) which resolves public issues via the peoples participation, whereas they would favour a fixed (individualist) state society which has no public issues to be resolved via the democratic process.

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  39. Of course, if libertarianism was popular, protest would be a means to an end.

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  40. Gerrit

    And if a nation had laws banning protest, then protest against those laws would also be illegal.

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  41. So how do Green MPs feel having broken the oath they swore to uphold the law when the party has now incited the public to break the law?

    So how many other traffic laws do the Greens believe the public can flagrantly break if it fits their political agenda, or is that whole process of getting laws changed through Parliament, regulations through Cabinet and Order in Council so frightfully inconvenient?

    It isn’t an NZTA stuff up – NZTA has no statutory power to authorise ANYONE to walk or cycling on a motorway, except in relation to its own statutory powers to maintain the facility. The fact it did so in the past does not make it legal.

    There is no “freedom to walk over the bridge” anymore than there is a freedom for you to walk into an army base or enter the Kaimai tunnel or walk into a state school. There are umpteen rail routes with no parallel walkway or cycleway, actually most.

    Campaign for your walkway, none of you want to pay a cent towards it noticeably, although motorists have paid for many cycling and walking facilities, including the walkway on the Wanganui motorway after a kid foolishly biked on it in the dark with no light on and got killed.

    Start fundraising for the walkway/cycleway, start proposing legislation to change the law on walking on the Auckland Harbour Bridge, then we can have an argument.

    Egging people on to break the law, demanding NZTA do something it isn’t legally able to do (authorise cycling/walking on a motorway) is quite inappropriate for a political party that presumably believes in the rule of law.

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  42. SPC,

    Strawman argument.

    Only in dictatorships (Zimbawe – Venezuala) or communist countries (China-Cuba) is protesting illegal.

    In New Zealand we have a demacracy were legal protesting is perfectly allowed and encouraged.

    This Green party initiative to encourage law breaking (provided that no violence occurs) is taking the party into another direction all together.

    If this is the case fair enough but make it part of the Green party policy PLUS dont expect other people not to break the law as well AGAINST what the Greens are advocating.

    Greens want to ban birthing sows in crate type farming. Why should the farmers abide by the law?

    The Greens dont want to abide by the law, why should the farmer?

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  43. Funny how they called it “chaos” though. From my perspective it was anything but chaotic in terms of how the protestors behaved themselves – really calm walking and everyone behaved themselves once we were on.

    If i’d heard that, I would assume they were talking about TRAFFIC chaos.

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  44. I marched against race based sports team selection in ’81. I would ‘hikoi’ against race based political representation today. One person=one vote, anything else is an outrage.

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  45. And is frogblog trying to start a myth by stating 10,000 people crossed the bridge when by other accounts (including this mornings Herald) had the figure at 2000.

    Looking at photographs and doing row and column counts, I would estimate the figure of law breakers was closer to 2,000 then 10,000. In fact way, way closer to 1500 by my estimation.

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  46. A Bridge you can’t walk or bike across? Don’t believe I’ve seen such cunning anywhere else. Must be a Kiwi thing.
    Anyway – if Auckland gets a souper city – they should be able to drop Rates b by 80%. Bets anyone?

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  47. Mark

    One would hope that the implementation of the super city would see an end to the outdated “rates” concept.

    What we need these days is a poll tax, every citizen of Auckland uses council facilities therefore every citizen should pay for those facilities.

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  48. I wonder how many on today’s march are dole and DPB bludgers?

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  49. How much would a PollTax be cheaper by? Even less eh?
    Yeh – they should have been herded into sheep trucks on the other side and shipped to Afghanistan eh?
    Suffer in their jocks – see what the Taleban thinks of your noo bike?

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  50. Fly;_ I like the notion of high tory; – that was just a rough first draft; crude, but to the point….reread after 9pm, when you can use the laugh…

    a bridge you can’t walk across is surely a bridge too soon – the point is a walkway/bike track should be on it and I’ll bet the Majority of Auckland Ratepayers, given a referendum, would suggest the Council does exactly that – now even!

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  51. # big bro Says:
    May 24th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    > The Auck’s are going to get a super city, that is what the majority want, and frankly it is what the country needs, first Auckland, then Wellington and Christchurch ……..it’s called democracy.

    surely if it were democracy there would be a referendum to see if people wanted it, or the government would have gone into an election promising for this to happen.

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  52. Mark Says:
    May 25th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    > A Bridge you can’t walk or bike across? Don’t believe I’ve seen such cunning anywhere else. Must be a Kiwi thing.

    it’s quite common in New Zealand, mostly with bridges on state highways. It’s justified with a kind of circular logic – the bridge was paid for with petrol tax, therefore the bridge should maximise future petrol tax revenue through people being forced to drive over it, thus making more cars on the road and increasing petrol consumption.

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  53. Oh to have been in Auckland for such a day … instead, more Welli rain & wind.

    Big shouts out to all the walkers & cyclists, it looks great on the clips I’ve seen.

    Arohanui koutou katoa, ka manawanui katoa.

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  54. kahikatea

    I do love it when I see a Green call for a referendum, this from the party that wants to deny the people of NZ a referendum on the anti smacking bill.

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  55. When is the “March” for all the Maori kids killed at the hands of their parents or care givers?

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  56. The way I see it is roads, water, sewerage, waste management etc should be centrally planned by the super city authority. Libraries, parks, halls etc should be delegated back to local level. Maori should have one vote, just like normal people. Oh, wait, they are normal people.

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  57. THE BLOWCRASTINATOR™
    We are recalling all models of our
    once popular chew-toy THE BLOWCRASTINATOR™
    due to reports of a nasty taste left in the mouth after chewing.
    We apologise for any nausea or loss of libido experienced through contact with THE BLOWCRASTINATOR™ .

    Posted under: attempted humour.

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  58. “When is the “March” for all the Maori kids killed at the hands of their parents or care givers?”

    When you organise it instead of just whingeing.

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  59. Why should I organise it Sam?, I am not Maori, it is not “my people” who are killing kids left, right and centre.

    I do find it interesting that you think those of us who care about these defenceless kids are simply “whingeing”, obviously you do not care.

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  60. And as for the “march”.

    How many turned up?, 2000, 5000…

    Seems to me that if you could only muster that many people the march was an abject failure.

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  61. Have you set the date for your march Bruv? You know, to publicise the things you feel passionately about, to bring together hundreds or thousands of people who also feel passionately and to show those who don’t care that there are many, many New Zealanders who do.
    When is your march? I’ll be there.

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  62. You would not turn up Fly, my march would be to demand that Maori start to take responsibility for their many woe’s.

    You and the Greens much prefer to make excuses for them.

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  63. I do love it when I see a Green call for a referendum, this from the party that wants to deny the people of NZ a referendum on the anti smacking bill.

    A new lie! Plus five points for parata nui. Current score -2, almost back in black!

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  64. bro – you are one of those who say, ‘We are all New Zealanders”, aren’t you? Doesn’t that mean that those beaten children are New Zealanders too? Surely you would march to protect New Zealand children wouldn’t you?. If you did, I’d be there. (There are three questions in there for you bro)

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  65. You and the Greens much prefer to make excuses for them.

    We just want to see the forest as well as the trees.

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  66. “I do find it interesting that you think those of us who care about these defenceless kids are simply “whingeing”, obviously you do not care.”

    I didn’t say those “who care about these defenceless kids are simply “whingeing”” I said you were. Singular ‘you’. You are complaining that somebody else isn’t doing something and then declaring that it isn’t your responsibility.

    So if you are not just whingeing, what are you doing about it?

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  67. Whats an idiom for attempting to understand the workings of a group while ignoring the workings of the individuals of which the group consists?

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  68. Seems to me that if you could only muster that many people the march was an abject failure.

    And the EFB marches?

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  69. And the EFB marches

    (sound of a pebble, rattling in a tin-can)

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  70. The EFB marches were a raging success or had you not noticed that we have had a change of government?

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  71. bro – are you going to adress my three questions @ 3:03?

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  72. There were a heck of a lot of people at the Hikoi today. I met Sue Kedgley and we walked up Queen St together – a really lovely lady and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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  73. 5000 out of a population of 1.5 million, in anybodies book that is a pathetic turnout.

    Tell me, did Sue walk to Auckland or did she fly?

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  74. Sapient askjs: attempting to understand the workings of a group while ignoring the workings of the individuals of which the group consists?

    Ah! Something akin to ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ (Emergence?)

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  75. An unintended and hugely satisfying consequence of the bridge protest has been the inroads made up Paul Henry’s nose! He’s become apoplectic over it and is raining vitriol down upon the heads of everyone: the good folk and their families who made the effort to turn out for the jaunt, the transport officials and the police – all got a nasty dose from Henry. It’s the icing on the cake!

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  76. Mark said: “a bridge you can’t walk across is surely a bridge too soon – the point is a walkway/bike track should be on it and I’ll bet the Majority of Auckland Ratepayers, given a referendum, would suggest the Council does exactly that – now even!”

    Very few rural bridges have footpaths. There are no footpaths or cyclelanes on motorway bridges for the same reason there are no footpaths or cyclelanes on railway bridges, because it’s illegal to walk or cycle on motorways and railways and cyclists and pedestrians don’t pay anything towards motorways and railways.

    AS for the referundum; if the question included the amount of money ratepayers have to pay to get a cycle/walk way added to the Harbour Bridge I’ll bet the Majority of Auckland Ratepayers would give it an emphatic thumbs down.

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  77. Actually, Mark is right about the Austerity Harbour Bridge being a bridge too soon. If Auckland had waited a decade or two till the nation’s wealth could withstand the much bigger foreign loan needed for the original multi-modal design then yesterday’s protest would have been unneccessary.

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  78. Kevyn alleged cyclists and pedestrians don’t pay anything towards motorways and railways.

    You what ? Do you honesty think the petrol tax funds ALL costs related to a motorway.

    And don’t forget Cullen forked out tax $$ last year to buy Toll rail, and prior to that for tracks.

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  79. The EFB marches were a raging success or had you not noticed that we have had a change of government?

    So what you’re saying is that numbers don’t count for jack?

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  80. fastbike, roading revenue funds ALL administration, construction, maintenance and policing costs of State Highways. If there are any motorways that are not designated State Highways then they will be part funded by ratepayers.

    It is not a matter of thinking this or thinking something else. It is a simple matter of reading the relevant legislation and studying the NLTP and Transit annual reports.

    Yes, now that the railways are no longer operating as a commercial venture everybody gets to pay for them through general taxation.

    Actually there may be a railway bridge with cycle/walking facilities in Christchurch on the shared corridor north from Fendalton.

    If we include the external costs and benefits of motorways and cycleways then taxpayers and ratepayers do come into the equation either by paying those costs, whether they want to or not, or by receiving a share of the benefits, whether they recognise tham or not.

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  81. greenfly said: An unintended and hugely satisfying consequence of the bridge protest has been the inroads made up Paul Henry’s nose!

    You mean he’s been snorting even more coke than usual greenfly?

    Where’s your evidence?

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  82. Is the wild-eyed, hyped-up, relentless berating of all his guests evidence enough?

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  83. roading revenue funds ALL administration, construction, maintenance and policing costs of State Highways.

    Keep counting Kevyn, there’s a whole bunch more externalities that need to be included in the ledger. Hint, (noise, water, air, visual)pollution, loss of amenity, climate change, accidents, premature deaths, loss of access to non motorised users, etc for starters. They’re ALL publicly borne costs to deliver what are private gains.

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  84. Gerrit

    Its not a strawman argument.

    Wanna know why? If one protested against a law banning protesting it would be illegal. If one protested a ban on bike-riders or pedestrians using a bridge by walking across it would also be illegal.

    Where the whole point of the protest is/was to challenge a law, of course the protest is illegal.

    But it is not so much resort to illegal action, as simply making the protest the group was there to make.

    To use a parable, once upon a time there was a man who had authority over the law, thus to the right to judge others or grant them mercy (was he above the law he enforced on others or subject to it – if so, how could he grant anyone mercy, if not was he above the law? Now neither answer to the question raised by the parable is right or wrong, the point being that there is no definitive answer – which of course means that the answer is found in diminishing the status of the law. Thus the ultimate meaning of the parable is in this question, do the people serve the law or does the law serve the people. Do the people serve the King’s law or does the King’s law serve the people).

    Democracy is based on government being representative of the people, will, its law is there to serve the people. Challenge to the laws of government is part of the peoples participation in the democracy.

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  85. Or to put more bluntly – what is the higher or more constitutional law – right to protest in a free speech based society or a ban on walking on a bridge (note no damage to property or violence to life was involved).

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  86. There are umpteen rail bridges you can’t walk or cycle over either, so presumably Kiwirail ought to cough up the money to do that.

    Fastbike: A whole lot of positive externalities too. Noise tends to be internalised in property prices. However, it is always curious to notice at externalities for road transport being point out, but not other activities. ALL land use has impacts on water runoff, and many roads provide a stormwater drain service for adjoining properties. The air pollution impacts have dropped significantly in recent years starting with the elimination of lead, more recently benzene and sulphur levels in diesel cut 96%. However, home fires are a far bigger issue in most cities for pollution – so start taxing those please. ACC addresses most accident costs, but the political consensus is accident costs get socialised so you can’t pick on road accidents in particular when you wont make people pay for costs of sports injuries – for example. Cyclists don’t pay ACC levies nor do pedestrians for accidents involving motor vehicles that they are to blame for.

    These are not all publicly borne costs, identify where most of those costs are – the only one given even cursory monetisation is health costs from emissions, which is itself highly debatable in terms of scale.

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  87. Great to see people walking over the bridge. It probably won’t be long before pedestrian traffic is all that “cardboard” bridge is good for.

    It pales by comparison alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge which is built of real steel.

    Keep the coat-hangar for pedestrians and build a decent tunnel under the harbour for vehicles.

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  88. greengeek said: Keep the coat-hangar for pedestrians and build a decent tunnel under the harbour for vehicles.

    I gotta better idea. If you’re gonna build a tunnel, build it for trains.

    Once it is build, and I acknowledge there are higher Auckland public transport priorities such as the CBD rail loop and the Avondale-Airlort connection, the Northern busway could then easily and cheaply be converted to rail, with feeder bus services.

    But the North Shore should not forever be the poor relation re wht limited public transport the Auckland region has.

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  89. By all means add a train tunnel, but personally, I feel trains within a city are a dinosaur concept.

    The busway is a great idea, and very functional. All those buses can exit the busway and feed into local streets…something a train cannot.

    Trains belong mostly on the lines between cities, and on existing rail corridors in the cities – no new ones should be built, in my view.

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  90. libertyscott

    For the reasons you note – should bike riders and pedestrians be banned from footpaths and use of the streets across New Zealand or is payment of rates sufficient?

    People who use bikes or who walk do not require any carbon cost or import of fuel or car and car parts – they are not the burden on our economic production. There must be some credit for doing no harm and some disincentive from doing harm?

    Of course I note your point about contribution and I of course believe that there should be a CGT on rental property to fund upgrades and new/replacement of state housing and of course the accommodation supplement which affords them tenants.

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  91. greengeek said: Keep the coat-hangar for pedestrians and build a decent tunnel under the harbour for vehicles.

    I gotta better idea. If you’re gonna build a tunnel, build it for trains.

    Once it is build, and I acknowledge there are higher Auckland public transport priorities such as the CBD rail loop and the Avondale-Airport connection, the Northern busway could then easily and cheaply be converted to rail, with feeder bus services.

    But the North Shore should not forever be the poor relation re what limited public transport the Auckland region has.

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  92. A train tunnel under the Waitemata would cost around $1.5 billion with upgrades to the Northern Busway probably in the region another billion to get it up to Albany (north of Akoranga there are quite a few hills that would need to be flattened or tunneled through).

    This compares with around $3.5 billion for a 6 lane road tunnel (well, two 3 lane road tunnels). I reckon that Auckland will never need more than 8-10 lanes worth of traffic across the Harbour Bridge – as traffic flows have stabilised or declined in the last few years and with the likely effects of peak oil.

    Surely having a rail tunnel would equate to at least two lanes worth of traffic being removed from the Harbour Bridge. In terms of sheer numbers it could carry as many people as 12 lanes of traffic, but I’m being super-conservative here. That means in the long-run we only need 6 lanes of general traffic across the Waitemata Harbour.

    This means you could either cut two lanes off the existing Harbour Bridge and have a really nice long-term permanent pedestrian and cycling facility but keep the bridge. Or you could build the road tunnel and turn the whole bridge into a pedestrian/cycling facility. Or you could build another bridge with everything.

    Hmmm…. I think I would choose the first of those options. Keep the bridge, cut it down to 6 lanes and build the rail tunnel. All for well under the $3.5 billion price tag for a new road tunnel.

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  93. Good thinking jarbury. When do you find the time to do the sums. I find myself too busy trying to argue the politics and environmental sustainability to get down to that detail.

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  94. fastbike, I can only assume you fired off that response before you read all of what I had written. My final paragraphed admitted that when we go beyond direct funding and look at all of the costs then the situation changes drasticly.

    That’s true for both costs and benefits. In the case of highways it’s obvious that in the first half of the twentieth century with the focus on rural highways the external benefits greatly outweighed the external costs. It was the inclusion of Municipalities in the State Highway scheme that reversed that situation in the last 50 years, at least in the cities. Since this discussion was about a city motorway it is right to focus the external costs. But it’s a good idea to spend time in country settlements to understand that in rural areas State Highway external benefits often do still outweigh the external costs. Not always, and especially not in fringe urban areas, Adding a passing lane between Seddon and Blenheim hasn’t increased the amount commuter traffic on the highway, but adding vineyards in the Aawatere certainly has. Just to throw my hobby horse of land use planning into the transport debate.

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, but probably quite some time ago, but motorways are in the position that urban railways were in 100 years ago. Noisy, smokey, destroying the communities they were passing through, etc. Those problems were all solved by going electric (or diesel/electric) and going underground. Cars can and will go electric and diesel/electric once peak oil shifts the cost/benefit curves in the right direstion. That’s already starting to happen. Within a decade I expect the peak oil effect to create an entire new industry of re-engining popular models with manufacturer approved engine/transmission/KERS systems.

    But it’ll never be cost effective to put motorways underground the way railways were. There just isn’t the throughput available to recover costs at a unit price that won’t scare most of your customers away.

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  95. What a pack of utter w***ers. If they’d demanded a toll bridge for walkers and bikers, they might have had an ounce of credibility.

    As for Norman – well, looks like it’s ok for the rest of us to break all the laws we personally disagree with in order to make a point.

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  96. SPC,

    - right to protest in a free speech based society or a ban on walking on a bridge (note no damage to property or violence to life was involved).

    I agreed with you in an earlier post that the right to LEGAL protest is a fundamental corner stone of a democracy.

    However my argument with you and toad is – what level of law breaking are you prepared to accept?

    And conversely would law breaking AGAINST what you are protesting about be acceptable?

    It is not the protesting that is the problem, it is the level of law braking you accept.

    My question to you and toad is simply, what level will you accept and as such will you accept others breaking the law to protest against your law breaking.

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  97. Paul Henry seemed really wound up about it on Closeup last night (although it could just have been time pressure*).
    *I’m mind reading

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  98. A lot of weasel words flying around re the need for Maori seats on the super city eg “mana whenua*” where? If they had mana they would be able to speak clearly and convincingly to Tangata whenua and their guests (the Pakeha).
    “We signed a treaty”…. actually laymen signed the treaty (under duress- an imbalance of numbers) on behalf of the British government. They fudged the sovereignty issue as neither side would have agreed at that point in time. Chances are colonisation would have proceeded anyway.
    Etc
    *in fact this is about a real entity possesed by those born in a place. If you ate an enemy you took on their mana. Part of the Closed Society.

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  99. Kevyn,

    A complete tread hijack but as the expert on road transport ands road damage by trucks, can you answer this?

    With semi articuklated trailers now sporting four axles with single wheels to redistribute the weight, is the road damage likely to increase due to these axles being non steering?

    As they go around corners all four seem to be scrubbing across the road surface. Front two in one direction and the back two in the other.

    While the weight distribution loading on the road substrate has decreased (has it decreased with single wheels replacing duals?), the scrubbing on the top tarmac must be a lot higher then a self steering triple axle unit?

    Unless the four axles are self steering, but I cant see the mechannism to do that.

    Cheers.

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  100. The organisers are not dole bludgers. Most of them are employed in government.
    I’m surprised that nobody has bothered to research the people behind Cycle Action Auckland and their very aggressive lobbying and activism – all in the name of riding a bicycle!
    A few enquiries on google reveal that most of the office holders (who are all on the website – ten out of ten for transparency), are transport planners working for local and national government organisations…
    At the time of the Takapuna cycleway proposals half the transport planning department of the North Shore City Council were office holders of CAA!
    Such as Isy Kennedy ( former CAA chair) and Phil Chung who was using NSCC resources to circulate a petition in favour of the proposed Takapuna cycleway!
    I see they have graduated to an office in Freeman’s Bay kindly provided by the Auckland City Council (!!??) and the local community board!
    And have a part time secretary in Kirsten Shouler, ex the New Zealand Transport Agency…the fifth column continues!

    And yesterday I received an invite to sign the Greenpeace petition from an email address in the NZ Transit Agency.

    *Date: * 25 May 2009 4:02:17 PM
    *To: * “Anna Wolterbeek” <Anna.Wolterbeek@ nzta.govt. nz
    >
    *Subject: * *SignOn for climate campaign*

    Very exciting news.

    2009 is a make or break year for climate change .

    *World leaders will meet in Copenhagen in December* *to decide on a
    new global treaty to reduce emissions* .

    Greenpeace launched the *Sign On* campaign, because the world needs
    New Zealand to agree to a meaningful emission reduction target at
    Copenhagen .

    Sign On aims to get as many New Zealanders signed up to a petition
    calling for a 40 per cent by 2020 emission reduction target. We have
    some ambitious goals for the numbers of signatures we want to gather
    and we need your help to achieve them.

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  101. Kevyn – the bridge should have been buit with an adjoining carriageway for people – and not by charging people extra – thats is Prime Horse Puckey – it should be done out of present(copious) funds – we have so many forms of Taxation in this Country already that one or two of them count as charging twice for the same thing: ie; fraud.
    Whoever Brainwashed you Kiwi’s into Paye, Provisional , GST and user pays Taxes simultaeneously must think the people are really stupid (AND they have the proof) – is it that grinning old spectre from the eighties I see propped up in the House?

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  102. Trouble is, the Harbour Bridge is just too physically weak to sustain any more add-ons.

    Have a close look at the thin steel used to make up the central girder. It is just too flimsy to be our one major link to the North Shore.

    A replacement crossing must be put in place (tunnel or Bridge doesn’t matter too much, but I prefer the tunnel idea), then we can use the bridge (or part thereof) for other forms of transport. (as well as bungy and fishing!!)

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  103. The funny thing about the legality argument is that for 99.9% of the bridge crossers our experience was that the police closed the motorway and ushered us onto the middle section of the bridge. So we walked onto a motorway closed by the police and actually directed where to go by the police.

    I did consider at the time whether I should do it, due to the legality issues, but decided to do so on the basis of the actions of the police. I would add that it was a peaceful walk involving thousands of everyday NZers including councillors etc.

    Of course the NZTA should have organised it properly and then there wouldn’t have been such a traffic mess.

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  104. Yep, your “peaceful walk” disrupted the lives of thousand and thousands of Aucklanders.

    Not that you really care.

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  105. why did the police close all 4 north-bound lanes, when the marchers only took up 2 of them?

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  106. did i forget to mention Rates???….and the sell-off of Public Property – well golly. Pedestrian access would not require expensive structural work – that is a whirling furphy…an organizational job that our public service is too lazy to go figure (the political will of a bag of sherbet) – look $500 is my fee for designed foot/cycle access on current stucture.
    It’s not money even – some lazy Kiwis just can’t be bothered changing any laws – it’s a creeping PS malaise the whyfores i won’t bother go into here….decriminalize pot and we can stop the price of illegal funding for underworld empires – there is always a price for being gutless.
    Better late than never. The thing could use train access too.
    I’m told the Toll Holdings Buyback deal is a secret: Prices anyone?

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  107. kahikatea asked: “why did the police close all 4 north-bound lanes, when the marchers only took up 2 of them?”

    Probably because the Princeton doctoral dissertation TWO COUPLED OSCILLATOR MODELS: THE MILLENNIUM BRIDGE AND THE CHIMERA STATE (D. M. Abrams 2006) has made Transit wary of subjecting the clip-on’s support beams to the oscillations that can be generated by as few as 160 pedestrians per span of a steel box-girder bridge before the strengthening of the lower flanges is complete. For that reason the tresspassers were directed onto the central truss-girder supported lanes.
    A short explanation of the phenomena from Princeton’s 2005 studies can be found here:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051103080801.htm
    The full dissertation is here, if you’re mathematically inclined. I do recommend flicking down to page 80 for the simple graph showing the step change that occurred on the Millenium Bridge when the number of walkers per span exceeded 165 and just how quickly that small number of walkers were able amplify the bridge oscillations by automaticly responding to the bridges sideways swinging by doing exactly what they would do when walking down the aisle on a ferry or train – shifting their body weight to counterbalance the motion and imparting enough extra energy to make the bridge move ever faster.

    This phenomonen is even worse than the wind problem that took down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge because that was simply a fluke of the wind speed matching the harmonic frequency of the bridge. When ‘waddling’ humans trigger the same effect the the humans instinctively respond in a way that reinforces the motion until it gets so bad that they either cling to the handrails for dear life or most of the people fall down or the bridge falls down. Transit wisely resisted taking that risk. I can’t be certain but it seems unlikely that a permanent walkway on the clip-ons will attract enough people to load enough spans with the critical number of slow moving pedestrians.

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  108. Kevyn…exactly that effect was reported to have happened on the Auckland Harbour Bridge years ago when a host of people marched across it.

    I think it may have been when Whina Cooper marched to Wellington with all her supporters.

    Apparently the swaying of the clipons was quite alarming. Just goes to show how inadequate the bridge is in the long term.

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  109. This also happened on the Millennium Bridge in London.

    In this case, it would have been a rather unfortunate end to the protest. “What do we want? To walk across the bridge! When do we…..”

    Crack. Splash.

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  110. Gerrit

    You say that you agree that there is a legal right to protest and this is a fundamental part of a democracy.

    But you are hardly generous about it.

    And you seem to have ignored the context I was raising.

    Part 1 – what if the protest occured in a society where this alone was illegal. Would the illegality of the protest against it being illegal to protest make it the wrong thing to do? Should we deny political assylum to such law breakers?

    Part 2 – (the relativity), lack of access to the bridge for those not motorists was the reason for the protest and to protest by moving onto the bridge was related to the issue of the protest.

    “However my argument with you and toad is – what level of law breaking are you prepared to accept?”

    Have either of us proposed a level of law breaking?

    “And conversely would law breaking AGAINST what you are protesting about be acceptable?”

    Thanks for backhandedly noting what I said earlier and repeated in this post. The point of going onto the bridge was to protest against not being able to.

    Lets suspect homosexuals were who they were before and after 1986. Lets note the great majority of people over 30 drank in pubs under 20 prior to 1999. And presumably some of the people who either work at or visit brothels now did so before 2003. And lets guess those who join groups advocating for legalised marijuana actually use it at their meetings. And that those who call for a republic are not really loyal to our head of state (and some swore an oath in parliament).

    Do you think it acceptable for people to protest in a nation where protest is banned?

    Do you think restraint on protest is legal? If protest is a fundamental right in a democracy, is restraint on protest legal?

    “It is not the protesting that is the problem, it is the level of law braking you accept.”

    What level of law breaking have I accepted? You presume a lot. You sound like one of those cops a few years back seeing Maori and Greens as people who protest and who might break laws when they do, so thus they might be terrorists and thus they are criminals …

    In this case the only possible law breaking was the action of the few to travel down some of the lanes – the police later allowed many others to join them and closed off the bridge to traffic (the police facilitated the later and greater act – if this act is illegal, is that aiding a criminal act or did their permission authorise the protest action of all involved?).

    The police were only there to ensure public safety (keep the traffic and protestors apart), permission to protesters to use of the road/street is routinely given – usually with prior permission but even if there is no prior permission, it is rare for police to interfere in protests that are peaceful.

    “My question to you and toad is simply, what level will you accept and as such will you accept others breaking the law to protest against your law breaking.”

    You now accuse me of lawbreaking and as for toad – the police gave him permsision to go onto the bridge.

    Your question is better directed at the police, they have managed street gathering “events” where two groups of people disagree (I would recommend no violence to people and no damage to property as a general standard).

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  111. SPC,

    A lot of words to say nothing and answer even fewer.

    The people who gathered at the base of the bridge knew they had no lawful right to cross it.

    In fact the local paper had adverts from the LTA to advertise that fact.

    So to then force themselfs through a cordon is law breaking.

    My question remains if that law breaking is allowed in your eyes, what else is.

    One the police line was broken the authorities had no option but to ensure the safety of people by directing them into the centre lanes and stopping oncoming traffic.

    Maybe they should have not prevented the motorist coming over the bridge and had a head on meeting of cars at 80km (and a couple of big rigs) and pedestrians.

    They acted as circumstances unfolded.

    Now lets see how a perfectly legal protest that happened the following day was conducted.

    With decorum, no law breaking and guess what, the message that sent was all the more powerful for it.

    The bridge crossing was an illegal stunt, the hikoi was a perfect example of a legal protest, well organised, with minimum disruption to the rest of the populace and its message heard load and clear.

    But if the bridge walkers and cyclist want to try and break the law again you might find the police less accomadating in regard blocking traffic coming from the opposite direction.

    But hey SPC,

    if you are happy to have protestors break the law, good for yuo but dont cry a baby if people from an opposing view point do the same and are not bound by your rules of no violence and no property damage.

    Was is a general standard? More wishy washy talk. You either have a standard or dont have one. You either abide by the law or you dont.

    If you dont abide by the law, be prepared for others not to either.

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  112. Run them Critters Down! – someone breaks a law and we all go to Anarchy? Not round this way we don’t.

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  113. SPC, You are forgetting that the Police presence on Sunday morning was organised and payed for, under the provision’s of last year’s amendments to the Land Transport Management Act, to enforce that Act and the Land Transport Act and regulations authorised under those acts. Achieving the land transport safety objectives of those acts and regulations would have been of paramount importance and, to the extent that attempting to enforce any criminal law with the ratio of officers to offenders would have compromised that objective and could easily have led to the worst mass pile-up multiple fatality crash since Tangiwai.

    Far from facilititating the unlawful (actually unby-lawful) act the Police were merely being realistic. They were confronted with a situation identical to the the aftermath of a stock transporter overturning. Do they herd the sheep together on one half of the motorway leaving the other half of the motorway safely available to it’s legitimate users or do they let the sheep run amok all over the motorway so that, to protect the saefty of the legitimate users, the entire motorway has to be closed down.

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  114. I suspect that if a repeat protest is attempted the Police will respond as they do to out of control drunken parties. The police have a very effective moving blockade tactic they use for herding drunken youths away from the party location. Since the Police know that the media will present enmass at the next protest you can rest assured that there will be a PR offensive ahead of any such protest.

    If NZTA gets smart and goes on the offensive with an historical backgrounder in the Herald as to who paid for the bridge and who decided to delete the walk/cycle facilities from the original proposal (not the same who’s, by the way) then the protesters will lose much of their publis support.

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  115. Gerrit, I’ve watched a few of these four-axle semi’s at the SH1/SH6 roundabout and on all of them the wheels on the trailing pair of axles were steered.

    UC School of Engineering have done a study for Transit at CAPTIF comparing wide singles with conventional doubles. They found that wide singles produced deeper and more rapid rutting but that pavement fatigue and incidents of sheer were the same for both tyre types. Pavement rutting isn’t an expensive problem to fix so we are fortunate we don’t have concrete highways. US and EU studies have found that the concentrating of wheel loads into narrower tracks dramaticly increases pavement fatigue on concrete highways That isn’t such a big problem on concrete bridges because the flexing stresses from the truck’s groww weight moving along the span are many times more important than amount of lateral spread of the load on the road surface.

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  116. greengeek Said:
    Kevyn…exactly that effect was reported to have happened on the Auckland Harbour Bridge years ago when a host of people marched across it.

    That’s true. Since then the high profile Millenium Bridge wobble has saken up the engineering community the same way Galloping Gertie (Tacoma Narrows) did in the 1940s. Now that experiments and advanced mathematics has identified how and why the step-change and feedback loops operate engineers can ensure that new steel bridges aren’t vulnerable.

    The Millenium Bridge’s solution of using dampers could be applied to the Ak Harbour Bridge by having hydraulic rams connecting the box girder clip-ons to the original truss structure. They might need some sort of active control system so that they can also protect agianst wind and eartquake movements which the clip-ons are also vulnerable to.

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  117. Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge has been closed to pedestrians during the ballon festival ever since the reasons for the Millenium wobble became known.

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  118. The point is that if NZTA had got their act together at least 2 lanes in each direction could have been kept open. I am highly suspicious that they deliberately didn’t prepare things so that if things got out of hand it would be chaos and people would blame the protestors.

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  119. Jarbury, That was the point of kahikatea’s question. But Transit must have those sorts of contingency plans for foreseeable traffic incidents so your probably right about NZTA’s motivations compared with the more reasonable approach that was shown by Transit’s board.

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  120. I understand NZTA wanting to keep people from walking on the clip-ons in such large numbers. However, even if 4 lanes were closed off that still leaves 4 lanes open – surely reasonably sufficient for Sunday morning traffic flows.

    Wayne McDonald wanted to ‘bluff’ the protestors (in that if we had seen 4 lanes closed off already we would have had more hope of getting on). However, we called his bluff and his lack of preparation smacked him in the face really.

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  121. jarbury,

    Sorry but to use the safer centre lanes of the habour bridge for the protest, yuo would need to have to close six lanes.

    Only access to the centre four lanes is via the two outside lanes on the clip on ramps.

    Vehicle traffic flow in one direction would have been compromised.

    For the engineers in this discussion regarding swaying bridges might be interested to know that the Auckland harbour bridge is actually three seperate bridges sharing the same concrete base supports.

    The clippons move differently and idependent from the main span.

    My distanr m

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  122. jarbury,

    I’m pretty sure it is not physically possible for north bound traffic to get to the south bound centre lanes.

    At both ends, the barrier moving machine house plus the concrete barrier are in the way.

    It would man moving the barrier at each end across two lanes to allow the traffic past it.

    The barrier moving machines are controlled by a wire embed in the roadway. Not sure if the machines can actually move the barrier from its designated positions.

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  123. Gerrit, those are all fixable problems though. Just NZTA don’t want to do it.

    I am sure that the bridge could easily be opened up every Sunday to walkers/cyclists while NZTA do more research into how they can work on their engineering to provide permanent facilities.

    In the meanwhile I look forward to the next protest.

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  124. Maybe every hour on the hour a bus could be hooked up with an enclosed trailer that could be filled with cyclists, and take them across the bridge.

    At least till permanent provision is made for them.

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  125. jarbury,

    Had a good look at the possibility of routing north bound traffic onto to southband lanes as I came home tonight.

    At the elephant house it is possible but would need the shifting of the moveable barrier.

    At the Vistoria Park end it will be much more difficult at there is only about 50 metres from the solid barriers to the seperation strip between the centre span of the bridge and the clip ons.

    There is a grade variation of nearly a metre at the vehicle barrier house to zero at the bridge junction.

    While techically possible it would form a very tight single lane chicane with an not insignificant hump in the middle.

    The radius the moveable barrier would need to be moved, at either end, to accomadate these chicanes will be very tight. So they would need to move them with a forkhoist.

    All at a monetary cost of no insignificant amount for a few walkers and cyclist at the weekend?

    No better to walk/ride to the ferry terminal building and catch the Devonport / Birkenhead ferry across.

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  126. Thanks for that investigation Gerrit, I was wondering how difficult it might be to get northbound traffic onto that 6th lane (viewed left to right facing north). Northbound traffic regularly travels in lane 5 during the PM peak, but I haven’t ever seen it in lane 6. So I guess that’s some what problematic.

    Fixable though I imagine.

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  127. Gerrit

    I simply note again most New Zealanders over 30 drank underage – this protest against the then law involved illegality.

    Homosexuals pre 1986 also were involved in acts of protest against the law.

    Clients who visited brothels prior to 2003 consented to certain illegal offers.

    Lets guess those who join groups advocating for legalised marijuana actually use it at their meetings.

    Those who call for a republic are not really loyal to our head of state (and some swore an oath in parliament). It could technically be associated with “sedition”, but tolerance for free speech and right to protest/advocate for change means that “we” rightly look the other way.

    In all of the above cases there are/were few if any prosecutions, despite their being a law being breached.

    Your line of the law is the law is the law is simply extremist (where there is no damage to property and no violence), because it is in the area where political activism determines what the law is, there has always been latitude – why, because of the fundamental right to protest in a democracy.

    And as for issue of lawful protest and unlawful protest often the issue is of consent to use roads – the whole point here was that access to the road was denied to the non motoring public even for the 50th anniversary.

    Often protest involves trespass – here both protestors and journalists can be invited to leave or face trespass. I was not involved in Auckland but once did enter parliament buildings (despite it being barricaded from the inside by bars behind the doors – in 1988, once inside I and others met with an MP Jim Anderton in one of the meeting rooms. I was concerned that protestors were pushing at the doors and may well have broken them, so I informed the protest organiser of a way in via one of the downstairs doors I used back in the 70’s when I used to deliver ministerials from my department to the Minister – pre Beehive). Police arrived but having caused no damage in our protest no arrests were made (an interesting discussion with the on duty AB full-back about that weekends shield challenge).

    We made the news (mission accomplished), so I am in no position to judge the people who occupied the bridge and so I will not.

    Your obsession against breach of the law, would include opposition to protest in nations where this was illegal. Therefore clearly it goes too far.

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  128. SPC,

    I simply note again most New Zealanders over 30 drank underage – this protest against the then law involved illegality.

    Homosexuals pre 1986 also were involved in acts of protest against the law.

    Clients who visited brothels prior to 2003 consented to certain illegal offers.

    Lets guess those who join groups advocating for legalised marijuana actually use it at their meetings.

    Those who call for a republic are not really loyal to our head of state (and some swore an oath in parliament). It could technically be associated with “sedition”, but tolerance for free speech and right to protest/advocate for change means that “we” rightly look the other way.

    I doubt that homosexual men and women were having sex in the street or as protest to the law. In all of these cases the action that is against the law was illegal but the protest itself was perfectly legal. In this case the action is legal except in special cases such as the one the protest was about but the protest itself was illegal. There is a big difference.
    Plus there was real damage to individuals and companies in lost profits due to the protest, so real damage did result.

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  129. So you have moved from the law is the law is the law to only protests themselves have to be within the law …

    One law for protests one law for …

    So your line still includes opposition to protest in nations where this was illegal. Therefore clearly it goes too far.

    The thing is, it is the protest itself which is the priviliged part of the democratic process – because it is in the area where political activism determines what the law is, there has always been latitude given in the matter of protest.

    The same latitude extended to journalists when they trespass as part of seeking a story …

    This protest latitude has extended to rarely prosecuting people for behaviour associated with claimed legal right (for voters over 18 when the drinking in pubs was 20), homosexuals pre 1986, clients and hookers, marijuana use (not for supply), republican advocacy – that is not enforcing such law when the law itself was subject to political challenge.

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  130. SPC,
    No I have not moved my posistion as I did not previously state a posistion. I mearly sought to point out the difference.

    A law should be repected because it is the law and consequences follow for breaking that law, not because one happens to agree with the law. Not agreeing with a law is no reason to not abide by it. Protesting a law is one way to change a law, breaking a law is grounds for charges to be laid. To not abide by a law simply because you dont agree with it, even if it is an action of protest, is still breaking the law.
    The bridge protest was against the law not because the action of protest was but because the method was. The protest could of taken place without breaking the law.
    It would be hard to make protest illegal, impossible in even a pretend democracy, one could make congregation illegal though there would be plenty of methods of protest left. If protest itself was made illegal then revolution would take place over anything the populas felt sufficently strongly about.
    Political activists have no right to break the law and should be punished like any others. The weak have no rights.

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  131. Kevyn,

    Thanks for the info on the four axle trailer units, I thought they must be self steer in at least two axles but could not see how. Never got to close to one. Guess I was looking for the big engineering as seen on those triple axle bogies.

    SPC,

    I guess we are not communicating very well. Let me repeat

    If you dont abide by the law, be prepared for others not to either.

    And as I said, if you are comfortable about breaking the law, then dont cry a baby tear if other do something that you may not like.

    Nobody is denying the right to protest, just the right you seek to break the law while doing so.

    Sapients answer is a pretty good one that you may well like to consider.

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  132. sapient

    (I responded to your post as if Gerrit wrote it, not surprisingly he agrees with it)

    So the answer to denial of the right to protest is revolution/resort to violence?

    Now then why is it “customary” in areas of political activism such as public protest for there to be laxity in enforcement of law (unless property damage or violence occurs)? Why is it customary for there to be few charges of trespass by protestors (and journalists)? This is because (go to Kiwipolitico and read the recent post by Pablo on the way a democracy operates) there is the issue of mutual co-existence which coincides along with the law (a recognition that the laws which diminish the rights of some and or express values are managed by the democratic consensus and that can change, thus the need for tolerance).

    Why don’t police hunt down marijuana users for possession for personal use – by targeting those who campaign for legal right to use? Why don’t they regard republican advocacy as some form of rebellion against the head of state? Because one day these things may come to pass as part of the democratic process.

    Most New Zealanders over 30 are law breakers for drinking in bars under 20? Police officers did the same (one group played in an U19 rugby team while training as 18 year olds, so we know it to have been so).

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  133. Gerrit

    “If you dont abide by the law, be prepared for others not to either.”

    I will re-state my point most people now over 30 en mass ignored the age 20 before going into bars to drink requirement. Homosexuals ignored the law. People accepted the illegal offers from hookers. Many if not most have smoked marijuana. Over a third of the people want a republic.

    So yes we agree at a certain point the dissent of lawlessness results in a change in the law – because others also challenge it. It often begins when there is no prosecution for the law breaking because the law has become part of the democratic debate/protest process.

    Most protest groups will go over the trespass line where there is a point to this, the extent to which they feel compelled to so is sometimes determined by the level to which the protest is allowed some license or is regulated.

    “if you are comfortable about breaking the law, then dont cry a baby tear if other do something that you may not like.”

    Are you prepared to state that you have not drunk in a bar under 20 or smoked… , driven at “speed” or after drinking to excess (less than 10% would qualify as lawful) or you now would not because you fear your precious example would result in others breaking the law too?

    Otherwise stf up about others being “comfortable breaking some law” to support someone elses right to be heard in making a protest (I was actually asked to chaperone an under 18 year old to their first protest at changes to beneficiary laws for those under 18 at the 1988 occasion I referred to).

    And there is no connection between accepting some latitude to protestors and being a cry baby despite your inference. The cry baby was Paul Henry, who probably supported the truckers. Yes the latitude given to some is also available to others … . But that does not make it a free for all, the democratic constraints on protest have been violence and damage to property. That is unlikely to change while protest is allowed.

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  134. SPC,
    If a population feels sufficently strongly about something for them to revolt then the change is justified because the state no longer weilds the power nor the legitimacy held gained through that power. If the people do not care storngly enough to hold a revolution then the state retains the power of those people and the legitimacy gained through that power. To not stand against the system is to give strength and legitimacy to the system. If a sufficent portion of the people feel strongly enough about anti-protest laws then they will rebel, otherwise that law is legitimate.

    The point of a protest is to show that some of the population cares passionatly and to try and get others to think in the same manner, a protest is the way a minority tries to get their voice heard and a mechanism to make the government listen for fear of loosing sufficent power to govern, for fear of revolution of sorts. Even if they are in the minority, sufficent numbers of minority groups can constitute a majority. We just had a small scale revolution infact, because the labour government lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of voters. Democracy is mearly a system which allows a regular opportunity for low-personal-cost revolutions.

    That it is customary for police to let them go lightly is not relivant to the point of if or if not it is acceptable to obey some laws and disobey others. But, I will address it anyway; they are often overlooked because prosecution to the normal level is bad PR, it gains sympathy for the protesters and opens them to claims of authoritarianism. They dont not prosecute because it is acceptable, they dont prosecute because the costs outweigh the benefits. That some cops break the law is irrelivant to this arguement.

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  135. SPC,
    The truckers protest is an example of legal, though prehaps ethically questionable, protest.
    I have drunk in bars under the age of 20, but i am 20 now and could do so legally since i was 18. In truth i never snuck into bars at under 18 years of age. I did drink alot while under 18 (technically not illegal) and I did do various other things illegally, including at green party conferences. I did those in the understanding that I would not be caught, i did not break any laws while I was likely to be caught. If I was found I would fully accept the punishment. Likewise if i deliberatly did illegal things in public such as smoke pot (I support legalisation of many drugs btw, including the MJ) on the lawn of parliment then i would expect to be arrested and prosecuted.
    Those whom break the law in public should be eaither willing to accept the full legal penalty or accept that others will do the same for that which they feel illegitimate.
    If you accept as legitimate protesting against what you donot consider legitimate then you must also accept the protests of others. You must accept workplaces that only hire white males as legitimate if they claim to be protesting about PC. You must accept people whom tourture animals if they claim to be protesting against excessive anmal welfare laws, and you must accept people vandalising everything in protest against excessivel levels of anti-vandalism laws. You must even support peopel going around beating up maori in protest of excessive treaty grevances, etc. If breaking the law is acceptable as a form of protest in one circumstance it is acceptable in all. Be consitant.

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  136. sapient

    So the protest in China in 1989 was illegal because it was successfully crushed? And this having been achieved their law against any further democratic protest is legitimate?

    The police were not really policing the laws against drinking under20 or the homsexuality law or the no soliciting law (prior to the law change) just as they are not the use of marijuana by users now (or bothering about republicans). The reason is that these are victimless crimes and the laws are more of the political process than the criminal law one as we have traditionally known it.

    Similarly the restriction on the bridge was a bylaw, again not criminal law and the protest was related to the political process and did not involve criminal law breach.

    Are you claiming the police make their law enforcement decisions based on political considerations such as “avoiding sympathy for protestors”? Yeah right. It’s more a case of police avoiding politics if they can (with the exception of one unit which did something really stupid a year or two back)and trying to manage public safety at protests and otherwise stick to real crime.

    “That some cops break the law is irrelivant to this arguement.”

    No not really, those police themselves saw drinking under 20 as a victimless matter, they had no problem policing real crime while breaking that law themsleves. In fact it was policy in those days to allow under 20 year olds to drink until they caused trouble and only then use their age to remove them more easily. Some bars happily served people under 20 and only asked for proof of age when it got crowded (removing some to allow new fresh drinkers to come in). The law was a bit of a public joke. Just like marijuana possession for use is amongst the middle class today, prosecutions just don’t happen.

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  137. SPC,
    Drinking in any age group can hardly be considered victimless, esspecially when the norm is to drink to excess.
    Do you really think that the higher level police dont ahve to worry about politics? how naive! their entire job is about managing the political implications of police actions! naturally lower level police will act to not do that which may endanger their jobs or waste their time. The judicial system is no different.

    You are speaking about Tianamon Square I presume? Im not so good with dates. The protest was not illegal because they were crushed, it was illegal because of laws, but those laws were legitimate because the state continued to retain the support of the people; the power was on their side. If the people ahd cared enough to rise up then the state would have not the power and the law would becoem illigetimate.

    The police here certainly enforce the no serving alcohol to someone under 18 unaccompanied by and adult family member law. They are in pubs all the time, same with the serving intoxicated persons. They enforce the anti-weed whenever they smell it (though that may be so they can have it themselves), its just a waste of resource to go after everyone. The did enforce the soliciting law when it was illegal, but they tended not to bust, but then again I was younger then so I dont remmember too well. And i have no idea about the homosexuality enforcement as i was only born in 1988.

    Why do beneficiaries ahve any business protesting? Why do they have a union? “We demand to be able to steel more money from people whom bother to work or ensure they have the skills to find work”, I was reading on rates blog that 50% of peopel are net receivers of tax? I wonder if that includes healthcare, etc as well?

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  138. sapient

    No sapient I do not have to accept that latitude as to the matter of protest/exercise of free speech/participation in the political process has to extend to another area/other areas – criminal law against property crime and crimes of violence is not usually ignored where it occured during a protest, nor should it.

    I also do not accept your own distinction of a show of respect for the public law in public despite private behaviour otherwise (it’s like running onto the motorway in a mask, but its still the same act). It speaks of a very middle class experience (about the likelihood of not getting caught), in the more policed areas of society people are arrested when police identify marijuana possession in private in the course of their duties.

    You also have to consider the difference between victimless crime (drinking under 20, homosexuality, soliciting, using marijuana, republican advocacy) and the examples you cited.

    Where there is an injured party there is a legal matter, regardless of the political process. Thus your examples – about discriminatory hiring practice (a party to cite the Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act) vandalism of property and assault of people based on race are criminal law matters and have victims obviously.

    If a group admitted their torture of animals and that they did not care about animal welfare laws, most animal rights advocates would first hail their honesty and then exploit it to have them prosecuted.

    “If breaking the law is acceptable as a form of protest in one circumstance it is acceptable in all. Be consitant.”

    No. If police can speed in the course of their duties does this mean police are above the law in other matters too?

    Democracy is built on an appreciation of the fundamental right to protest and all the protestor has to do is operate within the consensus of what is reasonable protest to enjoy the protection of that fundmanetal privilege.

    You seem to confuse the liberties allowed to the protestor – being given access to public places (even at the cost of slowing traffic) in the course of the public declaration of protest, with other issues. That some protests get permission to public places and some do not, is sometimes part of the protestor grievance which the protest expresses. The “protest” wants to be noticed and to be heard.

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  139. sapient

    No its not naive to say (higher level) police avoid politics. Avoiding it is their politics.

    So you accept that government is power and power is exercised through law. Thus you allow government to determine opposition as lawlessness. The Soviets simply called dissidents people who needed to be re-educated/cured in the psychiatric institutions of the gulag (people unfit to plead guilty in trials).

    “The police here certainly enforce the no serving alcohol to someone under 18.”

    They enforce it, now its at the voting age for political protest.

    “The did enforce the soliciting law when it was illegal”

    No not so much, they occasionally used the suggestion of enforcement to manage operators – that’s all.

    “no idea about the homosexuality”

    A very public private distinction.

    “Why do beneficiaries ahve any business protesting?”

    Because we all have the same political citizenship?

    “Why do they have a union?”

    Because that is the way democracy operates.

    “I was reading on rates blog that 50% of peopel are net receivers of tax? I wonder if that includes healthcare, etc as well”

    There are students, those on WFF (the non working partner receiving them is a net tax receiver), beneficiaries and those on Super. I am not sure if it is as high as 50% – I suppose if one included all the children in larger families and they were in a net receiver category because of the children number …

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  140. SPC,
    Police in attempting to catch a speeding individual are not justified in breaking the law. It is legal for them to speed and as such no laws are broken. This is also not a instance of protest.

    The illegality of an action only matters so long as you are stupid enough to get caught as the penalty only applies in this instance. If you are not caught there is no prosecution, no punishment, and as such no reason not to apart from personal morality. Would i kill someone if I thought the benfits outweighted the costs? Yes, I dont have any ethical reason not to. Would i beat my partner or rape someone even if I though i would never be caught? No, because I do have an ethical distate for that; infact a rapist could very easily fall victim to the above instance.

    The discriminatory hirering practice has very very minor consequences for some individuals, the bridge protest probally cost auckland millions of dollars, the protesters could be rightfully sued. Both have very real victims. There is no such thing as a victimless crime, pot comes close but it still produces victims: if purchased from a dealer it promotes organised crime, if grown in itself it promotes law breaking, if smoked it increase the public health bill (infact it does regardless of method of consumption in the long term), if consumed and children are under the care of an individual under the influence thenan individual under the influence may be less alert to dangers to that child and more readily let them engage in such behaviour (I have alot of experiance with alot of substances and one part of obtaining my degree is having a high understanding of brain functioning, dont try to deny these effects).

    If a matter needs to be protested then, by definition, it is not of consensus.

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  141. SPC,
    I accept that power comes from the people and in congomerated in the form of the state through the social contract and that through the power given to state by the people the state is able to demand that members of society surender certain freedoms for the benefit of certian rights and protections. The state is able to do this only so long as the people continue to give the state power.
    I dont have a problem with soviet russia, democracy is a sham, its only purpose is to legitimise what may otherwise be considered illigetimate. That soviet russia was able to exist is evidence that the people continued to give their support to the regime, even if they were indoctrinated, they did not care enough as a large body to remove the power of the state. They were more happy to suffer than risk loosing their life all together. The world is not just, it is a strugle between those with power.

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  142. sapient,

    “The illegality of an action only matters so long as you are stupid enough to get caught as the penalty only applies in this instance. If you are not caught there is no prosecution, no punishment, and as such no reason not to apart from personal morality.”

    As the bridge walkers made their point and have not been prosecuted …

    “The discriminatory hirering practice has very very minor consequences for some individuals, the bridge protest probally cost auckland millions of dollars, the protesters could be rightfully sued.”

    So you value corporate profit interest more highly than human rights? Money is lost to them when official protests and accidents affect roads during the week – 1 1/2 hours costing millions on a Sunday yeah right.

    “There is no such thing as a victimless crime”

    Really.

    “pot comes close but it still produces victims: if purchased from a dealer it promotes organised crime, if grown in itself it promotes law breaking,”

    Because it is illegal to supply, otherwise just another business.

    “if smoked it increase the public health bill (infact it does regardless of method of consumption in the long term)”

    no more than tobacco

    “if consumed and children are under the care of an individual under the influence thenan individual under the influence may be less alert to dangers to that child and more readily let them engage in such behaviour”

    No more than alcohol consumption or addiction to the pokies

    “If a matter needs to be protested then, by definition, it is not of consensus.”

    But the right to protest about it is a matter of consensus.

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  143. SPC,

    As the bridge walkers made their point and have not been prosecuted

    I made no statement that i disagreed with the actions of the bridge walkers; I infact support their efforts, though not sufficently so that I would walk myself. My point is mearly that to break a law is to break a law, protesting does not make such breaking of the law legitimate and as such those effected have every right to bring charges, particuarly legislator of the by-law.

    So you value corporate profit interest more highly than human rights? Money is lost to them when official protests and accidents affect roads during the week – 1 1/2 hours costing millions on a Sunday yeah right.

    The point is not my values; the point is, again, that to break the law is to break the law, to say that it is right depending on the victim is again totally subjective. Just because they are big corporates does not make them any more worthy of harm than an individual.

    “There is no such thing as a victimless crime”

    Really.

    “pot comes close but it still produces victims: if purchased from a dealer it promotes organised crime, if grown in itself it promotes law breaking,”

    Because it is illegal to supply, otherwise just another business.

    “if smoked it increase the public health bill (infact it does regardless of method of consumption in the long term)”

    no more than tobacco

    “if consumed and children are under the care of an individual under the influence thenan individual under the influence may be less alert to dangers to that child and more readily let them engage in such behaviour”

    No more than alcohol consumption or addiction to the pokies

    So you concede that just like tobacco, alcohol, and pokies it does cause harm? It is therefore not a victimless crime. That some of the damage results from it being illegal does not make it any more victimless. I am not arguing if it should or shouldnot be legal here, as stated above i support pot being legal, but that your arguement about it being victimless is irrelivant as it is with victims.

    But the right to protest about it is a matter of consensus.

    Agreed that the right to protest is a matter of consensus, that is why it is not illegal and is even facilitated. The right to break laws in protest is not however a matter of consensus and it is about this that we are debating.

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  144. SPC,
    I am getting tired of this constant back and foward on the same points but with different wordings.
    Please state in one posting your reasoning as to why it is suitable to break some laws in protest and I will reply with my reasoning as to why your reasoning is invalid, short and concise. If this is still not settled you can post a rebutal of my points and then me a defence of mine. Following that if no consensus is made then i find it unlikely that there will be one from this debate and as such further debating would be pointless. If need be the opinions of others may be sought following this.
    Suitable to you?

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  145. The lawbreakers bluster. Sapient wins.

    If it’s ok to break laws if you feel like making a point, then we’re all free to break laws so long as we’re making a point.

    Curious stance from the “intelligent” party…who so desperately want to be the people making the laws…..

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  146. If you go out to break the law, you should be prepared to pay the price. If you aren’t held to account, so be it. No one should rejoice in law breaking, unless they are happy to defend their actions with those who are offended by the effervescence.

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  147. Fly

    When the left are in power it does not matter if you break the law, you guys simply pass legislation to validate your illegal activities.

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  148. Sapient said (to SPC) : -Please state in one posting your reasoning as to why it is suitable to break some laws in protest and I will reply with my reasoning as to why your reasoning is invalid, short and concise.

    There are vestigal laws hanging around on the books in many countries and the only consequence of breaking those would be hilarity and an opportunity for the redundant laws to be removed from the books.

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  149. >>you should be prepared to pay the price

    Wouldn’t that be amusing.

    There is another aspect: leading by example. Do you think it’s a good look for lawmakers to deliberately flout the law? It might play well with base, but you’re not convincing anyone else, especially the commuters you disrupt.

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  150. BP said “If it’s ok to break laws if you feel like making a point, then we’re all free to break laws so long as we’re making a point. ”

    I can’t believe you still can’t see anything between black and white.

    Some law breaches are trivial (e.g. 51 in a 50zone) some are extremely serious (e.g. torture and kill someone). By your ‘logic’ if everyone goes over 50k then rape and pilage is all good!

    Greenfly is right that if you break the law you should be prepared to face the consequences.
    Also the consequences should fit the crime and take into account mitigating circumstances.
    E.g, the ploughshares men who slashed the Spydome, will likely get reduced sentences as they only slashed one of the domes (they could have done both) and they are ultimately trying to prevent tens of thousands of deaths from US’ wars.

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  151. >>our ‘logic’ if everyone goes over 50k then rape and pilage is all good!

    No, it’s all against the law.

    I know it plays well to the base. But the flip-side is that it annoys a lot of people unnecessarily, and it undermines the rule of law when done by someone who want the responsibility of making laws.

    Who are you really convincing? Isn’t it a better idea to lead by example? To convince with reason?

    I’m all for cyclists having access to the bridge. So long as they agree to pay for it. Come up with a plan on how they will pay for it, and people will listen.

    I’m not remotely interested in thuggery.

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  152. Leading by example Blue? John Key expressed his desire for a private jet, when asked what he would do if he had a lottery windfall. Is that the kind of leading by example you were refering to? Rodney Hide reneged on his oft-proclaimed ‘freedom from nanny-statism’ by voting for laws that dictate what a group of people can wear, is that the kind of leading by example you were on about? Just wondering?

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  153. Why have a parliament and pass laws if it’s OK to break them if you have an ideological reason for doing it?

    If we have laws that are irrelevant to today’s society, ANY party can move to repeal them and thereby remove them from the statutes. However, the laws that we have are laws of the land, not laws of conscience, and I believe an MP who breaks them should be instantly and permanently removed from the house.

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  154. I’m all for cyclists having access to the bridge. So long as they agree to pay for it. Come up with a plan on how they will pay for it, and people will listen.

    ARC and NSCC (and perhaps Auckland City Council too) seem reasonably keen on providing some funding for this project out of general rates (which would include money from those walking/cycling across it). Problem is that NZTA won’t let them.

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  155. Strings – an MP who goes 5km over the speed limit should be
    instantly and permanently removed from the house. ?

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  156. Blue said: I’m not remotely interested in thuggery which fits with his ‘meh’ comment re the ‘punch in the face’ incident, fin.

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  157. >>John Key expressed his desire for a private jet, Is that the kind of leading by example you were refering to?

    Sure. I’d like a private jet, too.

    I guess you want some more organic seeds. Or something.

    Each to their own….

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  158. The difference is greed and hypocrisy neither of which I would like to see in my leaders (we are discussing ‘leading by example still, aren’t we Blue?)

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  159. There is obviously a balance to be struck in protest action that breaks laws between the seriousness of the law breach and the seriousness of the matter protested, with some sense of proportionality retained.

    Few would argue (anyone ?) that Gandhi’s civil disobedience campaign was inappropriate, or that black people in South Africa should not have broken the law in their campaign against apartheid.

    This is not to say that walking or cycling over the Auckland Harbour Bridge is in the same league as these actions, but rather that an absolute and universal approach to “breaking the law” is inappropriate.

    In fact this is not just something that is generally acknowledged, but is also specifically acknowledged in relation to some areas of law. For example it is a specific defence to the law of trespass if one’s presence in a place is required to prevent some greater harm (the specific words have left my head, but you get the gist).

    The question, then, is whether walking or cycling across the Harbour Bridge was an appropriate and proportionate breach of the law in the face of lack of responsiveness by NZTA and others to popular demand for adequate walking and cycling access to the Bridge.

    For the purposes of this discussion I have left out the fact that the Police actually directed people onto the Bridge. Just complicates things.

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  160. Fin,
    They slashed the domes in protest, they were not trying to prevent tens of thousands of deaths and there is no way that those actions could have. They sought to raise awareness for their own personal cause, a cause that is already well known and accepted pretty much everywhere accept america :P . Their vandalism of the dome is just that; vandalism. Vandalism that risks putting New Zealand at extreeme risk and endangering far more than tens of thousands of lives. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Kevin H,
    At the time south africas population was mainly black (80%?), the protest actually fits the definition of a revolution, a negotiated revolution, but a revolution all the same.
    To break the law is to break the law. If a politician breaks laws willingly then they should be punished to the full extent of the law as that seriously compromises the legitimacy of any laws.
    Gandhi’ civil disobediance was against the law by its very nature, it is extremly hypocritical considering his latter roles. It is fine to say “this law is unjust so I shall break it, and this law is just therfore i shall follow it” but that is based on a entirly subjective set of views so in legitimising these action one legitimises others acting in a similar manner for laws they personally consider just or unjust. If that is legitimate I, like Thoreau, am entirly legitimate in not paying tax toward a state which funds excessivly welfare if that is how i feel. If all the rich B#%tards adopted this Thoreauian method of civil disobediance then society would go down the s*&ter and all the people on benefits would go without as our tax colelction drops far far bellow even that used just for benefits.

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  161. BP,
    Theres an idea for a protest. It is legitimate after all according to these folk, including its type being specifically promoted by a Green MP.

    We must encourage all rich f%^ks to join this protest! A civil disobediance protest in the nature of Thoreau where we refrain from paying taxes in protest of what that tax is being used for! We can watch society turn to mud arround us, it will be fun!

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  162. Sap, “they were not trying to prevent tens of thousands of deaths” How can YOU say why they did that?
    “and there is no way that those actions could have”
    Not directly, I agree. Are you also of the opinion that.. dropping flour bombs on a rugby field can ‘in no way’ stop appartheid?
    Cos if you are, then you should talk to the Springbok captain at the time.
    “Their vandalism of the dome is just that; vandalism”
    Surely you’re not that narrow minded. If you’re stuck on an island and need to attract attention of rescuers you might burn something. Something expensive perhaps, which doesn’t even belong to you. Is this theft, and arson?
    “Vandalism that risks putting New Zealand at extreeme risk and endangering far more than tens of thousands of lives.” Please explain. Should I be worried?
    “They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law” They were in jail for 5 nights, and it was COLD!
    “We can watch society turn to mud arround us, it will be fun!” ..You’re all heart

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  163. Sapient – BluePeter won’t have a bar of your suggestion that the rich refuse to pay tax – he says I’m not remotely interested in thuggery and would chastise you for suggesting that he do an unlawful act. Fin asks if you are ‘narrow minded’ and it’s a good question, given that you seem very focused on literal meanings.

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  164. Greenfly,
    I am open to considering anything, i just insist on doing so through logical processes.

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  165. I’m hoping your logical processes are tempered with a goodly measure of love for your fellow men :-)

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  166. jarbury Says:
    That’s a pretty lame solution greengeek.

    Its not really that lame if it permits an almost instant improvement in getting cyclists across the bridge.

    What I dont understand though is why there can’t be a whole new cycle lane cantilevered directly off the solid pylons and not hanging onto the cardboard bridge at all.

    Can’t be that hard.

    And how else is John Key’s cycleway ging to get across the harbour??

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  167. And how else is John Key’s cycleway going to get across the harbour??

    It’ll bounce from cloud to cloud.

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  168. And how else is John Key’s cycleway going to get across the harbour??

    The same way it’ll cross Cook Strait – on a ferry :D

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  169. What I dont understand though is why there can’t be a whole new cycle lane cantilevered directly off the solid pylons and not hanging onto the cardboard bridge at all.

    Er, basicly, because the Nippon clip-ons are cantilevered directly off the solid pylons and not hanging onto the cardboard bridge at all. Or more accurately, the clip-ons are mounted on pylons on top of angle brackets attached to the sides of the original bridge piers, which kind of gets in the way of attaching anything directly to any part of the orginal truss bridge.

    That’s why Transpower is going to place it’s 220kv cables in ducting under the bridge. It’s the Electricity Commission’s u-turn on that scheme that has made NZTA so adamant that the bridge has no reserve strength left to support a walk/cycle way.

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  170. Well you started to talk of springs Kev. I had an inner mezzanine carriageway in mind. Could be flexible in a dozen different ways. Imposing volume limits may not be necessary.

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  171. Challenge accepted Sapient.

    – But the right to protest about it is a matter of consensus. –

    “Agreed that the right to protest is a matter of consensus, that is why it is not illegal and is even facilitated.”

    My point is that the protesters took the action they did because they banned from using the bridge. It is often accepted that protestors should have access to public places for their protest and in denying them this there was an unwillingness to faciliate protest. It was only that unwillingness which left the protestors in breach of a bylaw if they went onto the bridge (safety was not the issue as police faciliated access in a way which made it safe).

    “The right to break laws in protest is not however a matter of consensus and it is about this that we are debating…”

    See above as applies to this case.

    “Please state in one posting your reasoning as to why it is suitable to break some laws in protest and I will reply with my reasoning as to why your reasoning is invalid, short and concise.”

    I will ignore the fact that democracy (and the independence of nation states from over-rule) resulted from protest – from the Magna Carta the Chartists and then the suffragettes – including our whole process of law (to ensure equality before the law etc). I will merely cite the work of people to smuggle escaped slaves into the North of the USA. This was illegal under American law as the slaves were the property of their owners …

    Today nation states take in political dissidents who flee the consequences of their illegal protests … provide a refuge to lawbreakers and do not extradite them. Thus the practice of the people who helped escaped slaves is now that of the law abiding group of democratic nations.

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  172. SPC,

    “Agreed that the right to protest is a matter of consensus, that is why it is not illegal and is even facilitated.”

    My point is that the protesters took the action they did because they banned from using the bridge. It is often accepted that protestors should have access to public places for their protest and in denying them this there was an unwillingness to faciliate protest. It was only that unwillingness which left the protestors in breach of a bylaw if they went onto the bridge (safety was not the issue as police faciliated access in a way which made it safe).

    The protesters are allowed to protest as a matter of consensus, they are allowed to do so where the process itself does not involve breaking the law. It is generally accepted that protesters should have access to public places for protest when access to that place would otherwise be legal under the circumstances in which they use that location. This is not being debated. Though the bridge is not public property but private property owned by a publicly elected body.
    Protesters were completely able to protest against the restrictions placed on the bridge without breaking the law, because of this the protesters still retain their ability to protest as recognised by the collective government. The protesters may have legally protested on eaither side of the bridge, in a park, by the roadside, in front of the counsel building, or even on the steps of parliament house. These all would have been effective and legal though slightly less effective than the illegal means used. The protesters could still have protested on the bridge legally by driving at the slowest legal speed in motor vehicles bearing banners or some such and forming a continuous loop on both sides of the bridge, this would have been more effective though prehaps not as economical; but still legal. That the protesters protested in a manner which is illegal is the point here.

    “The right to break laws in protest is not however a matter of consensus and it is about this that we are debating…”

    See above as applies to this case.

    While the above does apply, as it is an instance where laws were broken in protesting, it does not actually provide any reason why protesters breaking laws in their protesting should not be held accountable for their actions. That it could have been legal and that this exception was not made is irrelivant exactly because that exception was not made. A trespass order is still enforced if the holder does not grant the person to which it applies permission to enter the area of trespass, even if they could have should they have chosen to.

    “Please state in one posting your reasoning as to why it is suitable to break some laws in protest and I will reply with my reasoning as to why your reasoning is invalid, short and concise.”

    I will ignore the fact that democracy (and the independence of nation states from over-rule) resulted from protest – from the Magna Carta the Chartists and then the suffragettes – including our whole process of law (to ensure equality before the law etc). I will merely cite the work of people to smuggle escaped slaves into the North of the USA. This was illegal under American law as the slaves were the property of their owners …

    Today nation states take in political dissidents who flee the consequences of their illegal protests … provide a refuge to lawbreakers and do not extradite them. Thus the practice of the people who helped escaped slaves is now that of the law abiding group of democratic nations.

    Yes, the Magna Carta, Womens Sufferage, Independence, and the abolition of slavery all involved some degree of protest. Not all of these involved illegal protest and in all cases those involved in illegal protest were eaither squashed or if they were sufficently great in numbers they were left without prosecution due to the political consequences of such actions.
    This talks to the influence of protest on policy decisions which may potentially lead to positive political change, at least in the views of some. Keep in mind that protest also works against things we may consider desirable political change. Protests and mobs have been some of the most influencial forces in genocide and war in general; protests can cause bad aswel as good. Just as there were protests for the abolition of slavery so were there protests against it, ditto for womens sufferage and even abortion. The magna carter was an example of a protest / revolution where the size of the protesters was so large (in terms of the influence and thus power of the protesters) that the king could hardly of denied the demands. Independence, well, that is prehaps the best example of the role of power considering how many wars have been won, and lost, in the fight for independence.
    Remember what we are debating here is not if or if not protest is a good thing. What I am arguing is that if people are allowed to break laws that they disagree with in protest (and that is exactly what this is) then the law becomes not a law but a guideline and because of this becomes essentially unpolicable. By opening the law to breaches based on opinion the law is opened to the opinions of not just those whom share your views but the views of everyone. In this way legitimising such law breaking creates anarchy. To break the law in protest is one thing and may lea to desirable or undesirable consequences but that does not change the fact that it is a breach of the law and as such, presuming the desire for a well functioning society, those whom breach the law should be willing to accepts the relivant punishment.

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  173. Is the bridge “private property” – and if so, what authority to allow trespass on private property do the police have?

    You asked me to cite an example and did not mention it in your reply.

    It was this

    I will merely cite the work of people to smuggle escaped slaves into the North of the USA. This was illegal under American law as the slaves were the property of their owners …

    Today nation states take in political dissidents who flee the consequences of their illegal protests … provide a refuge to lawbreakers and do not extradite them. Thus the practice of the people who helped escaped slaves is now that of the law abiding group of democratic nations.

    (Others have cited the example of blacks who entered the areas reserved for whites on buses).

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  174. SPC,
    The police are entrusted with protecting the public, they can thus be justified in minimising harm such as was the case in this instance.

    I did address that example in my general discussion. This act of protest involves the perpurtration of illegal actions. If they were caught by the southern authorities then they would have been punished. Their actions latter became legal but at the time of the offence they were illegal in juristiction in which they committed the act. If or if not this act is just is irrelivant as the fact of the matter is that it WAS against the law at the time. Because of this any smuglers were prepared to face the possible consequnces shoud they be caught, they did not do this in broad daylight though. They did not expect to be immune to legal prosecution due to their not agreeing with the law. This case is not really comparable because in this instance there was not the arguement that they should be exempted from prosecution, unlike the bridge incident. A parrellel which I would draw from this example to illustrate my point is that if it is acceptable for the individuals to brake the law to take slaves to the north due to ideological differences then it too is acceptabe for individuals to take ex-saves from the north and bring them back to the south to their ‘owners’. In both of these instances the law of the state in which the action is primarily commited is states the action to be iegal and in both cases the law is considered by the commiting party to be unjust.
    To accept that it is okay to break the law when you disagree with it and as such that you should not be prosecuted for such breaches is to accept that when others do exactly the same by their own moral guidelines that is equally sanctionable.

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  175. “The police are entrusted with protecting the public, they can thus be justified in minimising harm such as was the case in this instance”

    You mean “breach the law” banning the public on the bridge for “safety reasons”. Thus showing a case where the law can be broken. And in such a case it would have been selective prosecution to charge thiose who went onto the bridge earlier.

    In retrospect, it would have been wiser to manage the protest by allowing limited use of the bridge.

    (Police cannot enter private property without a warrant let alone allow others to do so – the more general principle).

    You should have framed your answer on the basis that the USA north did not have separate laws (as to right of property), they just did not have right to own slaves in their states.

    There was the exact same argument that the North should not enforce the law against the people who helped free the slaves – that they should not return the slaves or prosecute those of the north involved in helping them escape.

    This is the basis of the practice of democratic nation states to provide refuge to political dissidents who broke laws against protest – and to refuse extadition of the law breakers.

    Is the practice of political assylum a license to law breakers or democratic practice in support of the right to protest (even where it is illegal to do so)?

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  176. SPC,
    Where there is no choice it is considered acceptable for those entrusted with that duty to do so. It is a simple instances of the lesser evil. Apparently the bridge is actually a motorway therefore it is also illegal to cross under national laws.
    Extradition is a practice entirly about satisfying the population and the personal morals of the politicians, this does not make it legitimate. It is fine for the protesters to brake the law so long as they are willing to pay the consequences, those consequences may be prosecution or moving to another country to seek asylim, lol.
    The point is that a breach of the law is a breach of the law. In the case of police they would be breaking the law if they alowed it to go ahead without working for the saftey of the public. So, again, it is a matter of the lesser evil.

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  177. Is the bridge “private property” AND also a “national motorway”? Really? There is no law involved in police performing public safety aspects of their jobs (and your reference to higher considerations with law when there is no actual law involved is silly). Are you just making up lines of convenience?

    Your constant line is preference for property rights and law of those in authority over wider democratic considerations.

    You sneer at the morality of democratic nations in providing a refuge for those fleeing tyranny – saying it is not legitimate.

    So you side with returning slaves and punishing those who assisted their release. Now is this what the USA north actually did?

    My point is that (and it stands) – democratic nations accept the decision of the USA north was correct, and thus this is the practice of most democratic nations today in the wider international community in accepting refugees.

    This speaks to the acceptance that democratic protest within nation states is sometimes technically illegal but that it can and sometimes should be given latitude from prosecution.

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  178. SPC,
    You are twisting my posistion. I am not taking a moralistic posistion on this matter, I am mearly pointing out the consequnces of the actions you propose.
    In my view legitimacy comes from power. I make no claim that offering refuge is illigitimate, mearly irrelivant to the arguement.
    Stop trying to twist this to matters that you find positive. Your approach is no different to republicians using the ‘but the democrats hate america’ arguement to argue about matters to which that does not relate.
    The matter of debate is this legitimisation of law breaking behaviour based on personal moral stance. You say it should be allowed and those whom participate in it should be exempt from prosecution. I say that allowing this introduces many problems in that it turns the law into general guidelines because of the legitimisation of selective adherance to laws. You seem to be unable to comprehend that there is no such thing as objective moral standards and that allowing you and people who agree with you to selectivly follow laws allows those you disagree with to do the same.

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  179. “You seem to be unable to comprehend that there is no such thing as objective moral standards”

    You are the one asserting the law as in place of any objective moral standard (as a defacto objective standard) and that law based on the legislation of those with greater force – and thus only force as the source of that objective standard.

    “and that allowing you and people who agree with you to selectivly follow laws allows those you disagree with to do the same.”

    Rubbish. Your attempt to slur acceptance of tolerance for protest action as partisan rather than an acceptance of the norms of democracy established over its establishment after centuries of dissent is of a desperate resort to justify some assemblance of legitimacy, if only to yourself, of your more base position.

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  180. …people should still be able to cross….if they want….otherwise it (th bridge) is the biggest evidence of discrimination, entered into the Great Nation’s legal history.

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