This is such an important message for New Zealanders to hear that I decided to do an AI transcription of the conversation.
I can no longer believe the country I now live in. 700 police can come out to beat up peaceable protesters at Parliament but they can’t support a group of women against a group of thugs that out outnumber them many times. The “river of filth” vs “a celebration of peace and love” (sic)
This was a slightly disjointed account so I am going to take the liberty of editing the conversation a little and retell it as best I can.
Linda acted as a sort of a liaison with the police for the women’s group
“And I, I could go back until the 5th March when I first made contact with the New Zealand police as the police liaison person, I’m not a police liaison person, I’m just a woman. He put her hand up to say “what can I do?””
She I liaised with two police officers, a sergeant, whose name she mentioned to Sean Plunket. She said the liaison went very well.
” We had email conversations. We had many phone conversations right up UNTIL the morning of the 21st. She had arranged to meet the police sergeant by the band rotunda early on Saturday morning but he did not turn up and her phone calls went to answer phone
The bollards were arranged by the police and Auckland City Council to be lowered so that we could get inside up, to to the band rotunda, so when Kelly-Jay arrived she could have driven all the way straight up to the band rotunda.
When I arrived, they were down simply because he was someone in doing rubbish bins.
“The person who was supposed to be there did not turn up.
The police did not turn up.Then I started ringing.
I got nothing but answerphone from the numbers I had been supplied in the days and weeks before.
So we had to carry the barriers in, and the barriers were the on the suggestion on the requirement of Auckland City Council and the police. The purpose of the barriers was to create a no man’s land, a clear bright line of sight around, so that the women would face the stage and there would be a distance back to the barriers and that the police would then have a presence, walk around smiling. I
f anything happened, that looked like it was going to get out of control their job was to just develop down to stop anything getting out of control.
My job was to keep my women facing forward, – all banners and posters – so they faced the stage so as to not antagonise anyone or to to interact.
And that’s what they did.
They stood in dignified silence chatting to each other.
There were no banners facing outwards and no interaction other than the people taking photos.
It was quiet. It was calm.
But there were still no police.
There was another police officer that rang me on Friday. I had arranged to go into the band rotunda on Friday and meet my sound man because we were setting up the speakers. . And so I had arranged to go in to meet them. I had parked my car in Victoria Street carpark when I got a unknown-number call.
It was a Sergeant Donovan, from the police negotiating team. He rang me, had a chat to me, and said, “I’ll be there tomorrow. I’ll come see you”.
And I thought,, that’s great, because I’m going to be here at 8.30.
Well, he didn’t turn up. He wasn’t there. He didn’t turn up on the day.
Linda talks of meeting a young man called Xavier Walsh, with lovely bright orange gear had been walking around the perimeter with a pot of glue and posters and posting up Nazi posters, calling us Nazis”. When she approached Sergeant Donovanhe said to her “we’re not doing anything. I’ve had it from above. We’re not doing anything about those posters”.
“So I reported it to the Auckland City Council . When I arrived on Saturday, there were hundreds of them on band rotunda, though. the band rotunda had been….with sticky glue.”
Seam Plunket asks, “do you feel, Linda there was a moment when you’d had this liaison with the police a do you feel like at some point, at some point in time, they were given the word. “leave them hanging. Get out of there. We don’t want to have anything to do with us.”
Asked whether the police were told to stand down she replied, “Absolutely, they left people vulnerable that day”
When Sean Nixon finally made his way he didn’t come see Linda She told Plunket “that nasty, sweaty man in pink” actually came over and spoke to me beforehand and said, “I’m the organizer of the counter-protest and I’ve just come to see what you’re doing. And then he went off and said, I’ve got a call here from the police. They’re meeting me”. And that was it about,
Plunket: “So. the police would meet with him, but not you?”
“Absolutely. Absolutely. I saw the number came up on his phone”.
No, I’m standing. and you can see me in the images on all the videos, five foot tall. and I’m 63 years old.
“The people behind me, which I kept my back to.(I didn’t interact with) , were were yelling at me. And then a pot came over from over the fence. And I made the call to say I’m ” I’m in danger here”.
“No one answered my calls. I couldn’t hear if there was anyone on the end because the sound was so loud. I ran around back onto the band rotunda, which I saw last night was captured on film”.
She ran around to the band rotunda because I thought maybe I can hear better up here and step on the grass behind was Sergeant Donovan, who she’d never met – he’d made himself known to me.
“And, I told him.He got on his walkie talkie and he said, “I’ll let someone know.” . But no one came,
She ran back to the back and that was when the violence started.
“The volume just got louder and louder. The counter protesters had organized to come down at around 10. And they came down like the French Resistance en masse. Loud, aggressive, It was an organized and it was that Mr. Lai or whatever his freaking name – as I try not to say him – because he’s like Voldemort, if you’re saying he might appear.”
She continued to ring the police.
“Now, I was aware that those fences were not going to hold anything. And I was begging – sending begging messages saying:
“we need you to come down here and calm this. We need help. I’m afraid”.
But I wasn’t about to leave those women so I stayed here. Subsequently, when the fences came down, a man assaulted me. When I said, I was polite. “Please, can you step off the fence”
“He stepped forward, towered over me. my face was in his chest. He physically pushed me. He pushed me so hard. I was airborne. … He threw me three times in the air.
Then my husband turned up and got between me and him. And at that point I ran around and out through the crowd, and probably no one noticed who I was because everyone else had orange jackets on and I had a pink one on. And so (and I’m little, and I can run under people’s legs and no one even notices.) And I ran back to Sergeant Sean Richardson- By that stage, Kelly Jay was on the stage.
It was obvious to me that these women were trapped.
The fences were down.
We were outnumbered, 100 to one and no one could get out.
They were just trapped.
I ran up to Sean Richardson and I said, “Can you come and help us. There are women getting . trapped so no one can get out?
He said to me. “We are not here to protect you. That’s not our job”
Taking a step back in her narrative she said:
“So I ran out to a police van that was parked on Princess Street for police officers and I banged on the window, because I didn’t see Sergeant initially. The police officer had a phone in his hand. Perhaps he was playing some game on his phone,I don’t know.
I said, “you need to get out of the van you need to get here we need your help.”
He wound his window back up.
I ran across to Sean who said he wouldn’t help I ran across to another.
They all said they wouldn’t help.
“If you want to get out but we’re not going to come in and protect you”
And at that point I realised not only with the police were standing down but that we were on our own, that Kelly J was up on the stage my women were trapped.
She tells a story about an elderly woman,”she had two waterproof boots on her feet. She had two walking sticks. And she was jammed up on the rocks and the band rotunda.. There was a man there trying to help her up.
“And as I walked around there, I realized that I was confronted again, with all the counter-protesters. They were up on the stage.
They were there because they were trying to get to Kelly-Jay and they were trying to throw the fence forward on top of where Kelly Jay was standing and where the women were.
So I stepped in front of it.and I stepped in front of the fence.
I put my hands on the fence and I spread myself like a starfish to try and protect the fence from being used as a weapon.
They reached up over the top of me and they reached up and grabbed the banner because they couldn’t see through. ….and then six of them threw me around the band rotunda because I wouldn’t let it go., like a rag doll like literally threw me around.
I was just tossed all over.
I was spat at.
I was yelled at.
There was a man blowing his whistle …they had a hold of me and the banner that was wrapped in my arms and they threw me around
Then a amongst that two men stepped in and they managed to release me. I stepped back towards the fence and I was standing at the end of the fence, holding my …. and then they surged back and grabbed me a second time and threw me around a second time.
I got attacked second time.
I didn’t get away.
There was a man looking after me.
“I’m standing at the end of the fence. And I’m thinking I actually don’t know what to do now. I’m just standing here surrounded by these men, and handmaidens that were there to hurt people towering over me, intimidating me, yelling at me and I’m stuck on the band rotunda.
And there’s not a policeman, anywhere.
All the security is looking after Kelly-Jay.
They had left with her.
(The mob)managed to pull one end of the fence out of the concrete foot, so I linked my fingernails through the fence and I was hanging on the end of it trying to weight the end so they couldn’t lift it up.
Then a man leaned down to me. He said, “Would you like me to put that foot back into the centre of the base?”.
I said “yes, please”. .
And then I got a tap on the shoulder by another angel man who said “I’ll get you out. Just give me a moment”. And then he led me out straight out through the back because all the energy at that point had gone over to one side – not only energy, but it was focusing on Sally J.and he walked me out. As soon as I was out. I ran over to Sergeant which then again, and I was very angry.
I said, “how can you, as a as a son, a father and a husband stand and watch these women get hurt. Shame on you. Shame on you.”
What’s his response?
His reply was just the party line – “we’re not here to protect you.”.
The police never went in.
They waited on the road.”
“Not even when Kelly Jay was gone. And there were New Zealand women. There were elderly women. There were children in there. They never lifted a hand. They never did anything.”Linda expressed her fear:
” I’ve been afraid to tell my story because I have I’ve never had any interaction with the police before in my entire life. … I had thought the police were there to protect me …and now I think I might just have to join another join a gang that will protect me, because they’re not.
They’re not. They didn’t care. They didn’t listen, they didn’t care.
Not only don’t they care..
When asked if she had filed any complaints for the Independent Police Complaints authority her response was she has no faith in them.
That’s about as clear a version of what was said that I can manage.
It’s all there in the video above