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Bill protesters make views clear.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on March 29, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Bill protesters make views clear.
Thursday, 29.03.2007, 08:23am (GMT12)

Bill protesters make views clear

Anti-smacking bill protesters

Bill protesters make views clear (3:40)
Anti-smacking bill faces delay (1:50)
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Fury over smacking bill fast-track (2:12)

Government adopts anti-smacking bill
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Govt withdraws anti-smacking urgency
Anti-smacking fight heats up
Vast number against smacking bill
Fury over smacking bill fast-track

Mar 28, 2007

About 2,000 people packed a rain-soaked Cathedral Square in Christchurch on Wednesday, to protest against the anti-smacking bill which would remove the defence of reasonable force from Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

The crowd marched two city blocks from Victoria Square to the Cathedral shortly after midday, where speeches were delivered by Newstalk ZB’s Ali Jones and broadcasters Simon Barnett and Gary McCormack to thunderous applause.

Jones says the issue is bigger than whether to smack or not.  He says it is about allowing the average loving New Zealand parent the right to chose how to fairly and reasonably raise their children.

Bitter opposition to the anti-smacking bill was also voiced outside parliament on Wednesday afternoon.  Protesters were met by supporters of Sue Bradford’s bill and there were a number of clashes as emotions spilled over.

The encounter between the two sides came as MPs headed to the chamber to once again debate the issue. 

Hundreds of people made their opinions clear.

Libertarian Lindsay Perigo raised spectres of a police state.  He says police will become the Gestapo if the bill goes through and New Zealand will become a nation of snitches.

Debate is also getting increasingly personal.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister took a shot at what she described as fundamentalists.  Then on Wednesday former Work and Income boss Christine Rankin took a swipe at Helen Clark for ignoring public opinion saying the childless prime minister believes she knows better than the public.

She also lambasted Bradford, saying comments she made last October that men opposed to the bill are sexual perverts out of hitting children says it all.

Meantime, there is concern children are being taken advantage of during the debate.

Barnardos chief executive Murray Edridge says while he respects people expressing their views, he is concerned some are using their children in protests.  He says people need to keep a sense of balance when arguing the issues and he is particularly concerned by the parents who put placards around their children’s necks.

Edridge says it is a cynical misuse of children.

Around 50 children from Wainuiomata Christian School were among those marching on parliament.

The students were given the day off school to join the protesters if they choose.

In recent weeks the school has been involved in a stand off with the Ministry of Education for its refusal to stop using corporal punishment on its students.


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