The Red Princes are angry – Aotea Square becomes Red Square
Violence disrupts pro-China rally
Pockets of violence marred an otherwise upbeat pro-China rally in Aotea Square where thousands of Chinese came out in support of their home country and the Beijing Olympics. The square was yesterday overflowing with large red Chinese flags which were enthusiastically waved around despite persistent rain, as well as a few New Zealand flags. The huge crowd chanted in Chinese "Proud of China" while speakers expressed their desire for politics and sport to be kept separate. But scuffles broke out, undermining the message. One outside the Auckland Town Hall involved Chinese and a small group of Tibetan supporters. Sean Turnbull, with a Tibetan flag draped over his shoulders, said he had held the flag out above the crowd, which reacted angrily. "I was standing up with the Tibetan flag when they all came rushing. They ripped off our flags and I took a few punches to the head."
I went into the middle of this sea of red, all connected online by skykiwi, these enthusiastic crys for ‘One China’ (One Party) and I thought to myself, ‘So this is how 1936 felt’. To see so many people cheering for a flag that is responsible for the brutal cultural genocide in Tibet, a flag responsible for propping Mugabe up in Zimbabwe with aid, the flag supporting the dictatorship of Burma and a flag responsible for supporting the current genocide in Darfur by propping up Sudan not to mention the numerous human rights abuses inside thir own borders in a country now creating more pollution than any other on the planet. Standing in the middle of this 4000 strong crowd, in Auckland, my home city was something I didn’t ever think I’d have to see in my lifetime. They then took their pro China love to the roads where they boy raced up and down Queen street for two more hours, if it HAD been boy racers they would have all been arrested immediately, but you could see the cops were frightened, and not one was arrested or pulled over. The good thing however was that the crowd, very much like their Government when talking about the Dalai Lama, have no idea how this all looked to the rest of us, and I would have loved to have been a fly on a wall in a lot of homes in NZ last night as the images of thousands of Chinese took over Aotea Square and waved hundreds of communist China flags beamed into lounge rooms all over the country– for many NZers that sight would have them choking on their dinners. My favourite signs were those attacking western media for spreading ‘lies’ about China and the claims that Tibet always was and always will be part of China. The irony that this group are complaining about Western Media from a country as heavily censored as China only added to the deep sense of surreal farce this march embodied. My personal highlight was being told by one of the supporters that I was a ‘left wing douche bag who didn’t understand history’ – their aggressive assertion that they were right seemed so 1936.