... as long as you don't mind a little bit of wind, and a large part of the population being very politically correct. At least, it was a great place till the politicians got hold of it. It's been a bit of an uphill slog for freedom fighters here, as we are more outnumbered than anywhere else in New Zealand. So it's wonderful to have so many visitors from out of town, all on our wavelength.
As you can see, despite the steady rain, there is still an impressive crowd, with more people arriving all the time.
If you haven't caught up with what's happening here yet, here are my previous posts:
Day 1 - @kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-1
Days 2 & 3 - @kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-days-2
Day 4 - @kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-4
Saturday morning but no sleep in for me. I was downtown by 9.30am, holding two of our Voices for Freedom signs. Tip from our Wellington coordinator, if you hold them back to back, you can display them to the traffic from both directions. Because I was holding the signs, I have no photos. But these are the two signs I was holding today.
As I was returning to base an hour later, a contingent of motorbikes turned up. Who doesn't love the throaty roar you hear when a dozen two wheeled freedom fighters arrive to join the stand? I don't know about you, but it lifts my spirits no end. Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera out quickly enough to take a shot of them all together in the road, but managed to get this shot of a couple of them as they parked in Molesworth Street.
After returning my signs, I took a stroll around the grounds. At one of the side entrances, I found a sign I hadn't seen before. This sets the tone of the entire gathering.
The Hare Krishnas had joined us today. More proof that we are aggressive and a danger to society.
One of my freedom group, let's call him S, had suggested we find a paddling pool, fill it with water and rubber ducks and call it Lake Mallard. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back to yesterday's post.) So we were delighted to find this scene.
S has made up a sign to add to the scene and here's his photo of it in place.
The mess on this lawn, and the one in the photo below, that's on you, Mr Speaker. It's also worth mentioning that there is a sprinkler ban in Wellington at the moment. Will the Wellington City Council prosecute Mr Mallard, do you think? (To be fair, with this amount of rain, the reservoirs will be refilling a little, and the ground was going to get wet anyway. But that doesn't excuse the malice in his actions.)
This is one of the reasons we're all here.
We have no idea how long this will go on for. As a collective, we're in it for the long haul. Some of the out of towners have no jobs to go back to, and will stay as long as it takes. Some will come for a few days, and then head home. Some will spend their weeks working and come here for weekends.
We locals will do our part on a daily basis, whether that is cooking, helping source whatever is needed, doing some loads of washing and drying, telling the world what is really happening here, or just bums on the ground on a quieter day. So we'll need to pace ourselves. A couple of hours on the ground was enough for me today, and I'm getting this online a little earlier. Maybe I'll actually have a little rest this evening.
Since I came home, I've had an eye on the live streams. There have been some inspirational speakers, music, more new people and a lot of camaraderie.
One sour note was hearing reports of freedom fighters being down at the railway station shouting at and spitting on people, including nurses going off duty and the railway station staff. Chantelle Baker went down to check it out, and left her number with staff so that they can call her if anything happens again. Another volunteer stayed down there to protect the workers, and a couple of hours later, some Maori wardens arrived to take over. Whether these were misguided members of our movement or plants, wanting to make us look bad, this is not ok and must be stopped. They do not represent the rest of us. Everybody needs to feel safe and be protected, whatever their views.
We will see what the rest of today and tomorrow brings. The rain has got a lot heavier and is set to continue for another 48 hours or so. It seems unlikely the so-called authorities will make any more moves at this time.
EDIT - Hahaha. I was wrong. Trevor Mallard did have a dastardly plan up his sleeve for this evening. Around 7pm, the Parliament speakers in front of the building came on, and they started playing Covid ads and music like the Macarena! When that's the best they can come up with, you know they're desperate!
All going well, I'll be there tomorrow to bring you an update. And, as always, love to those holding the line.
For another viewpoint from the ground, our mate Gary has written some excellent posts:
And if you still want more coverage, the inspirational and much loved Chantelle Baker is running lives all day, every day, and if you come on during our night, all of the old ones are uploaded.