National | Auckland

Protest rally turns into a victory party

A mass peaceful protest rally against alt-right activists Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneaux turned into a jubilant party following the cancellation of the pairs speaking engagement in Auckland.

Protestors say the decision is a victory for the city's diverse communities and Aotearoa.

Aotea Square has become a melting pot of multi-cultures are celebrating a victory for diversity.

“We would normally say welcome, welcome, welcome, haere mai, haere mai, haere mai” said Buchanan Cullen of Te Uri o Hau, Ngāpuhi.

“Come to this beautiful land of ours the multicultural land of Aotearoa New Zealand. They're actually coming to a country that is definitely multicultural and that's the difference about any other country, they don't have a treaty like we do.”

Families, politicians, and even four-legged friends gathered in solidarity to protest alt-right activists Lauren Southern rāua ko Stefan Molyneaux.

“I think that it's really important that we stand up to racism and to far-right ideas,” said a protestor.

“I also think it's important for a younger generation to learn the importance of doing that.”

“It's a good outcome to the united message by the communities who oppose their views, so I'm proud of that,” said Green Party co-leader, Marama Davidson.

Yesterday the controversial pair had their speaking engagement cancelled.

“We heard that on our way here but we were talking about that and we were a little bit suspicious as to whether it had actually been moved to somewhere else,” said another protester.

“We still felt it was really important to come here and show our faces and add our numbers to the crowd.”

Stefan and Molyneaux spoke in Australia. According to Twitter posts by those who attended the event say they said numerous controversial comments against the Aboriginal peoples.

“I think they underestimated the sort of anti-racism groundswell that we have in Aotearoa,” said Tāmaki Anti-Fascist Action spokesperson, Sina Brown-Davis.

“And I think they underestimated the impact of those racist tweets against the aboriginal brothers and sisters because it brought a lot of people to our side. So I think it just made their event untenable.”

“If you are imposing on other people's rights or saying things that are really offensive to other people then it's really not on,” said a Māngere High School teacher.

For now a big victory, and a waiting game to see if the controversial pair speaks up again.