John Weekes is an NZME News Service reporter based in Wellington.

Asset sales protest hits the street

Photo / File
Photo / File

About 200 people have attended a political street party to in Auckland's Karangahape Road today to protest asset sales.

Protesters scuffled with police as they tried to take over a stretch of Karangahape Road. They eventually managed to cut the road off to traffic at about 2.50pm.

Hana Bellingham from Rotorua was the first protester to sit down. ''My first instinct was just to get down on the road, so I sat down.'' She said a policeman grabbed her neck to try to remove her, but protesters freed her from his grasp.

"I felt fingers up around my pressure points. A couple of other people intercepted me.''

One man, understood to be veteran protester Malcolm France, was arrested.

Spokesman Meredydd Barrar says while it's a friendly party atmosphere, it's making a very important point.

He says the theme is 'reclaim the streets'. "What we are saying, is talking about public ownership of our essential assets like electricity and so on.''

By 4pm, the number of protesters had reduced to about 100, and the police presence scaled back.

A DJ entertained the crowd while people drew with chalk on the street and activists set up stalls to distribute anti-privatisation pamphlets and other literature.

- Herald on Sunday

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