New skirmish for war veteran

By Jarrod Booker

Forbes Taylor fought for freedom in the Korean war.

And the 76-year-old felt like he was doing it all again when he took to the streets of Christchurch on Wednesday to protest against the controversial Electoral Finance Bill.

Mr Taylor joined about 200 others carrying placards, and chanting "we don't want your fascist law", as they strode through central Christchurch under the watchful eye of police.

With his war medals pinned to his chest, Mr Taylor told the Herald: "My experience in Korea ... was to bring freedom to the South Korean people. And they have a saying that freedom isn't free.

"We have to protect it. People have to have the right to protest and speak in a democracy".

Yesterday's march follows a 2000-strong rally in Auckland last week against the proposed legislation, while another march is planned in Auckland on Saturday.

The marches are being organised by Auckland accountant John Boscawen, with the support of lobby groups, Family First and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Mr Boscawen said he and the groups involved had spent $120,000 "in an attempt to highlight the gagging impact of this bill".

The marches are designed to be apolitical, yet a number of National and Act Party members took part yesterday.

The Human Rights Commission has criticised the bill as "inherently flawed", but it has since been amended by Parliament's justice and electoral select committee.

The Labour Party, which is promoting the bill, argues it is about trying to "keep the hollow men and secret money out of politics".

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