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  • Henry Broadbent

Chasing the Nats: A Retrospective:

Updated: Mar 6

Nicola, the Willis-Mobile and protestors, Kelburn Parade, ~12:10PM Weds 28 Feb

11a.m, Clubs Day:

A sunny morning in Kelburn. Campus swarms with idealistic undergraduates. In a shaded corner of the Hub, Nicola Willis, Chris Bishop, and a troupe of Young Nats proudly open a striking, sky-blue stall.

12p.m, Clubs Day:

Willis and a group of 20-30 protestors take a lap of the Lab before she departs for a getaway car idling on Kelburn Parade, followed by her unwanted entourage. Bishop has dematerialised. The stall stands empty. 

On the 28th of last month a very effective message was sent to the National Party. The medium was protest—a collective, ‘snap’ action involving members of Pōneke-based Student Justice for Palestine (SJP), members of International Socialists Aotearoa, and a ready group of student allies in the Hub. Nabilah, an organiser from SJP, described the action to Salient as expression from students who “stand against National's failures to take real action to put a stop to the genocide in Palestine, and their policies and decisions to undermine and violate Te Tiriti and align Aotearoa with imperialist powers”. 

Advocacy groups across the motu have identified National, through their consistent inaction and failures to condemn Israeli war-crimes, as complicit in the ongoing genocide in Gaza. The start of the year saw complicity extending beyond inaction: NZ Defence Forces deployed to the Red Sea, Christpher Luxon throwing his support behind US and UK airstrikes in Yemen. This imperialist mindset might find friends in overseas Parliaments, but SJP has made it clear they won’t be found at Vic.

SJP can be found on Instagram @poneke.sjp


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