John Minto and Shahar Peer

16 01 2010

John Minto has attracted a lot of criticism for his protest actions outside the ASB Tennis. There are far too many people who would like to see protests like this eliminated, further reducing the opportunities for citizen advocacy in the public square. The police are only too happy to co-operate, not only arresting and charging Minto, but also seeking an order to have his megaphone destroyed.

This is one more example of corporatism encroaching into the public square and using its money and influence to close down debate.

Minto was outside the Tennis Centre and arguably his protest actions had no relevance to the goings on inside the stadium. There are many sounds that drift from one place to another and I am not sure that there is a right for patrons at a tennis event to be protected from all extraneous sounds.

This particular boot to the public directly affected only a few people, but the rights of us all are only protected by extending them to the few. Far worse will no doubt be seen when the RWC Circus comes to town next year. Draconian regulations are already in place restricting movement and public displays in public places to appease the Masters of the RWC Universe.

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