28 Oct 2017

Counter protesters turn away National Front

4:24 pm on 28 October 2017

About 200 anti-fascist protesters turned out at Parliament today to counter a planned rally by members of the National Front.

Police escort National Front members away from Parliament.

Police escort National Front members away from Parliament. Photo: RNZ / Reesh Lyon

The right-wing group intended to march on Parliament grounds in support of the New Zealand flag.

But a crowd of counter protesters were there to meet fewer than 10 National Front members who showed up.

The police quickly surrounded the smaller group and escorted them away for their own safety, although both sides remained peaceful.

The counter-protest organiser, Gayaal Iddamalgoda, was pleased with the turnout of supporters, in contrast to the small showing of National Front members.

"I'm very, very reassured that most people reject the disgusting politics of the far right and that's the way it should be. If you want to be a fascist then you should fine a closet in your house and sit there and be a fascist."

Counter-protest organisers said they were happy the event went off peacefully.

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Green MP Marama Davidson (right) and counter protest organiser Gayaal Iddamalgoda (holding megaphone) on Parliament grounds. Photo: RNZ / Reesh Lyon