The threatened insurgent attacks on the Australian High Commission were non-violent, but impressive. In Wellington we had maybe 200, maybe more. It was the largest cross-union protest since 1998.
The protests in Australia were phenomenal indymedia has a good summary if you want to know more.
I was disappointed that our demonstration wasn't a march. Rallies are ususally deathly boring, you supposed to listen to the mediocre speakers, but I never do, I always go round finding people I want to catch up with (or if I think of a good line using it on about half a dozen different people). In this case particularly mediocre speakers, because not one of them would like the struggle of Australian workers with the struggle New Zealand workers have. None of the scheduled speakers pointed out that the current Employment Relations Act has far more in common with the Employment Contracts Act than it does with Australia's current employment legislation.
The highlight, by far, was Don Franks (a member of the brass razoo solidarity band, who were a welcome break from the speeches). He jumped up and took the opportunity to point out that it's no good just standing in solidarity with Australia, we have to also fight for better conditions here.
The head of the Maritime Union of Australia was in New Zealand, and they're usually quite good, so I was particularly disappointed in his speech. He repeatedly mentioned Australian workers participation in wars as a reason this legislation was unjust.
If someone needed a historical basis for their claim that the proposed Labour laws are unjust (and I don't believe you do) I'd suggest this:
It is we who've done your cooking, done your cleaning, kept your rulesand this
We gave birth to all your children and we taught them in your schools
It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the cities where they trade, Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid;