Thursday, March 08, 2007

Doing Something About It...

Wellington

Vigil 5.30pm tomorrow (Friday 2 March) outside the High Court (Molesworth St, Opposite parliament).

March to demand justice for rape survivors 5.30pm Thursday 8 March (International Women's Day) meet at Civic Square.

Public Meeting to give people who want to take further actions of any sort around this issue an opportunity to meet and plan. 6pm Monday 12 March St John's Hall, Willis St (venue to be confirmed).

Men will be welcomed at both these events, but there will be women only spaces within them.

Christchurch

Vigil Cath Square at 7.30pm on Thursday 8th March (note this is women only)
Come together to express our solidarity with rape survivors and our disgust with the courts of injustice and the rapist cops they protect.


Auckland

Protest Aotea Square, 7:00pm on Thursday 8th March (international Women's Day).

Dunedin

Two Events

5pm RALLY TO SUPPORT WOMEN WHO'VE STOOD UP AGAINST MEN ABUSING THEIR POWER

Outside the Courthouse, Lower Stuart St.

Rape Crisis was the first support/advocacy service of its kind in New Zealand and founded in Dunedin 25 years ago, so we believe that it is important that the current issue needs to be recognised publicly. Therefore we give Dunedin people an opportunity to publicly express their indignation at the outcome and travesty of justice at the recent historic rape trials.

Wear black, bring placards/banners.

8pm VIGIL OF SOLIDARITY FOR WOMEN WHO SPEAK OUT ABOUT RAPE

Otago Museum Reserve (between Albany St and the One Way South and the One Way North).

Amnesty International and the Dunedin Rape Crisis Collective warmly welcome Dunedin women and their whanau, and all interested people, to join us this Thursday evening at 8pm outside the Otago Museum, for a candle-lit vigil to show support for women that have been victims of abuse and for all women who speak out about rape.

We can express our whole hearted support and gratitude to Louise Nicholas and the other brave women who have spoken out about the injustice of rape.

This day also marks the historic International Women’s Day, which makes it even more special to join in solidarity along with other community organisations.

Amnesty International is currently campaigning to stop violence against women throughout the world.

Please come along and show your support and solidarity. Hope to see you there and please bring candles.

I'll add any more events as I hear of them. E-mail me if something is happening where you live.

I'll leave this post at the top of the page for a few days.

32 comments:

  1. so does this mean jury verdicts are unsatisfactory in this atmosphere of socio political hysteria

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  2. FYI: I wrote this letter to the editor of the NZ herald today. I would encourage others to do the same.

    This Saturday I was reminded why I do not read the New Zealand Herald.
    That in the wake of the Rickards' case and with all the revelations
    surrounding both Rickards and his associates, your newspaper should
    choose to write lurid articles about sex with batons and group sex
    disgusts me.

    New Zealand's sick little secret is that this society has a terrible
    problem with male violence against women. Since December of this year,
    an unprecedented number of women have been murdered by men. Rape and
    sexual assault continue unabated. What your newspaper - and New Zealand generally - seems unable to come to grips with is these crimes have little to do with sex. Instead they are about a culture of hatred against women, violence and power. The silence and denial around these
    issues are nowhere more obvious than between the pages of your newspaper.

    Along with this country's almost obscene deference to authority, what these crimes reveal is that hating and abusing women is tolerated and even encouraged at all levels of society: The New Zealand Herald stands accused.

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  3. Anonymous12:08 pm

    Are there posters for the Wellington March? I'd like to put them up around work but I can't find any :)

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  4. Anonymous - you can pick up posters from 128 Abel Smith St. Or if you e-mail me (capitalismbad@gmail.com) I'll e-mail you an electronic version.

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  5. Hello Maia,

    Just thought I'd let you know I've read of a protest in Auckland.

    Aotea Square, 7:00pm on Thursday 8th March

    I will be there, with my husband, on our wedding anniversary. We're both utterly appalled yet not at all surprised. So many people have lived through this - the impotence of our 'justice' system.

    Take care,

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  6. z, good on you, I'm hoping to be there too.

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  7. Psst! Maia! I'm planning to attend the Wellington events - can you tell me, are men welcome at the meeting? As a rape survivor myself, I know that many rape survivors have been so terribly hurt by men that they can't bear to have them in on the discussion, so I totally understand if it's women only. I'm just wondering if I can bring some men friends who are as appalled as I am by the issue and want to lend support. If it's not OK, I'll just bring women. Thanks!

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  8. Yeah, my husband will have to go and do something else if he's not welcome at the protest. Thankfully the book store is right there :) I am a rape and incest survivor and I'm happy to have all people march together who are against rape and abuse, however I understand some people may not be comfortable with that.

    Take care,

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  9. Men are welcome at the march - but there willb e a women only section at the front.

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  10. Well, that seems sensible. How about at the meeting?

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  11. Maia, I got the following by email tonight. Can you amend the Dunedin info above. Ta.


    SOLIDARITY FOR WOMEN WHO SPEAK OUT ABOUT RAPE - 2 events Thurs 8th March


    1. 5pm RALLY TO SUPPORT WOMEN WHO'VE STOOD UP AGAINST MEN ABUSING THEIR POWER

    Outside the Courthouse, Lower Stuart St.

    Rape Crisis was the first support/advocacy service of its kind in New Zealand and founded in Dunedin 25 years ago, so we believe that it is important that the current issue needs to be recognised publicly. Therefore we give Dunedin people an opportunity to publicly express their indignation at the outcome and travesty of justice at the recent historic rape trials.

    Wear black, bring placards/banners.



    2. 8pm VIGIL OF SOLIDARITY FOR WOMEN WHO SPEAK OUT ABOUT RAPE

    Otago Museum Reserve (between Albany St and the One Way South and the One Way North).

    Amnesty International and the Dunedin Rape Crisis Collective warmly welcome Dunedin women and their whanau, and all interested people, to join us this Thursday evening at 8pm outside the Otago Museum, for a candle-lit vigil to show support for women that have been victims of abuse and for all women who speak out about rape.

    We can express our whole hearted support and gratitude to Louise Nicholas and the other brave women who have spoken out about the injustice of rape.

    This day also marks the historic International Women’s Day, which makes it even more special to join in solidarity along with other community organisations.

    Amnesty International is currently campaigning to stop violence against women throughout the world.


    Please come along and show your support and solidarity. Hope to see you there and please bring candles.



    * * * * * * * *


    Please forward this email, or txt or phone the details, to as many people as you can.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:13 pm

    OT

    Rohan
    Thanks for your letter to the Herald. I read it and was glad to see it.
    Yes the Herald do not even publish the names of men who are convicted of beating their partners. Talk about being politically correct. That one takes the cake. They report on women who do anything even minor but convicted wife beaters get off scott free. I have tried to post facts like this on David Farrar's blog. My posts are always removed from his Blog fairly quickly.

    To be honest I'm a little afraid to speak or put my name to anything here in NZ. The Herald will demand my name and address which they will publish. They will protect they identity of wife beaters. I have been subjected to harrassment for my feminist views before.
    Did you see a recent opinion article in the Herald about abortion and how it was the biggest form of violence to the unborn. There was a picture of what was a near full term fetus with it. The baby pictured had a full head of hair. This from a news agency. Called them and told them it was pure propaganda.
    I could go on and on about the bullshit in the Herald. I guess most of their advertising money comes from men. Wonder if Maia could start a thread devoted to sexist propaganda in the media.

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  13. Anonymous12:52 pm

    A point worth noting about the possible retention of Clint Rickards is that women are a large group of tax payers in NZ and I don't think they would appreciate paying any part of his over bloated salary and perks.

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  14. Anonymous4:26 pm

    My husband was falsley accused of rape by someone he had not even slept with or had sexual contact with.
    We were dragged through the court before the case was finally thrown out which took two years. As a wife and mother there was noone there to support me or my children and the financial cost was horrendous as well as the emotional and psychological costs as my family turned their backs on us and abused us psychologically for bringing them shame.
    We sold our home and are now renting a tiny flat. The children and I were abused by the police officers attitude towards us and had our house searched, and when the alibis and DNA evidence cleared my husband there was no apology for the completely arrogant and awful way we were treated.
    I find the behviour of Rickards and co appalling, but I am equally concerned that Ms Nicholas has previously admitted to more than one false allegation of rape which makes it very hard for other victims of rape to be believed when the media paints her as lacking in credibility.
    My daughters and I will never trust the police again and thoroughly support a change to the system, but implore other women out there to make sensible and rational arguments to support your claims as a number of people I have spoken to think the vigils and marches are nothing but an excuse for those with a moral hysteria and witch hunt mentality.

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  15. Being outraged by rape and abuse is not the same as experiencing 'moral hysteria'. 'Hysteria' suggests a reaction that is extremely out of context or proportion. Being really bloody angry about rape and abuse makes sense and is completely justified.

    I think a lot of people are afflicted with moral apathy.

    Sadly I could not make it tonight because I am unwell, but my thoughts were with everyone out there marching and making their voices heard. My thoughts are also with all the people wishing they could make themselves heard but who remain silent for now.


    Take care.

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  16. Oh, poor you, Z, I hope you feel better. The Wellington march was really successful, I think. A lot of people came. It was kind of hard for me to hear the testimony of so many brave rape survivors, because that sort of thing can be triggering, and I'm nervous about being in large crowds, but I was glad to have been part of it. The police force can't dare to re-appoint Rickards, not after this.

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  17. Helen3:16 pm

    There was a vigil against violence in Palmerston North last night, too! (Somehow we always don't make the political radar...)

    I saw the Wgtn protest on the TV and TV3 websites and was very moved by the intensity and passion and strength of the protesters - so thanks to all who were involved. The thoughts of those from the smaller centres are with you!
    x Helen

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  18. Good on PN! I often think PN is the perfect activist city cos it's so flat :-)

    I've got up a post (and my one decent pic) about the Auckland march, as well as a list of links to other coverage that I've found so far on blogs and elsewhere of the events around the country:
    http://spanblather.blogspot.com/2007/03/marching-forward-together.html

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  19. Anonymous4:39 pm

    The Wellington protest was NOT "really successful".
    It achieved only making all protests about the Shipton, Schollum and Rickards cases look amateur and silly.
    Burning effigies of policemen?
    Spraypainting the High Court?
    I'm sorry, this does not make these protests look relevant, poignant, moving or meaningful in the eyes of the public - it makes them look immature and vengeful.
    Much more could have been achieved through peaceful protest rather than the methods you have chosen to use.
    I agree entirely with the sentiment, and would have gone on the march had I not feared (and was proven right in my fears) that it would simply turn into an anti-police rant.
    This issue is not just about their abnuse if power as ppolicemen; it should have been used to demonstrate the issues we face in New Zealand about rape and other violence towards women, and that message was NOT effectively put across.
    I am disappointed in the women running and supporting this campaign for not thinking further into how their actions would look and appear to the public.

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  20. Anonymous6:39 pm

    personally I got sick of protesting politely about twenty years ago. why shouldnt we take out our anger on high court buildings?
    the protest was great and Im sad I missed it!

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  21. ScrubOne7:04 pm

    Oh, the irony of the title.

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  22. Anon1, there were at least five protests around the country. At only one of these was an effigy burnt and the court building sprayed. And yet that is the way the media has portrayed all the protests, and by extension all the protesters, as if this was the rule rather than the exception.

    That said I personally think that the anger against the police is both understandable and justified. Sadly I think we have to have a police force of some sort, so we have to improve what we have, and I hope that these protests, and other expressions of outrage, ultimately lead to vital change in our justice system, including the police.

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  23. Sorry, that was Anon5 I was responding to, not Anon1.

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  24. Anonymous9:50 pm

    I agree completely with the Anonymous who said the Wellington protest looked amateur and silly. From what appeared on TV, it looked like an exercise in self-indulgence and gratuitous attention-seeking that failed to make a single coherent point. And before anyone blames the media, if you don’t want the media to show the trivial stuff, best not to do it.

    I went to Civic Square and almost joined the march but I’m glad I decided against it. I was shocked to see on the TV news an angry older woman shouting at the young female police officers - “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES”. Why? For doing their job and not taking part in a stunt? There is nothing political in trying to shame individuals like that, it’s just moral posturing. In any case, what was the point of the stunt? Nobody would believe that the police would really refuse to let that woman make a complaint. In my opinion, it was a dishonest tactic and risked trivialising her bad experience.

    It makes me angry to see the long struggle for women’s rights turned into a circus by people who are bored with peaceful forms of protest that can actually engage people and help raise their awareness of the issues around rape. It’s not about “taking out our anger” – it’s about directing anger to effect change. The best thing I learned on International Women’s Day 2007 is that 30% of the Wellington police force is female. That is a huge change.

    The Auckland march looked much more effective. I hope Wellington march organisers can do better next time.

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  25. Anonymous11:27 pm

    There are a lot of things I would like to do that I can't for fear of being raped. I have never been raped but am always wary of where I go etc. I would love to live alone in the countryside but wouldn't feel safe.
    If I am ever raped and know who did it I will try the courts. If I get no justice believe me I will not be peaceful.
    I will exact my revenge. We have Justice to keep society peaceful.
    But if there is no justice for you then maybe revenge is all you have.
    Our (Womens)whole lives are curtailed by avoiding rape, being careful etc.

    I know women who live with abusive partners who have been raped and are so scared to live alone they stay with a violent husband.

    The utter Bullshit we have had to listen to about false accusations in the last few years is sickening. Most of this is comming from some very sexist men who dominate talkback radio and the police who claim a large % of female rape victums are making it up. You never hear male sexual abuse victims questioned at all. Only women are liars.

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  26. Onion9:42 am

    Anon,

    Some men and women are liars. That's why we need a justice system - because false allegations are sometimes made.

    What's your alternative?

    >>I agree completely with the >>Anonymous who said the Wellington >>protest looked amateur and silly.

    Couldn't agree more. Perhaps the organisers need to put down their anarchist literature for five seconds and pick up a copy of "Beginners Guide To Public Relations".

    The point you had to make was a good one, and it needs to be made. But, IMHO, you blew it, because the aggressive and silly way you approached it did not speak to mainstream New Zealand.

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  27. I agree **in part** regarding the defacement of the court building. Purely because, most NZers do not seem to ever think about the reality of rape and abuse. They don't think about what it would be like to be raped and abused, they certainly do not think about the after-effects of rape and abuse - unless they have been there themselves, or someone very close to them has.

    They will not be considering how some women may be terribly hurt and irate, and how the actions at the high court are perhaps a symptom of that.

    Instead they will look and shake their heads and say 'Silly girls' much like the police man I saw on the news last night when commenting about the woman who tried to talk about her rape at the police station. He actually gave a little laugh about it. Yeah, because rape just tickles his sense of humour I suppose.

    I trust the woman who was pushed back from the steps whilst trying to tell her story will be surrounded by friends and loved ones at this time to help her through the ordeal. I really hope so.

    What I have learned is this:

    If you are a rape survivor and trying to speak out, 'the general population' are only interested if:

    You show no signs of long-term effects from the abuse

    You are totally coherent

    You look at things from all sides, you don't just come from the perspective of being an abuse survivor

    You tolerate whatever shitty questions and jibes are aimed at you, and respond in a way more composed than even the best diplomat could handle.


    Basically you have to come across as more rational than the average person. Partially in order to be believed in the first place.

    This is such a cruel quandry to place abuse survivors in.

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  28. z I completely agree with your recent comment. I was outraged that the police inspector was quoted in the paper as saying that the woman trying to lay her complaint was simply a "publicity stunt". This doesn't give me a lot of faith that things have changed within the police...

    There seems to be an undercurrent here too that the organisers of the Wellington event somehow manipulated this woman into her actions. That attitude is one that speaks of women who are not able to make rational choices for themselves and take independent action. I heartily reject that view and what I saw of the Wellington march on the telly (I'm in Auckland) was a group of women sometimes acting together and sometimes doing their own thing, and generally expressing their anger about rape and violence and our police culture in ways that were meaningful and important to them. I might not agree with some of the ways they chose, but I cannot deny them the right to choose those actions.

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  29. span

    But it WAS a publicity stunt. Why wasn't the complaint lodged a little earlier, or later. Has it now been lodged?

    People can protest however they like. But if their aim is to gain public sympathy, then they need to think very carefully about how their actions will be perceived. Marketing 101.

    I suspect the general public perception has been negative (talkback, media, discussion forums), and sympathy lies with the Police.

    Is that really the result protest organisers were after?

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  30. onion you are assuming that protest organisers organised someone to make their police complaint as part of the protest. I have no idea whether that is the case or not.

    Was it necessary for the police to push her when she was obviously upset?

    The better way for the police to have dealt with it would have been to have someone take the piece of paper she had written her complaint on, take it inside and photocopy it, and bring the original back out to her, say thank you very much we will be in touch to arrange a more appropriate time to discuss this further. Quite simple.

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  31. Anonymous12:44 pm

    It has been reported that the police conduct report due at the end of the month is going to make grim reading. If it further underlines the issues raised by the Rickards, Shipton, Schollum case - as it likely will - are more protests planned?

    I feel like we need to keep the heat on this issue lest it laspe in the public consciousness. I've been thinking about possible protests and it strikes me that after the intensity of the Wellington march (which I fully support - this is not an indirect criticism of that march) perhaps another tactic could be tried to get public attention.

    Unlike Span and Maia I have very little protest experience so this might be a totally useless measure of protest but I'll put it out there anyway. How about getting protesters to sit in front of the police station, thereby blocking traffic and passerbys to create a disturbance, but sit absolutely silent with hands clamped over mouths with signs saying 'This is what the police culture and justice system does to victims of rape'. I'm thinking if you get enough people and everyone's totally silent, it could be a pretty effective message.

    Coral

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  32. Whereabouts in the country are you Coral? You may want to get involved in the local organising group if there is one, and I'm sure Maia or I could put you in touch with the right people somehow if you email one of us :-)

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