John Minto & four comrades arrested

Activist John Minto and four other protesters were arrested outside the ASB Tennis Centre in Auckland today.

An organisation calling themselves Global Peace and Justice Auckland continued their demonstrations during Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer’s matches at the WTA tournament for a third straight day.

Today was Peer’s first match on centre court and the protesters’ numbers doubled to 16, again using loud hailers to call for Peer to withdraw from the event because of Israel’s occupation on Palestine.

Minto and one other protester were using loud hailers while an elderly woman had a microphone and speaker.

After police had given three warnings they stepped in to arrest Minto and two other protesters and also confiscated their loud hailers.

The demonstration continued without Minto with one man climbing a tree with a loud hailer to continue to blast out the group’s message. The police were forced to climb the tree to bring him down while the woman with the microphone and speaker was also arrested.

One of the protesters from Global Peace and Justice Auckland, Joe Carolan said it was likely the campaigners to be back again tomorrow for Peer’s semifinal match.

“Yes, I think so,” he said, when asked if they’ll be back.

“Obviously we’re going to have to talk, all the leaders of the movement have been singled out today, if that’s not political policing I don’t know what is.

“We looked to those people who had years of experience in this movement for guidance and they’ve singled those out.

“It’s obvious that we’re just a small group of people here but there are obviously thousands of New Zealanders who do feel that protesters and peace activists have the rights to voice their opinion.

“That’s become the major issue of the last three days, the over the top policing here.

The first day there was a bomb scare for someone leaving their handbag behind.”

Reprinted from Socialist Aotearoa.

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