It’s not surprising to see quite contrasting reactions to the charging of Chester Borrows at The Standard versus Kiwiblog.
David Farrar posted Borrows charged at Kiwiblog:
My sympathy is with Borrows. He was driving as slowly as you can, and the protesters chose not to move. They were blocking a legal road. Sure if he had been driving at speed, that would be different. But he was just nudging them out of the way.
We’ll see what evidence comes out in court. Will the protesters be charged for blocking the road? You have the legal right to protest in NZ, but not to do so in a way that impedes people going about their legal business, or blocking public areas.
Manolo led with a typical comment for him:
It should be remembered that scum like that pair also have rights.
There’s actually some reasonable discussion, and this account from from Keeping Stock:
I was present at the function Borrows and Bennett were attending that morning, and although I did not see the incident in question, the protesters were spoiling for a fight. They kept up a cacophany of noise outside for the duration of the function, and abused a number of the people attending when they were arriving and departing. Bear in mind this is the function prior to which one Phillip Rewiti Bear from the Meatworkers Union had made an overt threat towards Paula Bennett, hence the Police being in attendance.
One of the protesters filmed the “incident”, and the decision to prosecute will have been taken in part from that video. However the video is notable for the behaviour of protest organiser Denise Lockett (the woman with orange hair in the centre of labrator’s photo), supposedly injured. As soon as Borrows drives through, she shouts out to the person filming the incident “Did you get that on video”. That was her very first reaction, having been supposedly run over, and injured to the extent of Borrows being charged with carless driving causing injury.
I doubt that I am the only person who smells a set-up here, and I hope that when the charges do finally go to court they are thrown out and Chester Borrows is completely exonerated.
It’s not unknown for protesters to manufacture controversy to get media attention and to score some sort of hit on their targets. Whether it occurred with the Borrows incident will presumably come out in court (if it gets to court).
Pyscho Milt comments there (as well as at The Standard):
The ferals blocking his path were obstructing him from moving freely.
Fortunately the cops were there to make them get out of the way. Pro tip: if people are blocking your car, the law doesn’t entitle you to run the annoying pricks over. You’d think an ex-cop would have been able to figure that one out.
Also a pro tip for protestors: putting your foot under the wheel of a moving vehicle can result in injury.
Srylands (who used to comment at The Standard but is probably banned now):
mikenmild says: “I can’t believe anyone would suggest that driving a car at someone is an acceptable response to having the road blocked.”
I think it is totally acceptable.
I don’t think it’s acceptable, and quite unwise for an MP, especially one who is an ex policeman.
There were some who suggested more extreme (and stupid) actions. igm:
Pity he did not do a decent job. Suppose they were either unemployable or public servants.
If I were Borrows, I’d have gone from nought to 200mph in 20 seconds, or less, given the car’s capacity of course. Give the man a medal for exercising restraint.
These are dirty little whining dole bludgers. This is so typical of the fascists on the left bullying and threatening people when they lose the contest of ideas.
They’re no better than the animals in the BLM movement. Sneering at the universal truth that ALL LIVES MATTER doesn’t make it any less of a universal truth.
In the 1930s national socialism brought us exactly the same issues with the Aryan concept with it’s Orwellian overtones that the white, blond haired racial stereotype was more equal than others (preaching that they were oppressed by the dirty jew). 80 years later we have exactly the same concepts just with different labels. And again the statistics don’t support the hysteria (blacks kill a disporportionately far higher number of blacks that cops do).
The progressive movement is turning into a filthy caricature of itself with a slide to neo-nazi like behaviour. Jack booted thugs shouting down everyone in the 30s – dreadlocked thugs doing exactly the same in 2016. Seig heil to progressives everywhere.
I find it hard to sympathise with this rabble of protesters.
The ugly one in gumboots shouting abuse? Vile.
The one that looks and sounds like a demented parrot? Vile
The retarded one that is so spastic that it gets its big toe run over? An absolute moron. What is more, I suspect it was no accident that this creature put its toe under the wheel. That parrot beast certainly wasn’t worried about its friends wellbeing but wanted to make sure it was on film.
As an aside why is it that the anti TPPA protesters always appear to be unemployed and ignorant ne’er–do–wells
But comments like that were a small minority. Which makes this comment by Psycho Milt at The Standard curious:
The concept that you have a right to obstruct a public way if you want to is as bizarre, if not quite so scarily insane, as the Kiwiblog commenters’ view that you have a right to run people over if they’re in your way.
You really, really don’t want to go over to the Kiwiblog thread on this subject then, as it features a surprising number of commenters who apparently need to have it explained to them that no you’re not actually allowed to run someone over if they’re in your vehicle’s path.
That’s hardly a representative view of the Kiwiblog comments overall.
It’s well summed up at Kiwiblog by eszett:
That the car didn’t stop and didn’t give people time to move or officers opportunity to move them is what makes it dangerous behaviour.Unless context is missing from the video I think he is quite properly charged.
Foolish, perhaps, especially politically, but dangerous?
Yes, he should have waited until the cops had cleared the way. Would have cost him 10 seconds and saved him a lot of unnecessary drama.
It does seem to have been careless of Borrows. Whether careless enough legally to result in a conviction will be no doubt discussed in depth on the blogs once it goes to court.