“Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” – William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Sunday afternoon saw Auckland subjected to a mass display of ugly Chinese nationalism. Thousands of Chinese gathered in Aotea Square for what was billed as a ‘celebration’ to ‘support the Beijing Olympics’ and promote ‘peace and harmony’. In reality the event was clearly a political rally. Olympic references were drowned out by nationalistic flag waving and chanting. The chauvinistic demeanor of the majority, coupled with a lack of policing, encouraged a large and hostile minority to indulge in physical intimidation and random violence. Within a few minutes of arriving at the event I was assaulted and abused, getting rescued from the hostile crowd by a protest marshal. The marshal then politely asked me to leave, because the event was, in his own words, “not safe for New Zealanders”.
So what exactly happened here? (more…)