Norman was protesting against the Chinese visitor, and waving a Tibetan flag. Now we are the LAST people who would say something nice about Russel Norman and the Green Party, but this seems to be a totally over-the-top reaction from the visitors. We realise that the concept of free speech and the right to protest might be alien concepts to them, but they bneed to take a "when in Rome" approach when they visit our shores.
We'll have more comment soon, but for the moment we've scooped Stuff and the Herald!
UPDATE: Stuff is onto it now:
Green MP Russel Norman had a Tibetan flag torn from his hands by a members of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping's entourage when he arrived at Parliament today.
Dr Norman said he believed it was one of the vice president's security guards.
Arriving in a convoy or around six vehicles with a police escort, the guards initially tried to shield the flag with their bodies and umbrellas before it was torn from Dr Norman's hand with a member of the vice president's entourage standing on it as the VIP was rushed through the front entrance of Parliament.
"Don't bring your undemocratic processes to our country," Dr Norman told them.
Speaking afterwards an agitated Dr Norman said he could not be absolutely certain they were Chinese security guards "but there were behaving like [it}."
We doubt that we have heard the last of this story!
UPDATE #2: Newstalk ZB reports:
Green MP Russel Norman plans to lay a complaint with Parliament's Speaker after he was roughed up by the Chinese Vice President's security officers.
The party co-leader was waving a Tibetan flag outside Parliament as Vice President Xi Jinping arrived. He was then manhandled by members of Mr Xi's entourage.
Political editor Barry Soper, who witnessed the scene, says the security contingent was very rough with Mr Norman and he describes the incident as "quite extraordinary.
"Chinese security and there are very large numbers of them, roughed (Mr Norman) up in a way that I've never seen a member of Parliament treated. He had the Tibetan flag ripped from hi
m and trampled on by the Chinese security. He was prevented from getting anywhere near the vice president.
UPDATE #3: Here's an "action photo" from the Stuff website:
And we've just heard that Phil Goff's meeting with the Chinese VP has been moved from Parliament to a downtown hotel ...