A pat on the back from an unexpected source for the Dunedin police officers attending a protest at Waikouiati today; Stuff reports:
Police have arrested three people who blockaded the workers' entrance to an Otago chicken farm this morning to protest against battery hen farming.The three Auckland women, aged 22, 33 and 43, were part of a group protesting outside Zeagold Foods, a division of Mainland Poultry at Waikouaiti, 40km north of Dunedin.Two protestors suspended themselves from seven-metre high tripods, and one was chained to the main farm gate. They were joined by about 15 protestors on foot.Those arrested have been charged with obstructing a public way. They have been bailed to appear in court at a later date.The two protestors suspended from the steel tripods had to be cut down by specialists in cherry pickers, Coalition to End Factory Farming spokesperson Carl Scott said."Although they had to be cut down, they came down peacefully."We are very happy with how the police handled it."A group of police with bolt cutters, engineers and cameras had to be assembled, before the police could safely cut the protestors down, he said.
If the Coalition to End Factory Farming has the assets and means to set up tripods and fly in protesters from Auckland, then they should certainly be able to pay the entire cost of today's Police operation, as well as reimbursing the owners of Zeagold Foods for the losses incurred today when workers were prevented from entering their workplace.
That's only fair, isn't it?Legitimate protest is fine, but the Police and the company being protested against ought not have to bear the cost of it.