Protest rally turns violent
An anti-government protest turned violent outside SkyCity on May 22.
Auckland Action Against Poverty protesters chanted antigovernment slogans and waved placards ahead of Prime Minister John Key’s post-Budget speech at SkyCity on May 22.
‘‘People in this country are angry because our communities are hurting,’’ shouted one megaphone-wielding protester.
‘‘The reality of life under this Government for people at the top is walking in and sipping champagne with John Key.’’
At least a dozen police officers, backed up by SkyCity security guards, had to block the entrances to the venue to stop protesters from forcing their way in.
The altercation became violent more than once.
A RadioLive video captured an officer throwing a woman to the ground.
Inspector Peter Gibson says he is aware of a video and social media commentary on the actions of police.
‘‘Video which shows the full context of what police were facing paints a somewhat different picture from the selective extracts which some are choosing to show,’’ Gibson says.
Police say one person was arrested and footage of the protest is being reviewed.
Law enforcement staff suffered minor injuries, including scratches to the face and arms.
‘‘This was a very challenging event to police.
‘‘I am disappointed with the behaviour of these protesters,’’ Inspector Peter Gibson says.
‘‘Auckland City Police is well versed in policing such events.
‘‘However, the behaviour of this crowd went well beyond what is acceptable.’’
Protesters outside a postBudget speech by John Key at SkyCity.