Protest party a hit
Russell School’s street party went off with a bang last Tuesday night, with 300 locals joining the fun and blanket media coverage of the school’s protest against a neighbouring liquor shop.
The neighbourhood celebration was organised as a positive way to spread awareness of ongoing issues the school has with Fantame Liquor Store, a bottle shop 50 metres from school grounds.
Customers of the liquor shop enter school grounds, vandalising school property and leaving bottles, rubbish and human waste.
The school’s party coincided with the closing date for submissions opposing the liquor shop’s licence renewal.
Eighty-eight opposing submissions were received by the district licensing agency, a record-breaking number, Russell School board of trustees chairman Matt Crawshaw says.
It is one of the highest, if not the highest number of individual submissions ever received nationwide for a liquor licensing issue, he says. ‘‘It’s an absolute romping,’’ he says. Porirua police and the Salvation Army were among those who submitted in opposition to the shop.
The street party featured in news programmes on three different television channels as well as national newspapers.
In a couple of months the issue will come before the courts, and Mr Crawshaw is planning another public protest, probably outside the courthouse.