Protest party a hit

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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