Auckland rally against violence gets spot on prime time news.
|Two Fiji supporters and Shearer during the Queen St march|
The group of 40 took to Queen Street to urge shoppers to boycott Fiji as a holiday destination and to put pressure on its government to end torture and return to democracy.
One of the organisers, Frank Rabanakadavu, says the John Key government should impose tougher sanctions and the United Nations should stop using Fiji peacekeepers.
He also says Fijians overseas need to speak up because their families at home are too scared to.
In Wellington the numbers were small but, still, it kept the spotlight on Fiji's thug of a government.
|Bigger and better action planned|
Just 20 people made it to the picket outside the Fiji Embassy in Wellington this afternoon but organisers say the message is clear: torture is unacceptable.
Among the people at the Wellington protest was the Green Party MP Jan Logie, the secretary of the Council of Trade Union, Peter Conway, and Amnesty International.
One of the organisers of the rally, Sai Lealea, says there's no denying people are against the military regime and its methods, including the violence meted out to citizens as seen in the Iowane Benedito video.
"People are fearful of being seen in Fiji but support the protest."
Another of the organsiers, Elisapeci Samanunu, agrees.
"Fijians are scared to participate due backlash on their families back in Fiji. Nevertheless, the message was clear: we do not condone torture in Fiji."
Leallea says a delegation plans to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, and other political party leaders.
And he says there will be a follow up rally - a Wellington street March to Parliament to coincide with the naming of the Fiji Constituent Assembly.
In Fiji today, the military regime opened a new prison centre in Taveuni to hold 64 prisoners.
|Prisoners accommodation at new Taveuni prison|
“Our aim, as always, is not only to punish but to turn criminals into responsible citizens for the betterment of Fiji.”
Luvei viti think tank replies to protest critics:
A Fiji Protest in this current Fiji situation is a PROTEST regardless of what critics are saying as noted in Coup 4.5 Blog on its article ref Protest in Auckland & Wellington in New Zealand.
One of the bit that intrigues me most are those critics of mix parents and/or Indo Fijians demanding two things a) the small group of Fiji Protesters assembling and b) why don't we leave issues for Fiji people to deal with issues on hand.
To comment on a): A question needs to be asked of those critics - why don't they come out & face the crowd? Are they scared to be seen publicly? Where are the Indo-Fijians & those who class themselves higher than Fijians or First People? Some of mix blood, eg Elbourne in C4.5 blog heavily critizing Fijians - First People for speaking up. It saddens me to see such scum-like comments being given sound-bytes! These people must be enjoying seeing ordinary Fijians being made to suffer & oppressed by Fiji's dicktatorship.
b) For those of us monitoring the Fiji situation, families cannot even afford bread, milk or butter as the price of each item outside Suva &cities have been hiked to $8-$9 per item for Rewa Milk or Rewa butter which used to cost only $2.00 approx pre-2006 coup.
The other question raised 'why could'nt we as Kiwis leave to people in Fiji to sort out?' Sadly & the fact of the matter is that, most Ethnic Fijians that these critics are criticising are the ones remitting funds to Fiji to help their families. The other is most of those that come from landowning units still pay tax via lease lands which the dicktator & his cohorts are now squandering as a way of controlling land issues in Fiji.
The message for critics is this: we ain't worried about numbers. We aim to create a space where the oppressive attitude & human rights abuse in Fiji by the Fiji Security Forces are brought to light ... no more no less.