Sunday, May 12, 2024

Rupert Pye: New Book on 2022 Parliamentary Protest Will Reveal Full Story

There’s a new book and - media willing - which will lay out some startling revelations about State aggression and abuse behind the 2022 Freedom of Speech protests at Parliament.

The book is written by outdoors personality Alan Simmons and lawyer Sue Grey who at the time were co-leaders of the New Zealand Outdoors and Freedom Party and were present at the protest.

The new book will be launched at the iconic pub and eatery Back Bencher in Wellington’s Molesworth Street On Thursday 16 May around 5 p.m. Fittingly the Back Bencher is opposite Parliament grounds where the protest drama unfolded and was played out.

Alan Simmons is in buoyant mood over the new book.

“The first copy of our Book is now in my hands and looks just superb - so we look forward to the launch at the Back Bencher and then we will take it around the country,” he said on Facebook.

Alan Simmons and Sue Grey  joined thousands of others at NZ’s Freedoms Convoy and Freedom village at Parliament Grounds between Feb 6 and March 2, 2022 as co-leaders of NZ Outdoors and Freedom Party.

“Among the protesters were farmers, pilots, doctors, teachers, musicians, grandparents and families who’d had enough of state bullying and abuse. It drew support like a sparkling magnetic pied piper,”  recalled Sue.

But the festival atmosphere came to a violent end with the dawn police raid at 6 am, on Ash Wednesday 2 March. 2022  - the day democracy burned says the book.

A helicopter thumped over at 6am, and a wave of helmeted police armed with riot shields assaulted jandal clad peace defenders and anything in their path as the alpha squad stormed the street recalls Sue Grey. 

Extra strength pepper spray was liberally used for crowd control. For some, the the physical injuries required hospitalisation and major operations writes Sue Grey in the book.  In Alan Simmons’ case an emergency full hip replacement and seven days hospitalisation was needed. Others suffered injuries.

“The full toll may never be known as police somehow evaded Worksafe mandatory reporting requirements, claiming an exemption. Many complaints laid about police aggression among them, the assault on Alan and his major injury, simply disappeared from the official records.

As police presence became more intrusive, Sue researched important legal issues and was increasingly asked to use her legal expertise to assist many who were detained, arrested, suffered injuries or other harm.”

But the public at large, remained unaware of actual events as the media was under the control of the Jacinda Ardern-led Labour government.

The media, with $55 million in government subsidies fell into line and details of the drama went unreported.  Hence the book.

“It was weeks of people power and the violence of State abuse. The media is supposed to be a check and a balance on the exercise of power by governments. The media’s version’s a great story that failed spectacularly.” 

Co-author Alan Simmons feels pride in “poking his head above the parapet” on behalf of democracy and freedom of speech.

“I’m proud to have taken the initiative to write this book before the government does. Sue and I were there from the beginning in the heart of the action so we know much - indeed most- of what happened. We were targets for police action and reported on to the Prime Minister Ardern by a team of of what can best be described as State spies. It’s astounding how paranoid they were about us. But we have OIA documents to prove it.”

New Zealanders were aware of the childish antics of Parliament’s Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard - now ironically Ambassador of New Zealand to Ireland - in spraying fire hoses over the protestors and playing blaring Barry Manilow music over loud speakers. The media, content with their millions of dollars, probably regarded these as amusing.

But it was poor judgement. Many of the public not there, saw Mallard’s actions as immature and injudicious, particularly since no politicians dared speak to the protestors. So much for democracy. It was a one-sided debate.

The protest was a timely response to a political regime that tried to divide New Zealanders and which actively discriminated based on medical choices says Sue Grey.

In effect, the protest was a one-sided argument - a sort of “kangaroo court.”

Now the other side will be aired via the revealing book written by Alan Simmons and Sue Grey. An initial look at the book shows it comprises 370 pages and numerous colour photographs.

Rupert Pye has a background as a journalist and editor.

Footnote:- Freedom Village by Alan Simmons and Sue Grey published by Sunset Hunter Publications Price $35.00 plus gst. Available from  


Rob Beechey said...

As every parliamentarian cowered behind the Beehive walls, Comrade (the kind one) Ardern unleashed her Stasi police on those who were simply wishing to be heard. The MSM flew to her defence composing Fire and Fury to whitewash New Zealand’s darkest day.

Anonymous said...

Nicely said Rob B. So why do so may people still see the protestors as some sort of filth?

I simply don't understand the rose tinted lenses which so many people wear and see their country through.

Good luck with the book. I sincerely hope it proves to be the wake up factor that NZ so desperately needs.

PS what guess on media treatment of the book? Character reviews on the authors?

Margaret said...

Can I order it from the National Library or will it be banned because it is 'disinformation? Maybe we should all bother our local libraries and request it. Being on a pension I always like to view a book before I buy it.