David Seymour says Black Lives Matter protest 'a slap in the face' for businesses closed in lockdown

David Seymour at Parliament.
David Seymour at Parliament. Photo credit: Getty

Leader of the ACT Party David Seymour has condemned a large Black Lives Matter protest in Auckland calling it "a slap in the face".

Seymour posted a photograph of the protest on Facebook on Monday, saying that while he supports freedom of expression and protest, the gathering is an affront to Kiwi businesses who have struggled amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. 

"This gathering is a slap in the face for every business that has restricted their operations, lost money, and laid off staff to comply with the Government’s rules," he said.

"Those rules must be removed now."

He said the Government should move to level 1 immediately as opposed to deciding on June 22 whether the move is safe.

At the current alert level 2 gatherings of people up to 100 are allowed - it is unclear how many people were at the protest on Monday. However, organisers estimated around 2000 people attended. 

The protest was to show solidarity with black people in America following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.

Across the US people are protesting the pervasive systematic racism that enables police brutality against black people with action escalating to rioting in some cities.

The New Zealand protest was peaceful with Kiwis turning up to show support and call for the Government to condemn the killing of black people such as Floyd.