Anti-racism protestors clashed with residents marching for "white pride" this afternoon in Christchurch.
The annual march by Kyle Chapman's Right Wing Resistance group was met by a large rally of opponents. But police had to work hard to keep the groups apart.It was a standoff in Christchurch's Abberley Park. Around 50 right-wing activists were met by a noisy group of counter-protestors ahead of a street march promoting "White Pride Day".
Police formed a physical barrier to try and keep the groups apart, and limit attacks to verbal sparring.
Mr Chapman claims the annual rally isn't racist, but about "being white and proud".
"We are a people too," he says. "We have a right too. We want our freedom as well to be able to say what we want to say and do what we want to do without being persecuted constantly by people like that over there."
He had the support of an Australian political candidate, here to discuss Mr Chapman's plans to run for mayor of Christchurch.
"They take the view that European New Zealand is under attack," says Jim Saleam of the Australia First Party. "I believe that it is. But they're being as provocative as possible to make the point."
Those points were certainly lost on counter-protest group, Rally Against Racism.
"They're under the banner of white pride, but really half of the members there have got swastikas on shoulders," says Polytech student Stuart Harwood. "They're carrying Nazi memorabilia with them."
Police forced the groups to opposite sides of the road as they marched towards Merivale Mall.
Last year's lone anti-racism protestor, Patrick O'Connor, was joined this time by around 100 others.
"I'm protesting against the anger and the violence and the aggression and the mono-culturalism that the National Front and their mates purport to have," says Mr O'Connor.
Some protestors tried halting the march with a sit-in along Papanui Rd, police allowing the rally to continue alongside the road to limit any chance of physical scuffles.
Two arrests were made during the afternoon, with no common ground found between the groups.
source: newshub archive