New Zealand Groundswell (Howl of a Protest) Protest, Gisborne, July 16th 2021.

I attended the Gisborne farmer protests opposing the government’s decision to introduce a tax on coupe utility vehicle purchases. This protest marks a widening schism between progressive state policies and agricultural interests to survive a hostile and thankless free-market.

Compared to some rallies happening nationally that day, despite some climate denialist undertones and “Jacinda, the totalitarian commie” rhetoric, the messaging at the Gisborne rally was relatively tame (I did not see messaging directed against Māori or messages leaning into conspiracies about Māori running the government and installing an apartheid state that were witnessed in different cities that day). The procession through the main street of Gisborne was very quickly done without fuss.

I am unclear if members of parliament attended the debrief after the procession. By what I could see driving by, there were only organizers and attendees debriefing.

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