“Whaling” (1984) by DD Smash
“Whaling” (1984) by DD Smash
Top 6 Auckland Riots
Sometimes Auckland sees itself as a good green and clean city; visitors come expecting some of that nice ole’ peace and quiet; a place where ‘sacred’ Maori pendants can be bought; where they can run amok in the evergreens; the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere!
Man, it all reeks of over-glamourisation. The pendants were made in China; the Needle in the Sky is overtly a commercial enterprise; Scandinavia has far cleaner forests. And though Auckland attempts to be the most ‘lax place in the world, we shouldn’t forget our history has also been littered with blood, violence and disorder – For these are the Real reason I’m proud to be a Blue.
6 – 1951 ‘Bloody Friday’, 1st June.
Muldoon once said, ‘No man deserves acknowledgement’ from the disaster of the Waterfront Lockout. He was right. Her name was Fuzz Barnes and she led a thousand Unionists up Queen Street. She assaulted police; used fence railings, bottles and bricks; was knocked unconscious and was found guilty of inciting disorder. Justly, our very own Boudaccia. You go girl!
5 – 1932, Depression Riot, 14th April
Looking for student summer jobs on Trademe is nothing.
When 20,000 marched up the Town Hall to denounce government wage cuts, rampage arose. Aucklanders took their decade's frustration into smashing windows and display looting (I'd kill for that shirt outside that 'Munns' store.) They fought police, sailors, and also, student volunteers.
This is, however, rather poignant – the reality that this ‘good green and clean city’ could be so different to one's dreams. This was a low point during the tumultuous Depression.
4 – 1984, ‘DD Smash’ Riot, 7th December
Irony: Dave Dobbyn was there. As too, a whole lot of smashing!
It involved a volatile mix of: summer heat; teen spirit; booze; Nuclear-Free exasperation; and a fulla caught urinating on the roof of the Aotea Centre. DD played just before midday. $6,000,000 worth of damages was calculated just before midnight. DD blamed the Police for their negligence and the Police blamed him for provocation.
Irony: The last man to ever cause a riot in the City of Sails, is now a Christian …. Jesus!
3 – 1913, General Strike, 8th November
You may think this far too ancient to examine (when vaudeville moustaches were hip). But it’s this one that broke our anarchic virginity, a centenary ago. When the Unions told the administration to ‘get stuffed’, Blueys took to the street. (Lenin would’ve been proud.) In typical government response, 1,600 marines were called in (Cheney would’ve been proud.) When finished, Quay and Customs Streets were burnt to a crisp.
Even before the advent of World War One, Blueys had already tasted violence.
2 – 1965, Mt. Eden Prison Riot, 19th September.
This one’s too cool to believe.
According to legend, a ginger called ‘Maca’ and a Samoan called ‘Joe’, armed with a pistol and a book by Nietzsche, tried to leave the Rock though the Khyber Pass entrance. When that failed, they turned to Plan B – letting loose the prisoners. The infernos that broke out were deemed too dangerous to enter, by the screws, the cops, the firemen AND the army.
Where’s Johnny Cash when ya need him.
1 – 1981 Springbok Tour, 12th September
If you reside on Onslow Street in Mt. Eden, you should know the greatest riot in this country’s history occurred there.
The protesters cancelled, and won, the Hamilton test, hence the cops were to ensure that wasn’t gonna happen again, come the final game at Eden Park. But this was going to be harder than anyone thought. There were waves of barbed wire set up, Kingsland trains were halted, police dogs were barking over angry chants and both sides wore bloodied helmets and shields by the end of it. It was, quite frankly, the most amazing riot that has ever happened here. And the distance of time for it has only been shortened when I found out my own Uncle was there, beating a cop with a street sign and a mate’s Dad flew that plane dropping those flour bombs onto the pitch.
Driving past there today, you’d never think it was once looked like the worst of Sarajevo.