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BREAKING NEWS: Anti-Sale protestors invade Bell Gully offices

13 August 2012 27 comments

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Monday, 13 August: About a dozen anti-sales activitists from AOTEAROA IS NOT FOR SALE – WELLINGTON met at mid-day outside the Old BNZ buildings, at the corner of Customhouse Quay/Willis St/Lambton Quay, with an intention to stage a Flash Occupation,

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As the dozen or so activists met, the ‘target’ of the Flash Occupation was disclosed: Bell Gully legal firm, at 171 Featherston Street.

Bell Gully is closely associated with National’s asset sales programme, providing legal services, and ANFS activitists wanted to draw attention to this company’s connections to the theft of publicly owned assets.

See: Firms appointed for Mighty River Power initial public offer

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The message would be simple: Aotearoa’s assets are not for sale, and would be delivered through signage; song; and a message to be read out at Bell Gully,

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Richard (center, white shirt, no tie) instructed the group that the Flash Occupation would be peaceful and non-violent. A plan was discussed and agreed upon,

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Once at Bell Gully, the protest group entertained Bell Gully staff with anti-asset sales songs, specially written for the occassion,

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Bell Gully staff were quick to emerge from their offices, and were obviously displeased to see us there. We explained to this chap why we were there, and that we represented the majority of New Zealanders who were staunchly opposed to the sale of publicly owned assets,

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The Occupiers began singing anti asset sale songs again,

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Another Bell Gully staffer emerged (white shirt and bad taste lavender tie). This was one of Bell Gully’s executive managers and was also unhappy at the occupation of his offices,

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The executive became more insistant that we leave and informed the Occupiers that the Police were on their way,

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The Bell Gully execs were told that we would leave, but that first a message, on behalf of the public of New Zealand was read out,

The power companies Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy, and Meridian Energy belong to those who built them from scratch, benefitted from them in the past and benefit  from them today;

all New Zealanders.

The proposed sale of these State Owned Assets means the transfer from public into private ownership of these essential national services. We know that this will result in higher power prices for thepublic and loss of control of our electricity-generating capacity.

We think your role in this process is outrageous and we, as members of the public, object to paying fees to you to help sell what we already own.

No sale of state assets!

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Shane, reading out a message on behalf of the public of New Zealand

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After the message was read out, there was spontaneous chanting of  “power to the people!” and “Who’s got the power? We got the power!”.

Aside from one of the  receptionists briefly grabbing one of the female protestors on the shoulder, there was no other physical confrontation between the anti asset-sales activists and Bell Gully staffers. The receptionist removed her hands from the female activist when it was pointed out that such action could constitute technical assault.

The Occupation concluded at that point and the protestors left, peacefully, of their own accord.

The protest action last for about 20 minutes and there was no damage or mess caused by any of the activists.

Note – from Bell Gully’s website,

Social Responsibility

We firmly believe that social responsibility is an integral part of a successful and sustainable business.

Our commitment is demonstrated through the policies that guide our operations and practices, and through our actions at work and in the community.

We manage our operations in line with sound environmentally sustainable practices and by contributing time, expertise and funding to community organisations in need of support.

We seek to build long-term partnerships with organisations dedicated to improve the quality of life for people within the communities in which we live and work including organisations working with:

  • Parents and families
  • Cancer patients and their families
  • Teenagers who could benefit from mentoring
  • People unable to pay for essential legal advice.”

See: Bell Gully – Social Responsibility

It Bell Gully’s shame that they do not extend their sentiments toward social responsibility to the immoral theft of our publicly owned state assets.

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Additional

Facebook: Aotearoa Is Not For Sale

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