“Quake didn’t destroy us, council is”
The businessmen and women of Christchurch themselves know it, even if the city’s Dictators Pro Tem have yet to begin learning it.
No wonder Christchurch businessmen are becoming increasingly restive at being locked out of their city and locked out of even of their own premises, while royals and V.I.P.s are given guided tours through their rubble.
Last week they began marching. And yesterday they stormed the armed cordon around their ruined businesses, to which they are denied access even to salvage the money from their tills—even as the demolition of their property continues without even the courtesy of consultation. [Watch the Video of yesterday’s protest here and read a report here.]
"We're hearing terrible stories of theft and looting and we don't understand why the crooks can get in and the business people can't," she said.
"We really want to stop the demolition companies from demolishing buildings without anyone's consent...That's why there are many frustrated people." …
"We are all going bankrupt,” said [businessman Kurt Langer, whose ruined photography studio lies inside the cordon with equipment and the work of a lifetime lying intact inside.] “We are about to lose everything and they will not tell us anything. It's a complete police state," he told reporters.
The Dictators Pro Tem have yet to even talk to these business owners, over whose livelihoods they continue to ride roughshod, and who have been reduced to running dangerous night-time raids on their own buildings simply to salvage computer equipment and records before the criminals do.
A temporary “cease fire” on demolishing buildings without consultation with owners was announced last Friday, in response to last week’s march, but there has still been no consultation at all with building and business owners---and no owners allowed inside the armed cordon unless they have political connections.
Let’s hope the protests continue until the dictators allow them to begin recovering their livelihoods. As Stephen Franks said yesterday,
All of us who want to live on our feet and not our knees owe thanks to the business people who [yesterday] stormed the cordon to regain the right to their own properties.
The humiliation piled on them since the earthquake by the lords of emergency, "in their own interests, of course" is humiliation we should all have felt. Lets now hope tomorrow's revolt is bigger, and the next day until the oppressors are shamed and slink away.
Until then, armed vehicles continue to man the cordons to ensure no-one commits the crime of wandering down Park Terrace—even while the looting of business owners’ property continues inside.