[Marxism] Aotearoa/New Zealand: 'Patu!' -- 30th anniversary of the 1981 mass protests against the Springbok tour | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Sun Jul 17 00:29:00 MDT 2011


 From a previous BDS campaign ...

 From July to September 1981, the South Africa's all-white national 
rugby team, the Springboks, toured New Zealand. South Africa was still 
under apartheid rule at that time, and a Commonwealth ban on all 
sporting contact, known as the Gleneagles Agreement, had been in place 
since July 1977. The ban was won by an international mass solidarity 
movement calling for the boycott of South Africa's racist system.

The New Zealand Rugby Football Union, however, was determined to proceed 
with the long-planned tour, and New Zealand's right-wing National Party 
government (led by Prime Minister Robert "Piggy" Muldoon), whose 
constituency was largely pro-tour, was not going to stop them.

The South African team arrived in New Zealand on July 19. At the first 
tour match in Gisborne on July 22 protesters managed to break through a 
fence, but rugby spectators and ground security prevented the game being 
disrupted. Protesters were injured by police batons. At Rugby Park, 
Hamilton (the site of today's Waikato Stadium), on July 25, about 350 
protesters invaded the pitch after pulling down a fence using sheer 
force. The police arrested about 50 over a period of an hour; police 
cancelled the match. Until September, the anti-tour movement grew in 
strength. Protests continued throughout August and early September, 
marked by increasing numbers opposed to the tour and excalating police 
violence.

Full Patu! documentary at http://links.org.au/node/2409

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