Riot Police in Manners St – Then & Now

While looking into the history of NZ’s capital some time ago, I came across an amazing story of a 1943 riot in downtown Manners Street involving “over a thousand American and New Zealand servicemen as well as several hundred civilians”. As noted in the linked article and elsewhere, it went unreported in the news due to wartime censorship – so everything we know about it is via the stories of those who were there.

I was reminded of this event last week, when I came across THIS. Sixty-five years later, here is a tale of riot police once again having to keep the peace in Manners Street: “Riot police had to control fights among a crowd of almost 200 people as they tried to arrest a suspected thief wielding nunchaku in Wellington’s Manners Mall.”

The thing I find most interesting about this case however, is the first comment. Another witness to the event describes its reporting as “almost wholly inaccurate and quite irresponsible”. It appears that while the facts were left entirely unreported in 1943, these days they’re manipulated so as to be more eye-catching.

If what James says in his comment is true, then in both cases we’ve had to hear from eyewitnesses to get the truth. Here’s to individuals without state pressure or the need to generate advertising dollars keeping us informed of what’s really going on.

Can anyone recommend some good grassroots news sites?

Published in: on 28 August 2008 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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