Saturday, December 4

Auckland Councilor Was Told To Take Safety Precautions After Alleged Anti-Vaccine Threat

An Auckland councilwoman was advised not to attend events alone and to stop using her car because it has her face and name on it after three men threatened her outside a vaccination center that had been vandalized the night before.

Auckland Councilor Josephine Bartley encourages people at the Rally Your Village vaccination event at the Vodafone Events Center.

Auckland Councilor Josephine Bartley cheers on people at the Rally Your Village vaccination event at the Vodafone Events Center in October.
Photo: Josephine Bartley

Maungakiekie-Tamaki District Councilor Josephine Bartley visited the Pasefika Family Health group in Panmure on Sunday after her store window was smashed and posted a photo of her in front of the broken glass on Facebook saying to keep her secret. vaccine violence, please.

She had just dropped off some food and talked to the clinic staff when she was threatened in her car.

“I was sitting in my car and then I saw this guy looking at me and then these other two. So I looked at him and then I’m pretty sure I heard him say ‘You guys are all.’ Scum,” he said. For the first time.

“So I rolled down the window and asked them ‘Sorry, what was that? I didn’t hear you’ and he looked at me like I wasn’t even a person.

“And then I heard the other guy tell him, ‘We should wreck his car,’ and then … he got in (his) car and that’s when they left, so I managed to get a picture of the car after they left.

“Yeah, I don’t get shaken easily, I’ve heard unhappy people, you know that before, but never like this.

“I think it was, I don’t know, everything that is happening with the shutdown. I’m not sure. I have already met people who are not happy with the real support that I have given to the vaccination events and real public with him, but has been online.

“This is the first time someone has been like this to my face and I don’t know if it’s related to that or not.”

Bartley had contacted the police and they were taking it “very seriously,” he said.

She had been in her own bubble so she could go out into the community and help with the vaccination campaign and make food parcel deliveries.

“I love being in the community, I see that there are health workers and providers and they also need that morale boost because we are not from the health sector.

“And it does a lot for them because they also get hate, so to see someone who represents their community supporting them and being there to physically support them, it means a lot to them … because they are facing you a lot. Hate and negativity and that’s not something our Pasifika suppliers are used to. “

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff told First Up that those responsible were irrational and dangerous “fanatics”.

“It’s really worrying. These people, they may have their own views on vaccination and that’s fair enough. But translate those views into extremist and harmful actions to destroy a store because that was the store that administered the vaccines and then to threaten a councilman who is working with all his heart to try to protect as many people as possible in his community.

“That is not just shameful behavior, it is criminal behavior, and I hope that the police can locate the criminals and that the full force of the law falls on them, because that is what they deserve.”

“These people are fanatics. They are irrational and that makes them dangerous.

“There have been incidents all over the country, of course, and you will be familiar with Tairawhiti, where you know that hundreds and hundreds of (vaccination) appointments are made by people who are anti-vaccines and who never show up, which means a waste of time, medical staff time and a waste of vaccines.

“Again, that’s the same kind of harmful behavior. It’s one thing for them to have views, that are not supported by science, not supported by fact, to be selfish about the fact that they are more likely to put under pressure. to our hospital system They are more likely to spread the virus to other people.

“That’s bad enough in and of itself, but then going out and actively taking action against the people who do everything they can to protect their community is absolutely inconceivable.”

Goff hoped there was no need to tighten security.

“I have been in public life for almost 40 years and I have never needed security, despite the fact that periodically there are extremist people who threaten you with death or act in a threatening way.

“It would be a real shame if the behavior of these people got in the way of our councilors doing their job and meeting with people in the community that they are trying to help.

“But it’s definitely a matter for the police … the police, I’m sure they will follow up.”

Goff said there had to be zero tolerance for such behavior.

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