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'Counter-protest' against racism

Last updated 05:00 22/03/2013

JOELLE DALLY

OPPOSITION: Right-wing extremist Kyle Chapman will face counter-protesters at a white pride march he is leading tomorrow.

Christchurch residents are planning to counter-protest a white pride march tomorrow to show there is "no room for racism" in the city.

The Rally Against Racism - Christchurch, Aotearoa is the first large-scale opposition to the annual Right Wing Resistance (RWR) march, which this year starts in St Albans led by right-wing extremist Kyle Chapman.

Last year, only one protester turned out to the RWR march. He stood on Deans Ave holding a sign that read: "Please respect people of all cultures, ethnicities and colour."

This year's counter-protest was inspired by that man's actions, the organiser said. About 200 people have already confirmed their attendance on the Facebook page he set up, and a further 100 have signalled they may attend.

"Apparently Christchurch is the only city in New Zealand to still have a neo-Nazi rally annually and we find this incredibly embarrassing," said the organiser, who did not wish to be named for fear of retribution.

"Our counter-protest is about unity and embracing diversity. They (RWR) are . . . tarnishing the reputation of Christchurch and I think people here have had enough. There is no room for racism in Christchurch."

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Both the march and the counter-protest start at 2pm at Abberley Park. Police said they were aware of the RWR march and would monitor it. The Press yesterday called the phone numbers on the RWR blog, but got no response.

- The Press

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