Last Saturday a group of locals came together for a paddle out at the Raglan Harbour in an act of solidarity with worldwide Black Lives Matter protests. The protests were held in response to the death of George Floyd and the ongoing racism towards African Americans in the United States of America and around the world.
A solid group of residents came together to support the paddle out locally.
Organiser Kiri Binnersely had seen global activist group, Black Girls Surf, organizing a paddle out event and thought, “It would be amazing to do this in Raglan as we have a huge community of surfers.”
“The ocean has the power to heal, and bring people together. This is a peaceful protest for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery who lost their lives due to police brutality and racism in America and across the globe. Racism is not ok” She said.
On Thursday she began to plan the paddle out for Saturday with the help of a few familiar faces, Kelly Clarkson, Lisa Thomson, Arnie-Rose Solomon and Raglan Floral Co.
“It was confronting but it was something I felt I had to do.” Said Kiri.
Locally, New Zealand Police have ended their Armed Response Team programme after a three month trail that ended in April.
“It is clear to me that these response teams do not align with the style of policing that New Zealanders expect,” Said Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.