29 Jul 2013
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Rallying Kiwis rebel against GCSB bill

Thousands of New Zealanders have united in protest against the government's GCSB spying bill, with 11 cities across the country holding demonstrations.

Led by Kim Dotcom in Auckland, other marches took place in Wellington and Christchurch, as Kiwis rebelled against the proposals.

Following Dotcom's appearance at the Mount Albert Memorial last week, hundreds of protestors joined at Auckland's Aotea Square to challenge Prime Minister John Key's decision to hand the spying agency greater powers.

As a result of the march police were forced to cordon off parts of Queen St as Dotcom, himself a victim of the GCSB, condemned the bill.

"I'll never settle my case. I'll fight until we know every single detail," claimed a defiant Dotcom.

The Megaupload founder has ramped up protests against the bill during the past few weeks, claiming to be a “living, breathing example of why the GCSB must not be given greater powers and limited accountability."

But while Dotcom has sharp become the face of opposition to the bill, following public demonstrations and not-so-subtle acts of defiance, many industry figures have joined his stance, including Dr Rodney Harrison QC and Labour Party leader David Shearer.

“If you are going to increase the powers of the GCSB you have to apply much greater scrutiny because most of what they do will never come to public attention,” he said last week.

“Legislation dealing with their powers has to be carefully and tightly drawn. This legislation is not. It is hopelessly broad.

“History tells us that once enforcement agencies and spy agencies are clothed with power it is never taken away from them it is only ever increased.

“This is ill conceived and downright dangerous legislation… our democracy is seriously in danger.”

Protestors in Wellington marched to Parliament while hundreds joined in unison in Christchurch's Cathedral Square.

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