Sole protestor beaten by girl, arrested
Prime Minister Helen Clark and Australian Prime Minister John Howard were greeted by a lone protestor when they met with Vice- Chancellor Pat Walsh at Victoria University last week.
VUWSA Education Vice-President Joel Cosgrove was flanked by police as he yelled at Clark about his trouble surviving on a student loan of $150 a week, and thanked her for “caring” about students.
Few students were on campus during the meeting, which was held during the third- trimester exam period.
Cosgrove made headlines in Australian and New Zealand press for being oblivious as to who Howard was, calling out “Howard, which one are you? Who are you? Give us a wave”.
Cosgrove was one of three later arrested during a protest of an estimated 40 people outside Clark’s residence, Premier House.
Cosgrove told Salient he believes his arrest was unwarranted, particularly “the fact that they use arrest as a way in which to disrupt protests. They had nothing to arrest me for but they did it because they had nothing else to do with me.
“There were a couple of them and they were twisting my arm and shit and I was just like ‘why the fuck are you doing this? I’m lying on the ground, I haven’t moved, I haven’t done anything.’ They really have to twist the arm to make sure you’re all sweet.”
Footage shows police blocking Tinakori Road outside Premier House and telling a number of masked protestors that they were required to leave a public footpath. The footage also shows police kicking and shoving protestors.
The force used by police has since been criticised by several media outlets, and Cosgrove has been contacted by a lecturer at Otago University who is looking at the way police conduct arrests.
At the time of press, police were unable to comment.