Home' Greymouth Star : December 8th 2014 Contents uFaith
4 - Monday, December 8, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1854 - Pope Pius IX promulgates the dogma
of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed
1914 - British destroy German naval squadron
off Falkland Islands.
1925 - Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf is
1953 - United States proposes, in
UN General Assembly, international
control of atomic energy.
1962 - Brunei rebellion collapses
after British intervention.
1966 - Greek ferry sinks near
Island of Melos, killing 234.
1978 - Golda Meir, Israel’s first woman prime
minister (1969-74), dies.
1980 - John Lennon, former member of The
Beatles, is shot dead in New York by Mark
1992 - An avalanche of mud buries a gold
mining camp in the remote foothills of the
Andes in Bolivia, killing at least 50 miners.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Horace, Latin poet (65BC-8BC); Mary,
Queen of Scots (1542-1587); Eli Whitney, US
inventor of cotton gin (1765-1825);
Sammy Davis Junior, US singer-
actor (1925-1990); Maximilian
Schell, Vienna-born actor-director
(1930-2014); David Carradine, US
actor (1936-2009); James Galway,
Irish flautist and conductor (1939-
); Jim Morrison, lead singer of US
group The Doors (1943-1971); Kim Basinger,
US actress (1953-).
“The unknown is what it is. And to be
frightened of it is what sends everybody
scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions,
wars, peace, love, hate, all that. Unknown is
what it is. Accept that it ’s unknown and it’s
plain sailing.” — John Lennon (1940-1980).
“This is the message we have heard from
Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him
there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have
fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness,
we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we
walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have
fellowship with one another, and the blood of
Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. ”
— 1 John 1:5-7
Hundreds of pounds
worth of damage was
done in a rash of five
motorcar accidents in
and around Greymouth at the weekend, but
no serious injury resulted from any. Luckily
only one of the many people involved in the
accidents was admitted to hospital, but a
variety of minor injuries was sustained.
Mr Terrence Patterson, of 34 High Street,
was discharged from hospital yesterday after
he had been admitted on Saturday with head
injuries sustained in an accident near Ahaura.
On the same road another motorist was struck
by an old model car which overtook it. There
were no injuries and only minor damage. All
had been returning from the Reefton races.
Ministry of Works draughtsman Barry
Brown had a new stationwagon delivered to
him on Friday. It was 29 hours old and had 30
miles on the clock on Saturday. It took only
a split second to become a crumpled casualty.
It was parked outside the Ministry of Works
offices on Mawhera Q uay when it was struck
from behind by a car travelling west. It was
propelled for ward into a line of cars, so that in
all five cars were damaged in the pile-up.
Mr Brown said his new stationwagon was
valued at £1200 and the prospect of it being
replaced in the near future would be very slight.
Alison McDowell, of St Patrick’s Primary
School, is the winner of the girls’ Bevilacqua
Medal for 1964; and Kay Panckhurst, of the
relatively new Karoro School, is winner of
this year’s girls’ Seddon Medal. This year was
the first time the Karoro School has won the
uFood for thought
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esterday marked the 30th
anniversary of one of New
Zealand’s worst riots.
On December 7, 1984
Auckland’s Q ueen Street
was the scene of a bloody
struggle between 100 or so drunken youths
Cars were set on fire and shops wrecked
and looted in the middle of Friday night
It moved a nation to ask: how could it
The Queen Street riot began when a
small section of a crowd of 10,000 turned
on police three-and-a -half hours after a
free concert called Thank God it’s Friday
began in Aotea Square.
Until then, the event had been peaceful,
attended by family groups, teenagers
drinking alcohol and some gang members.
But in a matter of minutes, it turned ugly.
Faced with a barrage of bottles and rocks,
about 20 police tried to stop a fight that
broke out with a series of charges and
retreats until reinforcements arrived.
When the police ordered the concert
to stop at 8.10pm, because the music
drowned out their instructions, hundreds
of angry music fans ringed the battlefield
to cheer on the troublemakers.
By 9pm, 60 police officers were trying to
contain the riot and 43 required medical
treatment — more than half at hospital.
Queen Street was wrested back from
mob rule at 10pm when police numbers
swelled to 260.
The insurance bill for property damaged
or stolen was $2.8 million. About 120
people were arrested.
Most people who witnessed the night’s
violent scenes wondered how such a thing
The committee of inquiry promptly
set up by the Government led by David
Lange reflected concern over how the
public square could become a venue for
10,000 people, given its closeness to six
hotels and the fact that people would drink
from glass bottles.
The result was that local bodies were
given the power to seal off public access
areas and to ban alcohol at 24 hours’
notice, instead of the previous 21 days.
Police waged a campaign against
underage drinking and addressed their
problem on the riot night of not having
enough protective equipment and too few
Police also charged Dave Dobbyn,
who was the lead singer of DD Smash,
the band performing on stage when the
concert was stopped, with inciting the
But he was acquitted by Judge Mick
Brown of behaving in an offensive manner
likely under the circumstances to cause
violence against persons or property to
start or continue during the concert.
In his decision, the judge said a small
element in the crowd was intent on
making trouble and not interested in the
music. Cans and bottles were thrown
before and after DD Smash went on stage.
In a transcript made during the band’s
performance Dobbyn said: “I wish those
riot guys would stop ...”
It drew the crowd’s attention to the
presence of the riot police and cans and
bottles were thrown at them but this
was not an isolated event and it had
been going on well before DD Smash
Yesterday, Dobbyn’s manager said he
was unavailable for an inter view.
However, he said earlier on Maori
Television: “At that time I mentioned to
the crowd that the police were attacking
them from behind.”
In an inter view with Canvas deputy
editor Greg Dixon a year ago, the
singer recalled: “ We were right in it.
There were bottles flying over us and
the crowd was charging. I remember
we ran for the van. The floor of the
van was covered in glass. The road was
completely covered in glass. I can’t
remember who drove but we had to get
out of there real quick. It just went nuts.
It turned into this beast.
“The worst thing was to stop the
music. But then maybe if it didn’t
stop, more people would have got hurt
unaware that they were being clubbed
“There was no security, it was a Friday,
everyone was drinking in public out of
“I’ve often looked back at it. The judge
gave me a good tongue-lashing, saying
I should think about what I say next
Concert promoter Hugh Lynn,
who was working on behalf of the
sponsoring 89FM radio station, said
a group with a gang connection had
kicked the switch for the sound system
power supply and the audience started
to climb up on to the roof of the Post
“ When the inspector came up on
stage and said ‘stop the show ’ I said to
him ‘that ’s the worst thing you can do.’
“If the music had kept going it would
have kept the attention of the people
but when it stopped they turned to
another show — the riot that was
Maori warden Hine Grindlay, now
aged 70, received a Q ueen’s Ser vice
Medal for her bravery and the
Auckland City Council Good Citizen
award for holding hands with others to
form a human chain across the road, in
front of a line of outnumbered police at
the Civic Theatre.
This impromptu peace march of
strangers amid the turmoil of the riot,
tried to disperse people but the crowd
went down Q ueen St and started
looting, smashing everything.
Exhausted, she was handed a cup of
tea and sipped it in a police car.
“Four cars were tipped over by the
people that were there,” she said on
“At the time I was not scared. You
got no time to be scared. But they were
issuing the guns out right and centre
(because of the looting), I’ve forgotten
about my cup of tea then. This is
Here’s a look at how the countries of
the Arab Spring have fared four years
after pro-democracy uprisings swept the
The hope for democratic change that
swept the region four years ago is today
mainly confined to Tunisia, where the
self-immolation of a fruit seller ignited
a successful revolt against Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali that in turn launched
the Arab Spring. Since then Tunisia has
held two sets of parliamentary elections
and approved a new constitution called
the most progressive in the Arab world.
Well-organised Islamists initially
dominated elections, but when they
proved unable to deliver prosperity and
stability, they stepped down in favour of
a technocratic cabinet and then came in
second place to a liberal party in October.
Egypt captured world attention
with its 2011 uprising that ousted
long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak. A
council of generals took power after
Mubarak fell, leading a rocky and
often bloody transition in which the
Muslim Brotherhood won parliamentary
elections. Mohammed Morsi, a veteran
Brotherhood leader narrowly elected
president in June 2012, was overthrown
by the military a year later following
massive protests against his divisive
rule. Since then security forces have
killed hundreds and jailed thousands,
and have expanded the crackdown on
dissent beyond Islamists to target secular
activists, including some of the leading
lights of the 2011 uprising.
Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who as military
chief led the ouster of Morsi, was elected
president this year, and critics say his
government is even more oppressive than
that of Mubarak, who could soon be
released from prison.
Protests in Bahrain began in February
2011, with the tiny island nation’s
majority Shiites demanding greater
rights. The Sunni-led monarchy
responded with mass arrests and force.
Bahrain’s Arab Gulf neighbours, worried
about potential spill over effects, quickly
sent troops to help quell the uprising.
More than 60 people are believed to
have been killed in clashes with police
over the last four years. Activists say up
to 3000 people remain in jail. Near-daily
skirmishes still erupt in Shiite-dominated
villages, with some protesters using
firearms and homemade bombs against
police. National dialogue talks have so
far failed, prompting major opposition
groups to boycott the 2014 parliamentary
In Libya, what began as Arab Spring
protests rapidly escalated into an eight-
month NATO-backed armed revolt that
finally led to Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster
and death, but also left the country in
chaos. Successive weak central authorities
were forced to rely on a patchwork of
militias, many of which have strong
tribal, regional or ideological loyalties,
while Islamic extremist groups grew.
A prolonged power struggle between
Islamists and their opponents in the
country’s first freely elected parliament
fuelled clashes across the country. Today
an Islamist-dominated government
convenes in the capital Tripoli, which
was captured by allied militias earlier this
year, and an internationally-recognised
government is confined to the country’s
In 2011, young people launched a
sit-in seeking to end President Ali
Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule and
transform the poorest Arab nation into a
democratic, modern society. The Muslim
Brotherhood’s branch in Yemen moved
in and dominated the protest movement,
turning the revolt into a power struggle
with Saleh, who stepped down in late
2011 as part of an accord mediated by
Gulf nations. Nearly four years later,
Yemen is in chaos. Shiite Houthi rebels,
marginalized in the deal, have overrun
the capital. Saleh remains powerful, with
his loyalists infusing the political scene
and the military. Al Qaeda’s powerful
local affiliate has stepped up attacks.
Thousands of protesters, inspired by
events in Tunisia and Egypt, used the
momentum in February 2011 to call for
an end to corruption and job, power and
water shortages. Several dozen reportedly
died in clashes with security forces. In
response, then-Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki said he would not seek a third
term in 2014, a promise on which he later
reneged. Al-Maliki was forced out in
August, in the aftermath of the Islamic
State group’s capture of much of northern
and western Iraq, including the second
largest city Mosul.
By the time Arab Spring protests broke
out in Syria in March 2011, President
Bashar Assad, having witnessed the
humiliating end of other Arab dictators,
was determined to crush the uprising
at any cost. The brutal government
crackdown drove opposition supporters
to take up arms, and the conflict has
since escalated into one of the most
savage civil wars in decades, with no
end in sight. One third of the country is
now controlled by the extremist Islamic
State group. More than 200,000 people
have been killed and half the population
Aside from Bahrain, the other Western-
backed oil and gas-rich Gulf nations were
largely untouched by the Arab Spring.
Kings, emirs and sheiks collectively
pledged more than $160 billion in 2011
to appease the public while unleashing
heavy-handed crackdowns on activists
calling for reform. Gulf nations
meanwhile gave billions of dollars in
aid to various Libyan and Syrian rebel
groups, and to the military-backed
government in Egypt. Qatar spent
billions of dollars propping up Islamists
across the region.
In Morocco, there has been little
progress in implementing constitutional
changes meant to expand the democratic
spaces in the country, and human rights
organisations have even reported a
rollback in some of the freedoms gained
following mass protests in 2011.
It is the sound synonymous with the start
of a new day. But because of increased
urbanisation and man-made noise levels,
birds are having to begin their dawn chorus
long before sunrise to make themselves
Robins, blackbirds and nightingales are
among species which are altering the time of
their morning song so their efforts are not in
vain, a study has found.
In some cases, birds are starting their dawn
chorus two hours before sunrise, potentially
putting themselves at risk from predators. A
study conducted at five airports found that
birds were anticipating the morning rush of
planes, which start taking off at 6am, and
changing their song times to avoid it.
The study builds on research showing that
many species are singing louder and at a
higher pitch to increase their chances of
being heard in noisy cities — although much
of the time they are still unable to compete,
especially if trying to drown out a jet.
“Our results suggest that birds may
anticipate aircraft noise, and show that birds
change their behaviour in anticipation of the
increase in noise,” said Dr Diego Gil, who
led the research. “An earlier dawn chorus is
being seen in our cities too because of the
joint effects of high ambient noise levels
at dawn and continuous artificial lighting
Birds use song for attracting mates,
defending territories or warning against
predators. Songbirds are able to vary the
pitch, intensity and content of their calls.
Man-made sounds, the authors said, mask
signals between birds, hampering their
ability to communicate.
In the research, carried out by the Museo
Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid
and other institutions, scientists investigated
the timing of the bird chorus at five
European airports — Berlin, Barcelona,
Madrid, Valencia and Malaga. The results,
published in the journal Behavioural
Ecology, showed that all species sang
earlier at the sites where the aircraft noise
overlapped the most with their natural
Gil likened urban birds singing louder to
people trying to make themselves heard in a
noisy pub. — New Zealand Herald
Urbanisation blamed for pre-dawn birdsong
Rioters put a car on its roof.
Queen Street awash with rioters on December 7, 1984.
Auckland riots recalled
Arab Spring revisited — price of democracy
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