TFRC UMBRELLA POLITICAL ANNOUNCEMENT + CONVOY + PEOPLE’S COURT PARLIAMENT
We are aware that The Freedom and Rights Coalition has called for a convoy to Wellington, ending with a “People’s Court” being convened at Parliament to hear “crimes against humanity” and to present a petition for a vote of no confidence to force a snap election.
We further understand that TFRC will be making an announcement at Parliament that two or more minor parties have agreed to come together under some form of umbrella organisation for the 2023 National Elections.
In keeping with our decision shared with you last month regarding TFRC marches, VFF will not be involved in these events. Given the nature of what is planned, we trust you understand it would be inappropriate to use VFF signs and no VFF signs are authorised to be used.
While you are welcome to do as you wish in your personal capacity, and we support Kiwis standing up and speaking out (this includes our supporters who have attended many third-party events), we do not consider the upcoming convoy and protest at parliament an effective strategy to reach the people we have identified need to be reached by VFF.
Remembering the original convoy, and how prolific the VFF “pop-up” signs were, you will appreciate how rapidly our name can become overwhelmingly intertwined with an event.
On a practical level, we note the North Island convoy is scheduled to start at 1 am, and participants are expected to drive all the way to Wellington, arriving at 9 pm or later that same day. With skyrocketing fuel prices and many people under intense financial pressure, we are concerned that the convoy isn’t the safest, or most sensible strategy.
Our view is that the freedom movement is stronger with multiple approaches, and while we wish everyone attending a safe, peaceful and effective event, we prefer to continue to focus on our established methods to resist, educate and “Rebuild Free”.
So, to reiterate, we will not be involved in these events and no VFF signs are authorised to be used.
OUR APPROACH GENERALLY:
We’ve said from the outset that VFF does things differently. We observed enormous marches overseas, resulting in little change and decided that we would take a much more creative and flexible approach.
We are always mindful of where best to place our energy and time. And carefully assess whether any potential action will successfully reach and engage the group we call the “wobbly middle”. Examples of the work we have been involved in and are currently working on are set out below.
The recent media attention VFF has received validates our approach and our strategic decision-making thus far. It is also an acknowledgement that VFF has the ability to reach and influence a large audience with our content, information, and resources.
Desperate times call for cool heads and informed, rational decisions; we’ve succeeded in this respect so far and we trust you appreciate the consideration behind our current position as well.
Across the board, we have noticed lower enthusiasm for actions such as mass protests, marches or convoys, as evidenced by low turnout at recent protests. When these public gatherings consistently pull smaller crowds, we are concerned the freedom movement appears much smaller than it actually is.
We are also conscious that TFRC has been clear that its direction has become focused on an umbrella-style national political party. At this time, we remain focused on a different path, and our activities reflect this decision.
WHAT WE ARE DOING:
Voices For Freedom is New Zealand’s largest and most well-organised freedom group after just 18 months. We are a genuine grassroots movement, the likes of which New Zealand has never seen before in terms of size, distribution, engagement, professionalism and approach.
VFF By The Numbers:
- +100,000 on subscriber database
- +40,000 signed up in local groups
- 15 Regional Coordinators
- 127 Local Coordinators
- 110 Local Groups
- +1000 Sub Groups / Pods
- 27 Contractors with Head Office covering IT, Legal, HR, Marketing/Comms & Operations
- 4.5 million Flyers designed, printed & distributed nationwide by hand in letterboxes
- +10,000 Corflute signs distributed nationwide to local groups for “Pop-Ups”
- +3000 “Pop-Ups” carried out nationwide
- +250 billboards/screens nationwide
- +500K funding to support everyday Kiwis via legal aid, legal helpline, templates, pro bono lawyers, and further funding to support important legal cases.
WHAT WE DO AT VFF – SOME EXAMPLES:
- Coordinate dozens of “pop-ups” weekly around the country displaying peaceful mini protests and professionally designed signs.
- Provide ongoing education of the population and our members via billboard campaigns, other media, flyers, pop-ups events, webinars with local and international guests, various social media platforms, live in-person seminars and other online and offline events and resources.
- Bring greater awareness about local body elections. Our 100,000+ membership and moderate approach enable us to reach a large receptive audience and have them engage in the democratic process on very short notice.
- Support local body election candidates by providing access to platforms, helpful materials and information, supplying reminders on rules and preparing and sharing articles and “cliff notes” on key issues such as rates, sustainability/environment, Three Waters etc.
- Support court cases, pro bono legal aid, preparing and submitting formal Official Information Act (OIA) requests, preparing written submissions to Parliament select committees, and presenting oral submissions where we can.
- Expend considerable time and funds in keeping a vast range of legal resources up to date and making these freely available on our website (for example, template letters relating to mandates and obtaining mask exemptions).
- Connect, support and encourage Kiwis to stand up and speak out to help rebuild our culture’s very foundation. We call this initiative “Rebuild Free” and it is where local groups and grassroots initiatives play their most important role. Part of this work involves the creation of a new website www.rebuildfree.com which includes a facility for members to share their knowledge and skills with the community. Rebuild Free has already resulted in numerous community gardens, local skill sharing databases, educational seminars on topics such as hunting, walkie-talkies, online security, first aid and natural health.
- Provide pro bono legal aid such as recently assisting 96 protesters arrested and charged with trespass and obtaining discharge of all criminal charges for 90% of those we represented in respect of the occupation of Parliament earlier in the year.
Media Statement 19.8.22
Email: [email protected]