Counter-protesters in the Octagon demonstrate against a march by the Freedom and Rights Coalition. Photo / Gregor Richardson
A march opposing government control, Three Waters and vaccine mandates was outnumbered by counter protesters in Dunedin today.
Supporters of the Freedom and Rights Coalition (FRC) marched down Princes St at 11am and were intercepted by more than a hundred supporters of AntiFascist Ōtepoti.
The FRC is known for being associated with Voices for Freedom and the Destiny Church, with one of the leaders being Derek Tait, a Destiny Church pastor.
Counter protesters took the top of the Octagon, while supporters of the FRC claimed the bottom half.
Ahead of the event, AntiFascist Ōtepoti spokeswoman Sina Brown-Davis said the march did not represent the values of the wider Dunedin community.
Tait was close associates with white supremacists and neo-nazis, she said.
The group was intending to hold a positive and peaceful demonstration to show that the politics of hate and division were not welcome in the city.
Tait denied the allegations that the group were alt-right or fascist.
He said the claim that the group were racist or white supremacists was ridiculous, as he himself was Māori.
The FRC would focus on conducting a safe, orderly and peaceful march. They would focus on their own message rather than worry about what AntiFascist Ōtepoti were doing, he said.