Restore Passenger Rail supporter Peter Wham, who was arrested for peacefully protesting against the luxury car industry’s contribution to the climate crisis, had an assault charge dismissed during a hearing at the Wellington District Court yesterday. The arrest occurred when Peter spray-painted a luxury car dealership. This action was done to send a simple message: “luxury emissions are killing us.”
While Peter’s intent was to raise awareness about the urgent need for environmental action, the police charged him not only with criminal damage but also with assault. Yes, assault! Apparently, a few specks of paint that landed on the dealership owner during the confrontation were enough to warrant such a charge.
The judge, demonstrating a sense of reason, dismissed the assault charge. However, it seems the police are more concerned with protecting luxury cars than addressing the urgent threat to our planet.
“Today’s heavy rain watch on the West Coast is an example of the disasters we face, fueled by our biggest polluters and aided by a government hell bent on destroying any hope of a positive future.” said Restore Passenger Rail spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden.
“This incident raises questions about misplaced priorities and the need for a serious reevaluation of law enforcement’s response to peaceful activism. It’s time to focus on the real crimes against our environment rather than concocting outrageous charges against those striving for positive change.”