Another Waitangi Day – another violent protest. The right to peaceful protest is fundamental in a liberal democracy. However, when a handful of malcontents can prevent the Prime Minister from being heard then something is very wrong. Just as the protestors have the right to make their views known in a peaceful and orderly way so too the Prime Minister has the right to attend an event to which he has been invited – without loutish thugs attempting to use him as a tackle bag. He should also be accorded the opportunity to have his say. Others may disagree with his views but freedom to express those views is a precious thing. We should be concerned when a minority of political activists try to take away such freedoms. It’s a real shame that on a marae, of all places, each of the participants couldn’t have their say and listen to the speakers with some respect.