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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970

The Co-Resistance Movement

The Co-Resistance Movement

No account of New Zealand's ultra-right would be complete without a mention of Dunedin's curious "Co-Resistance" movement. This group, which under various names has been in existence for over twelve years, has consistently espoused the policy of the American John Birch Society.

In 1959, under the name "Christian Campaign for Freedom", the group's leading light, Mr Jack Simon, led a campaign against fluoridating Dunedin's water supply. Mr Simon asserted that fluoridation was "Communism via the Water Tap". Political scientist Austin Mitchell interviewed the group's organiser and was told that the main object was to "combat Zionism", and that fluoridation was attacked mainly because of the infringement of liberty involved.

A monthly magazine, for some unknown reason called Weatherbys, was published by the Campaign and Austin Mitchell noted that, although regular subscribers numbered about fifty, one thousand copies of each issue were printed, most of them being distributed free. The tone of the periodical can be indicated by a quote from the January 1959 issue: "When we look over the current scene we see clearly the workings of the diabolic mind; integration of page 17 races, fluoridation of water, confiscatory taxation, 'foreign aid', the U.N.O., labour tyranny, forced unionism ..."

By 1965 the movement had become "Co-Resistance", and the Group actively pushed such books as The Politician by John Birch Society founder Robert Welch (which book asserts that Eisenhower was a Communist), and The Blue Book of the John Birch Society (which proves that most other people are Communist too). Co-Resistance sent some of this literature to an Otago University staff member, who in their view was a Communist, and more than fifty students took up the invitation to attend the Group's next meeting. As only four people from Co-Resistance attended, the meeting was something of a farce, and the movement at that stage apparently lost interest in its plan to combat the communist hotbed that was Otago University.

Mr Jack Simon and Co-Resistance are with us still—though the latest announced name is "The Informed Christian Patriots Association". Informed Christian Patriots can obtain further information from P.O. Box 285, Dunedin.