Saturday, December 17, 2005; Posted: 8:42 p.m. EST (01:42 GMT)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus outfits, many of them drunk, went on a rampage through Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, robbing stores, assaulting security guards and urinating from highway overpasses, police said Sunday.
The rampage, dubbed "Santarchy," began early Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokesman Noreen Hegarty.
She said the men then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage containers, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings.
One man climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship before being ordered down by the captain. Other Santas, objecting when the man was arrested, attacked security staff, who were later treated by paramedics, Hegarty said.
The remaining Santas entered another downtown convenience store and carried off beer and soft drinks.
"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," store owner Changa Manakynda said.
Two security guards were treated for cuts after being struck by beer bottles, Hegarty said. Three people, including the man who climbed on the cruise ship, were arrested and charged with drunkenness and disorderly behavior.
Alex Dyer, a spokesman for the group, said Santarchy was a worldwide movement designed to protest the commercialization of Christmas.
Well it was inevitable. If you had kids bitching to you non-stop about what they wanted for christmas, crying and pissing in your lap, you'd probaly throw a fit too. Not to mention having to deal with elves all the time. The wizard of oz is on tv right now and I watched the first 40 minutes or so and those munchkins are creepy. I can't imagine elves are much better. With the kids and the elves and the pressure of working long hours under an inflexible deadline, no wonder santa flipped out.
Really though, this is a pretty pathetic display. What a buncha drunken idiots. As much as it might emotionally scar some kids for life, I wish the police had moved out in force and given the santas a good beatdown. I ecspecially love the excuse that this is supposed to protest the commercialization of christmas. What a fucking load of horse shit. I can't believe CNN even printed that. Even if you could stretch the imagination to accept that a bunch of drunken rioters going around running amok really could be protesting commercialization, a quick fact check would have told you differently almost immediately.
For the fifth year running a couple of likely lads, Alex Dyer and Colin Mitchell, have rustled up as many alcoholics-in-waiting as possible for what appears to be a pub crawl called Santarchy. The catch? All participants must wear Santa suits ($15 from The Warehouse). What started out five years ago with 10 swilling Santas last year netted 80. For those who have no responsibilities and nothing better to do, turn up on Saturday at 2pm at Western Park, Ponsonby Rd. No Santa suit, no Santarchy.
Protest against commercialization my ass. Since this is the 5th year, the police also don't have much excuse for their apparently lacksidasical performance here. When you know a buncha drunk nutjobs are going to gather in one place, it sorta behooves you to ramp up the presence of officers. Aren't there sheep mounted patrols or anything in new zealand to keep order and crowd control in situations like this?