Santa rampage strikes New Zealand
40 dressed in red suits rob store, assault security guards
Posted: December 18, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
It's being dubbed "Santarchy” in New Zealand.
As feared, rioting broke out in yesterday in the nation neighboring Australia – but with a strange holiday twist.
While Australia has been plagued with racial rioting closely paralleling what happened in and around Paris a few weeks ago, New Zealand's largest city was hit by a group of 40 rampaging men dressed as Santa Claus.
According to news reports in Auckland, the Santa gang, many of them drunk, rampaged through the city, robbing stores and assaulting security guards.
The attacks began Saturday afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an Auckland overpass, said Auckland Central Police spokeswoman 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 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, Hegarty said.
The remaining Santas entered a 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.
Alex Dyer, a spokesman for the group, said Santarchy was a worldwide movement designed to protest the commercialization of Christmas.
Three people were arrested and charged with drunkenness and disorderly behavior.
that raises the inevitable question: "what round is best for..."
*gasp* how dare you!