40 alleged drunken Santas accused of running amok

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Monday, December 19, 2005

photo credit: Mark Barber
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The conduct by a group of 'Santas' making an unclear statement last Saturday is not appreciated in the business district of Auckland, New Zealand. The event, organized in the discussion forum of an online skateboard magazine, caused big media publicity.

Alex Dyer, spokesman for the group, stated that Santarchy in Auckland is part of a worldwide phenomenon. It is disputed if Santarchy is a protest against the commercialization of Christmas or not.

Auckland Central Police spokesperson Noreen Hegarty said to the press that the rampage began in the early part of the afternoon when men wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes threw beer bottles and urinated on cars from an overpass, then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage bins, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on office buildings.

"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," said a convenience store staff member Changa Manakynda, according to local newspapers.

One writer using the pseudonym 'Le_SigNagE' on the Santarchy! (or also known as the Santacon) website commented, "... after all, this is what Christmas is really about… mindless vandalism and petty theft."

Another writer who posted under the pseudonym Santy Claus said of the media coverage, "There was some major misreporting and Chinese whispers. Breaking bottles and urinating under a bridge, became throwing rocks at buses and urinating on cars from an overpass. The ‘organisers’ as they were, saw little in the way of crime other than one santa attempting to board a foreign vessel by scaling 20 metres along a rope 60 feet in the air. The difficulty and motor skills involved in this task alone should be a defense in itself of being 'drunk' and 'disorderly'."

Due to Santa's reputation for integrity and his strict media policy, his sparse communication is mostly one-way: receiving lists from children with wishes for Christmas. It is difficult to get his comment about New Zealands skateboard interested 'Santas'.

In 1994, the Cacophony Society staged the world's very first SantaCon in San Francisco. Influenced by the surrealist movement Discordianism, and other subversive art currents.

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