Though Timaru born, MacPherson became active in radical politics at Flinders University, Adelaide, where he was student president.
By the late ’70s he was back in NZ working as a researcher for the NZ University Students Association.
MacPherson fitted in well with the Maoists who ran NZUSA and later joined them and other like minded activists when they formed the Workers Communist League in 79/80.
The WCL was strongest in Wellington, especially at Victoria University where it controlled the students association for many years. The WCL or “Weasels” as they were fondly known, were militantly anti Apartheid and were strong backers of Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness Movement of Azania.
It is not surprising then, that the WCL played the leading role in the Wellington anti Tour protests of 1981, co-ordinated through their front, Citizens Opposed to the Springbok Tour.
MacPherson played a major role in COST, as a member of the Marshalls Committee and as leader of “Orange Section”, charged at one point with blocking all the main routes into Wellington.
On July 22nd, MacPherson was chief marshall of Day of Shame march in Lower Hutt, he and 21 others were arrested for occupying Ewen Bridge for two and a half hours.
On August 15th he was arrested on the Hutt Motorway with 63 others. On August 29th he was again arrested on the same motorway.
The WCL, through COST caused huge disruption in Wellington throughout July and August of 1981. They cost this country huge amounts in lost productivity and police time.
Dave MacPherson certainly did his bit for the revolution.