P.R.A.T.T. 5, Penny Bright

Number Five in my Pinkos and Reds Against The Tour profile series is Auckland anti water privatisation activist, Penny Bright.


In the early’70s Bright was a stalwart of Wairarapa Maoism and Carterton contact for anti Apartheid group HART.

By 1981, Bright was in Auckland, going hard out to stop the Springbok Tour of NZ. She was a leading light in the Auckland anti Tour umbrella group MOST and was a marshall at some demos and marches.

MOST was not completely dominated by the Workers Communist League like Wellington’s COST, but also had Socialist Unity Party members and other Marxist-Leninists in its senior ranks.

However, according to PM Muldoon’s August Security Intelligence Service Report, Penny Bright was a member of the WCL.

After the Tour, in December 1981, Bright was elected to the post of HART trade union officer at its AGM in Wellington.

In 1982 Bright spent time back in the Wairarapa involved with the Engineers Union and the WCL inspired strike at the Rixen clothing factory.

The same year she was on the Anti-apartheid Sub-Committee of the Auckland Trades Council.

Forward to the late ’90s and Bright and her Marxist-Leninist partner, Jim Gladwin were running the “Water Pressure Group” and giving Auckland local bodies hell over the water issue.

You will also be glad to know that Penny Bright and the coppers have mended fences. In 2004 Bright led five ‘workshops on protesting’ at which 200 police were “educated” on the rights of demonstrators. Bright reported that she and co-“educator” Lisa Prager, received an ovation at the end of their last workshop session.

Great to see our P.C.s getting more P.C.

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