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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Far Left Mobilises Against "Terrorist" Arrests

After an initial period of shock, The far left is mobilising against this week's "terrorism" arrests

From Socialist Worker's UnityBlog

Over 100 people attended an emergency meeting called by GPJA over the arrests of political activists and the threatened use of the undemocratic terrorism laws against them. It was agreed to oppose the use of these laws, call for the release on bail of the defendants before any trial, help raise money to provide help assure legal support is available.

We also called on supporters of civil rights across the country to support a national day of action on Saturday October 27. The next GPJA forum will be focussed on the issues raised as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The simultaneous aspect of the arrests has struck fear into the activist community. The simultaneous aspect has tarred many unrelated groups with the same brush. Activists play an important role in spreading awareness of and stifling the unethical activities made by those in positions of power. The police and probably those above them are trying to silence dissenting voices.

Rights that would be expected in, and are important to a, democracy have been abused by the police. The arrestees have been denied bail and locked up for at least 5 days, despite the police commissioner admitting on television that he didn’t think any of those arrested posed a threat. One of those arrested is a 19 year old university student. He has been locked up in Mt Eden prison (not the remand area).

More houses have been raided. An organic vegetable shop owner had his house raided for 4 hours based purely on his son in law having gone on holiday once with Tame Iti. The armed defenders stormed the property and confiscated several computers including the computer of a tourist who was staying there. The property was stormed while the guy’s wife and baby were there.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Activists have been harassed by cops on numerous occasions in recent months. Outside the US-NZ partnership forum, there were around 70 protesters. As the protesters were leaving, the cops started shouting “Move! Move! Move!” and advanced towards the crowd. Protesters were being crushed against the road works barriers with several falling over. The protesters near the thick blue line told them that people were being crushed. A cop responded “ok”, and the cops kept advancing. The cops picked off a few prominent activists. They were arrested with one of them being locked up for 6 hours. Their charges are still pending. Since they have charges still pending, they can’t visit the 19 year old activist in prison.

Another time, cops came to a flat where an anarchism conference was being held. The cops pepper sprayed an activist (plus some bystanders), arrested the activist without a warrant and then pepper sprayed him some more.

A sadistic thick arsehole culture is relatively common in the NZ police, especially the Team Policing Unit. It seems like many of the cops, activists deal with think along the following lines: ‘I hate “hippies” because they are different’ and ‘harassing “hippies” is fun’. Sport thug types can come out of school with crap grades and can enter the police force – retaining the opportunity for domination over others.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cops fuck up often. When the cops fuck up their charges, the courts are there to sort it out. Most activists who have been wrongfully arrested are found not guilty by the courts or have their charges dropped by the police. Even if that happens, it is still a huge inconvenience being arrested, locked up for several hours (or days, months, even years) then deal with the legal system over several months (or years).

Even if an arrestee is found not guilty or has their charges dropped, making a formal complaint is unlikely to make a difference. This is because the so called ‘Independent Police Complaints Authority’ is not an independent entity to the police force. The police essentially handle their own complaints. Thousands of complaints are made each year yet only a few ever get followed up. Heads don’t roll as easily as they do in other professions.

The police are rarely held accountable for their actions and have been known to abuse their power when dealing with activists. I don’t like how several news papers have treated everything said by the police as factual.

I believe that there is a lot of collateral damage to this event that could have been avoided.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just to correct i wasnt pepper sprayed when assaulted by detective callum mc neil at the anarchist conference.

however i was punched several times and pushed face first into the footpath outside and then kneed in the back.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Anon-I have no illusions about the NZ police and have posted before on how to improve them.

I don't in any way condone unnecessary police violence.

However, I support the police as a matter of principle.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good to have that clarity

12:09 PM  

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