Hegemonic Post-Colonial Discourse (Contemporary Colonisation)

What is terrorism? What does it mean to act in the name of peace, or to find arms in places where they don’t exist? Are they copying hegemonic discourse? All of these questions are valid and apply to violations that many people of the world suffer, above all indigenous people.

In my opinion, when culture is managed irresponsibly, and we see others judged in an irresponsible way, with no evidence, with comments that are racist and which are placed in a context as if they were made by wise elders, claiming things such as “I decide if you are worthy of your culture or not”, “you are violent and vengeful”, these people are hypocrites, because they say they are working for our people and are offering “recognition to those men and women who iron our clothes, watch over us, wash our cars, and make our handicrafts”. They do not see that this is not the way, not the right path.

We as indigenous are not only those things. We are the ones who, through our ancestors, have kept society together to the present, we are the ones who have diverse ways of expressing ourselves as daily witnesses to the idea that it is possible to live in peace with others and with mother earth, we champion the responsible use of culture, which does away with preconceptions and ideas promoted by ignorance and lack of understanding by others. We are the ones as a people who have given up so much at such a high and unfortunate cost, such as our most valued legacy, the greatness of the past, our faith, our culture, our food. What kind of sin is it to have self-determination? What kind of sin is it to protest? What sin have we committed when we accept the new nationality of peoples living on our soil? What sin have indigenous committed when we recognise each other as human beings? Why do they mistreat us when we state that something does not look right to us?

In other words, people who practice what they criticise, who judge you in the name of democracy, who say they are offering tribute, are just like the colonisers, they keep exchanging gold for trinkets and want us to give away our wealth for shiny mirrors. Amparo Ochoa has a song that expresses this very well:

And we open our homes and call them friends
But if an Indian comes back tired from working in the highlands
We humiliate him and see him as a stranger throughout his land.

You hypocrite acting like a humble person in front of a foreigner
You become arrogant with your own poor brothers
Oh, Malinche’s curse, illness of our age,
When will you leave my land….when will you free my people.

I dedicate this to all the indigenous peoples of the world, especially to my Maori brothers and sisters in Aotearoa New Zealand, my Wayuu people and to the Wichi people.

I want to share information about what is happening to our Maori brothers and sisters in Aotearoa. Please read this letter and send it on, for once make the voice heard of THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE.


David Hernández Palmar. Indígena Wayuu. Clan IIPUANA

0414 632 1312
0416 370 3539
+ 58 414 632 1312
+ 58 416 370 3539
shiaakua (at) gmail.com

"La tradición es como una anciana que sentada en el camino de los días, cuenta a las generaciones venideras lo que ha vivido".

La tradition, c'est comme une vieille dame qui, assise sur le chemin des jours qui passent, raconte aux générations à venir ce qui lui a été donné de vivre.

“Tradition is like a wise elder, as she sits on the road of days, she tells future generations what she has lived.”

The Terrorism Suppression Act and Maori Self-Determination in Aotearoa New Zealand

On 15 October, 2007, 300 police officers began a series of raids across Aotearoa, New Zealand, arresting 17 people in the cities of Ruatoki, Whakatane, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Palmerston North for the first time using warrants issued under the new "Terrorism Suppression Act (TPA)”, an amendment of which is currently being debated by Parliament.

The majority of those arrested are of the Tuhoe iwi or tribe, a people who have long struggled for their recognition as a people and for their historical grievances against the New Zealand Government, also known as the Crown. The remaining detainees have been active in Anarchist, peace and environmental movements and in their communities. Name suppression has been imposed, so that only three names of detainees have been released. Tame Iti is well known in Aotearoa, New Zealand for his activism in bringing an expression of Maori self-determination before the public. The other two names released are those of Iti’s nephew Rawiri Iti and Jamie Beattie Lockett. Bail was denied for Tame Iti and Lockett due to their being considered a “significant danger to the public”.

Reports by witnesses and lawyers of the Tuhoe detainees have expressed outrage at the aggressive and violent tactics used during the raids. The police dressed in commando-style military uniforms, broke down doors, arrested suspects in front of children and in their communities, boarded school buses, and took personal property such as computers. Due to the secretive nature of the raids, important information about the charges has been suppressed.

Maori Party Co-Leader Pita Sharples stated that these actions have set back race relations 100 years. The Tuhoe Reverand Wayne Manaaki Rihari Te Kaawa states that the “events in Ruatoki during the last 48 hours are nothing new to the Tuhoe people. In the mid to late 1800s colonial forces invaded the Urewera searching for the religious leader Te Kooti employing the scorched earth policy that forced Tuhoe into starvation and subsequently confiscated much of their lands. In 1916 the Urewera was again invaded by armed police who shot and killed two people while arresting the Tuhoe religious leader Rua Kenana. Growing up in Tuhoe country as children we would often hear stories of those times, today our children will now grow up telling stories of when armed police invaded the Tuhoe Nation in 2007 and held guns frightening children and old people. These atrocities and terrorists acts by the police and the Government upon Tuhoe sovereignty must stop.”

Generally, this Act was designed to bring New Zealand law into line with Australia and other nations which have sharply curtailed basic civil liberties in the name of the fight against terrorism.

The Law Society has stated that all charges currently known fall under normal criminal law (Crimes Act) and that usage the TSA is confusing because it sets up a parallel legal process. The Green Party has issued similar statements since the TSA was first approved in 2002, arguing that this Act has a chilling effect for those involved in protest action.
The Civil Rights Defense Committee has set up a website to describe in detail what the implications of the Act and the new amendment are, to support the prisoners and their families, and to organize protest. For updated information from a Civil Rights perspective, see:


Dr. Kathryn Lehman

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