Members of the Labour Party assaulted people in an attempt to protect their ‘co-leader’ from being targeted. The October 15th Solidarity crew along with whanau from Te Urewera organised a march that went through town in advance of their arrival at the Labour Party Conference. Around 100 protestors gathered at 12noon at Te Aro Park and marched to the Town Hall. For approximately an hour, there was noisy demonstration with a sit-in blockade at one entrance.
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The Labour Party and its cabal of ministers including Cullen, Maharey, King, Laban, Goff and Horomia were humiliated at a protest today outside of their election year congress by people holding them responsible for a range of issues. Helen Clark’s speech was interrupted and ministers were forced outside when a fire alarm went off at approximately 2:20pm. Cullen sought refugee behind his mummy as he walked outside, but that didn’t stop him being confronted by people who had been arrested on October 15th. Members of the Labour Party assaulted people in an attempt to protect their ‘co-leader’ from being targeted. The October 15th Solidarity crew along with whanau from Te Urewera organised a march that went through town in advance of their arrival at the Labour Party Conference. Around 100 protestors gathered at 12noon at Te Aro Park and marched through Cuba Mall, Manners and Willis Street. “Ka whawhai tonu matou, ake ake ake!”, “One solution – Revolution!”, “1, 2, 3, 4 – Labour Party out the door” and “When Tuhoe/128/Workers’ Rights are under attack – stand up, fight back” were chanted on the march. Upon arrival, the march was met with a large police presence and a metal barricade. For approximately an hour, there was noisy demonstration with a sit-in blockade at one entrance.
Ministers and members of the Labour Party were forced to walk along the barricaded area while being heckled and shamed for their actions as they walked into the Town Hall. Helen Clark’s speech was supposed to start at 2pm. However, shortly afterwards, we heard news that the fire alarm went off and the Labour Party delegates started streaming out of the building (with Clark nowhere to be seen). Again, they were yelled at by the protest outside.
The Labour party, and Helen Clark in particular, bear primary responsibility for the nation-wide police raids of October 15th 2007, the invasion and lock-down of the township of Ruatoki and the passage of a raft of so-called ‘terrorism laws’. These laws, almost all of which have been directly imported from George W Bush’s ‘war on terrorism’ in the US, demonstrate Labour’s complicity in the oppression of people both in Aotearoa and around the world.
Operation 8 was motivated by the Labour government’s fear about tino rangatiratanga, about Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe and about real sovereignty for the indigenous people of Aotearoa. The government is scared of losing power, and of losing access to resources such as freshwater, minerals and oil and gas. It used its violent, coercive wing, the Armed Offenders Squad, to reinforce its power in Te Urewera on 15 October last year. The Labour government wills stop at nothing to retain power this year, including more acts of state violence and brutality against Maori people.
The people of Aotearoa are under attack, its time we stand up and fight back.
Police raids on 15th October 2007
On Monday, October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn raids on dozens of houses all over Aotearoa / New Zealand. Police claim the raids were in response to 'concrete terrorist threats' from indigenous activists. The reality, however, included heavily armed police terrorising an entire township. To date, no evidence of the so-called terrorist plot has been revealed.
Police arrested 17 indigenous, anarchist, environmental and anti-war activists, including people from Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Maniapoto and Pakeha. Police wanted to charge 12 people under the Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA), however the Solicitor-General denied the police permission to proceed. After four weeks in jail everyone was released on bail. On Tuesday, February 19th 2007, police raided further properties, arresting 3 more men. All were released on bail with strict conditions that same day.
19 people are facing charges under the Arms Act, in a trial that could take several years. Although out of jail, they have very strict bail conditions that deny them freedom of movement and association. On this site you can find out how to get involved in local support groups, dates and locations of solidarity events are happening and how to make a donation.
Aotearoa IMC Features: Police raid houses across Aotearoa under anti-terrorism legislation, at least a dozen arrests (15 Oct. 07) | 17 activists arrested, denied bail. 300+ Police raid houses across the country (15 Oct. 07) | Solidarity with the Urewera 17! Free them now! (17 Oct. 07) | Stop the Terror Laws! Free our Friends! (19 Oct. 07) | "Raise your voice before you lose your soul" - protests across Aotearoa (20 Oct. 07) | Urewera 17 Update: Bail Denied, Another Police Raid, Another Activist Named, Wellington Activists Moved (26 Oct. 07) | Across the world, people demand freedom for political prisoners! (27 Oct. 07) | Urewera 16 in court - 2 more bailed (2 Nov. 07) | 150 People Protest Labour Conference in Tamaki Makaurau (3 Nov. 07) | Two more prisoners lose name supression (7 Nov. 07) | No terrorism charges for the Urewera 16! (8 Nov. 07) | Tuhoe Hikoi Arrives at Parliament (14 Nov. 07) | The struggle continues… (19 Nov. 07) | Thousands gather in solidarity with October 15th arrestees and against the Terrorism Supression Act (1 Dec. 07) | Tame Iti back in jail for one night (11 Dec. 07) | UN to investigate New Zealand Government over conduct of the Oct 15 raids (26 Jan. 08) | Waitangi Day protests across Aotearoa (6 Feb. 08) | More Raids, 3 More Arrests in Tuhoe (19 Feb. 08) | La Lucha Sigue… Protests against raids and arrests (23 Feb. 08) | 'Operation 8' defendants back in court on March 5th (3 Mar. 2008) | Labour Party conference to be held responsible for Operation 8