A recent document released under the Official Information Act (OIA) shows that the Police are heavily spying on and running operations on protest groups. In the Police annual report for the year ending 30th June 2009, a reference was made to “84 operation orders” made in relation to “public demonstrations”. An OIA request for a list of all these operation orders made in October 2009 has now finally been answered by Police National Headquarters and the results are chilling.
In 2008/9, the police ran operations on a “Tibet candlelight vigil”, the “Stagecoach Bus Strike” and a “Palestine Peace Vigil” in Wellington, a “Bible group” outside the US embassy, the “Waterside Workers' Strike” in Auckland and a protest in Otahuhu “re lack of swimming pool”.
A list of the 84 operation orders has been released. However, access to the actual orders has so far been denied.
Peace Action Wellington condemns the action of the NZ Police in conducting operations on protests against the annual weapons conference hosted by the NZ Defence Industry Association and against legitimate political dissent. ‘Protecting these people is protecting war mongers and war profiteers from public disgust, outrage and resistance to their activities’ said Valerie Morse, Peace Action member. ‘In my experience, the police see their role as shutting down protests, and they will do whatever is necessary in order to accomplish that, including extensive surveillance, arbitrary arrest and detention of people without any cause whatsoever.' Continue reading article here