Letter of support from Oaxaca, Mexico

Here is a letter in support of the Uruwera 17, from Guadalupe Venegas Reyes, sister of Oaxaqueño anarchist political prisoner David Venegas. Spanish first, followed by rough translation.
nosotros como oaxaqueños, sabemos perfectamentamente de lo que mueve a un pueblo a organizarse para exigir justicia y respeto, sufrimos una represion por toda una red mafiosa de politiquillos, amparada por un sistema inservible y no funcional para los pueblos, sin embargo en medio de tanta sangre derramada por nuestros hermanos caidos, a aun a persar de ese dolor, sentimos la mayoria de este pueblo que vale la pena luchar para ser libres de cuerpo pero sobre todo de pensamiento e ideales, yo me uno energicamente al reclamo de los publos del mundo en contra de las redadas selectivas que esta llevando el gobierno de ese pais(nueva zelanda) en contra de la gente que piensa diferente y correctamente, un no al racismo, un nunca mas desapariciones, juicios injustos, familias enteras perseguidas, un no, no, a todas las arbitrariedades que los politicos hacen en nombre del poder. justicia para todos los pueblos, justicia .

guadalupe venegas reyes

hermana de preso politico en oaxaca, mexico.

We as oaxaqueños (people of Oaxaca) know perfectly about what moves a people to organize to demand justice and respect. We suffer represion from a mafia network of minor politicians who are protected by a system that is malfunctioning and useless to the people.

Nevertheless in the middle of so much blood spilled by our fallen brothers, to even to think of that pain, we feel, the majority of this people, that it is worthwhile to fight for being free of body but above all of thought and ideal. I energetically join the peoples of the world who are against the selective raids that the government of this country (New Zealand) carried out against people that think differently and correctly.

A NO to racism, disappearances, unjust judgments, entire families pursued, and NO NO NO to all the arbitrary decisions that politicians make in the name of power.

Justice for all the people, justice.

Guadalupe Venegas Reyes
sister of a political prisoner (David Venegas) in Oaxaca, Mexico


Samoa sets up diplomatic ties with Cuba

Posted at 05:52 on 17 October, 2007 UTC

It has been confirmed that Samoa and Cuba have established diplomatic ties.

This follows reports from Havana which said Samoa had become the 186th nation to have diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The relationship was formally established last week in New York according to the acting chief executive officer for Samoan foreign ministry, Petina Sila.

Samoa was represented at the recent UN General Assembly by the Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, and some senior government officials.







Saturday's March on Freedom-Tamakimakaurau

thanks to

solidtv7 - anti state terra -ism

Respect, Solidarity & Unity

Melbourne Solidarity with Aotearoa arrestees

Footage from the rally held at Federation Square at noon on Saturday 27 October 2007 as far of a global day of action in support of activists arrested in Aotearoa/NZ since Monday October 15th. See reports on


Produced by pc
Directed by pc

  • Rally MC: Robbie Thorpe Krautungalung , Gunnai Nation
  • Sina Brown: Polynesian Anti Globalisation Activist
  • Marisol Salinas Mapuche: Environmental Activist, Lasnet
  • Rayna Fahey: Treaty, Green Activist
  • Will Anderson: Civil Rights Defence
  • Liz Thompson: ORGASN, Fair wear
  • Anthony Main: ACDC, Socialist Party

  • Waiata by Ivan Davis (Tainui)


Across the world, people demand freedom for political prisoners!

10.09.07 292e.JPG
The Global Day Of Action in solidarity with those arrestes, harassed and questioned on and since October 15th has seen over 2000 people take to the streets across Aotearoa, while overseas, solidarity protests took place in many other parts of the world.

Auckland saw around 1000 people take to the streets of the central city, then march to the Remand Prison in Newmarket where many of the prisoners are being held. The protest was addresses by Rongomai Bailey, recently released on bail, amongst others. [ Report + Photos ] [ Photos + Video ]

Hamilton saw around 300 people protest in solidarity with the arrestees. [ Report + Photos + Video ]

Palmerston North saw around 100 people gather, with a speech from a local activist who was questioned by police. [ Report ] [ Report + Photos ]

In Wellington 450 people marched from Midland Park, past the Central Police Station where they were entertained by street theatre. The march ended in Civic Square for a rally with speakers, musicians, and Food Not Bombs. [ Report ] [ Report + Photos + Audio ]

Christchurch had 300 people marching, with street theatre and haka performed by local Tuhoe. The protest finished with a picnic. [ Report + Photos ]

Overseas, 4 people were arrested (and later released) at a solidarity demo outside the NZ Embassy in Den Haag, Holland [ Report + Photos ]. A dozen people visited the NZ Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland, to voice their protest [ Report ]. Approximately 70 people gathered in Melbourne, Australia to show their solidarity and support for those imprisoned [ Report + Photos ]. About 15 people gathered outside the NZ High Commission in London. [ Report ] A group demonstrated outside the NZ Consulate in Athens. [ Report + Photos ]

If you attended a demonstration (especially one without a report), please write up a report (and post any photos/video you may have) here at Aotearoa Indymedia.

10.09.07 064e.JPG
Stand In Solidarity!

The global day of action is not the end. Keep showing your support for the prisoners, their whanau and friends! For more events, check out the Civil Rights Defence events calendar.

  • Everywhere: Any letters emailed to lettersforprisoners[at]riseup[dot]net will printed out and distributed to arrestees. Obviously don't write anything that could negatively impact on you or anyone else! If you can help with processing these letters, please email the crew on the same address. For more information, see http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz.
  • Auckland: "Waha Nui" fundraiser for whanau of prisoners, Sunday 28 Oct at 6pm @ Te Karanga Gallery, 208 Karangahape Rd; films, music, korero, koha entry.
  • Wellington: Prisoners support and campaign organising meetings every Tuesday, 6pm, at 128 Abel Smith St. A range of solidarity events are coming up. [ Upcoming events ].
  • Christchurch: A benefit gig has been organised for Thursday 1st November at the Wunder Bar in Lyttelton. [ Poster ]
  • Dunedin: Picnic on Sunday Oct 28th to discuss the Terrorism Supression Act, Tuhoe history and Parihaka. 12 noon - 2:30pm, Otago Museum Reserve. [ Press releases 1 | 2 ]


Saturday - A 32 year old woman was granted bail in the Auckland District Court yesterday. The woman, a dancer, has name supression. Another of the accused, Aotearoa Indymedia activist Omar Hamed, is scheduled for a bail hearing on Monday 29th, but it is understood this may be postponed.

Sunday - A new Te Kotahi o Tuhoe website has been published to replace two previous Tuhoe websites shut down by the police when they removed the server hosting them, as well as Tino Rangatiratanga forum site AoCafe. This attack on Maori freedom of speech and association has been remarkably absent from mainstream media coverage of the dawn raids of Monday 15 Oct.

About 80 people attended a picnic in Dunedin to hand in their incendiary avocados in protest against the erosion of basic freedoms, such as freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

Monday One of the arrestees, Marama Mayrick, has been granted bail! She has also had name suppression lifted.

5:06pm - Police have applied to the Solicitor-General to lay charges under the Terrorism Supression Act.

There will be a protest in Auckland this Saturday at the Labour Party Conference, at the Bruce Mason Theatre on the North Shore. More details to follow!

6:22pm - The Wellington High Court has transferred the bail applications of the four Wellington prisoners (who are now all in Auckland prisons) to the Auckland High Court [ Press release from Michael Bott, lawyer for a Wellington prisoner ]. Tame Iti will have a bail application heard on November 7th in the Rotorua High Court.

Two of the Wellington prisoners are due to appear in the Wellington District Court on Tuesday for a depositions hearing on an unrelated charge. It is unclear as to whether this will go ahead.

Ben Harper's Oppression; A Xicano Interpretation

A powerful song, and I can only hope that I have not taken anything away from it. A statement on the oppression of different peoples, with an eye toward Mexicanos, especially. Nezua

Dedicated with love to all the whanau everywhere : Esa ola irá creciendo cada día que pase, esa ola ya no parará mas.Che
This wave will swell with everyday that passes, this wave will no longer be stopped)

Solidarity action in Mexicali, Mexico

A group of anarchists flew a Tino Rangatiratanga flag and distributed information about the Uruwera 17 for several hours on Saturday 27th October, in Mexicali city centre, in the lands of the Cucapa people.
Mexicali and Calexico are one city divided by an artificial line. A line that also divides many families and the lands of many indigenous peoples. This line is the border between the USA and Mexico, two countries which, like New Zealand, have histories of genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples that continue to this day.

One of the group, Alfredo Bonano, commented "As fellow people who want to make the world a better place, it's our responsibility to support the different social struggles that exist on this planet. We are fighting against the systematic repression that governments worldwide are using against social movements."

The Mexican government is currently holding hostage over 300 political prisoners and has an appalling record of systematically using murder, torture, and rape against people struggling for social change. The need for such change is obvious in this country, home to the richest person in the world, and millions of others who lack drinking water and basic food and medical needs.

Here in Mexico as in many other countries, multinational corporations and colonial or "post-colonial" governments continue killing and repressing indigenous peoples, stealing their lands and resources and desecrating their sacred spaces. But the indigenous peoples here continue to valiantly resist, from the famous Zapatistas in Chiapas, to others, less well-known and living in almost all of the states of Mexico.

Said another member of the group, Lucia Parsons, "As we continue our work in creating a new world free from oppression and exploitation, we send our love and support to all the political prisoners. You are not alone. We are continuing on the fight inspired by your strength and dedication, with dreams of your freedom in our hearts. (And tools to tear down prison walls in our hands)"

Freedom to all the political prisoners of the world!

Stop the represion of social movements!

No to the new "anti-terrorist" laws that erase our human rights!

Peoples of the world in resistance support one another!


Tame Iti To the Nation

I direct my gaze towards my sacred mountains – Taiarahia,
Maungapohatu, Tongariro and Taupiri. I look towards my river Waikato –
at every bend a taniwha.

To the high chief King Heitia, to the families, subtribes, the mother,
to my connections with Waikato and Te Arawa

To the families, subtribes and tribes throughout the land from Cape
Reinga to Murihiku (Stewart Island), to the Maori MPs, greetings to
you all. The dark cloud over the Urewera has covered the ancient
garments of Hinepokohurangi (the mist maiden – traditional tribal
ancestor for Tuhoe). The gnashing teeth are gnawing at the limited
powers of the authority of Tuhoe and the Maori people.

Guns and laws have arrived to terrify the Tuhoe people, their mana
motuhake (sovereignty) and that of all Maori.

To my relations the high chiefs of Waikato and Tuwharetoa, to all
families and subtribes everywhere, to the Maori MPs and to the workers
of the world – remain on the path of support and assistance to the
Tuhoe people of the Urewera and of all Maori.

Mauri ora (the spirit of life)

By – Tame Wairere Iti
From the territory of Manaipoto - Waikeria




Date: 25 October 2007

Auckland 6am: An eyewitness to last weeks raid's in the Uruwera Valley, whose returned home to Canada, says she's shocked at what she saw.

Tina Fraser, a university lecturer from British Columbia, was visiting her home town of Ruatoki the day police swarmed the small town.

Fraser told Pacific Radio News police were certainly aggressive and intimidating. (listen)

Fraser, who teaches at the Prince George University, says she's devastated also by the Government's decision to promote an Anti-Terrorist Bill, which she says is so American. (listen)

She told us she doesn't believe the police theory that military stye camps have been operating in the Uruwera and that Tuhoe activist Tame Iti is involved.

Fraser says she thinks the raids have more to do with land rights and police wanting to crackdown on indigenous rights. (listen)



He Wakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene

"He Wakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene (the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand) was adopted at Waitangi on the 28th October 1835.

What were the aspirations and intentions of these rangatira who sought to assert mana motuhake for the tribal nations of Aotearoa?

Would they be satisfied with the progress we have made some 172 years later, in our journey towards the rangatiratanga of Maori?

We have withstood challenge, we have resisted the oppressive powers of those who seek to undermine our authority; and we will continue in our ultimate transformation."
Tariana Turia

Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe


Solidarity with Tino Rangatiratanga in Geneva

Activists visited the New Zealand Enbassy in Geneva this morning. Although initially told that for human rights they should see the UN (!), they finally delivered this declaration.

A dozen activists brought the following declaration to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations at midday this Friday. The activists represented three Genevan groups active in defense of indigenous rights and anti-globalisation struggles and announced their intention to organise a demonstration in downtown Geneva in the coming days.

Geneva, Switzerland
Friday, 0ctober 26, 2007

To the Prime minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark
To Police minister Annette King,
To the press,

By this statement, the Association Action Mondiale Contre la Mondialisation and the undersigned persons wish to strongly condemn the massive, indiscriminate and unjustified political repression unleashed on the Maori people by the New Zealand government.

This week, hundreds of masked, heavily armed "anti-terrorist" commandos sealed off and searched whole Maori communities, particularly traumatising their children (one commando even searched a schoolbus, pointing guns at kids!). As the Maori say, they are not the terrorists but those that are being terrorised! Seventeen or more activists have been arrested on the pretext of searching for arms, but the massive searches have uncovered nothing significant and the persons arrested (some of whom we have known personally here at the United Nations) are indigenous and antiglobalisation activists, not terrorists!

Quite evidently, in New Zealand as elsewhere, the worst suspicions concerning the so-called "Anti-Terrorist" laws are confirmed. Worldwide, terrorists attacks prove to be just an excuse to massively reduce civil liberties, the better to silence the growing resistance to neoliberal austerity programs, constantly growing economic inequalities and catastrophic social and environmental policies.

New Zealand will lose all claim to being a society respectful of indigenous and civil rights more generally if it does not immediately abandon this scandalous witchhunt.

With the protesters in New Zealand we call for the immediate release of all the victims of police repression!

Action Populaire Contre la Mondialisation (APCM)
Defensoría Internacional de los Derechos de los Pueblos, DIDEPU
Espacio Afroamericano


public domainThis work is in the public domain.

International Day of Action on the NT Invasion, November 17

Call for Solidarity with Aboriginal People in the Northern Territory
Stop the Invasion!

International Day of Action, November 17th

In June this year, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard,
announced that there would be a ‘National Emergency Response’ to
combat child abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern
Territory. The measures announced included the quarantining of half of
all welfare payments, the abolition of the Community Development
Employment Program, the appointment of managers for 73 prescribed
communities, compulsory sexual health examinations of children, and
the abolition of the permit system, amongst other things.

These measures are a violation of human rights, and is obviously
racist and authoritarian. The passage of the Emergency Response
legislation is dependent on the suspension of the Racial
Discrimination Act, and the Northern Territory Native Title Act.
Federal police and the military have been sent into the NT to enforce
these measures.

Aboriginal people that work through the Community Development
Employment Program (CDEP) manage their own wages and money. Abolishing
CDEP will push people onto welfare and the welfare income management
system that allows for quarantining and tight control of how people’s
money is spent. Many people running businesses on CDEP in remote
outstations are already being forced to move into larger regional
towns. The extraordinary measures give the Federal Government power to
seize lands and property without compensation. The owners of those
lands and properties have no right of appeal. Lands will be leased for
five years, but the government has plans to extend these measures for
99 years. It is entirely up to ministerial discretion whether rent is
paid on those lands or not.

The Federal Government has appointed non-Indigenous business managers
to the ‘prescribed’ communities. These managers have the power to
decide who lives in a community and who must leave; they can observe
any meeting of an organisation working at the community, they can
change any local programme. Many Aboriginal communities consider these
measures, often being administered by under-prepared military
personnel, as an invasion rather than an intervention.

These measures return Aboriginal people to the days of mission
stations, where life was tightly controlled by authoritarian managers.
It is a return to times of colonial control on Aboriginal life, and
the complete absence of any autonomy or self-determination. The
removal of basic property rights as enjoyed by all other Australians,
with the abolition of the permit system, is a gross violation of human
rights. Even the Northern Territory police oppose this measure, for
the likely adverse effect it will have on crime.

Some $570 million is being spent on these measures. Half of that money
will be spent on the salaries of 700 new bureaucratic positions
created to regulate this intervention. $88 million will be spent on
measures to control the incomes of Aboriginal people on any government
payment (including aged pensions and veterans payments).

This is an insult to the hard work of Aboriginal people who have been
campaigning for basic services in remote communities. Roads, schools,
health care, housing and social services are desperately needed by
these communities. It is estimated that the housing backlog alone for
Northern Territory Aboriginal communities is half a billion dollars.
Moreover, with the publication of the Closing the Gap report by Oxfam
earlier this year, it has been shown that Indigenous life expectancy
is 17 years below that of non-Indigenous life expectancy.

A week and a half ago, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard,
announced the Federal election for November 24th.

This came shortly after Australia voted against the UN Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous peoples (along with Canada, New Zealand and
the USA).

It is time to stand up for justice for Indigenous peoples everywhere,
to demand either a change of policy, or a change of government!

One week before the Australian Federal election, on November 17th,
various groups across Australia will be taking action to show
opposition to the Federal government’s intervention into the Northern
Territory. We hope that those outside Australia will join us in
calling for an end to this government, an end to racist, colonialist
policies towards Indigenous people, and support for the strong
self-determination that Indigenous people demonstrate every day.

With allegations that the Australian Federal government is
manipulating international media about the intervention, it is vitally
important that information about the intervention and views of
Indigenous people in the Northern Territory are widely disseminated
through social justice networks. Please use your community and
activist media to promote the interests of Indigenous Australians, and
Indigenous people worldwide!

Learn more:

National Aboriginal Alliance: nationalaboriginalalliance.org/

Combined Aboriginal Organisations of the Northern Territory -
alternative to the government’s Emergency Response:
Women for Wik: womenforwik.org/
Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation: antar.org.au/
Oxfam: oxfam.org.au/world/pacific/australia/
Koori Mail: koorimail.com/

Things you can do:

1. Organise a protest outside the Australian Consulate in your nearest
city. Make it clear that the Howard government’s shameful opportunism
on human rights is gathering international criticism.

2. Donate to the National Aboriginal Alliance.

3. Spread the news of this horrendous violation of human rights to as
many people as possible. Write an article about it, post to your blog
about it, send the news to your friends via email. Encourage your
friends to speak out about it as well.

4. If you are part of a political organisation, collective, or group,
please send your words of solidarity and support to the National
Aboriginal Alliance. Send messages of solidarity to: secretariat at
nationalaboriginalalliance dot org.

5. Write letters to Mal Brough, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs,
or John Howard. You can find guidelines here:



International day of action Fed square 12pm Sat 27th

  • Rally MC: Robbie Thorpe Krautungalung , Gunnai Nation
  • Sina Brown: Polynesian Anti Globalisation Activist
  • Marisol Salinas Mapuche: Environmental Activist, Lasnet
  • Rayna Fahey: Treaty, Green Activist
  • Will Anderson: Civil Rights Defence
  • Liz Thompson: ORGASN, Fair wear
  • Anthony Main: ACDC, Socialist Party

  • Waiata by Ivan Davis (Tainui)

Open mic for expressions of love and solidarity



URGENT!!!! Six Nations Man's Life is at risk due to incarceration

We are sending out this important message.  There are currently
approximately 15 people from Six Nations either detained or going
through the court process as a result of defending their land rights.
Information as to how you can contribute financially can be found at the
end of this message.

Thursday October 25, 2007

Incarcerated Six Nations Man Threatened by Institutional Staff
by Janie Jamieson
Six Nations

Skylar Williams, a Mohawk Wolf from Six Nations has been held without
bail at the Hamilton Barton St. Jail since the illegal arrests at
Stirling Street September 19, 2007. Today we held a rally for him
outside the jail where he has been in the "hole" for two days.

We have reason to believe if Skyler is harmed in anyway, we know he is
the target of planned and deliberate threats and violence by jail
institution staff members.

A few days ago Skylar woke up to find the plumbing in his cell on range
5 was backed up. He notified institution staff on his range. He was
accused by staff of backing up the plumbing. The mess was left.
Skylar asked for a drink of water, he was told by staff to drink from
the toilet. Skylar responded, "there's sh*t" in there. The institution
staff's paid professional advise to Skylar was to "take the sh*t out and
then have a drink." Skylar refused and notified his lawyer of the
situation. At this point Skyler was without clean water for
approximately 18 hours.

Skyler's lawyer then notified another institutional staff member with a
higher ranking position. The plumbing was fixed. Skyler left his cell
but at lockdown upon his return, Skyler discovered the plumbing
was mysteriously backed up again. The higher ranking institutional staff
attempted to solve the problem by moving Skyler to another cell.

After this incident Skyler was approached by an institutional staff
member and taken to a room with two other staff. At this point Skyler
was told by the one of the staff that that particular staff member
referred to himself as being "GOD" at Barton St. Jail. He then
threatened Skyler by telling him if he and his lawyer didn't stop
causing sh*$ for him, he was going to "fu*$" Skyler up. He also said he
would have it arranged so Skyler's lawyer would have no access to him.

This staff member went on to inform Skyler of his plan to "fu*$" him up.
(There were 2 other staff present when this threat occurred.) According
to the staff member Skyler's fate is supposed to happen in three steps...

1. Skyler would be given a "misconduct" by the institutional staff.

2. Skyler would then be sent to the "hole" for 3 days.

3. After Skyler was done in the "hole" he would immediately be sent to
the range 3 of the jail.

Range 3 is where the men who are waiting to be tried for rape, murder
and other serious crimes are held. Some of these men have already been
convicted of such crimes and are waiting to be shipped off to federal

This is where men who have nothing left to lose are sent. In this range
the inmates do special favours for the institutional staff for as little
as an extra meal or coffee. It's a place where you simply do not "rat"
on the institutional staff. Inmates are pitted against one another.
It's also a place where Skyler was told, there are men as big as 321
pounds that could really "fu*$" him up. (The jail staff asked Skyler how
much he weighed just to verify Skyler /would/ be quite smaller and at
greater risk of being injured if sent to Range 3.)

Skyler was also told by the institutional staff the last guy they had
"fu*$ed" up had to crawl to the jail cell door covered in blood. Skyler
was told there were men in Range 3 "waiting" for his arrival. Skyler was
advised by this paid government employee to "quit his bitc*ing" and "to
take his lumps."

Skyler's lawyer spoke with the high ranking institutional staff and was
told by him the only thing he could do to guarantee Skyler's safety was
to put him in isolation where he would be under 24 hour video
surveillance, however Skyler would have to give up the staff members'
names who were threatening him.

Skyler's lawyer has already filed a motion for "habeus corpus" to have
Skyler physically present in court tomorrow for his bail review.

Skyler's cell mate contacted his family this morning and informed them
in the last 24 hours Skyler has been given a "MISCONDUCT" by staff and
has been placed in "the hole" for 3 days.

The instituional staff member has kept his promise to threaten Skyler's
life and safety. This staff member's plan is gone passed the first two

Something needs to be done immediately to guarantee Skyler's safety and
security. If there is interference in Skylers safety and security or if
his life is put at risk we believe it would be the direct result of
mistreatment at the discretion of institutional staff. We believe they
are abusing their authority to ensure Skyler's life and well being is
put at risk. We believe their attempts at intimidating Skyler are
deliberate and being somewhat overlooked by senior institutional staff.

Let's hope Skyler will gets out of Barton St. Jail safely with his life.
His bail review is at the Cayuga Courthouse tomorrow at 9:00am.

Please forward immediately.

niawen, skennen

Janie Jamieson
Six Nations

Donations for Skyler's legal defense can be sent to:

BMO Ohsweken Branch Transit # 37522
Legal Fund 3014-873
and Site Fund 3014-929

Signatories are Josephine Sandy
Donna Powless and Janie Jamieson

Cheques can be made payable to either the
Six Nations Reclamation Legal Fund or
the Six Nations Reclamation Site Fund

c/o Janie Jamieson RR#1 Ohsweken , ON.
N0A 1M0

For more info e-mail
or call (905) 768-8590

The threat to your civil liberties - and your trousers

The actions of the police in recent days are hard to explain - until we realise that they're desperately upping the stakes, after losing the first round of 'Operation Eight'.

In New Zealand, pressure from the Bush administration in the weeks after 9/11 ensured the passage of a law which gave the police shiny new powers to search, arrest, and prosecute anyone who might even think about committing very vaguely defined 'terrorist acts'.

Over the past few years, and the past eighteen months, especially, the police and the spooks of the SIS appear to have used the 'War on Terror' as an excuse to pursue a vendetta against a few of their old enemies. Pesky Maoris, tree-hugging hippies, annoying peaceniks, and Bolshie trade unionists have all been placed under survellience, in an operation that has cost the police alone a cool eight million dollars - so far. (The SIS has repeatedly had its operating budget increased in recent years, and there's no doubt, after John Key's latest gaffe, that some of that dosh has been blown on 'Operation Eight'.)

The cops have made a mess of 'Operation Eight' over the past week and a half. With those eight million dollars at stake, they went all ninja in Tuhoe Country, smashed their way into activist pads in the big cities, and invited the media along to film the party. Carefully leaked articles in the Sunday papers talked of an 'IRA-style war' by a grand coalition of mokoed Maori, vegan peaceniks, and Save the Snails activists.

Within a few days, though, it was clear that eight million dollars hadn't bought a very good case. At best, the police had a handful of unlicensed guns and some recordings of Tame and a few mates sounding off about George Bush.

Quite frankly, I'd have been much more surprised if the cops managed to find a couple of licensed guns in the Ureweras. And if they want to find folks expressing a desire to see the untimely demise of America's beloved Commander in Chief, all the cops need to do is drop into one of dozens of internet discussion forums on a rainy day, or tune in to talkback radio whenever a right-wing host like Leighton Smith or Michael Laws isn't working the edit button.

Many of the allegations leaked by 'anonymous' sources to the papers made less sense than Graham Henry after that game at Cardiff Arms park. We were told that terrorist cells were 'poised to strike' in the main centres - but police raids and inquiries in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch failed to net anything more deadly than laptop computers.

We were told that Tame Iti had decided six months ago to abandon all his other projects and 'dedicate himself totally' to building Te Qaeda cells in the Ureweras - yet Tame made a well-publicised trip to Fiji only three months ago.

We were told that Labour's Cabinet was briefed about the seriousness of the terrorist threat before 'Operation Eight' began - yet the Maori Affairs Minister has bluntly declared that he doesn't think Tame is a terrorist, and Helen Clark is refusing to endorse police actions. Ross Meurant, the senior cop who regularly found red and brown terrorists under his bed in the '80s and 90s, has rubbished 'Operation Eight' and declared that the police are 'brainwashed' by racism. Coming from the man famous for having the reddest neck in Northland, that's quite a criticism.

We were told that Clark was the target of an assassination plot - yet no special security arrangements were made for her either before or after the arrests, and it is well-known in the activist community that one of the arrestees is a member of Helen's old Princes Street branch of the Labour Party. A few days before the 2005 election, I had a long conversation with another arrestee during which he urged me to use my vote to get a Labour-led government elected. Te Qaeda clearly works in mysterious ways.

In the months after the invasion of Iraq, Bush administration muppets repeatedly told critics to wait patiently for evidence of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda to be made public. Give us time to complete investigtions, they kept saying. All the evidence will eventually be revealed, they told us. Of course, there was no evidence - if there had been, it would have been rushed onto Fox News faster than a Texan can draw a pistol. The requests for time were stalling tactics, designed to take pressure off Bush.

The same is true of the repeated cries of 'we need more time' that we now hear from the Kiwi police. The cops and the spooks have spent eighteen months and millions of dollars trying to nail a terrorist army in the Ureweras, and they've failed - not because they haven't had the time and resources, but because there was and is no terrorist army in the Ureweras. As Maori protest against the antics of police ninjas in Tuhoe Country and activists and high-profile lawyers get behind the arrestees in the big cities, the police are under mounting pressure.

Rather than admit they have blundered, though, the cops are playing double or nothing. By locking the media out of court, opposing bail for trivial firearms charges, leaking vague but lurid inventions to the more excitable papers, and attacking those who criticise them as apologists for terrorists and - bizarrely - P addiction, the cops are trying to buy time and put off the terrible day when they have to return to the real world and admit that Tame Iti is not some Tuhoe Osama.

The police are also lashing out, blindly and in vain, against more and more ordinary New Zalanders, in a desperate attempt to uncover evidence for what does not exist. Last week they followed up their raids on Tuhoe country and activist hangouts in the main centres with a series of house calls on such grave threats to national security as a banking analyst, a group of Maori musicians, an elderly, apolitical man who happened to have a Tuhoe son-in-law, and a middle-aged couple who raise chickens in Taupo. More windows have been broken, more laptops have been confiscated, and more knickers have been sniffed, but those ground to air missile launchers and napalm bombs have remained frustratingly elusive.

The police appear to be responding to these setbacks with a clever little manoeuvre. Since they can't find anything that fits the Oxford English Dictionary understanding of 'weapon', they've created their own definition, and put it to use. That, at least, is the way I interpret the raid the police made on veteran trade unionist and socialist Jimmy O'Dea today. Jimmy O'Dea is well-known for helping to organise trade union support for the epic and ultimately victorious Maori campaign to win back Bastion Point. O'Dea was instrumental in getting Auckland's workers to go on strike in protest at the decision of the Muldoon government to use the army to break up the occupation in 1978. Presumably that's enough to make him an honourary member of Te Qaeda.

O'Dea, who is now seventy years old and in poor health, found himself confronted by eight - that's right, he counted 'em, eight - carloads of police demanding to see his 'hunting knives and trousers'. It's not clear yet whether Jimmy got to keep his pants on, or whether the cops took the weapon away for safe keeping, along with the 'evidence' they pulled out of knickers' draws last week.

I believe that public opinion is turning against the police, and that 'Operation Eight' will eventually be exposed as a very expensive exercise in conspiracy theory politics. The police have gone for double or nothing, and they will end up with nothing. When that happens, I'll have a good laugh at our local Keystone Cops.

I can't laugh yet, though, because sixteen arrestees are still sitting in prison cells. Like many of you, I suspect, I know some of these victims of 'Operation Eight'. I'll be taking part in the Global Day of Action against this coming Saturday. If you're in Auckland, the event gets under away at noon, in Aotea Square. If you can't make it on Saturday, then flick some cash toward the Civil Rights Defence Committee, which is doing a fine job of defending all of us against the police.
posted by maps at 10/25/2007 09:34:00 PM

Tame Iti letter to the Motu (ki roto i te reo Maori)

click on pic to enlarge

Tame Iti's letter is a plea for support from Maori leaders, tribes,
sub-tribes and families, and other New Zealanders. The letter is written
in traditional idiom and style. In line with an older Tuhoe dialect the g
is often dropped, such as "kini" instead of "kingi" for "king".

Several words are metaphorical or iconic, each having multiple layers of
meaning or symbolism these are expanded in the translation.

Iti opens in a classically respectful manner acknowledging the sacred
mountains of his ancestors. He also acknowledges kinship links to the
traditional leaderships of the Te Heuheu and Kingitanga dynasties of
Tuwharetoa and Tainui. Iti beseeches their assistance and support.

The letter is humble. Iti frames the context of what has happened over the
last two weeks within the context of Tuhoe and Maoridom rather than
himself. In traditional style, he leaves the choice of support to those he
addresses, while cautioning that the challenges now facing Tuhoe should
concern all Maori.

Reactions will be interesting. The appeal to Maoridom, traditional style
and selflessness will appeal to a broad range of Maori.

The major leaderships such as the Kingitanga and Tuwharetoa and others may
seek time to reflect before responding. Their challenge will be to balance
a strong sense of duty to a fellow leader and to Tuhoe while maintaining a
dignity and aloofness above political gesturing.

Many will express support on the basis that the events of October 15 at
Ruatoki were an over-reaction far outweighing any valid charges and too
reminiscent of the 1880s storming of the pacifist settlement at Parihaka,
the unjust confiscation in Tuhoe, the 1900s arrest of Rua Kenana and
killing of Maori at Maungapohatu, and the clearance of radicals at Bastion
Point in 1978.


28 October 2007


Brisbane Stop Black Deaths in custody rally 06

dedicated to tame iti and tona ropu rama

Commentary on the recent invasion into Tuhoe to get the whanau Tame Iti and Rama.

We are freedom fighters not terrorists . there is a difference

Rise up Maubere people!

This clip is a preview of Rise up Maubere people! FRETILIN today which is a 36 minute documentary filmed in the Tetum language, with English subtitles and some English narration, about the first 4 years of the FRETILIN government in Timor-Leste. The documentary will help English speaking people better understand some of the very positive things that have been achieved by the FRETILIN government in the past four years and to see East Timorese, from the leadership to those in the rural districts, tell their own story in their own language.

To get obtain a DVD of Rise up Maubere people! FRETILIN today, please visit www.timortruth.com to download and complete an order form.

Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide
Song by: Dwayne Pamajewon
Nya:weh D for suggesting your song.

Crimson Tide
Written by: Dwayne Pamajewon

Take your rightful place
As you've done before
Bring forth the truth
That'll punish you no more

Dig up your racial slurs
Buried in the sand
Toss them at the sea of red
Then hide and wash your hands

No resolutions
Tempers are going to flare
Someone gets an itchy finger
Pulls the trigger among those who stare

Pre Chorus

Now here come's
Here comes the force
Here comes the rage to resistance
To even out the score
Now here come's the waves
The Redmans' waves


Well, it's a Crimson Tide
Right before my eyes
Watching the Redman
Uncover the truth
Now watch this country come alive

AIM leaders drumming and singing

Taken at the '06 Columbus day protest.


Urewera 17 Update: Bail Denied, Another Police Raid, Another Activist Named, Wellington Activists Moved

At 12:15 on Thursday, hundreds of people gathered to march in support of 4 of the Urewera 17 prisoners, including Tame Iti, who were appearing in the Rotorua District Court."Flags, drums, banners and a passionate flow of over 700 kaumatua, pakeke, rangatahi and tamariki marched peacefully against the police anti-terror raids which began 15 October." - TangataWhenua.com

Also on Thursday afternoon, the home of 72 year old socialist Jimmy O'Dea, in Bastion Point, was raided by 8 carloads of Police [ Report ]. Jimmy has been a political activist for decades, and was one of the organisers of the union green ban on Bastion Point in the 1970s. Police deny this action was connected to the 'Operation 8' dawn raids but supporters are skeptical. [ Blogs 1 | 2 ]

In Sydney, around 50 people protested outside the New Zealand Consulate-General, with speakers from the local Aboriginal community, anarchists, Maori and socialists. [ Photos ]

On Tuesday independent film-maker Rongomai Bailey was released on bail and his name suppression lifted. On Thursday, another of the Urewera 17 prisoners was publicly named. 19 year old Omar Hamed, an active Indymedia volunteer, faces 3 charges of illegal posession under the Arms Act.

Two of the Wellington prisoners have now been moved to a remand prison in Auckland, where Jamie Lockett was beaten, requiring treatment in hospital. The remaining two Wellington prisoners are still to be moved. The courts decisions to move prisoners from their home areas to remand prisons in Auckland has upset family and friends, who will have to travel long distances to visit and support the prisoners indefinitely, if bail continues to be denied.

Stand in solidarity! Global Day Of Action - Saturday 27th Oct, 12 noon

Organise an event in your centre for the Global Day Of Action now, and post the details here at Aotearoa Indymedia.

  • Everywhere: Any letters emailed to lettersforprisoners[at]riseup[dot]net will printed out and distributed to arrestees. Obviously don't write anything that could negatively impact on you or anyone else! If you can help with processing these letters, please email the crew on the same address. For more information, see http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz.
  • Auckland: Demonstration Saturday Oct 27th at 12 noon meeting in Aotea Square. [ Poster ] "Waha Nui" fundraiser for whanau of prisoners, Sunday 28 Oct at 6pm @ Te Karanga Gallery, 208 Karangahape Rd; films, music, korero, koha entry.
  • Hamilton: Protest Oct Sat 27th, meet 12 noon @ Garden Place.
  • Whanganui: Rally and march Saturday October 27th at 12 noon. Meet at the River Traders Market on Moutoa Quay (behind Taupo Quay).
  • Palmerston North: Protest Saturday Oct 27, 1pm @ Corner of the Square and Church st.
  • Wellington: Protest Sat 27th, meet 12 noon @ Midland Park. Bring noisemakers and rage [ Poster ] [ Press Release ]. Fundraising gig, Sat 27 Oct, 9pm, Happy, Tory St, featuring Upper Hutt Posse, Mr Sterile Assembly and more. A range of solidarity events are happening over the coming days. [ Upcoming events ].
  • Christchurch: A solidarity rally and march will be held in Cathedral Square at 12noon on Saturday Oct 27th, followed by a picnic with live music [ Posters: 1 & 2 ]. A benefit gig has been organised for Thursday 1st November at the Wunder Bar in Lyttelton.
  • Dunedin: Picnic on Sunday Oct 28th to discuss the Terrorism Supression Act, Tuhoe history and Parihaka. 12 noon - 2:30pm, Otago Museum Reserve.
  • Melbourne, Australia: A solidarity demonstration will be held Saturday 27th in Federation Square, 12noon.
  • London, England: Solidarity protest Saturday 27th, 12 noon @ NZ High Comission, 80 Haymarket, SW1Y, Westminster.
  • San Francisco, AZ, USA: The Black Mesa Water Coalition and Native Movement Collective have organised a solidarity protest/fundraiser on Oct 27th, 7pm-12pm at 113 S. San Francisco Flagstaff, AZ.

Donations can be made to the defence fund. See the Civil Rights Defence Committee website for details.

The Clash- Clampdown (live in Aotearoa)

Solidarity with the Urewera 18! Free them now!


Hey, hey!
the kingdom is ransacked
the jewels all taken back
and the chopper descends
they're hidden in the back
with a message on a half-baked tape
with the spool going round
saying im back here in this place
and i could cry
and there's smoke you could click on

What are we gonna do now?
Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
’Cos working for the clampdown
They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
When we're working for the clampdown
We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers
We will train our blue-eyed men
To be young believers

The judge said five to ten but I say double that again
I'm not working for the clampdown
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?

The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
The men at the factory are old and cunning
You don't owe nothing, so boy get runnin'
It's the best years of your life they want to steal

But, you grow up and you calm down and
You're working for the clampdown
You start wearing the blue and brown and
You're working for the clampdown
So you got someone to boss around
It makes you feel big now
You drift until you brutalize
You made your first kill now

In these days of evil presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due
For working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!
Working for the clampdown

Yeah I’m working hard in Harrisburg
Working hard in Petersburg
Working for the clampdown
Working for the clampdown
Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong
Begging to be melted down
Gitalong, gitalong
And I give away no secrets – ha!
More work

Jane Kelsey speaks out at Waitangi

by Omar Hamed

Law Professor Jane Kelsey speaks out at Waitangi during a protest targeting the attendance of Phillipines President Gloria Arroyo at a Regional Interfaith Forum.
Added: June 01, 2007

King Kapisi - Reverse Resistance

Dedicated to Omar Hamed, with love from our family, made a beautiful banner bro for the tautoko rally apopo. Kia Kaha Bro, Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou Ake Ake Ake !!!!!!

Stand in solidarity! Global Day Of Action - Saturday 27th Oct, 12 noon

I'm banner making & baking sis, see you there.

Don’t forget to make yourself heard on Saturday. If there’s nothing on in your area, organise something!

I’m baking, stitching and painting!

  • Everywhere: Any letters emailed to lettersforprisoners[at]riseup[dot]net will printed out and distributed to arrestees. Obviously don’t write anything that could negatively impact on you or anyone else! If you can help with processing these letters, please email the crew on the same address. For more information, see http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz.
  • Auckland: Demonstration Saturday Oct 27th at 12 noon meeting in Aotea Square. [ Poster ]
  • Hamilton: Protest Sat 27th, meet 12 noon @ Garden Place.
  • Rotorua: Hikoi Thursday 25th Oct, meet 9am Apumoana Marae (by Blue Lake), hikoi to Rotorua District Court for bail hearings.
  • Whanganui: Rally and march Saturday October 27th at 12 noon. Meet at the River Traders Market on Moutoa Quay (behind Taupo Quay).
  • Wellington: Protest Sat 27th, meet 12 noon @ Midland Park. Bring noisemakers and rage [ Poster ]. Prisoner support meetings are being held at 128 Abel Smith St, 6pm, each Tuesday. A range of solidarity events are happening over the coming days. [ Upcoming events ].
  • Christchurch: A solidarity rally and march will be held in Cathedral Square at 12noon on Saturday Oct 27th, followed by a picnic with live music [ Posters: 1 & 2 ]. A meeting to plan solidarity work will be held Thursday 25th, 6pm at the Otautahi Social Centre, 206 Barbadoes St. A benefit gig has been organised for Thursday 1st November at the Wunder Bar in Lytellton.
  • Dunedin: Picnic on Sunday Oct 28th to discuss the Terrorism Supression Act, Tuhoe history and Parihaka. 12 noon - 2:30pm, Otago Museum Reserve.
  • Sydney, Australia: Public meeting & demonstration on Thursday October 25th, 5:30pm outside NZ Consulate-General, 55 Hunter St, Sydney
  • Melbourne, Australia: A solidarity demonstration will be held Saturday 27th in Federation Square, 12noon.
  • London, England: Solidarity protest Saturday 27th, 12 noon @ NZ High Comission, 80 Haymarket, SW1Y, Westminster.
Donations can be made to the defence fund. See the Civil Rights Defence Committee website for details. Or if you’re coming to Melbourne, we’ll be collecting on the day to send over one big donation to cut down on paypal fees


Omar Hamed is my Brother

Omar Hamed
Aged 19 - Student


Profile By Joseph Barratt

Standing at the dock is a skinny 19-year-old boy, fluffy hair, wearing glasses and an old wool jersey, he gives a smile to his mother and friends.

Like all the defendants Omar Hamed is charged with firearm offences and police are still considering laying terrorist charges against him – he is one of the 17-arrested in the police raids last week.

Half-Palestinian, born in Greece but raised in New Zealand, he has campaigned for social justice from an early age. In the past he has told reporters that he gained his inspiration from seeing his mother struggling to stop National and NZ First attacks on social welfare.

He told them that once he began to get a better understanding of issues he started writing and educating others. He has written several pieces published on Scoop.co.nz in recent months.

An active member in Students for peace and justice in Palestine, Omar is also active in a range of causes in New Zealand, that include the www.Supersizemypay.com campaign aimed at raising the minimum wage, and Radical Youth.

He currently studies History and Sociology at Auckland University.

Maire Leadbeater the head of the New Zealand Indonesian Human Rights Committee and sister of Green MP Keith Locke has worked together a lot with him.

She describes him as someone who is, “very dedicated and committed to human justice.”

“He was one of the key people with an interest in the Superfunds,” she said. “He did a lot of research into the superfund investments.”

The Governments Superfund has come under pressure this year because of revelations of apparent unethical investments, it includes investments in arms manufacturers, nuclear technology, and Total- the French petroleum company that has operations in Burma.

He was “keen for everyone to work together [to raise the Superfund issue]” Leadbeater says, he even attended a meeting with Superfund director in August to discuss the possibility of ending those investments.

A friend and activist that has known him for 3 ½ years says he was an articulate speaker and also very passionate.

He went on to say that that some people come along to protests for the fun of it but he was really committed, he would spend hours researching and writing about the different causes.

“He is someone who cares about the issues, which stems from the fact that he cares about people,” the friend said.

Hamed was also instrumental in organizing the recent protests against the US-NZ Partnership forum and also lives and helps run A Space Inside Social Centre, an Anarchist collective on Symonds Street. It runs as a bike workshop, library, meeting room for discussion of ideas and holds film screenings and shows for anyone interested.



PUBLIC ENEMY "Don't Believe The Hype"

Re: name revealed /Love to Bro

Omar has done awesome activism in Opposing the FTA with Amerikkka &
Neo Colonialism in the Pacific (amongst heaps of other solid things)


By Omar Hamed


Omar Hamed:A Citizen’s Guide To An Emerging Empire
Thursday, 9 November 2006,


Selling out our neighbours and serving the empire

A commentary on Winston Peters Foreign Policy “Five Year Plan’
By Omar Hamed


> Kia ora whanau
> Omar is a dear friend of our whanau, and gave us awesome tautoko when
> I was picked up after the g20 last year. Tautoko back at ya bro.
> Ana
> Another of 17 alleged terrorists rounded up in nationwide police
> swoops last week can now be revealed.
> He is Omar Hamed, a 19-year-old Auckland man facing three charges of
> illegal possession of a firearm.
> It is alleged Hamed - a Palestinian, born in Greece, but raised on the
> North Shore - was twice in possession of firearm in Tauranga between
> January 10 and January 14 this year, then was in possession of a
> semi-automatic rifle, in Auckland, between September 13 and
September 16.
> His lawyer Anthony Rogers last week failed in a District Court bid to
> prevent publication of his name and picture, but appealed Judge
> Josephine Bouchier's ruling to the High Court.
> However, the deadline for that application past at 4.30pm today.
> Hamed is currently in custody, awaiting an Auckland District Court
> appearance on November 1.

Youssou N'dour / Jimi M'baye-Birima

Artist: Youssou Ndour
Song: Birima
He assumed the throne of Cajor
And became well-known for his festive reign
Where every occasion was reason for
Celebration in great style
Having inherited a rich oral tradition
He encouraged local musicians
And his patronage gave rise to the flourishing of
The music known as mbaboor

Ah! Birima!
A day spent in your presence
Was the picture of hospitality!

This music was transmitted by the griots
Who painted vivid portraits of the kingdom
Mbaboor became inextricably linked
To the history of Cajor

Most importantly, it forged a new and enduring link
Between royalty and the common people
Where relations had been different before
As the classes lived and struggled and
Celebrated together
Common experience allowed them to identify
With one another

Ah! Birima!
A day spent in your presence
Was the picture of hospitality!


Speaker Box - Waha Nui

Mixed Media-Film-Acoustic Music-Spoken Word-Guest Speakers

On the 28th of October 2007 to commemorate the "Declaration of Independence" 1835

6pm @ Te Karanga Art Gallery 208 Karangahape Rd

Raise the Consciousness: Current state Violations on Human Rights

Nau Mai haere mai!!
Fundraiser for the whanau affected by the Police Raids



London Protest in Support of Urewera 17

please forward to everyone you know in London.
(looks like we're competing with an anarchist book fair, but people might take a break for lunch?!)

Article posted on UK Indymedia:

Demand release of Aotearoa/NZ Political Prisoners
Free the Urewera 17! Global Day of Action

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007
Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: NZ High Commission London
Street: 80 Haymarket, SW1Y, Westminster
City/Town: London, United Kingdom

17 political activists in Aotearoa/New Zealand are being held in jail and threatened with charges of terrorism. What they have in common is supporting tino rangatiratanga, Maori claims to self-determination. These arrests are political (new tougher terrorism laws are coming up for debate in parliament) and aimed at creating a climate of fear. Therefore we see these arrests as state terrorism and demand the immediate release of the prisoners. This event is in support of a global day of action called by supporters of the prisoners.

Meet at the New Zealand High Commission in London, 12 noon on Saturday 27th. Bring banners, placards, noise makers and friends!

send the call out far and wide. If not in London, have your own protest in your city!

In a wave of massive state repression, 300+ Police, in many cases armed, raided houses around Aotearoa / NZ on October 16th making 17 arrests. Search warrants were carried out in Auckland, Whakatane, Ruatoki, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch. Police are also seeking up to 60 people for questioning. The arrestees are all activists in the Tino Rangatiratanga, peace and environmental movements.

Moana Jackson: Primer on terrorism allegations

Kia ora,

below is Moana Jackson's Primer on the allegations of terrorism made last week, a printable formatted copy is available at
http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/mj231007.pdf An html versios will be available later tonight on the 'NZ "terrorism" in perspective' web page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzterror.htm



- Moana Jackson.

“I weep for what has just happened at Maungapohatu in Tuhoe. The Police raid seems to be about punishing Kenana for questioning the Crown and will only take us back in the mists of fear and doubt…I wonder if we will ever stop worrying when it might happen again”. - Karaitiana Rarere, Ngäti Kahungunu, 1916.


The events that have unfolded since the recent “anti-terrorist” Operation Eight in Tuhoe and elsewhere have left many whänau and communities confused, hurt and traumatised.

Politicians have urged people to withhold comment or criticism until the judicial process has been played out but the flaws in the process to date plus the very real hurt that has been caused, particularly in the Mäori community, calls for some clarification.

Indeed the fact that the Crown and other agencies such as the Police Association have continually made self-serving and often inaccurate comment has increased the confusion and made the need for clarity even more pressing.

This Primer therefore attempts to address the concerns of many people, Mäori and Päkehä, and to clarify some of the major issues involved. It accepts the need to be vigilant against the prospect of genuine harm to the community but questions the veracity and motives for labelling Mäori and other activists with the fear-laden term “terrorist”.


Is there a law about terrorism in New Zealand?


After the attacks of 9/11 the government followed United Nations resolutions and passed the Terrorism Suppression Act, 2002.

Amendments which expand some of the definitions of terrorist organisations are due in Parliament this month.

Are “terrorists” defined in the Terrorism Suppression Act?


Under Section 22 of the Act the Prime Minister may name or designate certain individuals or organisations as a terrorist entity.

What does a person or group have to do to be on the list?

The Act defines terrorist activity as terrorising a population, bombing, and other acts of violence.

Are there any Mäori or other people in New Zealand on that list at the moment?


What kind of people are on the list?

The list mainly consists of groups such as Al Quaeda and similar organisations or people like Sulaiman Jassem Sulaiman Abo Ghaith, a spokesperson for Al Quaeda.

How did Operation Eight become an “anti-terrorist action” then?

The Crown chose to call it an anti-terrorist operation in initial press releases and politicians and most sections of the media then uncritically did the same.

Did the Police actually use any of the procedures under the terrorism legislation?


Under the legislation Police must get approval from the Attorney General to lay any terrorism charges and a logical three step process would appear to have been in order –
    1. Gather the appropriate “terrorist” evidence to warrant charges being laid.
    2. Present that evidence to the Attorney General.
    3. Charge people accordingly.
What happened instead?

Almost the opposite.

Most search warrants were granted under the Summary Offences Act and most arrests were made under the Firearms Act.

People are now being held in custody while cases are prepared for the Attorney General.

Such an approach raises serious legal and ethical issues including whether detention is being used merely so that the authorities can “fish” for proof of terrorism. It also smacks of holding for an undisclosed or dishonest cause which has raised some comparisons with Guantanamo Bay.

Are breaches of the Firearms Act normally labelled as “terrorist” actions?


People are charged nearly every day with breaches of the Firearms Act but for the first time ever the Crown chose to label these particular arrests with the term “terrorist”.

Why did the Authorities label them as terrorist?

The Police maintain that the Operation has uncovered a series of camps in Tuhoe over the last eighteen months which amount to “credible intelligence” of terrorist activity.

The Police also announced that they needed to enter the Ruatoki Valley fully armed because intelligence on potential terrorists had warned of possible resistance, although the claim does appear to contradict another statement that they decided to launch the raid on Monday morning after participants at a weekend camp had left for home.

Some media have been critical of the process and the limited evidence disclosed to date but others have betrayed the historic bias of their reporting on Mäori issues. Indeed their willingness to accept the term “Mäori terrorist” is similar to the ease with which they label Mäori as the majority of child abusers when the evidence actually proves otherwise.

The willingness of many politicians to also characterise the raids as “anti-terrorist” is a regrettable act of fear-mongering and many Mäori sympathise with the comedian Mike King’s comment that low poll ratings prompted the need to “bash some more Mäori”.

What are some of the concerns raised by the operation?

The arrests raise fundamental human rights issues because they seem to equate activism with terrorism and thus have the potential to inhibit a basic democratic right.

The briefing given by the Security Intelligence Service to the Leader of the Opposition also rekindles an earlier concern that the expanded definition of “threat to national security” in the SIS Amendment Act could become a mandate to limit political dissent.

The fact that most of those arrested are Mäori and the nature of the incursion into Tuhoe raises particular concerns.

It was only in Tuhoe that the Police chose to blockade and lock down an entire community. Although only four arrests were made, Ruatoki was in fact subjected to a quasi-military dawn raid that did not occur anywhere else.

As the mother of one young Tuhoe family stated, her inability to leave the area and the appearance of the black-garbed officers “was like being terrorised when we were innocent”.

The result has been a particular trauma and suspicion which now has the very real potential to damage broader race relations.

The blurring in official accounts of what transpired is also of concern because it can be seen as a minimising of the hurt done to innocent parties. For example the denial by officials that armed officers boarded a vehicle carrying Tuhoe children dismisses the evidence of the whänau and driver involved and thus belittles the extent of the trauma.

The experience and perception of injustice is consequently increased among the people concerned and adds to the historical burden of grievance.

Are there historical parallels?


Mäori see symmetries between the Terrorism Suppression Act and the 1863 Suppression of Rebellion Act. The targeting of mainly Mäori as “terrorists’ in fact mirrors the earlier legislative labelling of those Iwi who resisted the land confiscations as “rebels”.

Tuhoe see particular parallels with the fatal Police raid on Maungapohatu in 1916. The unthinking or deliberately provocative setting up of the latest Police roadblock on the confiscation line simply added to the grievance and the sense of colonising déjà vu.

Indeed there is a sad resonance in the submission made in the Urewera claim before the Waitangi Tribunal that even though Tuhoe never signed the Treaty of Waitangi they have always known that any questioning of the Crown would be met with a “harsh and prejudicial whim...that has characterised them as treasonous enemies”.

Where to now?

The court process will unfold and claims may also be laid with such bodies as the Human Rights Commission and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The possible human rights abuses may also be linked to the Crown’s failure to support the Declaration on Indigenous Rights and to encourage international opposition to the government’s lobbying for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Conclusion –

Regardless of whether any substantive evidence of terrorism is uncovered the operation has created division and unnecessary upset for hundreds of ordinary people.

As Tariana Turia has noted, many commentators also worry whether the operation is merely a softening up exercise for even more hard-line security measures and greater infringement of human rights. That is untenable in terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, and unacceptable in terms of good relationships between Mäori and others.

Vigilance and genuine security should never be at the expense of human rights, and concerns about any Mäori activity should never be used to justify the overt use of colonising power.

Sir James Henare once said that Mäori have come too far not to go further, and there is no justice in forcing our people back into the old mists of fear and doubt.

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Peace Movement Aotearoa (PMA)
the national networking peace organisation
PO Box 9314, Wellington 6141, Aotearoa New Zealand
Tel +64 4 382 8129, fax 382 8173 email pma@...
PMA website -
Not in Our Name -
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>> war on terrorism? war is terrorism <<
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