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Urewera charges dropped against 13: the struggle continues...

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Media Statement from October 15th Solidarity
Date: 6 September 2011

The dropping of all charges against 13 accused in the Police Operation 8 case is an enormous victory for the defendants, their whanau and supporters across the country and across the world. There are four people who continue to face charges and the struggle for their freedom will continue.

This whole operation has been a disaster from start to finish.

‘For four years we have been terrorised by the New Zealand State.  The police undertook an armed invasion of Ruatoki on the 15th of October 2007. They arrested us and put us in prison while they tried to charge us with terrorism.  That failed. Now after four years, millions and millions of dollars, and systematic denial of rights to accused, the case has totally failed’ said defendant Valerie Morse.

‘The Supreme court decision last week which paved the way for the dropping of the charges is a serious indictment of the police’s activities.’

‘The charges that remain against four people are a desperate attempt by the crown to salvage their reputation and justify this whole fiasco. The charge of “participation in a criminal group” is a trumped up charge brought by the crown more than a year after the raids in October 2007. The crown avoided making them before the month-long depositions hearing in September 2008 so they didn’t even bother to have to make a prima facie case. The charge is akin to “thought crime” since none of the defendants is charged with any act of violence whatsoever.”

‘We can be sure that the crown and police will be waging a propaganda war in the next few months leading up to any trial to try to convince the New Zealand public that they are really bad people. The reality is that Taame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Emily Bailey and Urs Signer are freedom fighters, and we will not rest until they are free.  We will continue to fight for justice and an end to this nightmare.’ 

ENDS

Comments

That's amazing!!! Four more

That's amazing!!! Four more to go :-)

I said this before, which is

I said this before, which is that government does not want to go ahead with these silly prosecutions and is looking for ways to climb down gracefully. It wants the whole sorry saga to go away, but without accusations that the charges shouldn't have been brought in the first place.  Government's simply working out ways to do this, and my prediction is the fate of the remaining four will be similar.  The judge alone debacle was one method the Crown was getting ready to use, but may have decided since that it doesn't necessarily need it, although it might still be part of the plan for the remaining four.  If these prosecutions do go ahead, the judge will be instructed to acquit.  Again, as I said previously, the higher up the judicial food chain, the less control the executive has over it thus greater is the chance of not just convictions being overturned, but the courts dishing out scathing criticism of how the whole mess should never have happened, criticism of the cops, politicians and anybody else a stroppy bunch of CA or SC judges may wish to point the borax at.  Government and the cops don't care about the convictions - they just want to avoid the wrath of judges that'd inevitably come their way if the convictions were appealed, which of course they would be.  Guess it's watch this space, then, eh?

Kia ora, strange how this is

Kia ora, strange how this is all happening now as All Black teams are announced and debated...NOOO ...not strange at all but all worked out and planned for. They want everyone to just forget it all. And for 95% of Aotearoa that will happen. They dont give a shit about saying sorry or the horrible cost to many whanau accross the motu. The State is a terible monster. I send my aroha to all who are suffering. Just because the charges are dropped doesnt stop the hurt....that will never stop and for Tuhoe just another chapter in the way govts have treated them. Be strong whanau. We wont forget u all.

"Asked what the people

"Asked what the people involved were training for in the Ureweras, Morse said, "I don't have any idea, but one can train to do all kinds of things."

 

 

Hhahaha yeah right...

Training camps

It might surprise readers to know I've been to a few activist camps over the years. At every one at least one workshop has trained people to do things that are disruptive, even illegal. But every single one also stressed the importance of "non-violent direct action". High school friends of mine used to run around in the forest in the weekend conducting war games with paintball guns, with no such philisophical clarity. They were never accused of being terrorists. Even if known eco-activists and pro-independence radicals were learning to shoot pig-hunting rifles at a training camp, that is not evidence of terrorism.

In 2007, armed police locked down an entire town, and strip-searched children at gun-point. Since there's no evidence that force was justified by any clear and present danger, it seems they did this to convince Tuhoe that resistence is futile. Using the threat of violence against a civilian population to influence political decision - the text-book definition of terrorism.

Come now people,

Come now people, happyfeet......RWC.....happyfeet.....RWC......happyfeet

Please note that the

Please note that the solidarity protest outside the Auckland High Court has been changed to Monday, 12th September, 8.30am.

The hearing has been changed to Monday. There is no court hearing on Friday anymore.