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Unlawful police conduct no suprise


“The unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that all of the police video evidence in the Urewera case was illegal should come as no surprise to anyone, least of all the police. It is blatantly obvious that the police never had this power and what it shows is that the police have been willfully disregarding the law for years,’ said Valerie Morse, former defendant.

‘The Police know very well that they have never had any legal authority to carry out video surveillance. That is why they were trying so hard to get the draconian Search and Surveillance bill passed. That bill would make legal all of the illegal activities the police are already doing and really open the way to an Orwellian Big Brother police apparatus.’

‘Anyone with a basic knowledge of the law knows that anything the police do must be authorized by Statute. The Police chief propagandist Greg O’Connor has been spreading falsehoods when he said that police could do anything that wasn’t explicitly disallowed by law. In fact, New Zealand law has always maintained that explicit permission is required for any State agency to do anything.’

‘The police in this country act as if the law does not apply to them. The fact that they now have 40 cases and 50 operations which may be thrown out because of illegal surveillance should be cause for the government to seriously look at police culture and actions, not change the law to allow them to break it. It is an outrage that John Key is talking about interfering with the Supreme Court. The chief justice makes it clear in her ruling that the government has known for years that the police do not have this power and have been advised to do something about it. They never have. Now that the police have been caught out breaking the law, they government says it will retrospectively change the law. This is exactly what a police state looks and acts like.’


Sounds like the defendants

Sounds like the defendants got off on a legal technicality.

When can we see the tapes so we can make up our own minds?





"Sounds like the defendants got off on a legal technicality."

This seems only fair, since they were charged on bunch a legal technicalities in the first place. Arms Act charges can be laid against a person for being in the vicinity of a gun, even if they never touch it, and puts the onus on the defendent to prove they were not guilt, reversing the burden of proof on the prosecution that usually applies in a criminal prosecution.

"When can we see the tapes so we can make up our own minds?"

Imagine a video camera in your bathroom resulted in your being prosucuted for obscenity. I imagine you would feel quite vindicated when the courts confirmed that this surveillance was an invasion of your privacy, and not justified by the seriousness of the charge. Would you be happy to have that video made public can make up their own minds?

When the last of these manufactured charges are finally dropped, the full story will be told, and I'm pretty sure it will be more embarrassing for the state and the police than for the activist movements targeted by Operation8.

BTW The ass-covering continues, as National draws up plans to retrospectively legalise the unlawful surveillance by the police

That link contains a quote from Geoffrey Palmer, pointing out the need for a "constitutional instrument by which the coercive powers of the state can be contained." If you want proof of that need, Operation 8 is it.

You mean your mind isn't

You mean your mind isn't already made up? Pluze

Open minds

The best the Crown can come up with against the Operation 8 defendants so far is intent to catapault a bus or a cow at President Bush. Meanwhile, in the blue corner, the police who carried out Operation 8. Were they not cops, their actions could attract charges under laws related to:

  • breaking and entering
  • illegally in a building/ in a yard
  • theft of property
  • kidnap
  • intimidation
  • blackmail
  • possession of military-style arms
  • obstruction of public roads
  • and now, stalking.

The way they behaved on Tuhoe land reminds me of the horror stories told about Maoist geurilla like the Shining Path in Peru, or "narco-terrorists" like FARC in Columbia. If they were not entitled to the blanket defence of "being police doing their job", nobody would be in any doubt that they behaved like a horrifically scary criminal gang, if not a terrorist organisation.

That's a hard act to follow! Even if all the claims about molotov cocktails and assasination plans in the ComPost turned out to be true, the defendants would still struggle to look like worse terrorists than police who carried out Operation 8. However, time will tell.




"Maoist geurilla like the

"Maoist geurilla like the Shining Path in Peru,"

Comparing the cops with murderers like the shining path who killed hundreds including executing young toddlers just shows blatant ignorance not to mention an insult to those killed by the shining path.

"Even if all the claims about molotov cocktails and assasination plans in the ComPost turned out to be true, the defendants would still struggle to look like worse terrorists"

And if they are true, then what? Will you have the balls to come out and condemn them or are you such a hypocrite that you justify such acts so long as they are on your 'side'...


The Operation 8 story relies

The Operation 8 story relies on comparing activists doing bush survival and non-violent direct action training to Al Qaeda. Without that hyperbolic justification, the actions of the cops are heavy-handed at best, terrorist at worst.

I wasn't making a point-for-point comparison of the actions of cops and maoists. I was pointing to the way people with a pro-state-corporate bias exaggerate the horror of anti-state armed groups, and minimize the horror of state-sponsored armed groups. Your comments simply exemplify this.

If the cops can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Operation defendents planned to harm or kill anyone, I will certainly condemn that. Even if it was ethical, it's just piss-poor strategy, as any activist who's looked at the history of the Red Army Faction or the Weather Underground knows. Violent tactics throw away any public support we might have, and throws fuel on the fire of state paranoia, inviting more COINTELPRO/ Operation 8 style repression.

Having said that, I predict the full story of Operation 8 will show that such repression is invited simply by challenging the right of the corporate state to total power over its claimed territory, but we will see.

What it means

As the article points out, the court ruling has wider implications than just covert filming.It condems in general terms the police's attitude that they don't need legislation to do what they want. O’Connor has clearly confirmed that view. By announcing to pass emergency legislation that restrospectively legalises illegal police procedures - i.e. reversing the court ruling - the government has effectively put the chief justice on notice. There could be no clearer warning for the judiciary to never question the police.

Hats off to Chief Justice

Hats off to Chief Justice Elias for having the backbone to be able to stand up against tyranny as she would have been fully aware of the possible fallout of standing up against the largest armed group in this country, the runaway train that is the NZ police force.

There is no doubt that the actions of the Supreme Court have exposed what many knew to be true about the NZ Government and its authoritarianism under the thin veil of the perception of democracy.

Covers are off now for all to see.

Expect the police and crown prosecution corporation to ramp up the fear in the next few days. 40 trials under threat will become 80 trials, 50 operations will become 100 operations. The sky will fall they claim...