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Aotearoa is not for sale - Taame and Rangi out of jail!

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DescriptionOn 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. What initially started with 20 defendants resulted in the trial of four - Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs - which concluded on 20 March 2012.

The trial lasted for 5 weeks and resulted in a hung jury on the most serious charge of 'participation in an organised criminal group' (Sec 98a of the Crimes Act). The crown has decided not to seek a retrial on this charge. On 24 May, the four were sentenced on firearms charges. Taame and Rangi have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2.5 years. The sentence for Urs and Emily is 9 months home detention; their sentencing has been adjourned until 21 June in order that arrangements for electronic monitoring can be made.

Write to Taame and Rangi - letters addressed to Taame Iti or Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara at

Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara #80192504
Springhill Prison
Private bag 503
Huntly 3740

Taame Iti #84563
Waikeria Prison
Private Bag 2400
Te Awamutu 3840

Please feel free to send messages to Taame or Rangi by emailing info@october15thsolidarity.info All emails will be printed off and sent to them.
TODAY - FRIDAY 25th May

Wellington -12pm, High Court
https://www.facebook.com/events/355389537861839/

Palmerston North - 1pm, District Court
https://www.facebook.com/events/410948288936816/

TOMORROW - SATURDAY 26th May

Dunedin - 2pm, District Court
https://www.facebook.com/events/373645256017836/

Auckland - 2pm, Mt Eden Prison
https://www.facebook.com/events/314233375321118/

Christchurch - 4pm, Central Police Station
https://www.facebook.com/events/421114921256143/


:: May 24, 2012 Where is the Justice in all this?
by Dr Leoni Pihama
http://tewhareporahou.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/may-24-2012-where-is-the-...

May 24, 2012 is a day that will be remembered for some time. It is a day when two Tuhoe men have been sentenced to imprisonment for 2 ½ years on charges that the Crown and Police turned to in desperation after the debacle of the so-called ‘Terrorist Raids’ of October 15, 2007. May 24, 2012 is a day where a descendant of Parihaka and her partner remain awaiting final sentencing for home detention, but is judged that Parihaka can not be the ‘home’.

There has been much coverage of this day with those in the court posting online and tweeting as the judge moved through his process of imposing what can only be viewed as sentences based on charges he determined rather that what those the defendants were actually found guilty of. The content of the trials and the process needs to be written and spoken of by those that know it most closely. Those that sit outside can only speculate on many aspects of the case. However, what is clear is that we have three Māori people from Tuhoe and Taranaki, and a Pakeha ally as Political Prisoners in Aotearoa. The response to that has been rapid. As we would expect. The first line of protests have begun outside the Mt Eden prison. There are protests being called for around the country and more to take place this weekend.

An appeal is to be lodged and there has been a clearly developed Police public relations campaign across the media and online. That is what I want to comment on in this blog. Over the past five years the Police have drip-fed information to the media as they sought to gain public and media support. The slow process of feeding information was such that even mainstream media at times found it highly frustrating, to the point that the NZ Herald questioned the Police approach in the article ‘Secret Justice is No Justice At All’ (Herald on Sunday Sept 11, 2011) and stated:
“It is reasonable that the state should remain tight-lipped about what went on in Te Urewera until after the rest of the criminal charges have been disposed of – or abandoned. But the secrecy that has shrouded this affair from the beginning does not encourage optimism we will ever be told. Yet official openness is what is needed. The prosecution of this matter, the first serious case brought under the Terrorism Suppression Act, has been a conspicuous mess. The charges’ validity under “incoherent” legislation has failed to satisfy the Solicitor General and now evidence without which the Crown felt unable to proceed has been ruled inadmissible, a finding which is at least suggestive of flaws in investigation, procedure or interpretation of the law.”

The Police response to the sentencing today continues the arrogance that the Police have taken throughout the last five years and is the same arrogance with which the Police initiated their raids in the early hours of October 15th. The use of the media by the Police has been carefully planned including the presence of News cameras on that morning at the moment that Police forcibly entered properties in Wellington. Police press releases today have relied heavily on their version of events that have already been proven in a Jury trial as lacking true substance. The evidence in regards to terrorism was regarded as inefficient when the Solicitor General declined the Crowns request to bring charges under the Terrorism Act. A range of charges were dropped over the five years due to lack of evidence. But today the Police Commissioner strongly advocated that there was sufficient justification for Police actions on that day. Strange really, given the series of events over the past five years.

So what does the Commissioner have to say and how might we understand his latest media propaganda. Lets look at a range of statements made today online:

1. “It [the raid] was not aimed at any iwi whatsoever”

The commissioner indicates that the raids were on many people in many locations. However, he continues to fail to provide any legitimate reason for the closing down of the entire Ruatoki community and the extreme use of armed Police throughout the entire community. There was no lock down or armed cordons in the streets of Wellington that morning. That only occurred on Tuhoe lands.

2. “It was a serious situation that required a serious response”

Clearly the questioning of many of Police tactics and of the actual ‘seriousness’ of the situation has been ongoing. The Solicitor General denied Terrorist Act Charges, the bulk of those arrested that morning had all charges against them dropped and a Jury found the ‘Urewera 4’ not guilty of serious charges. So Mr Commissioner, where exactly is the serious evidence?

3. “ I make absolutely no apology at all for the investigation, for the arrests, for the prosecution and I think the NZ Police should be thanked by the public for getting of that rot out of the Urewera at that time…”

So we have an unapologetic Police Commissioner, who has ensured there is a strong public relations machine in place for this day, why? To justify why he is unapologetic it seems. ‘Surprise, surprise’ or perhaps more appropriately ‘same old same old’. It is clear to our people that colonial oppressors and their institutional enforcers do not see any fault in their acts of oppression. In fact, in our colonial history we have been told many times we should be thankful for all kinds of things. This is not new to us. It is merely a new take on an old story. What is even more offensive is that the Police Commissioner refers to a group of predominantly Māori people as “that rot”, and in some distorted sense of reality he believes we should be thankful. I don’t think so Commissioner Marshall.

4. “Of course we have had no explanation from Tame Iti and the accused… “

Are you serious? How does this align with the notion that the burden of proof lay with the Police? It simply doesn’t! The Commissioner at this point attempts, unsuccessfully, to turn the gaze on to those charged and asserts that they must somehow state or prove their innocence, even after a Jury indicated that this was not an organized criminal organization. More importantly we have yet to have any seriously legitimate explanation from the Police for their actions.

5. The Police “abided by the law all the way through …”

Except of course the illegal monitoring that happened over months and which contributed to the dropping of a range of charges as the phone taps and surveillance equipment was deemed illegal. Which then led to this government pushing through a new surveillance regime via urgency in order to enable other ‘illegal’ monitoring.

6. “They brought shame on the people in those various locations up and down the country and they brought shame on the people of Ruatoki”

This is perhaps one of the most arrogant, obnoxious statements from the Police Commissioner today. With this statement he attempts to lay the blame for Police actions at the feet of those harassed on October 15th, and to advocate a divide and rule scenario by pitting those charged against their own communities.

Clearly the Commissioner has no real knowledge of the communities from which Tame, Rangi, Emily and Urs descend. These are communities, these are hapū, these are iwi that know the oppressive actions of the State and who have known them for 200 years. Tuhoe and Taranaki know the invasion tactics of the Crown and of previous colonial regimes. Our iwi know that strategies of the Crown and their enforcers, whether those be colonial militia or contemporary military and Police forces. The attempt to ‘blame the victims’ is an old stategy, it is a well known strategy of oppressors and abusers, because to ‘blame the victim’ is ultimately to protect the perpetrator.

Protecting the perpetrator has been a strategy throughout the past five years. There has been a process of denial of information, of lack of evidence, of the Crown and Police pushing the boundaries in an attempt to get some form of affirmation for their actions. There has been no sense of justice shown throughout the past five years. Whanau lives have been destroyed in multiple ways, communities have been devastated on many levels, and there has been no justice for the Urewera Four, or for those arrested on that morning, or for those whānau, hapū and iwi that suffered at the hands of armed Police. That makes the Police Commissioners comments today even more offensive and abusive of those involved.

As Annette Sykes posted tonight
“Political prisoners on their own land… in their own nation at the peril of the real criminals walking around free still unapologetic to the families hugely affected by their ‘militia-like’ actions – the police – where is the justice in all this?
Kāhore he kōrero tua atu i tēnā


:: Not much has changed in 96 years - 1916 Rua Kenana - 2012 Tame Iti
by John Minto

“Rua was charged with treason, and while he was found not guilty by the jury, Judge Frederick Chapman did find him guilty of resisting arrest and sentenced him to one year of hard labour, followed by 18 months of imprisonment. Eight of the jury members protested the harshness of his sentence and successfully petitioned to have it reduced.”

Tame Iti 2012 (looking at today’s court judgement)

Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara were maligned as terrorists and each jailed for 2 ½ years after Judge Rodney Hansen bypassed the jury’s failure to find that the defendants belonged to an organised criminal gang and on his own found they posed a serious organised threat to New Zealand.

The parallels with 1916 are striking. Hansen today substituted himself for the jury and retried the defendants at sentencing in the same way that Frederick Chapman did in 1916.

Shame.

Comments

Isnt it going a bit far to

Isnt it going a bit far to call them "political prisoners" its firearms charges they were jailed on and by the way we are still unclear as to what there true intent was with these camps.

The circumstances they were

The circumstances they were jailed under - political.

The police operations - political.

The prisoners - political.

 

 

Political throughout

Just one example of the political nature of the sentences is the following quote from the judge's sentencing notes, under the heading 'aggrevating factors': "They [the intercepted txt mesages], however, showed that one at least of those involved in the camps held extrem anarchist views". He is not even talking about one of the four being sentenced, i.e. the four are being punished for someone else's political views.

The sentencing notes can be found here.

Tino Rangatiratanga is not

Tino Rangatiratanga is not anarchy!

Ture te Whenua is not lawlessness!

Te Hokowhitu-a-Tuhoe are not terrorists or criminals - but the lawfully constituted provisional army of Tuhoe!

Maori gaoled for hard

Maori gaoled for hard labour

 

Pakeha get home dention. 

 

No NZ is not Apartheid!   No NZ does not need Taame Mandela!  No NZ does not need Umkhonto we Sizwe - Te Hokowhitu-a-Tuhoe.

 

Aotearoa Tino Whenua Maori! 

points taken and you swayed

points taken and you swayed my mind

re

Thanks for the sentencing notes.

 

I read them, it looks like the Judge could and perhaps should have jailed them for longer...but luckily for Tame he seems to have found alot of mitigating factors to reduce the sentence.

 

I'd suggest anyone who was about to protest read it, the Judge is actually very sympathetic towards the Tuhoe movement and indeed reduces Tame's sentence significantly because of this.

 

 

It only seems that the

It only seems that the sentence was reduced because the judge's starting point was more than the maximum sentence. And the maximum sentence is usually only given when someone was injured. That is clearly not the case here, so starting from a position of '5 to 6 years seems appropriate' is bizarre.

As for the judge's ostensible sympathy for Tuhoe sovereignty, he manages to turn that into an aggrevating factor by blaming the four for ruining the relationship between Tuhoe and the state.

If this  "Judge" respected

If this  "Judge" respected Tuhoe, the STG would be hanged from the yardarm of Te Puhi-o-Mataatua!

Poaka have no claim on Aotearoa!

Sentence

THe maximum penalty is 4 years for each charge.  So the Judge could theoretically sentence them to 4 years cumulatively for each charge.  So he didn't in fact start higher than the maximum. 

The judge is an ass. He

The judge is an ass. He failed to think of even one other reason why people could be using guns and molotovs legally on private land - ah gee to learn how to use a weapon safely to hunt under the instruction of licenced gun holders? To let off some steam and have some fun, safely on private land with a bit of petrol and flames? To play out the idea of defending Tuhoe from a crown army invasion should they refuse to give up Te Urewera again if negotiations fail? Obviously that could never have been a solution as people would have been "cannon fodder" as is recorded in the police's illegally intercepted conversations. That's right it was not the plan (there was no plan). It was an idea that was rejected. The wananga were just that: wananga, skill shares, discussion about the plight of the world. The cops and the judges are just paranoid racists! What bites most is that they blame their illegal actions, their terrorism of communities on the accused who were invited to go to the wananga unlike the police. Grrrr.

That you believe the judge

That you believe the judge was sympathetic is not the point.  The error is in how the judge gave weight to things unproven and evidence ruled inadmissible.  For example, he relied on a belief that a "private militia was being established" to justify the two and half year sentences when absolutely nothing of that sort had been proved.  Rodney Hansen is a respected High Court judge and it's hard to believe he could have been responsible for such a fundamental error.  There are some pretty thick High Court judges around at the moment but he's not one of them.  I think it was deliberately made in the knowledge that it will be overturned on appeal - that Hansen was instructed to do this as part of the Crown's strategy aimed at enabling it to climb down gracefully from this whole sorry saga.  First there was the dropping of the terrorist charges, then the decision not to retry the others.  The Crown, still needing an arse to kick, kept the current four there to make sure the public believed it was still in control and that this complete and utter fuck up was justified. Just look at the Police Commissioner's recent so-called apology.  The only trouble is that given the terrorist charges had been dropped and that the criminal group charges fell away what was left wasn't enough for the Crown to show the public they mean business with strong sentences for the remaining four.  How can gun charges carry two and a half years without something else?  Ordinarily people get fined for shit like this.  Hansen was instructed to impose these sentences as a PR exercise, and in the knowledge an appeal will overturn them (because nobody gets that amount of time for gun charges) - but not before phrases like "private militia" and "jailed for two and a half years" gets imprinted on the collective psyche.  Sure, the media will report the overturning of the sentences, but the reasons (that there was no "private militia") will be lost on most people.  The intended result is that the public will believe there was "terrorism" going on, that those involved deserved what they got, and that the cops were 100% correct to do everything that they did.  This is what the Crown wants the public to believe, despite the complete opposite being the case.

Militia

The Judge heard all the evidence at the trial, which included testimony around battle plans that were found and video footage of them training for battle.  They had a clear but ultimately ridiculous plan to blow shit up and murder/assasinate people. 

 

War is not glamorous, and war is what they were planning/training for.  Bullets put big holes in people, war is a very dirty thing, and these men were lucky to only get the sentence they received.  Please give up the nonsensical defence of them.  Only a fool would argue that what they did was lawful/ethical. They brought it all on themselves, their people, the Police, and the country, and they all should be ashamed.

 

They clearly didn't have a lawful proper and sufficient purpose for being in possession of those firearms.  The ingredients for the offence are very simple and they were found guilty by a mixed ethnicity jury.  Get over it everybody and stop blaming the police.  Fools think that there was somehow some horrible injustice committed here, but if we talk about facts and not feelings this is an open and shut case.  Stop dividing our country over this issue and start talking about the real issues.  Child poverty for example. 

 

Tinia

 

 

 

 

 

People who believe in the

People who believe in the crown conspiracy BS case might be better off over at kiwiblog or bowalleyroad.

Well said Tinia couldnt have

Well said Tinia couldnt have said it better myself .....

international soldarity :)

Yes or No?

Is your claim true, and I may have no doubt?
Tuesday, 19 June, 2012 9:15 PM
 

From:

"Paul" nzpossums@yahoo.com
 

To:
info@october15thsolidarity.info
 

Dear Team "october15thsolidarity"

Thank you for providing these contact details.  The authorities, of course, will vet all of their correspondence, which excuses you at "october15thsolidarity.info" of any imagined obligation to censor, delete, edit or otherwise interfere with communications. 

I know Taame Iti, in ways that you could possibly not comprehend, not just as I have spoken with him. 

This is not the first time I have been moved to write through your office. I am determined to reeastablish that aquiantence and talk matters through again to our mutual satisfaction, so I shall be taking steps to remain in a position of oversight over your 'efforts' to maintain links of communication, and shall be keeping a journal of sorts. 

You shall remain equal to your obligation to stand up to your word and shall perform the duty that you have volunteered for.

Best wishes,
paul sayers