Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aotearoa: October15thSolidarity.info NEWSLETTER


We post this Newsletter in solidarity with the 15th October 2007 Committee.
Our position on the 'terror raids' of 15 October 2007 is here.
You can read a solidarity messages from the miners of Huanuni here.
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Tena koutou,

We send out irregular updates on the campaign to support the people
arrested in the state terror raids in Aotearoa (New Zealand) on 15th
October 2007. Although charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act
were never laid, 18 people are still facing charges under the Arms Act
and 5 are charged with being members of an organised criminal group.
At the moment, the starting date for the trial is 8th August 2011.
DROP THE CHARGES!

A warm welcome to everybody who has joined this newsletter-list
recently. Please forward this email to your whanau, friends and
political networks. People can sign up by emailing



:: UPCOMING EVENTS

1. National day of action: Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill -
24th April 2010
2. High Court hearing in Auckland - 26/7th April 2010
3. International Workers Day - 1st May 2010
4. Court of Appeal hearing in Wellington - 8th June 2010
5. Trial starting on 8th August 2011...


1. National day of action: Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill -
24th April 2010
Protests are talking place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on
Saturday, 24th April 2010, against the Search and Surveillance Bill.
More information about the bill, read below or have a look at


PROTESTS: Auckland 2pm - grassy area opposite the Town Hall, Queen
Street | Wellington 12.30pm - meet at Cuba/Manners Mall corner |
Christchurch 1pm - Cathedral Square

2. High Court hearing in Auckland - 26/7th April 2010
In the week of 26 April, there will be further arguments in the
Auckland High Court about whether there will be a trial by jury or by
judge alone. The crown has made an application to have a trial by
judge alone, citing the possible length of the trial and the number of
defendants. This application will be challenged by some of the
defendants who want to have their right to trial by jury upheld. The
defendants do not have to appear but some are still going.

3. International Workers Day - 1st May 2010
There are marches and events for International Workers Day in
Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Blackball and probably
other places too. Check www.indymedia.org.nz in the coming days for
details.

4. Court of Appeal hearing in Wellington - 8th June 2010
In June, the Court of Appeal in Wellington will hear an application
from defendants challenging the admissibility of evidence in the case.
Meanwhile, a ruling on the application for a stay of the proceedings
(a halt to the prosecution) based on the prejudical effect of
pre-trial publicity has not yet been issued.

5. Trial starting on 8th August 2011...
Well, we'll see about that one. Drop the charges!


:: ARTICLES and UPDATES


1. National day of action: Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill
2. Security 'intelligence' at it again: the SIS annual report June
2008-June 2009
3. Police run operations on political activists
4. Four new 'terrorist' entities designated by NZ Government
5. United Nations slams NZ's human rights record
6. Capitalist media waking up to Tuhoe self-governance


1. National day of action: Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill

Momentum has been growing around the campaign to stop the Search and
Surveillance Bill, and it seems that it has already had some effect.
The Select Committee report on the Bill was delayed again and it will
now report back on 29 October 2010. Certainly, parliament is busy
passing its repressive agenda to privatise prisons and to punish
beneficiaries, so they don?t have much time to think about the Search
and Suveillance Bill.

Moreover, it seems that perhaps some members of parliament have
recognised that they don't know just exactly what this Bill is about.
This is hardly surprising since the author of the proposed law, Law
Commisisoner Warren Young, doesn't really seem to know either. At a
public meeting held in Wellington on 8 April, Warren Young was hard
pressed to answer questions about the ability of police to search
people's computers and emails. "To what extent," many asked, "would
the police be able to search email or other material held in remote
websites overseas"? He also struggled in his own contradictions,
saying that the Bill didn't really expand powers, and then conceding
that in fact it did.

Michael Bott, from the NZ Council for Civil Liberties, said that the
Search and Surveillance Bill was really reminiscent of Stalin-era
Russia or Nazi Germany in that it allowed, among many other things,
police to collect information from passengers in a car. The very thing
contemplated with the expression, "Your papers please".

One thing that wasn't much touched upon was that the Search and
Surveillance Bill will allow the police to break into your house and
install video surveillance. Many people are so accustomed to seeing
and being seen on CCTV cameras that we perhaps haven't given this that
much thought. But the reality is that video surveillance, in any room
of your house, is quite a different thing. It is the ultimate invasion
of personal privacy.

The bill also authorises a vast expansion of the police?s use of
warrant-less searches. It allows the police to sign their own search
warrants, and allows the police to seize items in ?plain view? when
searching premises; it is unclear, however, just exactly what 'plain
view' means when it comes to searching computer systems.

It is ridiculous to say that, "If you've done nothing wrong, you have
nothing to fear." There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep private
things in your life private. The fact is we all have a right to be
free from state surveillance. History proves time and again that state
abuse is a dangerous thing, far more dangerous than any threat from
'P' or whatever current reason the state uses to reduce civil
liberties. The state says that the powers will be used to target only
'bad' people, but doing something 'bad' in the eyes of the state
changes over time. This year it could be protesting against government
plans to mine conservation areas.

We need to remember that the state is not a benign friend; its power
must always be kept in check. A bill that expands state power to
monitor and intercept communications, to detain, question and surveil
people and that removes the right to silence must be stopped.

Find out more about the Campaign and the Bill:



2. Security 'intelligence' at it again: the SIS annual report June
2008-June 2009

From June 2008 to June 2009, there were 24 domestic interception
warrants in use by the SIS. 14 of those were issued during the year
under review, but 10 were carried over from the previous year. The
average length of time of a warrant was 158 days. The methods
supposedly used were interception and seizure of telecommunications,
listening devices and copying of documents.

The SIS say that the information obtained 'contributed to the
detection of activities prejudicial to security, or produced foreign
intelligence essential to security, that was not likely to have been
obtained by other means'.

They also said that foreign interception warrants were in force during
the year, but did not say which foreigners or foreign governments they
were spying on. The SIS did talk about the dramatic increase of people
requesting their personal files under the OIA. In 2008 they received
46 requests, last year they received 378 requests. They don't say how
many people were denied their files, but they do say that 6 people
complained to the Ombudsmen, 11 people made complaints to the Privacy
Commissioner, and 3 people complained to the Inspector-General of
Intelligence and Security, Paul Neazor. The SIS have been busy.

3. Police run operations on political activists

"The October 15th Solidarity group, formed in the aftermath of the
2007 'terror raids' is not surprised to learn that police have
conducted at least two separate operations on their protests in the
past year. However, it is amusing and curious to see that the police
had an operation for a protest that was never planned or organised on
15 October 2008, the one-year anniversary of the raids. If this is
the kind of 'intelligence' the police are working with, it is no
surprise that the police's Operation 8 is full of dodgy evidence and
dubious charges against the 18 defendants" said Peter Steiner,
spokesperson for the group.

The police spent more than two years surveilling literally thousands
of New Zealanders: tapping peoples' phones, intercepting text
messages, bugging cars and following people around. After their
massive nationwide raids, they couldn't substantiate the terrorism
charges they so desperately wanted to bring against a bunch of
political activists from all over the country because they had no
evidence. What remains of the police case is a quintessential example
of police wanting to see something so much that they made it happen.
They wanted 'terror' so they created it in Ruatoki when they invaded
and locked down that entire community with paramilitary troops in
black ninja gear. Their vivid imaginations have been fed by the
post-9/11 terror hysteria so common among their US, British and Aussie
cop mates.

The police and their colleagues in the 'intelligence' services are the
terrorists in this country. People in NZ need to wake up to the vastly
increased police surveillance going on now, and the implications of a
whole range of new powers proposed under the Search and Surveillance
Bill including warrant-less searches, examination and production
orders, and an end to the right to silence.

4. Four new 'terrorist' entities designated by NZ Government

On 10th February this year, the NZ government designated four
different groups as 'terrorist entities':
-the Kurdistan Workers Party/ Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan ("PKK")
-the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia/ Fuerzas Armadas
Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)
-Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) and
-Al Shabaab

Despite none of these four groups been listed on the UN list of
so-called terrorists, John Key and his mates have jumped to and added
them, certainly in part because they are on the US list of designated
terrorist groups. National argued that there ?no particular
significance in the selection of these four groups.' and that 'the
designations reflect New Zealand's strong commitment to the
international campaign against terrorism. We are determined New
Zealand is not a target of, or source of support for, terrorist
activities.'

Key says there are no particular significance in these designations,
so why do it? This is blatant legal manoeuvering to stifle political
opinion and to curry favour with the US. Moreover, if the New Zealand
Government is genuinely interested in 'not being a source of support
for terrorist,' it could start by ending support for the terrorist
activities of the US military in Afghanistan including widespread
murder and torture of civilians.

5. United Nations slams NZ's human rights record

In late March, Minister of Justice Simon Power visited the United
Nations Human Rights Committee to report on the state of New Zealand?s
human rights. The minister was questioned extensively over a number of
matters, and the response given by NZ often left the committee with
more questions than answers.

Operation 8-the so-called 'terror raids' - was one of the points of
discussion. In their concluding remarks document, the UN committee
said: While acknowledging the delegation?s explanations, the Committee
regrets the lack of information concerning the proceedings with regard
to so-called Operation 8 (anti-terrorism raids carried out on 15
October 2007), which allegedly involved excessive use of force against
Maori communities. It also notes with concern that the trials of the
suspects arrested during his operation will only begin in 2011. (arts.
2, 7, 14 and 26)

The State party should ensure that the Terrorism Suppression Amendment
Act is not applied in a discriminatory manner and does not lead to
excessive use of force against suspects, in light of the need to
balance the preservation of public security and the enjoyment of
individual rights. It should also provide the Committee in its next
periodic report with detailed information on the results of any
investigation, prosecution and disciplinary measures taken vis-à-vis
law enforcement officials in connection with the alleged human rights
violations perpetrated, in particular cases of excessive use of force,
in the context of Operation 8.

Furthermore, the State party should ensure that the trials of those
arrested in the context of Operation 8 are held within a reasonable
timeframe.

The minister of justice's comments to the committee were, "that the
charges involved intentions to commit violent actions toward creating
a sense of terror among the citizens of New Zealand." However, no
charges of violence have been brought or were ever brought against any
of the accused. While the police did try to charge 12 of the original
17 people arrested on the day of the raids with 'participation in a
terrorist group', there was no evidence to support these allegations.
In his report to the United Nations, then, it would seem that the
minister is intent on creating the impression that either that the
terrorism charges were brought or still stand. Neither of which is true.

The UN committee has asked for a further report next year and there is
an expectation that the Independent Police Conduct Authority and NZ's
Human Rights Commission might have finished their own investigations
into Operation 8 by then. These reports should provide a greater level
of detail for the committee to evaluate the extent of human rights
violations carried out by police on October 15th 2007.

The enormous delay in bringing the matter to trial is, of course,
something that neither of those NZ agencies will investigate. The
trial is currently set down for 8 August 2011-a date just 2 months
short of four years. It is not without hyperbole that one can say,
'justice delayed is justice denied.' But it seems that the media
frenzy and ensuing racist hysteria achieved all that the crown really
wanted anyway.

The full text of the UN Human Rights committee?s concluding remarks
can be found as a word document here:



6. Capitalist media waking up to Tuhoe self-governance

It looks like the capitalist media is finally realising what the Tuhoe
bottom line is in their negotiations with crown. Several media outlets
today are reporting on "one of the most controversial treaty
settlements ever made" (NewstalkZB) and "a treaty settlement that
could be as groundbreaking as it is controversial." (3 News)

Tuhoe entered negotiations with the crown in 2008. Terms of
Negotiations were signed on 31st July 2008. The Tribunal hearing took
place all around Te Urewera in 2004/5. During the Ruatoki hearing,
Tame Iti famously shot a flag - possibly the New Zealand flag, maybe
the Australian one. :-)

Self-governance and the return of Te Urewera build the core of Tuhoe's
demands. An initial offer to Tuhoe was rejected last year. The offer
included $80 million and co-management of the National Park.

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe (TkaT) was set up as the body to organise the
Tribunal hearings. Since the singing of the Terms of Negotiations, a
new body was established: the Tuhoe Establishment Trust.

In this year's TkaT annual report, chairperson Tamati Kruger writes:
"We have heard from you [uri of Ngai Tuhoe] that an enduring Tuhoe
settlement must possess the foundation to rebuild the Tuhoe Nation we
all want to see for our coming generations." Tamati states further
that the 'Key Redress Areas or 'bottom lines' for Tuhoe Settlement
have centred on:

* The unencumbered return of Te Urewera ? T?hoe homelands
* Agreed Constitutional arrangements between T?hoe and the Crown
renewing a T?hoe Crown relationship
* Financial Redress aimed at addressing T?hoe infrastructure and
creating a T?hoe economy"

"Te Urewera is Tuhoe homelands. It is where Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe
lives and grows. There is no other place on earth that has at its
foundations or as its vision and purpose Te Mana Motuhake, our
Tuhoetanga. For this reason the Negotiating team has heldfast to the
return of unrestrictedby the dictates of the National Park status,
legislation and governance arrangements. The Crown has asked searching
questions about the Iwi's capability to manage Te Urewera in the event
that it is returned free of the Park status. At this stage our
responses have satisfied their needs. The terms of the return would
include a 5 -10 year transition period, public access and a
commitment to ongoing biodiversity and conservation principles."

So in the foreseeable future, indigenous self-governance will become a
reality again in Aotearoa. And not due to a 'nice' government, but
because of an iwi that is organised, united and staunch! Source


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