IPCA report on ‘Operation 8’

Just finished reading IPCA report on Operation 8, over a few cups of tea.
Just in case you don’t fancy reading the whole 88 pages of self-justification by Police National HQ, here’s some edited highlights:

“Findings in relation to Property searches
387. Police actions led occupants at five properties to have reasonable cause to believe that they were being detained while the search was conducted. The detention of occupants at these properties was contrary to law, unjustified, and unreasonable.” => illegal actions by Police Officers.

“390. Police had no legal basis or justification for personally searching occupants. These searches were contrary to law, unjustified, and unreasonable” => illegal actions on the part of Police Officers.

Now is the time for some actual punitive action to be taken by the Police Commissioner.
The Anti-Terror Unit, based in South Auckland, is composed of Police Officers who were recruited from overseas, from countries and forces that had ‘experience’ with anti-terror policing – namely, London Metropolitain Police who had been trained during the period of IRA bombings in the UK, and Afrikaaners from South Africa, who were trained during the ANC’s activities to gain political power in South Africa.
None of these staff came to Aotearoa/New Zealand without a complete set of personal biases, and they do not appear to be re-trained to cultural sensitivity around rights for all citizens in our country. Out of ten positions in the Anti-terror Unit, only one is held by a NZ-born and trained officer – Aaron Pascoe. The guy who authored the very flawed “Pascoe Affadavit” which was used to obtain search warrants on the 10th October, 2007.

Assistant Police Commissioner Jon White, in charge of the ATU, is one of the Afrikaaners. I strongly suggest that if the IPCA is serious about solving the ‘problems’ identified in the policing of the Ruātoki valley in 2007, then getting rid of the racist police officers in the ATU might be a very good place to start.
Then they might consider removing some of the rest of the Afrikaaner officers who have been recruited in to the NZ Police forces over the past ten years, who are a cohort of racists scattered through our towns and cities, to the detriment of unbiased, legal policing of crime.
If they don’t want to go to South Africa, get the Netherlands to take them back.

Note:
The report is available to download and read in full here.

Update:
Good post from Maui Street went up same day, but I’ve been slack checking around the web.

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Solidarity gig in Wellington

Gig poster

Gig poster


Tomorrow is the fourth anniversary of the raids in Ruatoki and other places, so there’s a few events to mark the passage of this time.

14th October – Solidarity gig in Wellington

An amazing line-up of musicians including Riki Gooch, Imon Starr, Mara TK, and Bennie Tones will play a free gig at the Southern Cross on Friday, October 14th to celebrate the solidarity and support given to the many people involved in the Urewera case over the past four years.

FREE Gig to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the State Terror Raids on communities throughout Aotearoa, and to celebrate the on-going solidarity and support for the defendants.

Featuring Riki Gooch, Mara TK, Imon Starr, Vanessa Stacey, DJ Hammondhead, Mikki D, Sheeq n La, and Benny Tones.

Venue: Southern Cross, Abel Smith Street, Wellington
Date: 14th October 2011
Time: from 9pm

Operation 8: Deep in the forest

There are opportunities around the country to see the ‘Operation 8’ documentary. The film is now also available on DVD. Have a look in your local DVD store for a copy. For more information see
http://cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html

Waiheke – Waiheke Cinema
Friday, 14 Oct, 8pm

Devenport – Victoria Picture Palace
Thursday, 13 Oct, 3pm
Friday, 14 Oct, 3pm
Saturday, 15 Oct, 3pm
Sunday, 16 Oct, 3pm
Monday, 17 Oct, 3pm
Tuesday, 18 Oct, 3pm
Wednesday, 19 Oct, 3pm

Auckland – Academy Cinema
Thursday, 13 Oct, 12.30pm
Friday, 14 Oct, 12.30pm
Saturday, 15 Oct, 3.45pm
Sunday, 16 Oct, 3.45pm
Monday, 17 Oct, 12.30pm
Tuesday, 18 Oct, 12.30pm
Wednesday, 19 Oct, 12.30pm

Raglan – The Old School
Friday, 14 Oct, 7.30pm

Whakatane – Cinema 5
15 Oct – time tbc

New Plymouth – Arthouse Cinema
17 Oct – time tbc

Wellington – The Paramount
Saturday, 15 Oct, 11.45am
Saturday, 15 Oct, 6.15pm

Dunedin – Metro Cinema
Screenings start 15 Oct

Dropping the Charges

Unconditional

Unconditional love, solidarity, freedom

It’s been a long, hard haul since October 15th, 2007.
State terrorists kidnapped my friends that day, and terrorised hundreds of ordinary residents going about their daily activities in the Bay of Plenty – not that we knew that initially here in Wellington.

The parents at Te Aro school were greeted by big black SUV’s parked up in the playground, here.
They were told they weren’t to speak of this to anyone, as their already cramped school had classrooms removed from teaching and pressed into service as the HQ for the special squad of Police in AOS and riot squad uniforms.

One of those parents spoke to me almost immediately about it – a former journalist, she was appalled that the Police so casually intimidated the entire parent body of their small, liberal community into silence.

So when the reports began to come through about the way in which the town of Ruatoki was shut down, and how travellers, school children and residents in the Bay of Plenty towns nearby were stopped and searched, I knew right away that our mostly white, mostly middle-class and mostly university-educated community had been treated completely differently.

When I finally had the opportunity to talk with my friends who were arrested, they confirmed that they were treated respectfully; no guns were held to their heads, no children were separated from their parents to sit in an old shed for hours with no water, food, fresh nappies for the babies, no access to them for their parents, aunts, uncles, granma’s … these are the facts I have carried in my head, to my shame, to the shame of all pakeha in this country, Aotearoa/New Zealand.

This shame has made me angry.
That anger at times was powerful, an energy that helped me carry on, attending meetings, participating in fundraisers to help cover legal fees and costs of travel and accommodation for the arrestees and their families.
When the anger ran out and I got tired, I wept with those others whose whanau were hurting; in marae and homes around the country, on various occasions, I listened as aunties, granmas and uncles spoke about the way their family members were coping or not coping, how the children were reacting to the memory of the raids, their fear of the Police returning again.

So now I issue this challenge: now that the Police case, Operation 8, has been found to be inadmissable, I want Assistant Police Commissioner Jon White removed from his post, and returned to the country he came from.
No more racist policing from him or his minions, thank-you very much.
The Anti-terror Unit has failed badly in it’s prosecution of Ahmed Zauoi, and it has failed again badly in this Operation 8. Flawed assumptions, failed communication; using a template for policing developed in another country, to address concerns not of our making, is a huge failure.

So ‘man up’, New Zealand Police. I call upon the Police Commissioner to take responsibility for the failures made by the ATU, by it’s commanding officer and by each member of that exclusive, elite team. This is not the future we want or need in New Zealand. And those guys have cost our country too much already, get rid of them before yet another piece of flawed reasoning creates another costly debacle.

Then there’s the issue of compensation for loss of employment, loss of enjoyment, and in the case of Tuhoe Lambert, loss of life. There’s the cost of incarceration, the legal fees, the vast and incomprehensible waste of time and money that has been Operation 8. That has already been commented on by Te Ururoa Flavell, here, and at the Hand Mirror by Maia, here.

Tonite, I’m celebrating the demise of this case. This afternoon, knowing the charges had been dropped, but not being able to articulate my feelings, I came home and cooked up a storm in the kitchen in my flat. Just as Sam Buchanan calmly put together a huge tray of apple pie in the kitchen at 128 on the afternoon of the raids, so I threw my energy into making a gluten-free apple pie, and a cassarole for dinner.
It was only as I dished up the meal that I remembered Sam’s epic foresight in preparing some comforting sustenance for those who would arrive at 128 during that day.
So yes, we’ve had our hakari here; but tonite has been a bitter celebration as I think of all that has happened in the intervening almost four years since the raids, all the pain and anger and fear and frustration expressed in our affinity circles.

Ka whaiwhai tonu maatou, ake ake ake. Arohatinonui a koutou katoa, nga anarkia me ngai Tuuhoe.

Tuhoe

Te Mana Motuhake o Tuuhoe

A quick update:
There has been a lot of media on this, and I missed a few pieces last night.
Honourable mention to the Otago Daily Times, one of our last fully-NZ-owned daily print newspapers, for this piece quoting Green MP Keith Locke, and Morning Report on Radio NZ National today came along with this, after broadcasting this earlier. TV3’s early news spoke with John Minto this morning as well, video link here. Another news article from TV3 here, posted Tuesday, profiling union activist Omar Hamed, arrested in Auckland.

OPERATION 8 DVD LAUNCH PARTY!

DVD image

Tonite, 12 August · 7pm to 11pm

13 Garrett St, Level 2 (Just off Cuba St), Wellington

7pm Sharp – Karakia

Intro: Abi King-Jones, Errol Wright

Korero: Moana Winitana, Annette Sykes, Ati Teepa

Poetry: Ken Vicious

Music: Upper Hutt Posse, Acoustic Activists, Don Franks, DJ Hammond Head, Vanessa Stacy

The DVD launch is being hosted by the ‘Concerned Citizens’ at their art gallery space; level 2, 13 Garrett St (just off Cuba St).
The event is will be similar to an art exhibition opening rather than a formal seated event, although there is seating available.
There will be refreshments, nibbles, tea and coffee available after the Karakia.

police, agents, informants & spies (public & private) are not invited

World Music CD launch in Wellington!

Gig poster, shd b up all over town!

Some friends of mine, some of whom are greenies, and some of whom are Greenies, are in a little band called the Klezmer Rebs. These days they’re scattered all over the place, but they’ll be playing at the launch of a new compilation CD soon in Wellington. Thought I’d post this straight away so I don’t forget (my brain being a bit like that these days…).

So here’s the goods:

Friday 15 July 2011 @ 9pm
The Garden Club
13 Dixon Street, Wellington
Entry $15 or $20 including the CD

…The night will feature performances from:

Niko Ne Zna (Balkan Brass Band with special guest ‘The Gypsy Master’)
Sam Manzanza and the Afro-Beat Band
Klezmer Rebs (Jewish Klezmer band)
Los Jineteros (Live Reggaeton band)
Carlos Navae Trio (Salsa)
Zamba Bem (Brazilian Dance)
Navjeevan (Indian Bhangra drumming)
Frankie Fresh and DJOE
And more….

‘The Overseas Experiment’ proudly presents this compilation of locally produced music in traditional and contemporary ‘world music’ styles. This album features songs from Wellington-based musicians from a wide variety of ethnic and musical traditions. Proceeds from CD sales will go directly to the artists and a small portion will be used for an ongoing project to develop musical opportunities for refugee and recent migrant background youth in Wellington.

The Compilation CD will be officially released and available for sale at this event.

I admit to having lifted all of that text from the event page on FB, but then again I was specifically asked if I could give it a push, so there y’are, no copyright infringement there, officer!

Concerned Citizens Exhibition opening in Wellington

Concerned Citizens launched their fundraising exhibition at their temporary gallery space in Garrett St, Te Aro, last night.
A good crowd attended the opening, with viewing beginning at 4.30pm, accompanied by mulled wine, homebrew beer, and a choice of non-alcoholic hot and cold drinks.

After a formal welcome and Karakia by Moana Winitana around 7pm, Food not Bombs crew served snacks, and a little later Frances Mountier from October 15th Solidarity spoke for a few minutes about the background to the raids. She then introduced Nicky Hager, who gave an informative talk on the wider issues around the TSA and the Operation 8 raids, with time for some questions afterwards.

At 8pm, Abi King-Jones introduced a showing of “Operation 8: Deep in the forest”, which a large crowd stayed to watch. The movie is also showing on general release at cinema theatres around the country at present. View the trailer here: Operation 8

The exhibition is open until Sunday evening, 11am-8pm each day, with all works for sale by silent auction. More information at Concerned Citizens

early on in the exhibition viewing

early on in the exhibition viewing

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager in full flight, watched by Frances Mountier

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager in full flight, watched by Frances Mountier

UPDATE:
From the Concerned Citizens Collective –

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know that as we realise more and more the scope of opening the auction up to global bidders via the internet, it would be AMAZING if you could tell ANYONE IN THE WORLD that’s interested in

A. Supporting a struggle against human rights abuses in New Zealand, and the rest of the world

and/or

B. Buying amazing art from up and coming and established New Zealand artists

that they NEED to go to www.concernedcitizens.co.nz and place their bids NOW! All works can be viewed on the website. BIDDING WILL CLOSE AT 8PM SHARP!
If everything works out, there will be a live video feed of the bidding war at Garrett Street from 6-8pm tonight, and the auction will be led by prominent Springbok tour protest organiser John Minto and alleged “terrorist” Valerie Morse. There will be bus launching! There will be George W Bush look-alikes!

In addition, PLEASE let anyone you know in Wellington that is also interested in A and/or B, tell them that between 4 and 8pm today, there will be a bidding war party at the Garrett Street exhibition space, with leading bids projected, John and Val’s spectacular visual display of the running total of funds raised. Come and hang out and bring as much as you like to drink/eat and partake in the festivities! There will be mulled wine and home brew but we’re worried it may run out before the auction closes.

Thank you so much everyone for your support!

Stunts on the Beehive lawn!

To promote an Art Gallery exhibition which opens tomorrow, a group called Concerned Citizens is planning a re-creation of a claim used in the Pascoe Affadavit to arrest one of the accused in Operation 8.
So they’ve built a catapault, and will test launching bus-shaped items at an actor standing in for George Bush, outside Parliament tomorrow around noon.

Media release here: Scoop.

Testing the bus-catapault in Glover Park today

Testing the bus-catapault in Glover Park today