Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Scoop Exclusive - Be Wary Of Police Offer, Minto

Inside APEC Series

by Selwyn Manning

Former Halt All Racist Tours [HART] spokesperson, John Minto, has advised APEC protesters to be wary of a police call of co-operation.

Police have been in “direct contact” with leaders of groups planning opposition to the APEC leader’s summit conference to be held in Auckland next week.

The police’s PR team issued a statement from APEC Operation Commander, Detective Superintendent Peter Marshall, saying: "We initiated these meetings so we could gauge how many protesters to expect, where to expect them and to help facilitate wherever possible.”

“It's their right to protest and we are more than happy for them to do it. In fact we are doing everything we can to help, including sending out a letter to the groups outlining what their legal rights are and helping them find suitable places to stage their protest. Hopefully this way we can avoid arrests,” Detective Marshall says.

But Mr Minto has told Scoop: “Assurances from the police before any event are not worth the paper they are written on. They will be ditched as soon as it suits their purpose. In my view there is little point engaging in any discussions with them.”

In the leadup to events such as APEC, Mr Minto says, the police always begin with a Public Relations approach to try and gain “the moral ground” with the public: “It makes it easier to defend any thuggery which follows.”

If violence erupts against protesters, Mr Minto says police would then issue press releases stating something like: "Protesters refused to cooperate from the outset - hell-bent on confrontation from the start".

The Police’s PR people then take on a new propaganda role: “There will be several police assigned full time to this as well as probably a PR firm in toe - liaising with journalists - preparing media releases for all eventualities - damage control in the case of assaults etc etc.

“On the street the ‘operational commanders’ take over and all bets are off.”

John Minto was described by North and South magazine in July 1991 as “the quintessential protester”. And Loose magazine titled him in its launch issue this month as “one time the most hated person in New Zealand - second perhaps to Muldoon on this one!” He is of course still recognised as the “face” of the anti-apartheid movement in New Zealand, and he wears the scars of the 1981 protests. Lately, John Minto is the national spokesperson for QPEC, the Quality Public Education Coalition.

The police, he says, are always keen for protest groups to “lay out their cards” prior to taking their message to the people. But the police always “will refuse to lay out their own”.

Police say protesters can expect to be photographed and videoed; “a common practice for police and will be done openly during APEC” says Detective Marshall.

"The staff involved are dressed in police overalls and clearly visible as police," he says. "It is done for numerous reasons including assisting in the investigation of any complaints about police actions as well as the identification and prosecution of offenders."

For protesters, the police plan means being allocated a time and a place, well away from the eyes of heads of governments.

To play by the police’s set rules equals ineffectiveness: “They will be very happy to support any protest where they set the venue and the ground rules. Inevitably however such protests prove utterly ineffective.”

And as protesters apply pressure to get their message across, the police quickly harden their attitude: “They rapidly revert to type. Any previous assurances go out the window - their previous words are meaningless.”

“In my view there is little point engaging in any discussions with them. They will have been monitoring phone calls for many months in any case, along with the SIS which will have passed all its APEC intelligence onto the CIA who themselves will have been more active than usual here for the past few months in the leadup to APEC.

“Its important to say also that if people don't actively exercise their democratic right to protest then they will lose those rights or have them severely curtailed by police practices of ‘managing’ protest,” John Minto says.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction. However, our current worldview and political paradigm renders us incapable of responding adequately due to its disconnected and divisive default settings.

These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

The Dig: Scoop’s Engaged Journalism Platform Launches
The Scoop Ecosystem has grown bigger with the launch of The Dig - a new public interest, in-depth, Engaged Journalism platform. More>>

 

Unscoped Or Missed Damage: Resolution For Canterbury Owners Of On-Sold Homes

People with over-cap on-sold* properties in Canterbury can now apply for a Government payment so they can get on and repair their homes. More>>

ALSO:

Hamilton-Auckland: First Urban Growth Partnership Signed

New Zealand’s first urban growth partnership between the Government, local councils and mana whenua was signed at a meeting of mayors, chairs and ministers in Hampton Downs today. More>>

ALSO:

Vote On Action Next Week: Secondary Principals Walk From Negotiations

“Unfortunately we consider there is no further value in continuing negotiations at this point. The government has not been able to table an offer that will be acceptable to our members.” More>>

Patrol Car Stolen, Glocks Taken: Manhunt In Gore

The driver rammed the patrol car before fleeing on foot with Police chasing, also on foot. The man has then circled back around, stolen the patrol vehicle, which had the keys left in it, and rammed another Police car... Two Police-issued Glock pistols were stolen. More>>

ALSO:

"Shocking And Dangerous": Accused Mosque Shooter's Prison Letter Posted Online

The man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks has sent seven letters from prison and had two others withheld, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Corrections has now blocked the accused gunman from sending or receiving mail... More>>

ALSO:

Standing On List Only: Paula Bennett To Run National’s Election Campaign

The National Party is pleased to announce the appointment of Paula Bennett as our Campaign Chair for the 2020 General Election, President Peter Goodfellow says. More>>

Waiver For State Care Inquiry: Historic Abuse Survivors 'Can Speak Freely'

Abuse in state care survivors can take part in the forthcoming Royal Commission proceedings without being bound by any confidentiality obligations to Crown agencies under their historic claim settlements, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Trail Trial: Sexual Violence Court Reduces Lead-Up Times And Trauma

An evaluation of New Zealand’s first sexual violence court has confirmed that the approach taken in the judge-led pilot considerably reduces the time that cases take to reach trial. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels