Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Tears As Friends Locked Up & Sent To Auckland

Tears As Friends Locked Up & Sent To Auckland


By Julie Webb-Pullman

Wellington District Court was today the scene of outrage, incredulity and tears, when four peace activists were again denied bail, and remanded by Judge Bruce Davidson in custody for transfer to appear for a further hearing in the Auckland District Court 1st and 2nd November. Name suppression continues.

Judge Davidson also said he expected in normal course of events for another bail application to be heard within a month for the accused. This is the only fact concerning his decision that is allowed to be reported.

While Scoop is unable to report on the content of submissions it would be fair observe that that counsel for the accused took considerable exception to much of the reasoning given by the crown for continued detention.

It is not known at this stage whether the bail decision will be appealed.

A crowd of over a hundred had arrived by 10.30am this morning hoping for one of the 40 or so seats in the public gallery. Those early enough to get one were soon thrown out, as the judge ordered the court cleared for submissions by counsel.

Unlike Tame Iti’s whanau, who were permitted to hug and greet him at his bail hearing, family members of the Wellington accused were banished along with everyone else, with no opportunity to give personal support.

Undeterred, they and the accused’ friends, supporters and other concerned members of the public maintained a vigil both outside the courtroom, and the Court building.

By lunchtime it was clear that this was going to be an all-day affair, giving many cause for hope. The mood was still upbeat, with many increasingly hopeful that basic principles of justice would prevail, that people with no previous convictions or histories of breaches of court orders would be remanded at large, as the law directs.

However, several remained skeptical of such an outcome, saying the scope of the surveillance and detention operation called “Operation 8” has been so surreal that it was no longer possible to apply normal analysis.

When the court reconvened at 2pm so did family members and supporters, but they were again denied admission, and continued their vigil outside. Spirits rose shortly after 3pm, when the judge retired to consider his decision, announcing he would hand it down at 4.15pm.

Most remained, hopeful of at least being permitted to hear the decision, if not celebrate their release on remand. One of the lawyers even asked for this at the outset. There appeared to be an expectation – among the lawyers - that at least some of the accused would be granted bail.

A little after 4.30pm it was clear there was to be no cause for celebration – the Judge announced to media alone that he would permit publication of the decision only (no reasons or submissions or indeed anything at all except the fact of a bail hearing and of it failing).

He remanded all defendants in custody and ordered their transfer to Auckland District Court for a hearing on 1 November, without prejudice and subject to appeal and review.

Family and friends were devastated, and supporters and members of the public stunned and outraged.

One activist said having worked with them in some of the same movements, she is really shocked, and fears that it could happen to any of them. “When everyone’s getting angry and shouting and wanting to break things, they [the defendants] were planting community gardens.”

Audio clips of responses from supporters will be added to this article shortly.

*************

Julie Webb-Pullman is a Wellington based writer and journalist.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Valerie Morse: Key And NZ Police At G20: What A Contribution

While 200 New Zealand police officers are helping to repress protests outside of the G20 in Brisbane this week, John Key has been inside pushing the interests of giant multinational corporations to fast track the World Trade Organization (WTO) ... More>>

ALSO:

Gabriela Coutiño: Ayotzinapa Caravan Meets With EZLN In Oventic

In their visit to Zapatista Territory, parents of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa Guerrero, agreed with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), to articulate a national grassroots movement that would question forced disappearances ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Talk Of A Third Intifada: Where To From Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. More>>

ALSO:

David Swanson: Who Says Ferguson Can't End Well

Just as a police officer in a heightened state of panic surrounded by the comfort of impunity will shoot an innocent person, the Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency preemptively, thus justifying violence in response to something ... More>>

Melanie Duval-Smith: Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

So, you are not allowed to feed the homeless on the streets of Florida. Last week, a 90 year old man and two Christian ministers were arrested for doing just that. I can hear the cries of the right wingers from here. “Not in our back yard”, ... More>>

John Chuckman: What We Truly Learned From the Great War and the Absurdity of Remembrance Day

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding ... More>>

Redress Information: A European Call To Suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement

More than 300 political parties, trade unions and campaign groups have called on the European Union to suspend its “association agreement” with Israel. The agreement, which came into force in 2000, facilitates largely unrestricted trade with Israel ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Age Of TV Jokers: Arab Media On The Brink

As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news