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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The US Foreign Policy Somersaults Over Syria And Iran

Amidst the day-to-day reports about the military advances of the Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, one remarkable aspect of this war has barely been mentioned. More>>

ALSO:

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Rescue Mission In Iraq

It isn’t often that unilateral US bombing raids within a foreign country can be supported, but the current US bombing campaign in northern Iraq is one such case. The fighters of the Islamic State (IS) appear to be intent on committing genocide against the Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Kurds and every other non-Sunni community in the region… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news