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

 


Urewera 17 Profile: Omar Hamed - Student Activist

Over the coming 2 weeks Scoop.co.nz will be profiling each of the so-called terrorists arrested on Monday 15th October and now known as the Urewera 17. The second profile is of Omar Hamed whose name is no longer suppressed as of this afternoon after his lawyer failed to file an appeal to continue it in the Auckland High Court. Omar Hamed is the youngest of the so-called terrorists at 19 and is being held at an Auckland youth justice facility.

Omar Hamed
Aged 19 - Student


Profile By Joseph Barratt

Standing at the dock is a skinny 19-year-old boy, fluffy hair, wearing glasses and an old wool jersey, he gives a smile to his mother and friends.

Like all the defendants Omar Hamed is charged with firearm offences and police are still considering laying terrorist charges against him – he is one of the 17-arrested in the police raids last week.

Half-Palestinian, born in Greece but raised in New Zealand, he has campaigned for social justice from an early age. In the past he has told reporters that he gained his inspiration from seeing his mother struggling to stop National and NZ First attacks on social welfare.

He told them that once he began to get a better understanding of issues he started writing and educating others. He has written several pieces published on Scoop.co.nz in recent months.

An active member in Students for peace and justice in Palestine, Omar is also active in a range of causes in New Zealand, that include the www.Supersizemypay.com campaign aimed at raising the minimum wage, and Radical Youth.

He currently studies History and Sociology at Auckland University.

Maire Leadbeater the head of the New Zealand Indonesian Human Rights Committee and sister of Green MP Keith Locke has worked together a lot with him.

She describes him as someone who is, “very dedicated and committed to human justice.”

“He was one of the key people with an interest in the Superfunds,” she said. “He did a lot of research into the superfund investments.”

The Governments Superfund has come under pressure this year because of revelations of apparent unethical investments, it includes investments in arms manufacturers, nuclear technology, and Total- the French petroleum company that has operations in Burma.

He was “keen for everyone to work together [to raise the Superfund issue]” Leadbeater says, he even attended a meeting with Superfund director in August to discuss the possibility of ending those investments.

A friend and activist that has known him for 3 ½ years says he was an articulate speaker and also very passionate.

He went on to say that that some people come along to protests for the fun of it but he was really committed, he would spend hours researching and writing about the different causes.

“He is someone who cares about the issues, which stems from the fact that he cares about people,” the friend said.

Hamed was also instrumental in organizing the recent protests against the US-NZ Partnership forum and also lives and helps run A Space Inside Social Centre, an Anarchist collective on Symonds Street. It runs as a bike workshop, library, meeting room for discussion of ideas and holds film screenings and shows for anyone interested.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Bernie Sanders Aftermath

Even as Bernie Sanders was celebrating his win yesterday in New Hampshire, the road ahead for the Sanderistas seemed as dark as ever. The notion that the Sanders victory has shaken the Democratic Party to its core and is causing furrowed, worried brows etc among the party mandarins is complete nonsense. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb From The Middle East: Social Control Is Emerging As ISIS (Da’ish) Motive

It is widely recognized that the damage done to our cultural heritage in Syria and to the heritage of those who will follow us, cannot be calculated... Heretofore, three varying but cogent explanations for ISIS’ rabid destruction of our shared cultural heritage have been commonplace. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Myopia Of The Business News

Listening to the business news is a bit like eavesdropping on the radio transmissions from space aliens. There is no discernible connection between the concerns of the captains of these space ships – the bank economists and the finance house spokesmen – and the concerns of ordinary listeners back on Planet Earth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Clinton, Sanders, Trump And Cruz

Come November, the world will have a new US president-elect and the least unlikely winner still looks to be Hillary Clinton. Right now though, the polls are showing a rocky stretch ahead for her in the immediate future. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Sean Penn And El Chapo - Vanity, Hollywood And Reportage

Leaving aside Sean Penn’s personal history with drug use, let alone alleged efforts to get a slice of celebrity in portraying a drug lord, the furore surrounding his interview with El Chapo is instructive in a few respects. One is worth noting: the blind rage it has provoked with some US political figures and advocates who show how utterly lacking in understanding they are of their own liberal market system... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Podemos, And Spain’s Election Stalemate

By hard grassroots effort, it convincingly rejected the fragmented, individualising forces that had shaped political life for the past few decades – instead, it organized its supporters on the basis of their common, communal experience via collective decision-making aimed at rolling back (a) the austerity-driven cutbacks in public services and (b) the home evictions of those unable to meet their mortgage payments. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Merkel, Refugees And The Cologne Attacks

Huge pressure was already on Angela Merkel’s shoulders prior to the New Year celebrations. When it came in its waves of chaos on the eve, the security services in Cologne were found wanting. The police document from Cologne, leaked to Der Spiegel, speaks of chaos and lack of control. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news