Scoop Feedback: The Mintshot Urewera Double Standard
Letter to the Editor
Last night the 20/20 programme did an inside story on Marc Ellis and his mates creating an explosion in the crater of Rangitoto for what they said was a publicity or marketing stunt. Today there is little if any response to that. A group of white men spend weeks together, discussing explosives, creating explosives and then exploding them - but is there any sign of police activity? No. Are they raided?
No. Are their houses searched? No. Are their phones tapped? No. Are they questioned for terrorist activities? No. Now, what would have happened if they were a group of Maori or Greenpeace activists?
What would have been the public and police response to that activity. What would have been the media headlines today - activists create explosives and endanger lives - terrorist activity hidden on island! What a disgusting display of white privilege. Over the past few weeks the police have hounded and abused whole communities and then a group of Pakeha men do exactly the action that the Police say has been happening in Ruatoki and what is the response - nothing.
The contradictions abound both in terms of Police and media inaction. But then why should we be surprised given that the system in this country is constructed to privilege certain groups over others.
So what exactly constitutes a terrorist act? Does exploding large amount of explosives on a public site constitute terrorism? Does planning and practicing such an action constitute terrorism? or are those things only terrorism when done by people who also challenge and protest against State actions and acts of colonisation?
So to be a group of Pakeha business men and to do this activities is merely a "stunt" but to be from Ruatoki or to be related to Tame Iti or to be an activist it is "terrorism". The Police activities of the past four weeks must surely now be seen as farcical as if they were serious then Marc Ellis and his mates would be being charged under the Terrorist Suppression Act bring interrogated by the Police instead of sitting in their comfortable board room giving interviews to 20/20.
na Leonie Pihama
Maori And Indigenous Analysis Ltd
Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)