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Police Action On Zemin Protesters First Hand

Scoop recieved this first hand account of the police action during the September 1999 state visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin, which was strongly criticised in a Justice and Electoral Select Committee inquiry.

- ZEMIN PROTESTS: The Police Commissioner says it was only because protesters became violent that police moved them during a free Tibet protest while Chinese President Jiang Zemin was in New Zealand last year. Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley says she spoke to police but did not instruct them on how to handle the protest. However, the manager of the hotel where Shipley was due to meet Zemin for a state dinner said Mrs. Shipley was urging police to move the protesters because Mr. Zemin’s arrival was being delayed. .......

Also on TV 1's Breakfast programme this morning, Kommisar Rob Robinson, said that Police moved into the protest because a fight broke out amongst the protestors, and that the handles of the placards were potentially weapons.

He also said that Protestors have to bear some responsibility for what happened. (Assuming that the protestors have to take responsibility for having the Police come over the barricade and beat the hell out of them and push them back a hundred odd meters during what was a peaceful and lawful protest)

NZMD2K's comments...... ( and I was there......)

The fight that broke out, was in fact about 10 meters away from the protest, and did not involve protestors but was between two 'street people' who (as we found out later) had an ongoing feud and just happened to come across each other at that time and place. The fight was not broken up by the police and was in fact stopped by protestors, including myself. The two street people who fought, were taken into the back of the police van, but were released from the back of the van a short time afterwards, apparently without being charged for anything. What also is of concern is the timeline between this fight and the police using it as justification for their actions. The fight was well over and forgotten by the time the police jumped over the barricades. At least a half an hour later. No doubt a defence to the delay would be that they needed more reinforcements to push the protest back, I wonder if they will attempt to use this one.......

The 'Potential weapons' (Placard handles) that Rob Robinson made comment on this morning have been used for numerous (too many to count!) protests before and after the Free Tibet protest. Never before have the handles of the placards been confiscated by the Police nor has they even been mentioned by the Police on a protest previously, due to the possibility of them becoming weapons.

No-one in the crowd of protestors had lengths of wood, as the Police Komissar stated this morning, all handles were attached to placards during the protest. It wasn't until the Police came over the barricades and started grabbing the placards from the demonstrators that the placards became dislodged from the handles. Maybe it has something to do with the way that the Police stood on the placards and pulled the handles from them. There is video footage of exactly this happening.

Once again it appears that the Police are attempting a cover up, and attempting to 'justify' their actions on that night with more lies.

Keep going Mr. Police man....the more you try the easier it is to pull your 'defence' apart.

As for Jenny not giving the order to push the protest back... then who did ??????????????????? That's the real question. What cop wants to put his, or her hand up and take specific responsibility for what happened that night.......or was it just an uncontrolled spontaneous action of 30-40 police?


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