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Police pay to spy on peaceful protest group

Police pay to spy on peaceful protest group

Press Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition


14 December 2008

The Save Happy Valley Coalition (SHVC) is extremely disappointed to learn that an anti-terror squad informant has been collecting information about peaceful protest activities, as well as the personal lives of protesters.

"The Save Happy Valley Coalition is one of many groups spied on by Rob Gilchrist on behalf of the police." says Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Alan Liefting. The group has spent years campaigning against an open cast coal mine in the West Coast valley and recently threw a custard pie at coal company boss Don Elder.

"What we want to know is whether the police also have an informant within Solid Energy! By driving species to extinction, removing wetlands and destroying kiwi habitat the company is one of New Zealand's largest perpetrators of ecoterrorism!"

"The environmental movement in New Zealand has always used peaceful means of protesting so it is a waste of police resources to target environmental activist groups. There are any number of more important priorities that the police should deal with."

"Where will it all end? Is New Zealand turning into a police state? Our police may be the least corrupt in the world but it is inexcusable to spy on groups trying to work for the good of the wider community."


NOTES:


1. SHVC has carried out non-violent direct action including a three year occupation of Happy Valley in protest against Solid Energy's Cypress Mine.

2.SHVC website is at http://www.savehappyvalley.org.nz

3. SHVC has been the target of spying in the past. Ryan Patterson-Rouse worked for Thompson and Clark Investigations while he was involved with SHVC and passed on information on about the group.

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