Socialist group joins successful Ihumātao blockade
Press release - [07:00pm 24/07/2019] - For Immediate Use
PRESS RELEASE: Organise Aotearoa
Socialist group joins successful Ihumātao blockade of police
Land protectors at Ihumātao successfully repelled the police today, says socialist group Organise Aotearoa. Despite a series of arrests this morning, the crowds continued to grow over the day. Kaitiaki built barricades and blocked construction equipment from being brought onto the land. When approximately a hundred police officers attempted to push through, they were opposed by hundreds of protesters. Unable to pass, the police had to leave.
“There is a groundswell of opposition to the development of Ihumātao,” says Emilie Rākete, Māori caucus coordinator for Organise Aotearoa. “With drumming, waiata, and aroha, we repelled the effort to destroy Ihumātao.”
“This land is a precious taonga, and the people of Aotearoa are standing together to protect it.”
“The land is completely unassailable and the police had to scamper through a field to leave. The people have spoken, Ihumātao will not be sold.”
OA was disgusted by comments by Jacinda Ardern and other members of the New Zealand Labour Party.
“Jacinda Ardern’s Labour government has betrayed ordinary people. Ihumātao is a treasure for future generations. The Government has a moral mandate, an obligation, to buy this land from Fletcher.”
“It would be utterly spineless for Ardern to allow Fletcher to profit from destroying this taonga,” says Rākete. “Ihumātao is a heritage for all of Aotearoa to share, not an opportunity for the rich to extract a profit.”
Members of Organise Aotearoa were living at Kaitiaki Village on the land at Ihumātao. Now that the police have evicted them, the organisation has joined the mass occupation at Ihumātao.