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Criminal justice group joins land occupation at Ihumātao

Criminal justice group joins land occupation at Ihumātao

People Against Prisons Aotearoa is joining the occupation of stolen Māori land at Ihumātao. The groups says the deployment of more than 100 police officers today to remove protesters was colonial violence. The land was confiscated from local Māori during the Land Wars, and now dozens of members of the organisation are heading to the site to prevent its development by Fletcher Building.

“The police have always been the footsoldiers of land theft,” says People Against Prisons Aotearoa spokesperson Emilie Rākete. “A hundred years ago it was the police who burned Parihaka to the ground. Today the police trampled on gardens and evicted kaumātua so Fletcher could seize the land.”

“Businesspeople and property developers freely mingled with the police as they fenced in kaitiaki and forced the land protectors out. This act was an invasion of stolen land so it could be handed over to the rich,” says Rākete.

“Ihumātao is a historic archaeological site that we have a responsibility to preserve. People Against Prisons Aotearoa is joining the occupiers on the land to save this precious taonga for everybody.”

ENDS

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