Social group Organise Aotearoa standing with mass occupation
Socialist group Organise Aotearoa says the eviction of land protectors from Ihumātao is a disgrace and has joined the mass occupation. More than a hundred police officers swarmed the site yesterday to clear campaigners out, including members of Organise Aotearoa. Now, dozens of Organise Aotearoa members are camping out on the stolen land to stand against Fletcher’s attempts to develop it.
“What happened yesterday was shocking,” says Organise Aotearoa spokesperson Kate McIntyre. “The eviction was conducted by over 100 police, without warning or management plans. The police have sided with capitalists over peaceful, working-class Māori resistance.”
Organise Aotearoa were on the site when land protectors were evicted and trespassed, their belongings dumped on the roadside by police. Police immediately began escorting representatives of Fletchers and the single Māori body that supports the development onto the site.
“During our time occupying the land, we were completely peaceful, building toilets, playgrounds and education centres for the local community. Property developers escorted in by police immediately began smashing fencing, Māori flags, and our education centre out of spite.”
“As an organised movement, we are now joining the occupation of Ihumātao to say kāo to land theft. The mana whenua of Ihumātao have been there for 800 years. Organise Aotearoa will do whatever is necessary to keep them there for 800 more.”
Organise Aotearoa has been occupying Ihumātao since last night, and will remain on the land until the concerns of mana whenua are addressed.