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"Shame" Calls Target Left-Leaning Labourites

Urewera-17 Protest: "Shame" Calls Target Left-Leaning Labourites

By Joseph Barratt

Cries of “shame” met Labour party members as they entered the annual Labour conference earlier today as protesters gathered outside.

Over a hundred people turned up outside the Bruce Mason center in Takapua to show Helen Clark and other Labour party members their anger at new anti-terror legislation and the potential terror charges being sought by the New Zealand police against activists caught up in the recent raids.

[SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: During a heated exchange a Labour party delegate, identified as Len Richards, was seen to pick up a megaphone and strike two protesters in the face (see video below). Scoop can confirm the woman who was struck in the face, Bronwyn Summers, has made a complaint against the alleged assault.]

Click play to view

This video courtesy of Solidarity union

Ten people wearing orange jumpsuits and black gags stood silently to represent what they see as police targeting different social groups in New Zealand, with names such as Maori, ecologist, Tuhoe and anarchist on their backs.

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The protest was peaceful but increasing police numbers, to about 60, saw tensions rise.

Reports in other media indicated that the police line was to prevent protesters from surging into the conference but protesters before the police numbers grew were peaceful (albeit noisy) and remained outside.

After police numbers swelled they then started pushing protesters back and during the day police arrested three of them.

Calling to the delegates inside the conference Global Peace Justice organizer John Minto called for them to go and talk to Labour MP’s and ask why the government was introducing the anti-terror laws.

Minto also said they want the decision about potential terror charges to come from the Attorney General, Micheal Cullen.

He said that the very first time terror cases are potentially to be seen in New Zealand and the government has backed out of making a call.

  • Click here for Scoop's FULL COVERAGE feature on the Urewera 17 issue
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