Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


The Litmus Test for NZ's Social Justice Activists


The Litmus Test for NZ's "Social Justice" Activists

By Peter Cresswell
Nov 15 2007

Presented with the opportunity to nail their colours to the mast and issue a ringing condemnation of violence -- to come out against taking up arms against "the white man"; against a wish that "bullets start going through people"; against any suggestion of "a bombing campaign that blew up Waihopai spy base, power dams, gas facilities, TV stations and radios" and a terror campaign so sudden and so brutal "they'll think it's al Qaeda" -- what do the advocates for global peace and social justice do instead?

What do so called advocates of peace, equality, non-violence and non-racism do in the face of excerpts from transcripts of police surveillance [1] showing those acting in the name of those aspirations prepared to carry out actions markedly less pacifist than their supposed aims?

The reaction from the fellow travellers is instructive. Do they condemn? Do they hell. They turn their heads away instead and whine about everything from our "racist" police force (who arrested three Maori out of seventeen who were charged) to "heavy handed" treatment of some suspects, to the publication of these oh so revealing transcripts -- but they have refused to condemn what's revealed in those transcripts.

That in itself is enormously revealing.

Make no mistake, this is a litmus moment: a time when people who support the stated ends of those arrested can and should make make it clear that they are revolted by their chosen and now-stated means.

But for the most part they aren't doing that, are they. Even 'Bomber' Bradbury [2] has invited them to, saying repeatedly: "NO PEACE ACTIVIST - NO SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTIVIST HAS ANY RIGHT TO PICK UP A GUN IN NZ! And the second you do pick up a gun - you are no longer a member of a social justice movement."

Would that others in that camp said the same. But they aren't, and we're entitled to make a judgement about what that means.

Instead of condemning the aspirations for blood lust, Keith Locke for example has come out against [3] ... The Dominion. Given the Greens already called those arrested "Maori, peace and environmental activists [4]," with whom the Greens presumably see some common cause, it would appear there is prima facie evidence here that, for the Greens, being a peace activist gives one carte blanche to cheer about murder. It wouldn't be the first time [5], would it.

And fellow traveller of many of those arrested Nandor Tanczos said a year ago [6] that he had "spoken to people" who see a future of "permanent civil unrest and eventually when the demographics change enough, for outright war" and it "frightens the hell" out of him. Where is he now that what those people were speaking about is more public? Like Trevor Loudon [7], I'd like to think his silence [8] indicates he's telling the police all he knows, no matter how minor it may seem. But I don't for moment think that's what the silence of this "mainstream environmentalist" indicates, do you?>

Meanwhile Iti's lawyer Annette Sykes, the woman who twelve years ago called for [9] the burning of forests and the blowing up of dams, and who "clapped and cheered [10]" when 3000 people were murdered in destruction of the World Trade Center, is heading to the UN [11] to seek "justice" for the people "terrorised" by the police carrying out search warrants, but not before condemning [12] ... that's right, the publication of transcripts showing her client(s) for what they are.

And John Minto, co-organiser with many of those arrested of a ragbag of radical groups, found time to condemn as "despicable [13]" ... what do you think? ... the media. Ne mention of how despicable it is to arm and train and plan for murder.

And Jamie Lockett's lawyer [14] is equally outraged that the public might read for themselves the true nature of his client is joined by fellow lawyer Moana Jackson [15] who is "appalled" -- appalled! -- at ... no, not at the revelations of violent hatred and blood lust but "the lack of journalistic responsibility" shown in telling the public what his client(s) are really like, and particularly that "Fairfax printed selective items from a huge volume of evidence." I doubt whether we should take that to mean that all the evidence should be made public.

And then there's dear old Peter Williams [16], QC, who's made a healthy living over the years from defending scum in court (and campaigning for a more comfortable stay in prison for the scum when they go down), who used the word "cowardly" yesterday when commenting on the transcripts. No, not the aspirations stated therein to "to kill Pakeha to get trainees used to killing" or "to assassinate the prime minister, the new one, next year's one." No, that wasn't what stated this officer of the court calls cowardly -- what he condemns as cowardly is the publication of these statements.

That tells you as much about Mr Williams as you'd ever care to know.

And we're entitled to draw conclusions too from the likes of blogger Idiot Savant, who like Keith Locke condemns the publishing [17], condemning the aspirations of violence only elliptically with his comment on Jamie Lockett, and from TV3's John Campbell, who (as Lindsay Perigo [18] identifies), "dismiss its significance because of the small number of people involved." Crikey, even Jordan Carter [19] can find it within himself to express a little momentary distaste. But not I/S.

There's really only one of the usual suspects so far who emerges from this litmus test with a better colour. The Maori Party early on nailed their colours to those accused being angels [20], and Pita Sharples disgraced himself early on by quickly pulling out the race card [21] and waving it in the face of the evidence, but he has at least said [22]"Make no mistake - we are absolutely and categorically horrified by the threatening language we have read in the paper today." Signs of hope, perhaps? It is at least an indication to some of these other fellow travellers the sort of response they now need to take, or to be judged accordingly.

For my own part, let me repeat what I've already said here [23]:

There is a vast gulf between genuine civil disobedience and the "direct action" supported by so called peace activists and anarchists and anti-colonialists, and I for one find it instructive that defenders of the arrested seventeen wish to conflate the two. There is an unstated assumption that because the state so often uses force in promoting its values, that this somehow legitimises ragtag unwashed whiners using force to promote their values.

It doesn't. Two evils don't whitewash the fallacy.

Ayn Rand makes the point [24] as clear as it can be:

One does not and cannot "negotiate" with brutality, nor give it the benefit of the doubt. The moral absolute should be: if and when, in any dispute, one side initiates the use of physical force, that side is wrong—and no consideration or discussion of the issues is necessary or appropriate.

Clear enough for you?

Perigo [25] drives the point home:

The greatest good to come from the terror raids may not be the stopping of the terrorists in their tracks, excellent and noble though that certainly be, but the exposure of their vile apologists for what they are.


Peter Cresswell organon @ ihug.co.nz
SOLO SOLOPassion.com

Source URL:

[1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4272832a6000.html
[2] http://tumekeblogspot.com/
[3] http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR11383.html
[4] http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR11368.html
[5] http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/12/keith-locke-exposed-again.html
[6] http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2007/11/should-nandor-tanczos-be-talking-to.html
[7] http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2007/11/should-nandor-tanczos-be-talking-to.html
[8] http://www.google.co.nz/news?q=nandor+tanczos&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rls=DVFC,DVFC:1970--2,DVFC:en&scoring=n
[9] http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2007/09/national-question-29-radical-racist.html
[10] http://pc.blogspot.com/2005/12/keith-locke-exposed-again.html
[11] http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/11/nothing-to-hide.html
[12] http://www.stuff.co.nz/4273333a25364.html
[13] http://www.stuff.co.nz/4273333a25364.html
[14] http://www.stuff.co.nz/4274032a25364.html
[15] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200711141743/third_paper_publishes_raid_affidavit_extracts
[16] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200711142151/police_raid_extracts_sinister,_says_mp
[17] http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2007/11/damage-done.html
[18] http://www.solopassion.com/node/3669
[19] http://jtc.blogs.com/just_left/2007/11/terrorism-files.html
[20] http://www.maoriparty.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1421&Itemid=73
[21] http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/10/setting-race-relations-back-one-hundred.html
[22] http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0711/S00269.htm
[23] http://pc.blogspot.com/2007/11/when-is-direct-action-legitimate.html
[24] http://www.aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/physicalforce.html
[25] http://www.solopassion.com/node/3669

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ability to pick winners. Others would have looked at the dying remnants of the old Act Party and written it off. Yet National needed an MMP partner and it saw the potential where no-one else did. And so it re-grew the Act Party in a petri dish in Epsom, and carefully nurtured it back to life... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Poll: Labour On 46%, National 31%, While Greens And ACT Both On 8%

Tonight's political poll puts Labour on 46 percent and National on 31 percent with just one day remaining until election day. More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels