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  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  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  ... The Dominion. Given the Greens already called those arrested "Maori, peace and environmental activists ," 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 , would it.
And fellow traveller of many of those arrested Nandor Tanczos said a year ago  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 , I'd like to think his silence  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  the burning of forests and the blowing up of dams, and who "clapped and cheered " when 3000 people were murdered in destruction of the World Trade Center, is heading to the UN  to seek "justice" for the people "terrorised" by the police carrying out search warrants, but not before condemning  ... 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 " ... 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  is equally outraged that the public might read for themselves the true nature of his client is joined by fellow lawyer Moana Jackson  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 , 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 , condemning the aspirations of violence only elliptically with his comment on Jamie Lockett, and from TV3's John Campbell, who (as Lindsay Perigo  identifies), "dismiss its significance because of the small number of people involved." Crikey, even Jordan Carter  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 , and Pita Sharples disgraced himself early on by quickly pulling out the race card  and waving it in the face of the evidence, but he has at least said "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 :
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
It doesn't. Two evils don't whitewash the fallacy.
Ayn Rand makes the point  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
Clear enough for you?
Perigo  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