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Drop the charges against political activists

Media Release: Drop the charges against political activists
Date: August 16, 2009
From: October 15th Solidarity Wellington

The 18 defendants arrested in the state terror raids of 15 October 2007 will be back in the Auckland High Court this week. A pre-trial hearing is set down for one week starting on 17th August 2009 at 10am.

"It is time to pull the plug on this travesty - these charges should be dropped" said Peter Steiner, spokesperson for the Wellington October 15th Solidarity group.

"The Crown is persisting in this case to encourage the climate of fear arising from 9/11 and pushed with Operation 8. Most sensible people in this country can see that these are politically motivated charges targeting political activists and aimed at silencing dissent."

"At present all of the 18 accused face minor firearms offences - something that might ordinarily be treated by police with a warning. However, in this case, the crown are desperately trying to save face for invading and terrorising communities around the country. They have added the charge of 'participation in a criminal group' to five of the defendants, in order to justify the existence of these so-called 'anti-terror' police, and the huge waste of resources" said Mr. Steiner.

"The crown and police have wasted more than $20 million in this ridiculous farce already. They spent millions surveilling activists all over the country in Operation 8. Now they are throwing millions more at crown lawyers to try to come up with something that will stick" said Mr. Peter Steiner.


The Wellington October 15th Solidarity group was formed in the days after
the nation-wide raids in 2007. Our organising objectives are:

- To drop the charges
- To repeal the Terrorism Suppression Act
- To seek justice for those affected by the raids
- To support Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe and Tino Rangatiratanga
for all Maori

We are organising a week-long art auction at Thistle Hall for the second
anniversary of the raids in October 2009. More information on the art
auction can be found here: http://october15thsolidarity.info/artauction


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