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October15th Solidarity.info Newsletter 8 September 2011

October15thSolidarity.info NEWSLETTER No. TWENTY-SIX - 8 September 2011

Tena koutou,

13 down, 4 to go! As you may have heard already, the prosecution has dropped the charges against 13 of the 17 defendants who were arrested in the state terror raids on 15 October 2007 in Aotearoa/NZ. This is an enormous victory for the defendants, their whanau and supporters across the country and across the world. There are four people who continue to face charges and the struggle for their freedom will continue.

The crown has now withdrawn their objection against a jury-trial for the remaining four defendants. A trial is scheduled to start on 13th February 2012.

The defendants who had their charges dropped will have them formally withdrawn in a hearing at the Auckland High Court this Friday, 9th September. A solidarity picket will start at 11.45am outside the court.

Stay in touch, stay informed. If you are on Facebook, like our 'October 15 Solidarity' page. As always, more information below. Drop the charges against Taame, Rangi, Emily and Urs!


:: UPCOMING EVENTS
:: RECENT ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY
:: DONATIONS
:: RESOURCES
:: LINKS


:: UPCOMING EVENTS

1. Solidarity protest outside of the Auckland High Court - 9 September
2. Operation 8: Deep in the forest
3. 4 years after the raids
4. Trial starts 13th February 2012 ... yeah right!


1. Solidarity protest outside of the Auckland High Court - 9 September

Drop ALL the remaining charges!

Friday 9 September 11:45am.

13 accused in the Urewera case will be discharged from the Auckland High Court on Friday, 12 noon sharp.

Please join us for a solidarity picket demanding the freedom of the four remaining people - Emily Bailey, Urs Signer, Rangi Kemara and Taame Iti - and an end to all of Operation 8.


2. Operation 8: Deep in the forest

There are opportunities around the country to see the 'Operation 8' documentary. The film is now also available on DVD. Have a look in your local DVD store for a copy. For more information see http://cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html

:: AUCKLAND - Tuesday, 13 September
University of Auckland - 6.30pm
Dept of Engineering, Symonds St, Eng3.401

:: WHAINGAROA/RAGLAN, Thursday, 22 September
Old School Arts Centre - 7.30pm
Raglan Film Festival
11 Stewart St

:: TAIHAPE - Sunday, 2 October
The Majestic - 12 noon
Sausage sizzle with music, followed with movie screening (1.30pm)


3. 4 years after the raids

An event is planned in Wellington for the fourth anniversary of the state terror raids with a concert on 14t October. More details will be released soon.


4. Trial starts 13th February 2012 ... yeah right!

A new date for the start of the trial has been set for 13th February 2012. October 15th Solidarity will put all its energy into supporting the remaining defendants. Drop the charges against Taame, Rangi, Emily and Urs!


:: RECENT MEDIA RELEASE

Urewera charges dropped against 13: the struggle continues...

The dropping of all charges against 13 accused in the Police Operation 8 case is an enormous victory for the defendants, their whanau and supporters across the country and across the world. There are four people who continue to face charges and the struggle for their freedom will continue.

This whole operation has been a disaster from start to finish.

'For four years we have been terrorised by the New Zealand State. The police undertook an armed invasion of Ruatoki on the 15th of October 2007. They arrested us and put us in prison while they tried to charge us with terrorism. That failed. Now after four years, millions and millions of dollars, and systematic denial of rights to accused, the case has totally failed' said defendant Valerie Morse.

'The Supreme court decision last week which paved the way for the dropping of the charges is a serious indictment of the police's activities.'

'The charges that remain against four people are a desperate attempt by the crown to salvage their reputation and justify this whole fiasco. The charge of 'participation in a criminal group' is a trumped up charge brought by the crown more than a year after the raids in October 2007. The crown avoided making them before the month-long depositions hearing in September 2008 so they didn't even bother to have to make a prima facie case. The charge is akin to 'thought crime' since none of the defendants is charged with any act of violence whatsoever.'

'We can be sure that the crown and police will be waging a propaganda war in the next few months leading up to any trial to try to convince the New Zealand public that they are really bad people. The reality is that Taame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Emily Bailey and Urs Signer are freedom fighters, and we will not rest until they are free. We will continue to fight for justice and an end to this nightmare.'


:: RECENT ARTICLES AND COMMENTARY

A lot has been published in recent days in the mainstream media. Below are a few links to some stories followed by some great media releases and commentary.

NZ Herald:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10749879
Dominion Post:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/5576232/Urewera-terror-raid-case-a-house-of-cards
Taranaki Daily News:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/5576945/Couple-sure-raids-case-will-collapse


1. Urewera charges should never have been laid - National Distribution Union
2. Dropping of Urewera charges a victory for common sense - Global
Peace and Justice Auckland
3. The cost - capitalismbad.blogspot.com


1. Urewera charges should never have been laid - National Distribution Union

The National Distribution Union is welcoming the partial dropping of charges against those arrested in the 2007 raids in Ruatoki and other areas.

'Common sense has finally prevailed,' said Robert Reid, NDU General Secretary.

'There was never anything in this case, and the Crown is lucky it has an excuse for getting out of the farce that the Police created for them.'

The National Distribution Union has members, former members and friends among the defendants, Robert Reid said.

'The raids, the police terrorising of Tuhoe, the detention of many of the defendants for up to a month, the subsequent decision of the Solicitor General that no offence was committed under the Terrorism Suppression Act and the four year legal process illustrate the sorry farce that this was from day one,' he said.

Robert Reid called for the charges against the four remaining defendants to be dropped also.


2. Dropping of Urewera charges a victory for common sense - Global Peace and Justice Auckland

GPJA (Global Peace and Justice Auckland) is delighted to see 11 of the remaining 15 Urewera defendants have their arms charges dropped by the police.

Today's decision is four years too late but is still a victory for the defendants, for civil liberties and for common sense.

The police case which began to crumble the very afternoon of the so-called terror raids on 15 October 2007 is all but over. The police should now close the last door on this sorry saga and drop the charges against the remaining four defendants.

Crown prosecutor Simon Moore today gave some face-saving reasons for dropping the charges but they don't provide even a fig leaf to cover this most embarrassing of police blunders which amounted to a dedicated assault on civil liberties and the right to dissent.

The saddest thing is that each of these defendants will have this issue chasing them for the rest of their lives because whenever their names are searched on the internet the 'terrorist' label will be attached.

It's time to reviewl the so-called anti-terror laws and the massive resources poured into the police and SIS to detect non-existent terrorism in New Zealand. Police powers need curtailing and the resources to undermine dissent removed.

In the meantime GPJA will continue to campaign for the remaining charges to be dropped.


3. The cost - capitalismbad.blogspot.com

It is the 8th of November 2007 at 3.30pm, we are in the park next to Symonds St cemetery. We are waiting. The solicitor general is going to announce whether the crown is going to persue terrorism charges against our friends. We had followed them to Auckland and now we are waiting until 4pm. A few days earlier, I had decided that we are going to win, and I am holding on to my own conviction as a talisman.

Some people are going to get snacks - I find some coins and ask for Whittakers Dark Almond Chocolate. "And if you don't find it they won't get bail."

"Don't say that!" Risks are not acceptable.

They come back with chocolate, but not Dark Almond. What have I done? Someone else there digs to the bottom of her bag and finds a few almonds and I eat the almonds and the chocolate together - that will have to do.

At 4.01 the solicitor general announces that the there will be no terrorism charges.

*********

I was in my office of the 29th of August 2011 - engaging in magical thinking. I had almonds and dark chocolate and ate them together. The Supere Court was going to deliver the most important legal decision in the case since the solicitor general decided not to press terrorism charges sometime that week. I decided that they were going to win. I couldn't think of anything else to do.

The judgement came down about midday Friday. It wasn't as clear as the decision in the park, although it was definitely good news. I tried to guess what it meant, my mind racing through what I knew about the case and the law.

*********

Today the crown dropped the charges against all but four of the defendants (obviously there is more to say - but there a quite a few suppression orders in play at this point).

********

18 people were arrested during the raids on October 15th 2007. Another 4 were arrested in the first half of 2008.

2 had their charges dealt with reasonably quickly in 2007.

1 pled guilty and got discharged without conviction in 2008.

1 had his case thrown out at the depositions hearing in 2008.

1 died in 2011.

13 have had their charges dropped today.

4 still face charges under the Arms Act and of "being part of an organised criminal group"

*********

I have never been able to take the charge of "being part of organised criminal group" seriously. I think it's the word organised. That and the fact that I've read the legislation and know enough about the crown case to see a non-overlap. It is appalling that these ridiculous charges mean that those four people, and those around them, will have to continue to pay the costs of being a defendant.

*********

The 14 people who have had their charges dropped spent a combined 9 months in jail and 50 years on bail.

As part of their bail conditions they have had to report to a police station 1,650 times

They have had to travel more than 15,000 km to meet those bail conditions.

Those living out of Auckland had to travel a total of 7,500 kms to get to Auckland for each court hearing.

They owe millions of dollars in legal aid - which they will have to repay with liens against houses and orders against wages.

And that's not even really it. The most important costs aren't so easily quantifiable. Stress demands compound interest. The raids and charges did not just effect 22 people - hundreds were in houses, cars or school buses that were searched - and more had to sit while people they loved were locked-up, and face the horrific threat of it happening again.

So many people, including me, have stress fractures that will not heal. The cost was on bodies, on minds, on relationships and it cannot be undone.

Tuhoe Lambert did not live to see these charges dropped.


:: DONATIONS

Cheques - Please make your cheque payable to 'October 15 Solidarity', and post to October 15 Solidarity, PO Box 9263, Wellington, New Zealand.

Wire or Transfer Details - Bank: Kiwibank, Account name: October 15 Solidarity, Account Number: 38-9007-0239672-000

This is a Wellington based group that formed in the immediate aftermath of the raids. It does both support work and political organising. Deposits made with the code "Support" will be dedicated towards supporting all those affected by the raids, arrests and on-going court appearances.


:: RESOURCES

The www.October15thSolidarity.info website is regularly updated. The website aims to be multilingual and gives background information aswell as updates on legal proceedings. There are poster, newsletters and leaflets available here: http://october15thsolidarity.info/en/node/236

A DROP THE CHARGES leaflet can be downloaded here:
http://october15thsolidarity.info/sites/default/files/drop%20the%20charges%20A4.pdf


:: LINKS

www.October15thSolidarity.info | www.indymedia.org.nz | www.tuhoe.net
| www.gpja.org.nz

You are receiving this newsletter because you have subscribed to it online or you have left your email address on a sign-up sheet or you were in our personal address books from other campaigns. This newsletter is sent out on an email list. If you would like to be removed from the list, go to https://lists.immerda.ch/mailman/listinfo/october15thsolidarity-newsletter or email us. Cheers!

Solidarity!


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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