Terrorist arrests or state repression in New Zealand.
The mainstream media (BBC, AP, TV3) have all reported this as a significant anti-terror plot being foiled.
However, indymedia shows a quite different picture with a number of social centers being raided. When i read about environmental actavists and native new zealenders being arrested by hundereds of arrmed police i tend to think first of state repression and latter about the possibility of the charges being substantiated. The corporate media, seem to have gone with the police statement, which paints a picture of an extreme group ready to start an armed struggle.
In fact, there was an interesting case of police infiltration of Maori actavists, dismissed as ludicris by the govornment only to be revealed as a reality.
There is also an anti-coal mining campaign that has been targeted, one of its members houses have been raided. Possibly the police are using some real armed Maori nationalists as an excuse to arrest some politically inconvenient campaigners...nothing is clear. It is also possible that the whole thing is being cooked up: it is true that one of the Maori guys arresed had worked as a security guard for high wealth businessmen, hence a need for arms...although not molitov cocktails that have been roumoured!
One of the social centers raided is called 'A Space Inside'. New on one of their conferences here.
The blogs of two people under supression orders:
Anarchia and Capitalism Bad:Tree Pretty
Some commentary by someone in NZ, who seems to (i have just realised) take the same view that is evolving in my mind. Namely, that something may have happened that involved an armed group, but that this has been used as a cover.
The most comprehensive coverage of this story, by a blogger, who i`m not to keen on, but who seems interested in the truth can be found here. On that bit about truth...i mean elements of truth, there is a lot about communists etc., and i`m not sure about that stuff, it largely incidental anyway. Ok, just found out that there is corroboration that Tame Iti has communist connections, also he once shot a gun at a NZ flag and went through a lengthy trial. He's a scary looking guy but his previous hardly suggests a terrorist. From Stuff.nz:
With his heavily tattooed face and a tendency toward the melodramatic, Tame Iti is the country's best known Maori rights campaigners.One of the people arrested and chared with arms offences is Tame Iti.
Tame Iti has been THE face of maori radicalism for more than a decade.Some details on the people arrested, and the organisations that they belong to can be found here. It is important to note that there where arrests all over NZ, and in many cases the connections between these individuals are not obvious. It is perhaps not unlikely that there where not connections of any substance, but you can dig for yourself on that one. The mainstream media story, is however, suspect to say the least. For one, i dont believe anyone would arm themselves at a social centre, you would have to be nuts! You would do that covertly, at home, or even better at a secret and non public location.
According to the Australian socialist party:
One article, that i did find, and that is distrubing is an Anarchist arguing that violence can be justified. A very odd argument for an anarchist to make, and probably more likely to remain theory than to have been an explination for the police raids but i thought it was worth sharing. More local anarchists writings. In my view there politically inconvenient activities are far more likely to be relavent to there arrests than a radical tendency gone violent.
The raids were carried out under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the Firearms Act. More than 300 police were involved in the operation. The early morning raids were carried out at several addresses including the ‘A Space Inside’ anarchist social centre in Auckland and an activist community centre in Wellington. The raids were the first use of the country’s Terrorism Suppression Act.
The raids came after months of work by anti-terror police, with evidence gathered from hundreds of hours of recordings from bugged conversations, video surveillance, and tapped mobile phone calls and text messages. Police Commissioner Howard Broad alleged that those arrested had used firearms and other weapons at military-style training camps.
Prominent Tino Rangatiratanga activist Tame Iti was among the first arrested at his home at 4am Monday morning. At 6am raids were carried out at A Space Inside anarchist social centre in Auckland [ Search Warrant ] and the 128 activist Community Centre in Wellington [ Video of police raid ]. In Tuhoe Country, the town of Ruatoki was blockaded by armed police for several hours, with no cars allowed in and many searched, including a school bus full of children.It stinks to me. My only question is have they fabricated the whole thing, or have they just exploited something and used wide ranging laws to broaden there scope and go after people who are campaigning against coal mining, battery hens, trade agreements...and everything else.
The person above whose house was raided and who works for the Save Happy Valley campaign against coal is supporting a very productive campaign part of the time. And i`d put money on it that not destroying such work by joining in a 'Terror Plot' would be a high priority! The groups youtube account is here. Funny that he works against a state owned coal company and is being arrested...
[UPDATE 2] 21:59 BST
It's starting to look more likely that this is a politically motivated event, enabled by broad ranging terror laws...and quite likely based on a small number of people having fire arms without licence. I think talk of molotov cocktails etc has grown out of claims by the police that these where suspected...careful wording by the media hides the fact that this was only a suspicion, the fact that it was not claimed by the police in there offical statement gives it deniability. Also, there is some anti-terror legislation comming up soon. Not that that is related...
[UPDATE 3] 22:32 BST
There is now a protest planned to highlight what is calimed to be supression of protest. An odd thing for a terror cell to do!
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