I was amused to get a call on Friday from the Herald on Sunday informing me that one of the Urewera 17, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, had previously posted on my blog in relation to how sovereignity changes never come about via talk but “at the edge of a sword, bayonet or bombs”. They just wanted me to confirm the posts were genuine, not from a fake e-mail address.
Of course my first reaction was “Cool – even the terrorists comes to Kiwiblog to debate the issues”
In case it isn’t obvious, please note I am using the term “terrorists” for humour effect. I am not suggesting guilt, innocence or even involvement in any particular alleged crime.
The Herald on Sunday article is here.
Trevor Loudon at New Zeal also has some other online writings from Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara.
The Herald on Sunday also has a story on a visit to Iran by Tame Iti.
Also the HoS supports the publication of the alleged evidence:
He has declined to authorise prosecution under the Suppression of Terrorism Act, but we are not to be trusted with the information that prompted police to launch the most pre-emptive strike they have ever undertaken against civilians in this country.
To describe that as “regrettable” is a very mild choice of words indeed. To anyone familiar with the history of totalitarian regimes, the idea is at least as disturbing as the evidence that has been leaked. Many New Zealanders will be profoundly uneasy about a situation in which the state can move against citizens under terrorism laws, darkly allege non-specified deeds and then, when asked to show its cards, fold its hand and walk away from the table.
And Deborah Coddington writes that the evidence is terrifying:
So now we know. Little surprise Solicitor-General David Collins said the evidence collected by police during the anti-terrorism raids was “very disturbing”.
Until now, allegations by lawyers and supporters of those arrested that the police action was illegal, brutal, racist and violent have been largely unchallenged (with notable, and surprising exceptions such as Chris Trotter). When Moana Jackson said police spread-eagled a mother on the ground and locked her screaming children in the shed for six hours without water, National Radio unquestioningly reported it.
Contempt of court or not, at least publication of the evidence gives us hard evidence, and it is terrifying.
I doubt any of the 180 or so people who purchased a half-page advertisement calling for the repeal of the anti-terrorism legislation, will buy equal space acknowledging they were wrong to state “it’s not terrorism, it is democratic dissent”.
I still have many unanswered questions. The things said were all very bad, but we don’t know who exactly said what, and to whom. We don’t know how many firearms were actually picked up in the raids (I’ve seen numbers from four to 14), and we’ve yet to get real clarity on how often weapons were used in the Ureweras, and by whom.