Home > The Body Politic > First they came for Maori “radicals”…

First they came for Maori “radicals”…

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First they came for the “Maori radicals”, and I didn’t speak out, because I wasn’t  maori or a “radical”…

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Full story

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Then they came for the alleged cyber-pirate from Germany, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a cyber-pirate or German,

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Full story

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Then they came for the botanists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a botanist,

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Full story

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Then they came for me, and no one else spoke out, because they didn’t give a shit either…

[Acknowledgement to Martin Niemöller ,1892–1984]

The raids on the Ureweras (and elsewhere in NZ on the same day); Kim Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion; and Graeme Platt’s homes all had one thing in common; a gross mis-use of para-military power in a country that has not seen such events since the Land Wars in the 1800s.

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If middle-class New Zealanders believed  that the Urewera terror raids (the terror being caused by black-garbed “ninja police”  on a sleepy little backwater village) was a one-off exercise,   then that belief was greatly misplaced.

The State attempted to depict Tame Iti and his colleagues as  homegrown “terrorists”, planning some mysterious, spectacularly catastrophic, event involving catapulting a bus on to US President Bush.  (I kid you not. See: Protest highlights terror raid case)

But no terrorism charges were ever laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, and the 18 defendents were eventually ‘whittled down’  to just four (one died awaiting trial). Those four were convicted on more mundane firearms charges.

Hardly the stuff of  Al Queda operations planning mass-destruction.

Since then, we have witnessed no  less extraordinary  events  in January this year, when more para-military  “ninja-police” in vehicles and helicopters, armed with high-powered automatic weapons, raided a mansion in Coatsville.

There has never been a satisfactory explanation given as to why such a high degree of force was necessary.

Recently, on 11 October, the home of botanist Graeme Platt (71) was raided by six carloads of police and Ministry of Primary Industry officials. Evidently the police and officials were searching for a tree ?! (Terrorist trees?)

It is rapidly becoming evident that something mad and sinister is happening to our once easy-going, laid-back society.

Gone are the days of  “she’ll be right, mate“. When is the last time you heard that phrase?

Now it’s more like a growing intrusion of State power.

Once upon a time, the growth of police power was justified by our politicians  as the fight against drugs and organised crime.

Since the early 2000s, that justification has been redefined as the fight against “terrorism”.

This is not just about the covert monitoring of New Zealand citizens and residents. We are now witnessing the open use of raw, naked,  State power, in the form of the Armed Offenders Squad and the Special Tactics Group ( formerly known as the Anti-Terrorist Squad) bursting into people’s homes.

These paramilitary forces – once used solely against drug rings or homocidal nutters with small armouries – are now being employed more and more in situations which seem hard to justify or understand.

It has been said that the raids on the Ureweras (and elsewhere in NZ, on that day) and Kim Dotcom, was carried out to impress our American cuzzies in the United States. Evidently, the boys in blue at Police National HQ wanted to show the FBI, Hollywood, White House, and anyone else who happened to be watching that we were ‘serious players’ when it came to dealing with terrorists and other assorted evil-doers.

In their eagerness to impress the Yanks, it  became readily apparent  that our politicians, police, and miscellaneous bureacrats have moved New Zealand to become a  mini-America clone; gun-happy and willing to use over-the-top force with or without justification.

The dawn raid on a botanist’s home, by six carloads of government officials and police,  in search of a damned tree, should be a clear wake-up call for all New Zealanders. The choice we face is fairly simple and clear-cut;

  1. We keep going the way we are; with excessive State power being used and mis-used; more surveillance in our daily  lives;  armed police raids on the flimsiest excuses; until none of us are safe and we end up living in a country that is unrecognisable and alien to our parents.
  2. We take stock of where we are with our laws and culture of State power, and declare that enough is enough.

The use of force shown in the last few years, I submit to the reader, should be sufficient to turn the stomach of all but the most ardent supporter of the fascist state. Unless New Zealanders are looking forward to living in a police State, it is my contention that, as stated in Option #2 above, enough is enough.

It should be the priority of an incoming government in 2014 (or earlier) that a full review of legislation such as the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002,  Surveillance Act 2012, and any similar laws, should be undertaken.

It is my contention that these two laws should be repealed forthwith, as they are abhorrent in any society that professes to respect freedom. It is further my contention that such laws serve no useful purpose except to create a mindset and culture in our Government  that there is no limit to the exercise of state power through the use of force against citizens who may come to the attention of police and bureacrats.

To those people who might be fearful in ridding ourselves of these laws, it should be remembered that no one has ever been charged under terrorism legislation and that the used of armed police in dawn raids has yet to be  justified.

We are simply giving the State – and it’s myriad of officials, bureacrats, police, spies, etc – the power to act with little restraint, as if they are authorities beyond public control.

Such a state of affairs, my fellow New Zealanders, is what it looks like; the germination of a police state.

In case the reader believes I am over-reacting, consider that the raid on Graeme Platt’s home was not looking for bombs, guns, subversive literature, Al Qaeda operatives, etc.

They were looking for a tree.

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Sources

NZ Herald: ‘Plant Nazis’ hunt for outlawed trees

Parliament: Terrorism Suppression Act 2002

Parliament: Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill

Parliament: Search and Surveillance Act 2012

Other blogs

Tumeke: NZ Police reassure country that they are the only gang trying to infiltrate the force

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= fs =

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  1. Shane Hayes
    22 October 2012 at 1:16 am

    I wonder if the overkill of sending so many cars and cops on a raid is to have a cushy number with an easy job of filling out timesheets while sharpening wankerism skills.

  2. Paul Carruthers
    22 October 2012 at 1:27 am

    Thank You very very much for this link Frank !

    I post it on Freedom for Tame Iti and now be posting it on my wall, I hope you don’t mind Brother :-)

    • 22 October 2012 at 1:47 am

      “Mind”? I’m honoured!

      I’m more than happy for folks to repost or use bits of my writings as they like. Go hard, mate!

    • 22 October 2012 at 8:09 am

      Cheers, Paul :-)

  3. Paul Carruthers
    22 October 2012 at 7:40 am

    And then the Prime Minister got caught flat out lying to Parliament.
    Which is a criminal offence.
    Twice.
    And absolutely nothing happened.
    Welcome to New Zealand.

  4. Taura
    22 October 2012 at 7:51 am

    So…… Do we wait another two years? Or do we start pressuring the other parties to turn on the nats as they should’ve done already? And have the charges laid and the govt. sacked.

    • Paul Carruthers
      22 October 2012 at 8:58 am

      Key won’t see out the next two years anyway. I’m picking Shearer was installed to take over. The two-party paradigm is for people who are brain-dead or asleep.

  5. 22 October 2012 at 9:29 am

    A good twist on that quote

  6. paulaL
    22 October 2012 at 9:39 am

    apparently if there is even the faintest whiff of police executing searches being confronted by a property owner who has ‘access to firearms’ then .. the ninja force is sent in .. i wonder was the botanist a registered owner of firearms?

  7. Mick
    22 October 2012 at 11:23 am

    The justification for all this “military style policing” comes from the alleged “War on Terror” . The justification for the “War on Terror” comes from the events of September the 11th. 2001.
    Imagine if people like me are right and the suspension of the laws of physic’s wasn’t the cause of three Skyscrapers collapsing in New York .An unprecedented event in the history of mankind , “unprecedented” from a scientific standpoint and “unprecedented” from a engineering standpoint, both which are intimately connected.
    Imagine a legal document of over 343 pages of legalese being written and presented to Congress and “signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001″ in less than six weeks. A document that was so long and esoteric that the very Lawmakers that voted it into law didn’t have time to even read before making it law!.
    (more detail here … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act )
    So what are some of the consequences of the “War on Terror” as it relates to New Zealand .We are now “allies” with a country that allows for the use of torture against people it chooses without legal oversight .Didn’t the Nuremberg Trials sentence to death those that authorized torture during World War 2 ? We are now “allies” with a country that holds people for indefinite periods of time with no legal charges or access to legal council ! “Presumption of innocence” is a main stay of international law. Then there is the use of un-manned drones that kill over 8 innocent people for every 1 “alleged” militant .(http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/19/267614/threat-of-death-looming-over-pakistan-us-drones-in-pakistan-kill-98-civilians/ )
    And now we are signing on to the TPPA which will surely reduce the rights of our Government as fully as the “military style policing” has reduced the rights of the people. ( http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/ )

    Is America the model of democracy we want to emulate ? Some say we can not afford to miss the trade opportunities an alliance with America brings ,I wonder if the cost ,morally is to high to bear.

    A 9 second reality check.

  8. Mick
  9. Mooloo Magic
    22 October 2012 at 5:55 pm

    We have become so apathetic that we allow our politicians to pass such ugly laws, I fear most Kiwis are just plainly to lazy to stay informed and this apathy is going to haunt us.

  10. jugman
    22 October 2012 at 6:52 pm

    The philosophy of the current government is that ‘ governments ‘ are incompetent to manage business , so leadership and responsibility are treated with arrogance and incompetence , reinforcing by artifice the mantras about the need for privatisation … blah… blah . Simultaneously they wish to demonstrate ‘ strong leadership ‘ by arrogance , bullying , intimidation and targeted victimisation , just as you have described Brian . Yet from personal experience of fraudulent activity from Local govt’ , various Crown Ministries , dodgy bank staff , matched by straightout theft of property , only to be told by Police that the only remedies are through Civil Courts when I am destitute as a consequence . To discover that there is no legal aid … It is a myth ! Then it is easy to understand how this government has been so successful at lowering the crime rate . The citizenry of this nation need to get rid of this cancerous insult to good government NOW !

  11. Mike
    22 October 2012 at 9:16 pm

    You are absolutely right Frank. Would like to talk to you some time about this.

  12. 24 October 2012 at 12:07 pm

    The raids on Graeme Platt and Jack Hobbs (the curator of Auckland Botanic Gardens) were an appalling misuse of power. Govt. seems to be using any “situation” as an excuse to roll out the police/military for a practice run . I’m starting to feel like I’m in a time warp back to the CIA-infested South American countries of the late 20th century. Are citizens disappearing yet?

    • 24 October 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Ahmed Zaoui almost qualifies, I would suggest, Scintilla. He didn’t disappear as such, but he was kept in detention without due process of open justice…

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