Maori Sovereignty activist Tame Iti was one of the 17 people arrested yesterday. Background on Tame Iti here
Yesterday New Zealand Police broke into several houses, raided a Maori community and arrested 17 people including peace activists and charged them with various firearms offences.
The raids were the culmination of a police operation which had been underway for some time including surveilance and phone tapping. The operation was co-ordinated through the prime minister’s office and is the first time the N.Z. suppression of terrorism act has been used. According to police they had uncovered a terrorist training camp and a terrorist plot.
The story on “Stuff”
I don’t know enough of the Maori struggle to give any substantial comment on this development. However I do know enough about terrorism hysteria and neo-fascism to say the new international anti-terrorism regimes are desperately intent on finding targets to justify their existence, creating hypothetical and just plain false hypotheses to investigate and prosecute.
I also know enough of the nature of the colonial state to say it will always use the force of the police to repress indigenous power when it begins to threaten colonial interests.
Tame Iti has been previously charged for the ceremonial use of firearms in accordance with tribal protocol. From nga korero o te wa ……
“Mr Iti had been found guilty of two counts of possessing a firearm in a public place after he fired a shotgun during welcomes for the Waitangi Tribunal at Ruatoki in January 2005.
The court said the prosecution failed to prove any criminal harm from Iti’s action.
Mr Iti says the case was brought because of the grandstanding of former ACT MP Stephen Franks, and he has no grudge against the police for taking it.
“Tuhoe tikanga or any other iwi hapu tikanga always will be in conflict. As long as the judicial system continues to marginalise indigenous people of this country, we always will be in in conflict with it,” Mr Iti says.
He says over the past 15 years he has discharged shotguns on Tuhoe marae in front of a prime minister, a governor general and a police commissioner with no complaints.”