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Dispatches for day 7 and 8 - once more into the breach of Operation 8 Depositions hearing


After a week in Wellington and a whole different court case, I'm back in Auckland for the second stretch of the depositions hearing. Tomorrow morning the bus will come to take us to court, and we'll be back into the three ring circus which is the depositions hearing.

On the last day of the last session the judge said that he would continue sitting until it was over. I'm not sure if that was a promise or a threat

I know I skipped dispatches of the last few days of court. The suppression orders made it very hard to give an accurate impression of what's going on. I could tell quirky anecdotes, and keep pepole updated of various signs that have been put up around the place. But there comes a stage when telling those stories gives people the wrong impression of what's going on in court. While I suspect I will be telling some of the stories from court for the rest of my life, it's more than funny anecdotes. The challenge for me is to give an accurate impression of court, without saying anything that happened in the court room. [More]

22/09/08 Wgtn Meeting: In the Aftermath of the Urewera Raids: Discussing colonisation, courts and contempt


Monday, 22 September, 6.30pm
St Johns in the City, cnr Willis and Dixon Sts, Wellington
Tena koutou,

We warmly invite you to a evening Discussing colonisation, courts and contempt.

Steven Price (media lawyer, author of Media Law Journal)
Speaking about media law and contempt of court

October 15th Solidarity group panel
Speaking on the broader issues around the state terror raids of 15th October 2007 and the Search and Surveillance Powers Bill introduced to Parliament last week.

Followed by question and answer session and Open discussion.

Stay for tea, coffee and biscuits. [More]

West Papua: Lawyer arrested by Anti-terrorist squad for sending a txt


On October 18th 2007 West Papuan human rights lawyer, Iwanggin Sabar Olif was arrested by members of Detachment 88, Indonesia's anti-terrorist squad. He was accused of forwarding a text message condemming the Indonesian military's treatment of West Papuan people. Ever since then he has been held in detention. A recent joint statement by several Papuan human rights organisations, calling for Sabar Olif's release, states that the anti-terrorist police have acted on the princple 'arrest him first, then get him to confess by whatever means necessary'. [Coalition of organisations demand the release of Sabar Olif Iwanggin]

Links: Indonesian Human Rights Committee Statement | January 2008 Court Hearings | The spectre of terrorism in Aotearoa - drawing the parallels

Fairfax Contempt hearing closes


Closing arguments from the Crown and the respondents in the Fairfax contempt trial were heard in the Wellington High Court today. The judges have retired to consider their decision which they will deliver in writing.

The Solicitor-General (SG) closed his case against both Fairfax newspapers and the editor of the Dominion Post Tim Pankhurst by addressing all of the respondents’ defences.

The Solicitor-General noted that the intercepted communications in the ‘Terror Files’ article published in the Dominion Post and on the website was 1. inadmissible 2. highly memorable 3. was in breach of section 312(k) of the Crimes Act and 4. breached High Court and District Court orders with the combined effect of interfering with the administration of justice and prejudicing the right to a fair trial. [More]

16/9/2008: Dispatches from Wellington 1a - Fairfax contempt trial | 5/5/2008: Tim Pankhurst and Fairfax New Zealand in court

Wellington: Police spies caught in the act


Last night (Tuesday 16th), as an October 15 Solidarity meeting was winding up at Oblong/Freedom shop, attendants were alerted to the presence of half a dozen suspected plain-clothes police positioned outside in Left Bank pedestrian mall.

One was noticed pacing back and forth past the front door, looking in on the meeting. As other activists showed up in response to the alert some meeting attendees came outside to join in confronting the suspected police. The plain-clothes got up and started toward Cuba St together. They were asked to disclose their badge numbers, but nobody amongst the group was saying anything.

A group of us followed them. [More]

Socialist Aotearoa Forum: Don't Just Vote- Get Active!


Socialist Aotearoa is holding a forum on the 2008 elections. There will be guest speakers from the electoral tickets of the left and extra-parliamentary campaigns. Speakers confirmed so far are:

Mike Kay- Workers Party
Elliot Blade - Residents Action Movement
Omar Hamed - Auckland Anarchist Network
Jill Ovens - Labour
Greens (TBC)

7pm Thursday September 25th
Room 260-219
Owen Glenn building, School of Business, Auckland University

NZ Elections - Don't Just Vote - Get Active!

US Military Committing Terror in the Philippines


For the past 30 years the Moro people, of the Southern Philippines island of Mindanao, have been fighting the Philippines government for self determination. Since 2001 Under the guise of the War on Terror, the USA has had a large deployment of forces in Mindanao to help the Armed Forces of the Philippines in thier counter-insurgency operations. These US forces are prohibited by Philippines law from taking part in any combat operations. However, investigations by the Stop the War Coalition-Philippines have found that the US Military is breaking the law and taking part in violence against local people:

The United States' involvement in the war in Mindanao can no longer be denied. Several times in the last month, at the height of Philippine military offensives against Moro fighters, US soldiers were repeatedly seen with Filipino troops, helping recover bombs, evacuating casualties, or joining Filipino troops in Philippine military camps throughout Mindanao.

All these continue a pattern of reports that have accumulated in the last few years: Just in February, a Filipino general confirmed that it was the crew of a US spy plane that provided the intelligence which resulted in an operation in which eight civilians, including a pregnant woman and two children, were killed in Maimbung, Sulu. [US Troops Out of Mindanao; Genuine Self-Determination for Moros Now]

Links: Indymedia feature: UN says half a million displaced in Ramadan offensive against Moro people | Focus on the Global South Philippines | Joint Filipino NGO statement: Suspend US Military Deployments to Mindanao

All this for selling flowers? Film screening and discussion about Atenco


The Wellington Zapatista Support Group proudly presents a screening of the film "Atenco: Break the Seige" and discussion about the current situation in Atenco, Mexico. All procceeds go to the Atenco political prisoners and their families.


A screening of the film 'Atenco:Break the Seige'
Wednesday 24 September, 6.30pm
Happy, corner of Vivian and Tory Sts, Wellington
entry by koha/donation

On the 3rd of May 2006 in Texcoco, Mexico: Farmers selling flowers were attacked by police who wrecked their stalls and removed them from the market. Residents from the nearby town of San Salvador Atenco came to the aid of the farmers and confronted the police. 4000 armed police officers laid siege to the small town of Atenco, brutally repressing the population. Riot police moved systematically throughout the town, smashing their way into houses and savagely beating the occupants - irrespective of age or gender. [More]

Dispatches from Wellington 1a - Faifax contempt trial


"The Terror Files" - ten months ago the Dominion Post, Stuff and other Fairfax papers published several articles that were based on the affadavit that was used to get the search warrant for the raids on October 15th. In these aritcles they also published intercepted communications, in a random, cherry picked sort of a way (cherry-picking the cherry-picking - since search warrants dont' generally include the perspective of people raided, or even counter-itnerpretations). Now, ten months later, they were being taken to court by solicitor general for contempt. [More]

Anarchist Mens Zine Out Now


From The Kitchen: Issue one of Aotearoa anarchist men's zine now out!

In what is perhaps a first for Aotearoa Pakeha anarchists (please let us know if that isn't the case) 'From the Kitchen' is a zine devoted to the discussion of anarchist mens relationship/response to the feminist movement(s) and our own sexist behaviour. The zine isn't about pointing fingers but instead is done in the style of critical self-reflection by the authors about sexism in their own lives.

Topics in the first issue include:

Me(n) and Pornography
Slugs in the Sandpit - The Gendered politics of the garden
Meat Robots Unite
Some thoughts on masculinity, authoritarianism and emotional intelligence
What is to be done- some reflections on current sexism in the anarchist movement. [More]