Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Scuffling and screaming on The Left

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  • Mikaere Curtis,

    No, we're not. We're attempting to figure out the alliance between them and Tame Iti's crowd, an alliance which certainly baffles me.

    Participation is not the same as an alliance. It certainly appears to me that there were some wananga being held in Tuhoe with a kaupapa of bushcraft, survival skills and possibly some firearms use/training (perhaps for hunting purposes, who knows ?).

    Clearly, any participants thought they would gain something out of attending, even if they weren't given a full programme of what to expect.

    So, some members of Tuhoe held a wananga and some non-Tuhoe activists attended. Where's the alliance ?

    I spoke with Keith Locke over the weekend and he said he tried to get some trousers to Rongomai Bailey (he was arrested in his camo pants), and the list of bullshit and runaround he got from the prison service agrees with Margaret B's assertion about the hassles the Urewera 17 have been facing.

    That being said, I watched TV3s footage and thought the police were generally restrained, although towards the end of the footage they started pushing people around for no apparent reason. Not that I think anyone needed to be arrested, apart from megaphone-guy (even the dude on the roof of the police van could have been warned instead of arrested).

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "Where's the alliance?"

    Quite. This is begging the question. Speculation about why the anarcho-hippies and Tuhoe are allied only make sense if we already believe there is some sort of plot.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jared Phillips won't lay charges, but won't accept an apology:

    Mr Phillips today said he was disappointed Mr Richards and his wife, Service and Food Workers Union delegate Jill Ovens, had not boycotted Labour's conference over the police raids issue.

    "While I won't lay charges, I won't let Len absolve himself by accepting his apology," he said in a statement.

    He said the pair - former Alliance supporters - had moved to the right after the collapse of the party and accused them of abandoning wider left-wing causes.

    Gawd. Spare me from Left-wing infighting. Really.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Quite. This is begging the question. Speculation about why the anarcho-hippies and Tuhoe are allied only make sense if we already believe there is some sort of plot.

    A virtual chocolate fish for a correct use of the phrase "begging the question"!

    You're right: "alliance" has a shade of meaning that isn't supported by available facts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "...Participation is not the same as an alliance. .."

    Hmmm. With that sort of tortured logic I can understand why so many of the arrested think they are innocent:

    ".Your honour, my client submits participation in terrorism is not the same as being an ally of terrorists..."

    I am afraid the subtleness of the argument dissolves in the face of common sense.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That being said, I watched TV3s footage and thought the police were generally restrained, although towards the end of the footage they started pushing people around for no apparent reason.

    The guy trying to put his shoe on? Yeah, they could have let him put his shoe on, but even that got a bit farcical when the other guy leaned over him and started falling on him: it was a sort of like a game of protester Twister. He could equally have walked 5 metres and put his shoe on there though ...

    But like I said, I don't think I'd have been that calm if I'd had people screaming and swearing at me and calling me fascist scum for the past two hours ...

    I'm reminded of something I wrote on another thread about some activists' tendency to dehumanise people they disagree with, to see them solely as symbols of the state or the Labour Party or whatever.

    There was one post on the Indymedia thread where the poster was on the verge of sympathising with the Maori cop who had that stupid kid spit in his face -- but then said something like "it's just a shame he didn't put down his helmet and join the protest". It's just not realistic ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "participation in terrorism"

    Oh Tom, why are we wasting million on the criminal justice system when we could just engage your common sense?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Stephen J, I was just exploring a potential line of defence.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • 100 Word,

    But it doesn't mean that those on the protest are always wrong. From the pictures I saw of the crowd I noticed people who I know have stood up for many worthy causes ....... Burma, justice in Palestine, GE labelling, tino rangatiratanga (to various degrees), publicly provided health and education, all sorts of general left stuff

    & against the WLG bypass, anything related to Bush or Brash, Zaoui, freeing Timor/West Papua/ Ache etc etc - whatever's popular and gives an opportunity tell demostrate how they know better than the docile call centre drones.

    Since Sep 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Yes, on Capitalism Bad Tree Pretty Maia recounts one demo where the person with the megaphone said "We're here today in solidarity with the people of Iraq. Oh Shit... Oh Well it's all connected."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    An anti-bypass demo, I mean.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    Apologies - 'alliance' was indeed a stronger word than was justified. How about 'support' for "...reactionary, patriarchal tribalists...?" There's been plenty of that in evidence for years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    After the invasion of Ruatoki by Darth Vader look-alikes just recently, thought you might like this ...

    http://www.maniacworld.com/death-star-cafeteria.html

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gawd. Spare me from Left-wing infighting. Really

    QFT, and I really loved "While I won't lay charges, I won't let Len absolve himself by accepting his apology." No, let Len 'absolve' himself by not only making sure he faces no legal accountability whatsoever, but give him a chance to tell anyone who will listen (and I'm pretty sure there's one or two jounos on the speed dial) what a vindictive, petty little arse-hat you are.

    Oy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    The guy trying to put his shoe on? Yeah, they could have let him put his shoe on, but even that got a bit farcical when the other guy leaned over him and started falling on him: it was a sort of like a game of protester Twister. He could equally have walked 5 metres and put his shoe on there though ...

    From my internet-only perspective it looked like the cops were reasserting authority (which, from my experience, is a high-involvement issue for them) after being harangued for quite some time over the arrest of that guy who "confronted" Richards.

    That whole twister thing seemed to work for the protesters - the police lost impetus (you could see what appears to be the senior officer give the order to let up) and the protesters regrouped. Perhaps that was what the police were after.

    But like I said, I don't think I'd have been that calm if I'd had people screaming and swearing at me and calling me fascist scum for the past two hours ...

    Yeah, when I go to protests I don't abuse the police if they are simply doing their jobs (which the ones in the TV3 footage appear to be doing mostly). Still, it comes with the territory, and I would like to think (perhaps wishfully) that part of the training includes the ability to deal with confrontational protest situations without resorting to bullying tactics.

    Hmmm. With that sort of tortured logic I can understand why so many of the arrested think they are innocent

    Tom, are you conflating simple association with conspiracy ? Here's a thought experiment: Let's assume there really is a Tuhoe Revolutionary Army. They want to recruit from people that have no particular reason to liberate Tuhoe from the clutches of British Imperialism, as demonstrated by the specific environmental/animal rights activist agenda of many of the non-Tuhoe arrestees.

    Surely, the sensible recruitment method would be for the TRL to cast a wide net and then recruit from those that already fit the pro-revolutionary mould. Which is to say that many (if not all) of the non-Tuhoe activists could arguably be not at all interested in TRL objectives, but rather the kaupapa of the wananga (as advertised, not necessarily as delivered). Therefore the notion of particpation = alliance is, IMO, the only thing the police have with which to progress a prosecution under the TSA.

    And I agree with Craig. It's time the Left turned of the pop-corn maker...

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Your honour, my client submits participation in terrorism is not the same as being an ally of terrorists

    It isn't. One is reasonably a crime (depending on what you consider terrorism, of course). The other is thoughtcrime, and shouldn't be an offence in a democratic country.

    To use Northern Ireland as a (weak) analogy, the British didn't see fit to try and jail the 80,000 or so people who voted Sinn Fein at most elections - they were "allies of terrorists" as opposed to the few hundred who actually picked up a gun for the IRA.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    For crying out loud guys - read the 193 posts on this blog, put yourselves in the position of a police force trying to uphold law and order and keep the peace, and then imagine what you might do to get the legislation you want to do your job...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Still, it comes with the territory, and I would like to think (perhaps wishfully) that part of the training includes the ability to deal with confrontational protest situations without resorting to bullying tactics.

    And when did the Police resort to "bullying tactics" over the weekend?

    The only bullying tactics on display were from leftists.

    I'm pretty much over the whole self-pitying anti-Police leftist thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    And when did the Police resort to "bullying tactics" over the weekend?

    IMO, it was towards the end of the TV3 footage where they start pushing the protesters back, the bit where the guy was trying to tie his shoelaces. I consider pushing people around to be bullying (technically, it's assault), maybe you don't.

    The only bullying tactics on display were from leftists.

    Yeah, it seemed that at times the whole point of the protest was to have a go at the police who were present, rather register a protest towards the labour party. I wasn't impressed at all by some of the behaviour, although I thought the Guantanamo street theatre looked cool.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I'm pretty much over the whole self-pitying anti-Police leftist thing.

    Seemingly the Indymedia crowd are too this morning, now they're drifting into asian migrant bashing instead... Oh Indymedia, you're so progressive!

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I'm pretty much over the whole self-pitying anti-Police leftist thing

    ditto.

    until we find out exactly how far over the line the cops have stepped in this "anti-terror" operation.

    but still generally bored with middle-class kids growing dreadlocks and slumming it in trendy causes.

    it's just so... "1960s".

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Che - so you're been there done that already?

    Getting the razor out & splitting the hair but anti-police actions in relation to the 17 arrested is not quite the same as anti-police.
    Dropped the dime last night infact & they did a mighty fine job.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @shep. kinda.

    most of the protesty types from "way back when" have gone on to get jobs as lawyers, accountants, etc. they drive reasonably big cars and talk about real estate.

    back then (early 1990s), i found that instead of yelling at people in the street i just adapted my lifestyle to meet the demands i was making of others.

    i still recycle heavily, consume minimally, advocate and practice a multi/bicultural ethos, try to be tolerant, blah blah.

    in other words, be the change you want to see.

    </lecture over>

    PS. as i say, i've have been skeptical about the police from the start, and am highly suspicious of their current actions. but getting my street protest on? maybe when something is proven.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm pretty much over the whole self-pitying anti-Police leftist thing.

    I really don't care about them. It seems like a silly game, but let the kids play. As dangerous games go, rugby or boxing is worse. As entertainment goes, I've seen worse street theater. As causes go, at least human rights are 'righteous'. As criminal behaviour goes, it's safely on the lame side. As heavy handed policing goes, I'm pretty happy that I'm living in NZ, where attempting to protest near the head of state doesn't involve risking your life and liberty.

    What I'm over is being associated with it, by virtue of being 1 degree to the left of center. It's not being an 'appeaser' to wait a few weeks for more information about what is possibly a landmark case in NZ. There is no established pattern yet, to assume that the charges are bullshit, that the accused are being fitted up, that there are political motives behind the prosecution. We (the general public) just don't know what is going on. If it continues this way then sure we will start to get very angry, but right now it just looks like police pursuing criminal charges using the powers they legally have.

    The only thing that seems 'off' to me is what others have also mentioned, the wearing of balaclavas during the raids. But we also don't know the reason for that - I still think it may be to protect the identity of secret agents or undercover police, rather than to intimidate. It definitely is intimidating, though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Fair point Che

    My view is to wait untill after the court case has started leaves those arrested swinging in the wind a bit too long. I tend to feel safe when marching next to Quakers on both a moral and physical basis.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

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