Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Scuffling and screaming on The Left

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  • 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 • 10657 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

  • Che Tibby,

    My view is to wait untill after the court case has started leaves those arrested swinging in the wind a bit too long.

    i agree entirely. locking people up for the crime of 'dissent' is reprehensible.

    i'm out of the loop on why they're still in the slammer, but they should have been bailed a long time ago.

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

  • kmont,

    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.

    That seems off to me too. The photographing of people at checkpoints also seems unjustified.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    True, would piss me off. I guess you have the right to refuse a photo, but you're probably afraid that would be seen as suspicious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There's a real disconnect between the stated goal (ie, changing the world) and the chosen means (presenting an unattractive and unpersuasive aspect to the world they wish to persuade).

    Politics is not just about developing our own vision of how the world should be, its about how we organise ourselves in light of the fact that we all see the world differently. The "system" is not a monolithic structure that was set up to oppress the masses, its a constantly renegotiated compromise of incompatible forces and desires. Boo to the far left, and its mirror image on the right.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Politics is not just about developing our own vision of how the world should be, its about how we organise ourselves in light of the fact that we all see the world differently. The "system" is not a monolithic structure that was set up to oppress the masses, its a constantly renegotiated compromise of incompatible forces and desires. Boo to the far left, and its mirror image on the right.

    That's really nicely put WH.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The "system" is not a monolithic structure that was set up to oppress the masses, its a constantly renegotiated compromise of incompatible forces and desires.

    Or at least should be. There are some monolithic systems set up to oppress the masses, but I don't see it here in NZ.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And yet, this government and most of the opposition are currently introducing laws that are ambiguous enough to criminalise political dissent.

    TSA 2nd reading - Keith Locke. I don't often agree with Rodney Hide, and rarely invoke the ghost of Muldoon, but it pains me to to think how this legislation could be used by him, or another leader. Taking the power to designate someone as a terrorist, and later review that designation, should not be taken from the courts and made the prerogative of the Prime Minister. Concentrating these powers in one set of hands does create a monolith.

    Likewise, the rapid introduction of 'secret evidence' and 'special advocates' into our legal systems, as with this and the new refugee act, is a huge step away from an open and reviewable system to one where the state has a monopoly on the terms and conditions which someone's freedom depends, and no chances to challenge this.

    With absolutely no disrespect to the majority of commenters here, I would suggest that your views on the how restrained the police are would be different if you had received the same kind of treatment that many of my friends who were at the demonstration yesterday have experienced in the last few years. Arbitrary arrests, functional assault, and blatantly one-sided policing aren't exceptions but the norm.

    I also find it highly troubling when commenters use comparisons to countries where political freedom is highly restricted to point out the ability to freely act in New Zealand. That may well be the case, but I value the freedoms I have in New Zealand very highly, and every time these are chipped away at, their value decreases. Yes, we are one of the better countries in this regard, but please, lets not take this for granted.

    </rant>

    And finally, I heard that Jill Ovens had quite an effect on the crowd, lecturing them in what was perceived as quite a patronising manner, setting Len up for conflict with the crowd and particularly Jarrod. I'd say that Jarrod's refusal of an apology relates much more to the mutual offense towards Len joining with Labour, which is much more of a sticking point, and more offensive than a swipe with a megaphone.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, in response to those racist comments, which are a clear violation of posting policy, I should also mention that Aotearoa Indymedia has been struggling to moderate properly, as two of the three active admins are currently in custody, and the other is very busy trying to sort out things related to their arrest. See Aotearoa Indymedia needs your help

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

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