Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Scuffling and screaming on The Left

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  • The Procrastinator,

    Civil war comparisons are a little early.
    The arrested claim to be pasifists and not involved in revolution.

    Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • 100 Word,

    That TV3 video is an entertaining and interesting watch.

    Could the protestors have tried any harder to reinforce stereotypes? I'm not sure what was sillier the 'police state' guy or someome still wearing a Che Gueva t-shirt.

    Since Sep 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Or "Cli-che Guevara" as I now think of it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Len was wrong, looked disoriented and I think fairly obviously baffled in the tv clip after where he denying he'd hit anyone. No excuses though - he was wrong and should be charged.

    The protestors - obviously none of them have ever spent any time in a real police state. This is Gitmo, my arse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jill as a labour party member was a target of the protest irrespective of her personal stand point the party was the target of the protest to yeld would be to yeld to the party especially as she is a recent convert so "Scab" is fitting as well.

    That's the part I honestly don't get. Are you saying all union members who are Labour Party members are "scabs" as of two weeks ago? What is the actual aim of such a protest? Contrary to certain fevered opinion, the Labour Party does not actually direct the police.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • The Procrastinator,

    The scab thing would be an open wound for those left exposed by their departure. We're now into the personal stuff & it'll always be ugly.

    I wonder if a few think things have gone too far to the right with TSA, the arrests and want to bring Labour down as all acts must have consequences?
    Even in the knowledge that is a gift to National.

    Since Oct 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • 100 Word,

    wonder if a few think things have gone too far to the right with TSA, the arrests and want to bring Labour down as all acts must have consequences?

    I doubt there's much thinking going on at all. The response by some to the recent arrests is virtually pavlovian.

    Read through any of the recent GPJA press releases and there's a clear long estabilished paranoia about government regardless which party is controlling the "state forces against good New Zealanders". There's just the opportunity to yell about police states, gitmo in NZ and state terroirsm.

    Since Sep 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    RB:

    Contrary to certain fevered opinion, the Labour Party does not actually direct the police.

    Um, a certain party member, namely Helen Clark, directs the SIS. The SIS gather "evidence" and select some to hand to the police. The police then run 'round like it's Halloween and lay charges (to scare the fearful) based on this evidence, even though it apparently can't be used in court.

    I get it, most Kiwi's are tut-tutting both sides, and will expect a good slap with a wet tissue for the boys in blue if it turns out nothing was going on.
    But we're supposed to have a right to protest, so I'm a little concerned that the PM sends the spies after anyone who does, especially the ones that write books or make movies critical of government policies, and I'm concerned whether they said something really stupid last year or not.

    Not that I'll protest about it, because I'm just a tut-tutting Kiwi too, and having the armed offenders squad smash my door in at dawn and point guns at my family because I said Helen was a fascist bitch wouldn't be all that cool either.

    First they came for the Save Happy Valley campaigners, and I said nothing, because I'd never even heard of the movie about the big Snails. But it's pretty seriously messed up that the SIS targeted someone who wrote a book about possible abuses of the terrorism act.

    How far must they go, how many years must they spy on all the dissidents, before it's OK to say this is a bit like a police state?

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    tussock, do you have any evidence for the chronology you're asserting as fact? Or are you just leaping to conclusions? Or to put it less charitably, making stuff up?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But we're supposed to have a right to protest, so I'm a little concerned that the PM sends the spies after anyone who does, especially the ones that write books or make movies critical of government policies, and I'm concerned whether they said something really stupid last year or not.

    Sigh ... believe what you want. You're clearly not amenable to reason.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This morning's Herald story is illuminating.

    Turns out, Ovens had a reasonable expectation of a hearing when she went out to the crowd -- she was handed the megaphone by an organiser. But the idiot tendency kept on chanting "Lies! Lies! Lies!" until she gave up. I'm sorry, but what a bunch of fools.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This morning's Herald story is illuminating.

    I have to agree with you, especially this wee quote:

    Helen Clark said yesterday morning on TV One's Agenda the crowd had been "highly provocative".

    She had seen a reference to the crowd calling someone a "scab", though nothing excused a person taking a swing at someone.

    SHUT THE FUCK UP, HELEN!!!!

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

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    But we're supposed to have a right to protest, so I'm a little concerned that the PM sends the spies after anyone who does, especially the ones that write books or make movies critical of government policies, and I'm concerned whether they said something really stupid last year or not.

    Do you really think all this is in Clark's best interests? She's about to enter an election campaign, her party is dying in the polls and now she faces the prospect of having all of her parties public events hijacked by a bunch of hysterical dread-locked jackasses wearing 'Free Che' tee-shirts.

    I think the 'terrorist raids' are going to turn out to be an exercise in paranoid police idiocy, but I really don't think there's some sinister political motivation. They've already damaged Labours chances of taking back the Maori seats - this really was the last thing they wanted.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    "Highly provocative" seems to be a bit of an understatement. Those guys were desperately looking for a fight.

    Re. the raids - i think we will find that a handful of those arrested will be guilty of some small arms offences. But I suspect that a good majority are guilty of a lot more. What were the police to do when they have video evidence of the accused conducting what can only be described as paramilitary training? Put this together with recorded conversations, and amunition and firearms found in their possession, and there is little doubt in my mind that the hippies in Wellington were up to things that would astound their fellow activists.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    "Highly provocative" seems to be a bit of an understatement. Those guys were desperately looking for a fight.

    Really, johnno? I know there are politicians of all stripes who regard any criticism whatsoever as outright treason, but I don't take them any more seriously than wannabe revolutionaries who've never been any close closer to their real deal than a CD of Les Miz. I have to wonder why, if these people were really "desperately looking for a fight", they're noting facing charges today.

    If nothing else, you'd think someone who is constantly accused of treating the Police like her own personal gang would just STFU. I'm sure it's going down with the focus groups like a magnum of Krug at an AA meeting, but really....

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

  • steven crawford,

    What were the police to do when they have video evidence of the accused conducting what can only be described as paramilitary training?

    Thats a hypothetical question. Lets not forget, some of the people arrested where serious documentary film makers. They may well have alternative explanations, to what the prosecution offers.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    They may well have alternative explanations, to what the prosecution offers.

    And should be entitled to due process and the presumption of innocence as everyone else, even you think they're complete arse-hats and/or it's politically convenient to fudge the line between an allegation, a charge and a conviction?

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

  • johnno,

    Thats a hypothetical question. Lets not forget, some of the people arrested where serious documentary film makers. They may well have alternative explanations, to what the prosecution offers.

    I would have expected a documentary maker to have a camera or microphone in their hands, rather than wearing balaclavas and carrying a firearm, but I'm a little old-fashioned in that respect. It seems the only video recording going on was hidden surveillance stuff from the cops.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I would have expected a documentary maker to have a camera or microphone in their hands, rather than wearing balaclavas and carrying a firearm, but I'm a little old-fashioned in that respect. It seems the only video recording going on was hidden surveillance stuff from the cops.

    I think the word of pertinence here is "seems"

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Better do some work this morning, but while we're making predictions ...

    I'm guessing most if not all of what's been leaked will turn up in evidence, but will stand or fall on its context (and, in the case of bugged conversations wrt to arms charges, its legal admissability).

    We and/or a court might hear it and still think "paranoid police idiocy", but there will still be enough in it to embarrass the supporters of those arrested. John Minto's characterisation of the bugged evidence against those who won't be facing TSA charges as "something you'd hear at any gun club" may well be seen as very charitable indeed.

    And trying to buy a grenade launcher (this seems pretty firm, given that the evidence has been presented in the police documents provided to the Dom Post by a defence lawyer, who does not seem to have denied it) might not make Tame Iti a terrorist so much as an idiot, but it won't look good. Some people will still be moved to defend that, starting a whole other shitfight.

    I do feel sympathy towards at least some of those arrested, but the stupid statements by some of those around them make me feel less sympathetic than I otherwise might.

    Anyway, I'm pleased that it appears that most or all of those denied bail (perhaps not Mr Lockett) will be able to apply for home detention. Given the time to trial, that seems only reasonable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We and/or a court might hear it and still think "paranoid police idiocy", but there will still be enough in it to embarrass the supporters of those arrested.

    In the end, RB, when this is over the more hysterical souls on both sides who ought to be embarrassed won't be. Do you have to be born without any sense of shame, or is there a course?

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

  • steven crawford,

    these threads are starting to form an interesting weave.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    And trying to buy a grenade launcher (this seems pretty firm, given that the evidence has been presented in the police documents provided to the Dom Post by a defence lawyer, who does not seem to have denied it) might not make Tame Iti a terrorist so much as an idiot, but it won't look good.

    Well, some of those boars up in the hills can be pretty tough you know, or maybe a woman's honour needs defending?

    I can't help thinking that the refusal by the courts to grant bail to many of those arrested indicates that the Police have at least a stronger case than has been made public to date.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Margaret B,

    I can't help thinking that the refusal by the courts to grant bail to many of those arrested indicates that the Police have at least a stronger case than has been made public to date.

    I can't help thinking it may have a little more to do with the district court judge dealing with the applications last week. I'm not sure how much I can say in terms of suppression orders and so on (although that clearly isn't bothering some on this thread - I have learnt a lot this morning!). But suffice to say if your main argument for denying someone bail is that they say "revolutionary" a lot in surveilled conversation, well, I'm not sure I buy that as one of the three grounds to deny bail which Graeme has outlined in his excellent post on Speaker. I have heard from a friend who was in court this last week (in the gallery) that there was a lot of laughter from those present when police and the judge were reading out the allegedly damning sections of the surveillance.

    As to the nature of protests and protesters. Yes some are very very angry people who feel powerless and frustrated and use protests as an opportunity to express that in ways I find bizarre and at times unconscionable. And yes there is a very real anti-Labour (note big L) bent in some who are to the left-of-Labour, some of whom are also chronic protesters. Anything Ovens (and for that matter Richards) went out to say was always going to be shouted down by those people, even though Ovens was going out to express her solidarity. Throwing around the word "scab" is often inflammatory in union circles, no one of a leftward persuasion likes being called a "scab" (and similarly I have seen Richards inflamed by someone unreasonably calling him a "racist" on another occasion). Words can be weapons too.

    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 in my time of observing political activism (the last decade or so). I haven't always liked their methods, but they care passionately about many of the issues that I suspect many Public Address System readers support too - Burma, justice in Palestine, GE labelling, tino rangatiratanga (to various degrees), publicly provided health and education, all sorts of general left stuff (much of which would receive wide support from the Labour Party delegates too).

    I am particularly struck that many of them have been staunch supporters of Louise Nicholas, and I seriously do think that the background of that situation cannot be ignored when looking at the current problems between police and activists. Let's not forget that the police raided the Maori Women's Refuge in Taupo recently, on a spurious and unlikely tip-off that it was a P lab. The Wellington activists currently in prison in Auckland seem to me incredibly unlikely people to have been caught up on the wrong side of a paramilitary operation.

    Grenade launchers do sound rather, well, illegal. I've suspected from the start of this that there are a few bad eggs and the rest have been caught up through association and will be found to have done nothing but be in contact with the bad eggs and possibly have had a joke about guns in the vicinity of a cellphone that was bugged. Time will tell, and I accept that.

    Ok, I have to learn some discipline about writing shorter comments!

    Since Oct 2007 • 59 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I am particularly struck that many of them have been staunch supporters of Louise Nicholas, and I seriously do think that the background of that situation cannot be ignored when looking at the current problems between police and activists. Let's not forget that the police raided the Maori Women's Refuge in Taupo recently, on a spurious and unlikely tip-off that it was a P lab.

    Whilst not denying that there are still nasty racist, sexist bad cops in the force (I once had the misfortune to spend a "social" evening with some), it's also true that Louise Nicholas paid tribute to the police who brought her case to court, and I think the vast majority of cops hate what happened.

    But Maia said recently on her blog that she wanted the the police abolished altogether. It's this sort of monolithic thinking I find a bit hard to grasp.

    Ok, I have to learn some discipline about writing shorter comments!

    S'alright. Long, thoughtful comments are our brand!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

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