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Friday, October 26, 2007

Hundreds protest raids; Iti's case moved

Alt TV/Fleet FM Breakfast News Comment
Hundreds protest raids; Iti's case moved
The Crown successfully applied in a closed Rotorua District Court today to transfer the cases of Tuhoe campaigner Tame Iti and two others with name suppression from Rotorua. The hearing was held while the protest march, organised by people from Tuhoe country in the Ureweras, wound its way through Rotorua for about 45 minutes today. Signs with slogans such as "Police are the real terrorists", "Free Tame & Co" and "Free all political activists" were waved during the march. Among the speakers to the crowd was Iti's son, Toi Iti. Five of the 17 arrested have had their names made public, the latest being 19-year-old Omar Hamed of Auckland, for whom name suppression lapsed today. Hamed, a Palestinian who was born in Greece but who was raised on the North Shore, faces two charges of illegal possession of a rifle and one each of illegally possessing a molotov cocktail and a military-style semi-automatic rifle. The tone of yesterday's hikoi differed from one held in Whakatane on Friday. Yesterday's marchers were louder and voiced their anger. A few also clashed with police and photographers. Bystanders also reported seeing them push aside a table of people collecting for the blind. I know Omar, he is a great guy, but I have to admit to being shocked as to why he would have a ‘molotov cocktail’ or a semi-automatic rifle. In the vacuum of information activists are being whipped up into supporting people without knowing what they are actually being charged with, which comes back to the cops, lordy lord you boys in blue better have the goodies in the evidence or it is your credibility forever on the block. Everything I’ve heard is that the police do, most of me hopes I’ve heard wrong as I suspect the fullness and scale of allegations could damage the activist movement for a very long time.


At 26/10/07 9:20 am, Anonymous Worried righty said...

Bystanders also reported seeing them push aside a table of people collecting for the blind.

What a caring and compassionate bunch they must be. Seriously this whole fiasco is damaging any credibility these "activists" may have had. Most 'mainstream' people see them as a rent-a-mob who'll protest anything and everything just for the hell of it, the fact that these protesters are supporting the arrestees without know what the charges are only consolidates this belief. It seems to me that this generation of activists are DESPERATE for a 1981 anti-Springbok tour style clash with the powers-that-be in order to make their mark or define themselves as defenders of civil rights like their parents generation did. I am no lefty protestor but I think this is a very bad idea

As for Omar Hamed - you have to admit that lefties are hardly known for being in the pro-gun lobby (I know how you just love to take the piss out of Charlton Heston and the NRA in the US), so having a military style semi auto rifle looks VERY bad, not to mention hypocritical.

At 26/10/07 10:19 am, Anonymous weka said...

Yeah, look how right the 'mainstream' turned out to be about the Tour. I seem to remember protestors then being described in the same old pejorative terms.

Does anyone know what the rationale for transferring Iti and co is? Or has that not been made public?

At 26/10/07 11:09 am, Anonymous worried righty said...

You seem to be missing the point weka, at least those protesting about the Tour had a full grasp of the facts about what they were protesting for. Can these recent protesters say the same? Time will tell, but I would want to see what the charges are and what evidence the police have before I took to the streets with my kids.

At 26/10/07 11:34 am, Blogger Stephen said...

According to the Herald today the charge is "It is alleged Hamed - a 19-year-old Greek-born part-Palestinian - was twice in possession of a firearm in Tauranga between January 10 and January 14 this year, then in possession of a semi-automatic rifle in Auckland between September 13 and September 16."

Note the "between the dates of" part. Odd.

At 26/10/07 12:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the fuck can't we have some decent immigrants like hot asian or brazilian chicks instead of having to import these wanabe terrorists.

The Immigration dept should filfull his wish to free the palestintian people and deport him to the gaza strip. The israelis should be able to tighten his shit up.

At 26/10/07 6:31 pm, Blogger Danyl said...

Let's get some facts clear. First, 'semi-automatic' describes any gun that doesn't need to be manually cocked each time it is fired. It is normal for people to own these guns, especially in hunting country. You just need to have a license to own or use one.

Omar is *accused* of having had a gun in his possession at certain times, ie he is *accused* of having had one in his hands on specific occasions. He is *not* accused of owning one. If this accusation is true - and so far no evidence of any kind has been produced - that would only be illegal or unusual because he doesn't have a fire-arms license.

As for the 'molotov' I think if you read the fine print you will find that he is accused of having in his home the *ingredients* for a molotov - ie an empty bottle, a rag and a flammable liquid. On that basis any fire dancer could be arrested as a terrorist. I think when the facts come out middle New Zealand will be appalled. Not by the activists, but by how flaccid the case produced by the multi-million dollar campaign and para-military invasion of people's communities really is.


At 26/10/07 6:43 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Strypey I hope you are right and that I am wrong. I think that some of what has been recorded as evidence will be the real test of peoples patience. If the cops have over cooked this, it is their credibility forever on the line. But that said, people who have seen the allegations suggest they are pretty serious, Omar didn't have the Crown attempt to put him back via the High Court so my guess is that his involvement is pretty weak if any.

At 26/10/07 6:56 pm, Blogger Stephen said...

bomber, that's exactly it: serious allegations are one thing, serious evidence is another.

I can allege you're a murderer - that's a serious allegation. Doesn't mean squat without evidence.

At 26/10/07 7:30 pm, Blogger Duncan Bayne said...

In the vacuum of information activists are being whipped up into supporting people without knowing what they are actually being charged with

The activists themselves have explicitly stated that the charges are irrelevant to their support. Did you not see the banners pronouncing unconditional solidarity?

I haven't decided me which distresses me more: the idea that they'd support members of their own political clique regardless of the activities of said members, or the idea that they mightn't understand what the word 'unconditional' means. The idea that they might simply be lying is in character, but IMO less likely.

At 27/10/07 6:02 pm, Anonymous PassTheSaucePlease said...

Did you not see the banners pronouncing unconditional solidarity?

Read the entire banner's (singular not plural) message:

And it's a completely different message from the one you're freaking out about, Rambo.

At 29/10/07 9:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PassTheSaucePlease - Your picture is the same as the one in duncan bayne's link, I don't see how what you say negates duncan's interpretation.

At 29/10/07 1:17 pm, Blogger Duncan Bayne said...

And it's a completely different message from the one you're freaking out about, Rambo.

Care to explain the message, then? I mean, if I take them at their word, they're proclaiming their unconditional love for, & solidarity with, those arrested. UNCONDITIONAL. As in, it didn't matter what they did, they'd love them, and demonstrate their solidarity.


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