THIS JUST IN

385 Responses

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  • Margaret B,

    They did dress up as stormtroopers and seal off an entire town

    I'm sure I'm not the only sci-fi geek who was pained to read this. Everyone (surely) knows that stormtroopers wear white.

    Since Oct 2007 • 59 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    It needs to be a specific supermarket with the right coupon book.

    And yes I'm being unfair as opposed to unlawful detention photos armed searches and $8mil all to nought.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    there'd have been no drama.

    you mean, "other than heavy-handed nationwide search and seizure under spurious pretences"?

    C'mon Che, you can do better than that.

    I think people need to read again what the Solicitor General said. From stuff. Firstly:

    "I wish also to stress that the police have successfully brought to an end what were very disturbing activities. That the police did so without a single shot being fired, injury or loss of life, is a tremendous reflection on the professionalism and integrity of the New Zealand police,"

    I don't think the police were perfect in their actions at Ruatoki, but that's not a bad independent review (and when I say independent, I point to the fact that he in the same media conference, turned down their application to use the TSA). There are valid questions to be asked about the police tactics on the day of the raids, and the legality of photographing people.

    However we also need to keep things in perspective. Police clearly had a lot of evidence that people were doing something very serious. If that's the case, and the people had firearms, then the response is to go with the AOS and go in at dawn, and yes, people are going to be inconvenienced and scared shitless. That's unfortunate, but this isn't a traffic stop for speeding. It's suspected terrorists.

    I work with a guy, and a couple of years ago he opened his window one evening to find an AOS guy in black with a gun crawling along the garden beside his house. Turns out his neighbour had gone off his medication and was waving a knife around at his flatmate, who had locked himself in his bedroom and called the police. You better believe my colleague wasn't complaining to the police that his garden got messed up. He was just grateful that they were there and it was resolved without the knife-wielding maniac coming to visit him.

    The police have said that they had evidence that people were doing bad things. The solicitor general has backed that up after viewing their evidence. People who have been to bail hearings, or heard from other activists (eg Bomber if you believe him) have made similar comments.

    If we believe that the police had reason to believe that people were armed and dangerous, and planning to do something stupid, then the response is automatic. You come in at dawn when they're sleeping. You put your body armour on because they have guns. You shut down the community to control where people can go and make sure that innocent people are kept safe, and the 'bad guys' don't escape.

    It's all very well for everyone to rag on the police, and there are issues that they'll need to address. Surely the counterpoint is however, to balance what the police did, with the unknown of what some people were planning to do? Which is worse, nationwide raids which scare a bunch of people and make them angry against the police, or a bunch of so-called activists planning to blow stuff up/kill someone/whatever it was they were planning to do? As Russell has said many times, police clearly had information, and I suspect if we'd all had the same information, we would have wanted them to intervene.

    The Solicitor General clearly indicated yesterday that it was the law that was at fault.

    But in a damning critique yesterday, Dr Collins said the act was almost impossible to apply to domestic terrorism in New Zealand as it was too complex.

    I'm guessing we'll never know fully what people actually did and what they were planning to do. But I've reached the following conclusions:

    1. Police had evidence which they believed indicated some sort of terrorist activity. That evidence has been viewed by an independent person, and backed up. The correct response to that evidence was to intervene and eliminate the threat.
    2. That evidence will now never come to light, and we will never really know what people were planning to do. The police will, as often happens, catch it because they are unable to fully tell their side of the story.
    3. Peace/environmental/sovereignty issues will get lost in the mess and not advanced at all, and possibly damaged.
    4. A bunch of people who were probably only associated by accident with the 'really guilty' will have their lives turned upsidedown.
    5. The major fallout is going to be Tuhoe/Ruatoki kids inconvenienced, people photographed and searched, which is the least important part of the story.

    Tomorrow night 'Out of the Blue" is going to screen, and I highly recommend watching it. None of the residents of Aramoana had a go at the police for refusing to let them into the community while David Gray went on his rampage. Sure, that situation was different from Ruatoki, but the police don't know what's going to happen when they arrest people with firearms, under the assumption that those people are willing to use those firearms. Sometimes a bit of overkill is better than fucking it up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    My laugh of the day, via Indymedia

    Anonymous - We would have got better result [sic] if we were allowed to use waterboarding.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    They did dress up as stormtroopers and seal off an entire town - that's always likely to attract a wee bit of curiosity from the press.

    Was that the wrong action based on the information they had?

    If we make the assumption that one, possibly more people, was involved in planning/preparing for, some sort of terrorist activity. An assumption, but that's presumably what the police were looking at from their perspective, and it was their action that kicked this off into the media.

    If we follow that assumption, that there was at least one 'terrorist'. Who do we blame for that getting into the media? The police when they arrest him, or the terrorist for what he/she was going to do? If we say 'the police', then presumably it's the police's fault that drug dealers and pedophiles get labelled in the media as well.

    The question shouldn't be 'did police actions make everyone think terrorist', unless the police actions were completely unjustified. The police actions are completely unjustified if there was no terrorist. The question (which I suspect we'll never know) is was there a terrorist, or probably more fairly, did police have good reason to believe there was a terrorist?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Meanwhile, somewhere other than Planet Lad, a female filmmaker was among those arrested (and later released), not to mention a considerable number of females whose rights were pointlessly violated in the co-ordinated publicity stunt of nationwide raids.

    Sure. I only used the word Lads cause I got sick of 'the accused' (they haven't been formally accused yet), 'the terrorists' (that one is now obviously a misnomer), 'those Maoris' (not all of them are Maori), 'the Ruatoki 17' (which sounds like a Bader-Meinhof cell), 'Tame Iti and his buddies' (I have no idea how high up he was, or how well he knows the others), 'Te Quaeda' (quite funny, but old), 'The 17 people arrested during the raid on said date' (too long). 'The Lads' is about as inaccurate as all of those, and I like it cause it connotes some naughty boys doing something silly. But sure, there's some females too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    They did dress up as stormtroopers and seal off an entire town - that's always likely to attract a wee bit of curiosity from the press.

    When fire arms are thought to be involved then the Police do go for the full on AOS rig.

    But maybe police actions in Ruatoki could have been different. But the utter nonsense coming from Tuhoe spokespeople and the Maori Party doesn't win them any sympathy from me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Not only that Margaret, but sealing off the town would have been futile as only a small application of the Force would have meant that Obi Wan Iti and his apprentice would have become of no interest and been told to move about their business.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Question: is there only an offence of "conspiracy to murder" or can one be convicted of planning to cause injury or damage?

    Yes, there is. And all it requires is an agreement (which need to be explicit) to commit a specific crime.

    But according to Howard Broad on Morning Report this morning, despite a year of wiretaps and surveillance, the police didn't even have that.

    Naturally, he now wants to lower the evidentiary bar, to allow the police to arrest, prosecute, and imprison anyone they don't like. And that's not something we should tolerate.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1704 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Obi Wan Iti: These are not the terrorists you're looking for...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Question,
    Had the warrants been issued after the amendment to the TSA was passed would the result have been any different, if so how?
    also, the police must have know about the amendment debate so the timing is of the essence. Is it not?.
    I have niggling doubts/fears about the motivation behind this whole thing and still can't figure who sparked the decision to go ahead with the raids. The history of the "hunters" who reported the suspicious goings on in Tahoe country needs looking at. Is there a connection between the $75 billion dollar fraud and so called terrorist groups in this country. Who knows?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @kyle.

    "search and seizure among people who happened to sell something to someone who the police had an interest in."

    well ott, in my opinion.

    and, since we'll never see the evidence, how will we ever know any of your concerns are justified?

    right now we're seeing more arse-covering than a victoria swim meet.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2038 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Indeed, Planet Arse is being covered over including it's entire populace of Ass Hat Dom.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    "search and seizure among people who happened to sell something to someone who the police had an interest in."

    Well again, I don't know the details. But if I sold materials that could be used in a terrorist action, to a person who the police believed was going to carry out a terrorist action, shouldn't I be raided? I mean, I may be innocent, but if the police give me a phone call and say 'oh by the way, we want to come around and talk to you about something', and I am actually guilty of assisting a terrorist, then I'm destroying the evidence and the police have fucked up.

    People seem to be ragging on the police for their actions because it's not going to lead to a conviction under the TSA. Yet we had indications yesterday that that's not the fault of the police, that's the fault of the law. If these convictions had gone ahead under the TSA, and we did get to hear what was planned, would we be telling a different story?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    I/S

    What Broad said was that their advice was that the intent of the law appeared to want to nip such planning in the bud before they got to the specific planning/conspiracy stage, as it had been shown overseas that allowing these things to fester to the stage of detailed plans was a dangerous path to go down. Being allowed to move early would discourage people being foolish moving to downright criminal.

    He wasn't talking about preventing "thought crimes" but preventing actions and planning that could easily and quickly move from generic to specific. I'd infer that he means people doing general training for events without a specific target should be able to be stopped. ie allowing people to learn how to blow up power lines, buses or identify assassination targets, is generally not a good thing to allow to go on, and it shouldn't have to wait until they have targeted a specific power line or person or bus route before action is taken to stop them.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    1. Police had evidence which they believed indicated some sort of terrorist activity. That evidence has been viewed by an independent person, and backed up. The correct response to that evidence was to intervene and eliminate the threat.

    See, the whole point of having courts is that the police giving information to one other person to assess isn't enough to prove beyond reasonable that someone is guilty of an alleged crime or even that there was a crime in the first place.

    There is a presumption of innocence for a reason. It is to prevent the kind of wrong-headed conclusions that proceed from things like:

    If we make the assumption that one, possibly more people, was involved in planning/preparing for, some sort of terrorist activity.

    No-one is going to be charged with terrorist activity, let alone already been convicted of it.

    I'm wondering what the chances are for a fair trial on the Arms Act charges after all this.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I'm wondering what the chances are for a fair trial on the Arms Act charges after all this.

    The Prime Minister has already given the defense reasonably good grounds for a mistrial.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    JAILED, not just charged or hassled, JAILED. it's not exactly a fucking picnic in there.

    Speaking of weird ideas of special pleasding, I find it more than a little irked at the amount of outrage at the idea people who have been arrested end up in a prison cell.

    Try running around the back blocks with an illegal rifle threatening your ex-wife and see where you end up. Jail, until the courts sort out whether you have a case to answer. Ditto any other number of serious offences. It's perfectly normal.

    Unless you think police shouldn't be allowed to arrest and request the detention of anyone who calls themselves an activist, no matter what.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Danyl

    That argument was used in the police rape trials and didn't work. The judiciary have a lot of faith in the ability of juries to use their heads and do their job properly, and the research backs that faith.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    White farmer thinks he can shoot at people intruding on his land - reasonable self-defence

    Oh, quit with the hysterical bullshit. The police haul in people claiming to have used firearms in self-defence all the time. You wouldn't get a more claer-cut case of self-defence that the firearms store shooting in Auckland, and the police still hauled the (white) guy behind the counter into court.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    rodgerd, the issue re people being jailed is whether they deserved to be bailed or not. Yes, you probably won't get bail if you're arrested waving a gun around. But for a firearms offence committed earlier in another city? There was a guy up on multiple firearms charges that very same week who did get bail. For me the issue is not whether activists should be exempt from being remanded in custody, which is clearly nonsense, the issue is whether the police were applying the same standard in opposing bail for them as they apply in other cases.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3119 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Can anybody answer my questions?

    Posted at 12:38PM on 9 Nov 07. Report. Permalink.

    Question,
    Had the warrants been issued after the amendment to the TSA was passed would the result have been any different, if so how?
    also, the police must have know about the amendment debate so the timing is of the essence. Is it not?.
    I have niggling doubts/fears about the motivation behind this whole thing and still can't figure who sparked the decision to go ahead with the raids. The history of the "hunters" who reported the suspicious goings on in Tahoe country needs looking at. Is there a connection between the $75 billion dollar fraud and so called terrorist groups in this country. Who knows?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Sorry Steve. I missed it.

    Had the warrants been issued after the amendment to the TSA was passed would the result have been any different, if so how?

    There would be no change.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3185 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    See, the whole point of having courts is that the police giving information to one other person to assess isn't enough to prove beyond reasonable that someone is guilty of an alleged crime or even that there was a crime in the first place.

    I never said it was evidence of them being found guilty. I said it was a good indication the executing search warrants and making arrests needed to be done.

    There is a presumption of innocence for a reason. It is to prevent the kind of wrong-headed conclusions that proceed from things like:

    The flaw with it is, in this instance, is that people who have possibly committed a crime, or going to commit a crime, and avoiding being charged under the TSA, because it's a crappy law.

    It would be better if the law had been better written, the charges pressed through, so all the evidence could be presented in a court of law and their actions could be properly judged.

    Now we're stuck with charges that won't reflect the severity of what police believe they have done/were going to do, and a bunch of evidence inadmissible due to warrant issues.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6242 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    @kyle.

    you might be ignoring the history of this case, and focusing on today's spin.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2038 posts Report Reply

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