Red and Starry Eyed | Issue 3

On The Uruwera Trials

Get red-y for a piece of advice: Do not trust the government. Not just John Key’s, don’t trust Labour either. Currently in court four “terrorists” are being tried for being the supposed ringleaders of a group planning war against the police and government.

The case goes back to 2007, when 300 police detained 17 “terrorists” and seized four guns. Yep, that’s right, four guns. I do not know if the 17 people were holding the four guns at the same time while prancing around playing role-playing games. But right from the stare the media helped to portray them as a threat and are still doing so now.

The case is ridiculous, and you should watch the doco Operation 8 to see it with your own eyes. Heavily armed police raided homes from Christchurch to Auckland and detained the 17, along with a whole host of harmless hippies. Personal items were seized as evidence including jackets, zippo lighters and ecology pamphlets, even though they were irrelevant to the case. And the detained then had to take part in a prolonged court process that ended up lasting over four years! Talk about justice differed is justice denied. The legal costs involved have seen many of them put second mortgages on their houses or lose their jobs.

The case involving the 17 ended last year. The police were found to have used illegal means to obtain evidence, while other evidence was outright fabricated.
The group “Rama” – meaning “enlightenment” in Māori – were allegedly planning an “IRA-style war on New Zealand”. Ironically, one of the houses searched held yoga classes, so maybe they were seeking enlightenment, but I doubt there was anything more serious going on.

If the group were in fact planning “war”, I’d be worried if the NZ Army couldn’t defend us from 20-odd people with four guns. This is in fact a cover. The 17, and the four “ringleaders” still on trial, were leftist union organisers, anarchists, revolutionary socialists and Māori nationalists, such as Tame Iti.

The Clark and Key governments have let the farce continue, and are thereby suppressing dissent and alternative viewpoints. They are encouraging fear and conformity, and they have pushed through laws that allow police to tap your conversations and read your emails. Moreover, if you have non-conformist leanings, it seems that you may not have the same rights as your average Joe.
We can either decide to trust the government, become sheep, let it control our thinking and reduce our wages and rights, or we can question it, protest and become aware – maybe even enlightened.

“No, Winston, no,” the government says.

– Red and Starry-Eyed
This article first appeared in Issue 3, 2012.
Posted 6:37pm Sunday 11th March 2012 by Red and Starry Eyed.