From Oct. 15th Solidarity: this is the last newsletter before the trial against Taame, Emily,
Rangi and Urs gets underway in the Auckland High Court on Monday, 13th
February 2012. The trial is expected to last up to three months. In
this jam-packed newsletter, we have put together information about the
defendants and the people who want to lock them up, last minute
updates on upcoming events (there is a powhiri at Waipapa Marae (16
Wynyard Street, Auckland Uni) this Sunday at 5pm for the defendants
and supporters) and reflecting on the past 4.5 years.

Now is the time to stand in solidarity with the defendants who are
facing long prison sentences and expose the police racism and state
terrorism. Our friends are not terrorists, nor are they criminals.
They are committed to the liberation struggle – FREE THE UREWERA 4!

There is a Facebook page
(http://www.facebook.com/pages/October-15-Solidarity/25598818522) and
group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/323932007641750/) and a Twitter
feed (@oct15solidarity) to keep you up to date.

See you in Auckland.

:: UPCOMING EVENTS
:: ARTICLES
:: WHO IS WHO – OPERATION 8 ROLL-CALL
:: 4.5 YEARS TOO LONG – A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY
:: DONATIONS
:: RESOURCES
:: LINKS
:: MEDIA ENQUIRIES

:: UPCOMING EVENTS

1. Auckland: Trial starts in the High Court – 13 Feb
2. Auckland: Powhiri at Auckland Uni marae for defendants and
supporters – 12 Feb
3. Melbourne: Free the Urewera Four Solidarity Protest – 13 Feb
4. Auckland: Special GPJA Forum: Drop the charges! – 14 Feb

1. Auckland: Trial starts in the High Court – 13 Feb

The trial is scheduled to start in the High Court in Auckland on
Monday, 13 February 2012 at 10am. There is a call-out circulating for
people to come to the court from 8am for a picket outside. Cnr
Waterloo Quadrant & Parliament Street.

Everyone can come and observe the trial. It is expected to last for 3
months. Court starts sits Monday to Friday and starts at 10am and
finishes about 5pm (except for Friday, when things wind up at 1pm).

FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/359105117439123/

2. Auckland: Powhiri at Auckland Uni marae for defendants and
supporters – 12 Feb

There will be a powhiri at Waipapa Marae (Auckland University) on
Sunday 12 Feb 2012 5pm for supporters of Te Urewera 4. People can stay
at the marae on Sunday night and then go to court on Monday morning
together. http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/ma-waipapa-marae

A bus is leaving from the Eastern Bay Sunday 12 Feb to travel to
Auckland to support. People on the bus are asked to pay a koha ($30)
to go towards travel cost accommodation and kai. The bus will be back
in the Eastern BOP Monday evening. Please call (07) 3129 659 or email
comms@ngaituhoe.iwi.nz to book a seat.

3. Melbourne: Free the Urewera Four Solidarity Protest – 13 Feb

12.30pm – New Zealand Consulate General Melbourne, Level 4, 45 William Street

The High Court Trial for the Urewera Four: Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs
will start in the Auckland High Court. The four are the remaining
defendants facing charges in relation to the state terror raids of
15th October 2007 in Auckland starting on the 13 Feb 2012. Stand in
Solidarity against New Zealand repression of Indigenous Sovereignty &
Activism , let us show Taame, Emily, Rangi & Urs that they are not
alone and that the whole world is watching.

4. Auckland: Special GPJA Forum: Drop the charges! – 14 Feb

7.30pm, Tuesday, Feb 14: Special Global Peace and Justice Forum: Drop
the charges! Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road, Grey Lynn

This special GPJA forum will have speakers talking about the raids,
their political context and the legal situation of the defendants.
Speakers to be confirmed later. http://gpjanz.wordpress.com/

:: ARTICLE

1. Wellington public meeting packed out
2. The Trial for Terrorism ends but the persecution continues…

1. Wellington public meeting packed out

There was a full-house for the Wellington public meeting to discuss
the upcoming court case. Three speakers discussed different aspects of
the case to a crowd of near a 100 at the Wellington Public Library.

Valerie Morse, former accused in the case, first discussed the
intricacies of the charges. She discussed how the case was a
‘stitch-up’ due to the way in which the crown intends to use illegal
evidence and rely on several different sections of criminal law in
order to try and prove their case. While the remaining four defendants
have been charged with one count of ‘participation in an organised
criminal group’ (Sec 98(A)) and several charges under the Arms Act,
the crown intends to rely in part on complex “parties” law in order to
prove possession. Both of these tactics are a clear demonstration of
the desperation of the crown to secure convictions in the case. After
the botched use of the Terrorism Suppression Act, the brutal raids on
Ruatoki, and the exposure of the police’s widespread criminal
offending,* the crown will use any available means to save face and
justify their actions.

Ati Teepa was the second speaker of the evening. Ati is Ngai Tuhoe,
and his talk really focused on what it means to be Tuhoe, to grow up
in Ruatoki, and what Mana Motuhake is. Ati took the crowd on a
wonderful journey to the valley of Ruatoki, describing what it was
like to live in an area with 11 marae, and penned in by the amazing
ranges of Te Urewera. He described the genesis of Te Mana Motuhake o
Tuhoe as a movement by and for Tuhoe. Wananga were held, led by Tuhoe
leader Tamati Kruger, in which people could learn about Tuhoetanga.
Later the Tuhoe Embassy was established in Taneatua, and it was both a
political space and a social centre. Later Te Mana Motuhake became a
political movement focused on Tuhoe’s sovereignty and role as
kaitiaki. Ati described protests against logging on the sacred
mountain of Taiarahia and against jet-boating on the Whakatane river.

Finally, Felicity Perry provided an extensive analysis of the media
coverage and what we can expect during the Operation 8 trial. Felicity
outlined some of the structural reasons why the media coverage so
often mimics the police’s perspective. She used examples from the past
four years to prepare us for the inevitable sensationalist coverage in
the weeks to come. Calling Operation 8 a story ‘too good to miss’ for
journalist, she said that the imagery of guns and balaclavas was what
got ‘eyeballs to the screen’ and readers to the pages of the
newspaper. Complex issues like tino rangatiratanga and Te Mana
Motuhake o Tuhoe were much more challenging both for reporters and for
their audiences. Felicity reminded us that with the Crown holding
centre-stage for the first 6 weeks of the trial, the coverage will be
decidedly lopsided as the defendants will have no space to counter the
narrative being spun.

The meeting ended with a lively question and answer session. Another
public meeting will take place in Auckland on 14 February.

2. The Trial for Terrorism ends but the persecution continues…

More than 4 years later Tame finally lines up to be heard. This trial
is the opportunity to end this injustice. The context of the T?hoe
history of resistance against the Crown will feature. It is that
history that explains the basis for anti Crown sovereignty statements
allegedly taped by the police. This is what the trial is about. T?hoe,
your presence will help set the right environment for this case over
the coming weeks.

The Details:
High Court: Auckland High Court Monday 13 February 9am court starts,
estimated to last 6 ? 10 weeks.
Themes: T?hoe Solidarity & Justice.
Travel: Bus leaving M?hurehure at the new time of 1pm this Sunday 12
Feb and then returning 1pm Monday 13 Feb. (Book a seat with
violet@ngaituhoe.iwi.nz or 07 3129659)
Pohiri: Waipapa Marae 6pm 12 Feb 2012 (note: it is our understanding
that the powehiri is at 5pm – so best come just before 5pm)
Accommodation: Waipapa Marae & Te Tirahou Marae

The Tribals are considering arrangements to travel from Te Urewera
this Sunday through Monday. Since October 15th 2007, and the so called
Operation 8 that locked down and terrorized a T?hoe Community, made
this a T?hoe Hap? Iwi kaupapa.

5 years on, the emotional trauma and disruption to T?hoe wh?nau has
taken its toll and in the last year Tame together with his wh?nau have
continued to carry the unjust consequences of the Crowns inept ability
to conclude its case.

T?hoe, he p?nui kia koutou, kia t?tau, ahakoa kei te whakarite te
Hauk?inga ki te haere ki T?maki, t?r? koutou ka w?tea, ka t?ea r?nei,
kia tae mai t?tau ki te r? whakatuwhera o te k?hi a te Karauna i t?nei
Mane e heke mai nei. E kitea ai a T?hoe e te Karauna e t? kotahi ana I
runga I t?na Mana, I t?na T?hoetanga hoki.

Ahakoa ng? pukuriri ki te Karauna, ko t?nei haere k?re e haere ana ki
te porot?hi, ki te whakatut? puehu, ?ngari e haere ana ki te tautoko,
ki te awhi, i runga i te ng?kau m?haki, I te ng?kau iti a o t?tau
M?tua T?puna.

:: WHO IS WHO – OPERATION 8 ROLL-CALL

In this section, we will try and introduce all ‘the players’ in the
upcoming trial.

::: The defendants – Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs

Well, Taame Iti doesn’t need an introduction. He is well-known in
Aotearoa/NZ for his political activism spanning four decades. He was
involved in too many movements to mention: anti-vietnam war, the
Communist Party, the anti-apartheid movement and of course Te Mana
Motuhake o Tuhoe. Taame works as a mental health practitioner for the
Tuhoe Hauora and lives in Ruatoki. Check out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K42L58BhRww&feature=related

Te Rangikaiwhiria (Rangi) Kemara is of the Maniapoto and Te Arawa
tribes and lives in his tribal area of Te Rohe Potae under the shadow
of the Mt Pureora and Titiraupenga. His computer skills have built
many websites for the Tino Rangatiratanga movement. Rangi is a
founding member of the Maori internet society and is referred to as
‘one of the first Maori on the net’. Rangi is also a gardener who uses
modern as well as traditional permaculture concepts to grow
traditional Maori food as well as the best of superfoods such as
specialist varieties of apples including the Monty Surprise and
Hetlina apples and other superfoods like chia.

Emily Bailey grew up on the bushy hills of Lower Hutt then moved to
Wellington to study fashion design… but soon switched to ecology and
geography. She then planned to live on an offshore island but got into
social politics through the Wellington peace and environment centre
instead. She has been involved in the anti-GE movement, community
gardens, Save Happy Valley, 128 and the Oblong infoshop amongst other
projects. She is now a mum learning her roots at Parihaka while
growing kai, working on climate justice issues and finishing a
ridiculously long film project
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348p-5e1kKk.

Swiss-born Urs Signer has lived in Aotearoa/NZ for almost 10 years. He
has been involved in various activist groups in Wellington, including
Peace Action Wellington and the 128 social centre. He has a Bachelor
of Music from Victoria University and plays clarinet in various bands.
A recent article in the NZ Herald stated that Urs’ “woodwind stylings
are clearly a danger to any decent society.” Have a listen here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=765x80tr0Ms&feature=related

::: The Crown – Ross Burns and Emma Finlayson-Davis (Meredith Connell)

Crown prosecutor Ross Burns has been involved with this case
(Operation 8) since before the raids of 15th October 2007, advising
the police on the use of the Terrorism Suppression Act. He is also in
charge of the case against gardening stores who were raided in
relation to alleged cannabis growing. His latest case was appearing
for the Auckland City Council to have Occupy Auckland evicted from
Aotea Sq. Ross Burns will be ‘leading’ most of the crown witnesses
with Emma Finlayson-Davis also cross-examining some.

Burns and Finlayson-Davis belong to the law firm ‘Meredith Connel’
whose slogan is ‘making business work for you.’ The law firm has held
the office of the Auckland Crown Solicitor since 1922.
http://meredithconnell.co.nz/our-people/partner/ross-burns

::: The Police – Aaron Pascoe and the Special Investigation Group (SIG)

Operation 8 is a high-level counter-terrorism case conducted by the
Special Investigation Group (SIG). While started by the Threat
Assessment Unit (TAU), it was really Aaron Pascoe’s case, the
detective in charge of the Auckland SIG.

One of Pascoe’s biggest achievements was receiving the Coverstaff
Recruitment Volunteer of the Week award in June Last year as the
Chairman of Te Papapa Rugby Football & Sports Club. Congrats!

Here is a photo of him: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12492550@N03/3533100402/

::: The Media – Fairfax and ((i))ndymedia

We all remember the sensationalist media coverage from the raids in
the newspapers and on TV. It even ended in the Solicitor-General
taking contempt charges against Fairfax media (meanwhile the police
did nothing).

Unfortunately, we can probably expect more of the same this time
round. Will the media even bother to stick around for the defence case?

We encourage people not to solely rely on commercial media outlets but
instead read our website (www.October15thSolidarity.info) and
((i))ndymedia (www.indymedia.org.nz).

::: The Supporters – nga hau e wha

Supporters from across Aotearoa have followed this case over the past
4.5 years, both inside and outside the courtroom. A rally will take
place outside the court on the first day of trial. People are
encouraged to come to court and listen to the crown fabrications.
Court will sit from Monday to Friday from 10am to approx. 5pm (except
on Friday when it will finish at 1pm). There is a lunchbreak from 1pm
to 2.15pm.

::: The Jury – you, me and cousin George

At the start of the trial, 12 jurors will be selected from a large
jury-pool. These Auckland-based people would have received a letter in
the mail, asking them to report for jury duty on 13th February. Jurors
will be selected randomly and both the defence and the crown has a
chance to veto some of the jurors.

::: The Judge – Justice Rodney Hansen

Justice Rodney Hansen is presiding over the hearing.

From courtsofnz.govt.nz: Justice Rodney Hansen graduated LLB (Hons)
from the University of Auckland in 1969 and was admitted to the Bar
the same year. He was also admitted an Associate Chartered Accountant
in 1969 having worked prior to undertaking his law degree as an
accounting trainee/accountant for companies in Australian Consolidated
Industries Ltd group. He joined the law firm of McKegg & Adams-Smith
in 1968, travelled overseas from 1969 and upon return to New Zealand
in 1973 took up a staff solicitor position with Simpson Coates &
Clapshaw. In 1976 Justice Hansen was made a partner of Simpson Coates
& Clapshaw, and later Simpson Grierson and Simpson Grierson Butler
White, before becoming a Barrister sole in 1991. Justice Hansen was
appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1995 and took appointment to the High
Court bench in 1999. He is based at the Auckland High Court.

::: The defence lawyers – Nisbet, Stevenson, Fairbrother, Bioletti and
Hirschfeld

Val Nisbet, from Wellington, will be appearing for Emily Bailey. Val
has been there since day one. Christopher Stevenson, also from
Wellington, is appearing for Urs Signer. He replaced Michael Bott last
year, who was running for parliament instead. Former member of
parliament, Russell Fairbrother, is appearing for Taame Iti while
Jeremy Bioletti and Charl Hirschfeld are defence counsel for Rangi
Kemara. Jeremy previously appeared for Jamie Lockett.

They will bring junior lawyers with them who will also be
cross-examining some witnesses.

:: 4.5 YEARS TOO LONG – A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY

On Monday, October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn
raids on dozens of houses all over Aotearoa / New Zealand. Police
claim the raids were in response to ?concrete terrorist threats? from
indigenous activists. What initially started with 20 defendants is now
down to four: Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs. Their trial will start on
13th February 2012 in Auckland.

The raids were the first ever carried out under the Terrorism
Suppression Act (TSA). On the day of the raids, the police arrested 17
people. One person was immediately discharged, and 16 went to prison
held on Arms Act charges for up to a month while the police sought to
bring additional charges for ?participation in a terrorist group?
against 12 of the 16. In NZ, the consent of the Solicitor-General is
required before charges can be brought under the TSA.

On 8 November 2007, the Solicitor-General refused to give police
permission to bring these charges due to lack of evidence. All of the
accused were released on bail still facing Arms Act charges.

The following week, the Wellington newspaper The Dominion Post
published a front-page article entitled ?The Terror Files? in which
highly sensational extracts of conversations intercepted by the police
were published. These extracts were said to be from the accused, but
they were no longer legally admissible against them because the
terrorism charge on which the warrant for the interception was granted
had failed.

For this article, the newspaper was charged with contempt of court and
a trial was held in the Wellington High Court in September 2008. The
editor of the newspaper freely admitted breaching court suppression
orders against publication. The Solicitor-General said the publication
was the ?most serious breach of an accused fair trial rights? that he
had ever seen. The effect of the article was to deny the defendants
any chance of advancing a defence of ?lawful, proper and sufficient
purpose.? He also said that the police affidavit where the published
bits came from was itself full of conversations that were taken out of
context to make the threat seem ?imminent? and give veracity to the
police?s narrative.

In February and April 2008, four more arrests were made. All were
charged under the Arms Act along with the other 16, bringing the total
number to 20 people in the case.

In September 2008, there was a month-long depositions hearing in the
Auckland District Court. Two of the 20 were discharged from the case,
18 people were sent forward to be tried on Arms Act charges.

One month after the depositions hearing and a year after the original
arrests, the crown brought an additional charge ? ?participation in a
criminal group? ? against five of the accused.

The trial was moved from the District Court to the High Court. The
crown and defendants filed numerous ?pre-trial? applications. The most
significant of these concerned the admissibility of material obtained
by police. During this hearing, the High Court ruled that the police?s
investigation had been illegal: it involved breaches of human rights
and criminal acts, but the material from it was still admissible for a
trial. The defence team appealed the admissibility of this material to
the Supreme Court.

Ultimately, there was a split outcome with the Supreme Court ruling
all of the material illegal, but admissible only against the five
people facing a charge of ?participation in a criminal group.? This
was due to the way the Evidence Act was written which allows the court
to conduct a ?balancing act? weighing up the alleged offending of the
defendants against the actual offending by police. In this case, the
balance of the court decided that Arms Act charges were of a less
serious nature than the offending of the police in gathering the
material, therefore the evidence should not be used against those 13
people who were only facing Arms Act charges. Shortly thereafter, the
charges were dropped against the 13.

The ?criminal group? charge, however, was deemed more serious thus the
illegally obtained material could be used against the five people
still accused despite the lack of any additional evidence.

In the meantime, one of the five remaining defendants, Tuhoe Lambert,
died from stress-related illness.

One of the other pre-trial applications by the crown sought to deny a
jury trial to the defendants, instead petitioning for a trial by
judge-alone. The High Court granted their wish and ordered a trial by
judge-alone, buying into the argument that the matter was too ?long
and complex? for a jury to understand. The defendants fought this all
the way to the Supreme Court, but when the other 13 defendants were
discharged from the case, the crown could not maintain their argument
any longer and dropped their application. There will be a jury trial.

There are now four defendants in the Urewera trial. After four and a
half-years, the matter has been set down for up to three months in the
Auckland High Court.

:: DONATIONS

Cheques – Please make your cheque payable to ‘October 15 Solidarity’,
and post to October 15 Solidarity, PO Box 9263, Wellington, New Zealand.

Wire or Transfer Details – Bank: Kiwibank, Account name: October 15
Solidarity, Account Number: 38-9007-0239672-000

This is a Wellington based group that formed in the immediate
aftermath of the raids. It does both support work and political
organising. Deposits made with the code “Support” will be dedicated
towards supporting all those affected by the raids, arrests and
on-going court appearances.

:: RESOURCES

The www.October15thSolidarity.info website is regularly updated. The
website aims to be multilingual and gives background information
aswell as updates on legal proceedings. There are poster, newsletters
and leaflets available here:
http://october15thsolidarity.info/en/node/236

A DROP THE CHARGES leaflet can be downloaded here:
http://october15thsolidarity.info/sites/default/files/drop%20the%20charges%20A4.pdf

:: LINKS

www.October15thSolidarity.info | www.indymedia.org.nz | www.tuhoe.net
| www.gpja.org.nz

:: MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Journalists are encouraged to email info@october15thsolidarity.info if
they wish to arrange an interview with a defendant or a spokesperson
for October 15th Solidarity.

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email us. Cheers!

Solidarity!

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