Free the Urewera 4!
A protest in front of the Christchurch Central Police station will take place this Saturday (26th May) at 4pm.
Show your solidarity!
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/events/421114921256143/
Tama Iti’s lawyer on the sentence, one that the 4 were essentially acquitted of by a Jury months ago: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2519846/iti%27s-lawyer-speaks-on-the-urewera-sentencing.asx
October 15th Solidarity Group on Sentencing
“The sentences of 2.5 years for Taame Iti and Rangi Kemara are
manifestly unjust. This is an outrage. The sentences of Urs Signer and
Emily Bailey are equally absurd. The judge sought to retry the entire
case at sentencing today and himself decided their fate. It is an outrage.”
“Our four friends may have been sentenced today but it is far from
over,” said Valerie Morse from the October 15th Solidarity Group. “We
will continue to fight for and support these people until justice is
done and all the charges are dropped.”
It has been nearly five years since Operation 8 came to light and the
process and punishment continues and is not forgotten.
“These people have been sentenced on charges that were dropped against
13 other people last year. The Supreme Court ruled that the only serious
offending was that committed by the police and the Arms Act offences
should not have even been pursued.”
The trial of Emily, Urs, Taame and Rangi is the result of a racist state
intent on quashing any hints of aspirations for Maori sovereignty. But
no one must forget the others. The others arrested, the people and
communities harassed and intimidated by the police on October 15th 2007,
and there are the people of Tuhoe who were subjected to at least a year
and a half of spying and trespass on their lands and their Marae by the
state forces. This was done at the same time as the same state was
negotiating with Tuhoe over Te Urewera settlement.
The whole saga may be written off over time in the main stream media as
a travesty of justice and police paranoia, but we know that it was a
deliberate action. We know that it is an action that will continue again
and again in this land. Operation 8 was only a repeat of history; the
fight for freedom and tino rangatiratanga will continue.
“The judge is just another part of a racist justice system where Maori
do not enjoy the same rights as pakeha. There continue to be two worlds
in this land. This case forms part of the on going colonisation of
Aotearoa and its indigenous people.”