Video from Stop The Raids protest in Otautahi / Christchurch

February 23, 2008

A short (4 mins 25 secs) video from today’s protest in Otautahi / Christchurch in solidarity with those arrested on October 15th 2007 & February 19th 2007.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Film by Anarchia Films – anarchia.wordpress.com

For more info, see www.october15thsolidarity.info


Private investigators in court over corporate spy scandal

February 21, 2008

Private investigation firm Thompson & Clark Investigations Ltd (TCIL) appeared before the Registrar of Private Investigators and Security Guards in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st February.

TCIL faced allegations that they had breached the Private Investigators and Security Guards Act (The Act) which governs their conduct. The allegations refer to the engagement of Ryan Paterson-Rouse to infiltrate the Save Happy Valley Coalition (SHVC) and of Somali Young to infiltrate the Wellington Animal Rights Network (WARN) and Peace Action Wellington (PAW). Also in question was the legality of the placement of a spy camera on the road near the entrance to the Happy Valley occupation site in 2006, by TCIL.

SHVC, WARN and PAW complained to the registrar in June 2007, after Paterson-Rouse and Young were exposed as spies paid by TCIL to infiltrate activist groups and gather information. TCIL then passed that information on to companies that had hired it, including Solid Energy, and likely the NZ biotech industry and NZ Defence Industry Association.Despite being served with a subpoena and having flights from Wellington paid for, Somali Young did not appear in Court, and may be fined by the Registrar. On the stand, Gavin Clark declined to answer any questions relating to Somali, including whether he had ever met her. Despite objections from Frances Mountier (for SHVC) and Valerie Morse (for PAW), the Registrar refused to compel Clark to answer the questions. Clark claimed immunity from having to answer the questions due to the public interest, although Mountier and Morse both questioned whether this in fact had any basis in law whatsoever.

Spy Camera

In his submission to the Court, Clark acknowledged for the first time that the camera was in fact placed by TCIL. The act states that:

Every person, who, in the course of or in connection with the business of a private investigator, –

(a) Takes or causes to be taken, or uses or accepts for use, any photograph, cinematographic picture, or videotape recording of another person; or

(b) By any mechanical device records or causes to be recorded the voice or speech of another person, – without the prior consent in writing of that other person, commits and offence [against this act]

Clark claimed that the camera was placed in TCIL’s role as a security contractor to Solid Energy rather than as private investigators. In response, Mountier pointed out that it would defeat the purpose of the protections that The Act purports to afford if private investigators were able to break their governing legislation by claiming they were acting outside of their licensed role.

The Spies

The allegations concerning Paterson-Rouse and Young were that they had acted as private investigators without holding a valid license, which is an offence against The Act for both them and for TCIL, the private investigation firm that paid them. Gavin Clark claimed that Paterson-Rouse was never an employee of TCIL, but rather an informant paid as per the quality of information provided rather than any set rate.

In his evidence, Clark stated that he had been given a list of names and information of people in Christchurch, and of those names, he chose Paterson-Rouse as he felt he would be most likely to fit in with the other SHVC activists. He then contacted Paterson-Rouse and had a meal with him to further assess whether or not he would be able to carry out the infiltration of SHVC. Upon deciding that he would, Clark advised Paterson-Rouse to join, and the infiltration began. When asked if he still stood by his judgement that Paterson-Rouse was a good choice to infiltrate SHVC, Clark stated “Well, Ryan Paterson-Rouse’s behaviour is why I’m here talking about him today…”

Over the next 7 months, Paterson-Rouse was given a cellphone and paid over $3700 by TCIL for providing information. Clark stated that information sought included personal information such as where people lived and who they were in relationships with, in addition to people’s roles in SHVC and any special skills they might have, such as tree-climbing. At times, Paterson-Rouse’s pay was worked out at an hourly rate (or a daily rate during his three trips into the Happy Valley occupation).

One of the aspects of Paterson-Rouse’s information gathering was the automatic forwarding of all emails sent to him to Gavin Clark. Clark admitted to deleting all emails from Paterson-Rouse’s email account after the spying was exposed.

Clark also discussed the “monthly updates” which TCIL sends out to its clients, which were mentioned in a response to an Official Information Act request by Massey University, one of the recipients. Clark claimed the updates contained only information from “open sources”, which he defined as the internet and news media. This information would include news about protests and upcoming events organised by political activist groups, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Clark also acknowledged that he knew that the SHVC blockade of a coal train on April 29, 2007, was going to occur, and that he had travelled to Christchurch for it. He said he “may have” informed the police it was to occur, but did not confirm or deny when asked if he attended a police briefing on the protest at 8am, several hours before it began. The briefing had been revealed during the hearings of those convicted for the protest.

The bulk of what was in dispute between Morse and Mountier and TCIL in regard to Paterson-Rouse and Young was whether or not their work constituted employment by TCIL. In this, TCIL called private investigator and ex-Police officer Trevor Morley, who related his experience with both undercover agents and informants in both the Police and the private sector. They also submitted some case law from the Employment Court as to the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. Morse and Mountier argued that as both Paterson-Rouse and Young had been approached and offered regular payment to infiltrate and report information on specific political activist groups, had recieved instructions on what types of information to seek and had seemingly been paid hourly or daily rates, that the relationship between them and TCIL was indeed one of an employer and employee. They also made note that The Act makes no provision whatsoever for any difference between undercover agents and informants.

Decision reserved

After a day and a half in court, the Registrar reserved his decision. Morse and Mountier asked for the maximum penalty, which is the cancellation of TCIL’s private investigation licence.

Gavin Clark web.jpg

An SHVC activist’s sketch of Gavin Clark, drawn during court.


More Raids, 3 More Arrests in Tuhoe

February 19, 2008

Another three people have been arrested as part of the police repression of the Tino Rangatiratanga movement. Two men aged 44 and 46 from Maketu are due to appear in the Tauranga District Court and a 24-year-old Ruatoki man will appear in the Whakatane District Court today on firearms charges related to the Urewera 16.

Valerie Morse, one of those arrested on October 15th, has also had her application for a stay of proceedings declined by the Solicitor-General David Collins.

Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland

Protest – Stop the raids! Saturday 23rd, 12noon, meet in Aotea Square

Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington

Protest – Saturday 23rd, 12noon, meet in Manners Mall

Otautahi / Christchurch

Protest – Stop The Raids! Saturday 23rd, 12noon, meet in Cathedral Square

Links: October 15th Solidarity | Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe | AoCafe | Civil Rights Defence Committee

UPDATES:

Tuesday 19th, 4pm: All three men have been granted bail. The two arrestees from Maketu have another hearing in one weeks time, at which point the Crown will attempt to have their hearings moved to Auckland with the 16 arrested on October 15th, 2007. Bail conditions include non-association orders with the other arrestees (with one exception for work for one arrestee), residing at specific addresses, surrendering passports and not possessing firearms.

6:09pm: The Ruatoki man has been given 9 charges under the arms act. The two Maketu men have 7 charges each.

11:34pm: The Ruatoki man was granted name supression at his hearing earlier today. He will appear next in the Auckland District Court (along with the 16 arrested on October 15th) on March 5th. The two Maketu men do not have name supression.

Wednesday 20th: Another person was questioned in the Whakatane Police Station today, but was not charged.


Benefit CD and T-Shirt for the October 15th arrestees

February 16, 2008
Tu Kotahi - Freedom Fighting Anthems

Tu Kotahi – Freedom Fighting Anthems is a new double benefit CD released on Waitangi Day (Feb 6th). Bands on it include Verse Two, Olmecha Supreme, Cornerstone Roots and Upper Hutt Posse.

Freedom Fighters T-Shirt

There are also black T-Shirts with green and white print, reading “Freedom Fighters” and “Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou” (We will fight on).

The T-Shirts and CDs are $25 each and all the money raised will be split between organisations directly supporting those affected by the raids, and also working on consciousness raising around the issue. International shipping is available, for those of you reading this from outside NZ (check exchange rates here).


Katipo Books Monthly Update – January 2008

February 12, 2008
Katipo Books Monthly Update
January 2008

Welcome to the first monthly update from Katipo Books – www.katipo.net.nz

If you are a registered customer on the Katipo Books website and do not wish to recieve this email, just log on and ensure that the newsletter box is unchecked. If you have been forwarded this update and want to recieve them in the future, go to the Katipo Books website and register an account – you don’t need to buy anything to do this.

Against Freedom Book Launch

On Friday January 18th, Katipo Books hosted Valerie Morse, the Wellington anarchist author of Against Freedom: The War on Terrorism in Everyday New Zealand Life ( katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/316) and one of those arrested and imprisoned in the nationwide raids of October 15th 2007 (see www.october15thsolidarity.info). Over 50 people attended the launch, where Valerie spoke about her book, the New Zealand Government’s role in the “War On Terror” and her experience during the raids and in prison. Katipo Books is delighted to have been able to bring Valerie to Christchurch to share her experiences and knowledge. Thanks to everyone who came along and made it a great night!

Katipo Books Stall at One Love in Otautahi / Christchurch

Katipo Books crew will be at One Love in Otautahi / Christchurch on Waitangi day. If you bring a t-shirt, we hope to have screenprinting gear available to put a design befitting Waitangi Day on your t-shirt. We’ll also have a bunch of stickers, pamphlets and books on Tino Rangatiratanga, Te Tiriti O Waitangi and the raids of October 15th 2007 available.

Waitangi Day – Feb 6th, 2pm – 6pm, New Brighton Pier Amphitheatre

Coming Soon…

We’re currently waiting on a BIG order of books from American distributor AK Press (www.akpress.com). Unfortunately there has been some delay with the shipping company they use changing their packing options, but the order should be here any day now.

We will also soon be increasing our stock of books from Aotearoa from several publishers.

Katipo Books will also soon be making badges, patches and t-shirts with a wide range of designs.

Badges

Katipo Books will soon be purchasing a badgemaker. As well as having a range of badge designs available on the website, we are also happy to make custom designed badges at discounted rates for political groups to use as fundraisers. If you are part of a group that is interested in ordering badges, feel free to contact us at info [at] katipo [dot] net [dot] nz for more information.

New Stock

During January, Katipo has added a number of new zines and pamphlets to our catalogue. Some picks of the new stock, both local and overseas, include:

Real Calendar Gals – 2008 Calendar – $12
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/322

A beautifully designed and highly informative calendar produced by the Aotearoa A-Fems. The 2008 Calendar Gals edition was inspired by the recent and abhorrent arrests of the Urewera 16, some of whom are very dear to the Aotearoa A-Fems.

Can’t Hear Me Scream – $2
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/319

An account written while inside prison from Valerie Morse — one of the ‘Urewera 16′ — of life in prison, the bureacracy and arbitrary exercise of power, and how those on the outside can support those trapped within. “They can imprison our bodies but our hearts and minds will always be FREE.”
During January we will be sending a free copy of “Can’t hear me scream”. with every order.

Climate Change: An introduction to the environmental crisis of our time – $1.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/324

A pamphlet introducing climate change, the science behind it, and some ideas for preventing it, or at least lessening its impact. Produced by a member of Auckland group Radical Youth, this pamphlet also includes details of the likely impacts of climate change on Aotearoa / New Zealand.

Anarchia Issue 2 – $2
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/318

The second issue of an irregularly released zine by an Aotearoa anarchist-communist, with a selection of articles on anarchism and a range of related topics.

The Auckland Anarchist #2 – $2.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/325

The 2nd issue of the zine from the Auckland Anarchist Collective (the first issue was called A Space Inside).

2008 Slingshot Organizer – $10 and Desk Planner – $18
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/332 & katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/333

A handy pocket calendar (or spiral bound desk planner) with space to write your engagements, addresses, and notes. Each week is sprinkled with historical dates, reasons to riot, and inspirational events—and laid out with that oh so funky Slingshot style.

Resistance To Nazism – Shattered Armies: How the working class fought Nazism and Fascism 1933 – 1945 – $2.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/326

A collection of articles by the UK-based Anarchist Federation on a range of working class groups who fought against fascism around the world before and during World War II.

Work Community Politics War – $2.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/328

A beautifully illustrated introduction to radical working class revolutionary politics, split into the four categories named in the title. A great introduction for newbies, and the pamphlet can also function as a colouring in book for the young and not-so-young.

Ecology & Class – where there’s brass, there’s muck – $5.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/329

A comprehensive look at a wide range of ecological issues and crises around the world from an anarchist-communist perspective by the UK-based Anarchist Federation.

See No Speak No Hear No: Articles + Questions About Sexual Assault – $1.50
katipo.net.nz/product_info.php/products_id/330

As the title suggest, this zine is a collection of writings (and drawings) on rape and sexual assault, including discussion questions, writing from a man called out on his behaviour about how he reacted, writings from survivors of rape and assault and more.

See you all next month,
Katipo Books


2nd callout for Anarchism and Mental Health zine

February 11, 2008
Are you an anarchist that suffers (or has suffered) from mental illness?

Would you be interested in telling your story, sharing your experience of mental illness and support (or the lack of support) within the anarchist/activist community?

Have you got any suggestions for how we in the anarchist community can better support each other with regards to mental illness?

I am publishing a zine about anarchism and mental health in Aotearoa.

If you’re interested in contributing (it can be anonymous and the length and level of detail are up to you) then email your stories, poetry, cartoons etc to anarchiazine (at) gmail.com.

Submissions are due this week, but if you email me and let me know what you’re writing about, I can wait til the end of the month to recieve the actual article.


Waitangi Day protests across Aotearoa

February 7, 2008

A feature I just wrote for Aotearoa Indymedia:

Waitangi Day protests across Aotearoa

mzphotos 041.jpg

Waitangi Day saw protests in several places across Aotearoa, with Tangata Whenua and Tau Iwi standing together to demand Tino Rangatiratanga and Mana Motuhake.

In Waitangi itself, “thousands of tangata whenua, pakeha and tau iwi marched together in the hikoi to the treaty grounds with Tino Rangatiratanga and Mana Motuhake flags flying behind the Kotahitanga flag. A large contingent from Tuhoe was leading the hikoi, including some of the Urewera 17 activists. Key issues raised during this year’s Waitangi Day were the Resource Management Act, the Foreshore and Seabed legislation and the October 15 “anti-terror” raids.” [ Tau Iwi Report of Waitangi Day 08 + Photos ]

DSC00990.JPG

In Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland), members and supporters of the sovereignty group Te Ata Tino Toa gathered today to fly the largest known Tino Rangatiratanga flag above the Auckland Harbour Bridge. A slow procession of cars also went across the Bridge flying Tino Rangatiratanga and Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe flags, while a boat went underneath flying a flag. [ Te Ate Tino Toa (TATT) Transcends Tranzit New Zealand's Pettiness + Photos ]

waitanig 3.jpg

Te Whanganui A Tara (Wellington) saw around 30 people take a “Tour Of Oppression” around various sites in the central city. [ Tour of Oppression: Waitangi Day procession in Wellington + Photos ]

On the other side of the world, the New Zealand embassy in Berlin, Germany, was spraypainted with “Tino Rangatiratanga” and “Drop the Urewera charges”. [ NZ embassy in Berlin Spraypainted ]

Waitangi Day also saw the launch of Tu Kotahi – Freedom Fighting Anthems, a double benefit CD. All the money raised will be split between organisations directly supporting those affected by the raids, and also working on consciousness raising around the issue. [ Tu Kotahi - Freedom Fighting Anthems ]

Links: AoCafe | Maori Independence Site | Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe | Conscious Collaborations | October 15th Solidarity | Tu Kotahi – Freedom Fighting Anthems


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers