Tautoko needed for “Operation 8” accused

Blog post from 19 April 2011

The newly launched film “Operation 8: Deep in the Forest” may anger you.

It is the documentary movie of the infamous Tuhoe raids of 2007. Ruātoki whānau and the other activists accused of terrorism, are given an opportunity to tell their stories. Their dignified recollections alone will infuriate any social justice ngākau. If you heart is that way inclined then, prepare for it to be stung.

To further enlighten you, the movie features an impressive list of specialist commentators including none other than ‘hard man’ ex-cop Ross Meurant. Meurant outlines the paranoia which lends itself to the blatant bias underlying undercover police operations. He connects how fundamental this is to what happened to Tuhoe. Go Ross!

The commentary of the other specialists including leading lawyers, academics, journalists and activists builds a picture of a messy police case from the get go. There were many gasps of horror and outrage at the Auckland premiere showing in April. Not to mention whips of laughter outbreak at how ridiculous the case is – you have to be there for that.

The film intelligently places the raids in the context of global social and political power. Throughout history there have always been attempts by authorities and those in power to frame and tame political dissent as something far more sinister. The Tūhoe people and associated activists have been exploited to allow the law to flex its muscley arm. Go see the muscle-bound pose for yourself and get the word out about this movie as it needs and deserves our collective support.

From here though, we must continue the solidarity for the accused. They face a Judge only trial, a further injustice in this whole saga, in Auckland starting end May 2011. They will need things like accommodation, food, childcare and cash as they and their whānau face weeks and weeks of court hearings away from their homes.

Please see the October 15 Solidarity website http://www.october15thsolidarity.info/en/about where these is a list of suggestions for how to give your tautoko. If you can offer any assistance you can also email them directly on info@october15thsolidarity.info

And aside from that, Mana Motuhake must not let such muscle flexing intimidation interrupt its path. Make sure your sovereign call rises above the sort of terror that holds children at gunpoint.

Ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou ngā whānau o Ngāi Tūhoe. We stand with you.

Te Wharepora Hou
Contact: Marama Davidson

021 025 88302

Wahine Māori reject Politicians Endorsement of Homophobia

Māori women’s group Te Wharepora Hou condemns the attendance by the four Māori male politicians at the Destiny Church conference last weekend. The Māori women declare that those Māori politicians have implicitly endorsed the church’s homophobic and misogynist stance, by supporting their conference.

 Te Wharepora Hou recalls the hatred that Destiny Church unleashed during the passage of the Civil Unions Bill.  Spokesperson for Te Wharepora Hou Marama Davidson says “Not one politician spoke against the discriminatory principles of Destiny Church over the weekend. We are outraged that a show of support for takatāpui people and their whānau was sacrificed for political expediency.”  

 Te Wharepora Hou says that the conservative, intolerant messages that are anti-gay, anti-transgender and anti-women are quite opposed to the general direction that Aotearoa is heading in. Te Wharepora Hou insists that any ‘community initiatives’ run by Destiny Church do not justify any messages that do not recognise human rights for all people.

 Marama Davidson adds “we believe that these Māori politicians have significantly misread the Māori electorate. We believe the overwhelming majority of Māori will shy away from politicians who are in any way associated with Destiny Church. We want all our children to grow up in a community where they are loved and encouraged and not discriminated or repressed for who they are.”

 Te Wharepora Hou acknowledges the excellent work of groups such as Rainbow Youth, AIDS Foundation and many others, which create safe spaces for some of the most marginalised and vulnerable members in our society. Te Wharepora Hou hopes those groups can continue with their positive messages despite the challenging stigma that groups such as Destiny Church express towards them.

 Contact:

Marama Davidson

Te Wharepora Hou

021 025 88302