Trouble in Paradise

November 3, 2007

Here’s another post that I seemes to have misplaced, hopefully there are no more.


A few days ago Kevin posted this article on Cryptogon about New Zealand security forces arresting potential ‘terrorists’ in the New Zealand Bush and about a series of dawn raids that were being made. As soon as I read it I was suspicious about the nature of the police activity, not least because of an article that talked about how the people under suspicion were a group of Maori, Environmental & Political activists. “How convenient” I thought to myself, all those people in one easy round-up. At the very least this is going to be used as a propaganda tool

Since then it’s gotten worse. Even a former high profile cop who later became a right wing politician has come out saying the police have been heavy handed in their approach. Plus a government MP has said that he’s uncomfortable with what is going on, although he then (was made to?) retract some of his statements. Hell even the right wing papers seem unusually subdued about supporting police behaviour this time.

The government it denying that the arrests have anything to do with new, ‘anti-terror’ laws currently before parliament. These are laws that will bring us into line with overseas ‘anti-terror’ laws. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide for themselves whether they believe that :-)

There is lots of information on our local Indymedia site and lots of planning of protests about the event, there have even been protests overseas about what has happened here. Scoop.co.nz is of course a good source of info about this as well. One thing you’ll notice if you read up on this is that the police have said they are going to make more raids around New Zealand. At first I didn’t think much about it but then I realized that announcing you’re going to be raiding people who are stashing supplies of weapons is somewhat counter productive – unless you main aim is actually to scare people, or unless you’re raiding people who don’t have a clue that they would be on your list.

This is a Propaganda War. The powers that be will ensure that the high profile pictures of arrests of ‘terrorists’ will be associated with activists of all stripes and what frustrates me is that a lot of activists seem to be happy to reinforce this idea by being publically contemptuous of the police. Indymedia is currently crawling with people using terms like ‘filth’ and openly advocating a violent response and sure enough people like Russell Brown who is your classic left wing sellout journalist are quoting these people.

I felt moved to write something for Indymedia about Activist PR because in my opinion the powers that be couldn’t be happier with the behaviour of most activists in this country, they seem intent on alienating anyone who is slightly mainstream and are naively providing aid to the people putting out the propaganda – the very people they oppose. You can see the scathing response my suggestions received from some people who, to my ears, sound like criminals when they talk about the police. I guess it fits because the police view activists as criminals as well. Interestingly, I got called for one anti-community comment I made in the piece. Truly an oversight, and one that might surprise readers of this blog, but I am the product of middle class training and sometimes it still shows.

A couple of years ago I was given some excellent advice by someone active in the GE movement about the fact that we should be trying something different instead of using the same tired tactics every time – I immediately put his advice into practice in a presentation of our local council about GE where I focused on the image I was putting across as much as the message.

I’d love to see activists get smart and start turning up to demonstrations dressed like ‘nice’ middle class people. No doubt many would think of this as selling out but really what it’s doing is removing distractions so that people can focus on the message. And imagine how much it would shock everyone to see activism associated with the middeclasses – who at the moment feel very alienated by that sector of society.

I suppose this divide should come as no surprise since it’s the people who are already outside the mainstream who are best placed to see deceptions that most of us are under but the double edged sword aspect is that most of this divide is about how people identify with themselves, as Ran and Dan often mention (further reading at this link provided by Dan)

Despite comments about Sheeple and how dumb the general public is from the powers-that-be and those who oppose them, the people in power know that the most powerful force in any country is the population. If they decide to rise up en-masse then they will always win. It’s not going to happen here any day soon but the powers that be are very, very focused on massaging public opinion just in case. I’m sure their paranoia knows no bounds which is why they are so good at PR. I just wish we weren’t so bad at it, like I said on Indymedia, some activists are their own worst enemy in this area.

Things just got a whole lot worse though. I discovered yesterday that the police raided the home of Brian Innes and Jo Pearsall in Taupo. New Zealand is a small place and I heard about it through a friend of a friend – but I checked and it has been reported in the news. This event really rips the cover off as far as I am concerned. I’ve met these people and interviewed Jo prior to an Eco-show (they are the organisers of the event) and they are some of the last candidates I could think of for violent insurrection. The are gentle people. It’d be funny if it wasn’t so damn serious. Jo and Brian are permaculturists, they teach all around the country and started up the eco-show in an attempt to spread the word on a bigger scale. They must be in their 50’s, don’t own a firearm and the police raided their home with police dogs, herded them, their family and guests into the lounge and ‘detained’ them while they searched the house.

This blew me away but then I found something that made me even more curious. The Eco-show just happened last weekend and one of the lecturers who was still staying with them is a Swedish academic who is involved with JAK bank in Sweden. JAK bank is an interest-free bank that has been operating for 40 years using what must be considered to be a proven alternative to conventional banking. To say this gentlemen would be unpopular with the international banking cartel would be something of an understatement. Needless to say the police made off with his laptop.

I mentioned this fact to Kevin in an email and he pointed out this comment from an article he wrote a while back:

I don’t know who’s behind the wheel of this thing, but it’s not Kiwis. There is some kind of insidious, international banking octopus thing happening here. New Zealand politicians are selling their own country out to a global criminal elite that is going to eat this land alive and spit what remains out into the sea.

I’d also recommend this article from Kevin as well on the same subject.

It’s one thing to watch stuff like this happening in the US but quite another to see it happening here. I feel very angry about it – especially about what went down in Taupo. I am not willing to just lie down and let these people do this to our country. I haven’t been doing my alternative news radio show for a while but I am going to have to find the time to get back into it. No one else is doing anything like it in New Zealand – I will have to make a real effort to get it played on lots more stations as well. I hope that other people will feel the same way, I hope that this event will backfire and lots more people will get active. New Zealand has been subject to a lot of propaganda but we’re not as far gone as the US public and I still hold out hope that we’ve got the guts to do something about this.

I know people like Kevin say that the powers-that-be let activism continue because it’s a pressure release valve for the small proportion of society that needs it and it makes no difference anyway but I think that could be another line the powers-that-be have fed us. It’s certainly a comment that makes me think about where I put my energy because a lot of activism is in-effective, it’s true, but I also know that the GE movement in this country has been way more effective than anyone realizes. It’s not just luck that there are no commercial GE crops growing here, it’s because 75% of the public is opposed to it. Essentially what I am saying is that we are not totally powerless.

It will not be easy but if there is the slightest chance we can stop this country turning into a fascist cess-pool then it’s worth making the effort. We can certainly slow them down and it probably won’t be long before centralized power starts to fade away so we might just be able to make a permanent difference. Plus I find it really unnatural to not oppose it, I just hope I’m not the only one.


One comment

  1. Since I’ve written this I’ve learnt that I know another of the people who was arrested. Her name is Valerie Morse and she is a very effective and well-informed activist. The idea that she would be interested in an act of terrorism is again, in my opinion laughable – especially as she has suposedly timed it to coincide with the passing of so-called anti-terror laws in this country.

    Clearly They are trying to make an example of certain key people.

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