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Support political prisoners in Aotearoa New Zealand

category aotearoa / pacific islands | repression / prisoners | press release author Saturday October 20, 2007 21:27author by Peace Action Wellington Report this post to the editors

On 15th October, 300+ Police - in many cases armed - raided houses throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) making 17 arrests. The arrestees are all activists in the Tino Rangatiratanga (Maori self-determination), peace and environmental movements. They have initially been charged with with various offenses relating to alleged past possession of various firearms and ammunition; however police are considering laying charges under the 2002 Suppression of Terrorism Act.

On 15th October, 300+ Police - in many cases armed - raided houses throughout Aotearoa (New Zealand) making 17 arrests. The arrestees are all activists in the Tino Rangatiratanga (Maori self-determination), peace and environmental movements. They have initially been charged with with various offenses relating to alleged past possession of various firearms and ammunition; however police are considering laying charges under the 2002 Suppression of Terrorism Act.

These aggressive raids are an attempt to criminalise dissent and smear critics of government and corporate policies with the “terrorist” label.

You can find more information on www.scoop.co.nz or www.indymedia.org.nz.

Most of those arrested have been denied bail and remain in prison. As well as legal fees, they need help paying for their expenses while in jail, such as: phone cards and toiletries; paying any bills they are now unable to meet as in most cases their income has been or soon will be stopped; and petrol costs to allow family and friends to visit them.

Please donate whatever you can. You can send money via Paypal to prisonersupport@peacewellington.org or use the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin /webscr?cmd=_xclick&business=prisonersupport%40peacewellington%2 eorg¤cy_code=NZD&lc=NZ&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF&charset=UTF%2d8
(You don't need to have a Paypal account, you can pay directly with your
credit card.)

If you are currently in Aotearoa and want to donate, we ask you to make a direct bank account deposit. Obviously we greatly appreciate all donations however they are received, but Paypal charges a fee on most transactions, while bank account deposits mean that all your money can be used to help the prisoners.

The bank account details are:
Account Name: Peace Action Wellington
Account Number: 02-0536-0458570-00
Particulars/Code/Reference: LEGAL DEF

All the prisoners have our support, but donations will be prioritised to the four arrested in Wellington simply because there are other groups looking after prisoners in their local areas.

If you are not able to donate, here are some ways you can help from overseas:
- Forward this email as widely as you can
- Get the word out - educate yourself on what has been happening and tell your friends, co-workers, family
- Write letters of support - messages emailed to lettersforprisoners@riseup.net will be printed and sent to those in
prison. Obviously do not write anything that may negatively impact on the prisoners, yourself or someone else.
- If you speak another language, translate this email - and then pass it on.
- Post this information on your website, blog or independent media site. See http://www.peacewellington.org/donate.txt for the HTML for a paypal button.
- Write letters of protest to your local New Zealand embassy or high commission (contact details at http://www.nzembassy.com/)
- Organise a solidarity demonstration - and send us pictures!
- KEEP UP THE FIGHT. The arrestees were all dedicated to making the world a better place, one without war, oppression or the destruction of the environment. Police violence, accusations of terrorism and
repressive legislation are all used to intimidate us and protect the status-quo - but it is only by standing up in the face of all that that we can really make a difference. Kia Kaha (stay strong).

Yours in solidarity
Anna
prisonersupport@peacewellington.org

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