Drop the charges!

On Monday, October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn raids on dozens of houses all over Aotearoa / New Zealand. Police claim the raids were in response to 'concrete terrorist threats' from indigenous activists. What initially started with 20 defendants resulted in the trial of four - Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs - which concluded on 20 March 2012.

The trial lasted for 5 weeks and resulted in a hung jury on the most serious charge of 'participation in an organised criminal group' (Sec 98a of the Crimes Act). The crown has decided not to seek a retrial on this charge. On 24 May, the four were sentenced on firearms charges. Taame and Rangi have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2.5 years. The sentence for Urs and Emily is 9 months home detention; their sentencing began on 22 June.

See our facebook page for regularly updated information

See the legal page for more details about the court case.


On 28 August 2012, the Court of Appeal issued a judgment on the second bail applicationof Tame Iti and Rangi Kemara, two of the 'Urewera 4' who were jailed for 2.5 years for firearms convictions on 24 May this year. The Court denied their application for bail.

The substantive decision of the Court of Appeal on both the convictions and the sentences for all four people - Tame, Rangi, Urs and Emily - is still forthcoming.

Tame and Rangi first applied for bail in early July in advance of the appeal date. This decision took two weeks, and ultimately the court denied them bail.

In the judgement issued today, the court says: 'The onus is on the applicants to “show cause” why bail should be granted.4 Further, s 14(1)  (of the Bail Act) provides that:

… the court must not grant bail unless it is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that it would be in the interests of justice in the particular case to do so.'

There is no date for the release of the substantive judgement.

The basis of the appeal on conviction relates to the use of illegally gathered evidence which formed the substantive part of the crown's case, whether the 'objective' of an organised criminal group can be said to exist if it is contigent on the failure of another objective and with no specified period of time contemplated for its implementation - and the resulting implications of the judge's direction on this in respect of the firearms charges, and the cultural context of the area in which gun ownership is commonplace. 

The basis on the appeal on sentencing primarily relates to the judge's remarks, both at the time of summing up to the jury and at the sentencing. The Court of Appeal ruling today in relation to bail said,

'The Court considered the Judge’s sentencing remarks suggested the Judge drew a clear distinction between the s 98A charge and the firearms offences for which Mr Iti and Mr Kemara were being sentenced.'

If this comment is suggestive of the Court's ultimate decision yet to come, it is not a positive sign.

The defendants do have the ability to appeal to the Supreme Court depending on the outcome. After the five-year long saga of Operation 8, the only thing that is clear is that an end is not yet in sight.



Urgent legal funding required – An appeal from October 15th Solidarity

Kia ora supporters, friends and whanau,

Funding is urgently required to assist with legal costs for Taame Iti and Rangi Kemara’s appeal to the Court of Appeal. We need your help!

Justice requires that both the firearms convictions and prison sentences be appealed and overturned. Operation 8 was an attack by the crown and police on Tuhoe aspirations for sovereignty and on Maori desires for a genuine realisation of tino rangatiratanga. It will be forever remembered as another crown invasion.

All donations can be made to:

Te Kotahi a Tuhoe 12-3253-0032178-01
We appreciate your solidarity and on-going support.  Thank you.


Free The Moko - Artists and Musicians Collaborate To Support Families of Tame Iti & Rangi Kemara

Established conscious artists and musicians from Aotearoa/NZ and the world have joined together to speak out against injustice and show their support for the families of Tame Iti and Rangikaiwhiria Kemara. Both men are incarcerated here in Aotearoa on “unlawful possession of firearms” charges with a disproportionate sentence of 2.5 years each.
The pair are facing huge looming legal costs as the case is brought before the Court of Appeal on 22 August 2012 to fight the injustice served.
Over 50 participants across varying artforms have collaborated to combine their skills and produce a limited edition music CD as well as tshirts, donating the proceeds to support the families of Tame and Rangi. Some of the proceeds will be used to offset the high costs of the Appeal.
"Conscious Uprising" is a 12-track CD involving brand new roots, hip hop, reggae and spoken word material from artists that include David Grace, Tama Waipara, Emma Paki, Te Kupu, MC Wiya, Maisey Rika, Nat Rose, Majic & Robbie Paora, MC Tipene, Katz Maihi, Tribal ConexioNZ, Anatonio Te Maioha, NRG Rising, Michael Franti, Tiki Taane and more.
As an exclusive release, only 100 copies of the compilation will be available - each one signed by Tame Iti (from inside Waikeria Prison).
The CD and tees are available at http://tikidub.com/LIMITED-EDITION-CD-and-TSHIRTS/View-all-products.html
For more information on the Appeal please visit http://www.october15thsolidarity.info
All queries to Ninakaye Taane ninakaye@tikidub.com or 021 270 3002



Write to Taame and Rangi - letters addressed to Taame Iti or Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara at

Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara #80192504
Springhill Prison
Private bag 503
Huntly 3740

Taame Iti #84563
Waikeria Prison
Private Bag 2400
Te Awamutu 3840

Please feel free to send messages to Taame or Rangi via our facebook page or our email address info@october15thsolidarity.info All posts and emails will be printed off and sent to them. Kia Ora


Media Release: Urewera police job a disgrace
From: October 15th Solidarity
Date: Thursday 22 March 2012

‘It is revealing and disturbing that Inspector Bruce Good, head of the Urewera raids investigation said his police officers acted ‘professionally,’ and that if he were to do the case over, he wouldn’t ‘do anything differently’ said Annette Sykes, Urewera raids lawyer.

‘We do not consider ‘professional policing’ that which includes the systematic violation of the criminal law and Human Rights Act. The Supreme Court said in its ruling on the illegal police video evidence used in the Urewera 4 trial that:

The breach of s 21 entailed in the covert surveillance undertaken without lawful authority must be regarded as extremely serious when assessed against the rights breached. Covert surveillance is a substantial breach of the right to be let alone.

I regard it as a significantly exacerbating factor that the film surveillance was undertaken deliberately without legal authority, in the knowledge that there was no lawful investigatory technique available to be used.

In circumstances where the police officer in charge of the inquiry knew that there was no authority to be obtained for such filmed surveillance, the deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice. ” (Chief Justice Sian Elias, Paragraphs 72 & 73 Supreme Court Decision 125 Hamed v. Queen)

“The criminal offending of the police has been determined to be more serious than any Arms Act offences of the people who were covertly filmed at the so-called ‘camps’ – that is why the charges against 13 people were dropped last year. Now that the crown has totally failed to sell their ‘criminal gang’ story to a jury, we demand that all of the firearms convictions against Tame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey be thrown out immediately.

“The raids in Ruatoki on 15 October 2007 included balaclava-clad armed officers blockading the only entry and exit to the village, searching and photographing every person who passed. This blockade was setup on the ‘Confiscation Line’ – a painted line on the tarmac that marks the boundary of the land illegally confiscated from Tuhoe by the Crown in 1866. Those who refused or resisted were arrested. An armed officer boarded a children’s school bus, and other officers held a women and her three children hostage in their shed for approximately 9 hours. This what the New Zealand police call professional policing.”

"The outcome of these firearms charges must be consistent with the other 13 whose charges have been dismissed. The police need to be held to account for this travesty” concluded Ms Sykes.


Annette Sykes acted for several of the defendants involved in the Urewera case from the day the raids happened until late 2011 when charges were dropped against 13 people. Along with Dr Rodney Harrison, she argued against the admissibility of the video evidence in the Supreme Court in May of 2011 that resulted in the judgment of Sept 2011 quoted herein.



Media Release: Urewera charges don’t stack up

Date: 20 March 2012

‘We consider the inability of the jury to make a decision on Count 1 in the Urewera case a victory. The inability of the jury to make a decision on Count 1 in the Urewera case is evidence that the crown’s story doesn’t stack up. We have always said that this charge was laid specifically in order that the crown could use evidence it knew was illegal in order to secure convictions on firearms charges. It is a stitch up from start to finish’ said Valerie Morse from the October 15th Solidarity group.

‘The Supreme Court’s decision in September last year stated unequivocally that the evidence was illegal. It couldn’t be used against those charged only under the Arms Act. For the five who were charged under section 98A – Participation in an organised criminal group, the evidence was admissible, despite it being illegal. This charge should never have been allowed.’

‘Operation 8 was a multimillion dollar police operation designed to harass Tuhoe and political activists. After six years, the crown has secured a few firearms convictions based on illegal evidence. This whole episode reveals the sad face of a racist country determined to quash Maori aspirations for sovereignty.’

"We will fight for the freedom of our comrades. We will not cease. Ever. Ka whawhai tonu matou. Ake! Ake! Ake!"

CALL OVER DATE 18 April 18 for Count 1

Sentencing Date for Firearms 24 May at 9am


COUNT 1 – Participation in an organised criminal group – JURY HUNG ON ALL DEFENDANTS


COUNT 2 – Arms Act (Nov 2006) – All not guilty

COUNT 3 – Arms Act (Jan 2007) – All guilty

COUNT 4 – Arms Act (April 2007) – All not guilty

COUNT 5 – Arms Act (June 2007) – Urs NOT guilty, others guilty

COUNT 6 – Arms Act (August 2007) – All not guilty

COUNT 7 – Arms Act (Molotov cocktails, Aug 2007) – All not guilty

COUNT 8 – Arms Act (Sept 2007) – All guilty

COUNT 9 – Arms Act (Molotov cocktails, Sept 2007) – All guilty

COUNT 10 – Arms Act  (October 2007) – All guilty

COUNT 11 – Arms Act (Urs and Emily) – Guilty

COUNT 12 – Arms Act (Taame) – Guilty

COUNT 13 – Arms Act (Rangi) - Guilty




Their trial started Monday 13th February 2012 in Auckland. Read the legal section for daily updates

Solidarity events | Make a donation | Background | Resources



Free the Urewera Four - Drop the Charges Poster for download here.

Free the four - Four to a page leaflet (4 A6 leaflets per A4 page)

Media release: On the start of the defence case
From: October 15th Solidarity
Date: 6 March 2012

"On the day of the start of the defence case in the Urewera 4 trial, the October 15th Solidarity group extends our unconditional solidarity to Urs Signer, Emily Bailey, Rangi Kemara, and Taame Iti in their struggle against the crown and police in this sham legal proceeding. We extend our love and solidarity in particular to the family of Tuhoe Lambert who died while waiting for justice in this case" said October 15th Solidarity spokesperson Ana Cocker

"The crown prosecutor opened his case with the bold sweeping lie that erased much of New Zealand history: 'We don't prosecute people in New Zealand for their political beliefs', he said. He conveniently forgot the 1881 invasion of Parihaka and the people taken prisoner for resisting the theft of their lands; the 1866 hunting of Te Kooti and the banishment of him and his followers to the Chatham Islands without trial; the 1916 police invasion of Tuhoe village of Maungapohatu resulting in the arrest of Rua Kenana for trumped up charges because he was telling people not to go to war; the hundreds of arrests and imprisonment of conscientious objectors during both WW1 and WW2; the many people who were imprisoned during the watersider workers lockout in 1951; the thousands of people who were arrested in protests against the racist 1981 Springbok tour, the 200+ arrests at Takaparawhau (Bastion Point) of people for demanding Ngati Whatua land be returned, and the list goes on and on. This case sits squarely within a on-going history of political prosecutions and political trials."

"The people on trial here have the courage to stand up to a long history of racist state violence. They have the courage to demand what is right and just: tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake for all iwi and hapu in Aotearoa.

"For nearly five years now, the crown and police have tried every trick in the book to secure convictions in this case. First they tried to stick the 'terrorist' label on. Then they leaked all the inadmissible evidence to the media. Then they tried to deny the defendants a jury. They now continue to push the case using evidence which was deemed unlawful and a breach of human rights by the Supreme Court. Finally, they casually deny any political motives to the case and say that everybody in Ruatoki was fine with the paramilitary invasion the police carried out on 15 October 2007."

"Whatever the outcome of the trial, we support the right of indigenous people around the globe, and Maori in this context, to use whatever means necessary to secure their genuine self-determination and the return of their stolen lands and resources."


The October 15th Solidarity group wishes to apologise to the two young men who gave evidence on behalf of the crown and police in the Urewera case. There was no intention to belittle their experience, nor blame them for what happened, nor condone holding children at gunpoint under any circumstances. Any impression that the press statement 'Evidence worth peanuts' gives to the contrary does not reflect the views of the October 15th Solidarity.

Media Release: "The Cost of the Case"
Date: 22 Feb 2012

"Finally the crown has begun to think about the cost of this case," said Ana Cocker, a spokesperson for the October 15th Solidarity group, "But only in monetary terms."

This afternoon, after the lunch break and before the judge was back in court, crown prosecutor Ross Burns was over heard to speak about the cost of bringing witnesses to court.

He was asking whether all the witnesses that the crown were calling really needed to attend court, and could some of them be read by consent.

"Supporters present in court were quick to express their disbelief that the crown had any understanding of the cost of the case,” Ms Cocker said. “They also saw it as a cynical attempt by the crown to limit the possibility of the defence to question witnesses. ”

The cost of the case is well into the millions. The surveillance up to October 15th 2007 is supposed to have cost at least $8million, the photocopying bill just for the pre-trial in the district court in 2008 cost around $250,000. Some people have heard that the current cost is up around $40million, and that's only counting dollars. 

"What is uncountable," said Ms Cocker, "is the damage and harm the crown has done to Tuhoe. What happened in 2007 and what is happening now is just a continuation of what the state has been doing to Tuhoe since the 1800s."

"It is a continuation of the same behaviour that resulted in the fatal police raid in 1916."

“The cost of Operation 8 in true terms is uncountable. It is time to end the sham once and for all and to drop the charges."

Media Release: "Evidence worth Peanuts"
Date: 22 Feb 2012

The Prosecution hauled out their two star civilian witnesses today. "These were the two young brothers," said Ana Cocker from the 15th October Solidarity Group, "who five years ago as teenagers offered to help their Personal Trainer out and ended up attending one of the so-called camps."

"It's interesting that prosecution didn't call the Personal Trainer."

Today the brothers had to think back to when they were in their teens and recall what happened. They were asked about details of conversations and how they felt on that day in January 2007. At the time the younger had just turned 14, the older was 16. They were not interviewed by the police about the incident until early 2008.

"That's after Operation 8 became public," said Ms Cocker, "And the media was fill of talk about terrorism, guns and camps in te Urewera."

"So today in court the focus was on the boys being made to get out of the car, lie on the road and get frisked before attending the 'camp'."

"But under cross-examination," Ms Cocker said, "it appears that everyone in the car was made to get out, including Tame Iti. Everyone was superficially frisked and everyone was apologised to afterwards. The atmosphere was friendly and light-hearted. Neither boy suggested that they were scared or frightened by the experience, that it was more a bit unexpected.”

"Then the camp training session began. And it was a talk about physical fitness and health.”

"And as to the details of the events that day," said Ms Cocker. "They've vanished in time. The two brothers did have some intereseting discrepancies, but that's hardly surprising due to the passage of time.”

"But the one thing both brothers agreed on," said Ms Cocker, "was the discussion over meat-eating versus vegetarianism. One of the biggest memories of that day for the two brothers was the argument over nutrition," she said. "That is, what has more protein - meat or nuts?"

"It's telling that the only civilian witnesses that the police can call are two people who were young teenagers in 2007," said Ms Cocker. "And in the long run, their evidence is worth peanuts to the police."

"From the start this case has been little more than a game of smoke and daggers by the prosecution."

"The prosecution is desperately trying to build a story of guerrila warfare out of a random collection of events. The crown is trying to save face to come out of this whole saga without too much egg on their face."

"They need to realise that it is not too late now, they can drop all the charges now.”

Media Release:"Trial by Media - Prosecution by Exaggeration"
Date: 21 Feb 2012

'Exaggeration as a Prosecution Strategy' is how one blog has described the High Court case against the last remaining four defendants from Operation 8. And a 'perfect summary' of what is happening, is what Ana Cocker, spokesperson for October 15th Solidarity Group, said after reading it.

“Day in and day out, the defendants, the jury and the supporters sit and watch jerky video footage set in the bush and paddocks around Ruatoki,” Ms Cocker said.

“Yes, there are video clips of people walking with guns, but there are also clips of people eating lunch, talking and laughing.”

“There are audio clips of gun shots, but none of the bush noises in between.”

“There is evidence of spent cartridges near a stump, of a lost balaclava found on a well-worn track. There are SMS texts and Chatroom quotes presented,” said Ms Cocker. “And at the end of each day, the daily media present the most titillating evidence or they speak about the upcoming evidence that the crown has said they will introduce. They do not report much else.”

“The media present only carefully selected 'evidence' without context.”

“It is like the 'terror files' published in the Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press in 2007,” said Ms Cocker.

One month after the police raids of October 15th 2007, both these papers published selected parts of evidence in a manner that the Solicitor General described as, 'the most serious challenge to the public policy underpinning the law of contempt that New Zealand has ever seen.' He said that the articles were 'deliberately inflammatory, unsettling, provocative, and memorable, and that Fairfax published them as widely as possible.'

“The media is doing the same thing now,” said Ms Cocker. “An 18 minute clip of people in the bush is reduced on TV to a few seconds reality bite of people with guns.”

“They are deliberately presenting only the unsettling, provocative and memorable evidence and the public receive a deliberately distorted image of what was happening in the bushes near Ruatoki.”

“As pointed out in Paul Buchanan's blog, the prosecution is using highly emotive language when presenting its 'evidence'. Exaggeration appears to be a deliberate prosecution strategy and the mainstream media is lapping it up,” Ms Cocker said.

“The trial by media needs to stop now. The farce needs to end now.”

Media Release:"Balaclava Found on Well-worn Track."
Date: 19 Feb 2012

"On Friday afternoon some media led with the title that 'spent cartridges were found', but no one announced that a balaclava was 'found on a well-worn track'. Yet that was some of the main evidence that day," said Ana Cocker, spokesperson for the October 15th Solidarity Group.

Friday, 17th February, was the last day of the opening week in court. It was the week that the prosecution introduced their evidence and then began to call witnesses. They have asked for six weeks to present their case.

"It's one week down," said Ana Cocker, "and after the opening bang and flash, there hasn't been much more. But the media continues to grab the most salacious bits to ensure they get their soundbite."

"But no one's interested in reporting a found balaclava."

"And now that much of the media," Ms Cocker said, "has access to still video images, they are also ensuring they publish 'shocking images.' They don't show pictures of people picnicking or talking or carrying taiaha or walking sticks, they choose ones of people carrying guns."

The media only got permission to use the images towards the end of the week.

"That's because after the prosecution's opening volley, it quickly settled into tedious evidence of following people into shops, cafes and petrol stations and pulling into reserves to 'get stuff out of the boot' or 'change clothing.'" Ms Cocker said. "However, there were some clips of beautiful bush and at one stage a media reporter was overheard saying he thought there may have been a possum in the corner of one video shot. There was also what looked like agapanthus spotted on a main track. Both ominous as both are introduced species, and the agapanthus should definitely not be in the bush."

"What is also ominous," said Ms Cocker, "is that the prosecutor said in NZ people are not prosecuted for their political beliefs. But then why," she asked, "is it that left-wing DVDs and leaflets, including a Che Guevera and Zapatista book, found in one of the defendant's house, are being used as evidence?"

"The whole case," said Ms Cocker, "is a warning for all people to get rid of any left-wing leaflets and for libraries to remove all Che Guevera books," Ms Cocker said. "It is also important to be careful when going tramping or hunting or having a meeting in paddocks near bush. Don't lose your balaclava, don't wear camouflage clothing and don't carry your gun."

"Remember that in the modern bush, the trees often have eyes and ears."

“And remember also,” reminded Ms Cocker, "that the video evidence people saw this week was deemed inadmissable last year for the other 13 defendants. And, as pointed out by a law professor at the time - there's 'not a strong factual case' if prosecutions collapse following the revocation of a single line of evidence indicates the case was not over whelming.'"

“It is time to end the charade now and drop the charges.”

Media Release: Operation 8: A Reminder About The Evidence
Date: 15 October 2012

’“Their conduct was reckless in the sense that they took the risk that it might be found to be unlawful.”  This is not a statement about the four people now on trial for ‘participating in an organised criminal group’ as part of Operation 8. This statement is from Sian Elias, Chief Justice of the NZ Supreme Court in her decision about the illegal police evidence gathered during Operation 8.’ said Ana Cocker, from the October 15th Solidarity Group.

“Enough is enough, it is time that the illegally gathered evidence was removed from Court and stopped being paraded on nightly television like a bad TV show.”

Sian Elias went on to say: I regard it as a significantly exacerbating factor that the film surveillance was undertaken deliberately without legal authority, in the knowledge that there was no lawful investigatory technique available to be used.

‘In circumstances where the police officer in charge of the inquiry knew that there was no authority to be obtained for such filmed surveillance, the deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice.’ (Sian Elias, para 73)

“There are a lot of words in the High court about 'illegal' and 'criminal' activities occurring in the paddocks and area around Ruatoki,” Ms Cocker said. “However, it is time that people looked at who was breaking laws around Ruatoki: it was the police.”

“The Supreme Court said that the police behaviour amounted to an unreasonable search and seizure under Section 21 of the NZ Bill of Rights. The Court said that when the police illegally put video cameras on Ngai Tuhoe land they were reckless or even deliberately breaking the law.”

“Reckless criminal behaviour is one of the criteria in the charge of participation in a criminal group,” said Ms Cocker. “It is about time the spotlight was turned on the police, and they were put in the dock. It is Aaron Pascoe, the head officer of Operation 8, and his mates who are the biggest organised criminal group in Te Urewera.”

“People should read the Supreme Court decision,” said Ms Cocker. “It makes interesting reading.in the context not only of this court case, but also in the context of the Search and Surveillance Bill being discussed in parliament this week.”

“After the Supreme Court decision, a legal expert likened the evidence,” pointed out Ms Cocker, “to being like a house of cards. When one card was pulled out, there was not enough evidence left to proceed with the Arms Act charges. Therefore all those charges were dismissed against 13 of the original defendants and stayed against the one defendant who died. The charges remain for these four people.”

“These people are only in court now because they had the additional charge of 'participation in an organised criminal group' laid against them more than one year after they were arrested.”

“The criminal group charge is nothing but a malicious attempt by the crown to save face. It is time to drop the charges.”

Media Release: Prosecution Case Lays Out its Evidence in Urewera case
Date: 15 Feb 2012

“It started with a bang and that was all,” said Ana Cocker, October 15th Solidarity spokesperson. “The crown case fizzed out quickly into only little bits of evidence that Crown Prosecutor Ross Burns presented in highly emotive language.”


“It was high theatrics and Ross Burns played to the jury and media,” she said. “But people can see through it.”


“Four and a half years ago the camps had been highly dangerous because they were hidden deep in the bushes of te Urewera. Yesterday they were dangerous because they were held close to Ruatoki. The Crown said they were held close to a marae, to a school, to a road. They were even held in a paddock,” said Ms Cocker. “They were dangerous because they were too public.”


“The Crown is already adapting its stories. Ross Burn's presentation of the crown case shows how so-called evidence can be twisted and presented in different lights. But we are confident that the jury and the public will see through the charade.”


Yesterday was the first day of evidence against the so-called 'Urewera 4' – the last four people still facing charges from 'Operation Eight'. That was the failed police operation to charge 12 people  under the Terrorism Suppression Act. Originally the four were part of a group of 17, all charged under the Arms Act. Then a year after their arrests, these four and one other (who died in July last year), were also charged with  'Participation in an Organised Criminal Group', an offence under the Crimes Act. Charges against the other defendants were all dropped.


“On the street, people are saying when will the circus be ended,” Ms Cocker said. “People are amazed that this is still going on.”


The case has cost millions of dollars. The Crown's case, presented yesterday morning, was the culmination of approximately two years of close, and often illegal, surveillance. It cost approximately $8 million dollars. The best of the evidence was choppy video images of some people wearing balaclavas, or scarves, and some with camouflage clothing and or guns, walking through bush and paddocks. Ross Burns highlighted these people with his red laser.


“He did not however,” said Ms Cocker, “focus on the people without balaclavas, without masks, without camouflage clothing and without guns. He was ominously quiet then.”


“He played two sound chunks of gun fire, he did not however play the many hours of silence.”


“He pointed out in the video images a lot of people who are not facing any charges. He named and pointed out some of the 13 people who have had all the charges dropped against them. He even pointed out one of these people in the court, pointing them out to the jury and naming them.”


“Worse,” said Ms Cocker, “the Crown is trying Tuhoe Lambert.”


Tuhoe Lambert was the other person charged with 'participating in an organised criminal group.'  Mr Lambert died in July last year. All proceedings have been stayed against Mr Lambert, however the charges have not been dropped.


“It is an outrage that evidence is been presented against Tuhoe Lambert,” Ms Cocker said. “It is an outrage that they are dragging his name through court. They are prosecuting him as if he is sitting there next to the other four but they have given him no lawyer. Our sympathies and anguish go out to his whanau.”


“We feel for all the people dragged through this saga,” said Ms Cocker. “It is going to be a long court case. It is time that the crown dropped the charges. It is not too late to end this farce.”




Media Release: Urewera trial start, crown propaganda begins
Date:Monday 13 Feb 2012
From: October 15th Solidarity

“After more than four years, the start of the Urewera raids trial – the trial of our four friends Taame, Urs, Emily and Rangi – will begin on Monday morning in the Auckland High Court., This is a political persecution of Tuhoe, and of people who support tino rangatiratanga. We call for the trial to be abandoned and the charges to be dropped,” said Ana Cocker, October 15th Solidarity spokesperson.

“Most people will remember the raids on the 15th of October 2007 when the police cried ‘terrorism’. The reality was that the police rolled into Ruatoki and terrorised the community, holding women and children captive in their own homes while searches were carried out through the entire community.”

“We can expect that the crown will try to paint the four people as terrible violent individuals. The reality is very different. These four people are political activists working for freedom, justice, and self-determination: things we should all believe in and be proud of. These four people are involved in positive and progressive social change in their communities.”

“The crown has said that the trial will last 3 months suggesting that they will be waging a war of attrition wearing out the jury to try to secure convictions.”

“These political prosecutions are happening all over the world as part of the so-called ‘war on terror’. People who are struggling against war, greed and exploitation are being criminalised and terrorised and then labeled terrorists.”

“We hope people in this country will see through the crown propaganda of the next few weeks and see this case for what it is: the state stifling political dissent and repressing the aspirations of Maori for control over their lives, the lands and their resources.”

Urewera 4 trial starts Monday - October15thSolidarity.info NEWSLETTER No. THIRTY-TWO - 11 February 2012

Tena koutou,

this is the last newsletter before the trial against Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs gets underway in the Auckland High Court on Monday, 13th February 2012. The trial is expected to last up to three months. In this jam-packed newsletter, we have put together information about the defendants and the people who want to lock them up, last minute updates on upcoming events (there is a powhiri at Waipapa Marae (16 Wynyard Street, Auckland Uni) this Sunday at 5pm for the defendants and supporters) and reflecting on the past 4.5 years.

October15thSolidarity.info NEWSLETTER No. THIRTY-ONE - 31 January 2012

Tena koutou,

in less than two weeks, the trial against Taame, Emily, Rangi and Urs 
will start in the Auckland High Court. The four are the remaining 
defendants facing charges in relation to the state terror raids of 
15th October 2007. 'October 15th Solidarity' is of course supporting 
the four during the trial, which is said to last three months.

There are a number of events in the lead-up to the trial for you to 
find out more and offer support. More information below.

Urewera Raids: Trial update and public forum, Wellington

The October 15th Solidarity group is hosting a public meeting about one of the most important political court cases to happen in this country – the ‘terror raids’ - on Friday, 3 February, at 6pm in the Mezzanine Meeting Room of the Central Library, Wellington. It will be an opportunity for people to update themselves about the trial which is due to begin in the Auckland High Court on 13 February, to find out what the issues are relating to Tuhoe's history with the Crown, and the coverage of the case by the media.

Some Justice in the Urewera raids

Some Justice, a book of political poems and lyrics by local Wellington
punk poet and songwriter Ken Vicious, will be launched by Rebel Press on
Saturday 17 December at 7pm at Thistle Hall on Cuba Street.

The book features Urewary: An Act of Conspiracy a poem written in the
immediate aftermath of the 2007 ‘terror raids’ in Te Urewera and around
the country. It lyrically sums up the whole of the police’s Operation 8
and the wider political context of the war on terrorism.

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