New Zealand police have arrested 17 people during a series of ‘anti-terror’ raids across the country. Police are also seeking to question up to 60 other people as part of the operation. All of the arrestees are activists from the Maori, peace and environmental movements.
The raids were carried out under the Suppression of Terrorism Act and the Firearms Act. More than 300 police were involved in the operation. The early morning raids were carried out at several addresses including the ‘A Space Inside’ anarchist social centre in Auckland and an activist community centre in Wellington. The raids were the first use of the country’s Terrorism Suppression Act.
The raids came after months of work by anti-terror police, with evidence gathered from hundreds of hours of recordings from bugged conversations, video surveillance, and tapped mobile phone calls and text messages. Police Commissioner Howard Broad alleged that those arrested had used firearms and other weapons at military-style training camps.
A demonstration has been called in Melbourne in solidarity with the arrestees. The details are Tuesday October 16th, 11am at the Consulate-General of New Zealand, Suite 2, North Level 3 350 Collins Street. We urge all those concerned with the defence of civil liberties and the criminalisation of activism to attend.
By Socialist Party reporters