Police violence and "Internal Exile" in GI
After the Aotearoa is Not for Sale demonstation finishes in Queen St on Saturday April 28th, many of us are catching the train en masse from Britomart, out to the frontline of State Assets theft in Glen Innes, to demonstrate our solidarity with the local tenants there who are being evicted from their homes. Below are some reasons why you should support civil rights, democracy and state housing.
In Stalinist Russia, political dissidents were banned from whole cities or areas, forced into internal exile. The Police in Glen Innes are attempting to do the same, to break solidarity with the local residents.
As well as John Minto, three activists from Socialist Aotearoa were targetted and arrested by the police when they moved on picket lines late in the night. Eyewitnesses say that the cops deliberately went for what they preceived as the leadership. Local residents were not arrested yet - they were subject to brutality.
Anger spilled onto the streets the next day, with over one hundred people surrounding the local Police Station. The doors were locked, but MP Phil Twyford from Labour, MP Hone Harawira from Mana, Maori Vice President of the Council of Trade Unions Syd Keepa and Sue Bradford from the Auckland Alliance against Poverty, joined local activists in condemning the brutality dished out and the political nature of the arrests.
John Minto speaks-
Yesterday I went to court to plead on the obstruction change from the protest in Glen Innes last Tuesday when the first of 40 state houses was removed from the suburb. The police wanted bail conditions to exclude those arrested from Glen Innes altogether as well as plain stupid "non-association orders" - ie to keep away from those we were arrested with.
When this wasn't going to fly they tried to get us barred from the street where the arrests took place on the grounds Housing New Zealand intends to move more state houses from the street. (It's a street with nice views of the Tamaki estuary so the low-income families who have lived there for decades are being forced out to make way for property developers to build expensive homes for the wealthy) However for the police it was another fail and we left the court bailed "at large" with no bail conditions.
Later yesterday I went to the doctor after increased chest pains in the last few days.The diagnosis was fractured ribs from the thuggish police action last week (the pain often increases as the bones begin to heal I was told) So I've got two weeks supply of pain killers. The irony is that the doctors visit was paid for by ACC although the injury was no accident - quite deliberate in fact from a hyped up team of boys in blue on a dark night with no media presence. As well as my ribs a loudhailer was also smashed...