October 15, 2012
Morse outrage at silence on political prisoners
One of those arrested in the October 15 Tuhoe terror raids five years ago says New Zealanders should be angry that Tame Iti and Rangi Kemara are still in jail.
The pair is serving 30 month sentences for weapons charges laid after illegal police surveillance of camps they were running in the Ruatoki Valley in 2006 and 2007.
October 15 Solidarity Group spokesperson Valerie Morse, who was one of the camp participants whose cases were dropped when Supreme Court ruled the evidence was illegal, says the raids were a continuation of the 170-year colonial project to dominate and subjugate the Maori population.
She says Tame Iti has struggled all his life not just for Tuhoe mana motuhake but for tino rangatiratanga and freedom for all people.
"Tame has really been a symbol for many people not just in Aotearoa but around the world and I think it has an indictment on the New Zealand state and on New Zealand society in general that we have got political prisoners in this country who are sitting in prison and there is not an outrage," Ms Morse says.
She says New Zealand lulls itself into complacency though the rhetoric of biculturalism which is another way to suppress Maori aspirations for control of their own lives.