February 23, 2021
Waikeria riot advice sparks war of words
Prison abolition group People Against Prisons Aotearoa is defending a newsletter praising the actions of rioting prisoners who burned down part of Waikeria Prison.
In parliament yesterday Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said the newsletter encouraged prisoners to riot, and called out Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi, who involved himself in the Waikeria incident as a mediator.
PAPA spokesperson Emilie Rakete says the issue of the Take No Prisoners newsletter promoted non-violent organising.
"What we're doing is telling people they have rights. The crown even acknowledges people inside have rights so we are telling our whānau inside what those specific rights are and advising them of some courses of action that can be taken if those rights have been violated," she says.
Emilie Rakete says the Corrections Minister was trying to deflect attention from a court finding that inmates at Auckland Women’s Prison were subject to degrading and inhumane treatment.
The newsletter said it might seem extreme the Waikeria protesters gave up on the complaints system and torched the unit instead. "but they succeeded where everyone else has failed".
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