Feb 132012

Monday, 13 February 2012, 9:11 am
Article: Annemarie Thorby

After more than four years, the start of the Urewera raids trial will begin on Monday morning in the Auckland High Court. Over four years ago in New Zealand, on October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn raids on scores of houses.

That was the day more than 60 homes up and down the country were raided, 17 people arrested and the Tuhoe community of Ruatoki, a small rural town in the Te Urewera region of the Bay of Plenty was locked down

What happens in the Auckland High Court in New Zealand over the next few months will be watched not only by people here, but also the world. Many people believe this case is about the criminalisation of activism, it is about the right of indigenous people to self-determination and it is about the use of legislation introduced in many countries around the world as a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 – legislation used to silence all forms of dissent. This trial is about justice to right wrongs.

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