Today was the anniversary of Police raids into the homes of activists and the Ruatoki community, which ended in the arrests of 17 people.
At the end of this week, the depositions hearing to decide whether those arrested will face charges under the Arms Act will be completed – we know they will not be charged under the Terrorism Suppression Act, because the Solicitor-General ruled the evidence gathered by the Police did not meet that criteria.
So how was the anniversary of the sole (attempted) use of the Terrorism Suppression Act to date in Aotearoa/New Zealand marked in the media?
The Dominion Post published nothing. The New Zealand Herald published, as far as I can tell from their website, nothing. The Press interviewed Ruatoki residents Awhitia Kohu and Moko Hillman – not amongst those arrested – about the experience of being raided at 5am by the Police.
Indymedia, on the other hand, had a range of articles, including about the slightly-less-than election-billboard-airbrushed posters of Helen Clark as a ‘ninja cop’ all around Wellington city this morning.
They also featured information about a commemoration hui being held on Ruatoki Te Rewarewa Marae over the next four days featuring guest speakers and musicians.
Protests in Melbourne, a garage sale in Wellington to raise money for defendants, and an Auckland Food not Bombs event at Aotea Square all had a mention. More protests are planned outside the final day of the depositions hearing at Auckland District Court on Friday 17th October.
These arrests have not gone away – the story is still live – I’m surprised and disappointed that with the exception of the Christchurch based Press, who travelled all the way up to the Bay of Plenty for their story, that the mainstream media did not use the opportunity of the one year anniversary to continue to explore the issues.
Wasn’t that why Fairfax fought (and won) contempt of court charges, which I imagine were very expensive – to defend the importance of reporting details of the arrests because public interest in this case was so high?