Terror raids book launched on 3rd anniversary

  • 14/10/2010

By Deanna Harris

On October 15, 2007 police raided homes around the country in the so-called terror raids, now a defendant on the case is publishing a book about that historic day.

Several raids were conducted across New Zealand in relation to the discovery of an alleged paramilitary training camp deep in the Urewera mountain range, near the town of Ruatoki in the eastern Bay of Plenty.

“Most New Zealanders will remember the lockdown of Ruatoki, the nation-wide raids, the ‘terror’ hysteria followed by arrests and detention of people awaiting the decision of the Solicitor-General as to whether charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act would be authorised,” says editor of State Terror Raids, Valerie Morse.

“I started doing the book because I thought I was very important to record some of those experiences before they were forgotten.”

She says The Day The Raids Came  is a “collection of stories from people affected by the raids, and includes terrifying incidents of state violence and inspiring stories of resistance”.

“I was careful on one hand because I didn’t want to traumatise people more by talking about what was happening. That is why it took so long to happen. On the other hand I really wanted people to understand what happened.

“These stories also include political analysis and personal understanding of why the raids happened, of why the police attacked the people of Tuhoe in they way did.”

Ms Morse says the stories have never been told publicly including one about a mother whose life and children’s lives have never been the same.

“The young woman woke up on October 15 with police pointing semi-automatic weapons in her face. The police literally terrorised her on that day,” says Ms Morse.

“They took her children away from her and at 3pm when she would have been picking her children up from school she was walking out of a police station thinking ‘what the hell just happened’.”

She has since moved and says her children have not been the same since.

“Their behaviour totally changed after that incident. They became very fearful children,” says Ms Morse.

“The Terror Raids will go down in New Zealand history as one of the greatest police blunders of all time. They will be remembered for the extreme violence perpetrated on Tuhoe, and their naked racism towards Maori.

“What many people do not know is that the case is still on-going with 18 people awaiting trial, the people of Ruatoki are still awaiting an apology from the police, and that resistance to the government's phony "war on terrorism" continues.”

Today is the third anniversary of the terror raids and Ms Morse is launching her book The Day The Raids Came in Cuba Street, Wellington.

The book is published by Rebel Press and will be available for order or free download on the Rebel Press website (rebelpress.org.nz) following the launch.

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