Wellington’s infamous anarchist HQ at 128 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro is the centre of local support networks for the “Urewera 17“.
Several of the “17” have been described as peace activists, or pacifists, implying that they therefore couldn’t possibly be involved in terrorism or violence.
128 Abel Smith Street is also effectively the home of Peace Action Wellington, the region’s umbrella peace organisation.
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Press Release: Friends Of Wellington Terror Arrestees
Friends and colleagues of the four Wellington activists being held on firearms charges have released a statement and background information on the activities the four were involved in before their arrests on October 15th…
They are all incredibly community-spirited, and are involved in a huge range of projects focused on social justice and community building. Community groups that one or more of them give their considerable skills and support to include:
128 community house, a radical social and resource centre at 128 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro. It has meeting rooms, a workshop, paint, tools and resources to use or borrow, yoga/ dance/ band practice/ art space, and more, and contributes to a diversity of community projects…
Peace Action Wellington, a grassroots campaign group working on issues of peace and justice, particularly the war on Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, and NZ’s involvement in the war on terrorism…
According to Wikipedia Peace Action Wellington was founded in 2002 to;
…oppose wars, particularly the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and played a prominent role in the New Zealand anti-war movement’s opposition to the war, organising large protests. PAW has called for the New Zealand Government to reveal the actions of the SAS soldiers fighting under US command in Afghanistan.
The group has also organised against the annual arms industry fair held at Te Papa, for self determination in Palestine, Aceh and West Papua, and against the New Zealand Government restricting human rights as part of the “war on terror”.
On 25 April 2007, PAW members took part in a demonstration at the dawn ceremony for ANZAC Day to protest against the New Zealand military’s involvement in wars and occupations in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Two banners were held and two New Zealand flags were burnt, resulting in two arrests.
Known PAW leaders or supporters include;
John Anderson A member of the Alliance Party’s national council in the early ’00s. Anderson has been recently involved with the Wildcat Anarchist Collective, also based at 128 Abel Smith Street.
In 2003 he was a spokesman for PAW.
Grant Brookes A long time Marxist, Grant Brookes is a Central Committee member of Socialist worker.
In 2003, Brookes was a spokesman for PAW.
Kelly Buchanan In 2003, Buchanan was a spokeswoman for PAW.
In 2004 she was spokesman for the Alliance Party’s gay wing, PrideAlliance.
Sam Buchanan A long time activist, leading light in the Wildcat Anarchist Collective and caretaker/resident of 128 Abel Smith Street.
In the mid ’80s Buchanan supported the Kanak rebels of New Caledonia.
In 1992, he was working at Sue Bradford’s Auckland Peoples Centre. He was hospitalised after a police batoned him during an unsuccessful raid on the Centre looking for “paraphenalia used in the making of bombs.”
In 2001 Buchanan was arrested in Genoa Italy during anarchist led demonstrations against the G8.
Sam Buchanan has been a long time associate of PAW and often speaks at its protests.
Mark Eden A long time animal rights activist and associate of the 128 Abel Smith Street crowd.
Mark Eden has been arrested arrested several times and has been convicted over the vandalism of a sporting goods shop in Christchurch.
Eden has been involved with PAW since at leat 2004 and this year was a group spokesman.
Sam Flewett Involved in PAW in the early ’00s. Flewett was also a member of a Trotskyist group, the .
Franks was been active in PAW around 2004.
Nick Henry Involved in the Maoist leaning Radical Society at Victoria University in the late ’90s/early ’00s.
More recently Henry has worked in IT for the Council of Trade Unions and was active in PAW around 2003.
Nick Kelly Also associated with Radical Society at Victoria University, Nick Kelly has been recently active in the Worker’s Party.
Kelly was involved in PAW in 2004.
Valerie Morse One of the “Urewera 17“, Valerie Morse was bailed from prison yesterday.
Also an anarchist, Morse was until her arrest, the librarian at 128 Abel Smith Street.
Since about 2004 Morse has been one of PAW’s most active leaders and has protested against the Iraq War, in support of Tongan rioters and against the deployment of New Zealand troops overseas.
In April this year Rawnsley, faced charges of obstruction and resisting arrest after allegedly trying to disrupt the Wellington ANZAC Day service by blowing a plastic horn.
Anna Sutherland Active in the Alliance Party’s STAUNCH youth wing and the NZ/Cuba Friendship Society. Sutherland was involved with PAW in 2002.
All in all a decent bunch of right thinking Kiwis.