My research on the “Urewera 17” has uncovered clear links between Tame Iti’s “quasi-military” training camps-the Mexican Zapatista rebels and their international support network, People’s Global Action.
The links are particularly strong in regards the anarchist members of the “Urewera 17“, but not quite so obvious regarding the Tuhoe/Maori component.
Chaz Doherty is a Tuhoe activist and a leader of Te Mana Motuhake O Tuhoe.
Doherty is also a lecturer at the School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology.
Since the October 15th 2007 police anti terror raids in the Tuhoe heartland, Doherty has consistently defended the arrestees and condemned police tactics.
A voice of apparent moderation, Doherty has been a consistent spokesman for the arrestees.
Tēnā tātou katoa,
To all of the distressed families who are missing their loved ones – kia kaha!
To all of you who are working so hard behind the scenes to keep families fed and supported during the absence of fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters – ngā mihi aroha ki ā koutou.
To all the people who are giving up their time and energy to support those Tūhoe in Ruatoki whose rights were violated by the New Zealand Police – ngā mihi nui ki ā koutou hoki.
Finally salutations to those of our Tūhoe leaders who are standing up and giving our people direction in these dark times you will always have our support.
Chaz Doherty is a close associate of Tame Iti and is believed to have been aware of Iti’s Urewera training camps.
However it is Doherty’s attendance at the Second Latin American & Asia Pacific Gathering, in Melbourne, October 21-22, 2006-that I find most significant.
This conference was organised by Australian Marxist-Leninists, socialists and anarchists to increase support for Latin American indigenous revolutionaries.
Australian speakers included;
Martin Kingham-Socialist Alliance, Bill Deller-ex Socialist Labor League and Communist Intervention, Bill Mundey-ex Communist Party of Australia, now with the Australian Greens, David Glanz-International Socialists, Carlene Wilson-Workers Power Australia, ex Auckland University Communist Left.
International guests included;
Gissel Gonzales (Bolivia), a leader of the Coalition in Defence of Life and Water in Cochabamba and a writer for the pro Zapatista website Narco News.
Heriberto Salas (Mexico)-a represenative from “The People for the Defence of the Earth” which has led resistance against forced relocation to make way for a new airport in Mexico City. Recently Salas’s movement has linked to the Zapatista’s ‘The Other Campaign”‘
Chaz Doherty-a representative of the Tuhoe Nation in New Zealand
Better to die standing, than to live on your knees.”
Have just had 2 inspirational days of sharing common struggle and resistance to the colonial beast that has ravaged ( and continues) to ravage the world. Grassroots people Asia, Melanesia, Polynesia, over the South America. Humble revolutionaries imbued with a great love & respect for their lands peoples & way of life, actively resisting.
The greed for the plunder of our resources and destruction of our identity is similar all the world. Genocide keeps on perfecting itself, so you get a clear picture of whats in store for us if we dont assert our right to be and live as Maori on Maori land. NZ settler govt just keep perfecting killing us off slowly.
Chaz was a mercurial ambassador for Tuhoe and gave a moving korero about Mana Motuhake, and our colonial history & continuing resistance…It was good to be reminded that around this planet, we the colonised, the oppressed, exploited & marginalised are the majority and the time has come for us to stand up.
Far from an isolated bunch of malcontents, the “Urewera 17” and their supporters are part of an international revolutionary movement and should be taken seriously.
It is clear that many of them see themselves as part of the resistance movement against global capitalism- undergound heroes fighting an awesome and destructive power.
They will not go away because a few of them may end up being fined or briefly jailed on firearms charges.