Massey University’s Jeff Sluka researched the Irish Repubican Army, on the ground, in the slums of Belfast.
Now he’s supporting our own “freedom fighters”-those arrested by New Zealand’s “terrorist” police force in the October 15th 2007 anti-terrorism raids.
On Tuesday 2nd December Jeff Sluka will be the key speaker at public meeting discussing State terrorism during the 2007 ‘anti-terrorism’ raids in Rūātoki. This is the fifth in a series of meetings hosted by the October 15th Solidarity Group group.
“Jeff,” says Anna Thorby from the October 15th Solidarity Group, “was a guest speaker at the recent commemoration of the police ‘anti-terrorism’ raids at Rūātoki.” During his talk there he described the raids as ‘politically misguided, morally wrong and fundamentally counterproductive.’
Jeff Sluka is an anthropologist whose particular interest is armed national liberation movements – that is, ‘freedom fighters’ – and he’s one of the few social scientists who has actually done first-hand research with people defined as ‘terrorists’ in their natural settings.
“Jeff challenges people to think about the labels of terrorism and terrorist,” said Anna.
“After living in both west and north Belfast, Jeff has first-hand knowledge of terrorism and the terrorising of communities. At Rūātoki Jeff said that ‘aggressive police operations, like those employed during the raids in the Ureweras, conducted by paramilitary police backed by ‘special’ anti-terrorism legislation and powers, are characteristic of state terrorism and military occupation.’ Something he was used to in Northern Ireland.”
“Jeff told the gathering,” said Anna, “that as a result of the police raids of October 15, the resultant awareness and need for security consciousness made him feel ‘a bit like ‘coming home’ to the culture of terror and resistance’ – a life he experienced whilst living in Northern Ireland.”
“He makes people think about policing and counterinsurgency tactics used by the State. He highlights the inherent dangers of paramilitary policing.”
As a result of the raids last year there are now 18 people facing charges. Attempts by the police to lay charges under the TSA failed but people are still facing politically motivated charges under the Arms Act. And a new charge of participating in an organised criminal group has been laid against five of the 18.
New Zeal Interesting to see Anna Thorby popping back up. She’s a “freedom fighter” too.
In the 1980’s Anna Maree Thorby was involved with Sue Bradford’s Auckland Unemployed Workers Rights Centre-a Workers Communist League/anarchist run outfit.
In May 1986 Thorby and her accomplice Debbie Leyland were convicted of common assault and disorderly behaviour and jailed for 6 months for throwing eggs at the Queen, during HRH’s visit to Auckland.
In 1990 Thorby was arrested for trespassing in the Auckland Treasury building with several other protestors including Sue Bradford.