Friday, January 29, 2016

National's police state

National is signing the TPPA next week (at Sky City, a crony-venue, no less). So the police are going around banging on the doors of activists interrogating them about their protest plans:

Dunedin police door-knocked a Dunedin activist asking about their plans for the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Scout Barbour Evans was visited by two police officers on Thursday morning, "asking me what I'll be doing for the TPPA events".

The officers said they were following a national directive and were "visiting all known activists in the country".

We're supposed to be a free and democratic country, yet the police are acting like we live in a police state. We have legally affirmed rights of freedom of expression and assembly, but the police are acting like exercising them is a crime. And by doing so they're not just making clear their disrespect for democratic norms, but also publicly undermining their status as neutral agents of the law. This isn't the action of a neutral police force upholding democratic rights - they're John Key's Cossacks.

As for what to do if the police knock on your door asking questions about protests (or anything, really), remember that the right to speak also includes the right not to speak. You don't have to tell them anything, or talk to them at all. And if they're asking questions like this, you shouldn't. Instead, you should ask them to leave. There should be no cooperation or consent for politicised policing.