Monday, September 12, 2005


According to a press release on Scoop, some dickheads have been chucking rocks through Maori MPs' electorate office windows. The press release states that

A nationally coordinated attack on the offices saw every MP who sat in a Maori Electorate that voted for the Seabed and Foreshore Act received the same message delivered through their front windows (while the windows were closed), stating 'sell out, we have not forgotten'.

And according to Scoop, attacks have been confirmed at the offices of Maharoa Okeroa and Georgina Beyer.

I can understand people's anger at Labour's Maori MPs, but this sort of action is simply wrong. If people are upset with Labour's stand on the foreshore and seabed, the answer is to punish them at the ballot box on Saturday - not resort to chucking rocks through people's windows. Violence and intimidation have no place in a democracy, and I hope those responsible are caught and punished to the full extent of the law.


Would you have said the same about the suffragettes?

Just because the 'democratic' system works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 05:18:00 PM

Reddecca: this may have escaped you, but Maori actually have the vote. They have the weapon they need, and by all accounts will use it quite successfully on Saturday to punish those who have betrayed them.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/12/2005 05:26:00 PM

I am aware of that - it was your moral absolutes "this sort of action is simply wrong" that made me post the first example that came to mind of political property damanage that is supported wider.

You may think that property damanage is prima facie unacceptable political action because it is 'violent', but many people (including me) do not.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 05:34:00 PM


first sentance should read: "I am aware of that - it was your moral absolutes 'this sort of action is simply wrong" that made me post the first example that came to mind of political property damage that has reasonably wide support.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 05:36:00 PM

"political property damage" my arse. It's just plain old thuggery, the means used by fascists.

People who think they are more "radical" if they take action like this are naive idiots - those kinds of actions not only alienate potential allies, they provide a perfect excuse for a crackdown by police. The perpetrators might just as well be agents provocateurs.

Make use of democracy or lose it!

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 08:16:00 PM

As for the suffragists ("suffragettes" is a trivialising label, btw), it's a stereotype that women won the vote by acts of civil disobedience. In New Zealand, the most effective tactic was a petition campaign which eventually obtained the signatures of a quarter of the adult female population. Read Patricia Grimshaw's history.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/12/2005 08:27:00 PM

Reddecca: such action might possibly be able to be justified in circumstances where there are no other effective avenues of making your voice heard. But things have to be very bad indeed before I'm willing to go out on that particular limb, and in this case, there are clearly far more effective avenues available.

Craig: Yes. The threats made towards Katherine Rich are deeply disturbing, and I likewise hope they catch the people responsible.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 9/12/2005 09:44:00 PM

I think the throwing of bricks through windows was a stupid waste of time, because I believe that collective, not individual, action creates political change.

The ballot box is almost as ineffective way of creating change as throwing bricks through windows, though. Major gains have rarely been won through voting, and much more frequently won through people being prepared to fight for them through collective action (sometimes non-violent, sometimes not).

There are reasons smashing someone's window in the dead of night may be an ineffective political action, and why someone might disagree with it, but 'because they can vote instead' is easily the lamest (how many times did NZ attempt to vote out New Right economic policies throughout the 80s and 90s to no effect?)

Posted by Anonymous : 9/13/2005 02:17:00 PM

NZers _chose_ not to vote out New Right policies in the 90s. They had New Labour or the Alliance as options, but the majority kept voting for Labour and National (or abstaining). Part of the blame for this rests with the media, but the people of NZ can't be let off the hook.

Posted by Commie Mutant Traitor : 9/13/2005 03:01:00 PM