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April 19, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Cops can see you

“It’s spy-mania!”

All you paranoid types might actually be right. The police could be spying on you! So you’d better put the pipe down.

A document recently released under the Official Information Act (OIA) shows that the police are spying and running operations on protest groups. This included spying on a Victoria University protest in May 2009, a student protest in Auckland in 2009, and students planning to occupy Massey’s Registry in 2008.

In the NZ Police Annual Report for the year ending 30th June 2009, a reference was made to “84 operation orders” made in relation to “public demonstrations”.

An OIA request for a list of all these operation orders made in October 2009 by Peace Action Wellington has just been answered by Police National Headquarters. A list of the 84 operation orders has been released. However, access to the actual orders has so far been denied.

The Victoria operation, listed as “VUW Protest” (29/05/2009) was a Workers’ Party protest following the dis-enrollment by the University of party members and Victoria students Alastair Reith, Ian Anderson and former VUWSA President Joel Cosgrove, after burning a New Zealand flag on campus.

Students at the NZUSA annual conference in Auckland in 2008 protesting the rising student debt levels were also under surveillance.

Peace Action Wellington spokesperson says the OIA results are “chilling”.

Peace Action Wellington “condemns the action of the NZ Police…against legitimate political dissent”.

“Protecting these people is protecting war mongers and war profiteers from public disgust, outrage and resistance to their activities,” said Valerie Morse, Peace Action member.

“In my experience, the police see their role as shutting down protests, and they will do whatever is necessary in order to accomplish that, including extensive surveillance, arbitrary arrest and detention of people without any cause whatsoever.”

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News Editor and Chief Editor-Annoyance. Thinks you should volunteer to write news. Is easily distracted by shiny things.

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