Friday 13 July 2012
The republican website was set up in the aftermath the invasion of Tuhoe lands in the Urewera by armed units of the New Zealand Police: the event now known as the Urewera raids.
The first posting to the republican declared the fundamental human right of a people to bear arms in defence of their lives and property, coupled with the obligation to use those arms in a considered and responsible manner.
That has not changed. However four of our people, Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey and have been charged and convicted of unlawful possession of firearms in a crown court operating under British law. Iti and Kemara have been sentenced to spend two and a half years in the prison system, and Bailey and Signer have been sentenced to house arrest.
The point has been made by others that the colonial regime upholds a double standard on such matters. European political extremists sponsored by organisations such as the New Zealand Forest Owners Association and Capital Finance have been trained to use military-style automatic weapons in training camps run by the New Zealand military for at least the past two decades.
The reason for the distinction is self-evident. Just as the National Party likes to have the parliamentary support of the small extremist element associated with the ACT party, so the colonialists want to have the potential military backing of extremist militia groups. On the other hand, they are anxious that our people should not have the means to provide for their own defence.
This is the situation which has led to the capture and imprisonment of Iti, Kemara, Signer and Bailey. The question now is how we should respond.
The best thing that we can do for those imprisoned in the colonial system is to carry on the work of making ourselves stronger, more resourceful and more capable of defending ourselves from future aggressions. We can continue to practise the disciplines which make us self-sufficient and provide for our safety and defence. This has nothing to do with "military style camps". European style militarism, with its uniforms, its hierarchies, and its wilful ignorance of moral context, has no place in our people's struggle for freedom. We do not need to copy the methods of the colonists. We can continue doing what we have always done - caring for ourselves, caring for the land, and caring for each other - and we can do that even better than we have in the past.
Above all we can be confident that imprisonment by the colonial regime will not break the spirit of our brothers and sisters, and that in the fullness of time the land will return to those who know it best and serve it most faithfully.
Those charged in the aftermath of the Urewera raids did not raise a political defence. They did not argue that Tuhoe have no less right than the British crown to possess and bear arms within the Tuhoe lands. The Cuban leader Fidel Castro when first arrested and charged, in rather different circumstances, with leading a political insurrection against the United States colonial regime in Cuba denied the legitimacy of the regime, pronounced the people's sovereign right to defend themselves, and famously declared "History will absolve me". For Castro, the "absolution of history" came in the form of a later successful revolt against colonial rule which was supported by the mass of the Cuban people.
Our path has been different, but the time must come for us to openly challenge the legitimacy of colonial rule and assert our rights as a people. We cannot tolerate forever being ruled by a foreign head of state whose race and class symbolizes the dominance of the European oligarchy which has exploited and oppressed our people over two centuries.
The form of our freedom will be a Confederation of Peoples of Aotearoa ordered according to the traditional kaupapa of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand. We will no longer be forced to acknowledge a head of state selected on the basis of race and class, and for the first time since 1840 all peoples will have equal standing in the land.
People will once again be able to choose their own leaders. They will not have leaders imposed upon them through a general election process, and neither will they be able to impose their own choice of leader upon others.
They will participate in national affairs on the basis of their true identity and community of interest. They will not be compelled by the state to vote as part of a particular geographic entity to which they do not truly belong.
They will be free to change their chosen leader at will. They will not be bound for three years or more to a choice made in a moment, whether by themselves or others, under the influence of intensive mass media political advertising campaigns.
The system will be transparent as it was in the days of the United Tribes. "Opinion polls" will no longer be able to distort the outcome of the political process. Nothing will be hidden behind the false facade of the secret ballot. Individuals will be accountable for their own choices and therefore will have reason to act on the basis of the common good rather than material self-interest.
Leaders will be truly responsible to and for those whom they represent. Politicians will no longer be able gain power through overt self-promotion, or to retain it through mendacious self-justifications.
The people will be freed from the three-yearly cycle of political deception, betrayal and disillusionment that has become the hallmark of the colonial regime.
All this will be achieved simply and directly, but it will astonish
the people of the world who have suffered so long under the fraudulent
western system of democracy.