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(en) New Zealand, Wellington, Alt. Media, Another take on the Urewera 17

Date Sun, 11 Nov 2007 08:29:43 +0200


Peace Action Wellington-Anarchy's Warriors ---- Wellington's infamous anarchist HQ at 128 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro is the centre of local support networks for the "Urewera 17". Several of the "17" have been described as peace activists, or pacifists, implying that they therefore couldn't possibly be involved in terrorism or violence. --- 128 Abel Smith Street is also effectively the home of Peace Action Wellington, the region's umbrella peace organisation.
Press Release: Friends Of Wellington Terror Arrestees ---- Friends and colleagues of the four Wellington activists being held on firearms charges have released a statement and background information on the activities the four were involved in before their arrests on October 15th...

They are all incredibly community-spirited, and are involved in a huge range of projects focused on social justice and community building. Community groups that one or more of them give their considerable skills and support to include:

128 community house, a radical social and resource centre at 128 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro. It has meeting rooms, a workshop, paint, tools and resources to use or borrow, yoga/ dance/ band practice/ art space, and more, and contributes to a diversity of community projects...

Peace Action Wellington, a grassroots campaign group working on issues of peace and justice, particularly the war on Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan, and NZ's involvement in the war on terrorism...

According to Wikipedia Peace Action Wellington was founded in 2002 to;

...oppose wars, particularly the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and played a prominent role in the New Zealand anti-war movement's opposition to the war, organising large protests. PAW has called for the New Zealand Government to reveal the actions of the SAS soldiers fighting under US command in Afghanistan.

The group has also organised against the annual arms industry fair held at Te Papa, for self determination in Palestine, Aceh and West Papua, and against the New Zealand Government restricting human rights as part of the "war on terror".

On 25 April 2007, PAW members took part in a demonstration at the dawn ceremony for ANZAC Day to protest against the New Zealand military's involvement in wars and occupations in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Two banners were held and two New Zealand flags were burnt, resulting in two arrests.


Initially PAW was a fairly broad coalition involving Marxist-Leninists, Trotskyists, Maoists, anarchists, greens and socialists. In recent years the organisation has been mainly anarchist led.

<snip>

Valerie Morse One of the "Urewera 17", Valerie Morse was bailed from prison yesterday.

Also an anarchist, Morse was until her arrest, the librarian at 128 Abel Smith Street.

Since about 2004 Morse has been one of PAW's most active leaders and has protested against the Iraq War, in support of Tongan rioters and against the deployment of New Zealand troops overseas.


She has protested nude in the grounds of Parliament and was arrested this year for trying to burn an NZ flag on ANZAC Day.


Mark Rawnsley A long time activist associated with the Wildcat Anarchist Collective and 128 Abel Smith Street and PAW.

In April this year Rawnsley, faced charges of obstruction and resisting arrest after allegedly trying to disrupt the Wellington ANZAC Day service by blowing a plastic horn.
<snip>
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