Kia ora Kim,
Good luck with defending the government’s extradition case against you this week. Whatever the outcome in the District Court I’m sure it will end up in the Supreme Court eventually so there’ll be a lot of water to go under the bridge yet.
You are facing the wealth, power and wrath of corporate America because you provided an efficient means for people to share files on line which allegedly included some copyrighted songs and movies as is done on many internet platforms.
But instead of taking a civil claim against you Hollywood’s corporate moguls want to make an example of you. They want you in jail forever as the modern-day equivalent of the body left hanging on the scaffold for the vultures or the severed head on a pike… Don’t mess with us is their Mafiosi-type message.
The political environment in which your case is heard is more critical than what the law says. A case of alleged copyright infringement has no basis for extradition hence the desperate claims of “conspiracy” and “racketeering”. If our courts have honesty, courage and backbone they will toss this out as a corporate-inspired abuse of legal process.
The truly embarrassing aspect is just how our GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) and police fell over themselves to help out corporate America with their keystone-cops raid on your home. That’s an issue which will be addressed only when New Zealand withdraws from the five eyes network and develops an independent foreign policy. It won’t happen tomorrow but it will happen.
Your millions and uber-capitalist lifestyle are a turnoff to me but during the election campaign I was impressed with what I took as your genuine commitment to the progressive policies of Internet MANA. Had you wanted us to change MANA policies – even with a single comma – we wouldn’t have had a bar of any relationship with the Internet Party. From our point of view your campaign donations that came with no strings attached were welcome. In contrast Labour and National’s very existence depends on corporate money which in turn depends on them adopting corporate-friendly policies.
I have always disagreed with your analysis of the election outcome. It was not your so-called “poisonous politics” which defeated Internet MANA or lost Hone Harawira his seat as MANA MP. In fact the strategy MANA adopted in our decision to go into a strategic alliance with the Internet Party was a successful strategy. Hone gained more votes in last year’s election than he gained in the previous 2011 election and Internet MANA gained significantly more party votes than MANA received by itself in 2011.
(Hone’s vote in Te Tai Tokerau increased from 8,121 in 2011 to 8,969 in 2014 while the MANA vote in the Maori electorates increased from 25,889 to 29,207. The Internet MANA party vote increased by roughly 50% from the MANA 2011 party vote – up from 24,168 to 34,094)
What lost Hone his seat was the political establishment of right-wing Labour MPs, the Prime Minister, National Party, Maori Party and Winston Peters all urging their supporters to back Labour MP Kelvin Davis. For most of the Labour Party leadership the highest priority at the election was to drive MANA out of parliament. Had Labour been able to get close to government it would have needed the extra seats Internet MANA could have brought to a Labour-Green-Internet MANA government. However Kelvin Davis preferred to be a backbench MP in a losing party than be part of a winning team to change the government.
Despite the election outcome I remain proud of the risk MANA took in the relationship with the Internet Party. We did so with our eyes open and as I said that aspect of our campaign was successful.
I think where the Internet Party made a serious error of judgement was in the handling of the “moment of truth” meeting at the Town Hall a week out from the election. It was a “moment of truth” in its revelations of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the US National Security Agency but this was buried in the media’s expectation of a more detailed revelation of John Key’s knowledge of your case much earlier than he claimed.
In any case that issue was never going to go far. Key has lied and dissembled so often about his memory on a whole range of issues that he would simply have shrugged his shoulders and most media would have accepted it and moved on quickly.
Fixated as they are on trivial political sideshows the mainstream media ignored the issue of mass surveillance and launched a tsunami of negative publicity – led by the Herald and TV3 – which swamped the Internet MANA campaign and dropped the party vote to less than two percent when it had been up to four percent a month earlier.
Your case has already been of importance to this country in helping reveal the extent of lying and illegal mass surveillance of New Zealanders conducted by the GCSB.
This week it will be important for another reason. It will be a litmus test not of yourself and your internet activities but of just how independent our courts are.
Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui.