What does it take to be hated by the state? By the crown?
I reckon Arthur Taylor is an incredibly successful, principled, self-taught lawyer against injustice – from inside prison walls – has done way more than enough.
Try: Being part of successful collective legal action by prisoners to try to hold the state to account for brutality inflicted on those behind bars by its employees-with-impunity. But in one of the worst new injustices in my lifetime, still in place, their legal victory for damages was wielded back against all inmates by the government of the day into routine public invitation for anyone to apply for victim recompense against individual jailed victims of such state crimes. Talk about encouraging violent jailers! Lora norder anyone? Wins elections.
Try: His sustained battles to defeat anti-smoking legislation inflicted on all cell-bound inmates, & to regain votes for prisoners – both eventually successful in court but only the second forced government law change. And only partially. Never mind any bill of rights aye.
Try: His also unprecedented achievement in NZ of private prosecution of a paid police secret witness, lying as they do, who Arthur got convicted of perjury for false evidence crucial to the case against the supposed murderer of the Swedish tourists, David Tamihere.
Add: Assisting other prisoners with his hard-won legal nous to also try to use the injustice system for some justice.
And there may well be many other examples – those are just the ones I can think of.
So today’s news of Arthur Taylor facing “a raft of drug charges” should be neither surprising nor damning. The state – the crown – has reasons to hate him. It’s acting like the state does when it’s lost too many times. It has the power & it’s using it.
Good on you, Arthur!
Rose is a supporter of Arthur’s