“Australia and NZ remained unrepentant for their brutal suppression of indigenous independence movements in the Pacific. They rationalized such behavior as enhancing the welfare of the Islands and the human development of their people – just as they justified similar behavior towards indigenous peoples in their own countries.”
Sina Brown-Davis went to trial on Tuesday, June 30. She was charged with riot, affray and criminal damage, allegedly committed in November 2006 during protests at a meeting of the G20 in Melbourne. Today, July 9, Sina was found not guilty on a charge of riot, and guilty on a charge of affray and criminal damage. Sentencing takes place later this month.
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [July 2, 2009]
Contact: Rayna Fahey
G20 Support Network
+ 61 0416 620 221
Support for G20 Protester Facing Trial
Maori activist and mother of three, Sina Brown-Davis, goes to trial before a jury in the Melbourne County Court today 2nd July 2009, on charges relating to protests against the G20 two and a half years ago in Melbourne.
She was demonstrating against the neo-colonialism of free trade agreements imposed on the Pacific. The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER, is a free-trade agreement currently being pushed by Australia and New Zealand which will give unprecedented rights to foreign corporations, undermine indigenous land rights, and raise the cost of living.
Ms Brown-Davis plead not guilty on Tuesday to charges of riot and affray.
“The charges against Sina are part of a wider attack on dissent”, said Rayna Fahey from the G20 Support Network. “These charges are politically motivated and the case against her is over the top.”
For further infos on PACER-Plus, see : Pacific Network on Globalisation | Jane Kelsey, ‘A Peoples’ Guide to The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER)’ [PDF] | 10 Reasons to Challenge the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER-Plus), April 2009 [PDF].
Note that two further trials are still to take place in the coming weeks.
Currently, the G8 is meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, “a playboy summit of high comedy, chaos and emotion”. See : World Leaders, Protesters Gather in Italy for G-8; Global Financial Crisis & Climate Change Top Agenda, Democracy Now, July 8, 2009.