Jenny@The Standard has this to say:
9 February 2013 at 9:10 am
That Lucy Lawless and others like her are doing a “Community Service” is undoubtable. That this community service will go unrecognised and even punished by the state to a disproportionate degree can not be doubted either.
This is why:
In a statement, Shell Todd Oil Services general manager Rob Jager said the company had always supported police’s response to the incident.
“That extended to supporting the police’s case for reparation.
Public lobbying from the oil company of the Police, for their over the top action, in trying to intimidate the protesters with “excessive” “unjustified” and disproportionate, to the ‘crime’, damages.
The hugely disproportionate damages sought by the police for on the face of it minor trespass charges, is a political decision, clearly more in line with the interests of the oil company than with natural justice.
That the decision to seek such extraordinary punitive damages was taken by the police points to an increasing politicisation of our police force.
Luckily this politicisation has not extended to the judiciary, and the police have failed with their campaign of intimidation in court.
But will the police in the heeding of the oil company, now turn to more open and direct forms of “excessive” and “unjustified” intimidation of environmental protesters outside of court?
The next time the oil companies take measures to destroy the biosphere for personal gain, and citizens take it on themselves to peacefully impede them. Will the police acting from political motives in line with the wishes of the polluters respond disproportionately?
Those who made this decision need to be questioned.
Because going on their record in court, the chances are very high, that these same police commanders will be ordering over the top actions against any future such peaceful protests.
In this event, I don’t think we will seeing any such outrageous public statements similar to the one from the oil company we saw yesterday.
In a statement, Hell Toad Oil Services general manager Job Rager said the company had always supported police’s response to the incident.
“That extended to supporting the police’s case for retribution.
The point of the above comment is to reveal that extreme and dirty tactics will be used by the police to protect what Naomi Klein et al have called a “rogue industry and its lobby”.
The public statement of support for the police’s extreme demands for reparation against protesters trying to protect the Arctic. Is a rare example of public lobbying, of the forces of the state by an oil company.
Most of this lobbying of the police and the state is usually done behind closed doors.
The oil companies’ have a huge and well funded lobbying machine that puts out feelers, to government, to political parties, the civil service, and yes even the police and other state forces. (witness the use of the navy against Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui) Through well funded lobbying, that usually goes on behind closed doors, in private, with access generally not available to the public, the polluters are demanding that extreme measures be taken against those who dare to oppose their interests. And as we can see in this case, their demands are being answered.
Rarely does this lobbying break out into the public arena. And despite the failure of the police’s efforts to intimidate the protesters in court, I imagine that a big thank you cheque will be finding its way to some police welfare organisation, or favourite charity, as an encouragement to keep up the good work.