Center for World Indigenous Studies
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State Schizophrenia

Published: September 15, 2009, Author: JayTaber

With the rise in consciousness of human rights instruments devised through the UN to redress the profound grievances of indigenous peoples resulting from colonialism, schizophrenic state institutional behavior has become the norm. As an example of this neoliberal psychiatric dysfunction, one would be hard-pressed to find a more illustrative example than the government of New Zealand. As one of the four UN member countries to vote against the September 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, New Zealand — despite decades of negotiating land and resource restitution with Maori tribes — nevertheless chose to exercise its police powers in October 2007 and again in 2008 against Maori communities in the form of unwarranted, heavily armed, dawn raids that terrorized the affected families.

As noted in the Indigenous World 2009 report, these raids and other abuses justified under anti-terrorism laws were completely unfounded, and can only be seen as police brutality run amok–psychologically similar in some respects to Seattle police running wild in the streets during the 1999 WTO Ministerial in response to their perceived humiliation by anti-globalization activists and organizers.

As Free Trade and other instruments of globalization come to be understood as forms of neocolonial theft by states like New Zealand and UN agencies like the WTO, IMF, and World Bank, state misbehavior in the form of calculated harassment and random violence is something we must unfortunately plan on.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

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