Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 9. 1ts May 1973
Bomb Article Causes Police Raid — Christchurch Detectives Raid Underground Printers
Bomb Article Causes Police Raid
Christchurch Detectives Raid Underground Printers
On Friday the 27th at 10.45 a.m. I entered Resistance and was followed in by what appeared to be three plainclothes policeman. I walked out the back of the shop leaving Murray Shaw to meet the police who asked to see Marty Braithwaita. I want out and a Mr O'Donovan introduced himself to me and told me that the police were making enquiries relating to an article entitled "Mad Bombers Handbook" which appeared in "Ferret 2." and he believed that I was the publisher and printer. They produced a warrant which entitled them to March Resistance and Kozmik Krumbia and to seize printing equipment and documents relating to "Ferret". The charge was "inciting, encouraging or procuring disorder, violence, or lawlessness" end was signed by Mr Patterson S.M.
Kozmik Krumbia, printers and publishers of the Christchurch underground magazine "Ferret", it situated in a premises adjorning Resistance Bookshop at 9 Ferry Rd. Chch. The history of "Ferret" is short, but already there have been steps to attempt to shut "Ferret" up. The first issue, No 2, was released in Febuary end a tree issue was handed out at the Hare-wood demonstration. "Ferret 3" was planned to come out in about 10 days, but the raid may have slowed things up.
I rang my lawyer who was unavailabie at the time, so I had little alternative but to let them into Kozmik Krumbia. Murray, Wendy Rich, and I want into the primary with the detectives who asked ma who the printer was. Of course I didn't know so they started their search. Local newsreporters and a CHTV 3 film unit had arrived by this time and the police ordered them to leave. I said they could stay but the police threatened to arrest them for obstruction if they didn't. The TV cameramen and newspaper photographers retreated outside, but continued to film through a hole in the beck window. The police began to search, concentrating on my desk. They picked out various documents with my signature and handwriting and asked if I still claimed that I wasn't the printer. "No comment" was the usual reply which was met with grunts and threats to make things awkward for ma.
I just watched while they helped themselves to what gear they wanted. It included an electric typewritter, all of the files, copies of "Ferret 2", "Cock", "Earwig", Pears Encyclopedia, and a Baxter poetry sheet, original "Ferret 2" copy and a few negatives, handwritten copy for "Ferret ", account and receipt books, notebooks, personal insurance papers, correspondence to Unity Bookshop, and a letter from me to Kirk and his reply, and just about everything else they could grab with my handwriting or signature on it. At this stage they said they had enough evidence to bring a charge, and would bring one against the printer. Implying that I was the printer.
Knowing how misguided they were I suggested that all they had found was who the accountant was. They assured me they had more on me than that. My lawyer's assistant had now arrived end was challenging their right to take a lot of the material they ahd confiscated. They said they had the right to take it, it' appeared they were trying to establish my role as the printer and publisher of Kozmik Krumbia, and as the editor of "Ferret", i.e. the only person who ever does anything at Kozmik Krumbia.
While I took a list of everything they seized, a police photographer took photos of the press, end they packed up ready to leave. They left the premises and after consulting my lawyer on the phone, his assistant rushed out and said to the detectives that they had no right to take a lot of the gear and that charges would be brought against the police. They assured him they had the right and at 12.30 they left. One-end-a-half hours of searching and one packet of cigarettes later, they had gone and the newspaper and T.V. people came in for an Interview and to assess the damage.
The police have kept completely silent about the raid. They threw the newsmedia out of Kozmik Krumbia, threatening them with arrest if they stayed, and wouldn't even let them stand at the door in order to watch the events. The wouldn't comment as to whether or not they had received a complaint, only commenting that the raid had no connection with the firebombing of the Papakura Rugby Club's grandstand in Auckland. No charges have yet been laid and no arrests have been made.
In the course of the search, the detectives offered to let me have back the confiscated copy for "Ferret 3" and any other essential stuff that was urgently needed for printing—as soon as they had, taken photocopies. They claimed they didn't want to hold up any of Kozmik Krumbia's publications, at the same time pleading for information as to who the printer was. This suggested that they were after one individual, not Kozmik Krumbia. They completely left alone any of the actual printing or platemaking equipment.
Their implications were that they suspected me of being the printer and seized many of my personal belongings as well as all of the files etc. Most of my belongings they took had absolutely nothing to do with printing.
Nona of their clumsy threats or raids will silence us, however. "Ferret 3" will Still be put out before the end of May. The more they attempt to silence us, the more noise we will make. I'm just one cog in the machinery of Kozmik Krumbia, and if the police manage to jack things up enough to silence me for a while there will be the rest of the people there to continue the work.
There is too, the wider angle, of the "Freedom of the Press" myth. "Earwig" has been raided over the firebombing in Auckland, "Cock" has a libel writ to deal with, and now we have been raided and threatened with criminal proceedings. For all their pseudo liberal rantings, the Labour Government has turned out to be a far more repressive government than the National boys ever were. Their continual attacks on the left wing movement as a whole will only help the left wing movement strengthen itself and unify itself against the forces of the Godzone government, police, etc. Thanks to the police for all the publicity. "Ferret 3" will be out soon with assured sales, thanks to them.