Protest highlights terror raid case

02:20, Jun 03 2011
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FIRE WHEN READY: A group of protesters fire pillows with buses painted on them at a George W. Bush impersonator to highlight charges laid against the Urewera 18.

How easy is it to hit George W Bush with a bus fired from a catapult? A group of Wellington artists staged an unusual performance on the grounds of Parliament this afternoon to find out - and to bring attention to the case against the Urewera 18.

Ben Knight, part of the Concerned Citizens artists' collective, said the act was staged to comment on some of the allegations surrounding the so-called ''terror raids'' of 2007.

Using a Bush impersonator, a mocked-up catapult and pillow ''buses'', they fired on the former president in front of onlookers at the Beehive.

''We wanted to test the feasibility of the assassination plot that police were so concerned about - a catapult, designed to launch a bus onto the head of former US president George Bush.

''We tried using real buses at first but they performed even more poorly than the pillows.''

People had reacted positively to the performance, Knight said, although Bush received some sour glances.

Knight said it might sound ''pretty silly'', but the charges laid against 18 people after the 2007 raids had seriously affected their lives for four years.

A number of prominent figures have also spoken out against the handling of the case, including civil rights lawyer Moana Jackson and Professor Jane Kelsey.

The Concerned Citizens exhibition involves more than 60 artists and musicians and opens tonight at a space on Garrett St above People's Coffee.


The Dominion Post