Urewera activists keep up protests

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2012
UREWERA CASE: Urs Signer and Emily Bailey.
GRAHAME COX/Sunday News
UREWERA CASE: Urs Signer and Emily Bailey.

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Two of the "Urewera Four" are continuing to fight for their causes while waiting for the outcome of their appeal against their sentence of home detention.

Emily Bailey and Urs Signer were found guilty of firearms charges after the controversial Urewera trial in the High Court in Auckland ended in March.

The couple are principal members of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Since their arrests following the Urewera raids in 2007, the two activists have made their home at Parihaka and have been organising and joining in on a variety of protests.

The two held signs at the anti-asset sales protest in New Plymouth last month.

They also helped organise and joined in Saturday's anti-fracking tour of oil well sites in Taranaki, called the Taranaki Dirty-As Fracking Tour.

And Swiss flautist Signer is to play tonight at a celebration of his country's national day at Puke Ariki.

Signer and Bailey were given nine months' home detention, to be served at their Parihaka home, but have since appealed against that sentence.

A Corrections spokesperson said yesterday that sentencing had been suspended until the outcome of the appeal.

Signer and Bailey's co-accused - political activist Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara - have also lodged appeals against their convictions on weapons charges.

Iti and Kemara were both sentenced to 2 years' jail. All but Signer were found guilty of five charges of unlawful possession of firearms and one charge of unlawful possession of a restricted weapon - Molotov cocktails.

Signer was found guilty of four charges of unlawful possession of firearms, and one charge of unlawful possession of a restricted weapon.

Three of the four - Iti, Kemara and Bailey - were found not guilty of four firearms charges, while Signer was found not guilty of five.

However, the jury could not decide on the most serious charge laid against the four - that of participating in an organised criminal group.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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