New Zeland police are very ‘disturbed” by the decision of the Auckland University Students’ Association offer of $5,000 to anyone who would carry out a citizen’s arrest of visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Superintendent Brett England said anyone who attempts to cross police lines during her visit to Auckland this weekend will be stopped. ‘Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures I please, so I would strongly advise the association representatives who’ve put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated.”
AUSA president David Do said the arrest would be for her role in “overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq…. Student associations in New Zealand have a long history of being involved in fighting for global justice, dating back to student involvement in the 1981 anti-Springbok tour protests and the US war in Indochina in the 1960s and 1970s.”
Conventional wisdom is to regard this as a showboat activity on the part of students, but whether by design or inadvertently, the students are raising important issues. Should those in the Bush administration who lied to the American people about reasons for invading Iraq be held responsible in a court of law? Does the International Criminal Court have the right to issue warrants for Bush and his fellow conspirators who caused the death of over 4,000 Americans and the deaths of thousands of Iraqis? If a Serbian murderer can be arrested, why not American murderers?