This page documents some of the history between Dunedin cannabis users, the New Zealand Police and Otago University's Campus Watch.
The situation came to a head in 2008 as the Otago University admninistration had decided it will no longer tolerate the Otago NORML 4:20 protests, after quietly allowing them to take place for over four years. At the behest of the University, Dunedin Police announced a 'crackdown on cannabis on campus', which appeared to be maliciously timed to coincide with the already stressful exam period, even though the Police had previously stated that "they had better things to do". Otago students then fought back, making it clear they would not be intimidated in their workplace. Unfortunately the University and the Police did not seem to have gotten the message that students to not want to be harassed and intimidated because of their political views.
The authorities then have ratcheted up the persecution, violently arresting three student political leaders and even going so far as to have them trespassed from the Union Lawn to try and prevent them from associating with their fellow activists. These divide and conquer tactics did not work. Due to a massive outcry from staff, students and OUSA, the University was forced to back down and order the police to rescind the trespass notices.
More disturbingly though, the police undertook to infiltrate the student community with plainclothes police officers, sometimes also referred to as 'undercover narks'. All of the information we could gather about these operations is detailed here. If this concerns you write a letter to OUSA or the Ethical Behaviour Contact network. And if you see any suspicious activity, report your sightings to us.
Refer to the following stories to catch up on what's been happening if you missed it:
A Campus Watch member getting sexually aroused