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Waihopai Spybase Protest - Update

JANUARY 21- 23, 2000

The Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base is located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. First announced in 1987, it is operated by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence between the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes (shielded from public view by giant domes) intercept a huge volume of telexes, faxes, electronic mail and computer data communications. It gathers this data from our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards it on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency. Its targets include international communications involving New Zealanders. The second and newer dish enables Waihopai to intercept international phone calls, including New Zealanders'. It spies on our neighbours, people such as the Bougainvilleans and Timorese.

New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, and certainly not to citizens.

It does not operate in the interests of New Zealand or our neighbours. To all intents and purposes, it is a foreign spybase. Waihopai is not in the public interest, therefore it must be closed.

We invite people from around the country to join us at the weekend of protest at this spybase. Come prepared for a weekend of roughing it and camping out. We've hired portaloos and a marquee. We provide the food. Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $20 (if you haven't registered in advance). Absolutely no open fires. We are planning a range of activities to suit all tastes.

How to find our camp. Take Highway 6 out of Blenheim (the Nelson road); just before Renwick, change, on the left, to Highway 63 (the Nelson Lakes road). A few kms down that, turn left down the Waihopai Valley road (winery on corner). The spybase is about 10 kms up the valley (you can't miss it - 2 huge white domes). Our camp is about 1.5 kms past the base on the left. Look for the ABC sign.

ABC can be contacted on ph/fax (03) 3663988 (Murray Horton) until the morning of Friday 21. After that it’s mobile 021 2641440.

PO Box 2258, Christchurch

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WAIHOPAI PROTEST PROGRAMME

* FRIDAY 21

Afternoon & evening. Arrive at campsite; set up camp; general housekeeping and settling in. Dinner. To find our camp. Take Highway 6 out of Blenheim (the Nelson road); just before Renwick, change, on the left, to Highway 63 (the Nelson Lakes road). A few kms down that, turn left down the Waihopai Valley road (winery on corner). The spybase is about 10 kms up the valley (you can’t miss it - 2 huge white domes). Our camp is about 1.5 kms past the base on the left. Look for the ABC sign. Be prepared for a weekend of roughing it. We’ve hired portaloos, a marquee and provide the food. Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, air mattress, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, $20 (if you haven’t registered in advance), placards and banners. Absolutely no open fires.

* SATURDAY 22

Morning. Breakfast; introductions; discussion of the weekend’s programme, tactics and new ideas; walk to the base for an on the spot explanation of what it does. An advance group will go into town and leaflet the Blenheim public. Late morning – travel to Blenheim, march through central business district.

12 noon – Seymour Square, Blenheim. Spies Picnic, including sausage sizzle & Best Dressed Spy Contest (don’t forget to bring your spy costume with you for the weekend). We will also be issuing and stamping passports for the Undemocratic Republic of UKUSA (seeing as Waihopai is not really part of New Zealand).

2.30 p.m. – peaceful protest at the base. Back to camp, dinner.

8 p.m. – video screening, Community Trust Centre (25 Alfred St, use back entrance off High St carpark, Blenheim, go upstairs). We are screening the 1999 Australian TV documentary “Big Brother Is Listening”, about Waihopai and the global spybase network of which it is but a small part. Overnight – possible activities at base.

* SUNDAY 23

Morning – breakfast; evaluation; discussion of the future of the campaign; possible activities at base. Lunch; dismantle camp; leave by early afternoon.


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Peace Movement Aotearoa
PO Box 9314, Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand
tel +64 4 382 8129, fax +64 4 382 8173, pma@xtra.co.nz
http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/
the national networking group for peace people

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