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Labour Party Targeted In Anti-War Day Of Action

MEDIA STATEMENT - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, 29 November 2001

Labour Party targeted in anti-war day of action - Saturday, 1 December

Auckland's Anti War Coalition will take part in a national day of action against the US war this Saturday, 1 December.

The day starts with a picket outside the Labour Party conference at 8am, at the Bruce Mason Centre, cnr Hurstmere Rd and The Promenade, Takapuna. This picket will continue until 1.30pm.

Another rally will be held at he Devonport Naval Base starting at 10.30am. Protesters and media are invited to catch the 10am ferry to Devonport, or assemble at Devonport Wharf at 10.30.

Other action against the war will take place around the country over the weekend in Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The Anti War Coalition is hoping the Labour Party conference delegates will respond to this action in a similar manner to the Alliance Party members. Alliance delegates to their national conference gave near unanimous support for a review of their MPs' support for the Clark government's pro-war position.

It is also calling for the proposed government's 'anti-terrorism' legislation to be scrapped, as it is an attack on New Zealanders' civil liberties.

"Although the war in Afghanistan has been portrayed as a victory for the United States, the losers have been ordinary Afghan people," said Mike Beggs, a member of the Anti War Coalition. "Besides the civilians killed in the bombing, hundreds of thousands more now face starvation over the winter."

"So far the war has only replaced one band of hated warlords with another. And the US government has made it clear the war will not end with Afghanistan, " said Beggs.

The platforms of the Anti War Coalition are:

- Stop NZ Military Support - That NZ take no part in US/UN-led military actions - either actively or passively.

- Stop the US War - the US "war against terrorism" is itself terrorism and retribution. This is no solution. Ordinary civilians and workers will pay the ultimate price.

- Stop the Anti-Terrorism Bill - The government's Terrorism Bill with amendments as they currently stand reduces and infringes many civil liberties and rights we enjoy in New Zealand. It allows the government of the day to act in secret against its citizens.

- Stop Economic Sanctions - These only punish or kill civilians and workers in the countries where they are imposed.

- Stop Racist Attacks - That there be no scapegoating of ethnic or religious groups.

For further comment, contact Jean Ayre, 268 4364 or 268 4360; or Mike Beggs 021 455 762

Other national events over the weekend:

Hamilton: 2 Dec: 3pm: Protest for Peace, Garden Place, march to Cenotaph to lay a wreath in memory of the victims in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Organised by Hamilton Peace Movement, contact Bruce at krunch@free.net.nz. Wellington: 1 Dec: stall in Civic Square, 12pm-4pm, Peace Action Wellington, ph: (04) 382 8129, pma@xtra.co.nz

Christchurch: 1 Dec: 11.30am - meditation/prayer vigil at Chalice in Cathedral Square; 12pm - march from Bridge of Remembrance to Jim Anderton's office, 296 Selwyn St; 2.30pm protest at Harewood military base. Dunedin: 2 Dec: 2pm-4pm - Picnic for Peace, in front of the band rotunda in the Dunedin Botanic gardens, every Sunday until further notice, organised by Peace Movement Dunedin. 1-10 Dec: Anti-war tent in the Octagon, contact c/o Dunedin Environment Centre (03) 477 4938.


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