Wellington US Embassy Peace Camp - Communique
Peace Camp 2003 – Occupy! Resist! Overcome!
from the attendees of the Peace Camp
Confronting the iron bars and armed police at the US and Australian Embassies, Wellington anti-war activists reclaimed these areas for peace and tolerance in a weekend long presence. The Peace Camp established on Friday evening at both embassies served as a tangible message to these governments that their illegal and unjustified crimes against the people of Iraq will not be tolerated by the people of the world. On both days activists, visitors, and invited speakers discussed and debated a range of topics from Parihaka to the Phillipines.
Support from all quarters of the Wellington community was tremendous with people bringing homemade pastries, hot chips, and stories of resistance.
The overwhelming message of the weekend weekend was NO to the war, and NO to NZ assistance, including a return of the frigate Te Mana, expulsion of the diplomats from the US, UK, and Australian embassies, and the shutdown of the American spybase in Waihopai in Blenheim.
What follows are statements and thoughts from camp attendees who come from many different viewpoints, but are all opposed to the War on Iraq.
‘George W. Bush, you say you want justification for what happened on September 11, but how do you justify being responsible for MURDERING thousands upon thousands of innocent beings? This is not some kind of childhood game where to soldiers are expendable. There is no such things as a war for peace, or OIL…
That is why I’m here at ‘Peace Camp’ and that is why I will protest against the war until the suffering ends.’ – Kallie
‘If just one person stops for a moment and thinks about one of the Iraqis who died today, this Peace Camp has served a purpose far more powerful than any ‘Mother of all Bombs’. Bush has said the terrorists will be brought to justice, and that history will be the judge. One day we will see you brought to justice George, and history will judge you – GUILTY OF MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE, innumerable counts.’ – Ankh
‘It’s been important that we’ve been here American diplomats should not be allowed to stay – NZ is complicit in this war. I’m mostly interested in getting this message to the NZ peole and getting people mobilised’ – Paul
‘It’s been a positive experience, an expression of unity, and time well spent’ – Lenka
‘John Howard is a bomb dropping coward, why are we allowing our mates across the ditch to go to war, why are we allowing US war bases on Aotearoa’s soil!’
‘Camp Peace! A strong positive energy that increases with every passing hour. A motivated and passionate bunch of intelligent people.’
‘We are here to support the Iraqi resistance to both dictatorship and imperialist invasion. We feel the most important thing we can do is to stand against the government’s who are invading Iraq and ‘Not in our Name’! That’s why we’re here.’
‘As it appears America will be at war for a long time to come. It is more important that the anti-war movement remains sustainable and relevant. This Peace Camp not only demonstrates our opposition to this US led invasion, but also offers an opportunity to network, plan, and build relationships.’
‘At previous protests we’ve marched and chanted outside the bars of the US Embassy for an hour, and then drifted home, feeling powerless. It’s been great to have a continuous presence outside the symbols of the US state, showing that we’re in it for the long haul – and creating a positive space, with candles, music and community, between the motorway traffic and the police prowling along the Embassy fences.’
‘Many of us here have known on another, fighting various causes, for a long time. This camp has made an opening in our lives to share our knowledge – we have listened and learned, spoken and taught, envisioned a future and put forward some plans for achieving that future. The support of the many who came and shared their food, conversation, and their spirit helped to build this camp from individual actions.’