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Peaceful Protest Continues

Peaceful Protest Continues

In spite of council harassment, a wall of silence from the Labour government, and most recently threats of trespass and arrest, the GE-Free campaigners continue to occupy parliament grounds, and have activities planned for the next few days.

Protestors camped on public reserve on Saturday night but moved onto parliament grounds when asked to leave by Kerry Prendergast. Campers enjoyed a day in the sunshine planning future directions for the GE movement.

Campers pitched tents at 4.30pm, and were consequently warned by parliamentary security and police that anyone remaining on the grounds after sundown would be arrested. After deciding that their rights were being denied, the approximately 70 campers decided to stay. There has been no further police action.

“We’ve tried marches, we’ve tried petitions, we’ve tried submissions. The Labour government has refused to acknowledge the will of the vast majority of New Zealanders. Now we have been left with no choice but to step up the resistance,” said the National GE Free Coalition spokesperson Felicity Perry.

“We’ve bent over backwards to avoid confrontation, co-operating with every restriction that the authorities have placed. However, both the Wellington City Council and Parliament have made it impossible to stay within the law and still get our message across.” Perry said.

“We plan on being at parliament until Thursday. We will be honouring the 1935 signing of the Declaration of Independence today with speakers representing tangata whenua views on Genetic Engineering.

The People’s Moratorium will be launched on Thursday to counter the lifting of government restrictions on GE crops. “The People’s Moratorium is a way of empowering the people. Despite the fact that the Labour government has failed our country, the people of Aotearoa/New Zealand can still choose to be GE free,” said Lenka Rochford, spokesperson for the National GE-Free Coalition.

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