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Waihopai Spybase Protest January 2006

13 January 2006

Waihopai Spybase Protest End NZ Involvement In US Wars

People from all around New Zealand will be converging on Blenheim and the super-secret Waihopai satellite interception spybase, in Marlborough, on the weekend of January 20-22. The tragic quagmire that is the illegal American-led occupation of Iraq drags on with no end in sight.

The Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC) points out that Waihopai is New Zealand's most important contribution to the American war machine. Our demand hasn't changed since the base was first announced, in the late 1980s - Waihopai is not in the public interest and it must be closed. (For details on Waihopai and what it does, go to our Website www.converge.org.nz/abc).

The theme of our activities, both at the spybase and in Blenheim, will be anti-war. The Bush Administration has pronounced Intelligence to be the key component of all the wars that it is fighting, or planning to fight, throughout the world. Thus, much more so than any token military commitment, the Waihopai spybase is NZ's key contribution to these US wars. In Afghanistan, the total dependence on electronic intelligence has led to "errors" and the deaths of numerous civilians, including children. Waihopai is part of that spying system, meaning that NZ has their blood on our hands. To symbolise that, our props will include crosses, coffins and masks.

Anti-war activity will commence in Blenheim at SEYMOUR SQUARE, 11 a.m, Saturday, January 21. Activities in the Square and other places in central Blenheim will be followed by a visit to the Waihopai spybase itself at 2 p.m. Information will be provided on the function of the base and there will be a peaceful protest, calling for its closure. Speakers, either in Blenheim and/or the spybase, will be: Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party Leader; Keith Locke, Green MP; John Minto, of Global Peace and Justice Auckland; and Murray Horton of ABC.

The weekend's activities are dedicated to the memory of the late Green Party Co-Leader, Rod Donald, who had campaigned tirelessly against the spybase for the whole time that he'd been an MP. After his tragic death, we received a posthumous message that he had planned to join us again this time. To mark the occasion, the Green Party is holding a day of activities to honour Rod's memory, on Sunday January 22, at our campsite (the DOC camp at Onamalutu). For details contact, Christine Dann, christine.dann@clear.net.nz.

Waihopai does not operate in the national interests of New Zealand or our neigh-bours. Basically it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil, paid for with our tax dollars, and directly involves us in America's wars. Waihopai must be closed.


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