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Depositions Day For Waihopai Ploughshares

MEDIA RELEASE – 17 September 2008

Depositions Day For Waihopai Ploughshares

The three men who in April temporarily closed the secret spy base at Waihopai after deflating the dome covering a satellite tracking dish will tomorrow hear Crown evidence against them. Adrian Leason, Father Peter Murnane and Sam Land face charges of intentional damage and entering a building with the intent to commit a crime.

“Of course the real crimes are still being committed by the US administration in places like Iraq and Afghanistan” said Mr Leason “and the New Zealand government continues to aid the war crimes by providing critical information intercepted at Waihopai”. Mr Leason said the defendants will enter a plea on Thursday but also plan to release new

evidence linking Waihopai to the illegal invasion of Iraq by the United States government. “We are excited to see the tide of public opinion shifting with thousands more people asking why New Zealand taxpayers are still funding a secret facility on our soil staffed by American spies.” The three accused believe the current arrangement connecting Waihopai to ECHELON, a US-led global surveillance network, was established in the late 1980s without the knowledge of the Prime Minister and directly implicates New Zealand in the United States’ “pursuit of global domination at any cost”.

“We have been encouraged by the hundreds of messages of support received since the action from people all over New Zealand” said Mr Leason. “We’re not politicians, diplomats or marketing experts – we can’t even drive a truck straight. We’re a couple of farmers and a priest who cared enough to put our bodies on the line for something that matters. We hope New Zealand voters will think long and hard about the various foreign policies promoted by parties during the election campaign in terms of the likely consequences – both for New Zealand and the rest of humanity.” With nearly 15,000 unique visitors to a website set-up to provide information on the spy base and Ploughshares action, the group believe their message has been heard. “We have done our little bit – like journalists, we see ourselves helping to keep a check on power – but it’s now up to the rest of the country to decide whether we will continue to host and fund this evil installation or not.”


- Website: www.ploughshares.org.nz ACTIVITIES PLANNED: * Blenheim, 17 and 18 September On Wednesday, 17 September * 6pm - evening meal at Saint Mary's Presbytery, 61 Maxwell Road * 7.30pm - 'Swords into ploughshares: defence bases and idolatry' discussion forum, Saint Mary's Church foyer.

Overnight accommodation at St Mary's Parish Hall (mattresses only provided) On Thursday, 18 September * 10am - depositions hearing, Courtroom No 1, Blenheim District Court, 58 Alfred Street * 1pm to 2pm - sausage sizzle and cake stall to raise money for the reconstruction of Iraq (target:USD$800,000,000,000) at the Blenheim War Memorial, opposite the court house. * 1pm (same venue) Global Album Release Party for new hit single “Let’s Shut Down Waihopai” by Jeff Simmonds (pre-release downloadable version available from: www.jeffsimmonds.org)
- A printable poster with the Blenheim events is available at: www.converge.org.nz/pma/plsept08.jpg For more information contact Adi (above) or email jeff@firefly.co.nz * Wellington, Thursday 18 September From 1pm to 2.30pm - peaceful presence at the GCSB HQ, Freyberg Building, corner Aitken Street and Mulgrave Street (opposite Archives NZ), with music, and more! All welcome, come along and support Ploughshares non-violent / faith-based kaupapa; for more information contact Wellington Ploughshares Support Group, email noakesduncan@gmail.com

* Auckland, Thursday 18 September From 12.30pm to 2pm - peaceful presence outside the US Consulate, Citibank Building, 23 Customs Street East (corner of Commerce Street).

All welcome! come along and support Ploughshares non-violent / faith-based kaupapa; for more information contact Auckland Ploughshares Support Group, c/o email pma@xtra.co.nz

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