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Waihopai Spy Base Protest Saturday January 25

15 January 2014

Chief Reporter




People from all around New Zealand will be converging on the super-secret Waihopai satellite interception spybase, in Marlborough, on Saturday January 25th.

The Anti-Bases Campaign’s activities will start with a public meeting at 10 a.m., at the Nativity Church Hall, 76 Alfred Street, Blenheim. The title is “Spies And Lies: Waihopai & Global Spying”. The speakers are: Blenheim’s Green MP, Steffan Browning MP, John Minto of Global Peace and Justice Auckland & Warren Thomson of ABC. The purpose of the public meeting is to discuss the wider issues of spying, to put Waihopai into context.

We will be at the Waihopai spy base’s main gate on Waihopai Valley Road from 1.30 p.m., with speeches from 2 p.m. Information will be provided on the function of the base and there will be a peaceful protest, involving a range of activities, calling for its closure. The speakers will include: Steffan Browning, John Minto, and Murray Horton of ABC.

2013 was the year where it was conclusively proven that the GCSB & Waihopai have been illegally spying on New Zealanders for years (as ABC has said since the spy base was first announced in 1987). So what did the Government do? It passed laws (the GCSB & TICS Acts) to legalise the crime. And 2013 was the year that, thanks to Edward Snowden, it was conclusively proven that the US National Security Agency (NSA – the GCSB’s boss) has been, and still is, spying on everyone everywhere.

So this is ABC’s theme this time – in addition to our longstanding assertion that Waihopai is NZ’s key contribution to America’s global spying machine. Waihopai is a US spy base in all but name, operating on NZ soil, a vital outpost of the American Empire. Simultaneously, the US is pushing for a Free Trade Agreement, via the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (which the US wants to be concluded ASAP this year) as NZ’s “reward” for having supplied our troops as cannon fodder in Afghanistan, and for hosting the Waihopai spy base.

The GCSB has been given nearly three quarters of a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money in the past quarter of a century. The 2013/14 budget is $59 million, plus another $35 million was recently spent on new GCSB headquarters in Wellington. It is a criminal waste of taxpayers’ money. Waihopai’s operations are exempt from the Privacy Act, Crimes Act and Official Information Act, and MPs are specifically prohibited from investigating activities of the GCSB.

Waihopai does not operate in the national interest of New Zealand. In all but name it is a foreign spy base on NZ soil, paid for with hundreds of millions of our tax dollars; it spies on New Zealanders; and involves us in America’s global spying machine. Waihopai must be closed. (For details on Waihopai and what it does, go to our Website www.converge.org.nz/abc).

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