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Wellington Hospital not a place for warmakers

Wellington Hospital not a place for warmakers

The Capital and Coast District Health Board will be presented with a letter from community activists Grant Brookes and Valerie Morse calling for an end to the US Marine Corps 'Toys for Tots' programme at the Hospital at its first meeting of the year today.

On 23 December 2013, military personnel belonging to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) entered Wellington Children's Hospital. They were invited onto the premises to distribute Christmas presents as part of a charity programme, 'Toys for Tots'.

"The presence of on-duty United States military personnel in Wellington Hospital raises serious issues", said Grant Brookes.

"We believe that assisting 'an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve' is incompatible with the functions of a New Zealand hospital."

"We think that the new Capital and Coast District Health Board will be quick to see that the presence of US soldiers in the hospital could negatively affect some people served by the hospital. There is a large refugee community in Wellington many of whom have been affected by the presence US military involvement in their home countries."

"There is a huge history of peace activism in New Zealand, and we want that to continue. We should never allow our public hospitals to serve as vehicles to promote the US military as heroic and noble."

The letter is available here.

ENDS

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