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US Embassies Feel The Force Of Star Wars Support

U.S. EMBASSIES WORLD-WIDE FEEL THE FORCE OF STAR WARS 17 SUPPORT

August 13th 2001: Auckland/Los Angeles: Greenpeace has launched a global day of action in support of 15 Greenpeace activists who are appearing in federal court in Los Angeles today to be formally charged in connection with the delay of the Star Wars missile test at Vandenberg Air Force base a month ago. Two independent journalists are also facing the same charges, despite the fact that they were simply documenting the peaceful protest. If convicted, all 17 could face up to six years in prison.

Seventeen gagged and bound Greenpeace activists stood solemnly outside the US consulate in Auckland today to highlight the Bush administration attempt to stifle peaceful protest. A banner showed the American flag of red, white and blue as vapour trails of nuclear missiles and said ‘stop starwars – not peaceful protest’.

“Greenpeace is here in support of our activists and the journalists facing serious charges for peaceful protest and to send a message to President Bush -- stop starwars not peaceful protest,” said Greenpeace campaigner, Sarah Duthie.

Greenpeace presented a letter to American Consul, Douglas Berry requesting the US Government drop the disproportionate charges against the Greenpeace activists and two independent journalists, and go no further with its Star Wars plan and amend or abrogate the Anti- ballistic Missile Treaty.

Support has not only come from fellow Greenpeace activists, but also from unions, newspaper columnists, individuals, and the governments of all the foreign nationals. Sweden , India, Germany and Australia have all registered official concern at the severity of the charges that are potentially being brought.

“These 15 Greenpeace activists had the courage to take a peaceful stand against Star Wars, a programme that threatens to spark a new nuclear arms race, which will affect us all,” said Sarah Duthie. “Their courage, which is being recognised around the world, is in stark contrast to the cowardice of George Bush, who is suppressing legitimate opposition with the threat of draconian charges and jail terms. Bush should stop Star Wars, not peaceful protest.” Duthie added.

The 17 come from the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia, India. They will appear in federal court in Los Angeles at 09:00 (LA time).

Notes: The hearing will be held at the Roybal Federal Court Building, 255 East Temple Street, Los Angeles. Contact: Sarah Duthie, Greenpeace New Zealand Campaigner 025 927 301 Brendan Lynch, communications officer 025 790 817

For more information of the Greenpeace Stop Star Wars campaign visit { HYPERLINK http://www.stopstarwars.org }www.stopstarwars.org

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