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Week of Peace launch

Media release: Week of Peace launch
From: Auckland Peace Action
Date: Wed, 5 October 2016

Auckland Peace Action (APA) is today launching our Week of Peace in response to the government’s plans for the 75th Naval Celebrations and a major weapons expo. Grassroots activists and the wider community will come together to show opposition to the celebration of war in the week of November 13-20.

APA spokesperson Mattie Finch says, “The Week of Peace will challenge those involved in the business of war and offer an alternative to militarism.”

On November 16th and 17th, over 550 representatives of the world’s largest arms dealers will have a weapons expo at the Viaduct Events Centre. In response, APA is organising a non-violent, inclusive and family friendly blockade to shut down this event.

“With images from Aleppo reaching our screens daily, we can be under no illusions of the reality of war," says Ms Finch. "We want the people of New Zealand to come out and show their support for a future without war.”

The Week of Peace will also include a Peace Flotilla. War resisters will take to the water to stop foreign warships coming into Auckland Harbour and conducting war games in the Hauraki Gulf.

On Sunday, November 20, APA will host a peace picnic in the midst of the Navy birthday celebration to remind people that war is nothing to celebrate.

Ms Finch explains, “the NZ government is seductively using war, weaponry and the sacrifice of New Zealand soldiers as a tool for recruitment and reputation building. This, along with the recently announced $20 billion military budget, signals a concerning move towards further participation in present and future wars.”

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ENDS

A schedule of Week of Peace events can be found here: https://aucklandpeaceaction.wordpress.com/week-of-peace/

Notes:
1. The Weapons Expo is hosted by the New Zealand Defence Industry Association and sponsored by Lockheed Martin: http://www.nzdia.co.nz/forum/

2. The NZ Navy has invited 33 countries to participate in the International Naval Review, this includes the US, Russia and China. A list of countries can be found here: https://aucklandpeaceaction.wordpress.com/stop-the-warships-weapons-conference/

3. Navy events are below and can be found here: navy.mil.nz
17 Nov - Warships Formation Entry (Auckland Harbour)
18 Nov - The "1,000 Sailor" street march (12pm, Queen Street, Auckland)
19 Nov - International Naval Review (12:30pm - 2:30pm, Auckland Harbour)
20 Nov - Ships open to visitors (10am - 4pm, Auckland waterfront)

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