Human rights art installation at Ravensdown, Christchurch
Free Western Sahara Solidarity Aotearoa parked a human rights art installation in front of Ravensdown's Christchurch factory this morning. Approximately 20 local Christchurch citizens came along to the event, and spent time educating Ravensdown staff arriving at work regarding the illegal source of their phosphate. A Ravensdown staff member, who wished to remain anonymous, stated "I had no idea Ravensdown was funding an illegal occupation and contributing to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. I am ashamed, and will be speaking with my CEO as soon as I get into the office".
New Zealand is the only country left in the world that's
still funding the brutal and illegal occupation of Western
Sahara by Morocco. Ravensdown and Balance Agri-Nutrients are
the only two clients left who still continue to buy the
America, Canada, South Africa, even Australia have all stopped or are refusing to buy this 'blood phosphate' due to the human rights violations caused by this brutal and horrific colonisation.
Ravensdown has a ship full of thousands and thousands of tonnes of phosphate, illegally stolen from Western Sahara on it's way to Christchurch right now. The ships name is the Federal Crimson, and she is due to arrive in New Zealand on the 21st of November. Organiser Josie Butler reports "we have a peace flotilla planned in Lyttelton port in Christchurch for her arrival".
The Federal Crimson has turned off her
GPS, due to the stolen shipment being legally detainable
Last year a ship carrying phosphates destined for New Zealand was detained in South Africa as their courts ruled that the cargo was stolen from the people of Western Sahara. A boat was also detained in Panama for the same reason.
Western Sahara was invaded by Morocco in 1975. 165,000 people are still living in a refugee camp in neighbouring Algeria despite a UN peace plan that proposed a referendum for Western Sahara’s independence in 1991. The Saharawi people are separated from their homeland by a 2700km sand wall personned by 120,000 soldiers. “The occupation is brutal” said Josie Butler, spokesperson for the Otautahi group, “I think the people of Christchurch would be horrified to know that a local business is funding such an injustice.”
The people of Western Sahara are calling for Ravensdown LTD and Ballance agri-nutrients to “stop stealing their future”. The two NZ fertilizer cooperatives are the last two companies that still import from the occupied region apart from one Indian company partially owned by the Moroccan royal family. Representative of the Polisario Front, Kamal Fadel says that the phosphate trade funds the occupation and also signifies “de-facto recognition” of Morocco's claim to the territory.