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Waihopai Spybase Protest January 19th & 20th

12 January 2007
Chief Reporter

* Waihopai Spybase Protest January 19th & 20th

* End NZ Involvement In Us Wars

* End The Waste Of Public Money On Waihopai

* Nicky Hager To Speak On The Hollow Men

People from all around New Zealand will be converging on Blenheim and the super-secret Waihopai satellite interception spybase, in Marlborough, on the weekend of January 19-21. America's tragically futile war in Iraq drags on with no end in sight. The war in Afghanistan, in which the NZ military is directly involved, is getting worse by the day.

The two themes of our activities, both at the spybase and in Blenheim, will be anti-war and the waste of the NZ public's money on Waihopai. The US says that Intelligence is the key component of all the wars that it is fighting, or planning to fight, throughout the world. The Anti-Bases Campaign points out that Waihopai is New Zealand's most important contribution to the American war machine and it means that we New Zealanders have blood on our hands.To symbolise that, our props will include crosses, coffins and white masks.

Thanks to the Greens, we have received a (very incomplete) official record of annual budgets of the agency which runs Waihopai, the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau. Using these incomplete figures (many years are missing), it is our conservative estimate that at least $500 million of public money has been spent on the GCSB in the 20 years since Waihopai was first announced. To symbolise this, we will present a big cheque for this amount, made out to George W Bush, from the people of NZ. That money could have been much better utilised on health and education, not spying on behalf of Uncle Sam.

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Our activities start with Nicky Hager addressing a public meeting at 7.30 pm on Friday 19th at the Wesley Centre Lounge, 3 Henry Street, Blenheim. In 1996 Nicky's book "Secret Power" blew the lid off Waihopai and the US global spy network. In 2006, his new book "The Hollow Men" exposed the covert plots to get NZ fully back into bed with the US under a Brash government. This will be Nicky's first public meeting since "The Hollow Men" was published.

On Saturday 20th we will meet in Blenheim's Seymour Square at 11 am. Activities in the Square and other places in central Blenheim will be followed by a visit to the Waihopai spybase itself at 2 pm. Information will be provided on the function of the base and there will be a peaceful protest, calling for its closure. Speakers, either in Blenheim and/or the spybase, will be: Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader; Keith Locke, Green MP; John Minto, of Global Peace and Justice Auckland; and Murray Horton of ABC.

Waihopai does not operate in the national interest of New Zealand. In all but name it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil, paid for with hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, and directly involves us in America's wars. Waihopai must be closed. (For details on Waihopai and what it does, go to our Website www.converge.org.nz/abc

ENDS

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