Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Students And Activists Protest US Diplomat’s Victoria University Lecture

Students and activist groups are protesting a Friday 8 March lecture by the USA’s Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Dr. Bonnie Jenkins, at the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Organised by the Centre for Strategic Studies, Dr. Jenkins’ lecture will address attendees on “security challenges in the 21st century”. She speaks as a senior official in charge of AUKUS implementation, a military alliance currently between Australia, UK and USA.

A number of groups including Justice for Palestine, Student Justice for Palestine — Pōneke (SJP), Stop AUKUS and Peace Action Wellington are organising a rally outside the university venue in Pipitea to protest further collaborations with the USA. This is particularly prescient in light of the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

“We have seen for a long time what we’re supporting when we give fuel to the US military: mass killings, destruction and instability that lasts for decades, and global crises of displacement and poverty,” said Nabilah Husna Abdul Rahman, a member of SJP and PhD candidate at VUW. “It is frightening that military pacts like AUKUS are increasingly being presented to us, through events like these, as benevolent or in any way aligned with our national interests. In reality, we know it seeks to only secure and expand the USA’s power into the Pacific. But we have our own obligations in this region: to upholding tino rangatiratanga and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Pacific sovereignty, and regional treaties like the Treaty of Rarotonga and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“As the US funds weapons for Israel to commit a genocide that has killed over 30,000 people in Gaza, why is our university giving a platform to the Biden administration to push its propaganda on ‘arms control’? Instead of sanctioning Israel and standing against the USA, this coalition government is playing a death dance with imperial powers to extend their militarism around the world,” said Serah Allison, also a member of SJP. “Our university’s leadership has done embarrassingly little to take a stand against this genocide. By playing host to Jenkins’ speaking tour and still refusing to condemn Israel and the US’ murderous campaign, Victoria University is complicit.”

Dr. Jenkins’ lecture is scheduled for Friday, 8 March, 11.30am at the Government Building (GBLT1). The group protesting her lecture urges students, organisers and activists standing for an end to the genocide and a nuclear-free Pacific to join the rally.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.