2007 Press releases

MEDIA RELEASE: Lest we forget…already forgotten?
Date: 25 April 2007

Members of Peace Action Wellington (PAW) demonstrated at the Wellington ANZAC Day dawn service this morning, displaying banners that said “Lest We Forget: Already Forgotten – Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste” and “Conscientious Objectors: the real war heroes.”

“ANZAC Day has ceased to be a day where we commit to ‘never again’, and has instead become nothing less than a celebration of the New Zealand military and the glorification of war,” said Valerie Morse, Peace Action Wellington member.

“Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently engaged in combat in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. Lest we forget that the New Zealand military is currently deployed in 18 different missions around the world.”

“Lest we forget that the military has, and always will, exist for the sole purpose of waging war,” said Valerie Morse.

This morning’s demonstration also marks the launch of Peace Action Wellington’s ‘NZ Troops Out Now’ campaign. For further information about the campaign, go to http://www.nztroopsoutnow.org

“Peace Action Wellington demands the immediate withdrawal of all New Zealand troops and the cessation of all military training and joint exercises with other armies,” concluded Valerie Morse.

Media release: Kiwi troops contribute to terrorism
Date: 11 April 2007

The NZDF is preparing to send another round of troops off to Afghanistan to contribute to the on-going occupation of the country by US and NATO troops.

“Phil Goff would have us believe that the NZDF is all about peacekeeping and reconstruction in Afghanistan. But six years on, there is no more peace or stability in Afghanistan than there was when the US started bombing the country” said Peace Action member Valerie Morse.

“When you consider that there are more than 20,000 US troops in the country, it is really not surprising that there is continuing conflict. The New Zealand troops are effectively there to support the US-puppet government in Kabul and to prop up numbers.”

“The government has done a good propaganda job convincing New Zealanders that NZDF deployments to Afghanistan are necessary and beneficial. If we look behind the rhetoric, it is easy to see that this is just another battlefield in Bush’s imperial war of conquest. Clark and Goff want to be sure to stay on the right side of the US by offering up troops. It is a sick bit of double-speak.”

“Goff’s revelations of SAS involvement in handing over Afghanis to the US military is evidence of NZ’s complicity in the subjugation of the local population there.”

“When will the Labour government realise that supporting US wars of aggression only support terrorism, not stop it? Thousands of Afghani people have been murdered in bombing raids and unprovoked assassinations since 2001. Genuine peace and stability can only be achieved when the occupation ceases.”

Peace Action Wellington is committed to stopping the involvement of New Zealand troops in overseas wars. For more details, check out www.peacewellington.org

March 20: A Global Day of Action Against War
Date: 19 March 2007

Wellingtonians will converge on Parliament to commemorate the invasion of Iraq four years ago with music by Olmecha Supreme and MC Dissident and free food at a rally at 12 noon on Tuesday. This will be followed by action targeting those who make war.

“We are shocked and disturbed that the SAS may be sent back to Afghanistan. Along with the Navy frigate and Provincial ‘Reconstruction Team’, this is a significant escalation of the NZ commitment to Bush’s wars on the people of the Middle East” said Felicity Perry, spokesperson for Peace Action Wellington.

“Clark’s meeting with Bush on Wednesday would be a great opportunity for her to condemn the systematic torture, rape and murder by the US forces of occupation. However, this Labour Government seems far more interested in cashing in on the lucrative spoils of war than in advocating for peace and justice.”

“We are calling for the New Zealand Government to end all support for US wars.”

“Overwhelmingly, the people of New Zealand oppose the illegal and immoral War on Iraq and the so-called War on Terror. The US is going into its 5th year of occupation in Iraq and its 7th year in Afghanistan. The world is sick and tired of fighting wars for US corporate greed and strategic control of the Middle East.”

“We are calling for the New Zealand Government to condemn the so-called War on Terror, end all military co-operation with the US, and close the US spy bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana” Perry said. Join Peace Action Wellington at Parliament on Tuesday March 20 at 12 noon

Media release: Labour continues warmongering
Date: 13 March 2007

“The continued military deployment of New Zealand troops to Afghanistan and now a Navy frigate to the Persian Gulf is clear evidence that Helen Clark, Phil Goff and the Labour Government are acting as an extension of the US military machine” said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse.

“The New Zealand Defence Force has been in Afghanistan since 2001. In that time, gross human rights violations, torture and murder have been carried out by US troops there. When is Phil Goff going to appreciate that the best help we can give the Afghani people is to get out of their country and stop supporting the US occupation there?”

“Labour would like us to believe that the deployment to Afghanistan is a self-less ‘peacekeeping’ mission. We must ask, whose peace are we keeping there? September 11th is invoked as the rationale for the initial bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, yet 14 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. In reality, this mission is about US power and control of the region and its resources. New Zealand wants part of that pie.”

“Phil Goff’s comment that ‘every little bit helps’ when referring the deployment of the Navy frigate to the Persian Gulf is equally revealing. He is right – every little bit does help – it helps to support the US army occupation of Iraq. It helps to support their agenda in the region – an agenda that is about taking away freedoms, not restoring them.”

“Frankly, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan deserve better than this from New Zealanders. Most people here were opposed to the war on Iraq, yet now, once again, the Labour government is supporting it, albeit stealthily.”

“The US is going into its 5th year of occupation in Iraq. The world is sick and tired of fighting wars for US corporate greed and strategic control of the Middle East. March 20th is an international day of action against war and millions of people will again take to the streets to stop this war. Resistance to Labour’s warmongering will continue here in New Zealand as well. Marches and rallies are planned in both Auckland and Wellington.”

“Peace Action Wellington invites all people to join us for a rally at Parliament on March 20th at 12 noon. There will be music, food, speakers and action for everyone.”

Speak up Helen Prime Minister of Australia.
Date: 27 February 2007  

‘Winston Peters’ support for the continued occupation of Iraq by US, UK and Australian troops demonstrates   his allegiance to the warmongers Bush and Howard. He is very deeply confused if he doesn’t realise that there  already is a civil war going on in Iraq. The US started it when it invaded the country 4 years ago, and it is happy  to see it continue’ said Peace Action Wellington member Valerie Morse

‘More to the point, however, is Helen Clark’s unwillingness to comment on the situation in Iraq. The fact that NZ   doesn’t have troops in Iraq at the moment is actually irrelevant. The war is a horrific nightmare for the people of   Iraq. There are 650,000 dead Iraqi people as a direct result of this war; people have been deliberately and   systematically tortured and massacred by the US military. Yet Clark can’t even manage to say “This is wrong and   we condemn it.”’

‘Clark doesn’t want to lose out on a free trade deal with Washington. Once again the Labour Party is trying to have   its cake and eat it too. Their foreign policy involves sending troops to support the War on Terrorism in Iraq and   Afghanistan while their propaganda machine tells us it is “peacekeeping.”

The government also continues to spy   for the US military from its bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana. It is hardly neutral in this war.’

‘New Zealanders have had enough of this grotesque and greed-driven occupation. It is time the Labour Party   decided which side it is on, the people’s or Bush’s. We say: Condemn this war, close the spybases and cease   all military involvement with the US.’

Peace Action Wellington will be marking the fourth year of the invasion and occupation of Iraq on Tuesday,   20 March 2007 at 12 noon at Parliament. All are welcome

Media alert: Protest against visiting racist warmonger John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia.
Date: 14 February 2007

Peace Action Wellington is organising a protest against John Howard who will be dining at the Prime Minister’s house on Thursday evening. All are welcome!

Details: 6:30pm Thursday 15 Feb Meet outside the main gates of the Botanical Gardens on Glenmore St, and march down to Premier House where Howard will be having dinner with Helen Clark.

Bring noisemakers, banners, and friends!   Johnny boy has been up to no good. His contribution of troops to the on-going bloodbath in Iraq implicates him in the death of 650,000 civilians. As if that wasn’t enough, he has also agreed to build a new uranium mine on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory so that he can sell uranium to China.

Needless to say, this might just give a little fuel to another nuclear arms race.   John Howard is George W Bush’s best “sheriff” in the so-called “War on Terrorism”. Tell John that racist, sexist warmongers are not welcome in Aotearoa.

Media Release: War maker John Howard on the way to Wellington?
Date: 12 February 2007  

Peace Action Wellington has received information that Australian Prime Minister John Howard   will be visiting Wellington at the end of this week, February 15-17. If this information is true, it will  mark his first visit since March 2003 just days before he helped George W Bush invade Iraq,  sending Australian Special Forces troops and Navy frigates.

‘No doubt the Labour Government would be keen to keep Howard’s visit far from the public.  We can only speculate as to the possible agenda of talks between Howard and Clark but it is   sure not to include any criticism of Australian foreign policy’ said Peace Action Wellington member  Valerie Morse

‘As the Australian government positions itself ever closer to the US, it pulls New Zealand with it.   Indeed, the New Zealand government has been hand-in-hand with the Australian Liberal Party on   its troop deployments to Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and Tonga. Lest we forgot, New Zealand   also sent NZDF troops to Iraq in 2003 to assist the occupation.’

‘It is hardly suprising that Clark would welcome Howard with open arms. While Labour would have us believe that they a very different hue than the Australian Liberal Party, they are in fact pursuing   almost identical agendas in fighting the so-called War on Terrorism. The agenda includes attacks   on civil liberties, refugees, asylum seekers and workers as well as the suppression of political   dissent. It also includes the pursuit of a neo-liberal economic agenda intended to further enrich   the wealthy and privatise public goods.’

‘In 2003, more than 1000 people disrupted John Howard’s official luncheon at Parliament by using   noisemakers outside of the Beehive. He can rest assured that he is no more welcome here now   than he was then.’

As a response to international calls for action to mark the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq   and the continued occupation of Afghanistan, Peace Action Wellington will be hosting a public   meeting and action planning session on Tuesday, 13 February at 6:30pm at the Wellington Public   Library, Mezzanine meeting room.

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