Freedom to say NO to WAR

MEDIA RELEASE: Freedom to say NO to WAR
From: Peace Action Wellington
Date: Monday 10 August 2009

‘It is no small irony that the Court of Appeal will be reviewing my conviction for offensive
behaviour for burning the flag at an anti-war protest in 2007 as the government considers
sending the SAS back to Afghanistan. The exercise of free speech has been deemed a criminal  act by the two lower courts, but the involvement of the SAS in possible war crimes will go  uninvestigated’ said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.

‘Peace Action Wellington is holding a picket outside of the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 11 August  from 8-9:30 in opposition to the deployment of the SAS. We invite people to join us.’

‘Peace Action Wellington has been organising against New Zealand’s involvement in the so-called ‘war on terror’ for 8 years. The protest on ANZAC day 2007 directly targeted the Secretary of  Defence during his speech, and it was intended to suggest that while proclaiming ‘lest we forget’  to the public, the government was busily engaging in wars of aggression on the other side of the  globe.’

‘The revelations that the SAS may have been involved in the commission of war crimes by failing to  adequately care for people they had taken prisoner is not news. In fact, it was well documented in  2007, but it was quickly dismissed by the then Labour government. These prisoners were likely to  have been subsequently tortured by the Americans and ended up in Guantanamo Bay.’

‘The war in Afghanistan is a creation of the American government. They have funded both sides of  the conflict. First they created the predecessors of the Taliban, the mujahadeen, to fight the  Russians. When they ceased to follow Washington’s directives, the US decided to bomb them into  submission. It is ridiculous to now suggest that the continued presence of the Americans and their military co-conspirators will somehow be able to ‘sort out’ the problems in Afghanistan.’

‘Just like Vietnam, the longer they are there, the bigger the problems get and the more innocent  people are murdered. New Zealand has no business fighting this war. Peace Action Wellington demands  an immediate end to all New Zealand support for the ‘war on terror’ including disbanding the SAS  and closing the spybases at Waihopai and Tangimoana.’

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