Wellington Walk For Peace In Support For Waihopai Ploughshares Trial

"Walk of Peace"

Members of the Wellington Catholic Peacemakers Group are in the process of creating a pilgrimage for peace. This will take the form of a guided walk with “station stops” at significant memorials to peace and peacemakers in Wellington.

The walk will commence at the Soup Kitchen, 132 Tory Street on Sunday 7 March at 1 30pm. Station places include the Parihaka Memorial in Buckle Street, the Sonia Davies Memorial kowhai in Parliament grounds, the Ghandi Sculpture at the entrance to the Wellington Railway Station.

Though there are significant Memorials to Peace and Peacemakers in the Wellington Botanic Gardens, we will not include that area in this Sunday walk. We hope to have material available for a separate walk in the Botanic Gardens at another time.

The walk will end in the vicinity of Sacred Heart Cathedral. Participants are asked to bring their own water bottles. The walk will go ahead regardless of weather!

This walk is being planned as a non violent gesture of solidarity with the Ploughshares members whose trial on alleged criminal damage and burglary at the Waihopai Spy Base begins at the High Court, Wellington on Monday 8 March.


From: cafca@chch.planet.org.nz
To: cafca@chch.planet.org.nz
Subject: Support For Waihopai Ploughshares Trial
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 15:58:46 +1300

Please forward on through your networks, apologies for cross posting

Support for the Waihopai Ploughshares trial

Update: January 2010

Adi Leason will be speaking at the next planning meeting for anyone interested in organising around the Ploughshares trial, this coming Thursday, see details below.

Kia ora,

the trial of the Waihopai Ploughshares team has been set to begin in Wellington on 8 March, 2010. The Wellington Ploughshares Support group has begun planning some of the events that will take place before and during the trial, and this message is to invite you and your organisation to become involved wherever you are based, you do not need to be in Wellington to support Waihopai Ploughshares before or during the trial.

There are four sections below: some background information; details of the next planning meeting in Wellington on Thursday, 28 January; support for the Waihopai Ploughshares trial; and a copy of the Waihopai Ploughshares statement. This message is available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pldec09.htm

* Background information

At 6am on the morning of 30 April 2008, three members of a Christian Ploughshares team entered the Waihopai spy base and used sickles to deflate one of the two 30 metre domes covering satellite interception dishes. They then built a shrine and prayed for the victims of the war with no end - the so-called 'War on Terror' led by the United States government which also controls the NZ taxpayer funded Waihopai base.

More information about Waihopai Ploughshares is available at http://ploughshares.org.nz and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/plshares.htm and information about the Waihopai spy base is at http://www.converge.org.nz/abc/waihopai.html

* Wellington planning meeting, Thursday, 28 January

Adi Leason will be speaking at the next planning meeting for anyone interested in organising around the Ploughshares trial, starts 5.30pm in the mezzanine floor meeting room, Wellington Central library, Victoria Street, on Thursday, 28 January - if you are unable to attend this meeting, but are interested in becoming involved, please contact the Wellington Ploughshares Support group c/o email pma@xtra.co.nz

* Support for the Waihopai Ploughshares trial

As mentioned above, the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group has begun planning events around the trial in Wellington, as has the Anti-Bases Campaign. There will be a range of activities and events in the run-up to, and during the trial - currently being discussed are some Fundraising for Iraq events in February (see http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pl200808.htm for details of the previous event), workshops and other activities during the weekend of 6 - 7 March, a support gathering on the Monday morning as the trial opens, with a 'Women say no to spy bases' action in the early evening to mark both the opening of the trial and International Women's Day, Stations of the Cross around relevant Wellington institutions on the Tuesday early evening, and a public meeting organised by the Anti-Bases Campaign on the Wednesday evening. In addition there will be vigils, including prayer vigils, at various times of the day during the trial.

As well as the events in Wellington, it would be great if you or your organisation can begin planning what you might do in your community, your place of worship, or your town / city in the run up to and / or during the trial - keeping in mind and respecting the non-violent philosophy of Ploughshares. There are any amount of things you could do - writing letters to the editor of your local or national print media; organising a public vigil or picnic or other public demonstration of support for the trial; arranging for prayers to be said in the run up to, and during the trial, in your place of worship; organising a public meeting to spread the word about the Waihopai spy base and Ploughshares; supporting the sign-on support statements which will be circulated early next year ... and we're sure you can think of more.

Please feel free to contact the Wellington Ploughshares Support Group c/o email pma@xtra.co.nz to discuss your ideas, or to let us know what resources might be useful for you, or other ways we can help.

If you do not wish to become involved in organising a support event or activity, there are still ways you can help:

Prayer: karakia for peace, revelation and discernment are all essential prayers that people of faith can join us in;
Advocacy: people to learn and share more about the business and politics of war - to expose the powers that support the domination system and perpetuate military and economic violence against innocent people around the world;
Join the mailing list: send an email to ploughshares08@gmail.com to be added to the Ploughshares mailing list for occasional updates;
Finances: if you would like to make a donation to Waihopai Ploughshares, please send your cheque payable to 'Peace Movement Aotearoa - Special Projects', with a note saying it is for Ploughshares, and your name and address (if you'd like a receipt) to Peace Movement Aotearoa, PO Box 9314, Wellington 6141. If you would like to make a direct credit to the account, please contact email pma@xtra.co.nz for the details.

* Statement of the Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares, 30 April 2008

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation; and there shall be no more training for war. Isaiah 2/4

This morning, 30 April 2008, we entered the Waihopai Spy Base near Blenheim.

Our group, including a Dominican Priest, temporarily closed the base by padlocking the gates and proceeded to deflate one of the large domes covering two satellite dishes.

At 6am we cut through three security fences surrounding the domes - these are armed with razor wire, infrared motion sensors and a high voltage electrified fence.

Once inside we used sickles to cut one of the two 30-metre white domes, built a shrine and knelt in prayer to remember the people killed by United States military activity.

We have financed our activities through personal savings, additional part-time employment and a small interest-free loan from one of our supporters.

We are responding to the Bush administration s admission that intelligence gathering is the most important tool in the so-called War on Terror. This war will have no end until citizens of the world refuse to let it continue. The ECHELON spy network including Waihopai, is an important part of the US government s global spy network and we have come in the name of the Prince of Peace to close it down.

The base is funded by New Zealand tax payers and located on New Zealand soil which makes New Zealand a target through our association with the UKUSA intelligence cooperation agreement.

Five years ago the Clark government opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq. Yet at the same time the Bush administration was using the National Security Agency s ECHELON system, of which Waihopai is an integral component, to spy on UN Security Council members so it could more easily swing them in favour of an invasion.

There have been over 100 Ploughshares actions over the last twenty years around the world. Ploughshares direct actions are linked through the common factors of: entry to locations connected to military activity, Christian prayers and most involve some form of property destruction.

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