The Waihopai spybase was dragged into the public spotlight on April 30, 2008 when three Ploughshares peace activists, Sam Land, Adrian Leason and Peter Murnane, penetrated its high security and deflated one of the two domes concealing its satellite dishes from the NZ public. The Anti-Bases Campaign was happy to support this non-violent direct action anti-war activity. The Domebusters’ trial is in the Wellington District Court and we invite you to join us in supporting them. See below for list of activities.
· Waihopai is New Zealand’s biggest contribution to America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Waihopai is directly involved in the mass killings of innocent civilians, including children.
· Waihopai does not operate in the interests of NZ or our neighbours.
Waihopai is not effectively accountable to Parliament or the people. It is exempt from key provisions of the Privacy Act and Crimes Act.
To all intents and purposes, Waihopai is a foreign spybase, working for, and providing raw intelligence directly to, the US.
Waihopai intercepts and records your international phone calls and e-mail.
Waihopai is a waste of taxpayers’ money. In the 20+ years since it was announced, more than $500 million has been spent on the agency which runs it.
How does Waihopai involve us in America’s wars?
The public face of New Zealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence in Afghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to that, and other American wars, including the one in Iraq, is the Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base, located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. It is controlled by the US, with NZ (including Parliament and the Prime Minister) having little or no idea what goes on there, let alone any control.
First announced in 1987, Waihopai is operated by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes intercept a huge volume of civilian telephone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications. It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency (NSA). Its targets are international civilian communications involving New Zealanders, including the interception of international phone calls. Post- 9/11 the GCSB and Waihopai now spy further afield, to those regions where the US is waging wars. The codename for this – Echelon – has become notorious worldwide as the vast scope of its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, not citizens.
Waihopai does not operate in the national interests of New Zealand or our neighbours. Basically it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil and directly involves us in America’s wars. Waihopai must be closed.
A WEEK OF ACTIVITIES IN SUPPORT OF THE DOMEBUSTERS
Solidarity activities will focus on: the District Court; the headquarters of the spy agency, the Government Communications Security Agency (GCSB); and the embassies/high commissions of the four other countries who, with NZ, comprise the top secret intelligence sharing UKUSA Agreement – the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Plus a public meeting; and a display about the Waihopai spybase. Please join us!
Monday March 8 – 8.30 a.m., assemble at Cenotaph, silent procession to District Court (43-49 Ballance St, off Lambton Quay) at 9 a.m. for a silent vigil. The trial starts at 10 a.m.
Monday March 8 1-2 p.m. Picket and vigil at headquarters of GCSB, Freyberg House (enter through St Paul’s Square next to National Library, 58 Molesworth St).
Tuesday March 9 1-2 p.m. picket and vigil at US Embassy, (29 Fitzherbert Terrace, corner of Murphy St. Parking on Fitzherbert Terrace; access via Hobson St).
Wednesday March 10 1- 2 p.m. picket and vigil at British High Commission (44 Hill St, off Molesworth St)
Wednesday March 10 – 7 p.m., public meeting, St Johns Church Hall (corner of Willis & Dixon Streets). “Waihopai: The Spybase; The Wars; The Trial”. Speakers: Murray Horton of Anti-Bases Campaign; Moana Cole of Ploughshares; Bryan Law, of Christians Against All Terrorism (Australia).
Thursday March 11 – 1-2 p.m. picket and vigil at Australian High Commission (72-76 Hobson St).
Friday March 12 – 1-2 p.m. picket and vigil at Canadian High Commission (125 The Terrace; Commission is on Level 11).
March 8-14 inclusive – Anti-Bases Campaign’s display on Waihopai spy base in Wellington City Library, 65 Victoria Street.
The rally at the court and the lunchtime pickets/vigils are jointly organised by the Anti-Bases Campaign, Wellington Ploughshares Support Group and Peace Movement Aotearoa. For a full list of activities, check the Peace Movement Aotearoa Website at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/pltrial.htm
Anti-Bases Campaign, Box 2258, Christchurch firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington Ploughshares Support Group, Box 9314, Wellington email@example.com