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Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares deflate spy dome


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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.

The Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares statement is copied below - more information including photos of the action and profiles of the team members Adi Leason, Sam Land and Father Peter Murnane, is available on the Ploughshares Aotearoa web site - if you have any difficulty accessing that site, you may need to register with (enter your email address and a password in the boxes provided, then click on 'just a username, please' unless you want to set up your own blog on the site).

Statement of the Waihopai ANZAC Ploughshares

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.

Contact and support for Ploughshares Aotearoa

Ploughshares in New Zealand needs a range of support: prayer, advocacy and money are all important ways that supporters can participate in the witness of Ploughshares.

Some of the media and other coverage

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