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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 WordPress.com (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.
- 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 mailing list: Send a message to email 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 email Peace Movement Aotearoa for the details.
Some of the media and other coverage
- Agitating for Jesus, Metro Magazine, July 2008
- A two-edged ploughshare, Clay Nelson, 22 May 2008
- Actions deserve support, Gehan Gunasekara, 20 May 2008
- Vandalism or Vision? Fr Peter Murnane, 19 May 2008
- Waihopai: our role in international spying, Sunday Star times, 11 May 2008
- Puncture repair kit is best punishment, Brian Rudman, 7 May 2008
- Saboteur has no regrets about $1m bill, NZ Herald, 6 May 2008
- Must the stones cry out? Swords into Plowshares, Justwiki, 5 May 2008
- Make tea not war, Addington Women's Revolutionary Craft Circle, 5 May 2007
- Brief Comment On Spy Bases And Civil Disobedience, Paul G. Buchanan, 5 May 2008
- Men accused of spy base attack freed on bail, Radio NZ, 5 May 2008
- St Matthew-in-the-City honors ANZAC Ploughshares, 2 May 2008
- Sabotage charges ruled out for Waihopai incursion, Radio NZ, 2 May 2008
- NZ's spy 'friends' warned after attack, The Dominion Post, 2 May 2008
- NZ spy base attacked, ISA Consulting, 2 May 2008
- Protesters escape sabotage charges, NZPA, 2 May 2008
- Spy base accused start fast in cells, The Dominion Post, 2 May 2008
- One in the eye for our Waihopai spies, Nelson Mail, 1 May 2008
- Waihopai and the Troublesome Priest, Gordon Campbell, 1 May 2008
- Breach prompts spy base review, TV1, 1 May 2008
- Shadowy world of the two white domes, The Press, 01 May 2008
- Waihopai three in court, remanded in custody, Marlborough Express, 1 May 2008
- Police consider fresh charges against spy base attackers, NZPA, 30 April 2008
- Anti-war protesters in New Zealand breach high-security communications center, Associated Press, 30 April 2008
- Peace protesters deflate NZ spy base dome, ABC / Reuters, 30 April 2008
- Three arrested as activists attack Waihopai spy base domes, deflating one, TV3, 30 April 2008
- Spy base attacked in security breach, TV1, 30 April 2008
- Waihopai spy base attack 'senseless' - PM, NZ Herald and NZPA, 30 April 2008
- Spy base protestors say it was about "peacemaking", Newstalk ZB, 30 April 2008
- Arrests over attack on Waihopi spy base, Radio NZ, 30 April 2008
- Dome slashed at spy base, Newstalk ZB, 30 April 2008
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