Thursday 4 February 2010

Waihopai Ploughshares ‘Domebusters’ go on trial, 8 March

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 trial of the Waihopai Ploughshares team has been set to begin in Wellington on 8 March 2010. More information about Waihopai Ploughshares is available at and ABC (Anti-Bases Campaign) hold protests at Waihopai most years. This year’s was the weekend before last. It generated more than the usual amount of publicity, because in that weekend’s Sunday Star Times was a story by researcher Nicky Harger – who first uncovered the spy base’s role in the US-run Echelon network – giving evidence about what the bases actually spy on. The collection of this evidence, by local residents and a consultant was made possible because of the bursting of the dome that covers one of the two spy dishes by the Ploughshares activists two years ago. According to Hager:
The Kiwi spy base was pointed at various times at regions occupied by Japanese, Chinese and Russian satellites. On one day in 2009 the target was one of two Asian telecommunications satellites, one Japanese and one Vietnamese, according to the surveyor's measurements.
You can read the full story here. Also well worth listening to is this ten minute interview with ABC organisaer Murray Horton on Christchurch’s Plains FM.

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