November 15, 2016
Viaduct weapons bazaar draws protest
The imminent presence in Waitemata Harbour of naval ships from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore is sparking protests against the continued occupation and militarisation of the Pacific.
Members of the Pacific Panthers and Auckland Peace Action were at the Viaduct this morning trying to stop delegates entering a weapons expo timed to coincide with the International Naval Review.
Panthers spokesperson Te Ao Pritchard says there is a long history of the Pacific being used as a testing ground for weapons.
She says indigenous peoples are vulnerable to exploitation by militarists in a range of ways.
"Our people mainly, especially in Aotearoa, we have lots of Maori and increasing numbers of Pacific Islanders joining military services in the view they are protecting the lives of their families, but really there are so many manufacturers, especially in New Zealand and internationally who are making money out of this whole weapons trade," Ms Pritchard says.
The Pacific Panthers will be at Mission Bay tomorrow for a karanga to call out to Tangaroa to protect the peace flotilla that will protest the arrival of the warships.
The schedule for the International Naval Review is now in some doubt, with the USS Sampson, Australia's HMAS Darwin and Canada's HMCS Vancouver heading to Kaikoura to help with earthquake recovery.
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