December 9, 2016 Leave a comment
Kia ora friends of peace,
From one anti-war group to another, I’m writing to ask you for your support. In November 2015, I joined hundreds of people protesting against the Weapons Conference, at a blockade organised by Peace Action Wellington. We believe no one should profit from war, and so we protested the Weapons Conference and that it was held at a Wellington City Council venue, the TSB Arena.
The police arrested 27 people over the two days, saying we would just be in the cells for a few hours and would be released without charge.
However, they did charge us, and more than a year later, 16 of us still face charges. I’m emailing to ask if you would please be able to chip in a contribution to our PLEDGE ME CAMPAIGN for our Legal Fund.
The charges remaining are for obstruction and trespass and all have entered a plea of not guilty. Four lawyers are to represent the 16 in court, which has been set down for a full week from the 13 February.
The 16 include students, teachers, lawyers, filmmakers, office workers, labourers, engineers, mums and dads. All support received is greatly appreciated as this is a lengthy, costly and stressful experience for all involved. Some background on the case can be found at https://peaceactionwellington.wordpress.com/not-guilty-court-updates/
Our Pledge Me features wonderful rewards such as hand printed art, cds and home made tea and beer, donated by members of the Wellington Peace community. The funds raised will go towards a contribution for our lawyers – who receive no legal aid funding for this work – and for costs incurred during Court (e.g. travel, food, and a hardship fund given the defendants will not be able to work that week).
I would appreciate it so much if you can help out
www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4950- we would deeply appreciate your help to pay for our defence and share collectively the costs of Court.
In wonderful news, this year there was again a blockade of the Weapons Conference, organised by Auckland Peace Action as part of the Week of Peace. Groups also protested the Navy’s 75th Birthday, the Warships in Auckland Harbour, and other glorification of war. You can read about the amazing ‘Week of Peace’ here aucklandpeaceaction.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/peace-through-justice/
The same tactics of non-violent direct action were implemented at the protests in Auckland that had been used in Wellington the year before.
The police were violent and intimidating in both cities but only felt the need to mass arrest people in Wellington. This court case has not slowed down the movement against the arms trade or desire for peace through justice here in Aotearoa. We take strength from knowing that we are part of a movement with groups like yours taking action around the world. We stand in solidarity with you and hope that you may be able to support us in this time of need.
Thanks so much,