Let’s stop the NZ weapons conference this year

Dear friends,

I am writing on behalf of Peace Action Wellington to seek GPJA support
for our campaign opposing the weapons conference planned for
Wellington’s TSB Arena on November 17-18.

WHAT IS THE WEAPONS CONFERENCE?

The weapons conference is a meeting of 200 of the world’s largest
weapons manufacturers. They are here for two reasons: first, the
conference is a showcase for local and international suppliers of
weapons, tanks, helicopters, drones, rocket launchers, army uniforms,
aircraft simulators and other military support systems and equipment to
market themselves to the New Zealand Defence Force for lucrative
government contracts, and second the conference creates opportunities
for these same companies to work together to bid for overseas military
contracts.

The conference’s main sponsors include Lockheed Martin, Babcock and
Thales – some of the world’s leading nuclear weapon manufacturers. Under
the name ‘the Defence Industry Conference’ these companies come to town
to meet and plan how to make money from war.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

* These companies are involved in supplying weapons to the illegal
occupation of Palestine, and to repressive regimes including the
governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United States, all
with well-documented human rights abuses.

* Many of these companies are key players in the nuclear weapons
establishment – as producers of nuclear weapons and managers of nuclear
weapons facilities.

* Money spent on weapons takes money away from essential basic services.
The upcoming purchase of two new planes for the NZDF will cost $600
million – one-half of what is needed to refurbish all state houses in
New Zealand.

* On the same day the Child Poverty Action Group’s report Our Children,
Our Choice: Child Poverty and Health was launched, the government
announced "the prime contract for the frigate combat systems upgrade"
was awarded to Lockheed Martin Canada – at a cost of $446 million, part
of the 16.5% increase in military spending over the next four years.

* These weapons manufacturers are fueling conflicts around the world –
many of them resource wars for oil and natural gas – because they profit
from war. The US military is the single largest user of fossil fuels in
the world. Our climate & environment are under assault from the massive
militarisation of the world.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

We will be campaigning against the conference both in the intervening
months and on the days of the conference itself. We seek you and your
organisation’s support for our position and activities.

PROMOTION

-Publicly condemn the weapons conference in a press release from your
organisation
-Encourage your organisation’s members to participate by publicising it
among your groups and networks.
-Like our Facebook page & follow us on Twitter (@PeaceActionWGTN) we
will be developing social media actions around the conference so keep an
eye out for how you can take part!
-Download, circulate, print and poster weapons conference materials from
our website
-Arrange a visit by Peace Action to your organisation and where we can
make a presentation specifically tailored to your members.
-Invite us to write an article for inclusion in your newsletter linking
the weapons conference to issues of importance to your supporters.

ENDORSE

Please email us to endorse our statement of opposition to the weapons
conference (below) and please encourage others to do so too:

We say "No" to Wellington City – capital of nuclear free New Zealand –
hosting a defence industry weapons conference sponsored by Lockheed
Martin, an international nuclear weapons manufacturer. We support action
to stop the weapons conference.

PARTICIPATE

We are organising specific actions at the conference. We want different
groups represented there with their own specific reasons for opposing
the weapons conference. We invite you to bring your banners and messages
of opposition.

Join our Facebook event here.

OTHER IDEAS?

Get in touch if there is something you think we can do.

GET INVOLVED AND LET’S STOP THE WEAPONS CONFERENCE FOR GOOD.

Thank your for your support.

Ngā mihi,

Valerie Morse
for Peace Action Wellington
peacewellington |
@peaceactionWGTN

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