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WILPF Message of Solidarity with Demonstrations against Waihopai Base

January 26, 2017

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has sent a message of solidarity to activists gathering in New Zealand/Aotearoa to protest at the Waihopai electronic intelligence-gathering base on 28 January 2017:

WILPF sends solidarity and support to the activists gathering in New Zealand/Aotearoa to protest at the Waihopai electronic intelligence-gathering base. A critical node in the Five Eyes surveillance network, we appreciate your efforts in challenging its continued role in spying on citizens around the world and contributing to the US government’s manipulations of business and diplomatic affairs and its wars and military interventions abroad. At this time when human rights, peace, and justice are under threat by certain corporate and government interests, those that are committed to peace and justice must work to shut down the bases that contribute to these networks of inequality, injustice, and violence as part of our pursuit for feminist peace.

About the base
The Waihopai spy base in Blenheim. Photo- PHOTO NZ

The Waihopai spy base in Blenheim. Photo – PHOTO NZ

This base is pivotal to the Five Eyes intelligence network that spies on citizens around the world, including by intercepting civilian telephone calls, emails, and computer data communications. This network is a secretive surveillance arrangement amongst the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that began in 1946.

The Waihopai base is controlled by the US government, with the NZ government having little to no say. Documents released by Edward Snowden revealed that since a 2009 upgrade, Waihopai has been capable of “full take” collection of both content and metadata intercepted by satellite, the documents showed. The data is then channelled into the XKeyscore database run by the US National Security Agency, where it also becomes available to agencies in each of the Five Eyes countries. This directly implicates New Zealand in the US government’s manipulation of business and diplomatic affairs, its mass surveillance of civilians, and its wars and military interventions abroad.

WILPF’s support

WILPF supports the activists protesting at this base. We also participated in the protests held at the Pine Gap base in Australia in September 2016, which is another critical installation in the Five Eyes network. At this time when human rights, peace, and justice are under threat by certain corporate and government interests, those that are committed to peace and justice must work to shut down the bases that contribute to these networks of inequality, injustice, and violence as part of our pursuit for feminist peace.

 

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