INDEPENDENT NEWS

Protest at Lyttelton Port Company, Christchurch

Published: Wed 28 Aug 2019 04:24 PM
New Zealand is the only country left in the world that's still funding the brutal and illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco. Ravensdown and Balance Agri-Nutrients are the only two clients left who still continue to buy the stolen phosphate.
America, Canada, South Africa, even Australia have all stopped buying this 'blood phosphate' due to the human rights violations caused by this brutal and horrific colonisation.
We are gathering at Lyttelton Port to greet the Amoy Dream carrier ship, which is carrying thousands of tonnes of stolen phosphate. We are demanding that Ravensdown and Balance Agri Nutrients to stop importing phosphates from a mine operated by Moroccan company OCP in the illegally occupied territory of Western Sahara.
Last year a ship carrying phosphates destined for New Zealand was detained in South Africa as their courts ruled that the cargo was stolen from the people of Western Sahara. A boat was also detained in Panama for the same reason.
Western Sahara was invaded by Morocco in 1975. 165,000 people are still living in a refugee camp in neighbouring Algeria despite a UN peace plan that proposed a referendum for Western Sahara’s independence in 1991. The Saharawi people are separated from their homeland by a 2700km sand wall personned by 120,000 soldiers. “The occupation is brutal” said Josie Butler, spokesperson for the Otautahi group, “I think the people of Christchurch would be horrified to know that a local business is funding such an injustice.”
The people of Western Sahara are calling for Ravensdown LTD and Ballance agri-nutrients to “stop stealing their future”. The two NZ fertilizer cooperatives are the last two companies that still import from the occupied region apart from one Indian company partially owned by the Moroccan royal family. Representative of the Polisario Front, Kamal Fadel says that the phosphate trade funds the occupation and also signifies “de-facto recognition” of Morocco's claim to the territory.
“Ravensdown Take Em Down Otautahi supports the right to self determination of the Saharawi people” said Ms Butler, “ Ravensdown and Ballance should stop dealing in Blood Phosphate until they get a referendum for their independence.”
Environmental Justice Otepoti are also organising an ‘unwelcome’ party for the Amoy Dream when it docks in Dunedin.
Protest at Lyttelton Port Company, Christchurch demanding Ravensdown to stop funding blood phosphates
When: Approximately 1/9/19 at 12noon (date TBC depending on arrival time of the Amoy Dream carrier ship)

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