22 September 2001
Urgent! no NZ military support + what you can do
Apologies for the length of this alert, it was being written for uploading to our website later today, then this
morning's paper arrived with the news of Helen Clark's decision to offer full support to the US government's 'war on
terrorism'. As we are somewhat pressed for time, and the first section is rather urgent, we are sending out the full
alert by email - if you would prefer to read it as a formatted article, it will be available later this afternoon at
This morning's Dominion has a front page headline "Bush's ultimatum: 'Either you are with us or you are with the
terrorists' " Below that is a report that Helen Clark has promised full support, including military support, for a
"lengthy campaign" to support Bush's war on terrorism. "American sources have suggested that the SAS could assist with
"lightning strikes" on terrorist cells in the Asia-Pacific region, and join the bigger strike forces against
It also says " Helen Clark said the US was not proposing a knee-jerk reaction to random acts of violence". That is
precisely what it is, a knee-jerk reaction of matching terror with terror which will not solve anything and which will
result in the deaths of who knows how many more ordinary people.
Helen Clark and her government are ignoring the thousands of people in this country who are saying very clearly that we
do not want any part in supporting revenge attacks, that responding to violence with violence is a downwards spiral
which only fuels hatred and conflict - the people responsible for the attacks in New York and Washington must be brought
to justice; but the 'war on terrorism' is not justice - it is vengeance.
This alert is in five main parts: 1) what you can do; 2) about PMA and how we can help you at this time; 3) how you can
help us; 4) contact details for politicians and the nationally distributed print media, Radio New Zealand, TV1 and TV3;
5) a copy of the speech by Jeanette Fitzsimons to the Rally for Peace in Wellington on Thursday - this is included for
those of you receiving this alert overseas, not all politicians here support Bush's warmongering. This alert is a
shortened version of a longer one we have been putting together - but time and events are changing so quickly, we felt
it was more important to get this shorter one out now.
*1*** What you can do ****
* a) As a matter of urgency contact Helen Clark and other government politicians - and tell them what you think about
their support for revenge attacks. We have been told by someone who phoned Helen Clark's office yesterday that the woman
who answered the phone said they had had no other calls disapproving of US military action and possible NZ military
support. She also said words to the effect of 'what do you think we should do ? Just sit back and let [the attacks in
New York and Washington] happen again?' We are highly dubious that that was the first such phone call to Helen Clark's
office, so at this time, the more phone calls the better.
Below are some suggestions for points which you could include in your calls and faxes to politicians:
* concern for the wellbeing of people in this country - military spending in this country currently averages out to
around $6 million a day - aside from the many other reasons why there should be no military support for revenge, is the
financial cost. There are any amount of public services in this country urgently requiring funding so that people here
can live happy healthy lives - access to decent health, education, proper jobs, affordable housing and so on. If the
government is so keen to join in a 'war' - why not a 'war' against poverty here in Aotearoa?
* concern for the wellbeing of people around the world - global military spending averages at around $4 million a minute
while every minute (an average number of) 22 children under the age of five die from lack of access to food, clean water
and basic health care - that is an average of more than 31,000 children dying every day. Once again we see millions of
tons of supplies, millions of litres of fuel and thousands of people are being moved around the globe for the purpose of
killing - strange how politicians around the world don't seem to be able to mobilise resources in the same way to save
* warmongering is a clear breach of international law: crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide are phrases
often heard - usually for good reason, but also usually only applied to what 'they' have done, not what 'we' have done
or are doing. These three crimes all come from the Nuremberg Principles, which arose from the Nuremberg war trials at
the end of the second world war, and were adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations.
However, one seldom hears politicians refer to the first crime defined in the Nuremberg Principles - crimes against
peace. Crimes against peace are defined as: (i) planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a
war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) participation in a common plan or conspiracy
for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i). Doesn't that exactly describe the situation in which we
now find ourselves once again?
* Challenge the politicians to come up with creative positive non-violent ways to stop 'terrorism' - that is, acts of
terror by individuals, groups and governments. Matching terror with terror is not the answer - the cycle of hatred and
violence has to stop.
There are more points which you might like to raise with politicians in the media sections below.
* b) Send Letter/s to the Editor of the nationally distributed print media, contact Radio NZ and telephone your local
talk back radio station - comment on the lack of balance in their coverage (if that applies to the particular media
outlet); challenge them to present views that are opposing, not promoting, further prejudices, stereotypes and racism;
(there are enough of these already in this country without fostering more!); reclaim the words 'justice' 'peace'
'freedom' which have been given radically new interpretations in recent days - it is not 'justice' to kill everyone in
the family of, nor the people of the town, city, region where, someone who has committed a crime lives - the person/s
responsible should have their guilt established and be punished accordingly, that is what most people understand by
In your letters and in what you say, encourage tolerance and understanding. Be careful not to encourage new stereotypes
- instead of referring to 'the Americans', at the very least refer to what the 'US government' is planning. There are
thousands of people in the US who have opposed, and continue to oppose, the economic and military violence which the US
government has an unfortunate tendency to inflict on various peoples around the world.
While it is supportive of the Muslim community here to specifically refer to them in your letters and so on, it is also
useful to point out that racism is nothing new, it is an ongoing everyday problem in this country. A point which
illustrates this - we have been receiving hate mail again this past week because our website has alerts relating to the
death of Steven Wallace, shot by a police officer in Waitara in April last year - apparently, we should be be ashamed of
ourselves for calling for justice in relation to the death of that young man, because that sort of attitude only leads
to terrorist attacks in New York!
* c) Television coverage - contact TV1 and TV3 and demand that they present a balanced view of what is happening, that
they give equal air time to those who oppose this vengeful war as they do to those who promote it.
In the case of TV1, tell them clearly that in the event of any retaliatory missile strikes or bombing, you expect them
to suspend their usual programming for at least the length of time they did for the attacks in New York and Washington
so that they can screen in close up the suffering, grief and anguish of the victims of US revenge terror attacks. Tell
them that video war-games type coverage such as that in the Gulf war and the NATO bombing of Former Yugoslavia is not
acceptable - demand that they show the real impact that missiles and bombs have on real people.
* d) More information - the PMA website now has three sections which can be accessed through the front page 'Response to attacks in US' link - an introductory
page and links to other sources of information; a webpage listing vigils, rallies and meetings for peace; and a webpage
with statements and articles from those with alternative viewpoints and visions to the warmongering politicians. We will
be uploading new information to these pages later today, then updating them every two to three days.
In addition, there is a large amount of information relevant to this situation already on the site in relation to
similar situations in the past - see for example 'Stop Killing the People of Iraq' and 'NATO bombing of Former
Yugoslavia'. There is a 'Saying NO to militarism and war' factsheet (the 2000 edition) at which has various facts and figures which may be helpful to you.
Seek out alternative media sources, and let us know the web addresses of any good ones so we can put a link through to
them from our website.
* e) Keep in touch, let others know what you are doing - the 'vigils, rallies and meetings for peace' webpage will be
updated as required - if you would like your event listed there, please send an email to with a very clear subject heading such as Peace vigil or Peace Meeting - this will enable us to pick them out quickly.
* f) Let others know what you think about this situation - i) email copies of your letters or statements to and we will upload as many as we can to the website (please send as text files, and be aware that there is a backlog of
material to go on the website, so your letter may not appear there for several few days); ii) a young woman in the US
has reactivated our Saying NO to militarism and war message board which was set up last year as part of the ongoing
Saying NO to militarism and war project - you can send a message with your thoughts to the message board via the link at
The purpose of the message board is for sharing thoughts and feelings about militarism and war, and positive, peaceful
visions of the kind of world you would like to live in - please respect that, it is not for posting details about
meetings etc. If you see a vile or violent message on the board, please email to * g) Look after your children! we have received a number of calls from people concerned about their children's reaction
to the attacks in the US, and their fears for the future of the world. Reassure your children that the world is not
going to blow up tomorrow - if nuclear weapons are used by the US government (one of the main fears children seem to be
expressing), it is most likely they would be one or two 'theatre' nuclear warheads; it is unlikely there will be a full
scale nuclear war. There is a website with guidance for parents on dealing with their fears in times of war - but we
have mislaid the url for it. If anyone can provide that web address, please let us know and we'll add it to the website
In addition, some parents have been concerned at the lack of balance in what their children are being told at school
about the current situation - speak with your children's teachers about how they are presenting information, and ask
them to ensure that prejudice, stereotypes and racism are not being promoted in the school by teachers or other
* h) Be aware that hundreds of thousands of people around the world are saying NO to Bush's 'war on terrorism' - you are
* i) and from Marion Hancock (Coordinator, Peace Foundation) ... think about your own actions and how they promote or
***2*** About PMA and how we can help you at this time
PMA is the national networking peace organisation in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Our primary role is keeping people in touch
with others working for peace and justice; and providing information, alternative viewpoints, and visions about peace
and social justice issues, including armed conflict, the arms trade and human rights abuses; suggestions for alternative
ways of thinking and peaceful resolution of conflict; information on peace initiatives, peaceful protest and preventing
Our primary focus is on Aotearoa/New Zealand; our secondary focus is on the Pacific region; and we have regular contact
with peace and social justice groups all around the world. We are committed to social change through non-violent means,
we are working for a world with real security, lasting peace, and justice for everyone.
Usually, we circulate up-to-date information by e-list several times a week, and update our website once a week. We are
currently focussed on providing up-to-date information about the response to the attacks in the US - the US military
buildup, international reaction, and planned actions for peace here in Aotearoa/New Zealand - so are sending out more
regular updates by email and uploading the website more frequently.
The specific ways in which we can help you - providing information and publicising your activities for peace - are
specified above in Section 1, d,e and f.
Unfortunately, as we are receiving so many requests for help and information about the current situation, the ongoing
issues we were working on have been temporarily put aside, we will get back onto them as soon as we can.
* We have been asked in the past week or so why PMA has not put out any media statements about the response to the
attacks in the US; and if we have a spokesperson. We very rarely issue media statements and we do not have a
spokesperson for the following reasons: we are a networking organisation, not an umbrella group; PMA members (individual
or group) have a very wide range of perspectives about peace and social justice - we believe that individuals and groups
expressing a diversity of opinions and statements are much stronger than any pretence that there is 'one voice'. We do
not believe any individual can be a spokesperson for any movement.
***3*** How you can support our work
* a) At this time, please be aware that we are being inundated with phone calls, faxes and email messages, so firstly
please accept our apologies for not always getting back to you quickly, a lack of reply does not mean we are not taking
your views into account.
* b) To assist with passing information on quickly to others - it would be extremely helpful when you are sending us
email messages, which you would like us to circulate by email and/or upload onto our website, if you can making the
subject heading very clear - eg Peace meeting Tues, or Letter to ... (name of paper or politician), or Fix message board
/ webpage if you notice something which should be corrected or deleted.
* c) If you would like to go on our e-lists or mailing list, or join PMA, please fill in the form available online at and post it to PMA, PO Box 9314, Wellington.
* d) This sudden and dramatic increase in our workload has stretched our resources almost to breaking point, our work is
done with extremely limited resources at the best of times. A list of our most urgent needs is below, please assist if
* if you are able to assist with a donation we would be most appreciative of your generosity. We have charitable status
and send tax receipts for all donations. Please make your cheque payable to PMA, and post to PMA, PO Box 9314,
Wellington with a note giving your name and address so we can send you your tax rebate receipt.
* We also urgently need assistance with resources - our most immediate need is for a laser printer. One of our printers
has just died from the extra strain in the past ten days, and the other has run out of toner - usually not a problem,
but that printer is so old we can no longer get toner for it. If you have a spare laser printer which we could borrow or
have, please leave a message on PMA's phone (04) 382 8129. If you have other resources or services which could help our
work, please email with details.
***4*** Contact details:
* a) Politicians - contact your local MP, any list MPs in your area, Helen Clark, Jim Anderton, Mark Burton, and the
Cabinet (which meets on Mondays, hence the urgency), their details are: Helen Clark, Prime Minister, office - tel 04 471
9998, fax 04 473 3579; Jim Anderton, Deputy Prime Minister, office - tel 04 471 9011, fax 04 495 8441; Mark Burton,
Minister of Defence, office - tel 04 471 9715, fax 04 495 8465; The Cabinet collectively), office - tel 04 471 9743, fax
04 472 6332. If you don't know your local MPs contact details, you can get them from the switchboard at Parliament tel
(04) 471 9999.
Telephoning or faxing is more effective than sending email messages. However if that is what you wish to do, the format
for each politician's email address is just type in the relevant first and last names.
* b) Media - Christchurch Press, fax (03) 364 8492, ; Dominion, fax (04) 4740257; Evening Post, fax; (04) 474 0237, ; New Zealand Herald, fax (09) 373 6434, ; Sunday Star Times, fax (09) 309 0258; Press Association, fax (04) 473 7480; Listener, fax (09) 360 3831, ; Radio New Zealand, fax (04) 473 0185; TV1, General Manager - Shaun Brown, PO Box 3819, Auckland, tel (09) 916 7000,
fax (09) 916 7757; TV3, CEO - Brent Impey, PO Box 1334, Wellington, tel (04) 915 0670, fax (09) 366 5999.
***5*** Speech by Jeanette Fitzsimons to Rally for Peace in Wellington, Aotearoa / New Zealand, 20 September 2001
Thank you for coming out today and making a powerful statement that even in the midst of horror and carnage we can hold
on to our vision of world peace. Even as we mourn for the victims and the families of last week's atrocities we must
keep alive the belief that vengeance and retaliation lead only to more violence and that our goal is a world where
conflict is resolved through negotiation and justice.
We condemn absolutely the evil that has occurred. It cannot be tolerated. Our actions against terrorism must be resolute
and effective. But our determination to find those responsible and bring them to justice must be planned with calm heads
and wise counsel.
We cannot let ourselves become infested with the same hate that motivated those atrocities, and thereby put ourselves in
the same moral position of committing similar atrocities. The first step must be finding real evidence as to who are
responsible. The second must be to bring them to an international court for trial and, if they are found guilty,
removing them from society for good.
There may be a place for armed forces in this strategy provided they are mandated by and under the command of the UN.
But there is no place for revenge or retaliation. Killing 5,000 unarmed Afghan civilians who have been terrorised by
extremists in their country will not make the score equal. The lesson of war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq is that
bombing raids and air strikes kill thousands of innocent people, escalate the hatred and worsen the violence, while the
real criminals escape.
I am staggered that anyone could be considering the same strategy again. The chilling lesson from the events of last
week is that the military might of the most powerful national on earth could not protect its citizens from this horror
and the most sophisticated spying networks on earth gave us no warning. We must look elsewhere for our security.
Jeanette Fitzsimons, Green Party MP, Aotearoa/New Zealand.
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Peace Movement Aotearoa
the national networking peace organisation
PO Box 9314, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Tel +64 4 382 8129 Fax +64 4 382 8173
Internet Peace Gateway - http://www.peace.org.nz
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