INDEPENDENT NEWS

PAN Calls For Protest At Labour's Conference

Published: Wed 22 Oct 2003 10:43 AM
Peace Group Calls For Protest At Labour¹S Conference.
Angered that the Labour government has sent more troops to aid the American-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, Christchurch¹s Peace Action Network has called for protests at Labour¹s annual conference, which will be held at the Christchurch Convention Centre on the 6th, 7th and 8th of November.
"Helen Clark and her ministers made much of their refusal to join the illegal invasion of Iraq. For them to send troops to join the war of occupation is a betrayal," says Peace Action Network spokesperson David Colyer.
Many activist groups, concerned with a wide range of issues, have responded to the call to protest at Labour¹s conference, and a loose coalition has been formed to organise a march, on Saturday the 8th of November.
Groups supporting the protest include, Peace Action Network, GE Free Canterbury, Anti-Bases Campaign, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, Gatt Watchdog, Alliance, Anarchist Roundtable, Anti-Capitalist Alliance and Socialist Worker.
"We all agree that the Labour government is heading in the wrong direction," David Colyer said.
Concerns raised by the protest will include:
* NZ troops are aiding the occupation of Iraq & Afghanistan.
* Genetically engineered organisms will be released, denying democracy.
* NZ hosts spy bases & airforce bases used by the US.
* Under-funded hospitals are cutting back.
* "Jobs jolt" bashes beneficiaries.
* Student debt is still growing.
* Tariff cuts sacrifice jobs for free trade.
* The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
* Corporate colonisation continues.
Mr Colyer says the Peace Action Network is pleased that such a wide range of issues have been raised.
"During the invasion of Iraq, anti-war activists became aware that this war is one symptom of a wider problem - those who rule the world are only interested in profit and power."
"Peace Action Network believes another world is possible. Labour, despite promising a Œchange of direction¹ in 1999, is continuing many policies which are making things worse."
Demonstrators will meet at the Bridge of Remembrance at 2pm, on Saturday 8th of November.

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