Peace activists targeted for speaking out

Published: Mon 19 Dec 2005 05:36 PM
Peace activists targeted for speaking out against war mongers
December 19, 2005
Anti-war activist Jon Oosterman is appearing in the Wellington District Court
tomorrow (December 20) charged with using offensive language at a protest outside the Governor-General's residence on the day that new US Ambassador William McCormack was presenting his creditials.
Another Wellington peace activist, Simon Riddell, is also appearing in court tomorrow, and was arrested for protesting outside the New Zealand Defence Industry Conference at Te Papa in October. He is one of five activists being dragged through the courts after voicing serious concern at Te Papa's continued agreement to host a weapons and arms conference at "Our Place".
Mr. Oosterman is charged with having uttered one offensive word through the megaphone while describing the US occupation of Iraq and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people.
Mr. McCormack, on the other hand, continues to roam freely, despite being the hand-picked representative of a government that has willingly and knowingly used chemical weapons (white phosphorous) and depleted uranium on the civilian population of Iraq. He continues to propagate the lie that the invasion of Iraq was justified by Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction. He also continues to claim that New Zealand 's nuclear-free status is a barrier to a fully-normalised relationship with the US. He conveniently ignores the fact that it was the US government that unilaterally abrogated the ANZUS treaty, not New Zealand.
The whole case against Mr Oosterman and those arrested at Te Papa in October raises some serious concerns about the use of New Zealand Police resources.
"There were eight police officers involved in the arrest of one man for using one swear word while the government-appointed representative of a rogue terrorist state is not only allowed to roam free, but enjoys the highest access to Members of Parliament and the Media," said Valerie Morse, member of Peace Action Wellington.
With so much free time, perhaps the Police can expand their activities to creating the full surveillance state necessitated by the 'war on terrorism' as enemies of the US state lurk around every corner of this great land.

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