Peace groups gear up for action against war games

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“Peace and justice groups across the country are gearing up for action to stop New Zealand’s participation in RIMPAC, the name given to the US Navy’s Rim of the Pacific war exercises,” said Cancel RIMPAC Coalition member Valerie Morse.

“Today we are launching a petition demanding that the government withdraw from RIMPAC 2020. There will be an international day of action on Saturday 21 June to continue that political pressure and build the peace movement. New Zealanders do not want to be part of a US war in the Pacific and do not want a nuclear standoff in the Pacific.”

“The government has confirmed that it plans to send the NZ Navy vessel Manawanui with a crew of 66 soldiers. We believe that these war exercises are a serious threat to a free and independent Pacific, and New Zealand should have no part in them.”

“RIMPAC is military bullying not international law enforcement. The fact that the United States was the only member of the UN Security Council to vote against a global ceasefire shows that it is the greatest threat to global security, not a partner for peace in the Pacific.”

“There are particular risks associated with these war exercises as a result of Covid-19. War and war exercises are not ‘essential business'. We have no confidence these risks can be managed given the US’s shocking response to the virus onboard US Navy vessels. These ships can dock in Hawai’i exposing people there to the virus, as well as potentially infecting NZDF soldiers.”

“RIMPAC is part of a larger military arms race in the Pacific that threatens the lives and freedoms of people across the Pacific. The buildup of weapons of war in the region and the practising of these weapons makes war more probable as it creates fear and opportunities for misunderstandings.”

“The Cancel RIMPAC Coalition includes Peace Action Wellington, Auckland Peace Action, the Pacific Panthers, Te Ara Whatu, West Papua Action Aotearoa, Kia Ora Gaza, the Anti-Bases Campaign, World Beyond War Aotearoa, Peace Movement Aoteaora, Peace Action Manawatū, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. We aim to build solidarity across the region for oceans free from war and weapons.”

More info

- RIMPAC participating countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam

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