Waihopai Spybase Protest in Aotearoa 21-23 January 2011

One Dome Deflated by successful ploughshares action

Waihopai, just outside Blenheim in the South Island of New Zealand, is a US run ground receiving station for space-based electronic intelligence.  In 2008 three Catholic activists entered the base and deflated one of the domes protecting a satellite dish.  In doing so, they brought the activities at Waihopai to a temporary halt, and disclosed useful information about how the base operates.

The activists were acquitted by a jury at the Wellington District Court in March 2010.  You can read my account of that trial here.

There was uproar in NZ after the verdict was announced.  The Attorney General threatened an appeal (no grounds), the statutory destruction of common law rights (completely stupid) and a civil suit to punish the activists and their families financially.

The civil suit is now proceeding, and many are looking forward to the testimony in that suit of the Director General of the top secret Government Communications Security Bureau, and his staff, about the operations of Waihopai.

The Anti Bases Coalition is conducting a protest rally at Waihopai from January 21 to 23 2011.  ALL are welcome.

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