Thursday, March 18, 2010

Non Violent Resistance: Ploughshares Activists Acquitted


NEW ZEALAND:
WAIHOPAI PLOUGHSHARES ACTIVISTS ACQUITTED ON ALL COUNTS BY TRIAL JURY
Adrian Leason, Father Peter Murnane and Sam Land – the three men who were charged with intentional damage and unlawful entry at Waihopai spy base – have today expressed their thanks to the jury, the judge, and the prosecution and defence lawyers.
At the conclusion of the trial, Father Peter, Sam and Adrian said they feel privileged to have helped uncover the true nature of the spy base. “Our actions in disabling the spy base and stopping the flow of information helped save lives in Iraq”, added Adrian.
“What has been humbling for us to realise is how our witness has impacted on so many people around the world and at home”, said Sam.
“We did not try to avoid the consequences of our actions, because we respect the rule of law although we do believe we are ultimately accountable to a higher authority. We damaged property at the spy base in order to save victims of war and torture. It's all about Jesus' command for us to treat all people as our brothers and sisters”, said Father Peter.
The jury heard that the Waihopai Echelon spy base is New Zealand's largest contribution to the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. The ongoing war has resulted in horrific war crimes, including more than one million dead Iraqi civilians, torture, and permanent poisoning of parts of Iraq by the use of depleted uranium munitions.
The jury also heard evidence from a former British Echelon intelligence analyst, Katherine Gunn. She blew the whistle on secret Echelon spying operations when she was instructed by the US National Security Agency to spy on United Nations Security Council members leading up to the US invasion in 2003.
Read more:
http://www.unobserver.com/

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