Oil Free Wellington supports protests against the Weapons Expo

Oil Free Wellington supports protests against the Weapons Expo

Oil Free Wellington supports this week’s protests against the Weapons Expo.

The controversial event will be held this year at the Central Energy Trust in Palmerston North, following the banning of the event from Wellington public venues by Mayor Justin Lester. Members of Oil Free Wellington will travel to Palmerston North to take part the protests.

“War and climate change are two sides of the same coin,” said Oil Free Wellington spokesperson Charlotte Kelly. “Both are symptoms of a particular method of organising human society, that ultimately devalues the rights of people to live in safety for the sake of profit.

“The connections between these two industries are strong. As well as fuelling war, the greed for petroleum also produces war – think Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan. On the other hand, climate change contributes to destabilising regions, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest the climate has played a role in creating and exacerbating the conflicts in Syria and Darfur.

“Oil Free Wellington stand for climate justice – the idea that those who suffer most from climate change are those least responsible for it. The same is true of those living through war, and in both cases it’s the same people who suffer – the poor, people of colour, indigenous people – while those who are insulated from its effects make a profit.”

The Weapons Expo is a trades fair for major weapons companies, including Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Thales and Northrup Grumman. These companies come together at the Expo each year to carry out business deals, network, and plan how to expand their businesses.

Groups from across the country, including Peace Action Wellington, Peace Action Manawatu, Auckland Peace Action, People Against Prisons Aotearoa will join the protests, as well as many individual activists.

“We invite people to join us in Manawatu for events on Wednesday and Thursday, and join us in taking a stand against war,” said Charlotte.

More information can be found at  http://www.stopthearmstrade.nz/armsExpo/2018