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SWORDS INTO PLOUGHSHARES May 2, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace.
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Three peace activists in Marlborough, New Zealand have created some headaches for the American system of international listening posts known as Echelon. Echelon in turn is part of the American strategy, including control of space, cutely known as “full spectrum dominance”.

The New Zealand Herald reported:

Three peace activists, accused of deflating one of Waihopai spy base’s domes with sickles today, have been remanded in custody on criminal damage and burglary charges.

But police told Blenheim District Court they were considering charging the men with sabotage under the Crimes Act, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ jail.

Damage to the Marlborough base, run by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), is estimated at more than $1 million. . . The three men were arrested early this morning, after allegedly using bolt cutters to cut through three security fences and one of two 30-metre domes covering satellite interception dishes was deflated. They were part of a group called Anzac Ploughshares which aims to spread the message of disarmament by disabling warplanes and military equipment. The group’s name comes from a biblical reference to turning swords into ploughshares.

Described as a satellite communications monitoring facility, opponents of the base say it is part of Echelon, the worldwide network of signals interception facilities run by American and British intelligence agencies and contributes to the war in Iraq. . . “The war in Iraq takes some explaining,” Murnane said.

GCSB deputy director for corporate services Hugh Wolfensohn told the Express the attack had caused more than $1 million damage, but the base was still operating.

As with the case of the actions against the Pine Gap facilities, they serve to remind or alert people of what is happening in our supposedly peace loving countries. There were differences of opinion expressed on the groups website:Swords into Ploughshares. Calling themselves “Anzac Ploughshareres”, they explain their mission:

Ploughshares is a name used by small groups of people who are committed to peace and disarmament and who nonviolently, safely, openly and accountably disable a war machine or system so that it can no longer harm people.

There is more information about the Stratcom (US Strategic Command) and the use of space for world domination through military means at Global Networks Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Bruce Gagnon, who was interviewed by Scott Horton at AntiWar.com has a blog, Organizing Notes.

POSTSCRIPT:

We are all living in an age of globalism in a degree of magnitude and extent that has been unknown in human history. The great problem which challenges the living systems of our planet, within which we are intimately engaged, of global warming is a product of power relationships, the way we live and the economy that has been constructed around us. Once we see the hand of domination in the unrestrained market processes, as much in the command economies, we can recognize some of the commonality with the war machine, and recognize in the form it takes in this place literally globalization from above. Who would have thought that a remote (to some), bucolic part of New Zealand would be so intimately involved in the global system in this manner, rather than in the production of wool and milk?

All people who act on their conscience, whether religious or not, are challenged by these developments and by the actions of the powerful, who would appear to be acting with gross immorality, if not criminal intent. To believe otherwise, is to conceive that such people are not able to look into the consequences of their actions. And yet, some would argue that this behavior is a continuation of a long established pattern, a product of history and culture, and not contingency. At the very least, the technology that was set up at Waihopai took time to conceive has been planned by some of the most gifted people on Earth. It is no accident or happenstance. And it has a direct relation to the invasion of Iraq, and the expected murderous attacks on Iran.

The question is then: What is to be done? We might remember that the mass mobilizations around the world – another expression of globalization – failed abysmally to achieve their purpose. Similarly it seems to me that these activists, while they have been successful in obtaining some media attention, have not been as construct and coherent as they might have been. Courage and commitment are certainly essential, but intelligence is equally requisite. The understanding of the control of the media, and the constant attempts and study to manage attitudes and behavior is not wholly irrelevant.

There are some things not to do, regardless of how tempting they might be. We should not, for instance, make the Manichean world of the forces of darkness and the forces of light, remembering that all human beings have capacities of insight and compassion.

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