Greens tell PM to pass-on the anti-war message

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke is urging the Government to listen to the thousands of people took to the streets around New Zealand over the weekend to voice their opposition to any involvement in America’s “oil war” against Iraq.

Mr Locke addressed a thousand-strong rally in Christchurch on Saturday which he described as “the biggest anti-war protest in New Zealand to date.” The New Zealand protests themselves were but the tip of an international iceberg, with hundreds of thousands of peace protesters mobilising around the world.

“The message from Christchurch was that New Zealanders want no part of any war against Iraq,” said Keith Locke.

“Helen Clark has been quite careful to reject unilateral American intervention, but the message that is emerging from the public is that a war would be no more justified if it was endorsed by the UN Security Council after ‘arm-twisting’ (to use Jim Sutton’s phrase) from the Bush administration.

“Helen Clark should be opposing any war on Iraq, rather than holding out the possibility of logistic or medical support to a Security Council-endorsed war.

“She should not be a spectator on the sidelines: as the leader of a country that claims to have influence in Washington she has a moral obligation to use that influence.

“This is not the time to weaken or compromise our anti-war stance. If enough nations speak out strongly we may still be able to stop this war,” said Keith Locke.