Minto calls for ‘mobilisation’ backing peace, justice in Middle East


John Minto praises Iraqi protests against US aggression in the Middle East and calls for NZ troops to be recalled at a rally in Auckland’s Aotea Square today. Video: David Robie/Cafe Pacific

Pacific Media Centre

Veteran campaigner John Minto, UNITE union national director Mike Treen and other speakers today called on New Zealanders to “mobilise” against involvement in any war on Iran.

Hundreds were at the rally in Aotea Square in Auckland followed by a march to the United States consulate in protest over its “warmongering” in the Middle East.

Protests also took place in Wellington and Waihopai, the NZ spy base for the Western “Five Eyes” communications network led by the US.

READ MORE: ‘We want them out call’ Iraqi call over US troops

“Make Love Not War” placard at today’s Aotea Square rally. Image: David Robie/Cafe Pacific

“Don’t Attack Iran”, “No war with Iraq or Iran!”, “NZ Troops out Now!” and “Shut down the Waihopai Spy Base!” and other slogans featured on placards at all three protests.

“All foreign troops – including New Zealand soldiers – need to leave Iraq now,” said Minto.

“We need to mobilise much bigger numbers than we did in 2003 – and I think we will.”

Minto said for NZ and other foreign soldiers to remain there in defiance of the Iraqi government’s recent request for them to leave was an “act of war”.

Minto, a co-founder of GPJA, now lives in Christchurch.

Peace and justice protesters at the Aotea Square rally today. Image: David Robie/Cafe Pacific

Protest support
Support for the Auckland protest came from the Green Party, First Union, Unite Union, Love Aotearoa Hate Racism, Radio Inqilaab, Migrant Workers Association of Aotearoa, Anti-Bases Campaign and Socialist Aotearoa.

“Since calling this protest we have received endorsements from across New Zealand and as a result, GPJA has changed its name to Global Peace and Justice Aotearoa,” said Treen.

“We seek to link activists from around the country to build a strong movement for peace and justice.”

Those backing the protest include Iranian-born MP Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party foreign affairs, defence, and human rights spokesperson. who was unable to attend in person.

“My apologies and huge appreciation for the kaupapa of the anti-war march in Auckland, especially as a victim of American war profiteering in Iran and Iraq,” she told the organisers in a message of support.

Veteran campaigner John Minto speaking at the GPJA peace and justice rally in Auckland today. Image: David Robie/Cafe Pacific
Photographer John Miller points out Roger Fowler in an earlier antiwar protest taken by him in the exact spot 48 years ago. Image: David Robie/Cafe Pacific
The peace and justice movement’s new “sound machine” in action. Image: David Robie/Cafe Pacific
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