New Internationalist

A kick in the balls

July 2008

Three campaigners were arrested in May for breaking into a military base at Waihopai, New Zealand/Aotearoa. The facility is officially a ‘New Zealand intelligence gathering installation’ but, according to pressure group Anti-Bases Campaign, it actually operates in the interests of the US and NATO. Two giant domes shield its satellite interception dishes, which monitor international communications by fax, phone and email and pass them on to the US National Security Agency.

The ANZAC Ploughshares campaigners successfully entered the site and used sickles to puncture one of the ‘balls’, which are made of a rubberized material to act as a ‘waterproof jacket’ protecting the antennae from adverse weather. They then knelt down to pray for all victims of war. A Ploughshares spokesperson, Manu Caddie, said that planning the incursion into the communications monitoring base involved a lot of texting, emails and phone calls, wryly concluding: ‘I guess it shows that the system doesn’t work that well.’

Auckland Archdeacon Glynn Cardy lent his support to the action, saying: ‘The ANZAC Ploughshares have punctured the illusion that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with us. There is no doubt that the facility at Waihopai aids the American military, just as there is no doubt that many have and are suffering due to the continuing occupation of Iraq.’

This column was published in the July 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on A kick in the balls

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 413

New Internationalist Magazine issue 413
Issue 413

More articles from this issue

  • Couscous (La Graine et Le Mulet)

    July 1, 2008

    Kechiche, like Fatih Akin, the Turkish-German film-maker, shows us how the lives of migrants and their children straddle cultures, and, like Akin’s Head-On, Couscous is passionate and earthy.

  • Toxic blocks

    July 1, 2008

    No-one said oil was clean. But Ecuador’s experience of extracting fossil fuels is about as bad as it gets, reports David Ransom.

  • John McCain

    July 1, 2008

    Presidential hopeful John McCain gets the treatment

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.