The Wellington-based artists’ Concerned Citizens Collective will be protesting at US Marine events at Parliament and the National War Memorial in Wellington tomorrow.
The group objects to the visit to NZ by the Marines, saying it is more about a push for closer modern-day ties between the New Zealand and US Militaries than commemorating the servicemen of the past.
The group is presenting a wreath at the National War Memorial at 11.00am in honour of the civilians killed in the last ten years of US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by a quiet vigil at Parliament at 5.30pm when the Marines are welcomed by PM John Key.
Murdoch Stephens, of Concerned Citizens, says: “When the New Zealand government welcomes the US Marines to Parliament, we will be there to tell them, ‘Thanks but no thanks’.
“Our presence is to remind them that while we love our grandfathers and respect their contribution to WWII, we oppose much of what the US military has done since. We will not have our grandfather’s sacrifices used to justify more recent wars or to bolster future invasions.”
And Richard Bartlett adds: “It’s fair to say your average New Zealander does not support the actions of the US military, particularly when you look at what they’ve been up to over the past ten years.
“It is very worrying to see our government so eager to further strengthen ties with an aggressive and unaccountable world power, without apparent consideration for the wishes of the people of New Zealand.”
Concerned Citizens was established by Wellington musicians, artists and writers in 2011 to use creative means to increase public engagement with issues they feel are important.