PUSL.- Since August this year activists in New Zealand have consistently been protesting against the import of Phosphate originating from Western Sahara and illegally sold by Morocco.
Today the organization “Climate Justice Taranaki” padlocked the gate at the fertilizer factory Ravensdown, blocking trucks, in light of the company’s connections to many environmental and social issues, climate change being number one.
“We locked the gate here at Ravensdown today to highlight the fact that this company as it is, should be shut down… Ravensdown fertilizer is derived from gas, a fossil fuel, and ‘Blood phosphates’ taken from Western Sahara under military occupation. When used the fertilizer emits nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 400 times worse than carbon dioxide.”
“On the social front, Western Saharan communities bear the brunt of Morocco’s military invasion to steal the phosphates that are now only sold to the enterprises “Balance” and “Ravensdown” in New Zealand, since all other countries have banned it.” Can be read in the statement of this NGO.
On the 5th of September a group of protesters blocked a road out of the Ravensdown fertilizer plant in Dunedin.
Environmental Justice Ōtepoti, a New Zealand non-profit community group gathered at Moller Park, in Ravensbourne, to protest the arrival of Amoy Dream – a ship carrying fertilizer from the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which Morocco occupies illegally.
The park is owned by Ravensdown and a road that circles it is used by trucks carrying the company’s product.
The group are labelling the product onboard Amoy Dream “blood phosphate”.
The same ship was also met by protesters in Lyttelton on the 1st of September.
The Protesters, gathered near the wharfs but could not get near the ship, “Amoy Dream”. They erected a banner on a bridge overlooking the port.
Clare Butler said that the fertilizer had been “stolen” from the “illegally occupied” Western Sahara.
“When I learnt about the atrocities…I felt ashamed to be a New Zealander. That’s why I’m here today, to stand up for what is right, like a true New Zealander should.”
The protesters denounced that the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia have stopped buying the phosphate.
Last year a ship carrying phosphates destined for New Zealand was detained in South Africa after a court ruling.