Josie Butler: “We will do everything in our power to stop New Zealand from funding war crimes”

PUSL.- Josie Butler from Western Sahara Solidarity Aoteroa (New Zealand) was one of the organisers of the recent protests against the importation of Blood phosphates in New Zealand, in an interview to PUSL Mrs. Butler explained how the activists in New Zealand act in solidarity with the Saharawi People.

Josie Butler, indigenous social justice advocate from New Zealand. Gained notoriety after throwing a dildo at a politician to protest the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Currently an organiser for the Western Sahara Solidarity Aoteroa (New Zealand) group, and has strong ties to numerous other activist groups within New Zealand and abroad.

– How did you get involved in the Western Sahara issue?

A friend told me about the issue in the middle of 2019, and asked if I could help out with some local campaigning. I had never heard of Western Sahara before, so I did some reading. When I found out what was happening I was horrified. I was even more horrified to find out that a New Zealand company was funding such an atrocity. I came across a picture of a sign that Saharawi activists had made, that said ‘New Zealand help us stop the plunder”. I decided to do everything I could to help.

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Swedish MEPs call for labeling of products from Western Sahara

PUSL.- Charlie Andreas Weimers and Jessica Stegrud, two Swedish MEPs of theSweden Democrats Party demand to label products originating in the Western Sahara. The two Swedish MEPs raised the matter in a written question addressed to the European Commission on January 14.

Recalling the the decision of November 12, 2019 of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) validating the labeling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights in Syria exported to the Twenty-eight market the swedish MEPs ask:

“In the light of this court decision, does the Commission intend to ensure that origin labels are imposed for food produced in occupied territories such as Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara?

They also asked whether Brussels plans to apply the measure only to Israel or whether it intends to extend it to Morocco and Turkey.

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‘Blood phosphate’ imports from Western Sahara may prompt illegal port strikes – union in New Zealand

rnz.co.nz .- Fertiliser companies importing so-called “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara could face illegal strike action by port workers in future, warn unions.

A ship chartered by Ravensdown, the Federal Crimson, is currently unloading the last of 51 tonnes of phosphate at Port Chalmers, after earlier docking in Napier and Lyttleton.

At each port, it has been boarded by members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, who have handed protest letters to the captain.

Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients import about $30 million worth of phosphate each year from Western Sahara.

Western Sahara is a piece of desert land of a similar size to New Zealand. It was a Spanish colony but was taken over by Morocco in 1975, a move condemned by the United Nations.

Union organiser John Kerr said he was “hopeful” the companies would find alternative sources – but if they did not, union members could take more drastic action next time. Read more

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Protesters in boats meet ship bringing ‘blood’ phosphate into Christchurch and Trade Union delivers protest letter

JOSIE BLOSSFIELD / SUPPLIED/ Stuff.co.nz/ PUSL

Today protesters have met a phosphate-laden cargo ship as it arrived in Christchurch, calling for New Zealand companies to stop importing the controversial fertiliser.

Cargo ship the Federal Crimson on Monday arrived in Lyttelton carrying 50,000 tonnes of phosphate from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

It was met by a peace flotilla of 15 kayaks, a yacht, and a ferry filled with more than 100 school children. A further 80 human rights activists sang Saharawi songs of freedom from land.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union boarded the ship on arrival, issuing a letter of protest to the captain.

The blood phosphate from occupied Western Sahara is Moroccan exporter OCP’s illegal cargo until it is unloaded. Three such shipments arrive annually.

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New Zealand activists and trade union preparing protest against Blood Phosphates

Scoop Independent News.- Ravensdown’s enterprise shipment of ‘blood phosphate’ is currently anchored offshore from Christchurch, in an attempt to avoid protestors in Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand. Sources from Lyttelton Port Company report that the ship will remain anchored for over 36 hours, and will not berth until 2300 on the 8th of December.

Local human rights activists are planning a ‘peace flotilla’ for the ships arrival, to protest the importing of phosphate from the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

Local organiser Josie Butler states “Ravensdown are directly funding war crimes by importing the phosphate from the Moroccan occupiers of Western Sahara”. The ship has carried over 50,000 tonnes of ‘conflict phosphate’ from the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara. Christchurch group, ‘Ravensdown- Take ‘Em Down’ are organising a water flotilla, inspired by the Peace Squadrons – which were instrumental in the NZ Nuclear Free campaign.

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Port workers’ union protests against arrival of blood phosphate ship mined in Western Sahara

Fuseworks Media.- The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), representing port workers at Napier port, has today handed a letter of protest to the captain of a ship carrying Blood Phosphate mined in the Western Sahara that arrived at the port this morning.

‘The ship chartered by Ravensdown, the Federal Crimson, carrying a cargo of blood phosphate mined in Western Sahara and being imported into New Zealand, berthed in Napier today, ’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

‘Last month the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) passed a resolution condemning Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara and calling upon the New Zealand government to halt importation of phosphates from the area. As an affiliate to the CTU the RMTU registered our protest meeting the captain of the vessel and handing him a letter that included the CTU resolution, ‘ he said.

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Italian consortium and Siemens in violation of International Law support Moroccan occupation

PUSL.- Morocco signs 377 million wind power deal between The Moroccan kingdom’s National Office of electricity and drinking water (ONEE) and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN Moroccan Nareva Holding and Italy’s Enel Green Power consortium in Rabat last week.

“Nareva Holding – Enel Green Power” consortium, associated with “Siemens Gamesa Renewables”, won the international call for tenders in 2016 for the development, design, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the 850 MW Integrated Wind Energy Project.

The new Boujdour wind farm is located about 7 kilometers northeast of the city of Boujdour (occupied Western Sahara) and the construction work set to begin in 2021.

Another Moroccan greenwashing project that disrespects International law and brings no benefit to the Saharawi population living in the occupied territories.

Each new “deal” in the occupied territories opens opportunities for more Moroccan settlers to come to the occupied territories. The Moroccan authorities deny employment to the Saharawi population but offer higher paid jobs to Moroccan settlers and also no tax payment as well as other benefits to populate the occupied territories.

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Protesters plan flotilla to meet phosphate-laden cargo ship arriving in Christchurch

stuff.co.nz – PUSL.- Protesters are planning a waterborne flotilla in Lyttelton harbour to protest a ship carrying phosphate from Western Sahara for Ravensdown Fertiliser.

A union representing port workers has concerns about safety, and is disappointed its alternative protest, a letter delivered to the ship’s crew, was rejected by Ravensdown.

Ravensdown said it is trading legally and within United Nations’ expectations.

Cargo ship Federal Crimson is expected to arrive in Lyttelton in early December carrying 51,000 tonnes of phosphate rock, after stopping at Napier Port from November 30 to December 1.

Three such shipments arrive annually. The phosphate is Moroccan phosphate exporter OCP’s cargo until it is unloaded.

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Protests in New Zealand against “Blood phosphate” continue

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.”

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Western Sahara will sue African governments and companies for Moroccan occupation

PUSL.- According to an article pblished by SAHARAREPORTERS, SADR will start legal proceedings against African governments and companies that have trade relations with Morocco over the Saharawi natural resources.

According to the article published, SADR, at a meeting in Abuja this weekend, has chosen lawyer Femi Falana to be the legal representative who will initiate legal proceedings at the African Court of Human Rights in Arusha, Tanzania.

After accepting the appointment, Falana said the proceedings will begin in Nigeria, which consumes tons of phosphate allegedly taken from the SADR by Morocco.

The lawyer said he did not expect many obstacles in the success of the SADR’s call to end Morocco’s occupation of its mineral-rich territory.

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The Polisario Front rejects the construction of an Atlantic port and strongly condemns Morocco’s expansionist policies in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

New York, September 19, 2019 (SPS) -. The POLISARIO Front delegate at the United Nations strongly condemned Morocco’s expansionary policy in the Occupied Areas.

In separate letters to Mr. Jean-Pierre La Croix, United Nations Assistant Secretary General in charge of Peace Operations, and Mr. Colin Stewart, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Western Sahara, respectively, by Dr. Sidi Mohamed Omar, a POLISARIO representative at the United Nations, expressed his rejection of the construction of a “new Atlantic port” with extensive infrastructure about 70 kilometers north of Dakhla in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.

The POLISARIO Front warns that the Moroccan project to be implemented in the occupied city of Dakhla is another example of Morocco’s annexation policies designed to perpetuate and normalize its military occupation and the illegal annexation of parts of Western Sahara in flagrant violation of international law.

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