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Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

Greenpeace will hold peaceful civil disobedience training in New Plymouth this weekend, a week after the arrival of a 40,000 tonne oil rig.

Austrian oil giant OMV will be using the rig to drill nine exploratory wells and three appraisal wells off the coast of Taranaki with the intention of finding new oil or gas reserves.

Greenpeace mobilisation manager Abi Smith says if life as we know it is to continue, the world can’t afford to burn the majority of fossil fuel reserves that are known about, let alone search for more.

“Searching for new oil and gas is immoral. We’re living through a climate emergency, and people around the world are standing up to the governments and corporations that have driven this crisis,” she says.

Smith says peaceful civil disobedience has been a catalyst for change throughout history, and is being used today in the movement for action on climate change.

“Taranaki is in many ways the birthplace of peaceful civil disobedience. It was here that the actions led by Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi of Parihaka went on to inspire and shape Gandhi’s use of peaceful protest, which changed the course of history and influenced the world,” she says.

“It’s amazing to think that the seeds planted during the resistance movement in Parihaka over 150 years ago are being used in 2019 as part of the global movement to tackle climate change.

“Today, we’re seeing millions of students around the world going on strike from school for the climate, and people everywhere taking part in peaceful action.”

The training will be held this Saturday, June 22 at St Mary’s Peace Memorial Hall from 9:30am-3.00pm.

It will offer a variety of workshops spanning the spectrum of tricks and tools, both philosophical and practical, to protest the corporations driving the climate crisis, like OMV.

It will cover strategy and tactics, philosophy and history, banner making and blockading – and all things in between.