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New Zealanders block entrance to Ravensdown to protest against import of “blood phosphate” from occupied Western Sahara

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Dunedin (New Zealand) 22 June 2020 (SPS)- New Zealander protestors decided to block entrance to Ravensdown Fertilizer company Monday morning, to protest against the company illegal import of “blood phosphate” from occupied Western Sahara.
The group indicated in its communication to Media that “supporters of Western Sahara braved a frosty morning to close down the Ravensdown fertiliser plant in Dunedin,  New Zealand. The blockade lasted for 5 hours and no fertiliser trucks entered or left the site during that time.”
 The protestors are members of Environmental Justice Ōtepoti, “who are calling on Ravensdown to end their support for the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara especially as a humanitarian aid crisis unfolds in the Saharawi refugee camps,” because of the shortages in humanitarian aid affected by the international pandemic of Covid-a9.
The protestors further indicated that “Ravensdown led us to believe that they had plans to find an alternate source of phosphate. We were disappointed to hear that a new shipment of phosphate from Western Sahara is due to arrive in Ōtepoti Dunedin, and that CEO Greg Campbell intentionally lied to us.”
The group recalled that “the people of Western Sahara have called for New Zealand to take action and stop buying blood phosphate. We are here today to make sure their voices are harder to ignore. Environmental Justice Ōtepoti supports the right of the Saharawi people to self determination and to return to their homeland.”
“The call of the people is for Ravensdown and Ballance to stop importing phosphate from OCP until the people of Western Sahara are able to have a referendum for their independence,” the protestors stressed.
Ravensdown and Balance are 2 of only 3 companies that still import blood phosphate from the Moroccan regime, which is illegally occupying Western Sahara since 1975 and committing all sorts of human rights abuses and atrocities against the Saharawi citizens under its military occupation.
The protestors considered that “by continuing to purchase this stolen phosphate Ravensdown and Balance are complicit in funding the military occupation of Western Sahara, and the separation of Saharawi people from their indigenous homelands” spokesperson Abby Spilg-Harris voices.
The protestors accused Ravensdown to be fully “aware that they are supporting human rights violations. There is a crisis in the camps, and the money paid for phosphate is ending up in the hands of war mongers when the rightful owners are suffering. We think that is unacceptable. 6.25 million is the value of the phosphate stolen from the Saharawi people that is aboard this coming ship. 6.25 million is also the estimated amount of money needed to feed and support Saharawi people in the refugee camps which have been left without additional international aid due to COVID,” the group of protestors emphasized.
“Ravensdown falsely claim indigenous Saharawi people benefit from Morocco selling their resources. The 170,000 Saharawi refugees living outside of their homelands arguably highlights such claims as grossly false,” the statement concluded. (SPS)
090/500/60 (SPS)