Watch: 'Crucial we protest' – Green MP Chloe Swarbrick rocks up to support Wellington 'weapons expo' protesters

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Sources:

1 NEWS | NZN

Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick has turned out to support protesters at the annual defence industry conference, held this year in Wellington.

Ms Swarbrick says it's important for New Zealanders to revaluate their stance on all forms of weapons.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 23-year-old MP said she came out to show her support this morning because New Zealanders need to "stand up" for change.

"I think it's really important to be revaluating what we stand for as a country.”

"I think it’s really crucial that we do things like protest, that we do stand up, that we do have those difficult and uncomfortable conversations because otherwise nothing is ever going to change."

The week long conference is being held in Westpac Stadium today and tomorrow, experts at the New Zealand Defence Industry Association forum will be discussing topics, such as "emerging technologies" and cybersecurity.

Protesters from around the country have gathered in the hopes of disrupting the delegates.
Source: 1 NEWS

But gathered outside, protest groups are hoping to disrupt and blockade the event.

Calling for more people to join them, protest spokesperson Jessie Dennis from Peace Action Wellington has promised "food, music and entertainment".

"It's important to act and to target the drivers of war, those who make billions of dollars from killing people," Dennis said.

"Tomorrow is our opportunity to shut down their business, to mess with their profit and to ultimately make the world a better and safer place."

Protesters have in recent years turned the forum into an annual rallying cry against war, violence and the weapons industry.

Two years ago, more than two dozen were arrested after 75 people, one dressed as the grim reaper and others holding masks of former prime minister John Key, locked arms to stop delegates entering the forum.

Global weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin sponsored last year's forum, which was attended by about 700 defence industry and government representatives.

Forum organisers said at the time the defence sector generated $60 million for the New Zealand economy and employed 2500 people.

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