Dotcom among protesters outside Key's house

Kim Dotcom speaking to the media after a candlelight vigil at the home of Prime Minister John Key in Parnell. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Kim Dotcom speaking to the media after a candlelight vigil at the home of Prime Minister John Key in Parnell. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom was among around 30 protesters participating in a candlelight vigil outside John Key's house in Auckland tonight highlighting what they say is New Zealand's complicity in America's drone strike programme.

The protesters said they were commemorating "the numerous deaths of civilians and the illegal killing of 'supposed' terrorists, including New Zealander Daryl Jones - killed by the US drone strike programme.

"Through the GCSB's involvement in the 5 eyes program, New Zealand, led by John Key, is sharing intelligence with the US intelligence that supports and in some part enables US drone operations to go ahead," vigil co-organiser Eva Wrassky said.

"John Key has described these killings, which American journalist Jeremy Scahill reports includes more than 1000 civilians, as justified, but they are anything but justified. Extra-judicial killings are executions without trial and a total breach of the rules of law in any democratic state and the International Geneva conventions."

Part-way into the vigil one of the electric gates at Mr Key's Parnell home opened and an Audi hatchback drove away, seemingly unnoticed by the protesters.

Four police officers were present at the vigil but did not intervene.

Veteran activists Jon Minto and Penny Bright were among the crowd and were joined mid-way through the vigil by Martyn Bradbury and Dotcom.

Dotcom said he was attending as a citizen, not an aspiring politician, to protest the "illegal" drone strikes.

"The drone attacks are illegal under international law and New Zealand is participating in illegal activity by aiding and abetting the United States in killing people with drones.

"We know that the GCSB is providing intelligence to the NSA.

"It's something that I think New Zealand should not engage in specifically because a lot of people are being killed by these drone strikes. A lot of civilians are being killed."

Investigative journalist Jon Stephenson spoke at the vigil of the human cost of conflicts in the "so called war on terror" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was important the vigil was "peaceful, dignified and gracious", he said. "That was stressed by the organisers from the outset."

The greatest disruption during the vigil came from residents unsympathetic to the cause. A grey ute slowed down while passing the group, with a woman in the back seat leaning out the window to yell "go home, leave our street, leave our street and go home" to the amusement of the protesters.

"I think there's been a lot of spin, obfuscation, even outright lies from successive governments and the New Zealand Defence Force about our role in countries like Afghanistan and on the war on terror," Mr Stephenson said.

- APNZ

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