Anzac Day Picnic for Peace
Auckland Peace Action’s annual Picnic for Peace will be taking place at the Auckland Domain Band Rotunda at 12 noon on ANZAC Day. It will feature speakers including Marama Davidson (Greens), Rev Emily Worman (Metropolitan Church in Progress), Ilan Blumberg (Dayenu: Jews Against the Occupation), Imam Alhaji Molvi Abdul Shafeez (Masjid Al-Mustafa), Golriz Gharahman (Greens), and Tamkeen Saeid (Peace Foundation).
“We are hosting this event in order to oppose the glorification of war that is so often a feature of the mainstream dialogue around ANZAC Day, to remember and mourn for all victims of war and to promote lasting peace in the world based on demilitarisation, decolonisation and justice,” said Valerie Morse, member of Auckland Peace Action.
“The need for self-reflection is particularly pressing as New Zealand’s troop deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan come up for review in June. Auckland Peace Action will thus be calling for an end to these deployments and a withdrawal from the Middle East.”
“Anzac Day must be a day when we redouble our commitment to working for peace. When we say ‘Never Again’ and actually mean it. We do a fundamental disservice to the dead when we allow their memory to be used for further war making and empire building.”
“In light of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, we must truly reconsider how we commemorate a war of empire in the Middle East that left hundreds of thousands dead, and how that war is being used by the military and by the State to promote a war today that has already caused the deaths of millions more.”
“We continue to fight the War on Terrorism in many of the same places as WW1 and for the same reasons as 100 years ago. New Zealand has a history of war in the Middle East from WW1 onward, from brutal occupations in Palestine and Egypt, to our assistance in invading Iraq and Iran to access oil reserves, to our current deployments that have lasted 15 years (Iraq) and 18 years (Afghanistan) respectively. We must bring a permanent and lasting end to NZ's involvement in these wars of empire.”